November 2017

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Fleeing the Scene of an Accident

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Fleeing the scene of an accident is never the right thing to do. If you have accidentally hit another vehicle with your car, it is very normal to feel afraid and want to flee because it can have a big impact on your life. The biggest mistake you can make is to try and flee the scene because it is against the law and can land you in jail if you are caught. However, in the event that you are not thinking in a clear manner or did not understand the large penalties surrounding fleeing the scene at the time of the accident, you will want to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away. Often times there are security cameras in many intersections and you will never know if your license plate was caught on camera or not until it is too late. Police will be looking for you, so you need to fully grasp the situation at hand and understand your rights. Seeking help from an experienced attorney can ease your mind on these issues. You do not want to contact your insurance company or the police before you hire a lawyer because this will only hurt your case in the long run. Make sure you have the guidance of an attorney before doing this. If you do call before you obtain a lawyer, you may accidentally end up admitting to fault for the accident and put yourself in legal trouble right away. Let your attorney do all of the talking because they will know how to explain the situation without admitting that you are the guilty party.

It is always in your best interest to schedule a consultation appointment with an attorney so that you can begin easing your stress load regarding your hit and run. Navigating through the legal system by yourself can be a tough task, so it is crucial to have an attorney, like an auto accident lawyer you rely on, with experience on your side. He or she can help build you up a strong defense and ensure that your rights are protected. They will also handle all communication with the police so that you do not accidentally end up incriminate yourself. Many criminal lawyers actually offer free initial consultations, so you literally have nothing to lose by speaking to one. During the first initial meeting, the lawyer will ask you numerous questions about the accident, such as where it happened and if anyone was hurt. Be honest in your answers. If you leave any important details out, your lawyer will not be able to help you with your case. Your lawyer is not there to judge you or your actions, so you should not feel afraid to reveal everything about your case.

Do You Need A Lawyer For A Speeding Ticket?

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You are not required to engage a lawyer for a speeding ticket.  You may simply pay the fine, or show up at the scheduled hearing and attempt to represent yourself.  However, in many cases, you will achieve a better result if you hire a lawyer.

 

Each state has its own traffic laws and procedures for enforcing them.  Furthermore, within each state, individual counties often have widely varying procedures and policies for adjudicating traffic charges.   For instance, in some Virginia counties the police officer will prosecute all but the most serious speeding tickets, while in other counties the county’s prosecutor will do so.

 

In some counties, the judge has a policy that in the case of a driver who has received a speeding ticket but who heretofore has had a good driving record, if the driver will attend a driver improvement class the court will dismiss the speeding charge.  For tickets involving high speeds, the court might agree to reduce the charge to a lower speed, or to a defective equipment charge if the diver does driving school and/or a certain number of hours of community service. The exact parameters of these informal policies frequently vary from county to county and they are usually not published and available to the public.  However, an experienced local traffic attorney will be familiar with these policies.

 

Many drivers are under the misimpression that they must have a good defense to the speeding charge before a lawyer, like a reckless driving lawyer Abingdon VA trusts, can be of valuable assistance.  This is completely wrong.  The overwhelming majority of drivers that traffic lawyers help are guilty of the speeding charge.  For those guilty drivers, an experienced and proficient local traffic lawyer is able to get a reduction or dismissal of the charge in many cases by bringing the good driving history and character of the driver to the consideration of the judge, prosecutor and police officer, and arranging for the driver to go to a driver improvement school or to do community service.  Further, it is well known that the simple action of hiring a traffic lawyer to appear for you creates a favorable impression with the court and prosecutor and a tendency for them to agree to a less harsh penalty.  And often, prosecutors will negotiate prior to the traffic hearing only with a lawyer.

 

A traffic lawyer can be particularly valuable for an out-of-state driver.  The cost in time and travel expenses often makes it prohibitive for a driver to return to the state and county where he received the ticket in order to attend the hearing.  A local traffic lawyer can appear on his behalf.  This often makes a crucial difference because frequently a driver can obtain the best relief only if someone attends the proceedings in person on his behalf.

 

In sum, while it is usually not necessary to engage a traffic lawyer to assist with a speeding ticket, a traffic lawyer can frequently reduce the negative consequences of that speeding ticket, even if the driver is guilty of the charged offense.  Thus, if you receive a speeding ticket, it is nearly always advisable to obtain a free consultation from a local experienced traffic lawyer as to your options before you decide to go it alone.   

Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their into speeding and reckless tickets.

How criminal law can disrupt your divorce case

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A criminal legal problem can certainly disrupt your divorce case, as a family lawyer Collin County TX can attest. While you believe everything is proceeding according to plan, the unlikely but sometimes foreseeable phone call will alert you that your soon to be former spouse was arrested and may be charged with a crime. Depending on the nature of the alleged offense you might not be thrown too far off course. That said, some new issues may arise out of the criminal law case that affects your divorce and family law matter.

Examples of criminal charges arising during a divorce

Your spouse could be in criminal trouble for so many different reasons, not limited to conflict in the marriage and divorce. Where, however, the spark leading to an arrest comes from stress during divorce, there are a few common sources of criminal conduct. Family violence, drug, alcohol, driving and drug offenses can all be traced back to a person perceiving their life to be unravelling. Not everyone handles stress well and people with propensities for trouble may too frequently snap under pressure.

Your spouse might also be engaged in white collar or other crimes and is arrested and charged, leading to your decision to file for divorce. Acts of domestic and family violence may also cause you to divorce. Depending on the severity of offenses and charges, it may not be practical to remain married.

Criminal charges against a party to divorce can affect the entire family

If the arrest is recent, an immediate concern may be bail money and the retainer to hire a criminal defense attorney. Depending on your relationship, you may want to help your spouse, so they can continue working and earning income to support the family if possible. In other cases, you might object to the use of marital funds to pay for bail and criminal defense lawyers.

If you are one charged with a crime you should find a criminal lawyer who will work closely with your divorce attorney so that everyone is on the page with respect to how each case will proceed. The divorce case might have to be slightly delayed based on criminal charges and procedures. Another issue is the ability to see your children and how the criminal case will affect custody and visitation issues.

Long term effects of criminal convictions and incarceration.

Temporary bouts of anger can lead to very long-term periods of lockup. In the heat of passion people might lose control. With serious charges including attempted murder or great bodily harm, someone might be going to prison. If this happens, the spouse on the outside might seek to terminate the parental rights of the other, especially if they remarry to another who wants to adopt the children.

If jail time is short enough, the individual might still be able to see the children, but most likely visitation will be supervised. Child support may be an ongoing issue and could be abated during periods of incarceration, and when on the outside, the individual may be searching for a job and ordered by the family court to find work and start paying current and back support obligations.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Scroggins Family Law for their insight into family law practice.

Handling Domestic Violence Matters with Caution

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        Whether it’s harassment, assault/battery, stalking, terroristic threats or other domestic violence related charges, criminal defense attorneys often find themselves in tough positions handling these sensitive matters. Domestic violence comes in all forms and the defendant is often facing serious consequences. These matters require great knowledge of the law along with concern and care for the defendant and their family situation.

        Often times the defendant will need anger management/behavior counseling. They can lose their employment and if they are the primary or only financial provider for their family, it puts the entire family in an unfortunate position. It is not uncommon for the alleged victim to file for a restraining order that removes the defendant from the home and prevents them from seeing their children. Domestic violence as a whole is tough for families to deal with and can be a reoccurring cycle that gets worse over time.

        That is why it is important for attorneys to collect and review discovery carefully and make decisions based on what is best for the defendant and often their family as a whole. Dispositions in these cases vary and many matters never see a trial.  If all parties agree to the terms, these matters can often be resolved with counseling for an extended period of time and an eventual dismissal. In some states diversion programs are offered where the charges are dismissed if the defendant completes a period of successful probation. Some courts offer abeyances in minor domestic violence matters where the charges will be amended or dismissed if after a “cooling off” period of 90-180 days there are no further incidents between the parties.

        Keep in mind that many people charged with domestic violence are first time offenders and have never been in trouble a day in their life. One argument between spouses, one wrong decision, one moment where someone acts out of character is all it takes to be charged criminally in a domestic violence related matter. On the other hand, there are often persistent offenders where a dismissal is completely off the table and serious jail-time is at stake. These matters often go to trial and it is important to review police dispatch audio, police reports, photos, and witness statements before determining if a trial is the route to go.

        It is an attorney’s duty not only to get the best possible result for their client in their criminal matter, but to also have their client rehabilitated in matters where it is clear the defendant needs help/counseling. Consult with an experienced professional to represent you such as the Criminal Defense Attorney Somerset NJ locals have been turning to for years.

roberts and teeter attorneys at law Thanks to authors at Roberts & Teeter LLC for their insight into criminal defense law.