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Debra Joan Cheatham Reece
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Debra Reece’s Answers

558 total


  • How do I collect retirement from an ex employer

    I left an employer in January and I have been unable to get him to issue my retirement check. It is a fund he contributed to on our behalf

    Debra’s Answer

    As stated, you should consult with an experienced employment-law attorney and take all your paperwork with you. If your retirement is not vested, you may not be entitled to anything. Even if it is, if you are not retirement age, you may not be entitled to anything until and unless you reach a certain age. Without knowing the exact terms of your retirement benefit, there is no way to advise you.

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  • Do I need a criminal attorney?

    Got a criminal summons for "shoplifting" $.39 worth of candy that I stuck in my pocket (because I kept dropping them) while picking up several other items at convenience store and forgot to pay for them. Offered to go pay when officer investigated...

    Debra’s Answer

    You should understand that a lawyer's time is worth the same hourly rate whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. As others have said, $1500 is a small price to pay if a lawyer can help keep this off your record. Many companies will not hire you with a theft of property conviction, regardless of the circumstances. So bite the bullet and hire counsel. Do not just pay the fine without at least trying to let a lawyer negotiate a deal for you.

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  • Can I move out of my house at 16?

    My home life is quit terrible and I've wanted to move out since I was 11 or 12. There is verbal and drug abuse at my house and I want to get out of there without being put in foster care. I have a job and I have a place to stay already. I just wan...

    Debra’s Answer

    No, you cannot move out. If your parents are willing to sign guardianship papers, that would be one thing. Or these people you speak of could file a petition for guardianship. But if you move in there without a court order and without your parents' permission, they could be charged with custodial interference.

    There are ways to do this legally if you can get your parents on board. Talk with a family law attorney in your area. Many of them will do a free consultation to find out your options.

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  • My 19 year old son is been envisaged for having sex with a 14 year old girl who told us she was 17

    he hasn't been charged yet and they wont tells us why this has been brought up now its been 6 months since they dated what do I need to do now

    Debra’s Answer

    They can bring it up any time. The age of consent in Arkansas is 16. Sexual contact with someone younger than that by someone more than three years older is a crime and there is no statute of limitations on sex crimes in Arkansas any more. As Mr. Dowden said, do not talk and tell your son not to talk. If the police want him to come in for a "friendly chat to tell his side," he should decline. If he is charged, hire a criminal defense attorney immediately with experience in sex crimes.

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  • Pe/TE TIME

    Me ex husband went to prison for rape last March. His pe/Te time is 2024. What does this mean?

    Debra’s Answer

    That means as it stands right now, that is his parole eligibility date. It may be sooner if he gets good time. Rape is a 70% crime, meaning the inmate must serve 70% of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole (not including good time).

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  • I need a lawyer for a divorce.

    Me and my husband are not living with each other at all. I want a divorce because when we were living with each other he was very abusive, controlling, I couldn't take it no more. So I need him out my life. Please help. Thank you.

    Debra’s Answer

    There are many good family law attorneys in the Pulaski County area. Just click on "find a lawyer," and find one who looks like they will serve your needs, and then set up an appointment to go see them and retain them. Good luck!

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  • Is there a link i can go to so i can file a pro se answer to child custody?

    my 12 year old sons father is trying to get sole custody of him.

    Debra’s Answer

    No. The few online links that deal with filing things pro se only deal with uncontested divorces that do not involve children. Once children are involved, things get complicated, and you need an attorney for that.

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  • How can i get a divorce without hiring a lawyer? (don't have the money).

    I've been separated for 30 years, and i was wondering does Arkansas acknowledge this as being legally separated. And how can i find out more about Arkansas divorce laws?

    Debra’s Answer

    Arkansas does not have "legal separation" per se. Many family law attorneys will let you make payments. Doing it yourself often means you do something wrong in the paperwork or the service and your case gets dismissed. If you insist on doing it yourself, go to the library, read the Arkansas code sections on divorce (found in Title 9), read through the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure (so you won't mess up the summons and service of the summons), and check with the circuit clerk for the filing procedures.

    If you truly can't afford an attorney, you should contact Central Arkansas Legal Services and they may be willing to help you. But you are better off finding an attorney who will take payments. Law is not a "do it yourself" project, and too many people who think it is end up running afoul of the rules and causing their cases to be dismissed.

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  • How can you get your record expunged in the state of Arkansas

    first offense need to know the process having a record expunged

    Debra’s Answer

    First, unless you were in juvenile court, there is no expungment. Instead, it is a petition to seal. Second, before you need to know the process, you need to know if you're even eligible to have it sealed. Third, you can hire an attorney who knows how to do it, or you can read the governing statutes and try to do it yourself. They begin in the Arkansas code at 16-90-1401.

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  • Can I sue my employer for telling a workforce agency I was arrested for non work related charges?

    I was arrested outside of the workplace. I was not incarcerated, but have pending charges. My employer suspended me and told the workforce that I was arrested. I am unable to find employment because of what my employer said.

    Debra’s Answer

    So long as your employer told the truth, you have no cause of action. And an arrest is public information unless you are a juvenile.

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