Henderson County Criminal Defense Attorney, Traffic Ticket, DWI/DUI Lawyer

Henderson County Criminal Lawyer

Hendersonville, NC Attorney representing Criminal, Traffic, and DWI / DUI Defendants since 1998.

Honest Assessment

Attorneys who give you an honest assessment of your case- Our lawyers are not just going to tell you what you want to hear.  We find what really needs to be done.  Then we work hard to get the best results.

Aggressive Defense Lawyers

We are Henderson County defense attorneys on your side. The State of North Carolina is not representing your interests- that is our job.

Intelligent Representation

In Criminal, DWI / DUI, and Traffic cases, knowledge of the law alone is not always enough. Intelligent application, research, and strategy produce victory.

Compassionate Counsel

Hendersonville Attorneys who care about your case- because we know it is important to you, it is important to us.

 

Lawyers Helping Get Your Freedom Back

Traffic Tickets, DWI, Drug possession- Getting your life back on track. Preserving your freedom, protecting your rights.

Henderson County Criminal and Traffic Defense:  200 South Grove Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina

Henderson County is in the 29-B Judicial District of North Carolina. The 29-B District encompasses Henderson, Transylvania, and Polk counties. This is a large district, but we deal with the same group of Judges and District Attorneys in each county on a regular basis.  The court personnel, Clerks of Court, and other officials in the district can be very helpful and informative, but they cannot give legal advice.

The elected District Attorney, Greg Newman, was appointed by the Governor a few years ago when former District Attorney Jeff Hunt was selected as a Special Superior Court Judge, and then was easily re-elected at the last election. I met Greg when I first started practicing in Hendersonville in the 90’s, and have been very pleased to see him taking the reigns in district 29-B. He has demonstrated to me his ability to be a fair and reasonable District Attorney-and that is the highest accolade any District Attorney can receive from a defense attorney!  In my experience he has been able to maintain a balance between protecting the citizens in the district by prosecuting crime, and has followed the District Attorney’s oath to “do justice”.  I have enjoyed working with him on criminal, DWI/DUI, and traffic cases over the last few years  and look forward to working with him and his assistant district attorneys in future years.

Criminal court in Henderson County may be held on any weekday, but certain kinds of cases are generally calendared on certain days. Mondays and Thursdays are usually reserved for law enforcement officer court dates- Highway patrol, Hendersonville Police, Laurel Park Police, Fletcher Police, and Henderson County Sheriff Deputies all schedule certain days that they are expected to be in court to discuss and be available for the cases they are involved in. They can often be called in or subpoenaed for other days, as well. Tuesdays are usually reserved for  Felony matters that are still in district court, pending probable cause hearings or first appearances.  Wednesday afternoon is generally minor traffic court, and Fridays are primarily civilian witness cases, such as injury to personal property, assault, assault on a female, domestic trespass, and similar cases sworn out in front of a magistrate, rather than cases that result from a law enforcement officers own observations.

The Curtis Sluder Law Firm frequently handles cases in all three counties of District 29-B- Transylvania, Henderson, and Polk counties.  Some of the cases we regularly represent defendants on are traffic and criminal matters, such as speeding, reckless driving, DWI, and driving on revoked licenses.  We also represent many defendants on other felony and misdemeanor offenses, such as drug charges, probation violations, expunction, assaults, weapons charges, and related criminal offenses. The Curtis Sluder Law Firm has focused on traffic defense and criminal law in Henderson County for more than 15 years, and was the first law firm in Western North Carolina to have a dedicated traffic practice.  We has defended thousands of cases involving criminal offenses, traffic charges, and other infractions occurring in Waynesville and Haywood County since 1998.  Contact us to discuss your case. We offer free initial consultation by telephone, and would be happy to arrange an in person consultation as well. Please call us to see how we can help protect your interests and defend your rights.

DWI/Impaired Driving in Henderson County

Almost no case is taken as seriously as Impaired driving in North Carolina. Most persons charged with serious felony charges in North Carolina have far more options available to them than persons charged with DWI.  Even if you have no record at all. This is simply a result of the overly aggressive DWI lobby led in North Carolina by MADD, continually pressuring the legislature to enact stricter penalties for Impaired Driving. Since 2007, each session of the legislature has enacted some form of new legislation making DWI a more serious crime and chiseling away at the Constitutional Rights of the defendant. If you are charged with DWI, you need an experienced, informed, aggressive attorney on your side.

Even though I expect the district attorneys office in Henderson County to be fair and reasonable, the very political nature of DWI makes it a difficult charge to defend. DWI in North Carolina does not get “pleabargained” to lesser offenses.  North Carolina Law requires the district attorney to prepare a lengthy written explanation for any change to, or dismissal of, any “implied consent” (alcohol- related) charge. This long written form is then filed as a public document that the “courtwatchers” have access to and keep tabs on. Of course, this means that as a practical matter no elected official is going to make any modification or dismissal of a DWI charge except in the most rare circumstance. Therefore, when you are charged with a DWI, you can expect that the case is going to proceed “as charged”.  You will either be found guilty, or not guilty, of what you are charged with.

At the Curtis Sluder Law Firm, we aggressively look for any error made by law enforcement, magistrates, or other individuals involved in your case. We start by critically examining the reason you were stopped based on the most current legislation and case law.  The officer must have made initial contact either through a consensual encounter, reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop, or a properly conducted license check.  If the contact phase passes scrutiny, we explore all known  factors that may or may not have given the officer probably cause to make an arrest. This includes proper field sobriety tests given according to standards established by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Other factors the officer considered in forming his opinion of your condition and decision to arrest are also explored in depth.

Once the decision to arrest has been made, the information that may have been presented to the magistrate is reviewed, rights forms are examined to be certain you were afforded your rights prior to an intoxilizer test.  Procedures must have been followed in administering the test, and certain legal requirements must be met in allowing for your release from custody after your arrest  and initial appearance before the magistrate has been completed.

There are hundreds of possibilities to explore in every DWI case- and this is just the guilt or innocence aspect of the case. Drivers license implications, DMV penalties, sentencing requirements, and costs also factor into each case.  At the Curtis Sluder Law Firm, we have the experience garnered from daily representation of defendants for over 15 years, as well as experience from prosecuting cases for the State.  We strive to master new laws and follow the appellate courts decisions as they relate to criminal, traffic, and impaired driving cases on a regular basis. We involve ourselves in routine Q&A sessions with other top attorneys across North Carolina on a regular basis to stay on top of the latest developments.  We continue to build on our experience with DMV, law enforcement, the District Attorneys Office, our Honorable Judges, Magistrates, fellow attorneys, clerks, and other court officials and liasons to make  our clients experiences as successful as possible.

Traffic Cases in Henderson County

Traffic cases in Henderson County are usually scheduled for one Monday each month, or Tuesday-Thursday sessions of Criminal District Court. We represent most traffic cases by written waiver, which means we inform you of the likely options for your case, possible outcomes, our plan of action in your case, and you allow us to go to court on your behalf, meaning you do not need to take a day off work in order to attend court to handle your traffic cases. This is especially important for persons who were ticketed while passing through western North Carolina, as well as residents with other obligations. Rest assured that your presence is not necessary, though, and if things do not go as we planned in court, we will continue the case and contact you about any new developments that may have arisen.  Representation in traffic matters usually incurs a fee from as little as $100, and we typically save you far more than that by preventing possible insurance increases.

Driver License Points

North Carolina uses two different point systems for Traffic Cases. Drivers license points, and Insurance points. Drivers license points are assessed for each traffic violation, and are tabulated by the NC DMV.  When a driver accumulates 12 drivers license points in a 3 year period, The NC DMV suspends the license of the driver. After you get your license back, you can only have 8 points in three years or you lose your license again. When a driver has accumulated 7 points, they may be eligible for a DMV based “Driver Improvement Clinic” for a one time reduction of  3 points from their license.

Insurance Points

Insurance points are assessed based on convictions on the drivers official record, or accidents requiring the insurers attention.   The points assessed are regulated by the North Carolina Safe Driver improvement Program (SDIP points)  A more complete list of point assessment is located HERE.  As an example, a speeding ticket for 80-65 would result in 4 SDIP insurance points. This results in an 80% increase in insurance rates. This increase is assessed each time your insurance renews, for three years. If you currently pay $300 every 6 months, after on ticket for 80-65, your insurance would increase to $540, or $240 more. This continues for the next 6 renewal periods for a total insurance increase of $1440. We can usually modify the charge you are convicted of to prevent the assessment of insurance points, drivers license points, or both, depending on the circumstances of each case and your record. For a legal fee as low as $100-200, you can save $1440 or more.

CDL Drivers

Commercial drivers, drivers who hold a CDL or drivers who are operating a commercial vehicle, often have special circumstances and more severe repercussions for traffic offenses. Many offenses carry double, or enhanced, drivers license points when operating a commercial vehicle. Some options available to non-CDL drivers may not be available to commercial drivers. And this is true of not only “Class A” CDL holders, but “Class B” CDL drivers as well.

Commercial drivers also have to be concerned with their Federal CDL points, or CSA points. CSA points are assessed based on the original charges, so we make a special effort to secure dismissal whenever it is possible, and modification of charges when that is not possible.  We understand how “major violations” harm a commercial driver more than a non CDL driver.  We go to great lengths for every client, but understand the peculiar circumstances CDL drivers face.   Although traffic charges are difficult to win at trial, we have tried successfully several CDL driver cases. Occasionally we can get permission to enter a not guilty plea and have a “trial by waiver”, but usually the defendant will need to be present in court for a trial.

Non CDL Drivers

Non CDL Drivers are concerned with driver license points, of course, but we understand that the bottom line for most drivers is in the pocketbook- We go over all available options with each client, and try to find the best cost saving option to prevent insurance increases.  Different options may be best suited to different clients, depending on their family, other drivers on the policy, prior record, and the amount of driving they do. If you have negative prior entries on your driving record, we may need to come up with creative options to keep you licensed and minimize your insurance. Our extensive experience in Haywood County representing traffic defendants is your best bet for keeping your insurance rates low.

Criminal Cases in Hendersonville, Henderson County

Typically, misdemeanor criminal cases in Henderson County are handled on the second floor of the Henderson County Courthouse, located at 200 South Grove Street, Hendersonville NC.  Court days can be any date, but usually Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 pm administrative traffic court is held.  Each Monday and Thursday usually have two Court dockets, one at  9:00 am, and one at 1:30 pm.  Be sure to double check which time you are to arrive, and make sure you are there 5 or 10 minutes early so you are not missed. Tuesday. Wednesday morning, and Friday criminal sessions will only have one docket call, at 9:00 am.  Again, defendants should be in court by 9:00 for calendar call. The District Attorney is usually unable to speak with unrepresented defendants until some time after the calendar call.  Superior court weeks vary throughout the year, and there are several sessions of Superior Court, though there is not a session of Superior court every week.

A district court criminal charge can be initiated by an arrest or by a citation.  If the defendant is arrested, he is taken before the magistrate to have bond and other conditions of release set. Often, an unsecured bond or a small secured bond is set for misdemeanants.  The defendant is given a court date if released on bond. If the defendant is taken into custody and cannot make bond, then they will be taken before a District Court Judge within a few days in order to appoint counsel or to schedule a bond hearing. Once this is done, they are given a new court date and afforded an opportunity to speak with a lawyer (who will often make a bond motion to reduce or unsecure the bond, so that the defendant can be released and better assist in defending their case.  Once the court date arrives, the defendants lawyer may further investigate the case beyond what he was able to do prior to the court date, negotiate with the District Attorney, point out weaknesses in the states case, and try to arrive at an agreeable pleabargain. If no acceptable pleabargain can be had, then the case may be called for trial.

A trial in district court begins with the District Attorney arraigning the defendant, or formally announcing the charge, and the defendant, through his or her attorney, entering a formal plea of not guilty. The state then begins to call the witnesses to the stand in order to testify against the defendant. This usually consists of law enforcement officers testimony, or victim testimony, but can include other relevant witnesses and expert testimony, such as laboratory analysts from the State Crime Lab.  Once the State witnesses have testified, we get our opportunity to cross examine the witnesses- This is where we may try to pin them down to a specific account of the facts, question their ability to accurately observe the situation, secure testimony of investigatory methods they did NOT use, question their credibility in many cases, and discredit their original testimony where possible and useful.

This process repeats for each state witness. Once the state feels they have presented their case adequately, the State “Rests”.  If I feel the state has not adequately proven their case at this point, I make a motion to dismiss- that is, even if the Judge accepts everything testified to by the State Witnesses, the State has not adequately proven the case based on the law.  If the judge grants my motion at this point, which is fairly rare, the case is dismissed. If not, we then call any witnesses we wish to testify on our behalf. The state, of course, gets the opportunity to cross examine those witnesses as we did earlier. Once all testimony has been heard, including any rebuttal witnesses or re-called witnesses, closing arguments are made before the Judge, and the Judge then issues his or her verdict.

After the verdict has been entered, if it is guilty on any of the charges, then the case proceeds to the sentencing phase.

Henderson County Directory (close tabs)
Alcohol/Drug Assessment
Facility Name County Language Contact Name E_Mail Street Address City Phone Fax
A NEW DAY HENDERSON JOHN NUTT nuttj56@yahoo.com 812 SOUTH GROVE ST HENDERSONVILLE 828-719-1083 866-213-2436
Services: ASSESSMENT, SHORT & LONGER-TERM TREATMENT


AMERICAS ADDICTION TREATMENT INC – HENDERSONVILLE HENDERSON English & Spanish GLORIA IRRGANG gloriakay2000@hotmail.com 425 LINDA VISTA DRIVE HENDERSONVILLE 828-707-2338 828-669-0486
Services: ASSESSMENT, ADETS, SHORT & LONGER-TERM TREATMENT, SPANISH SERVICES – ASSESSMENT


FAMILY PRESERVATION SERVICES HENDERSON PAMELA FREELEY pfreeley@fpscorp.com 120 SOUTH GROVE ST HENDERSONVILLE 828-697-2660 828-697-2986
Services: ASSESSMENT, SHORT & LONGER-TERM TREATMENT, SUBSTANCE ABUSE INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT PROGRAM
Animal Services

The Henderson County Animal Service Center does not handle animal bites, animal pick ups or animal related complaints including animals at large or cruelty/neglect.

For help with an animal problem, call Henderson County Sheriff Office’s Animal Enforcement Division at 697-4912.

Fletcher Police Department

Fletcher Police Department

110 Parrish Municipal Drive
Fletcher, NC 28732
Phone: (828) 687-7922
Fax: (828) 654-8046
Henderson County Attorney, DSS Attorney

County Attorney

County Code of Ordinances

1 Historic Courthouse Square, Suite #5
Hendersonville, NC 28792

Phone: (828) 697-4719
Fax: (828) 697-4536

Hours: 8:30 – 5:00
Monday – Friday

The Henderson County Attorney provides legal services to the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, the County Manager, and the county departments, including but not limited to, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Public Health.

This office regrets that it can not provide legal services to individuals or the public.

The Office of the County Attorney consists of:

Charles Russell Burrell, County Attorney
Susan L. Fosmire, Assistant County Attorney
Sarah G. Zambon, Deputy County Attorney
Rebekah R. Price, Associate County Attorney
Kathryn Finotti, Paralegal
Jacqueline Justus, Paralegal
JoAnne Hinson, Office Assistant

The Office of the County Attorney provides, in a timely and competent manner, professional legal services to the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, the County Manager, and county departments, which enables them to perform their respective roles within legal parameters.

 

Hendersonville Police

Chief of Police, Chief Herbert Blake

145 Fifth Avenue East
Hendersonville, NC 28792-4394
• • •
EMERGENCY DIAL 911
• • •
Non-Emergency 828-697-3025

 

We offer a fingerprinting service. (Note: We do not print for immigration matters. You must contact an immigration office for those services.)
There is no need for an appointment. The hours are from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM every Wednesday morning. The charge is $10. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department offers this service on different days. Call them at 697-4911 for more details.

Copies of accident reports and letters of verification may be obtained at the department Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM.
Letters of verification are letters that certify that you have filed a report. The actual reports are not released to the public. Call 697-3036 if you have any questions.

As part of our participation in the CARFAX Police Crash Assistance program, all crash reports for the Hendersonville Police Department are now available for purchase online. You’ll save a trip to the station, postage, or a phone call when you buy from our new online accident report distribution site. You can access accident reports right online, 24/7, by visiting:

www.crashdocs.org/nc-cityofhendersonville

Or you can continue to get reports free of charge in person at the Police Department during regular business hours.

Our evidence room is available for you to pick up stolen items from your case or to retrieve seized goods on the following days and times:
Mondays 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM , and Wednesdays 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM. Call 697-3042 if you have any questions.

Laurel Park Police

LAUREL PARK POLICE DEPARTMENT

441 WHITE PINE DRIVE
LAUREL PARK, NC 28739

(828) 692-9399

 

PERSONNEL

The Town presently has 12 police officers. Of this number, 7 are full-time officers, and 5 are part-time (reserve) officers.

Chief Bobbie K. Trotter – Chief Trotter has been involved in law enforcement in Henderson County since 2003. Bobbie started as a Reserve Officer at the Hendersonville Police Department. She continued working at the Hendersonville Police Department and became a full-time officer in 2004. Bobbie worked in various capacities while at Hendersonville; she was a Patrolman, a School Resource Officer, and a Detective before joining the ranks of the Laurel Park Police Department. Bobbie was appointed to Chief of Police in Laurel Park in January of 2012. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Mars Hill College in Political Science with a concentration in Criminal Justice. Bobbie holds an Advanced Certificate in Law Enforcement from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.

Lieutenant Gray Mullen

Officer Kevin Swanson

Officer Bilsen Prezas

Officer Brian Barnwell

Officer Andrew Griffin

Officer Alan Bonanno

Reserve Officer Eric Chapell

Reserve Officer Phillip Whitaker

Probation Department

Adult Probation and Parole has relocated to 1347 Spartanburg Hwy, Hendersonville, NC

 

Register of Deeds

Register of Deeds

Search the Register of Deeds online deed index 1979 – present (images forthcoming)

Guide to searching for plats by year recorded or cabinet

Hours: 9:00 – 5:00
Monday – Friday

Welcome to the Henderson County Register of Deeds website.

We are proud to serve the citizens of Henderson County as custodians of some of the county’s most historic documents.

Please note that we are a recording office and not legal authorities and therefore cannot advise in any legal capacity. Our primary purpose is to record transactions for public record that are executed in accordance with North Carolina Real Estate Recording Standards. Checks, cash and money orders are accepted forms of payment.

The Register of Deeds office maintains:

  • All land transfers, easements, rights of ways, surveys.
  • Security instruments such as, but not limited to, Deeds of Trust, Mortgages and UCC filings.
  • Separation Agreements
  • Vital Records such as Births, Deaths and Marriage certificates. Certified copies of vital records may be obtained for a fee of $10.00 with proper ID and acceptable relationship to person being applied for. Photo copies are available for $.25.
  • Businesses filed under an assumed name, also known as DBA’s.
  • Military records are recorded and certified for the Veteran at no charge.
  • Notary Public oaths
Sheriff Department

Henderson County Sheriff’s Office                                Sheriff Charles S. McDonald

Sheriff’s Office
100 North Grove Street
Hendersonville, NC 28792
(828) 697-4596
(828) 697-4613 FAX

Administrative Office Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00am – 5:00pm

Detention Center
375 First Avenue East
Hendersonville, NC 28792
(828) 697-4955

Communications Center
EMERGENCY 911
(828) 697-4911 non-emergency

 

The mission of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is to serve our community by reducing, preventing and investigating crime.  We enforce the law to maintain peace and security for our citizens.  We strive to be a highly trained and dedicated team of professionals who hold ourselves to high ethical standards.   We value the contributions of our personnel and the sacrifices they make.  We swear to uphold this sacred trust, and we will not waiver from our noble purpose.

We have moved!  Our address is 100 NORTH GROVE STREET, HENDERSONVILLE, NC 28792.  We are located adjacent to the Henderson County Courthouse. Our phone numbers have not changed.

Bail Bondsmen