Category Archives: Law

Top 3 Criminal Defense Law Myths Debunked

Lawyer about to pound a gavelThe last thing you want is work with an incompetent and inexperienced lawyer who only talks about the figures in payments, but has no client’s interests at heart. This is why you will need to be thorough with your research. The most convenient time to unmask your lawyer’s experience and professionalism is during the interview.

However, you must quickly find the truth behind the myths surrounding criminal law so you can make informed decisions.

Myth #1: Eyewitness’ testimony is not evidence

Finding the right law firm in Littleton or wherever you reside is a wise move. However, the fact is that eyewitnesses are actually the most dependable source of evidence used in many courts. It is believed that anyone with all the five senses can report precisely what happened. Therefore, eyewitnesses are often trusted with the type of information they provide.

Myth #2: A police officer can dismiss your case

Cops will utter anything as long as you are a suspect. They might make promises and judgments that may seem binding and final. But in as much as they can influence the decisions made at the courts, they don’t really determine significant decisions made by the jury. Nevertheless, you still need to be cautious about what you say when you are confronted.

Myth #3: You don’t get charged when you confess

People will tell you what they believe. Cops will convince you to confess your crimes. But once you are a suspect, you can do little about the charges you face. Confession means you did the crime. This simply means you must be charged for the violations you committed. Therefore, the best way to go about your decisions is by consulting a reputable defense lawyer.

Now that you know the truth about these criminal law myths, facing authorities when charged with a criminal offense should not be an issue to make you freeze. The first thing you need to do when confronted by the police is to call a defense lawyer.

Top 3 Signs You Need to Change Your Lawyer

two clients talking to their new lawyerNo two cases can be the same. Some will be much more demanding than others. Others will take time before a settlement or verdict is made. Whichever the case, it’s essential that your lawyers represent you to the best of their knowledge, experience, and skills.

Watch out for the reds flag for you to change from one lawyer to another.

The Lawyer lack of professionalism

Professional mediation and arbitration service pros like Littleton Alternative Dispute Resolution, Inc. have a standard way in which they schedule their activities. First things first, they work on tight schedules hence most of them are excellent at keeping time. Another critical aspect is that they are organized. They won’t just remember critical factors about your case, but they will also ensure they carry everything they need to the courts including essential documents. Any law practitioner that lacks any of these should be avoided at all costs.

The lawyer is continuously unavailable

Check to see the kind of communication you are having with your lawyer. Established attorneys are often keen to ensure they pick client calls and respond to emails appropriately and in time. If you find your mediation and arbitration service provider taking too long to answer your calls and emails, then it’s time for you to evaluate your choices as pertains to choosing legal advisors.

The lawyer isn’t keen on deadlines

The last thing you want to see during court proceedings are notices of a missed deadline. A missed deadline doesn’t just put your claim on the verge of it being dismissed, but it may also cost you some money in late fees. Therefore, it’s essential to hold your attorney answerable. It’s even crucial to have them tell you about the status of your case. If the mistake happened out of negligence, then you need to act quickly.

How you choose your lawyers dictates the outcome in your lawsuits. If you pick the first that comes your way, you must be ready to bear the consequences that arise. But if you research and create a good working environment for them, you rest assured the results can be awesomely amazing.

Child Custody in Washington State: Basic Things You Need to Know 

Little boy hugging his fatherChild custody in Washington involves many complex processes.  Apart from all the paperwork, the court shall conduct a thorough investigation between the two parents. They need to evaluate many factors including the parties’ financial capacity, criminal records, and relationship with the children.

While some parents settle this issue on their own, it is best to get legal help to avoid disputes in the future. Feldman & Lee PS recommends consulting a child custody attorney in Maryville to determine the best approach to your situation.

Choosing a Reputable Law Firm

The first thing you need to do is find a trusted and experienced law firm that can work on your case. Start with your own network. Ask your relatives and friends for referrals or recommendations. Consider the lawyers’ expertise and the length of services in the field. Find out more about the previous cases they have handled.

During the initial consultation, make sure you’re talking to the actual person who will represent you in your case. Most of the time, bigger law firms have facilitators addressing the concerns of their prospective clients. Get the profile of the lawyer they will recommend and talk to them directly.

Discussing Your Concerns

Be clear on what you want to happen. Mention all the terms to your lawyer and learn about their perspective about the case. You can mention the visitation rights and child support, as well as discuss how to get full custody of the child. Typically, your lawyer will give you some pointers in case you need to attend court trials. They may also ask for some records or supporting documents that can be valuable to your case.

In case you have an agreement with the other parent, make sure everything is documented and signed by both parties. Your legal counsel can present the terms in court to make it official.

Questions and Answers when Finding the Right Auto Injury Attorney

Person hurt after car accidentInjury from auto accidents can happen to anyone. If it did happen to you, you’ll need to get the right legal representation to guide you through your case. Keep these questions in mind, since they can guide you in finding the right accident attorney for your needs. Most importantly, do take the courage to ask them when making your final selection.

How Experienced Are You?

It is always a plus to hire a lawyer that has a long, successful history. You would want a professional who has handled plenty of similar cases to yours beforehand with good results to add to his merits. Don’t just choose any auto injury attorney in Denver without finding more about his and his legal office’s expertise, history, and past cases.

Are You Within My Jurisdiction?

One advantage that is essential in winning any court battle is having a legal counsel that knows the local state laws like the back of his hand. That way, you’ll know the right processes, documents, and laws without worrying about doing anything that can put your case at risk. With an expert representative who knows the local court system and is familiar with how it works, you can increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

How Do Your Clients View You?

Your attorney’s reputation is always backed up with his former and present clients’ feedback. Research on how he handles his clientele before, during and after the legal battle. Someone who has an excellent track record and hails from a reputable law firm can boost your chances of getting the result you desire. While this may potentially cost more, you can always negotiate prices and even then, you should never skimp on quality services.

Asking the right questions will give you the information you need to make the right decision. By finding the best choice that suits you and your needs, you can rest easy knowing your case is in good hands. Of course, remember that you also need to follow your chosen lawyer’s advice so the respect and trust should still go both ways.

The Different Types of Spousal Support in New Mexico

Woman removing her wedding ringSpousal support or alimony is basically financial support provided by one spouse to the other spouse following their divorce or separation. Generally speaking, the court orders alimony a spouse so that he or she could cope with daily necessities and living expenses.

The main goal of spousal support is to help make certain that both ex-spouses could continue living the same lifestyle they’re accustomed to when they were married and living together.

Spousal Support Types

In New Mexico, there are different kinds of spousal support that a court could order:

– Rehabilitative spousal support enables a dependent spouse to get the necessary training, education, and/or work experience in order that he or she could in time become self-supporting, explains a top divorce lawyer in Albuquerque. Depending on specific circumstances, the court might include a rehabilitation plan that a receiving spouse must follow in order to continue receiving spousal support.

– Spousal support payments for an unspecified amount of time.

– Transitional spousal support is used for supplementing the income of the receiving spouse.

– Single lump sum spousal support payments could be paid in one or several installments and ends upon the death of the dependent spouse.

– Single lump sum payments to be paid in one or several installments that could go on indefinitely. This means that even if the dependent spouse dies, payments should still be paid to the estate of the deceased spouse.

In the event that the court doesn’t specify an end date, payments must continue indefinitely. However, either spouse could request the court for a modification of the spousal support amount according to “change in circumstances”. For example, when the supporting spouse gets laid off of work, or when the receiving spouse becomes capable of supporting her or himself.

Other Important Things to Note

If the supporting spouse is delinquent in sending spousal support payments, the dependent spouse has all the right to request for wage garnishment. When this happens, the alimony payments could be withdrawn directly from the income of the supporting spouse. In addition, late payments might likewise accumulate interest until the supporting spouse becomes current on the payment.

That being said, if you have any issues with spousal support payments, whether you’re the receiving or supporting spouse, discuss your case with an experienced divorce attorney.

3 Strategies When Filing a Complaint Against Your Utility Company

A Portion of an Electricity BillAll citizens have the right to dispute or question any type of service or billing action from a specific utility company. You should let the company be aware of your concern as soon as you notice it. Doing so will give the service company the chance to resolve the issue.

If you failed to reach out to the company, the Commission may then direct you to proceed with the process before they accept any actions regarding filing complaints against utility companies in places like South Carolina. But how do you file a complaint against your utility service provider?

Check your monthly statement carefully

The best way to see if there are any overbilling charges is by understanding the billing statement that you receive every month. You must read and understand how your bills work so you won’t be confused. Review each statement thoroughly to ensure that there aren’t any discrepancies in it.

Contact the utility company

Once you have identified the overbilling charges, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with your utility services provider. There are times when contacting the company directly is the best way to resolve the concerns you may have with your billing statement.

File a dispute

Once you’ve indicated that the company couldn’t present you with the right resolution, the company should respond to the dispute case that you filed within 30 days. The company should provide you with the right information to help you come up with the right judgment on whether you should take the matter further or not. The company needs to inform you about your right to file an additional charge with the PUC and give you instructions on how to do it.

Filing a dispute can be a tedious process, which is why it’s important to get in touch with your local government for any queries regarding filing a complaint against your utility company.

Getting a Divorce: What Happens to Your Joint Insurance Policy?

a couple arguing in front of a lawyerThe entire process of getting a divorce could take months to finish, and often, divorcing couples find it extremely hard to work with each other through issues during this time. For instance, some spouses want to cancel or modify their joint insurance policy during the divorce proceedings since they want to change beneficiaries or don’t want to keep paying for it. While laws differ from one state to another, it’s illegal in most states to cancel joint insurance policies or modify them until the divorce has been finalized.

General court rules on joint insurance policies​

Some states prohibit the cancellation of a joint insurance policy when a divorce is pending. For instance, some states require that divorcing couples file their divorce pleadings along with a certification stating that they didn’t change their insurance within a predetermined time frame before filing for divorce, explains a top divorce attorney in Lynnwood.

Likewise, in some states, once a spouse files divorce, the court would send out automatic restraining orders to keep divorcing couples from conducting specific administrative or financial actions, but not physical contact as is with common restraining orders. While the specific language in the orders differs, they typically include issues with assets, including insurance policies such as health and life insurance.

Also, select life insurance plans have cash value, and courts usually consider this as marital property. This means that it would be up to the court to divide it during the divorce.

What about after the divorce?​

It’s usually up to the divorced couple whether to continue their joint insurance policies. In some cases though, the court might order them to continue or get separate life insurance policies post-divorce. The insurance plan could help the paying spouse with child support and alimony payments, as well as provide a financial cushion in the event of the paying spouse passes away. However, if the paying spouse terminates a court-order insurance plan after divorcing, the receiving spouse could get help from the court to reinforce it.

Asking your Personal Injury Lawyer the Right Questions

a man with an injuryBeing involved in an accident and looking for a personal injury lawyer can be stressful and traumatic. There are different types of lawyers for different cases and if you haven't hired one before, then looking for the right one for your case can be a tough task.

Our first advice is never to hire a lawyer based on their ads alone. Second, look for one with a vast experience and third, ask the right questions. Today, The Law Offices of John D. Halepaska will give you a few questions that you should ask your motor, car, or trucking injury lawyer in Denver.

Do you Have Referrals from Other Lawyers?

Other lawyers will know who the best one is in their respective fields. They do have different specialties, but most of them know one another, especially if they are from the same area. Ask a couple of lawyers who they think you should hire as your personal injury lawyer, and keep track of the numbers. If you have a friend or relative that's a lawyer, then ask them for some advice regarding which lawyer to get for your case.

Do you Offer Free Consultation?

Most lawyers, regarding their specialty, offers free initial consultation. If a certain lawyer asks for a consultation fee, then it would be best for you to say no and look for one with a free consultation. This a known as a "contingent fee," wherein a personal injury lawyer will not ask you for any fee unless there is some type of recovery.

How Long Have you Been Handling Personal Injury Cases?

Personal injury cases are definitely some of the most difficult any lawyer can handle. Ask personal injury attorneys how long they have been in the industry and how many cases they have handled. Ask about their statistics – how many personal injury cases they have won in the past. Their experience can have a huge impact on your case, so you have to be careful when it comes to deciding.

Are you Certified by the NBTA?

The National Board of Trial Advocacy or NBTA is a national organization that handles the process for civil trial lawyers when it comes to achieving board certification. It is available for lawyers who have extensive experience in the courtroom and on trial preparation. 

Lawyers are also required to take an all-day exam before getting the board certification from NBTA as a civil trial attorney. If your personal injury lawyer is certified by the NBTA, then you can count on them to handle your case.

Having proper knowledge about personal injury lawyers is a must, especially if you, a friend, or a family member urgently needs one. Good luck!

Child Custody Battles: Does the Child’s Wishes Come into Play?

Parents arguing behind childWhen courts deliberate on child custody arrangements, they take into account the specific circumstances of every case. Their main goal is to ensure that the arrangement upholds the best interests of the child. In some cases, however, the court would likewise take into account the wishes of the child.

Weight of the Child’s Wishes

For courts to consider the wishes of the child, the child should mature enough to express and formulate his or her opinion and specific requests regarding custody. The extent to which the court would take into consideration these wishes would be determined by the particular circumstances of the child custody case.

What you, as a parent, need to remember is that the court would always prioritize your child’s best interests. For instance, the judge might disregard a child’s wish to stay with a parent who is a habitual drunk or substance abuser.

When Abuse Comes into Play

Conversely, a child might not want to stay with an abusive parent, particularly if the child was the victim or if he or she has witnessed the abuse at home. Also, the wishes of the child might influence the court’s decision if he or she has a preference to live with a parent with whom the child’s other siblings live with.

Do note however that some states have laws about the wishes of children when determining custody arrangements. You can get help from an experienced family law attorney in Denver, CO such as Miller & Steiert, P.C.

Plenty of states follow the rule that allows a child to decide which parent he or she wants to live with upon reaching a certain age. If the state hasn’t established such a law, courts will take into account the child’s wishes at their discretion.

Seeking Legal Help

As mentioned above, the court would consider many different factors when determining child custody orders. In some cases, the court would follow the child’s wishes, but not in others.

That said, it’s in your child’s best interest, and yours, to work with an experienced family lawyer when you present your case to make certain that the court’s final custody arrangement would champion the rights of your child.

What to Do in Case of a Road Accident

Man and woman on phone with car accident in the backgroundIt’s unfortunate when a road accident occurs, especially if it could have been prevented. Take the highway accident that killed two because one vehicle collided head-on with another vehicle going the wrong way. It’s still unclear whether any of the drivers were intoxicated at the time of the accident, but one thing’s for sure — one of them was not where they should have been.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s best to get a lawyer involved. You should also do the following:

Take Pictures of the Scene

Pictures are more reliable than your memory, especially because you might have been in shock because of the accident. The pictures can also serve as evidence and help an auto accident attorney with the investigation. Feldman & Lee PS noted that you could take them while you’re waiting for the Lynnwood police to arrive on the scene. Make sure not to touch anything so you won’t be accused of evidence tampering.

Give an Accurate and Detailed Testimony

You have the first-hand experience of the accident, so you are one of the few to know what actually happened. Give your testimony to the police while your memory is fresh, and be as detailed as you can. Remember though that your testimony will be used in the investigation of the case, so do not embellish details. If you cannot remember a particular detail but choose to describe it falsely, you might be accused of obstruction of justice.

Be Available

Whether you are the suspect or the victim, investigators should be able to contact you if they have some questions. Your initial testimony might need more details, or they might want to verify some information. Keep communication lines open and give them accurate contact details so the investigation can progress without a hitch. The sooner it is closed, the sooner everyone can go back to their normal life.

An investigation takes time, but it will take longer if you don’t cooperate. Do what you must, to help investigators get to the bottom of it all.