DWI/DUI Defense


At Silva, Kiernan & Associates, PLLC, we pride ourselves in effective and aggressive DWI defense.  Whether you are facing the uncertain situation of a first DWI charge or the frightening possibility of an additional DWI conviction, we are here to help create a unique and customized defense.  Every case is different and we investigate every aspect of your case in order to develop a strategy for your case.  Our partners and attorneys have handled thousands of DWI cases, both on behalf of the State of North Carolina as prosecutors, and on behalf of our clients as defense attorneys.  


If you have been charged with a DWI in the Fourth Prosecutorial District (Onslow, Duplin, Jones, or Sampson Counties), please contact our firm as soon as possible.  As each day passes, you may lose certain opportunities to have your license returned to you.  In addition, if your vehicle or property were seized, you may be losing your opportunity to have these items returned.  You cannot afford to wait until the last moment to hire an attorney and we are standing by to help you.


Traffic Related Offenses


Most people do not realize that many traffic citations are actually CRIMINAL OFFENSES.  What may appear to be a simple speeding ticket, or accident citation, might actually affect your criminal record.  No matter what you are charged with, there is a high probability that we can minimize the impact upon your livelihood.  


We recognize that there are times when you may dispute the facts behind a traffic violation charged by law enforcement.  Furthermore, we understand that in many situations, the allegation of a traffic offense may simply be a difference of opinion between the person charged and the citing officer.  In these situations, we objectively look at the evidence and create a realistic plan to dispose of the matter in a way that will minimize the financial impact upon our clients.  


For example, if you were charged with speeding, we will work to ensure that you will not receive insurance or driver's license points.  Afterall, a relatively minor speeding charge can increase your insurance premiums by a minimum of 30% over the next three years.  That means, if your insurance rate is $200.00/mo, a 30% increase will cost you an additional $60.00 per month.  After 36 months, you will have paid out an additional $2,160.00.  Based on the speed, we can generate at least a $2,010.00 savings over three years!


The point of the matter is that you are typically money ahead by having us represent you in any traffic related offense.  The money you spend on the front end will almost always outweigh the impact over trying to handle the case yourself.  If you retain our firm on a traffic violation, we can almost guarantee that you will never have to appear in court, you will not have to come to our office, and everything can be handled over the phone or through email.  This will save you time and the aggravation of having to appear in court, stand in line, and spending an entire day waiting for your case to be disposed in a manner that is not necessarily beneficial to your financial situation or your criminal record.  


Criminal Defense


As former prosecutors, we are uniquely situated to focus on criminal defense.  Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor, felony, or a combination of both, there is a high probability that we have handled a similar situation on behalf of the State of North Carolina.  We understand how the State is going to come after you and we will craft a unique defense for your situation.  All too often people believe that they are guilty of a crime so they should simply accept responsibility.  However, there is a difference between a feeling of guilt and actually being guilty.  This distinction is where we focus our efforts.


In order for the State to prevail, the government must prove that you completed very specific elements of a crime.  In other words, the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you did everything necessary to justify a verdict of guilty for a particular crime.  In our mailers, we advertise the motto "Just because they say you're guilty doesn't mean you have to plead guilty."  There are infinite situations where, at first glance, it appears that you may have crossed the lines of legality.  However, we will know the law and will research your situation.  Whether you are charged with Murder, Drug Trafficking, or a simple theft, we will dive deeply into your case and force the State to prove your guilt.  Remember, the burden is on the State; you do not have to prove your innocence.  All you need is a firm that is willing to go the extra mile and advise you accordingly.


Family Law, Divorce, Custody, Equitable Distribution, & Adoption


Family Law is the broad category here.  We handle everything from a divorce to adoption and child support enforcement.  If there is anything more important than your freedom, it is securing the future of you and your children.  We routinely handle a wide variety of family law matters on behalf of men and women.  You will find that our goal is likely to be similar to yours - making sure that you and your children are protected.


Please come to us and tell us all the intricate details of your particular situation.  Some of these details may be embarrassing, but we will safeguard them as if these details were our own.  We will evaluate your case and will strive to protect you from the abuse that is surely around the corner.


When you are in the middle of a divorce, custody action, equitable distribution, or adoption, we understand that all that you hold valuable is on the line.  We will work to protect your way of life and the interests you hold so very dear to your heart.  This is a difficult time in your life and we want to provide you with the proverbial light at the end of a tunnel.  Allow us to create a path to enhance the probability of protecting you and your family.  Call us today.


Real Estate Transactions


Whether you found your starter home or the home of your dreams, we are here to help facilitate a painless transaction.  Even if you have already selected another firm to handle the closing of your new purchase, we can jump in to ensure the closing takes place.  In fact, we cater to emergency closings and have a staff ready to handle any closing in as little as 48 hours.  


We are routinely contacted by real estate agents that need a transaction closed yesterday.  There are so many situations where a closing package is delayed because of one reason or the other and an another attorney cannot fit the closing into their busy schedule.  This may result in the closing being delayed days, weeks, or months . . . which in turn typically means that the interest rate is going to change (for better or typically worse), you will have to execute a new contract, and ultimately, you will not get the home or property as expected.  


These transactions can be highly stressful and we want to minimize the anguish of uncertainty and anticipation.  Bring us a closing package and we can almost ensure you will have the transaction completed within 48 hours.  In fact, we are willing to facilitate closings on the weekends . . . see if any other firm will accommodate that request!


If you are a real estate agent, we would like to be your preferred closing attorney.  We understand that ultimately the decision is up to your client, but we are willing to sit down and have a frank conversation with them.  As we have already stated, we will work to close any real estate transaction within 48 hours of receiving the closing package.  What that means to you and your client is that we will complete a title search, secure title insurance, record, ‚ÄčAND disburse all funds as soon as practically possible.  You receive the benefit of being nearly immediately paid and your client receives the benefit of receiving their property as promised and in accordance to the contractual timeline.  It is a win-win for everyone involved.


Wills and Estates


As life would have it, we all need to make arrangements for our departure.  Whether you have a modest accumulation or millions of dollars in assets, we would like to guide you through uncomfortable but inevitable decisions.  We highly recommend you make these decisions while you still have the ability to save the ones you love from the hardship of intestate distribution (the dividing of assets without a will).


Most people believe that their family can work through the details of probate without a will . . . and that may be how it works out.  Nevertheless, consider the following situation.  At some point during your life, you promised a loved one that you wanted them to have your wedding ring, a special firearm, or family heirloom.  Later, you inferred that you wanted another loved one to have that particular item (whether you intended on inferring the gift or not).  Upon your passing, you have two people that hold a special sentimental value to a particular item that cannot be divided.  This is the birthplace of dissention, angst, and litigation between otherwise loving family members.


Consider another example.  If your assets were to pass without a will, they are going to be distributed to your heirs.  Maybe you have a daughter or son that is married.  Maybe their marriage is on the rocks because of infidelity or marital misconduct perpetrated by their spouse.  If you were to pass without a will, and your heir were to predecease you, your assets may end up in the hands of someone you would have specifically disinherited - the cheating or abusive spouse of your child.  


Imagine that you don't have children and you want everything to go to your spouse.  What if your spouse remarries and then passes?  Would you want your assets going to a man or woman you have never met?  Wouldn't you prefer that your assets benefit your own family line?  Wouldn't you prefer that your parents, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, cousins, aunts, or uncles take possession of family possessions over strangers?


These are only a sample of the situations that can arise and cause unnecessary strife between family and loved ones.  Remove this obstacles, plan for the future, and help your family transition during this incredibly heart-wrenching situation.  

Our Services

Silva, Kiernan&Associates, PLLC

910.333.9833 - Jacksonville, NC

910.592.5137 - Clinton, NC