I recently learned about Miranda rights in a college class that I’m taking. Miranda rights originated after Ernesto Miranda was not informed of his rights while he was being arrested. Today, when a police officer makes an arrest they are expected to say the following statement: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you by the court. With these rights in mind, are you still willing to talk with me about the charges against you?” I’ve heard this statement a bunch of times on movies and TV, but something popped out at me when I studied them for class: that line that says you will have an attorney appointed to you by the court if you can’t afford one.

I never thought about how you have a right to an attorney in every criminal case. That just goes to show how complicated and complex the legal system is. The government recognizes that you need an attorney for a fair trial. I know that most lawyers work at firms and they aren’t court appointed. But I began to wonder, if you can get an attorney to take on your case for free, why would you go through the trouble of hiring one? I was wondering about this so I began reading the websites for a lot of different criminal attorneys. I stumbled upon the website of Truslow & Truslow where they talked about why it’s worth the cost of hiring an attorney.

It turns out that the attorney you can get for free is known as a public defender. Public defenders have a rewarding job, because they get to work for those in the most unfortunate financial circumstances and make sure they get a fair trial. The bad part is that these public defenders have too many cases to give each one all the attention it deserves. On top of this, they are paid far less than the attorneys that work for a firm, and therefore have fewer resources available to them. All of this is going to inhibit a public defender’s ability to look at all the relevant details of your case.

When you choose to hire a lawyer from a firm, they are going to earn their money through putting in the hours necessary to get you the best possible settlement. When these lawyers provide a great defense, you have a much better chance of getting a plea bargain. If you end up getting convicted, these lawyers will continue to work with you so that you have the possibility to have your offense expunged, or taken off your record. Having a criminal offense taken off your record is well worth the money upfront. You may not want to pay several thousand dollars for a top-notch lawyer today, but if you have a DUI on your record, that could cost you a lot more down the line when you’re unable to get a high paying job.


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Alimony is an important aspect of the divorce settlement, and it can ensure the wellbeing of a former spouse until they gain financial stability again. Both men and women are subject to alimony rulings, and it is important that you understand how spousal support operates. If you don’t already have one, you need to find a trustworthy spousal support attorney who can represent your best interests.

Three Types of Alimony

The courts may award three different types of alimony if spousal support is deemed appropriate. The first type of alimony is rehabilitative alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is paid to a former spouse for a short amount of time, with hopes of temporarily supporting them until they can find a stable living situation. Permanent alimony is not temporary and will be paid to the former spouse for an indefinite period of time. The courts may update their order to terminate the alimony at some point, but for the foreseeable future, alimony payments are required. The third and final spousal support option is called a lump sum alimony payment. This amount is fixed, cannot be changed, and is due all at once.

How Alimony is Initially Awarded

In the instance that the divorced couple cannot come to an agreement on spousal support, then the Superior Court will decide for them after considering these factors:

  • How much time the couple was married
  • How much potential income each spouse can make
  • How well the couple lived during the marriage
  • How long it might take for an unemployed spouse to earn a living
  • How much value was contributed to the marital estate by each spouse

For alimony to be awarded, the Superior Court will need to be convinced that a spouse needs financial assistance after the divorce. The court will also need to determine if the paying spouse can afford alimony and the actual amount of how much they can give. The former spouse may be awarded alimony payments if they:

  • Are not capable of supporting themselves financially
  • Have been without a job for most of the marriage
  • One spouse earns the primary source of income

Modifying Alimony

Individuals who are already paying alimony may find the need to modify the amount they pay. In Georgia, certain forms of spousal support can be modified after the settlement is complete, and all forms of spousal support will be modified if the receiving spouse gets remarried or dies. In some instances, if the receiving spouse cohabitates a dwelling with another person who shares living expenses, then the courts may decide that the need for alimony is reduced. If the paying spouse has a drop in income or loses their job, then the courts may modify the amount of alimony owed. Another way that alimony may be adjusted is if the receiving spouse begins to earn enough money to support themselves independently. It’s important to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who can assist you through the spousal support arrangements.


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A 15-year old and his 62-year-old grandmother were remembered by more than a dozen people on Saturday after the two were killed in a car accident on I-80. The victims, Tayarrie Hatchett-Sims and his grandmother, Bennie Harriel died in a car crash on his fifteenth birthday as they were on their way back home from celebrating his birthday.
The California Highway Patrol reported that the two victims were in a Hyundai Sonata with another passenger (one of Hatchett-Sims’ friends), when they were forced to stop on the highway for some reason. They were then struck by a truck that was towing another vehicle. Authorities do not yet know why the Hyundai was stopped on the side of the road, nor do they understand why the truck hit their vehicle. There are also reports of conflicting evidence with this story, so stay tuned to our blog or view the news story on Sacramento’s news site Fox 40 for updates.
Fatal accidents claim the lives of countless individuals across the U.S., and the most devastating thing about them is that they could have been avoided. In this case, the accident likely could have been prevented if the driver of the truck had been paying attention, had noticed their car, and had taken the necessary precautions to avoid hitting their vehicle. Following a fatal crash like this one that claimed the lives of a grandmother and her grandson, the family members may be wondering what legal action they can take against the driver of the truck.
The details of the accident are still being uncovered, so it is too soon right now to place blame on the truck driver. However, according to Sacramento car accident attorneys like the ones that we found through a Google search, the family members of the deceased may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party that caused the accident. A wrongful death lawsuit serves to hold negligent or reckless parties accountable for injuries or deaths that they cause, and it serves to financially compensate the family for funeral costs and emotional distress and trauma of losing a loved one. While it is often difficult to think about lawsuits following the tragic loss of a loved one, the realities usually settle in shortly after the event, and you may discover that you need to be compensated in some manner for your loss and the associated expenses that come with it.
In the case of this accident, the California Highway Patrol is still investigating and more details have not been released. Once we know more about the accident, how it occurred, and who was at fault, we will have a better idea of the legal ramifications of the accident. In the meantime, we wish to offer the family our sincerest condolences and we hope that they are able to move on from this traumatic incident and find some peace and solace moving forward.

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Drug charges involving controlled substances come with life-changing consequences. We understand how overwhelming a drug charge my feel after you’ve been accused, especially, in Westchester. Fortunately, we’re familiar with the tactics a prosecution team may use against you, and we are prepared to defend you at the highest level so you leave this situation as unscathed as possible.

Sad to say, but one life-changing consequence of a drug charge is difficulty in landing in a good job or in any kind of job, for that matter. Actually, during the past two decades, one thing that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has witnessed is job applicants getting questioned by their prospect employers if they have been charged or convicted in the past. These employers also often do a background check for a possible criminal record and, if an applicant does have a record, this would be used to reject his/her application.

Though this may be a clear form of discrimination, the EEOC cannot hold an employer liable for violating the law unless it is clearly proven that the use of an applicant’s past criminal record is the real basis of the rejection. One actual example on this involves a case wherein an employer rejected the job application of an African American due to his criminal record, and then hired a White applicant whose skills were comparable to the former.

Workplace discrimination is one ill human behavior that has affected the work environment for so long. It has caused deep emotional injuries in so many victims, as well as ruined their lives, simply because they have been perceived as, or believed to be, different, weaker, (sometimes) dangerous, or just not preferable or likeable due to their race, color, language, accent, style of dressing, ideology, physical appearance, religion, behavior, and so forth.

The EEOC, an agency formed by the US Congress in 1964 for the enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, aims to create an equal society by prohibiting any form of discriminatory practice and behavior in the workplace; it encompasses all employment-related decisions from employment screening, to hiring and retention, and covers all firms, whether educational institutions, state and local governments, or private companies, that have 15 or more employees.

To avoid discrimination, as well as to avoid ending up hiring someone who poses an unacceptable risk, the EEOC formulated a three-part test that employers can use whenever considering an applicant with a past criminal record:

  • the gravity and nature of the conduct or criminal offense;
  • how long ago was the crime or the conviction; and,
  • what is the actual nature of the work the applicant is applying into, where is the work to be performed, the amount of supervision the applicant, once accepted, will receive, how much interaction with others is required by the job, and so forth.

As explained by Cary Kane LLP, inquiring about arrests or conviction during a job application and interview can only be done by employers in government agencies, the Port Authority or enforcement agencies. Those in private companies definitely are prohibited by the law from making inquiries regarding criminal records, much more from using these as ground to deny one’s application. In the event of an infraction of the Civil Rights Act by an employer an applicant or an employee can file a discrimination case, the sooner the better.

 


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In the blockbuster film Gone Girl (2014), the main character Amy Elliot-Dunne staged her own fake murder in order to have her husband convicted and sentenced to death after she finds out that he was cheating on her. In the movie, she says, “To fake a convincing murder, you have to have discipline.

It then begs the question – is it still really a crime if there was no actual crime committed?

This tends to me the question that most people seem to ask. Since Amy’s character staged the whole thing, is what she did still illegal? There are many underlying tones in that film and novel that point out some of the flaws in the way some mysterious crimes are investigated. One such crime that involves no actual “crime” being committed is that of conspiracy.

According to the website of the lawyers with Kohler Hart Powell, SC, conspiracy to commit a crime is still a federal offense in and of itself. Conspiracy to commit fraudulence or an assassination, for example, is something that takes considerable amount of discipline in order to plan.

However, what a lot of people don’t know is that sometimes, there is no basis for the charges being brought against you if you are being charged with conspiracy. Chances are that agents have been monitoring you, suspecting conspiracy, and they are particularly skilled with years of experience at the art of asking subtle and seemingly innocuous questions with potentially incriminating answers if you don’t know how the law works. There have been cases wherein a person unknowingly gave a testimony that was detrimental for their own situation, thereby giving them a harder time in the long run.

If you are being questioned or suspected by federal agents for conspiracy, it is recommended that you exercise your right to remain silent and to first contact an attorney before you make any sort of statement in order to give you your best chance at a fair and smooth case.


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