If the police have contacted you or someone you know, it is a natural reaction to be afraid and want to seek legal counsel. Often times, police officers may contact a suspect or a witness in a criminal case and ask that they come down to the police station for questioning. It is normal for this to raise red flags, however, you should not speak with a police officer until you have spoken to a criminal defense attorney. This is especially if you may have committed a criminal offense that would warrant a call from law enforcement. In the event that you do speak with them, inform them (regardless of if this is valid or not) that you have an attorney and your attorney will speak on your behalf. This will buy you time to actually speak with a criminal defense attorney to see what legal options you have, if any. Usually, criminal defense attorneys do not charge for consultations so it is perfectly fine to speak with an attorney before contacting or meeting up with the police after this initial encounter.
If law enforcement contacts you, they may already have evidence against you in some regard. It is very easy to incriminate yourself when you have little to no legal background. Understand that you do have rights under the sixth amendment and although you have no legal background, someone does and they can speak on your behalf. It is perfectly fine to leave these conversations to someone who has experience speaking with law enforcement. Once you retain a criminal defense attorney, it is okay to speak with them in detail about your case. This way, they are able to help you entirely in building your defense. Your criminal defense attorney will advise you of when you should speak and what you should say, as to ensure you are not incriminating yourself or making your situation worse than it has to be.
Regardless of if you have a criminal history or not, encounters with law enforcement can be nerve wracking every time, and you may not know what may be on the other end of that conversation. Should you or someone you know have a situation where the police have reached out, speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney to see what may be best for you. Remember to speak with Decatur attorneys that may help your case before speaking with law enforcement that only seeks to charge a suspect for a crime.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and speaking with police.Read More
How Does International Child Support Work?
Child support issues are rarely straightforward. A host of factors, including differences in state laws governing child support calculus and enforcement, tend to influence the unique child support orders assigned to each family affected by such obligations under the law. It is therefore probably not surprising that child support issues tend to become increasingly complex when they are affected by the laws, enforcement mechanisms and processes of more than one country’s legal system.
It is for this reason that parents attempting to navigate challenges related to international child support may sincerely benefit from speaking with an attorney about their situation. It is not easy to resolve any disputes, administrative challenges and questions about international child support without experienced legal guidance. With that said, it can be helpful for parents to keep a few basics in mind when preparing to meet with a family law attorney experienced in the area of international child support law.
Child Support Orders Originating Within the United States
U.S courts are generally willing to enforce child support orders handed down by a domestic court. But one cannot always guarantee that foreign courts will honor your American child support orders. Many countries have entered into reciprocal agreements with the U.S. which allows for the enforcement of American orders. You will need to talk to your attorney about whether the other country’s laws impacting your situation are governed by a reciprocal agreement. It may be the case that you can only seek enforcement by taking your child’s other parent to court in the affected foreign country, as a U.S. court’s judgment is not necessarily going to hand down enforceable consequences if your child’s other parent does not live here or regularly travel here.
Child Support Orders Originating Outside the United States
It is important to understand that child support laws are rapidly evolving in some areas of the world. As a result, there are few “hard and fast” rules in place regarding orders that have originated outside the U.S. While American courts are generally willing to honor and enforce child support orders handed down by foreign courts, things make get tricky if your child’s other parent tries to modify those orders within a foreign court. Under these circumstances, an attorney may need to advise you of your options after learning the specific details of your case. If your child’s other parent lives in a so-called “reciprocating country” your case may be more straightforward than it may be if this designation does not apply to your situation.
Child Support Assistance Is Available
If you have questions about either domestic or international child support matters, please consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced family law attorney. Once an attorney learns about the specific details surrounding your child support situation, he or she will be able to advise you according to whatever legal options may be available to you at this time. International child support challenges tend to be particularly nuanced and complex, so please consider seeking legal guidance from a family law lawyer in Rockville, MD rather than attempting to resolve them on your own. A bit of preparation now may save you significant financial headaches down the road.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and international child support.Read More
If a divorced couple has children who are minors, the spouse who was the breadwinner in the marriage is usually ordered to pay child support. If a judge recently ordered you to pay child support, you likely have a lot of questions. It’s important to educate yourself about child support and be able to separate fact from fiction. Hire a knowledgeable child support lawyer, such as a child support lawyer in Rockville, MD, to help navigate through paying child support. Here are some of the most common myths and facts about child support:
Myth: If you lose your job, you don’t have to pay child support.
If you lose your job in the future, it doesn’t mean that you will be off the hook from paying child support. The judge may reduce or defer your payments, but you won’t be able to completely get out of paying. You still have to make an effort to pay child support, even if you can’t afford the full amount.
Fact: There are serious consequences for not paying child support.
Failure to pay child support is not something the court system takes lightly. If you have the ability to pay child support but refuse to do so, you could face serious consequences including wage garnishment, driver’s license revocation, and denial of tax refunds. The judge could also order you to serve time in jail for failing to meet your child support obligations.
Myth: Child support can’t be spent on luxury items.
When the parent who is paying child support finds out the custodial parent is spending it on restaurant meals, jewelry, or other unnecessary items, they may get angry. However, as long as the custodial parent makes sure the children are properly fed, clothed, and taken care of, the court generally won’t care about what they spend the rest of the money on.
Fact: Child support payments are based on income.
This is true. How much a parent has to pay in child support will depend on how much they earn per year. It doesn’t have any basis on the actual costs of raising a child.
Myth: Child support always stops when a child turns 18.
While this used to be true, it isn’t always the case anymore. Certain circumstances can order a parent to pay child support past a child’s 18th birthday. For example, if the child decides to go to college, the parent may have to continue paying child support.
Fact: Child support payments aren’t tax deductible.
Child support payments don’t impact income taxes one way or another. The parent who is making child support payments can’t deduct payments, and the parent who is receiving payments doesn’t include them in their income.
If you have additional questions about child support, consult with a family law lawyer today. They can assess your case and advise you about the best way to move forward.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into paying child support.Read More
So, you are out at a party with friends and you have a beer or two. Typically, beers do not affect you like other liquors do so you feel perfectly fine to drive home late in the night. Suddenly, you have to use the restroom pretty bad and instead of stopping, you try your best to make it home. Shaking and feeling very antsy you, only for a moment, fail to maintain your lane while trying to keep your composure and not use the restroom on yourself. There is a law enforcement officer nearby that notices this mishap and activates their lights and sirens. When you stop, they ask you if you have been drinking. Whether or not you say “yes”, they may ask that you adhere to a field sobriety test. Because you feel perfectly fine, you refuse. The test is used to help law enforcement officers determine if an accused party may be intoxicated in any capacity. In some cases, refusing a field sobriety test is not frowned upon. However, in some states if you do refuse a field sobriety test that decision will be used against you in the court of law.
While field sobriety tests may not be one hundred percent required, they are a formality for police officers when they pull an individual over and suspect driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. With the results of a field sobriety test, law enforcement is able to determine if an individual is likely under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. These results may also be used against you, depending on how they may benefit the prosecutor.
It is merely impossible to refuse a test without knowing exactly what you are being asked to participate in. There are a few things a police officer may ask you to do during a field sobriety test. The one-leg test is completed by standing on one leg and balancing it for as long as the officer asks, which is typically 30 seconds. There is also the walk and turn test, this may seem very self-explanatory but is also failed in most cases. The officer would ask that you take a few steps and turn on one foot. Then lastly, the horizontal gaze. The police officer will place an object in a place that you can see and move it in different directions, on this part of the test you are expected to follow the object wherever it goes. The officer will pay attention to your gaze and the speed of such, if there are any slight delays it is likely you will fail the field sobriety test.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI or DWI, don’t hesitate to reach out to a DUI defense attorney in Decatur, GA to start on your defense.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and field sobriety tests.Read More
No matter what the situation is, you could simply be driving up the street for a cigarette or doing something as harmless as taking your child to school but if you are driving there are certain rules that must be followed. Unfortunately, no matter how innocent the reason, I wouldn’t do it without a valid driver’s license if I were you. There are only so many times you can get in a car with your license suspended, without accidentally violating a traffic infraction. And what about the event that you’re driving perfectly, and someone runs into you, causing a fender bender that requires police presence?
Getting pulled over while having a suspended license seems like no big deal at first, you think maybe you just pay fines and get your license back. This is not always the case. In some states, if your license is suspended and you get pulled over, you automatically go to jail. In other states, they will give you a few warnings before labeling you a “habitual offender” and putting you in handcuffs. This is where the big problems come in. Habitually driving while your license is suspended or revoked can be a felony offense! Can you imagine getting a felony for simply taking your daughter to school? I know the education of your child is extremely important but is it worth it in that situation? The handcuffs, the court dates, the fees?
There are programs in place to help people get their licenses back if they don’t have one. In most states, they will give you a temporary driving pass to go to work and come home. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of joining a program, there are attorneys that can be hired to settle most of your debts in order to regain your driving privileges. After not paying your tickets and fines on time, they are likely to have gained a bit of interest. Making it even more of a task to regain your license by yourself. Attorneys have enough knowledge of the law to negotiate on your behalf or even have debts wiped free from your record, allowing you an easier path back to the free road. Should you or someone you know have an open case for driving with a suspended license, be sure to contact a Decatur criminal lawyer defense in your area to see what your options are regarding the charge and possibly having your driver’s license reinstated.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and driving with a suspended license.Read More
Family Law Lawyer
Typically, when people hear of a prenuptial agreement—or a prenup—it comes along with a dramatic story about a celebrity divorce. However, anyone two people can enter a prenup before they get married. A prenup is a written contract between two people that outlines the property they own and the debts they have. This is very useful information if the couple gets a divorce down the road as it will specify what each person in the couple gets. However, writing a prenup is not always simple and it can be helpful to have a family law attorney with you while you make these incredibly important life decisions. No one wants to think about who gets what after a marriage has ended, but it is always best to be prepared. Thus, you should have a caring and objective attorney helping you every step of the way.
I don’t have a lot of money. Do I need a prenup?
Many people believe that you need status, a big house, and wealth to create a prenup with your spouse. However, they can be very helpful for those who come from modest backgrounds as well.
- Protecting Debts. Creating a prenup agreement can be extremely helpful when it comes to protecting you and your spouse from each other’s debts.
- Determining Finances. Finances are one of the biggest things that a couple argues about during a marriage. Within the prenup, you and your spouse can outline very clearly what each of your roles are in terms of finances, who has certain responsibilities, and where your finances are still divided. This can save many headaches down the road.
- Avoiding Arguments. When couples get divorced there are typically two types of couples: those who divorce amicably and those who do not want to be near each other. While both situations can be stressful for different reasons, a prenup can ensure that both spouses have outlined exactly how their property should be divided in case of a divorce and if a spouse gets alimony. The latter will depend on your state as some states will not legally allow a spouse to give up alimony.
- Passing Property. When you are getting married and you or your spouse have children from a previous marriage, it is important to outline which property those children will get if you or your spouse dies.
Creating a prenup is helpful because it will ensure a court is not the one making decisions when it comes to finances, property, and debts. These are the decisions that you and your spouse want to clearly state if your marriage comes to an end.
If you are getting married and are considering creating a prenup, please contact a trusted family law lawyer in Rockville, MD so that they can help make this a smooth and easy process.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and prenups.Read More
Criminal Justice Lawyer Arlington, VA
If you’ve been arrested, you may be confused and disoriented. The police will not always tell you clearly about all your rights. You need to be represented by an experienced criminal justice lawyer to make sure your rights are maintained.
Your Right to Remain Silent
You’ve seen police officers on TV shows and in movies read suspects their rights. This is often followed by people talking extensively. It’s important that you not speak to the police and answer questions before being represented by an attorney. Even if you’re confident of your innocence, and even if the police officers or investigators appear to be friendly, you may say things that could make your defense more complicated. It’s best not to make statements that could be misconstrued.
Please note that your right to silence doesn’t begin when they “read you your rights.” Nor must the police read you your rights when first making contact. It’s important to be careful of what you say from the moment you make contact with a police officer, whether it be during a traffic stop or a seemingly casual encounter on the street.
You’re Entitled to Make Phone Calls
Another misconception from the movies is the idea that you “get one phone call.” In reality, you can make the phone calls that you need to make. You may need to call your family, an attorney, and someone to help with bail, for example. However, you’ll generally have your cell phone taken from you, so you’ll have to make those calls from a phone at the jail. You should not expect privacy unless you’re talking to your attorney. Even then, it’s likely a good idea to avoid getting into details on the call. Wait until you’re face to face with a criminal justice lawyer.
They Cannot Abuse or Mistreat You
While police can use reasonable and necessary force in affecting an arrest, they cannot be abusive to you while you are in custody. If you are mistreated while in custody, you may have grounds for a suit, regardless of the merits of your criminal case.
You Cannot Resist Arrest
Regardless of the merits of your situation, it’s never a good idea to resist arrest. Resisting arrest is a crime in its own right, regardless of your guilt or innocence in the matter they originally detained you over.Read More
When another person’s actions result in you being injured, your next move should be to speak with a personal injury attorney. You can receive compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury suit, but you will need an attorney to file. Many people have no idea how to prepare for the initial meeting with a lawyer. This guide will explain exactly what to bring with you.
What To Bring
Lawyers are used to taking care of nearly every aspect of a legal case, so it will likely not be an issue if you were to show up with nothing in your hands. However, it will help speed things along if you come prepared. If nothing else, you should bring some way of taking notes and a list of questions you have. It is common for the initial consultations to be free, but you should be sure to bring the payment if yours is not free.
There are some items that could be very helpful to bring depending on your situation. Generally, you should have as much information about your case as you can. Only some of these items may apply to your case, but you should consider bringing:
- Medical reports and bills – It is going to be essential for you to present your medical information to the court if you wish to be compensated for treatment.
- Receipts – All purchases that were the direct result of the injury will be relevant to your case.
- Accident report – If you were in a car accident, you can receive an accident report from the police. This is one of the most basic pieces of information to acquire.
- Insurance documents – It is common to receive payment through an insurance policy and then file a personal injury case to repay the insurance company and receive compensation for pain and suffering.
- Witness statements – Your lawyer cannot be on the scene to speak with anyone who witnessed the injury. Getting information from them is helpful, but just their contact information may be enough.
- All interactions with the defendant – If you have had communication with the defendant, share this information with your lawyer. If possible, avoid contacting the defendant without your lawyer present.
- Other information – Any pieces of paperwork or miscellaneous information you about have the case should be with you when you meet your lawyer.
Speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT should always be your first step. A legal professional will be able to provide you with guidance going forward.
Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury claims and preparing for your first meeting with your attorney.Read More
DUI Lawyer Fairfax, VA
Hard-working, good people make mistakes every day. You may have good intentions but had a minor lapse of judgment that led to a DUI arrest. This error and unfortunate incident should serve as a reminder to you to not duplicate the situation; however, a DUI charge shouldn’t be a black mark against you forever. If you become involved in a DUI case, it’s helpful to understand the process that will take place and what steps you can do to ensure the best outcome possible.
If you’re pulled over by a police officer, and the officer suspects you may be under the influence of alcohol, you may be asked to perform some sobriety tests. These could include a breathalyzer test or the common walking the line and touching your finger to your nose tests. You can refuse a breathalyzer test, but if you do so, the officer will likely book you in jail. An arrest and a trip to jail will also be the outcome if the tests show that you’re driving with more than the legal amount of alcohol in your system. Once in jail, you won’t be able to refuse further assessments of your blood-alcohol level. At this point, the officer will conduct blood, breath or urine tests. You’ll most likely remain in jail until a responsible party can come to pick you up.
The district attorney of the state in which the infraction occurred will file the charges. An assistant or deputy district attorney may assist. Don’t expect the filings to happen anytime soon; you may also have to wait to appear in court for several weeks or months. In fact, district attorneys usually have up to one year to file DUI charges. After this time, the statute of limitations expires.
Regardless of the specifics surrounding your DUI arrest, you should contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will advise you on your rights and how to best proceed. A legal professional will also represent you in court once you appear. If you feel the charges are incorrect, the attorney can also investigate and determine whether you were treated fairly at the time of your arrest and following your booking into jail. He or she can identify any areas in which officers violated your rights.
Police officers, district attorneys and your own DUI attorney play key roles in your case. Don’t proceed one moment without the expert advice of a competent DUI lawyer in Fairfax, VA from May Law, LLP at your side.Read More
Divorce Lawyer in Fairfax, VA
It can be overwhelming to prepare for a divorce. This is particularly true if your divorce is a sudden event that you did not necessarily expect. If you would like to save time and money during the divorce process, we encourage you to follow these organization tips before beginning the divorce process. For more detailed information that may apply to your particular case, contact a law firm today to meet with a skilled divorce attorney.
Gather Financial Documents
One of the most important areas to address while going through a divorce is finances. The way you handle your assets can significantly impact how you live once your divorce has been finalized.
For this reason, one of your top priorities should be to do whatever you can to achieve financial security. Begin by gathering all of your financial documents. Then, take the time to figure out all of your assets and debts so that your financial situation is clearly outlined when you meet with your divorce lawyer and financial advisor.
Re-Route Your Mail
You may be unsure of whether you will stay in the family home or have to move. However, it is still essential to set up a new mail arrangement before you begin the divorce process. This way, you can separate your personal, private mail so that your soon-to-be-ex does not have access to your divorce documents. Consider establishing a post office box if you are unsure of your future living arrangements.
Separate Bank Accounts
If you share bank accounts with your spouse, it is time to open up separate checking and savings accounts. It is also a good idea to open up credit cards in your own name. This way, you can start to build credit in your own name and demonstrate how you are able to provide for yourself financially. By separating your finances, you can also figure out how to budget and prepare for future expenses.
Collect Benefit Information
Benefits include life insurance, health insurance, living wills, and retirement accounts. Collect all of this information so that it can be shared with your divorce lawyer. All of these benefits can have a major impact on your future lifestyle, just like asset and debts.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
Another important way to prepare for your divorce is to find an experienced divorce lawyer you can trust. Divorce lawyers are dedicated to guiding you through the divorce process and ensuring it is as efficient as possible. Contact a divorce lawyer in Fairfax, VA today to set up a confidential consultation and find out how they can help make sure your rights are protected and you get the type of divorce settlement you deserve.
Call May Law, LLP for their insight into family law and how to be organized before starting the divorce process.Read More
Family Law Lawyer
Talking to your spouse about getting a divorce is rarely easy, even if the two of you agree that it is the best way to proceed forward. With so much tension in the house spilling out into your work life and your child’s life, it may be time to move forward. Just because you agree on the move, it doesn’t mean you will agree on the issues that need addressing. You may be a believer in dividing things straight down the middle, while your spouse may see things differently and doesn’t believe that would be fair. Which way is better?
Marital and Separate Property
Fortunately or unfortunately, your state of residence will dictate how a court would ultimately split things up. One step you can take in advance is to compile a list of the property and assets you and your spouse acquired since you got married. You may not have exact numbers on assets as this includes retirement accounts, but you can get a general idea. The court is only interested in splitting marital property, which the two of you have in common. Anything owned the marriage stays with the individual. It is not calculated in the marital pot.
State Laws and Dividing Property
Some state laws prefer dividing things equally. The worth of the marital property gets tabulated and distributed evenly. Other states operate under the principle of equitable distribution. In this method, the marital assets are totaled, but the court divides things fairly, which does not always mean each person gets an equal share.
The court in deciding who gets what takes more into account than just the value of the assets and property. They consider things like:
- How much of a financial contribution each made to the marriage
- How much each spouse owns in premarital assets
- How much of the child-rearing has one parent done versus the other
The judge is looking at what each party contributed to the marriage, which does not only mean financially. People who stay home for the kids may not have the financial means to support themselves or their children immediately after separation and divorce. These spouses may be given more during the equitable distribution stage. Another aspect that a court may look at, depending on state laws, is who is responsible for the decline of the marriage. If you live in a fault-based state, and one spouse is proven to have done something to cause the union to fail, a judge may award the other more in an equitable division process.
If you are overwhelmed by the process, you should consult a family law lawyer in Rockville, MD to help sort things out and explain things. You do not have to go it alone.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and the distribution of property during divorce.Read More
Medical Marijuana and Driving Under the Influence
There are currently more than 30 states in the United States that allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Under these laws, if you have a prescription, you are allowed to buy marijuana from an authorized dispensary and use it legally within the state. However, many of these states have not legalized the use of recreational marijuana. Driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana is also illegal.
The prohibition on driving while under the influence of marijuana applies equally to recreational users and to users with medical prescriptions. Most states driving under the influence laws have no exception for users of medical marijuana and do not distinguish them from recreational users for the purposes of the law.
Furthermore, unlike with alcohol, which has a legal and an illegal limit while driving, any amount of drugs in a person’s system can lead to a DUI charge.
Amount of Drugs Does Not Matter
The prosecution does not have to show a specific amount of drugs in a person’s system in order to get a conviction for a DUI; they just have to show that there were drugs in the accused’s system at the time of arrest. The police can test your urine and, in some cases, blood after your arrest to gather evidence to show that you had drugs in your system. However, because marijuana can be detected in a person’s system up to 30 days after use, it can be difficult for the prosecution to show when the marijuana was consumed.
Although each state has its own DUI laws, generally, the consequences for drugged driving varies from six months to three years in prison, depending on whether or not the defendant has been convicted of a DUI in the past 10 years before he current conviction. There are also fines of between $500 and $8,000 that may be applicable. Drivers also lose their licenses for a year for first offenders, three years for second-time convictions, and permanent revocation of the license for any number of DUI convictions over two.
In addition, the court may order community service for first offenders; community service is often mandatory for subsequent offenders. A judge may also order the defendant to pay for monetary damages where appropriate (this is also referred to as “restitution”).
Therefore, while it may be necessary for you to use marijuana under prescription, you should not drive after doing so. Avoid arrest and the serious criminal penalties that may follow by using a different driver.
Contact a Drug Crimes Attorney
If you are charged with a drug crime, you need a criminal defense attorney who has dealt with multiple drug cases at both the state and federal level fighting for you. Contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Fairfax, VA today to set up a free and confidential initial consultation. Do not wait. The sooner they can begin working on your defense, the better chances for a positive outcome are.
For more info call May Law, LLP for their insight into criminal law and medical marijuana while driving.Read More
Criminal Defense Attorney
Although it may come off as self-explanatory to some, it is not entirely clear to all who is referred to as a “felon”. Many people confuse the idea of any one who has been convicted of a criminal offense, as a felon, and this is not true. While a felon is an individual who has been both convicted and charged with a criminal offense, the criminal offenses that are categorized as felonies. An easy way to decipher a felony charge from a misdemeanor charge is the penalty given to an individual. Individuals who are given more than one year in prison for a criminal offense have been charged with a felony, and therefore are considered felons.
Felony offenses can be quite similar to misdemeanor offenses, in the sense that they are often times misdemeanor offenses intensified. Examples of criminal offenses that are close to misdemeanors but can lead to felony charges are:
- Grand theft. Minimum property value or force required.
- Assault, but with a deadly weapon.
- Distribution of illegal substances, especially with the intent to sale.
However, a felony charge does not make an accused individual a felon. They would not be considered a felon unless that have been tried and convicted as well.
Unlike misdemeanor charges, felony charges can take an extensive process to be removed from your criminal record. As if that is not enough, certain rights are taken away from individuals that have been convicted of a felony offense. Laws vary from state to state, but in many cases, felons are not permitted to carry any weapons. Some states go as far as to restrict voting rights as well. It may be expected that felony charges affect employment, custody, and visitation with a child, depending on the severity of the crime committed.
If you are unsure of your criminal status and background it is best to contact an attorney. It is also wise to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney if you or someone you know is currently going through a criminal case. With the right attorney, the chances of a lighter sentence, charge, or post-sentence consequence is more likely. An attorney will be able to review the details of your case and educate you of your possible options and most likely outcome. If you or someone you know has been classified a felon, speak with a criminal defense attorney in Atlanta, GA as soon as possible to weigh out any options you may have.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and felons.Read More
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Many people who are accused of crimes want to know whether they can file a lawsuit against the person who accused them. Being accused of a crime is incredibly damaging to someone’s life, even if in the end they are acquitted, or the case is dismissed. There is so much harm that is done simply by forcing someone to go through the process of an accusation, that many times the person who is accused wants to look for a way to recover from the process as best they can.
The short answer is yes, you can sue someone who has falsely accused you of a crime. Filing a lawsuit is pretty easy – just about anybody can figure out how to do it. The better question is whether you can be successful in suing someone who falsely accused you, getting a judgment against them, and collecting on the judgment.
That’s a more difficult question. In most cases, no, you won’t be successful in a lawsuit.
First, you have to look at whether the person you are seeking to sue is even collectible. If everything went perfectly and you got a judgment against this person, do they have two pennies to rub together? How are they going to pay a judgment? So many times, people don’t consider this factor. They are so angry about wanting to sue the person who put them through hell that they fail to consider that even in the best-case scenario, they are never going to collect on any judgment that they obtain.
If the person you wish to sue is in fact collectible, then you have to consider whether there is actual likelihood of success. The likelihood of success in this type of lawsuit is extremely limited. The burden of proof in a civil case is different than that of a criminal case. This means that, even if it was decided that you weren’t guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, in a civil suit, the accuser could argue that you were in fact guilty, but there just wasn’t enough evidence to prove that in a criminal case. In a civil case, the burden is preponderance of the evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to prove that someone lied about you committing a crime, you would need very solid evidence that the person intentionally lied about you, such as an admission.
If the person that you want to sue is a police officer, it’s possible that you may have a viable lawsuit if your constitutional rights were violated during the course of an arrest or prosecution. If this is the case, you’ll want to speak to a civil rights attorney to discuss the matter in more detail.
Unfortunately, judges and prosecutors who are involved in cases where false allegations are prosecuted are given immunity from lawsuits in almost all cases, though there are some rare exceptions. It is unlikely, however, that you will be able to sue a judge or prosecutor involved in your prosecution.
If you have questions about filing a lawsuit for a wrongful prosecution, contact experienced criminal defense lawyers in Grand Rapids, MI today.
Thanks to Blanchard Law for their insight into criminal defense and false accusations.Read More
Spousal Support Attorney
If you’re headed for divorce, the court may include alimony payments (also known as “spousal support” or “maintenance”) in the divorce decree. The determination of whether you will be the one obligated to make the payments or your spouse will have to pay alimony will rely in large part on who makes more money. There are exceptions to this which a divorce lawyer can explain to you after a review of your circumstances. Two of the most common exceptions are when the marriage did not last long or if both spouses earned roughly the same annual salary.
Alimony Payment Arrangements
If the court decrees that you must pay monthly alimony to your former spouse, the arrangements will likely follow typical guidelines. Your divorce lawyer can inform you if any of the following will not apply in your case:
- You will be obligated to make monthly alimony payments until a date specified by the judge. This is usually a period of several years.
- You will be obligated to make monthly alimony payments until your former spouse remarries or cohabitates with another adult who contributes to their finances.
- You will be obligated to make monthly alimony payments until your children no longer need to live at home for parenting purposes.
- You will be obligated to make monthly alimony payments until a judge makes the determination that your spouse has not made a reasonable effort within a reasonable period of time to increase their income level.
- You will be obligated to make monthly alimony payments until or unless you experience a significant lifestyle change such as losing your job, substantial reduction in income, etc.
- You will be obligated to make monthly alimony payments until you or your former spouse dies.
Coming to Agreement with Your Spouse
Just as with other aspects of your divorce agreement, you and your spouse can come to an agreement on who will pay alimony, the amount of payments, and how long they will make those payments. A divorce lawyer can represent you during these negotiations. If both parties are willing to invest the effort to make this process successful, it allows both of you to avoid going to court. When a judge has to make the decisions, the divorce process will likely take longer and as a result, will cost you more money in fees.
Protect Your Best Interests
Alimony payments can be a substantial financial obligation that lasts for several years. It may be in your best interest to hire a spousal support attorney relies on at the onset of the divorce proceedings in order that they can protect your rights from the very beginning.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Scroggins Law Group for their insight into family law and what to know about alimony before you divorce.Read More