Curtis Sluder and Associates
Please Call: 828-254-9505
Curtis Alan Sluder
Law School- UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law (honors)
College- UNC-Asheville, Class of 1994, Magna Cum Laude
Hometown- Weaverville, NC
Year Admitted to NC State Bar- 1998
Practice Area- Criminal Law, Traffic Law, Department of Motor Vehicles, Alcohol and Drug Law
Member- NC State Bar, NC Bar Association, 28th Judicial District Bar, NC Advocates for Justice, Vance Inn- Phi Delta Phi, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Born in Asheville, NC, Curtis grew up in the WNC mountains, and has spent his life in the area he knows best. Starting his own Law Practice in 1998, Curtis focuses his legal practice on criminal law, traffic law, and DMV matters, such as driver license restoration. Hobbies include drag racing, where Curtis loves to drive at local tracks and at events all over the south. Curtis Married his lovely wife Denise in 2008, and they live, work, and enjoy life together in Buncombe County. A true native of the area, Curtis knows both the area and its people well, and has always had a genuine desire to help people. Traffic and criminal law are natural extensions of his hobbies, his family, and his desire to give back to his community.
Please Call: 828-254-9505
Drug Crime Penalties
Drug offense penalties can be very serious. You could end up in county jail or state prison. Your car or anything else linked to the drug crime could be taken away (Forfeiture Proceedings). You could lose your driver’s license, have to pay a fine, supervised probation, drug treatment, community service, and any combination of these things. A drug conviction on your record will be seen by future employers, School applications, gun permits, some hospital records, military, professional associations and licenses, child care decisions, renting apartments and houses, obtaining credit,
How the officer came to discover that you were in possession of drugs involves constitutional issues of search and seizure. You have certain rights that the state cannot violate, or it may be possible to suppress evidence they have against you. There are a number of different areas that I may wish to explore regarding the incident. Some of the areas I may need to explore with you include:
Why did the officer stop you, contact you, come to your house?
What did the officer say to you?
Did the officer talk to anyone else?
Was the house your own house? Was the car your own car?
Did the officer find drugs as a result of a search? Did you allow the search? Did the officer say something to induce you to allow him to search?
Did you confess? Did you confess to “owning” the drugs found?
Who else was with you? How were those people acting?
Have you ever been charged with a drug offense before?
Do you use drugs regularly, or was this an odd occasion?
Would you have trouble passing a drug test?
Do you use any drugs for medicinal reasons, or just recreationally?
Once we have explored your case in an interview, I will examine paperwork and discuss the case with the officer, and sometimes other witnesses to the case. We then can make an educated decision how to handle the case. In some cases we may want to move to suppress some evidence. In other case we may have a full trial on the facts. In still other cases, there may be other charges that the state could prove, and we may decide to negotiate with the state to proceed on some charges and not on others. There may be programs we can take advantage of in order to keep the charge from resulting in a conviction without having to have a trial. And, in some cases, it may be that reasons exist for the state to dismiss the case.
|Charges can be more serious if they occur near a school zone,involve a minor, give rise to an inferrence that they are being sold, or are part of a continuing criminal enterprise, among other factors.|
|Frequently Asked Questions|
I was issued a citation for speeding. The back of the ticket says I can just mail in my payment before court. Why do I need a lawyer?
A citation for speeding in a non-school zone and non-work zone for 1 to 15 mph over the limit is a "waivable" offense, meaning you can pay it without anyone going to court. This is almost never a good idea. By paying it you are pleading guilty as charged. The citation will be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and 2-3 points will be assessed against your license. You will also receive insurance points in most cases, particularly if you are cited for speeding more than 10 mph over the limit. Speeding over 55 can result in 2 insurance points, and a 45% increase in your insurance rate, each year for the next three years. That is, if your insurance rate is $500 per year, it can increase to $725 per year for just one ticket. That is an increase of $225 each year for three years, $675. And that is in addition to the fine and court costs which are also over $110.
DMV can also suspend your license for two offenses of speeding over 55 mph in 12 months. Mishandling even a minor offense can easily cost you $1000 and could cost you your license.
My Citation is for speeding. My Citation says I must appear in court. Can you appear on my behalf?
Speeding 16 mph over the limit or more is a class 2 Misdemeanor. In most speeding cases, though, an attorney can still appear on your behalf with a properly written waiver of appearance.
Speeding more than 15 mph over the limit and also over 55 mph will result in a mandatory license suspension.
(For example, 71 in a 55 zone, or 81 in a 65 zone)
Often, your attorney can negotiate with the district attorney (the State) and plea to a lesser offense, which will help keep your license and save $$$ on your insurance.
Speeding in excess of 75 mph will result in 4 insurance points and an increase in your insurance rate by 90%, each year for the next three years.
Can my spouse/parent/friend appear for me?
In almost all cases, no. Only you or your attorney may appear.
What happens If I ignore the ticket?
If you ignore the ticket, NC will suspend your driving privilege. NC will report the violation to your state, and according to the National Drivers License Compact, will report any license suspension to your state. Your state will then suspend your license until the NC charge is resolved. In some cases, your state may not alow you to renew your license until the case is resolved. In this case, it may be more difficult to get a good plea on your case, and you could then suffer an additional suspension. How your ticket in NC is handled will affect your insurance and your license in your state.
IN ALL CASES:
If you do not handle your case on your court date or pay it if allowed, NC will suspend your license and report the suspension to your state.
An additional $100 late charge will be assessed by the State for not handling this charge on your court date.
My license is from another state. What effect will this ticket have on me?
Your states insurance and point law will apply. You may want to contact an attorney in your state, or discuss your citation with your insurance provider in order to determine the impact on your license and insurance. If you are charged with speeding 16 mph or more over the limit, or if you want to try and get the charge reduced, a court appearance is mandatory unless you have an attorney. If you ignore the ticket, NC will suspend your driving privilege. NC will report the violation to your state, and according to the National Drivers License Compact, will report any license suspension to your state. Your state will then suspend your license until the NC charge is resolved. How your ticket in NC is handled will affect your insurance and your license in your state. We will try our best to handle your citation with an eye toward what the eventual effect will be in your state, but urge you to contact an attorney in your state if you have specific questions.
Vijay Nathan- Attorney
Law School- UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law
College- N.C. State University
Hometown- Cary, NC
Year Admitted to NC Bar- 2007
Practice Area- Criminal Law, Traffic Law, Alcohol and Drug Law, Bankruptcy
Vijay Nathan grew up in Cary, NC. He earned a B.A. in Sociology from N.C.State University before attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Law School. During Law School, Mr. Nathan was a staff member of the Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation and competed nationally as a member of the Holderness Moot Court Bench. He also pursued his interest in criminal law by externing in the Orange/Chatham County Public Defenders office where he was responsible for the defense of indigent defendants. After gaining admission to the North Carolina State Bar, Mr. Nathan moved to Asheville to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Mr. Nathan took a position as an Assistant District Attorney in McDowell and Rutherford Counties and was responsible for the prosecution of thousands of cases from minor traffic infractions to serious felony offenses. Since joining Curtis Alan Sluder & Associates in 2008, Mr. Nathan has used his experience on both sides of the justice system to better serve his clients in Buncombe and McDowell Counties.