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Debra Joan Cheatham Reece
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Debra Reece’s Answers

747 total


  • Just curious on if i should fight the charge of driving while intoxicated

    Can a cop give me a DWI in my own drive way.. I was not in the car the car was not running and I had the keys in my pocket.. and they towed my car with it covered by insurance.

    Debra’s Answer

    From the sound of your question, you are not giving us all the facts. Yes, a cop can give you a DWI in your own driveway. If you are driving or are in actual physical control AND you are intoxicated, then you can be charged with DWI. To be intoxicated, you either have to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, or you have to meet the statutory definition of intoxication (that your reactions, motor skills, and judgment are substantially altered). You said you were not in the car, which would normally eliminate actual physical control. However, if you had just been in the car and the officer saw you get out, or there is some other circumstantial evidence that places you in the vehicle just before you were ticketed, then the DWI could stand. You need to hire a good criminal defense lawyer who can review all the facts and circumstances and then advise you on the best course of action. Good luck!

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  • What should I do?

    I have been working on my job now 3 year with any problems, but now we have a new supervisor that has allowed his views and opinions to spill over in the work place..mainly his views on certain races among other things that shouldn't be disgusted ...

    Debra’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Cohen. You need to speak to a good employment law attorney with whom you can discuss all the facts and circumstances of your job. There is just no way to be able to give you solid advice on a public forum. Many attorneys will do a free or low-cost initial consultation to give you an idea of what your rights and responsibilities are. And as you were already told by Mr. Cohen, don't quit your job. If you do, you could very well ruin your chances of getting anything done for you. Good luck.

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  • See above

    I have a lawyer that has filed,suit on an alleged,debt. The onlymevidencemhemhasmis,a,affidavit signed by someone I cannot get to come to be deposed. Can I get this affidavit quashed? I,filed,a,motion to,compel the witness to,appear, but the la...

    Debra’s Answer

    You're asking what do you do? You hire a lawyer to represent you. Trust me, you will never be able to come against a collections lawyer by yourself. They know every dirty trick in the book, and they will use them all against you. I have seen collections attorneys file suit on debts they KNEW they could not collect on; however, if the defendant doesn't know it (and they don't), they'll end up paying something something they didn't need to pay.

    If you can't afford a lawyer and you can't afford the debt, then I suggest you speak with a bankruptcy attorney. They may be able to get the debt discharged completely so you don't have to pay it, and help you get a fresh start. Good luck!

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  • Is Video voyeurism a deportable crime?

    I've been charged with Video Voyeurism felony class D. Victim is not a minor and didn't shared the video to anyone. I am a non US citizen and holding an H1B visa that will expiring next year. This is my first arrest. Is my case deportable? What is...

    Debra’s Answer

    In answer to your questions: (1) yes, video voyeurism is a deportable defense. (2) The chances of you getting on probation depend on the circumstances of the crime, which we can't address here in this forum. You need to sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can discuss the actual facts and circumstances of your situation.

    MORE IMPORTANTLY, you need to know that it doesn't matter if you get on probation -- it's still deportable. ANY conviction of this crime is deportable, whether you get a prison sentence or probation. So it is critical that you retain the services of a good criminal defense attorney. If there is a defense to the crime that would allow you to avoid a conviction, then you want that.

    EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, a conviction for Video Voyeurism will require you to be a registered sex offender. It may seem like a relatively minor crime, but the Arkansas legislature has made it very serious. There is a lesser, misdemeanor version of it that makes registration as a sex offender up to the discretion of the judge. But the felony requires registration.

    Hire a good criminal defense lawyer right away. If you don't, deportation is going to be the least of your problems. Good luck.

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  • What needs to be done to restore my custody in the sake for our children? What are exactly criterions for mat. change of circs?

    I had a joint custody for 9 years. Year and half ago I voluntarily gave legal custody to my ex. She started to abuse her custodial parent position, over controlling everything, my visitation time included. Children are going to be 16 and they are ...

    Debra’s Answer

    The short answer is that you will probably not be able to "restore your custody." You voluntarily changed it. When the court enters a custody order (in this case, giving your wife sole custody, apparently), the only way to change that is to show (1) first, a material change in the CHILD's circumstances since the last custody order, and (2) then, that it is in the child's best interests for custody to be changed. If you can't show the first step, you don't even get to the second step. A parent who has full custody gets to control everything, to a great extent. The non-custodial parent gets standard visitation per the court's standing order (usually every other weekend, every other holiday, six-to-eight weeks in the summer, etc.). As to controlling what happens on that visitation, that depends on whether it is supervised visitation or there's something else going on.

    You need to retain the services of a good family law attorney in the jurisdiction where the judge is who made the custody decision. That attorney can look at all the paperwork from the original joint custody order and the newer order that gave sole custody to your ex, and will be able to advise you on any steps you might be able to take. This is not something you can do alone or by asking folks on a public forum. You need advice from someone who is a solid family-law attorney and who regularly practices in front of the judge whose mind you want to change. They will either be able to help you or explain to you why it can't be done. Good luck!

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  • What can I do ? Is my lawyer working against me

    I was arrested and accused of selling two oxycodone pills to a confidential informant for 15 dollars each I did not do this I have no memory of ever selling any to anyone I was taking pills taking money rom my parents to buy them .of I had the p...

    Debra’s Answer

    Here's how this generally works. The prosecutor usually refuses to turn over the tape with the CI on it until and unless they are sure that you are going to trial (because they don't want to burn one of their CIs, so if you take a plea deal, they never give you the tape). It sucks, but unfortunately, it's what the prosecutors usually do. So talk to your lawyer. From the sound of it, you are not taking a deal but going to trial, so at that point, the prosecutor has no choice but to give the tape to your lawyer with enough time to make meaningful use of it. Here on Avvo, we can answer general questions, but we can't give you actual legal advice since we don't represent you. But in answer to your question, no, there is no reason for your lawyer to be cooperating with them against you. More likely, the prosecutor is just being obstinate. Hang in there and discuss this all with your attorney immediately. Good luck!

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  • How could I go about getting my license back without having to do classes?

    I got a DUI 3 years ago and I work out of town and work from daylight to dark everyday , they expect me to take classes to get my license reinstated but I don't have time to go to the classes.

    Debra’s Answer

    As others have said, you cannot get out of the classes. But not only that, the court could charge you with contempt or failure to comply for not taking the classes. The classes take place on the weekends. I know you said you work daylight to dark every day, so I assume that means 7 days a week. But you are bound to get some sort of vacation during the year. Schedule your vacation at a time when they have the classes in your area so that you can take them then. The classes (as well as the MADD victim impact panel) are mandatory per legislative statute and cannot be waived by the court, driver control, or anyone else.

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  • What can I do now

    Kids were removed from home May 27,2015. For environmental neglect. DHS said they had a call to the hotline April 1,2015. I was arrested may 27 and released 5 days later served with court papers and the court papers said I had court two days prior...

    Debra’s Answer

    Presumably, you were appointed parent counsel to represent you in the DHS case in court. You need to be speaking to that attorney. They will know all the facts and circumstances of your case. If you do not have an attorney, then you need to retain one. Only an attorney who is intimately familiar with the facts of your case would be able to answer your questions. It may be that your case has fallen through the cracks and no one realizes that. Or something else may be going on. Either way, there is no way we an answer you in this forum. Good luck!

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  • In Arkansas if you have been married for over 10 years, but have been living apart for 15 years is the spouse entitled to 401k?

    Divorce in Arkansas after 15 years - 401k

    Debra’s Answer

    Technically, if you are married, all the property in the property, including the increase of retirement accounts, is marital property, and marital property under the property division statute is divided 50/50 between the two spouses. That is the general rule.

    However, a judge can certainly take into consideration all the facts and circumstances and is allowed to deviate from the general rule if he or she explains why an inequitable division is fair. I have seen this done many times. On the other hand, I have seen judges say, "nope, they were married, and if they didn't want their spouse to get half, they should have divorced a long time ago."

    What you need to do is retain the services of a good family law lawyer in your area (which appears to be Little Rock), and get them to help you. You don't say if you're the spouse with the 401k or the one who wants half of the other spouse's 401k, but either way, you have a better chance of getting what you want with an attorney on your side. The most important thing is to get a good family law attorney who regularly practices in front of the judges in the county where the divorce will occur, because they will better know what those judges prefer in the way of facts and evidence. Remember, the statute requires 50/50 division of marital property (and under your facts, that 401k will be marital property). But the 15-year separation is significant and could be a deciding factor for the judge, depending on the circumstances for the separation.

    Good luck!

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  • Can an officer issue a failure to yield cite if he was not there? If so what are my chances of fighting this ticket and winning?

    I was in an accident about a month ago. I was at a stop sign, I looked right and no one was coming. I looked left and there was a car a long ways off so I turned left. About 15-20 seconds later I heard screeching and felt a jolt and naturally assu...

    Debra’s Answer

    Mr. Dowden gave you some good advice. Normally, if you have the yield or the stop sign and an accident occurs, the officer is going to give you the ticket. That's because the other person didn't have to yield or stop. However, if they were going extremely fast for conditions, they might have actually been the one to cause the accident. That would need to be determined by an accident reconstructionist, and they can be expensive (and the officer usually isn't going to bother with that in a relatively minor accident). So you should retain a lawyer in your area who can help you and can examine the accident scene with you. Do it quickly -- before skid marks, etc., have worn away. Good luck!

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