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Criminal Defense Lawyer

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What Should You Look For in a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you are looking for a criminal defense attorney, you will likely have different standards and expectations than if you were looking for a civil attorney who could help you with family law or estate planning. If someone is accusing you of a criminal act, you want to make sure you are hiring the right attorney and working with someone who can aggressively defend you in a court of law. You want to know that they have been educated on the proper defense tactics and that they will know what to look for to try to get charges reduced or dropped. 

Looking For Someone Local

Why should you look for a local criminal defense attorney? It is true that there may be a good option from a bigger law office; however, hiring locally can give you a huge advantage. When you work with an attorney from a local office, you are getting someone who knows the local court systems. That means they may be familiar with the D.A. from different local courts, the judges, or the prosecutors. They will have a good idea of whether a D.A. may be willing to negotiate before the trial or not. This kind of information is invaluable and could greatly help when you are charged with a crime. 

Look For Someone Who Has Worked With Your Type of Crime

If you were accused of grand theft auto, you want to know that your lawyer has had experience with this particular crime. A lawyer, like a criminal defense lawyer from a law firm like Tuttle Law, P.A. knows that when a lawyer has more experience with a certain type of crime, you will have a better opportunity to put your best foot forward in court. So, even if you have found a criminal defense lawyer, it would be to your advantage to find one who specializes in the type of crime you are being accused of. 

Finding a criminal defense lawyer is not always easy. You may think that simply having an attorney on your side is what you need. However, finding one who knows the area of law your criminal charges are in will help you out immensely. They can guide you through how the court procedures might go, whether negotiating is the right move, and tell you how to plea. If you need the help of a criminal defense lawyer, call your local office today. 

What Is a Restraining Order and Why Do You Need a Lawyer for One?

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Restraining orders are not always as easy to get as television makes it seem. There needs to be reasonable cause for a judge to approve one. However, it is incredibly important to hire a lawyer, like a restraining order petition Lawyer in Fairfax, Virginia from May Law, LLP, if you are going to court to have a restraining order filed against you. Even if you are innocent of everything the prosecution is accusing you of, you need to make sure your best interests are protected, and an experienced lawyer will know the laws in Virginia and what the best strategy is to ensure you keep your freedom.

Why Would Someone File a Restraining Order?

Restraining orders are filed if a person feels unsafe and like they are threatened by someone else. This could be due to a previous assault, or because of verbal threats that have been made against a party regarding their safety. Sexual assault and domestic violence are two major reasons people file restraining orders. 

Why Is It Important to Hire a Lawyer?

If you are having a restraining order filed against you, it is crucial to hire a lawyer to represent you in court so that you can protect your own rights and your future. If an order is granted to the person who is filing against you, it will be on your permanent record. This will affect things like future jobs, where you are able to live, and much more. It could be public knowledge and affect your friendships and relationships, and could even affect your social life if this person was in your circle. 

It is crucial to have a lawyer on your side because restraining order petition lawyers know what types of defenses do and do not work in Virginia. He or she will be able to advise you on some of the best practices to use that will be the best chance of having freedom after the trial. You may feel like since you are innocent of any wrongdoing that it is pointless to hire a lawyer to help with your case, but since you are likely not an expert in this field you need someone on your side who knows the laws and rules so that you do not incriminate yourself or lose this case. 

Contact Us Today

If you or someone you care about is currently dealing with having a restraining order filed against them, make sure to contact an experienced restraining order petition lawyer in Virginia from May Law, LLP today. This will help give you a better chance of having a favorable outcome in your case and keeping the freedoms that you are used to. Having a restraining order against you really does strip so many freedoms from your life, and you do not want to be punished for something that you do not deserve to be punished for. Contact a lawyer right away before speaking with any authorities on the matter. He or she will have your best interest at heart and do their best to get the restraining order denied.

What It Means to File for Child Support Modification

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Parents who feel like their child support order is no longer fair, may consider filing for modification. The process of requesting such a change can be so complex, that many parents give up entirely and just accept their current arrangement. But, doing nothing can be a huge mistake, as one parent or the other may eventually find themselves in financial turmoil. If something has changed to where you are unable to make payments, it is worth looking deeper into what your options are for modification. 

A family lawyer can help you decide what is in the best interest of both your child and your finances. We believe that while it is important to support your child, it shouldn’t come at the cost of sacrificing your financial stability. Here are some things to consider before taking action, so you understand what it means to file for child support modification: 

Child Support Isn’t Automatic

While the factors related to child support may have changed, this doesn’t mean that the amounts are automatically adjusted to fit the situation. For example, if your child became of legal age, child support payments may not automatically end on his or her birthday. It is important to be aware of laws for your state and file any necessary paperwork to make changes. The same rules can apply for parents who receive a huge pay decrease or the other partner gets a significant promotion — it can be grounds for modification but adjustments may not be made unless either parent files for an update. 

Create an Organized Financial File

Before filing for modification, you may want to ask an attorney for insight as to what financial documents are most useful in such a negotiation. It is vital that if you do not already have an organized file of your finances, that you make one before investing time and energy into modification. The judge is likely to ask you about what has changed in regards to your finances, and request documentation which reflects these claims. You may only be able to file for child support modification a certain number of times within a designated period, so it is important to be as prepared as possible. 

Modification May Not Be Retroactive

If you were let go from your job or suffered an unexpected medical injury or illness but didn’t request modification until a couple months later, the judge may only consider changing the terms based on the date you filed. Parents who anticipate a job loss or sustaining some other financial hardship, may want to have the modification paperwork already prepared just in case. 

Laws do vary by state and some may permit child support orders to be retroactively altered in situations where the parent paying less child support due to spending more time with the child, ends up being with him or her less than expected. 

If you are getting ready for child support modification, please contact a law office to book your consultation with an attorney.

Do I Need an Attorney to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

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If you’ve been injured on the job, you may have heard that you can file a workers’ compensation claim by simply filling out some paperwork and confirming some medical information – no muss no fuss. Each state has its own workers’ compensation practices and protocols so, yes, technically in some states you can file a workers’ compensation claim with minimal effort or guidance. With that said, unless you only expect to be out of work for a few days and you’ve been diagnosed with superficial injuries only, it’s generally not a good idea to file a workers’ compensation claim without first consulting with a lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt. Once you’ve been injured on the job, you may only have a matter of days before you’re barred from seeking compensation under state law. As a result, it’s important to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney right away.

Why Seeking Legal Guidance Now Is a Good Idea

When someone is injured in an automobile accident, they are generally required to give a statement and supporting documentation to one or more insurance claims adjusters. The claims adjusters then evaluate the information they’ve been given and ultimately assign the accident a value. The accident victim is then paid compensation in accordance with that value. Workers’ compensation claims work much in the same way. Workers’ compensation claims adjusters can’t figure out how much compensation to award you until they understand the nature of your injuries, how your injuries were caused, and what kind of rehabilitation, missed work days, and medical care you’ll ultimately be required to navigate as a result of your injuries.

Workers’ compensation programs don’t have endless resources to dole out. As a result, claims adjusters are often encouraged to value claims in ways that don’t risk exceeding the compensation that work-related injury and illness victims are due. This approach often leads to the undervaluing and/or outright rejection of legitimate claims. Speaking with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before you submit your paperwork will better ensure that your claim is structured in such a way that it will be valued fairly and (assuming it is a legitimate claim) approved without delay. In the event that your workers’ compensation claim is, despite your best efforts, undervalued, rejected, or otherwise compromised by “red tape.” An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will know how to appeal, negotiate, persuade, and otherwise advocate on your behalf as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Legal Assistance Is Available

Given that you’ve been injured on the job, you likely want nothing more than to focus on healing and getting back to work. Speaking with an attorney can seem like one more hassle associated with your injuries. However, speaking with a lawyer proactively may actually save you a great deal of stress and money down the road. Please take a few minutes to schedule a confidential appointment with an attorney today.

Get the Help of an Attorney For Your Traffic Ticket

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You would be surprised at how a traffic ticket can negatively impact your life.

If you were caught speeding and a police officer gives you a ticket, you may be a little shaken up, but after a day or so might think you should only pay your ticket and move on with your life. This kind of thinking can be very damaging, though, because the cost of traffic tickets can add up. A few tickets here and there can begin taking points off of your driving record and can even cause you hardship when it comes to finding or keeping a job, as a traffic lawyer from a law firm like the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, can explain. 

Having a traffic ticket attorney on your side who knows how to work in the courtroom and knows the ins and outs of traffic law is more important than ever if you find yourself facing a traffic ticket.

I was told I needed to go to traffic school. Is this true?

A court may tell you that in addition to paying fines and having a ticket on your driving record, you also have to go to traffic school.

While you can do what the court is asking you to do, it is almost always best to try and get your case dismissed entirely. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, so the police officer will need to show up to court and prove that you were speeding as they say you were.

The best outcome to get the traffic ticket thrown out entirely. This is the best option because it means that in addition to not going to traffic school, you will also not need to pay fines or face any other punishments. On the other hand, it is also possible to use traffic school in your favor and a means for negotiating no further punishments and no conviction. 

Can a lawyer guarantee that my case will be dismissed or reduced?

No, and be very wary of any lawyer who tells you that they can guarantee you certain results.

While a good lawyer should have a solid track record with many cases like yours over the years, it still does not guarantee a win. The best thing you can do is be honest with your team of traffic ticket attorneys about what happened when you got pulled over and present the facts and the evidence to them so they have a better understanding of how to build your defense.

If you received a traffic ticket, don’t hesitate. Speak with a traffic attorney as soon as possible.

Should you tell your lawyer that you are guilty?

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I’ve done thousands of consultations with potential clients facing criminal charges. I often find that the more serious the allegation, the less inclined a client is to tell me if they are culpable, which is a fancy way of saying guilty, which is another of saying they did it. I’m not saying they are lying, but the version of events defendants remember is usually the best possible version and generally way different than the case the police think they have. Don’t get me wrong, some defendants are lying to me, and it’s never a good idea to lie to your lawyer. Let’s break down why.

Why don’t defendants want to tell the truth?

I think the first issue is embarrassment or shame. We are always the hero in our own story. We can have a hard time admitting we have done something wrong or hurt another person. Another reason can be a fear that if a defendant tells me they are guilty, I won’t fight as hard for them. A good defense lawyer will work hard no matter what the facts of the case are. A client who is afraid of going to prison might think convincing me they are innocent will make me work harder. But it will make me work harder on things that won’t help their case. Let’s talk about that.

What happens if you lie to your defense lawyer?

This is the real issue- why you shouldn’t lie to your lawyer. Here’s an example, I’ve had clients give me a phony alibi before, and I’ve spent months investigating a fiction when I could have been working on the case. If the State’s lawyer knows more than I do, I’m in trouble, and if the version of events I’m litigating isn’t the real version of events, then you’re in trouble. It’s not that I need rock-solid evidence of every possible mitigating factor in a case. We deal in reasonable doubts, after all. What I need is not to waste time on complete dead ends. I’ve had this play out to the very end in cases. Clients refused to tell me the truth or, worse yet, kept lying to me about what happened. Some clients even demand to take polygraphs to keep the ruse going, only to tell me later they “did it”. The amount of time and money wasted could have been put to better use in areas like mitigation.

The way I will evaluate your options and litigate your defense strategy depends on having an accurate version of what happened or what you experienced. Without that, I will do a worse job as your lawyer, and I might give you bad advice on how to proceed. That is always the thing to be avoided. Every case has a budget of time and resources. The more I waste on bad ideas, the less I have for good ones.

“No, You’re Case Isn’t Going to Be Dismissed Because . . . .”

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As criminal defense attorneys can explain, a good portion of initial consultations is spent dispelling many of the myths and misunderstandings that people have about the Criminal Justice system. Television and movies especially have contributed to widespread misconceptions about what is “supposed to” happen during arrest, trial and on appeal.

criminal lawyer

One of the most common misconceptions revolves around one’s 5th Amendment right to remain silent and the Miranda warnings. We all know what the warnings are:

You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be provided for you.

Our lawyers, cannot count how many times clients have come in excited to say that their case will be dismissed because “they didn’t read me my rights.” Despite the portrayal of Miranda warnings in movies and television—where we always see the “perp” being read his rights as police slap the cuffs on and guide his head into the backseat of the squad car—officers are not required to read you your rights at all, let alone while they are arresting you. In fact, the warnings have nothing to do with the arrest itself.

Miranda warnings are only required prior to a custodial interrogation.  It is important to remember that the 5th Amendment does not give us blanket protection from any self-incrimination. It only protects us against being compelled to incriminate ourselves. So, if you are in custody but are not being questioned, or you are being questioned but are not in custody, you are not entitled to the warnings. In other words, if you start spouting off in the back of the cruiser about how sorry you are, but you did so without being prompted by the officers’ questioning, there is no “interrogation” and the statements can be used against you.  Likewise, if you voluntarily meet with officers to be interviewed—even at the police station—you are not “in custody,” so Miranda does not apply.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can assess whether statements were given voluntarily, whether Miranda applies to a particular case and whether to seek suppression of any self-incriminating statements. It is best, though, to know your rights and exercise them regardless of whether your rights are read to you or not.

Workers’ Compensation Questions and Answers

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Criminal Lawyer

Workers’ compensation is something that protects most workers in the United States. If you were injured while performing your work duties, you might have coverage, as a workers compensation lawyer, like from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, can explain to you. You might also have a lot of questions. The following are some questions and answers about workers’ compensation.

Is There a Deadline?

Just like any other type of insurance claim, there is a deadline for workers’ compensation. First, you have the responsibility of reporting the accident to your employer. Depending on the state in which you work and live, you might have five days to make the report, or you might have 30 days. Some states just ask that you do it “as soon as possible.”

After you have made the report, your employer has a certain amount of time to file the workers’ compensation claim. Again, this varies by state, so be sure your employer understands that. For example, in Alabama there is a two year statute of limitations, whereas in Idaho there is no time limit, and in Hawaii there is a five year limit.

What Damages Can Be Recovered?

In a workers’ compensation case, your medical expenses are covered by the insurance starting day one. This means if your injury resulted in a ride to the ER in an ambulance, the ER and the ambulance are paid for. Other damages include lost wages, ongoing care, illnesses and other similar medical expenses. You do not receive compensation for pain and suffering, though you could sue another party if that’s something you’re interested in.

Who Pays for Workers’ Compensation?

As an employee, you do not have to pay any workers’ compensation premiums. Each state requires workers’ compensation, and it’s the responsibility of the employer to purchase the policy and offer it to employees. Unlike health insurance and life insurance, nothing comes out of your paycheck.

When Do You Receive Payment?

Depending on the state in which you live and work, and depending on the workers’ compensation policy, you might receive frequent payments, or they might be spread out. Some injured employees are given benefits once per week, while others are paid one per month. You should speak with the workers’ compensation board in your state to understand how it will work for you so you can make the funds last the entire month.

Contact a Lawyer To Learn More

Chances are you have a lot of additional questions. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer today to learn more.

If I Hire a Disability Lawyer, Do My Odds of Winning Improve?

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Criminal Lawyer

If you cannot work because of a medical condition or illness, you may decide to pursue social security disability benefits. 

The Social Security Administration oversees federal disability programs. These programs provide monthly financial assistance to those who cannot work because of a disability or illness. The system has been set up so that anyone can apply. However, it may be a good idea to enlist the help of a disability lawyer. 

You Will Need Documentation

Before you proceed with the application process, it is important to gather all the necessary documentation. This is key to proving your disability and inability to work because of it. Without supporting evidence, your application is essentially useless. Examples of documents include your medical records, such as exam notes, doctor’s notes, details regarding any restrictions or limitations, test records and results, treatment plans, medication, and so forth. You might also want to keep a journal that talks about how your life has been impacted because of your medical condition. As stated, documentation is critical to success. A disability lawyer can help you to understand what is needed, and how to present it. 

In some cases, getting this information can be easier said than done. Doctor’s might be busy, information may be lost, or you might be missing certain elements to prove your case. A disability lawyer can help to obtain anything you need, and can request the records on your behalf. Usually, this step goes much smoother with a lawyer at your side. 

Getting Legal Assistance

Enlisting the help of a disability lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. By hiring a lawyer, you can feel peace of mind in knowing he or she can:

  • Help to gather all important documents
  • Accurately complete your application
  • Monitor the application process
  • Talk to you about the rules and regulations
  • File an appeal if you are initially denied
  • Prepare a sound argument to be heard at an appeal’s hearing

It is possible that your claim will be denied. Once this happens, you should not delay in asking a disability lawyer to help you. A lawyer will know what to do, and can begin the appeal’s process right away. If your case is heard before a judge, a lawyer can be there to be your voice and advocate. While many claims will be approved during this process, some will be denied again. If your claim has been denied twice, the waiting period may be 12 to 18 months for another hearing to be granted. Because of the significant delays, it is important to think about everything in the very beginning. In doing so, you might first choose to hire a lawyer who can assist you with your initial application. This could save you time, money, and stress. 

Having legal representation to recover social security disability benefits can make a difference. The majority of people with an advocate on their side will increase their chances of success. Whether you have applied and been denied, or you are applying for your first time, there is no risk in talking with a disability lawyer, like from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt. Call a law firm today. 

Do Volunteers Have Access to Workers’ Compensation?

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Criminal Lawyer

Volunteers do a lot for the world. Out of the goodness of their hearts, they make a decision to go out and make their communities a better place. It’s unfortunate, but even a volunteer can get hurt. When this happens, are they entitled to workers’ compensation? Not in most situations, but there are some exceptions you should be aware of.

Government Rostered Volunteers

There’s a chance if you’re volunteering for a certain government entity, you could have compensation if you are injured. As a rostered volunteer, your name has been placed on a roster of individuals volunteering for a program that is run by a township, county or municipality. The authorities over the unit sponsoring the volunteer program have approved your name to be on the roster, and doing so means you could have workers’ compensation coverage. This isn’t the case for every government service project, so be sure you know who you’re dealing with and what is offered before making your case.

Volunteering During Employment

There are some situations in which you could receive workers’ compensation as a volunteer if you were volunteering as a part of your employment. For example, you may work construction, and your boss has required you and your coworkers put a roof on a local church. It’s a charity given by your company as a whole, but you are doing it as part of your employment. There’s a chance you could claim workers’ compensation if you are injured while up on the roof.

Interns

Most interns aren’t paid, and many are considered volunteers, but that’s not always the situation. If you’re injured as an intern or practicum student, you could have coverage under workers’ compensation. One situation in which it may be difficult to gain compensation and prove you’re not a volunteer is if you’re interning for a nonprofit organization. There are still some ways around it, but your lawyer will have to help you find the loopholes.

What You Can Do Instead

If you don’t fall under one of the categories of exception, there’s still a chance you could receive compensation for injuries sustained while volunteering. Most businesses have liability insurance or another similar type of coverage. This might be somewhere you can seek compensation. You could also sue a third party, someone you’re volunteering with or the organization itself.

Contacting Your Lawyer

Volunteers are essential to the world, but they can get hurt while volunteering. If this happened to you, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer, like from The Law Office of Mark T. Hurt, to find out if you have options from which to gain compensation.