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What Should You Do If You Are Being Investigated?

What Should You Do If You Are Being Investigated?

The most important thing to remember when you are arrested is that, as you have probably heard many times before, you have the right to remain silent. There are many tactics that the police might use in order to try to get you to talk. They can threaten you and make it seem as though you will get in more trouble if you don’t talk.

They might try to cause you to relax by acting friendly or joking around with you. They might make it seem like you will be fine as long as you explain yourself. These are all tactics that the police are trained to use against you. Don’t fall for them. The only thing that you should say in response is to politely but firmly say that you want a lawyer.

If you have been arrested, you should contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. This helps to prevent you from making statements that could be used against you. Since witnesses have a better memory of the event early on, this is another reason that getting a lawyer involved early on can work to your advantage. In addition, if you believe that you are under investigation by the police, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. They may be able to prevent charges from every being filed in the first place.

Once you have been arrested, you are then booked. This is when they take your picture and fingerprints. They might ask you to make a statement. You should decline to do so. Afterward, a magistrate will decide whether to offer a bond. If they do, you can be released until trial if the bond is paid. The price of the bond will depend on the nature of the crime. For example, sex offenses will have a much higher bond than a crime that requires a DWI attorney.

The next court date that you receive is called an arraignment. This is when you are read your charges and asked if you want an attorney. You should always ask for an attorney. This is when you will be assigned your next court date. If you get the chance, you should apply for an attorney before your arraignment.

The evidence that is obtained by prosecutors is referred to as discovery. There are certain types of evidence that the prosecutors are required to provide to you before trial. The type of evidence will depend on your location, but only a lawyer knows what to ask for and how to find evidence that the prosecutor may try to hide.

In many cases, it may be possible to come to a settlement before trial. If not, the trial proceeds with a verdict being issued by the judge or the jury that you are either guilty or not guilty. The judge will then decide your sentence.…

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Your Rights If You Are Being Detained

Your Rights If You Are Being Detained

Before understanding your individual rights when detained by the police it is important to understand what being detained means. Being detained by the police does not necessarily mean you are being arrested, although arrest can follow detainment. Reasons for detainment include questioning; also a police officer may wish to question an individual without detaining them. When an individual is being detained for questioning by the police they have certain undeniable Constitutional rights. Rights when being detained include:

Right to know why you are being detained

Right to inform individuals of your detainment

Right to Record of Interview

Right to attorney and counsel

Right to know why you are being detained in Housgon

Being detained by the police is not the same as being arrested. When being arrested the police must read the individual her/his Miranda rights and state what crime they are under arrest for. When being detained the topic of question will be described, whether at the location in which the detainment was made or in the police station after detainment, in order for the individual to make a decision whether they will answer the questions or seek legal counsel first.

Right to inform individuals of your detainment

After you have been detained it is your right to be able to contact your family members, or have the police contact your family members, in order to inform them of your detainment. This is done in order to ensure family members do not have to worry about the location of the detained.

Right to Record of Interview

The Record of Interview is a document that is compiled of all the answers an individual gave to police questions during the time of detainment. When detained by the police it is not mandatory to cooperate and answer all questions. However, if after legal counsel or immediately after being detained, an individual wishes to answer questions they will be documented in the Record of Interview. It is your right to ask for a copy of the Record of Interview.

Right to Attorney and Counsel

Immediately after being detained every individual has the right to an attorney. If, for whatever reason, an individual does not possess the means to hire an attorney, and attorney will be granted to them. After the attorney is contacted the individual has the right to counsel with the attorney. Right to counsel means that the lawyer and the individual detained can meet privately in order to discuss the strategy they will take concerning question and answering and the legal process.…

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How to Find the Right Criminal Lawyer

How to Find the Right Criminal Lawyer

Nobody wants to be in a position where you would need to get a criminal lawyer to defend you or a loved one in court, but what do you do in case it happens? Do you just go for the first lawyer that you come across? That is not likely to be a wise move on your part.

Lawyers are just like doctors. They also have their own fields of specialization. That’s the part of law that they have focused and spent much of their time on.

What you need to find are lawyers who have focused on criminal law more than anything else. So how do you go about finding the right one? Here are some ideas:

1. Specialization is the name of the game. It means that for criminal lawyers, there are also some specializations within them that lawyers can delve into. What you need therefore is to find someone who has considerable experience and knowledge in the particular field of criminal law that you are concerned.

2. You should think twice before settling for a public defender, because on the average they have more cases than what is recommended by law experts as advisable to be handled. If you have the money to spend you should try to get your own lawyer. It could be your freedom that would be at stake.

3. Decide on the kind of qualities that you would like to find in your lawyer. Do you want someone with an extensive experience, but is quite too busy to become too involved in your case? Would you rather prefer someone who is less experienced, but is very hardworking?

4. Go for personal referrals from people that you know. They might know of a good criminal lawyer who can help you out. Personal referrals are still the best way to go in finding some service that you need.

5. Find out if they belong to any group of criminal lawyers. Affiliation to regional and national groups of criminal lawyers is a good indication that someone is really into criminal law.

6. If you want to determine how a lawyer stands in the estimation of his colleagues, then you should try to find out if they have ever held any office in any of the lawyer groups to which they belong. Holding an office is a good indication that they are competent in their field.

7. Don’t fall for ads and the claims that they have there. They would put anything there to get you in. The best thing is for you to meet or talk with a lawyer personally so you can decide if he really has what it takes.

8. Find out if the lawyer has taught at a reputable law school. Teaching law is one of the marks that a lawyer is really something.

9. Find out about their rates. A lawyer might be good and all, but you might not be able to afford them.

These are just some of the more important things that you need to look for in a criminal lawyer.…

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Assessing the Strength of Your DUI Defense Case

Assessing the Strength of Your DUI Defense Case

There are a ton of factors that go into prosecuting and defending a DUI arrest. These factors primarily revolve around the reason for which the vehicle was pulled over, and the way in which the field sobriety test was administered. While police departments are given a certain amount of latitude in determining if probable cause exists for a DUI stop and subsequent DUI roadside field sobriety tests, many times an officer may either be legally incorrect, or exercise poor judgment. In these types of situations, there’s often a strong case to drop the pending charges and avoid a DUI conviction.

To assess the strength of your potential DUI defense, the first issue to be addressed is that of the sobriety test. When the police officer requested that you take a breathalyzer exam, did you refuse? If you did not take the breathalyzer exam, the prosecuting attorney will need to rely on other evidence in proving their case against you. Often times, the lack of this evidence will result in the reduction of DUI charges to a lesser reckless driving charge.

If you refused the breathalyzer exam, the next issue to assess is the field sobriety test. Did you perform the field sobriety test; and if so, how well did you do? If you didn’t blow, and a video review of your test shows that your performance did not indicate intoxication, there’s a good chance that your DUI charges will be dropped. If you didn’t do well, don’t worry; that doesn’t mean you have a weak defense. Your poor performance may have been a consequence of poor roadside conditions. Was there loose gravel or sand on the road? Was the area well lit? Was it raining? Poor roadside conditions do not allow for a fair and impartial field sobriety test. Gravel and sand could cause you to slip and make it difficult to perform to the level that proves your innocence.

Even if you blew over the legal limit and miserably failed the sobriety field test, you could still have a strong DUI defense. In this case, it will likely boil down to the procedural process of the arrest. There are very specific rules that police must follow throughout their initial investigation and subsequent arrest. These range from having the sufficient probable cause to pull you over to violating the Fourth Amendment which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. If the arresting officer strayed even slightly from the letter of the law, your DUI charges could be dropped.

There are so many factors that go into making a valid DUI arrest along with an equal number of factors that can make the most sober amongst us appear intoxicated. Never assume that you have no chance to avoid a DUI conviction without overturning every stone. Tell your DUI attorney every last minute detail that took place. Even the smallest of details could make the difference between a DUI conviction and a DUI acquittal.…

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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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Consequences of a Crime Under Criminal Law

Consequences of a Crime Under Criminal Law

The concept of punishment makes a major distinction between criminal law and civil law. While in civil law there is no prosecution per se; rather a reimbursement to the plaintiff by the losing defendant, in criminal law a guilty defendant is punished by imprisonment, fines, or the death penalty. In criminal law, maximum sentences on felonies could go to up to a jail term of one year and for misdemeanors a maximum sentence of less than one year. A civil case conducted under tort law can lead to punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct is proved to have intentions for malicious action (cause harm), negligence, willful disregard to other people’s rights.

Compensation for the Plaintiff under Criminal Law

These damages are usually significant in torts that involve such cases as privacy invasion, which may involve a dignitary; and civil rights in cases where the injury or harm done when translated to monetary form is minimal or negligible. Punitive damages are usually intended to teach the public a lesson through the defendant so that the same act may not be repeated. However, these damages are never awarded under contract law where there is a previous contract or agreement involved beforehand.

Tort claims can be paid through insurance that is purchased specifically to pay damages and also to cover the attorney’s fees. This insurance is similar to the standard insurance purchased for business, homeowners and vehicle. However, the defendant may not be able to purchase the same to make payments for his/her offense under Criminal Law.

If the defendant is ordered to pay for damages and he/she does not have assets or insurance or has hidden the assets carefully, the plaintiff will receive nothing in damages. Therefore, large claims awarded to plaintiffs for damages are often a waste of time.

The outcome of a case is considered effective to an extend where punishment may not necessarily transform a criminal found guilty under either criminal law or civil law or stop them from committing the same act again. As rational as human-beings are thought to be, criminals are thought to be irrational and it is not considered that they will be caught a second or third time; hence, continuous offense without consideration of possible punishment. However, denial of criminals’ movement rights by enclosing them in prison for a certain period of time may be seen as a much more effective punishment. Therefore, criminal proceeding under criminal law is seen to have more serious impact than under civil law. People tend to choose the loss of freedom rather than the payment of heavy fines that may not necessarily be available to the defendants.…