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Jaylene Trivino, Attorney at Law
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Trivino's 2 cents

It’s a blog, about the law, written by an attorney…

Legal Lingo

It’s a blog, about the law, written by an attorney

jtrivino@trivinolaw.com | 704.413.1344

5 legal terms to quench your thirst for Legal Lingo

5 legal terms to quench your thirst for Legal Lingo

  1. FTA= Failure to Appear

    This is referring to someone missing a court date. In North Carolina, the DMV will suspend your Driver’s License if you do not appear to your court date. Also, the court may access a $200 fine for failing to appear in court, AND the court may issue an OFA…see #2. Moral of the story: Don’t miss court. But….if you did miss your court date, you should contact a lawyer to represent you. A lawyer will be able to get a new court date for you, and potentially get the $200 fine removed.

  2. OFA= Order for Arrest

    Sometimes called “OFA’d” in the past tense, meaning: an order was issued for a person’s arrest. What is an “order” you say? An order is a fancy way of saying “the Judge said so.” A warrant for a person’s arrest is the same as an OFA. Sometimes, an OFA occurs when a person misses court, or if a person violates his or her conditions of probation or parole. You might be asking yourself: How do I find out if there is an order or warrant for my arrest? Answer: Click here to go to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s office website. Here is the link: https://mecksheriffweb.mecklenburgcountync.gov/Warrant

  3. DUI, DWI= Driving Under the Influence, also known as, Driving While Impaired

    What the difference between a DUI and DWI? When you find out, let me know. Just kidding. The acronyms derive from the statutory title of what is commonly known as “drinking and driving” - in North Carolina, the statute is titled Driving While Impaired. In other states, like Florida, the statue is titled Driving Under the Influence. (Shoutout to my FL colleagues in the 813, 727, and 407.) The laws in NC and FL are titled and written differently, however, you will find yourself in jail if arrested for either.

  4. Miranda Rights

    I think an entire semester in law school was dedicated to teaching law students about Miranda Rights. Okay, I’m being dramatic. But, I did read hundreds of pages of caselaw to learn about the history, intent and application of a person’s Miranda Rights. And lets just say, I will not try to explain all of that here. But, what I will say: your rights are just that, “your Rights.” If you don’t use them…well, it is like you loose them.

    Here it goes: Back in the day, in 1966, the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision. The Court held that a defendant’s inculpatory and exculpatory (think- bad) statements made during a police interrogation will be admissible at trial if the prosecution can show three things. (1) that the defendant was informed of the Right to consult with an attorney, and (2) that the defendant understood that Right, and (3) that the person decided to voluntary waive (think- give up) that Right. When do the police need to inform me of my rights? When 2 things are happening: 1. You are being interrogated by police, and, 2. You are in the police’s custody. The law has evolved over the years, it is not as straightforward and I’m making it seem. For example, whether a person was “in custody” or “being interrogated” is a legal question that requires the application and analysis of caselaw. Talk to a qualified and experienced attorney to discuss your case and to learn whether your Rights were violated.

    You may be asking, “what is a Right?” That’s a good idea for my next blog post. Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. PJC= Prayer for Judgment Continued

    This is a North Carolina legal term. It is a way for a judge, in the exercise of her or his discretion, to lessen the impact of a criminal proceeding. In other words: a PJC is a way to avoid a conviction on your record; it is a way to avoid points on your license; and it may be a way to avoid a suspension of your driver’s license. For insurance purposes, a person is eligible to use a PJC every 5 years. For DMV purposes, a person is eligible to use 2 PJCs every 3 years. Contact an attorney to discuss whether a PJC is in your best interest. In my experience, you want to use your PJCs wisely.

Written by Jaylene Trivino

Disclaimer: The content above is Jaylene Trivino’s legal opinion.


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