A standard consequence of a guilty plea or conviction is a term of probation. Though the judge has ultimate discretion in determining the length of your probation, the standard length of probation is three years for most misdemeanors and felonies and five years for driving under the influence violations.
For a misdemeanor, often times a court will order summary - otherwise known as informal - probation. This means that you are on probation to the court, but you do not have to report to a probation officer. This also means that, in most cases, you are free to travel outside the county, state, and even outside of the country, without asking for permission.
For felony matters, a judge usually imposes formal probation. This kind of probation involves a probation officer who will monitor your actions and who you will have to check in with. In addition to travel restrictions, there are various other terms of probation you must abide by in order to ensure you are in compliance with the court and the rules of probation.
Probation terms can be confusing as the terms may prohibit conduct that is not otherwise unlawful. For example, a judge may order you not be in an establishment whose main business is the sale of alcohol. This includes liquor stores and bars. Obviously, being in this type of establishment has not been a crime since Age of Prohibition. However, if you are on probation, this conduct could result in serious consequences including a revocation of your probation and serving time in custody.
The first step toward your fresh start is to call Mills Law and schedule your free consultation. You’ll need to bring certain information. During this appointment you’ll meet with David Mills to talk about your concerns, goals, and the details of your financial situation. Based on your assets, liabilities, income and your objectives, we’ll help you decide whether bankruptcy is right for you and, if so, what type (or chapter) of bankruptcy will most help you.
At this point you’ll receive a list of additional information to gather and an outline of the steps needed in order to prepare for bankruptcy filing. We’ll also discuss the cost of the bankruptcy case so that you can make an informed decision.
Once you’ve provided all the needed information we can prepare the required documents for Bankruptcy Court, which you will carefully review to make sure everything is accurate, truthful, and complete. Once you’ve finished this step, your case gets filed.At that point, the automatic stay stops your creditors from calling, writing, or trying to collect from you. The court appoints a trustee to oversee your case and sets up a meeting between you and this trustee. Rest assured you won’t be alone as Mills Law will be with you each and every step along the way. Mr. Mills will attend this meeting where the trustee will ask you a series of questions to make sure the information you’ve provided is honest and accurate.
Once you complete the requirements of the Bankruptcy Court, you’ll receive the discharge, which is the forgiveness of debt, and your case will soon be closed allowing your life to move forward with a clean slate.
When preparing for you free consultation with Mr. Mills, please bring the following documents to help us better understand your picture. If you can’t find all of these items, don’t let that discourage you from coming in. Often we can provide guidance on where this information can be obtained:
1. The most recent bill or statement from each creditor
2. All letters from collection agencies or lawyers
3. Any papers relating to a lawsuit
4. The past 6 months of paystubs
5. The past 2 years of tax returns
5. State ID (such as a driver’s license) and your Social Security card
6. A list of real estate and automobiles you own
Although this is not a complete list of what’s needed should you choose to pursue bankruptcy, it serves as a starting place to help us make an initial analysis of how we can provide the help you need.
If you’ve been making a lot of late payments, or not paying some debts at all, then your credit score has probably already taken a hit, and there’s likely nowhere to go from here but “up.” Bankruptcy will show up on your credit report for up to 10 years, but ask yourself how long it will take you to dig out of the financial hole you’re in if you don’t file? Getting your debts forgiven in bankruptcy can give you some breathing room and a chance to finally get your feet back on solid ground.
Perhaps it seems ironic, but filing for bankruptcy protection costs money. There are court filing fees, trustee administration fees, attorney fees, credit counseling fees, etc. After learning about the costs involved, some who could benefit from bankruptcy protection may end up wondering, “Can I afford to file bankruptcy?” In a good number of cases where bankruptcy is appropriate, the answer is “yes.” If bankruptcy protection would be beneficial in your case, your bankruptcy attorney can advise you on how to afford it.
Bankruptcy gives many people the opportunity for a financial fresh start. When you work with us, we review your financial situation, look at the options that are available and determine the course of action that best addresses your financial situation.
For many people that is filing Chapter 7, for others it may be Chapter 13 and finally some people are not well served by the bankruptcy process.
After your free initial consultation you will be required to take the means test.The Means Test is a tool that the Bankruptcy court uses to determine if you qualify to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This test uses a complex formula to compare your income, expenses and family size to the median income of similar North Carolina households.
For income levels below state median you will qualify for Chapter 7. Even if your income is above the state median income you may still qualify for Chapter 7 after a detailed analysis of your financial situation. For people with income above the state median income Chapter 13 may be an option to provide considerable debt relief.
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