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How To Ensure You Have Selected An Experienced Criminal Lawyer

How To Ensure You Have Selected An Experienced Criminal Lawyer

As if getting arrested for a crime wasn’t already stressful, now you have to go through the additional stress of finding a San Francisco criminal attorney. Sometimes this process is every bit as difficult as the arrest was. The trick is to stay calm and use you common sense.

Don’t fall into the thought process that just because you are planning on pleading guilty that you don’t need a criminal lawyer. There are several nuances to the San Francisco justice system and having a lawyer by you side will go a long ways towards ensuring that you are given a fair penalty and that none of your rights are violated during the process. Another perk to having a lawyer on your side is that they can answer any questions you might not be comfortable asking the judges or anyone else involved in your case. The rule of thumb is that it is always better to have a lawyer and not need them, than to not have one in a pinch.

One option that is always available to people who have been charged with a crime is the services of a public defender. This is a lawyer that the court hires to help guide defendants through the justice system. Most of the court appointed attorneys in San Francisco are young and have taken the position of public defender in order to gain both experience and resources before they go to work in private firms.

Since most public defenders are lacking mileage, if people can afford it, they usually hire a private criminal attorney. First they have to find one. Even if none of your friends or family members have never needed the services of a criminal lawyer, they probably know one, or know someone who does. You will also find a list of lawyers in the phone book.

The last thing you should do is hire the first lawyer you speak to. You are going to want to meet with a few of them so that you can choose the one which seems best equipped to handle your case. If the lawyer says that you will win your case, you should start looking for another attorney. There are too many variables in criminal law for a lawyer to guarantee a win.

The lawyer you hire should be able to look at your case and be able to give you a reasonable idea of your chances of successfully beating the charges. They should also be able to tell what to expect when and if you case goes to court. The lawyer should be basing their thoughts on similar cases they have previously tried.

Don’t be surprised if the lawyer you are about to hire asks you to pay their retainer right away. Lawyers know that they are expensive just like they know that if their client is found guilty they are a lot less likely to pay, than if they beat the charges. The lawyer should also provide you examples of how they will be spending the retainer.

When you use your common sense, you will find that there is a San Francisco criminal attorney who is perfect for you. Your upcoming days largely depend on this person. Choose your attorney carefully!…

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Five Steps to Prepare Your Jury For Field Sobriety Tests

Five Steps to Prepare Your Jury For Field Sobriety Tests

In order to present an effective drunk driving defense, the criminal defense attorney must set up his theories during jury selection. In a breath test refusal case this means showing prospective jurors the flaws in field sobriety testing during voir dire. The most effective way to do this is to allow the jurors to reach the conclusions you want them to through your questioning.

STEP ONE: Define the terms. From the DWI defense perspective, they are not field sobriety tests, they are police coordination exercises or balancing exercises or calisthenics. Allowing the prosecutor to define the terms means you are validating those terms to the jurors.

It’s not the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, it’s the Pen and Eye Test. It’s not nystagmus, it’s eye-twitching.

STEP TWO: Impeaching the police officer. The officer who administered the coordination exercises will likely testify that the tests are designed to indicate whether a motorist has lost the use of his or her physical faculties. He will testify that the positions he puts a suspected drunk driver in are not too far removed from what we would consider normal.

Common sense tells us otherwise, however. Ask the jurors during voir dire if a person has better balance standing with his feet close together or standing with his feet shoulder-width apart. The jurors will choose the latter. Ask the jurors whether a person has better balance standing with his head tilted back and his eyes closed or looking straight ahead. Again, the jurors will choose the latter. Thus, when the officer testifies that it doesn’t matter how the person stands, the jurors will know that the officer either is lying or ignorant.

STEP THREE: The tests are designed for failure. The key to showing the panel how the tests are designed for motorists to fail is to let the jurors make that discovery on their own. You do this by laying out the argument but never actually making the argument itself.

To set it up, tell the jurors that they have been chosen to create a series of tests to make people look uncoordinated or unbalanced. Most of this step involves going into more detail on the things motorists are asked to do during the coordination exercises. I like to start off asking the first panelist if she would have a person stand with their feet close together or shoulder-width apart (note that this also helps to accomplish our goal in Step Two). If the juror says close together, I will ask the next panelist if she agrees. If she does I’ll ask the next juror why.

I’ll then cover walking with your heels and toes touching versus taking natural steps and walking with your arms pinned down to your sides versus swinging them. When conducting the inquiry in this manner, the jurors are making the conclusions and finding the reasons behind them on their own. By having the jurors “discover” the ways in which the exercises are designed for failure the jurors are much more likely to claim the notion as their own than if you had lectured them on the topic.

This line of questioning allows you to address the problems associated with the Pen and Eye Test, the Walk and Turn, the Romberg and the One Leg Stand.

STEP FOUR: Attack the scoring. All of these exercises present many motorists with plenty of opportunity to fail. However, the scoring system is flawed as it neglects to take into account with the driver did right. For example, a person will take a total of 18 steps in the Walk and Turn. On each of those steps the person has to touch heel to toe, keep his arms down, stay on the line and not stop. While the officer is taught to look for just one misstep, you need to point out to the jury the number of things the driver got right.

To do this, ask the jurors if they think it would be fair for a teacher to give an exam without telling the students how the exam would be graded. Ask them if they think it would be fair for the teacher to flunk a student who got over 80% of the questions right.

STEP FIVE: What is normal? The issue in a refusal case is often whether or not the driver lost the normal use of his or her mental or physical faculties. What the exercises don’t measure, however, is what the driver’s normal physical abilities are. I like to use shoe sizes as an example of what average means.

Tell the first third of the panel that they all wear size 8 shoes. The second third all wear size 9 shoes and the final third all wear size 10 shoes. …

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Why Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Why Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

According to crime statistics presented by the San Antonio Police Department, there were a total of 48,093 crimes reported from January through June of 2010. The vast majority of these involved theft, with burglary and aggravated assault in a far second and third. The following is a breakdown of the crimes reported in the city:

Theft – 32,866

Burglary – 8,255

Aggravated Assault – 2,786

Motor Vehicle Theft – 2,738

Robbery – 1,154

Forcible Rape – 251

Murder – 43

When a crime is reported to law enforcement, an investigation will typically begin. The law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the matter will generally take the lead, determining whether there is sufficient reason to pursue an investigation. The agency will then work to build enough evidence against the suspect to make an arrest and give the prosecuting attorney the means to press charges.

Are you under investigation for a crime? Or, have you already been arrested for a criminal offense? If your answer is yes to either question, you are not sitting comfortably right now. As a resident of Texas, you are most likely very familiar with our state’s legal system which is renowned for being tough on crime and having little patience for criminals.

Even if you are entirely innocent of the charges it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can avoid a conviction. If innocence was enough to avoid conviction, there wouldn’t be such a thing as wrongful convictions but alas there are. Innocent men and women are still sent to our nation’s prisons only to be exonerated years later when new evidence is revealed. When this happens, sometimes decades go by before the wrongfully accused are released, leaving families torn apart and lives destroyed.

If you are a person of interest in a criminal investigation or if you have been arrested it’s important that you exercise your right to remain silent. This is especially crucial because anything you say can and will be used against you. Even seemingly innocent information can be used to develop a case against you; therefore, in a calm and polite manner, tell the investigators that you are not going to answer any questions without a criminal defense attorney present.

How can a private criminal defense lawyer help you? They will protect your legal rights! An experienced attorney will know the ins and outs of the legal system. Their knowledge will be your asset because there is virtually no way that you will understand the full scope of the legal system unless you carry a law degree. A lawyer will ensure that your Constitutional rights are protected and they will make sure that you don’t make the gross error of incriminating yourself. The last thing you want is to have your future and your fate in the hands of twelve jurors without having a heavyweight attorney by your side. In fact, the right lawyer can mean the difference between imprisonment and freedom.

People are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in America’s criminal justice system; however, there is no guarantee that you will have the best outcome if you are represented by a weak defense lawyer. If your future and your freedom are important to you, you must retain legal counsel from a skilled and powerful criminal defense lawyer who can effectively defend your case. Don’t hesitate another moment – contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to protect your legal rights!…

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When to Hire a Car Accident Attorney

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you know how problematic it can be for you to get the help that you need. One of the major issues is that you might not know what is available to you and anything else that might help along the way. One of the most important things is for you to contact and hire a local attorney, such as Scott C. Gottlieb, so that you can finally get the assistance that you need to get on with your life.

Why Hire the Pros

One of the main reasons to hire the professionals is because they are trained and knowledgeable about what you need to have done. One of the most important things is for you to contact the experts and have them do an assessment of your situation. Once assessed, you will find that this helps tremendously and provides you with the care that you need to overcome just about any situation. Now that you know how important it is for you to get the help needed, it’s time for you to contact someone who is local to you.

Getting Help

The best way for you to get help is to contact a lawyer local to you. These professionals will be the ones who take a look at your situation and let you know exactly what it is that you need to ensure that you win your case. There are so many different options available, which makes it effortless for you to get the help and care that you need. This is why it pays for you to get the help needed to ensure that they are able to help in any way that they can.

What to Expect

While it’s a great idea for you to visit a local lawyer, it is also important for you to know that you should not expect miracles. You should not expect to receive a full compensation and know that you’ll get the help you require to win the case. In many instances, you will need to work with the lawyer for quite some time before you hear anything about winning the case at hand. This is important for you in many different ways and can be exactly what it is that you need.

There are a lot of different options available to meet your needs, so it is imperative that you have this done for your own sake and to work with a lawyer who might be able to help. This is something that you will find to be helpful in terms of getting the right type of care. There are so many different options available to you, making it easy and quick for you to get the compensation that you need and know that you are doing something that is going to benefit you in more ways than just one when you are at your most vulnerable and understanding that this is something positive for you as well.


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Deciding Between Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is better than a Chapter 7. If you are behind in your mortgage payments or your business payments, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be your only option. You can also keep your property in California, or elsewhere, after the bankruptcy proceedings end. You can make the overdue mortgage payments clear and reinstate your original mortgage agreement by filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy. In general, if you have valuable property not covered by your California bankruptcy exemptions that you want to keep, a chapter 13 filing may be a better option. Also, people file Chapter 13 bankruptcy because they have too much income to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or have the kind of debt that is non-dischargeable in Chapter 7 (e.g. Certain taxes

Chapter 7 is the best option for California residents who want to get rid of their debts without having to pay them back.

You can find out more about the two types of bankruptcy here:

  • California Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • California Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Here’s a quick overview of both types of bankruptcy.

  • Advantages California Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Disadvantages California Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Advantages of California Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Disadvantages of California Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Benefits of a California Chapter 7 Filing:

  1. A completely new start is possible. You will have no more debts after bankruptcy.
  2. On the date you file, you have immediate protection from creditor collection efforts and wage garnishment.
  3. After the bankruptcy filing, all wages you earn and any property you acquire (except inheritances) are yours and not the creditors or bankruptcy court.
  4. There is no minimum amount required.
  5. In about 3 to 6 months, your case will be over.


California Chapter 7 Filings:

  1. Your non-exempt property is lost and sold by the trustee. If you want to keep a secured asset, such as a car or home, and it is not completely covered by your California bankruptcy exemptions then Chapter 7 is not an option.
  2. The automatic stay granted by Chapter 7 if you are facing foreclosure on your house is temporary.
  3. If they do not file for bankruptcy protection, co-signors can remain with your debt.
  4. You can’t file Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have filed a previous case and were granted a discharge of your debts. This applies only to cases filed within eight years.


Benefits of a California Chapter 13 Payment Plan:

  1. You can keep your entire property, exempt or non-exempt if you wish and can afford the payment plan.
  2. Although debts cannot be canceled as in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they can be reduced through a Chapter 13 payment program.
  3. You are immediately protected against wage garnishment and creditor collection efforts.
  4. More debts are considered to be dischargeable (including debt you incurred on the basis of fraud and credit card charges for luxury items immediately prior to filing).
  5. Any co-signers who sign the Chapter 13 plan are exempt from creditors’ efforts if they pay full.
  6. Your lender can foreclose on your home if you comply with the terms of your plan.
  7. You have more time to pay debts that can’t be discharged by either chapter (like taxes or back child support).
  8. Chapter 13 can be filed at any time.
  9. You can file multiple times.
  10. Separate your creditors by their class so that different creditors get different amounts of payment. This allows you to deal with debts that have a co-debtor on a different basis from debts you incurred on your own.


California Chapter 13 Payment Plan Disadvantages

  1. A payment plan is where you use your post-bankruptcy income. This will tie up your cash for the Chapter 13 plan period.
  2. Because a Chapter 13 filing can be more complicated, legal fees are usually higher.
  3. Your plan, and thus your debt, will last 3 to 5 years.
  4. For the term of the plan, you are involved in bankruptcy court proceedings
  5. Stockbrokers and commodity brokers can’t file Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions.

This article was written by Alla Tenina. Alla is the best bankruptcy attorney in Los Angeles California, and the founder of Tenina law. She has experience in bankruptcies, real estate planning, and complex tax matters. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; the ABA and its members do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.


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Avoid Flashing Your Hazard Lights in the Rain

In the rainy season, it is quite common to see someone flashing their hazard lights. In a severe thunderstorm, Florida drivers will flash their lights to signal a stop or to warn of a hazard blocking the road.

Florida drivers who use hazard lamps on roads can make it more dangerous to drive in a downpour. This is an offense punishable with a fine of up to $129. You can only use hazard lights while your vehicle is moving during a funeral procession.

Hazard lights indicate a stationary object blocking a road. They should be used only when the vehicle isn’t in motion, disabled, or at the side. If a vehicle is using hazard lights while it is moving, it indicates that it will stop abruptly. It can make it hard for other drivers to see the vehicle’s location.

You can cause danger for other drivers and yourself by using these lights while driving. Instead of turning on the lights to make other drivers avoid you, slow down. If you feel uncomfortable driving in heavy rainstorms, pull over to the side of traffic and then use your hazard light once you have stopped completely.

Be sure to inform your family and friends about the laws governing hazard lighting if they are frequently using their hazard light in a storm. Inform them about the dangers and benefits of using hazard lights. You should always make sure your headlights work and not switch to high beams during rainy or foggy conditions. This can create glare for other drivers.

This post was written by Kelly-Ann Jenkins of Jenkins Law P.L. Kelly-Ann is a car accident attorney in St Petersburg. She focuses on personal injury, car accidents, and bicyclist injury. The information on this site is not intended to and does not offer legal advice, legal recommendations or legal representation on any matter. Hiring an attorney is an important decision, which should not be based on advertising. You need to consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your individual situation.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.  This website contains links to other third-party websites.  Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; the ABA and its members do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.



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Criminal Law – Punishing People To Protect the Public

Criminal Law – Punishing People To Protect the Public

Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world without crime? We all know that’s not possible. Crime pervades almost every aspect of our lives.

That’s a real shame.

But isn’t it wonderful to know that if a crime does touch your life or the life of a loved one, there is such a thing called criminal law to help you?

Criminal law has to do with crimes that are prosecuted by governmental agencies. In the U.S., almost all processes to handle crimes are set up by the local, state or federal government.

If you or anyone you may know is involved in a criminal lawsuit, the prosecutor must prove that you, as the defendant, fully intended to act as you did. In contrast, civil law states that you might be responsible for your actions, but you may not have intended what happened. A good example of this is a car accident. That’s why the law makes you pay for the damages.

The Goal of Criminal Law

Simply put, it is to deter crimes and/or establish punishment for crimes already committed. There are a number of ways punishment is performed:

Capital punishment

Physical or corporal punishment

Incarceration in jail or prison

House arrest

Parole and probation

Monetary fines

Community service

Five punishments of enforcement:






It goes without saying, people who disobey the rules of their state or government should in some way suffer. None of us like it when we truly believe someone is guilty and they get away with it.

We, as humans, also don’t like being taken advantage of and so the law protects us from that. The punishment puts the disadvantaged on equal footing and balances the scale.

The ultimate aim of punishment is deterrence. Which in simple terms means the punishment will hopefully discourage offending humans from taking illegal action against each other. This is what every lawmaker hopes to achieve.

But, we all know that many people still make the wrong choices and break the law. Many times their own greed is the cause of the offense. When people persist in wrongdoing, they sometimes need to be incapacitated or “put away” somewhere in order to protect people at large.

The form of punishment known as rehabilitation is a good way to instill the ability to make better choices without dire consequences. It also helps return offenders to society.

It hopes to help them see what they did was wrong and why and how to avoid doing it again.

Restitution is a great way to mend broken bridges between the offender and the person offended. It’s goal is to rectify, through perhaps monetary means, any loss to the victim.

I’m sure you can see how vital criminal law is in our society today. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary part of life – one which we wouldn’t want to do without.…