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Tips for Relocation

Tips for Relocation

If you’re moving house, a professional mover and packer can be of help. Otherwise, your valuable items may be damaged. Fragile ones should be packed with care, and also sentimental ones. Planning in advance will help you keep track of boxes and cartons. Once you know the date by which you have to move, you can work backwards and plan your relocation.

You can search online for a suitable mover and packer. Shortlist two or three companies before you decide which one is most suitable for your needs. Take an estimate and decide whether it is within your budget.

In case you are moving to a different state, ask for a quote accordingly. You should look for a company which guarantees a timeline pick up and delivery in that case. Otherwise, you will be greatly inconvenienced.

Even if you are travelling to another country, you should be able to locate a mover and packer who can help you transport your belongings. Look for one which has full replacement coverage available. Otherwise, you will not get compensation for any damages during moving.

In case you are relocating your office, you will need expert packers and movers. Look for a specialist in this area. If the place you are moving to has a climate which differs greatly from where you currently stay, you should take precautions to safeguard your possessions.

Look for a mover and packer who is licensed and insured. You can also ask your friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. All your possessions should be tagged and inventoried by your mover and packer.

Look for a company which will send over a staff member to do an in-home survey. This will help them provide you with an accurate estimate of the amount you can expect to spend for using their services during moving.

You should segregate the items which you will personally transport from the ones which are the responsibility of the moving company. Otherwise there may be confusion on the day of moving regarding who is supposed to transport various items.

You should be there to receive the goods at your new residence. Otherwise you may have to pay waiting charges for the driver. Find out the payment options available so that you are prepared accordingly when you receive the items.

Check the goods before you accept delivery. In case you need certain items reassembled, you should inform the company prior to relocation. St. George residents should look for an established company in this field in their area.…

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Do I Need an Auto Accident Lawyer?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering whether you need to hire an auto accident lawyer. It’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer before filing a lawsuit. You can also talk with a lawyer about gathering information from eyewitnesses, which is extremely important in proving fault.

Do I need an auto accident lawyer in Brighton, Rochester, NY if I was hit by a drunk driver?

If you’re injured in a car accident

First of all, you need to get medical attention as soon as possible. The adrenaline rush of a car accident can mask pain, so a doctor’s assessment can be essential. Your doctor’s professional opinion will help you determine the extent of your injuries and will be crucial if you decide to pursue legal action against the at-fault party. Moreover, you need to file a claim with your insurance company to recover your medical costs.

An auto accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies will often try to settle your case for as little money as possible. Even if you have a small claim, you should still hire a lawyer to make sure that your rights are protected.

If you should hire an auto accident lawyer

When you are involved in a car accident, it is crucial that you hire an auto accident attorney to represent your interests. This is important because insurance companies are in the business of making money. Consequently, they will do whatever it takes to minimize the amount of money that they must pay out on claims. As a result, they will often devalue your claim to protect their profit margins. Hiring a lawyer to fight for your rights will help you make sure that you are fairly compensated for your expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Hiring a lawyer after a car accident can also increase the chances of a successful settlement. A lawyer will review your case and begin the process of negotiating a settlement amount for you.

If you should speak to a lawyer about filing a lawsuit

If you have been involved in an auto accident and are now being sued, you might be confused about what you should do next. The best way to protect yourself is to get a lawyer involved as soon as possible. This applies whether you were at fault for the accident or not. Regardless of who caused the accident, you should have a legal representative present during the process.

Even if you have only minor injuries, you should go to the emergency room or doctor right away. This will ensure that you have all of your injuries correctly diagnosed. Skipping a visit to the doctor can lead to internal injuries going undetected and putting your life in danger. Moreover, a doctor can generate a medical report that can be essential in your lawsuit.

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The Consequences of Violating Probation

The Consequences of Violating Probation

When an individual is charged with a crime and is found to be guilty, he or she may be sentenced to probation for a period determined by the sentencing judge. Typically, probation is granted in lieu of prison. It is usually granted to individuals who commit petty crimes and are not threats to the well-being and safety of their fellow citizens. Probation may also be the result of entering a plea bargain. In most cases, there are a number of restrictions that come with probation, many of which may be unique to the case.

Usually, though, there are standard rules by which individuals on probation must live. These terms are usually non-negotiable and often are rules that individuals not on probation must follow to avoid criminal convictions. Generally, these terms include:

Staying out of further criminal trouble

Passing random drug and alcohol tests

Regularly visiting a probation officer

Additionally, individuals usually are not allowed to possess firearms or other weapons while under probation. Breaking the terms of probation may carry several consequences, usually depending on which terms are broken and what effect those broken terms have.

Regardless of which terms an individual breaks, he or she will be required to attend a hearing before a judge. After hearing the individual’s reason for violating the terms of his or her probation, the judge may extend the length of the individual’s probation period or sentence the individual to prison.

Individuals who violate their terms the first time may be more likely to just receive an extension. Individuals who violate their terms more than once may be more likely to be sentenced to prison. It is important to note that an individual who is sentenced to prison will not have to complete his or her probation term after being released.…

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First Offense DWI

First Offense DWI

The story goes that Williamson County is tougher on crime than is Travis County. As my former boss, Ronnie Earle used to point out, “tougher on crime” doesn’t necessarily mean “smarter on crime.”

Mr. Earle’s point was that when possible, prosecutors should take steps to prevent crime, not just prosecute a Defendant after he’s been accused.

It’s a point well taken. The most efficient law enforcement — including prosecution — is one that keeps crimes from occurring at all. There’s nothing wrong, obviously, with law enforcement picking up the pieces after a crime has occurred, investigating crimes, catching wrong-doers, and turning them over to prosecutors. But it is just flat more efficient to prevent crime altogether.

And in fact, Williamson County is smarter on crime than Travis County is, when it comes to some first offense DWI cases.

In Travis County, on a first time DWI case, if the prosecutor can prove that you were driving while intoxicated, he or she will press hard — be tough — to get a conviction. No pre-trial diversion. Period.

In Williamson County, on a first time DWI case, the prosecutors will hand pick certain cases which they could prove, but think that justice would be better served if the offender appears to be a good candidate for treatment. The treatment is intensive. Standards are high.

Participants in the Williamson County pre-trial diversion program who do not meet the standards are kicked out of the program and prosecuted. So there is accountability. But there is also the chance for true recovery without the profoundly negative impact on one’s future that a DWI conviction has.

So which county is “tougher” on a first offense DWI, Williamson or Travis? I’d have to say Travis County, because in Travis County the defendant gets a conviction on any provable offense.

But the important question is, which county is smarter on a first offense DWI? Williamson County is, hands down. Williamson County offers intensive treatment to good candidates on first offense DWIs, and helps them salvage their futures.

But which county is “tougher” on a second offense DWI, Williamson or Travis? I’d have to say Williamson County, because in Williamson County the defendant gets a conviction on any provable second offense. Pre-trial diversion just isn’t an option there.

But again the important question is, which county is smarter on a second offense DWI? Travis County is, no doubt. Travis County offers intensive treatment to good candidates on second offense DWIs.

In Travis County, on certain second time DWI cases, there is a DWI court. The target population consists of DWI offenders who reside in Travis County or an adjacent county, who have been arrested for a 2nd or subsequent DWI within 2 years of their first arrest or conviction, whose cases do not involve victims, and who have no other unresolved pending cases (violent offenders will generally not be eligible to participate).

The Travis County DWI court is very tough, but it is smart, too. There is no avoiding a conviction for the second DWI in Travis County either, but treatment is required. Standards are high, and the treatment is very intensive. Judge Elisabeth Earle’s point of view, I think, is to resolve any underlying cause of the drinking and driving. But if you screw up, she’ll put you in jail.…

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Civil Vs Criminal Law

Civil Vs Criminal Law

One of the major distinctions in the law is between civil law and criminal law. Although there is sometimes significant gray area between these two branches of law, the major difference between the two is that civil law deals with disputes between individuals, whereas criminal law deals with individuals who have violated laws that dictate certain behaviors, and are therefore seen as an affront to society or the state.

In civil law, there are generally two parties to a lawsuit who are seeking a resolution to some sort of dispute. For example, a person who has been injured through another person’s negligence, such as in a car accident, is seeking some sort of compensation for their injury and loss. It also could be a party who is suing another party over a contract dispute, such as a person who is suing a builder for not properly completing promised work, or perhaps the builder who believes he has completed the work properly but is not being paid. In these types of cases, both parties will present their cases, and the court will try to find an equitable solution to the dispute, usually by ordering one party to pay damages to another party. Civil law is a very broad area of the law and can arise out of many situations including employment relationships, landlord and tenant relationships, business transactions, and even family relationships and child custody.

Criminal law is very different. In criminal cases, one party is the defendant, or person who is accused of committing a crime, or violation of statute. The other party is generally a prosecutor who represents the state or the people. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime, and the defendant presents their defense. The court or a jury then decides if the person is guilty or not guilty and then will sentence the person to some form of punishment for their crime which is usually either a fine or imprisonment.

In addition to these major differences, there are many procedural differences between criminal and civil law. There are usually distinct rules of evidence, rules of procedure, and burdens of proof, and the cases are generally held in different courts. It is therefore important to be represented by an attorney who is experienced in practicing in the respective area of law in which you need representation.…

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Conspiracy in the Military Justice System

Conspiracy in the Military Justice System

Conspiracy is one of the most misunderstood areas of the law from the layperson’s point of view. There are many opinions as to what constitutes a conspiracy, and often it’s these misinformed opinions that get people into trouble.

In the military, those found guilty of conspiracy may be subject to a court martial. It may seem that the law is far sterner with respect to conspiracy and, in some aspects, it is. Prosecutors believe that when individuals conspire to commit a crime, it makes the crime far more difficult to detect and therefore increases the chance that the perpetrators will get away with the crime.

What is the Groundwork for Conspiracy?

The person that has been charged with the conspiracy is believed to have made an agreement with one or more people to commit a crime. As long as this agreement remains in place, those involved are equally party to the crime if and when it is committed.

Conspiracy gets more interesting, yet somewhat confusing, with the following example. Let’s assume two parties were charged in a conspiracy to rob a bank. One individual actually committed the crime. For some reason during his trial, this individual was acquitted of the conspiracy part of the charge. This does not automatically mean that the second individual – who was charged with the conspiracy portion only – will be acquitted as well, based on the ruling of the perpetrator.

A conspiracy doesn’t necessarily have to be entered into by verbal means only. It is sufficient for a conspiracy to have been formed as long as both parties to the conspiracy understand what is intended. Many times the conduct of the conspirators alone is enough for a charge to be laid.

What has been outlined so far is one side of the law. The other side states that just because an individual was, for example, in the same room where a crime was committed or planned does not automatically mean that the individual conspired to be part of the crime.

These are just the basics of the conspiracy charge itself. Most often, conspiracy charges become far more complex and intertwined. Multiple conspiracy charges can evolve out of a single case. In this event, the total circumstances surrounding the entire case have to be analyzed in order to determine if just one charge of conspiracy should be laid, or whether there is a justification for multiple charges of conspiracy to be laid.

Once it has been established that a conspiracy did exist, it doesn’t take much additional proof to establish a connection between the parties. What may have initially been considered a weak conspiracy case can quite suddenly gain momentum.

What has been covered here is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the law. Hopefully it has been a bit of an eye opener for those who perceive conspiracy as a simple, straightforward charge.…

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North Carolina Parole Hearings Explained

North Carolina Parole Hearings Explained

North Carolina parole conditions (Officially: “Conditions of Post Release Supervision”) are given to the convicted person on the day he is released from prison. He signs them, along with his parole officer.

NCGS 15A-1376 et seq governs parole violations in North Carolina. In addition, case law, including U.S. v. Morrissey (SCOTUS 1972) applies in North Carolina. Interestingly, 15A-1376 tracks U.S. v. Morrissey, a Brennan era opinion administrative law/due process opinion that lays out the actual procedure SCOTUS expected states to follow. As far as I can tell, there’s very little other case law from the state courts.

What happens if a Parolee Violates the Conditions of Release?

If the parolee violates the conditions of release, the parolee is subject to immediate arrest and confinement, usually in the county jail.

The parole officer will give the parolee (or his client) a violation report, which will also indicate the date and time of the hearing.

State statute requires that the person be given a “preliminary hearing” with 7 working days (weekends, holidays don’t count) of his confinement.

If the hearing is scheduled more than 7 working days after the parolee’s confinement, statute suggests immediate release is the remedy, although enforcing that would require a habeas application.

The parolee can request a continuance, in which case the parolee waives his right the preliminary hearing within 7 days.

This preliminary hearing is run by a “Hearing Officer.” Statute requires that the “hearing officer” can be a judicial officer, or can be an employee of the DOC whose full-time job is to conduct these hearings. (U.S. v. Morrissey requires this preliminary hearing and simply held that the hearing officer be independent, meaning that the officer could not be a parole or probation officer.)

The purpose of this preliminary hearing is to determine whether there is “probable cause” that the parolee did in fact commit a parole violation, allowing the parolee to be confined until the full parole commission hearing.

The preliminary hearing is an informal hearing where the rules of evidence do not apply. It is not unlike a probation violation hearing, although even less formal. The parole officer attends, and she and the parolee are sworn in. The parole violation letter you or your client received suggests that you merely need to ask for a witness to be called, and the parole commission will make sure that person shows up to this preliminary hearing.

In fact, you need to get your witness there, and get permission from the jail to permit your witness to attend.

Note that parolees have a right to have retained counsel present, but parolees do not, according to case law or state statute, have the right to appointed counsel. As a result, the vast majority of people probably go unrepresented.

At the conclusion of the hearing, after the hearing officer finds that there is probable cause of a violation, statute and case law give you a right to know the hearing officer’s findings and the facts on which he based his findings.

The full hearing should come within 45 days of the initial arrest on the parole violation. Since the preliminary hearing found probable cause, your client will probably be turned over by the local jail to the DOC. You should receive a letter from the hearing officer indicating the date, time, and location of the commission’s hearing.

How does the Parole Commission run its hearing?

As with the preliminary hearing, statute permits you to have witnesses (other than the parole officer and your client) attend the full parole hearing. You would need to work with the prison to permit their entry.

In addition, because cell phones are not permitted, if you have a recording on your cell phone that you want to play for the commission, you’ll need to either have a corrections officer carry the phone with him into the prison for you, or transfer it to another kind of device.

Both the parole officer and parolee are sworn in. If your client denies the allegation, the parole officer testifies at which point you can cross-examine.

I found that one of the alleged violations was, in fact, not a violation at all. Make sure that any violation alleged has a corresponding condition in the “Condition of Post-Release Supervision” document that the parolee signed.

Second, make sure that the violations alleged at the hearing are actually violations for which you or your client was given notice before the hearing.

Third, if your client has been arrested again on crime alleged to have occurred during parole, the parole officer may allege that the mere arrest is a violation of parole. This may be inconsistent with the Conditions of Post-Release Supervision agreement, which may state that the individual cannot commit crimes, not that the individual cannot …