Differences Between State Vs Federal Court
Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
While there are some similarities between what occurs in federal and state criminal courts, there are a vast amount of differences. The Federal Court has its own rules and procedures, and some are quite different from the states.
Federal criminal cases are handled in federal district courts that are situated within a particular state. State criminal courts are situated within each state. As our friends from the leading criminal defense can explain, sometimes state and federal crimes seem almost identical, in fact, sometimes the case can be charged by either or both. Yes, that is right. You can be charged by both the federal government and a state for the same crimes, and there is no double jeopardy argument, although this happens infrequently. This is because both the state and the federal government have an interest in preventing certain crimes from occurring within their jurisdiction. While the federal government has jurisdiction over crimes that are committed within the United States, the state only has jurisdiction over crimes committed within its borders.
Federal courts are staffed by judges who are selected by the President of the United States. These are the District Court Judges. Federal courts also have magistrate judges who are not Article III judges and are not selected by the President. State courts also have judges that are typically appointed by the Governor of each state. There are many similar crimes that are frequently brought in both federal and state courts. These include drug and firearm offenses and many fraud offenses as well as RICO offenses and money laundering.
The important thing to remember if you are charged with a federal crime, is that you want a lawyer who has experience in federal courts. Some criminal lawyers limit their practices to the state, and some attorneys do little federal criminal defense.
If you or a loved one are charged with a federal crime, you need a federal criminal defense lawyer residents recommend to represent you. Try to find one that has a vast amount of experience in federal court.
A Look Into The Probate Process
Probate is a legal procedure that your estate goes through once you pass away. During this process, the court will begin overseeing the distribution of your assets to rightful heirs. Probate is a smoother proceeding when there is a valid will or living trust with clear instructions about your wishes. Such documents help by naming an executor, who will manage the estate and follow your instructions, and beneficiaries, who will receive a portion of your assets.
It is important to know that your will may still have to undergo probate, but it’s a simplified process if you have planned ahead of time. During probate, the court will make sure the will is authentic, and then approve the executor to pay taxes and debts, then distribute any remaining property based on directions in the estate plan. Your assets must be located and valued, and once that is done, debts and taxes are paid, then beneficiaries receive what is left over.
In situations where there is not a valid will, otherwise called intestate, this can make matters more complicated. Due to there not being any paperwork reflecting your wishes, the court may make decisions about your estate and how assets are distributed for you instead. Unless you plan properly, as a probate lawyer Knoxville, TN families trust from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC can attest, an estate may get caught up in probate. But the more planning you do now, the better it will be for those who love you after you have passed away.
It may be easiest to view probate as a supervised court process that sees to it rightful beneficiaries get appropriate assets and titles from the estate. In circumstances where there is no trust or will, it will be the job of the court to appoint a person to represent your estate. This person becomes a personal representative, and has the duty to handle the same tasks that an executor would if a will was present and you appointed someone for this role. Certain property and assets in an estate will have to go through probate, but others will not. This is something your lawyer, like a team member from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC, can discuss with you on an individual basis during an appointment.
If a named beneficiary passed away prior to you and you did not update your will, this part of the estate will be decided by the court. Household items such as furniture, appliances, clothing, and other items may fall into this category. If your will has these items and clearly states what your wishes are for them, they can avoid probate. Property that has a title solely in your name may undergo probate to decide ownership. Depending on the state you reside, you can avoid this by including a transfer on death or payable on death to a title or deed.
There are many nuances to consider when it comes to probate, and many people try to avoid it at all costs. While it can be beneficial in some cases, most people prefer the court to not have a hand in how their lifelong legacy and assets will be distributed. By understanding what probate is and taking steps now, a person can feel rest assured that their estate will be taken care of how they wish in the future.
What To Do In The Moment Of An Auto Collision
Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have recently been in an auto collision, you may be wondering what you should do next. Despite being told during our driver’s education classes how to respond in the aftermath of a car wreck, with the chaos of everything going on around us, it can be really easy to forget if we are in the thick of it. As an auto accident lawyer victims trust from Barry P. Goldberg has explained to clients, it’s important to know what to do in the event of a car accident so that you can make decisions and take steps that are going to be in the best interests of their health and recovery.
The first thing you must do is observe yourself for serious injury. You may have immediate symptoms, depending on how serious the injury is, or you may not feel the effects of the accident until hours or days later. In fact, for many people, they start to feel the side effects of what happened the morning after a car accident. For others, they may have been ushered to the emergency room, been hospitalized, or underwent emergency surgery because their injuries were so severe.
Victims of car accidents may not realize that they are entitled to monetary restitution for what they have been through. By knowing what to do if a car accident happens, you are better apt to do things that are going to be beneficial for your side. After notifying your insurance company about the accident, you will be reached out to you by an insurance adjuster, who is someone that wants to obtain a statement from you about the accident. But keep in mind that this person, no matter how friendly they seem, is only acting in the best interest of the insurance company, and not your finances or recovery.
Sadly, many victims realize after the fact that they had said something to an insurance adjuster that was then misconstrued in a way to reduce or deny their claim. For this reason, your lawyer may suggest handling the conversation with an adjuster for you. Do not provide a verbal statement over the phone or close your claim, no matter how much you may be pressured to by the insurance adjuster to do so.
Before leaving the scene of an accident, you will need to get the other driver’s information. You will need to write down their first and last name, form of contact, vehicle description, insurance carrier name, policy number, and any other details that seem appropriate for the accident. If there is more than just one driver involved, then you will need to get the same information from all parties present. It will be imperative to have plenty of evidence related to the car accident, including gathering pictures and video footage of the scene. Your lawyer, like a team member from Barry P. Goldberg, can use evidence to build your case and ensure that you get the most compensation possible for what you have endured.
Showing Responsibility In Child Custody Case
Being a part of your child’s life is something you cannot replace, which is why many parents fight for custody so that they can be as big a part of their lives as possible, despite parting ways from the other parent. There are things that you can do prior to and during the child custody court hearing to raise the chances of getting the verdict you are hoping for. You must remember that the judge will be focused on what is in the best interest of the child, so even if you have not been perfect in the past, you can still show responsibility and step up for your child now.
You may understandably be going through many emotions as your child custody case plays out. This is only normal, as it can be painful to be away from your child, and you may worry about how much time you will be granted with them. Ideally, you’ll have shown long before this custody case that you are a responsible parent. But if you are struggling emotionally with anger and betrayal, as a lawyer at the Law Office of Daniel E. Stuart, P.A would suggest, you cannot let it interfere with your behavior. This is likely to only make matters worse, and it can cause unneeded pain to your child who is probably already experiencing difficult emotions of their own.
Use as much of the custodial time as you are allowed, to show that you wish to spend quality time with your children. If you miss scheduled times, then it can come off as your child is not your priority. Avoid leaving children with daycare or family unless you absolutely have to, such as for work. Pick your child up on time for your hang out sessions, their sports games, medical appointments, and custody hearings, and rearrange your schedule to meet their needs as best you can. As a child custody lawyer parents trust from the Law Office of Daniel E. Stuart, P.A. would agree with, this will show you are willing to prioritize them and be flexible so that they can thrive.
Do not let anyone around your children who seem dangerous or have shown to be a conflict among your family. It may not be the best idea to have a new partner move in with you or stay overnight shortly after separation. Of course, this is a personal choice, but it can upset your children and the judge may feel it is not in their best interest to have this added stress. If you have been separated for quite some time, it is reasonable to introduce your child to a partner that you plan to have as a long-term person in their life too.
Remember, an old family dynamic is changing into a new one, and it’s going to be difficult even under the most amicable situations. But if you focus on what is best for your child, then that will show you are a responsible parent in court.
Here are 4 Breaches of Contract You Need to Know
If you’re running a business, you know that you have about a million things on your plate every day. You have to dedicate yourself to making sure your company runs smoothly, and you have to dedicate yourself to making sure your company grows. And as a business litigation lawyer like our friends at Eric Siegel Law can explain, you can’t focus on what matters most if you’re tied up with contract disputes and legal red tape.
It’s not being pessimistic to plan for why you might need a business lawyer. It’s just common sense. Operating a business means making sure you have all the necessary paperwork lined up, and the right lawyer can keep you out of legal trouble while also helping your business grow. Want to become an LLC? What about an S-Corp? A business lawyer can help – and the services that a business lawyer offers go far beyond just the day-to-day.
Contracts are Everywhere
The business world revolves around contracts. They’re important agreements that outline the terms of employment between employers and employees, or the exchange of goods and services between contractors and clients. If you own a business, you’ve dealt with contracts before. And if any of those contracts are ever breached, you’ll need a business litigation lawyer.
- Material Breach.
A material breach is a severe type of breach of contract. In a material breach, a party fails to perform according to the contract. This can include contractors failing to perform the agreed-upon work, or employers failing to pay the agreed-upon amount to their contracted employees. In a material breach, the contract wasn’t honored at all, and can be grounds for a lawsuit.
- Fundamental Breach.
In a fundamental breach of contract, one party doesn’t follow through with the underlying basis of their contract. Unlike a material breach of contract, the party didn’t even make an effort to live up to their end of the bargain. For example, a “no-show” contractor is a classic example of a fundamental breach of contract. You hired someone to do a job, and they didn’t even show up on the day you needed them. It might be time for a lawyer.
- Anticipatory Breach.
If a party is contracted and they declare that they will not perform the duties outlined in the contract they’ve signed, they’re committing an anticipatory breach of contract. This means they won’t be doing the job you expected of them, or won’t provide their end of whatever deal you had made with them, despite their signing of the contract.
- Minor Breach.
A minor breach of contract is typically fixable. In a minor breach, the contractor completes their tasks as outlined in the contract, but they committed errors on the way. It may take a business litigation lawyer to get them to fix their mistakes, but sometimes the mistakes are minor enough to be easily resolved.
Get in Touch with a Business Lawyer Today
Running a business is hard enough without flaky contractors or clients trying to get out of agreements that you’ve all already signed off on. Get in touch with a business litigation lawyer to ensure you get the closure and compensation you deserve.
Dementia and ADLs: How to Assist with Activities of Daily Living
Home Health Care
If you are currently caregiving for someone with dementia, daily living activities can feel like a point of contention. Regular activities such as grooming, toileting, and dressing are fraught with discord. Caregivers can even find themselves remiss as to how to help their loved one with their ADLs.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help assist in ADLs for those living with dementia.
Lean into routine.
For those living with degenerative brain disease, routine is everything. A set schedule brings order to the untamed chaos of the day. While the individual may not understand exactly why things are occurring, they intrinsically understand that this activity happens now.
For example, you can set a grooming schedule that occurs every morning before breakfast. This establishes that grooming is a set component of the day. Even more so, it connects the activity of grooming with the pleasant experience of a morning meal.
Use clear communication.
When requesting something from your loved one, use clear and concise language. Use direct sentences and omit any unnecessary information. Tell them, “I am going to brush your teeth now.” Try not to overcomplicate by saying, “Get ready! We’re going to brush your teeth. I’ll try to be gentle near your gums. I know you had popcorn earlier.”
If your loved one doesn’t understand something, try not to rephrase the statement. Repeat the phrase as you said it the first time, as rephrasing the question can cause confusion.
Empower them through independence.
Whenever you have the chance, try to encourage independence. Highlight the processes that they can undergo independently, and encourage them to take part. The goal is to allow them to use the tools that they have. For example, although your loved one may need help getting in and out of the bath, celebrate that they can independently operate the faucet.
Patience is key.
Encouraging independence often means that things are going to take a little longer than you are used to. This is okay! Just because your loved one is moving at a different pace doesn’t mean they are any different. Be patient, know that things will happen in time.
Use positive reinforcement.
With all things, a little encouragement goes a long way! Assisting with ADLs is a collaborative effort. Let your loved one know that they did a good job brushing their hair or not spilling their dinner. This creates a positive environment around ADLs and makes the entire process better for you both!
Thanks to our friends at Expicare Nursing for their expertise in elderly assistance services and home health care.
Speeding Tickets and License Suspensions: What You Need to Know
Getting pulled over by the police can be a nerve-racking experience. No one wants to be given a ticket, but when it happens, how much do you have to worry? As a drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey from a firm like Rispoli & Borneo P.C. can explain, one thing that most drivers worry about is the state of their license. What happens to your license if you were caught speeding?
Can You Lose Your License for Speeding?
The short answer is no. If you are pulled over for speeding, odds are that you won’t lose your license. Most of the time, a speeding conviction results in a fine. The only reason this answer isn’t completely definite is that most states have a points system.
In a points system, each traffic offense is assigned a certain number of points. The worse the offense, the higher the points. Generally, you have a two-to-three-year period where you do not want to get over a certain number of points. After a few years, your points may reset.
If you receive multiple speeding tickets over a short amount of time, you may lose your license. In some states, if you reach a certain number of points, your license will be suspended for about 30 days or six months. Most people who face suspension may have three or four violations on their record.
Can a Judge Order a Suspension?
In some states, the judge can order a suspension. While most judges are not going to order a suspension for a speeding ticket, it is possible. Generally, a judge might decide to order a suspension if the speeding led to an accident or if he or she sees a pattern in your behavior. If you have several violations, the judge is more likely to order a suspension.
Can You Obtain Your License Again?
If your license is suspended, it is usually for a set amount of time. Most people will wait 30 days or six months to have their license reinstated. However, there are times where you may be able to have it reinstated sooner. For instance, if you have to work and there is no other way for you to get to your place of employment, you may be able to obtain a hardship or restricted license. This allows you to drive to and from certain places during your suspension.
When it comes to license suspensions, every state has different rules. Some have more strict point systems. If you recently received a speeding ticket and are worried about your license, you may want to set up an appointment with a traffic ticket lawyer as soon as possible.
Help, I Have Criminal Charges…What Should I Do?
First step, take a deep breath. Fortunately for you, there’s a group of people out there who practice criminal defense and will be able to help you with your criminal charges. Now you need to call a criminal lawyer to discuss your situation so they can create a pathway from where you are to where you want to be.
Misdemeanor Criminal Lawyer
So you have misdemeanor criminal charges. Misdemeanors are unique and often vary by the level of the crime alleged. Typically, misdemeanors have sentences of less than one year if you were to receive any type of active time. A criminal lawyer can advise you on the proper steps to take and will try to protect your record if possible. Misdemeanors can include possession of a small amount of drugs, a larceny or theft crime from a store such as shoplifting, trespassing on someone’s property, or assault charges such as a simple assault or an assault on a female. These types of crimes often face far less severe sentences than one would for say a felony criminal charge.
Felony Criminal Attorney
Felony charges often face far harsher sentences than misdemeanors and are typically heard in a higher level court. Felony criminal attorneys often have a lot of experience in this area and should be able to tell you what they’ve seen with similar factual situations as what you’re dealing with. Felony charges can include possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, any type of shooting, such as assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury, higher level larceny crimes such as embezzlement or any type of fraud that results in theft. Felony charges also feature higher level drug charges, such as drug trafficking offenses, which is the possession of a certain quantity of drugs and can be charged for possession of kilos of substances such as cocaine or heroin.
If you have criminal charges against you, you need to not panic. You need to contact a criminal lawyer, like our friends at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law, as soon as possible to help with your case. They can guide you through this process and create a plan to protect you and your rights. Pick up the phone and call a top rated criminal lawyer today to help you with your legal situation, it will put you at ease, and let someone who knows what they’re doing help you.
What Rights Do I Have When Police Are Conducting A Search?
The sight of blue lights behind you can be a nerve-racking situation. In some situations you may very well not be aware of the reason you’ve been pulled over. A criminal defense lawyer, like the ones at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, can see this situation on a frequent basis and figures it’s good to discuss your next steps. We’re seeing an increase in stops, that may or very well may not be for valid reasons. The vehicle is pulled for something fairly minor, a window tint violation, speeding, or a tail light being out. This stop instantly turns to a situation where the officer wants to search the vehicle. And this is where we turn to the Fourth Amendment.
The Fourth Amendment is quite possibly the most important amendment to a criminal lawyer because it protects you and me from being the subject of an unlawful search or seizure. So you’ve been pulled over and want to take the right steps, well read on for what we advise.
Don’t Say a Word – Saying Nothing Helps Us Later
The Fourth Amendment allows for a person to remain quiet if they are questioned by the police. Understand, that generally, when the police desire to search you, they aren’t intending to do so because they believe there’s nothing illegal going on. Clearly on their part, they believe you have something of a criminal nature going on, and they want to find out what it is. We see a lot of searches due to the odor of marijuana. Recent laws and articles have provided that the odor of marijuana is not distinguishable from hemp, and in some instances, this could negate the officers probable cause to search the vehicle.
Also, if you’re in custody and not comfortable with the situation, (Who wouldn’t be? ) under the Fifth Amendment, you can ask for a criminal attorney. If they’re attempting to question you, all questioning must cease until you are able to speak with your criminal defense lawyer. It’s important to note, that you can say I think I’d like to speak with an attorney, the request must be direct, “I want to speak to my lawyer.” This will put an end to any further questioning by the police.
Please note, and this is important, if you start talking with the police on your own after you’ve invoked your right to counsel, this may open the door to further questioning, and the scary part is your answers can and will be used against you. It’s important to speak with an experienced criminal lawyer before speaking with the police.
Take a Deep Breath – Do Your Very Best to Remain Calm, Cool and Collected
Our criminal defense lawyers see the suspect behaving nervously, breathing heavily, looking stressed, angry, frustrated and all of the above. The insinuation is that there is something criminal going on and that’s the reason you’re any number of those things. The reality is being stopped by the police can be scary, especially when you don’t know the reason for the stop or their rationale for wanting to search.
But as you see them approach, take a deep breath. The police need probable cause to search your vehicle or search you and sometimes the only way they can get probable cause is to ask you questions. We have countless clients who have ended up with criminal charges all because they answered questions which gave a police officer probable cause to search. It’s hard as a criminal defense attorney to break the news that if they had just remained quiet, they never would have been able to search. And if they hadn’t searched, they wouldn’t have found what they found, whether it be drugs, a firearm when they’re not supposed to have one, or anything else deemed to be illegal. Remain calm and please do not say anything.
The Hard Part – Comply with Law Enforcement
Understand, first and foremost you’re not typically in a position of power. How many times do you think someone who yelled, “citizen’s arrest” at a law enforcement officer and it ended up stopping the police in their tracks. We wouldn’t need fingers to count those situations because it hasn’t happened. If the police have probable cause, or they have a valid search warrant based on probable cause, then comply with their requests. Obstruction of justice and resisting, delaying and / or obstructing a police officer can be a criminal offense in and of itself.
Find a Criminal Lawyer as soon as you’re able to
The above is vital to protecting your rights when you’re stopped by the police or their attempting to search you, your car or your house. Reach out to a lawyer to make sure you’re taking the right steps and making the best decision for you when speaking with the police. Criminal charges are nothing to take lightly. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony criminal charge, they can have long-standing ramifications on your future. Please contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer today to help you with your criminal case.
Employment Discrimination Lawyer Washington, D.C.
Verbal Sexual Harassment
Not all types of verbal sexual harassment have to specifically be a perpetrator’s request for physical behavior or an obvious whistle or some other type of heckling behavior. Some types of verbal sexual harassment may actually be considered acceptable by some people, however, under the law, if the behavior makes the intended target uncomfortable and is unwanted, it qualifies as verbal sexual harassment. If you find yourself working in this type of environment and you have made it perfectly clear that you want the behavior to stop, then you may have grounds for a harassment claim.
Verbal harassment can take on a variety of forms. If the perpetrator makes inappropriate innuendoes, jokes, or suggestions, then this can be considered verbal sexual harassment if this type of behavior makes you feel uncomfortable. If a person shares intimate details of their sex life or asks you inappropriate questions, this too may qualify as harassment.
It is also not uncommon for subtle comments of verbal sexual harassment to be targeted against all employees of one gender. But it is important to remember that just because the practice is widespread does not make it okay. The law says you have the right to work in an environment that is free of this type of behavior. The law protects you from being forced to endure these types of incidents.
Other Types of Verbal Harassment
Although sexual verbal harassment appears to be the most obvious type, verbal harassment can also occur if the perpetrator makes derogatory or offensive comments about a person’s religion, political statements, bullying, or calling the victim a derogatory name.
You can report this type of harassment even if it is not being directed at you. Specifically, if the conduct creates an uncomfortable or hostile environment, the harassment can be addressed by any employee even if he or she has not been directly targeted.
Under the law, verbal harassment is gauged depending on how it impacted an alleged victim, not on the intent of the perpetrator. The law states that even a person who the harassment is not targeted at can be affected and, if so, they also have the right to file formal complaints and lawsuits. This is especially true if the person affected is a member of a federally protected group because of their race, color, religion, gender, age, or whether they have a disability. Consider seeking out a discrimination lawyer such as one from Eric Siegel Law, if you or someone you know are dealing with harassing and discriminatory actions at their workplace.