Frequently Asked Questions

When dealing with an arrest, family issue, or an injury accident, you may have a number of questions about what happens next and who you should call. Here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) for people looking for a lawyer in Shelby, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. After reading this FAQ, please contact us so we can provide a specific answer in your case. 

Do I need an attorney?

A lawyer is a trained professional with education and experience in the law. Having an attorney on your case will mean you have an advocate who will represent your interests in civil law, criminal law, or family matters. 

Deciding if you need an attorney may depend on what's at stake. If you have a small claims case, you may be able to handle it on your own without a lawyer. However, if you are facing criminal charges with the potential for jail time, expensive fines, and a criminal record, you may want to hire an experienced professional who has a record of successfully defending individuals fighting a criminal conviction. 

The benefits of a lawyer go beyond just understanding of the law. An experienced attorney may have specific information about certain judges, prosecutors, and how certain police departments handle arrests. This information can be vital in helping you decide what the best option will be in your individual case.  

How can I find the right attorney for my case?

Before hiring any lawyer, you should try to meet with the lawyer face-to-face. This will give you the best idea of how the law firm will treat you and your case once you sign on. Make sure the attorney will answer your questions, keep you informed about your case, and be available when you have questions and concerns.  

Do I have to pay for an initial consultation at Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC?

We believe talking to a lawyer first is an important part of making sure you are hiring the right law firm. While some cases may discussed and initiated by phone, the fee for an in-office consultation is $200 and this fee will go as a credit toward the additional legal fees if you decide to hire one of our attorneys.

Why hire Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC?

Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC was founded upon the principles of honesty, integrity, and hard work. We carry those principles when representing each and every client. We genuinely care about you and your case. We understand that our clients face legal issues that may have a long-lasting impact on their lives and we are committed to finding the best solution for each individual. 

Where does Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC represent clients?

Our office is in Shelby, North Carolina and we represent clients throughout the area. Our attorneys are licensed to represent clients anywhere in North Carolina. Our primary practice includes representing clients in: 

  • Cleveland County
  • Gaston County
  • Lincoln County

How will I be kept informed of my case? 

Unfortunately, the court system can move slowly. There is often a backlog in the courts and hearings and court appearances are regularly postponed or rescheduled based on the court's calendar. 

Staying informed about your case is one of the most important services that should be provided by your attorney. Having a pending lawsuit, criminal charges, or family disputes can be very stressful, especially when the future is uncertain. Your attorney should keep you informed of any updates, future hearings, and progress on your case. 

How do I pay attorney fees?

The fee structure depends on the type of case. Possible fee structures in a legal case may include: 

  • Flat fee
  • Hourly rate plus costs
  • Contingency fees
  • Retainers for ongoing representation
  • Consultation fees

At Caulder & Valentine, we will work with you to find a payment option that you can afford. We can accept credit card payments or come up with a payment plan that will work for you. 

What services do I get in exchange for attorney fees?

Costs for legal services can depend on the type of case. Cases like fighting traffic violations may be charged a flat fee. Family law services like a divorce can depend a lot on how complex the case will be. Most personal injury cases are taken on a contingency basis, meaning the client does not pay until and unless the client gets an award or settlement. 

What if I have a legal question on a different matter than the pending case?

At Caulder & Valentine, we represent clients in a number of practice areas, including: 

  • Criminal Law
  • Traffic Law
  • Family Law
  • DWI Charges
  • Expungements

We help businesses and individuals respond to legal issues as well as prepare beforehand to reduce the risk of any potential legal problems in the future. Contact us to ask about any legal questions you have. 

What information do you need from me to get started?

Getting started usually begins with an in-person consultation at our Shelby offices. You can contact us by phone (704-470-2440), email ([email protected]), or fill out our online contact form to set up your initial consultation. 

Meeting face-to-face is usually the best way to get started on your case. We also understand that your work schedule and family commitments may make it difficult for you to visit our office. We can also set up an initial consultation by phone, video call, or voicemail. 

  • Getting Started on Your Traffic Case

Our Traffic Intake Form provides a way to fast-track your case involving traffic violations. Filling out this form will allow us to get started on your case quickly with the basic information from your traffic stop. Most of this information should be available from the traffic ticket or citation given by the police or state troopers. This information is useful for your attorney to understand the specific charge, where the violation occurred, and if you need a continuance for the upcoming hearing date. 

  • Getting Started on Your Expungement

An expungement is a court-ordered process that erases a criminal charge from an individual's criminal record. Having a clean record can make it easier for individuals in North Carolina to get a job, find housing, and get benefits. Our Expungement Intake Form provides a way to enter the basic information so we can get started on expunging any criminal charges or convictions. This includes information on the specific charges, dates of charges, and any other information that would be helpful in evaluating your case. 

How Will a Lawyer Help Me in My Family Law Case?

Family law issues can be stressful and daunting. They may involve a child custody dispute, separation or divorce, or alimony. The outcome can have a long-lasting impact and you can benefit from having an experienced and compassionate attorney to help guide you through the process. A family law attorney will be able to evaluate the facts of your case and let you know all your options to get the optimal outcome for you and your family.   

How Can a Lawyer Help Me Clear My Criminal Record?

A criminal record can make it harder to find a job, get benefits, or even find a place to live. An expungement can change the life of someone with a criminal record by erasing the charge so they can focus on moving forward. 

How Will a Lawyer Help Me Handle a DWI?

Drunk driving charges are very common but most drivers facing a DWI feel like they are alone in facing the harsh penalties associated with a one-time mistake. It is important to understand the consequences of a DWI conviction in North Carolina so you can decide whether to fight the criminal charges. Your Shelby DWI attorney will evaluate your case, identify the weaknesses in the prosecutor's case, and let you know all the options to achieve the best possible results. 

Can a Lawyer Help Me Fight Criminal Charges?

Just because you were arrested does not mean you are guilty of a crime. The penalties associated with a criminal conviction go beyond just fines and jail time. Collateral consequences of a criminal conviction can affect your right to own a firearm, get a job, and find housing. A Shelby criminal defense lawyer will be able to evaluate your case, identify ways to challenge the state's case, or help you negotiate the best possible outcome following an arrest. 

What Can a Lawyer Do About a Traffic Ticket?

Many people do not consider hiring a lawyer to challenge a traffic ticket but the consequences of a single ticket can be expensive. Traffic violations can raise your insurance and even result in a suspended license. Instead of simply paying the ticket, a traffic violation attorney may be able to challenge the ticket so you can keep your license and do not have to end up with unnecessary marks on your driving record.   

Any Other Questions About Finding the Right Lawyer in North Carolina  

If you have any other questions related to your legal case, finding the right lawyer, or how an experienced attorney can help you, please contact us in Shelby today for a consultation. Founded upon the principles of honesty, integrity, and hard work, we strive to provide excellent services to our clients and always endeavor to put the client's needs first.