Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled on this page some of the questions that existing clients, as well as prospective ones, commonly ask us. If there is a legal topic frequently on your mind that you'd like to see addressed below, please feel free to include it in a brief e-mail to our office and we will consider it for future updates to this page.

Q: Can you guarantee an acquittal in my case?
No. Attorneys are expressly prohibited from making any promise or guarantee as to the specific outcome of any case. Aside from the rules of conduct that prohibit such a promise, it would not make good sense to do so, given the various factors that come into play in any case (especially in trials) and the unpredictable nature of juries.

However, we will always make this assurance and stand by it absolutely. Our office will work as hard and as diligently, and with as much devotion and care, on your case, as any law firm you will ever find. Our attorneys all derive enormous pride from the tireless work they do on behalf of the people who make up their communities. We are proud to call this area home.

Our offices are small enough that allow for close, personal interaction with every client and we will stop at nothing to ensure we put forth the very case on behalf of each client, no matter whether it's a criminal defense case, family-related matter, personal injury tort, or traffic-related charge.

Q: What is improper equipment?
Motorists can be pulled over and ticketed in the state of North Carolina for improper equipment, which can result any time a police officer observes a moving vehicle with a mechanical failure or a part (such as a severely under-inflated tire, a broken speedometer, or a badly cracked rearview mirror) that is deemed to be unsafe.

Improper equipment convictions are deemed "non-moving" violations and the person who prosecutes these offenses (typically an assistant district attorney) wields a wide bit of discretion when it comes to penalizing offenders.

You may be familiar with the expression "improper equipment" because private attorneys often plea-bargain violations such as speeding, running red lights, passing improperly, and other moving violations down to this charge, as it will not result in any points on a person's driving record, and accordingly, not affect the cost of their insurance premiums.

Q: What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?
In one succinct sentence, time, money, and aggravation. Uncontested divorce is a process that Harbinson, Brzykcy & Corbett can see through on your behalf, typically in less than two months. It will save you an enormous amount of money, both on legal fees and court costs. Even if both parties do not agree on every aspect of matters such as division of marital assets, child custody, and child support, an uncontested divorce may be granted, with the unsettled issues to be decided by a judge at a later date.

Uncontested divorces only require that the spouses have been separated for a period one year and both have been residents of North Carolina for the previous six months. Contested divorces have been known to drag on for years with legal fees for both spouses reaching life-altering sums. That is to say nothing of the emotional and psychological toll contested divorces can have on the children of fighting parents.

Q: How will the marital property be divided upon divorce?
North Carolina recognizes the doctrine that marital assets should be divided equally between divorcing spouses. The matter, however, is not that cut-and-dry. There are special circumstances under which judges in the state will allow one ex-spouse to receive more than half of the marital property.

For this to happen, the party that petitions for a greater share must prove a valid and convincing reason. Two common examples of such reasons are the need for children to remain in the marital home with one spouse and the fact that one spouse maintains a much higher level of income than the other.

It is important to note that marital fault does not typically play a role in a judge's decision when it comes to distributing assets. The only exception is when that fault affects the value of those assets.

Q: What happens to my property if I don't include it in my will?
A will is a vital instrument and the creation of one of these documents undoubtedly saves family members a huge amount of anguish and frustration when it comes to distribution of property in accordance with your actual wishes. Moreover, when feuding relatives began to squabble over whatever money and other assets they rightfully believe belong to them, attorneys invariably will get involved and that will create an additional expense that no one needs.

The short answer to the question as to what happens to your property without a will is that it will be passed on in accordance with the North Carolina's Intestate Succession Laws.

These laws typically dictate that money, real property, and other assets are dispersed among spouses and children but not necessarily in equal shares. Our firm is supremely knowledgeable when it comes to estate planning matters and would be more than happy to explain the Intestate Succession Laws in greater detail when you schedule an initial consultation.

Q: Will I have to pay if we lose my personal injury case?
Absolutely not. Our law firm will not bill you a single dollar if you do not receive a monetary award from your case. We only get paid from personal injury cases if we are successful in either reaching a pre-trial settlement with the party who was negligent and caused your injuries -- of if we win a favorable verdict in a court of law.

For these reasons, you can be assured that Harbinson, Brzykcy & Corbett only agrees to represent personal injury clients who have meritorious cases. We will never accept a case that we believe is either frivolous or has little chance of succeeding.

When we move forward with personal injury cases, we are assuming all of the risk. Our firm will lay out all of the expenses related to gathering evidence, finding and deposing witnesses, aggregating forensic data, and filing all of the necessary motions and responses.