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Patrick Lewis

Patrick Lewis’s Answers

349 total


  • How do I divorce my incarcerated husband in Little Rock Arkansas ?

    Patrick’s Answer

    Agree with Ms. Hudson, the fact that he is in prison in some ways makes it easier for you to get divorced. The only thing that is different due to his incarceration is that he is given more time (60 days instead of 30) to respond to the Complaint. Good luck --

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  • Do I need a ms lawyer or an arkansas lawyer?

    Patrick’s Answer

    I re-tagged your question as Criminal Defense, as it really isn't a speeding ticket/traffic question, so hopefully it will get a little more attention now.

    In short, I would advise you to speak with a Newton County, MS attorney ASAP to find out what exactly you are charged with in MS and what you need to do. Arkansas has nothing to do with the case, other than the fact that you were pulled over there for what sounds like a traffic offense, and the warrant(s) out of MS popped up when they ran your DL. Good luck!

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  • Is it a felony?

    Patrick’s Answer

    Based on what you've described, no, it should not be charged as a felony.

    While the Domestic Battery in the 3rd Degree statute will enhance this charge, (which is normally a Class A Misdemeanor) into a Class D Felony if the person committed certain offenses within five (5) years of the original offense, there has to be a conviction on one of those enumerated offenses for that to occur. Merely being arrested won't trigger it.

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  • How can I get a suspended sentence?

    Patrick’s Answer

    There are way too many unknown variables to be able to answer this question without more info (that you shouldn't be posting on a public website in the first place). For example: the specific facts of the case, your criminal history, the court and prosecutor, etc.

    A Class C Felony is punishable by 3-10 years in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections, although as previously stated, there are a ton of variables that factor into actual sentencing. Your best advice would be to consult with an attorney to see what your options are. Good luck --

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  • What happens if I'm out on bail. And I show up without a lawyer?

    Patrick’s Answer

    If this is in Benton County Circuit Court, there are two judges that handle criminal cases. If this is your first court appearance after the PTR was filed, expect them both to be slightly upset with you for not having an attorney there with you. You can contact the Public Defender's office prior to your court appearance to make arrangements to see if you qualify for them to represent you. Or you can contact a local private attorney to see what your options might be. Many good ones are active here on Avvo.

    As for the hearing, typically, the judges will reset your arraignment on the PTR and give you a stern warning that the next time you appear before them, you should have an attorney present. If not, they are not afraid to revoke your bond and let you sit in jail until the next court appearance. Good luck --

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  • Do I have the legal right to refuse to establish Paternity with OCSE if my child receives ARKids and wants to keep it?

    Patrick’s Answer

    Mr. Scholl nailed it.

    The legislature in Arkansas, in their infinite wisdom, have made it so that when an unwed mother applies for public assistance, she must jump through certain hoops. One of which is attempting to establish paternity, so that child support can be setup to help defray the costs related to said public assistance that the rest of the tax payers in the State have to foot the bill for.

    I write to add that the Office of Child Support Enforcement only cares about potentially setting up child support, they have nothing to do with determining custody or setting up any type of visitation and/or communication schedule with the putative father.

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  • Can I file a restraining order on my ex husband if he showed up to my work harassing me and followed me around the building?

    Patrick’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Snoderly's answer, but would also add that if you have a pending divorce case filed, every county in Arkansas has what is commonly called a Standard Order in place, which prevents undue harassment, etc. between the parties. If you have documentation of your estranged husband's harassing behavior, perhaps providing that to your attorney (or his attorney if you are representing yourself) would be sufficient to get him to stop. Last but not least, if it is bad enough, I supposed you could file a petition for contempt, alleging that your estranged husband has violated the Standing Order as well. Good luck --

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  • Termination of Father's Rights in Arkansas?

    Patrick’s Answer

    I answered this question in your other post.

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  • How Do I Properly Terminate His Rights?

    Patrick’s Answer

    The short answer is that you need to speak with a family law attorney. Most of us offer free initial consultations. You need a court order to do most of what you're wanting to do (and to relieve the issues that are stressing you out). A court order would set his child support payments at the correct amount, and provide a more reliable means of collecting it. It would also spell out custody and what visitation, (if any) the father has. It could/would also spell out things like communication, health insurance, etc., among other things.

    The longer answer is that under Arkansas law, an unmarried father has very few rights when it comes to visitation. If you don't want your child to see the father, then there's nothing saying that you have to do so. Just like there's nothing saying that he has any real visitation rights. Anything that you two agree on today is merely a handshake agreement and is difficult, if not impossible, to enforce, should there be a disagreement at some point. Eventually, one of you is going to need a court order, so why not be proactive and handle it early on?

    To answer some of your specific questions: Yes, you "have a case" in that you need a court order and it would not be that difficult to obtain one. To "terminate his rights" requires that certain hoops be jumped through, which a family law attorney would explain to you in detail that is beyond the scope of my answer here. Note that it is disfavored by a lot of the judges here in NWA, but it can be done in certain circumstances. If your BF adopted the child, it would sever your parental rights, since you are unmarried. If you were married, your husband could petition the court for a step-parent adoption, but again, I would urge you to speak with a family law attorney first, as there are certain statutory requirements that are strictly enforced by the judges in NWA. I hope that answers your questions, good luck --

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  • Custody Agreement Notarized ... Can you please help me ?

    Patrick’s Answer

    Notarizing a document simply means that the signature that appears on the document is authentic. It conveys no other legal value or precedence to the words contained in the document. If there is no court order regarding custody and/or visitation between you and your child(ren)'s father, I would highly recommend that you speak with a family law attorney to determine what your rights are. Many offer free initial consults. Good luck --

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