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A Distant Father is Sentenced to Prison for Not Paying Child Support


Child support payments are meant to cover costs that accrue when raising a child, as a family lawyer Rockville MD trust can explain.  Typically, a child would have two parents who would provide support for his or her growth and development.  However, this often is not the case when the parents decide to separate, and leave the child in the custody of only one of the two parents.

Whether it is through a mutual agreement between parents or a court order, the importance of paying child support is immense, ultimately because it supports the child’s well-being.  Furthermore, to emphasize this, child support laws are always enforced strictly by laws across all fifty states. Many state laws have provided reasonable options for parents who are late with a payment.  For example, in Texas, there is a hotline for these parents to call in case they fall behind on their child support payments. The parents who use this hotline are not subject to an arrest warrant because, after all, the main purpose is not to arrest the parent; rather, it is to provide financial support for the child.

However, for non-custodial parents who continue to fail to fulfill their responsibility of providing child support, the consequences can add up, just as they did for Joseph Sahagun.  Stephen B. Rye, District Attorney for Lyon County of Nevada, declared a prison sentence for Mr. Sahagun, who failed to pay child support.  The Third Judicial District Court ruled in favor of the State and sentenced the 40-year-old man from Yerington to 12 to 32 months in Nevada’s State Department of Corrections of Failure to Pay Child Support.

The District Attorney stated that Sahagun had owed “more than $20,000 in child support, and chose to ignore his support obligation to his children.”  Stephen Rye further commented that Mr. Sahagun had been given multiple opportunities to submit his payments, and stated as well that making the payments was possible for Sahagun, and not a financial burden.

Rye ended his announcement with the following statement:

Parents have a legal obligation to support their children. It is rare that it gets to the point of prison, however, when parents, such as Sahagun, decide to defy court orders, ignore obligations, and engage in a conscious pattern to thwart the justice system and neglect the needs of their children, all during a time they have the ability to support their children, judges should put them in prison. Mr. Sahagun fits this description. He engaged in an intentional pattern of criminal conduct over the course of several years at the expense of his children. The sentence is more than justified. The Lyon County DA Child Support Division works diligently to collect child support, including criminal prosecution in cases such as this.”


Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insights into criminal defense.


Civil and Criminal Wrongful Death Cases


It is easy to become confused about the many differences between civil and criminal charges, especially when it comes to the death of a loved one. If the death was unnecessary and could have been prevented because it was caused at the negligence of another individual (whether or not it was intentional wrongdoing), the individual will most likely face manslaughter or murder charges. Laws vary by state, however each one gives a specific outlet for the family of a wrongful death victim to obtain justice for their unjustified loss against the guilty party. Let’s talk about how criminal and civil cases differ. In a criminal case, the proof must be beyond a reasonable doubt to be deemed as evidence. This means that the jury will all need to agree that the defendant is 100 percent guilty without any doubt, and this can be an extremely difficult decision for a group of people to come to. Proof in a civil case is by preponderance of the evidence, which means that the defendant more likely than not committed the heinous act. Because each type of case differs by degree of proof, the same wrongful death case could have a very different outcome if it was put through the criminal system versus the civil.

Also, in criminal cases, charges are brought onto the defendant by the state and will lead to probation, prison time, or hefty times if the defendant is found guilty. In civil cases, private citizens argue against the defendant. The private citizen who is seeking financial compensation for the wrongful death can only be a surviving family member or dependant of the victim. If the victim and their partner were not married at the time, the partner will most likely not be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. However, if they had a child together and brought in income together, this could change. Wrongful death compensation is meant to help with any funeral costs, any income that was to be provided by the deceased, and to compensate for pain and suffering that could have been prevented. These types of compensations are specifically designed to alleviate additional stress from the victim’s loved ones.

Contact an Attorney

However, arguing a civil or criminal wrongful death case is not an easy task, and you should definitely hire an attorney such as the Wrongful Death Lawyer Miami FL locals turn to to help you through the ropes and assist you in your lawsuit.


Thanks to authors at Needle Ellenberg P.A. for their insight into Wrongful Death.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim When Someone is Murdered


The death of a loved one brings its’ fair share of heartache, but when that loved one has been murdered, it can be shocking. Family may be trying to sort out how to move forward and searching for closure after such a horrific tragedy. You may be looking for justice to be served, or to feel like the guilty has paid for the crime they committed. It may be possible to file a wrongful death claim against the person who committed the crime. It will be imperative to acquire a wrongful death attorney to help carry out the legal process. With their help, you may be able to receive compensation for the suffering you have endured and begin the healing process.

Criminal Trial vs. Wrongful Death

Wrongful death cases when someone is murdered greatly differ from a criminal/murder trial. Wrongful death is a civil suit that is brought forth by the surviving members of the family. Descendants will hire their own private attorney to represent them in the matter. In a civil suit, while you may sue for punitive damages, the person who committed the crime will not be at risk of going to prison if found guilty in the civil suit. When a person is withstanding a criminal trial, the state’s attorney presents the case to the court. In a criminal trial, the defendant will likely be imprisoned if found guilty.

Requirements for Filings a Civil Claim

In order for a family member to file a wrongful death claim, the family must be able to prove that the other person was intentionally negligent. In a situation where the loved one has been murdered, showing that someone intentionally killed the person is key. There are a few different things required to receive compensation due to their passing. Two requirements for a strong civil claim include:

  1. Proving that the person deliberately killed your loved one.
  2. Family must be able to show that they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s passing. An example of this may be medical expenses for mental health treatment or compensation for wages lost if the person who died was the breadwinner of the family.

If faced with the murder of someone you love, a wrongful death attorney is essential. It is not an easy process to go through but, with a personal injury lawyer Harrisonburg trusts on your side, you will be able to take the space needed to grieve while they handle the legalities. Filing for wrongful death can vary from state to state; an attorney can ensure that the appropriate documents are submitted to the courts correctly and in a timely manner.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Martin Wren, P.C., for their insight into personal injury.


What is Sexual Misconduct?


Sexual misconduct is defined as any unwelcome sexual behavior that is committed by coercion, manipulation, or force. It can occur in the workplace, on the street, or within a household. Sexual misconduct is committed by various types of individuals, regardless of sex. It can also occur between individuals of the same or opposite sex. If an individual is convicted of sexual misconduct, they may face a long incarceration sentencing, lifelong supervised parole, steep court costs and fines, lose their job, and be required to register as a sex offender in their community. If you have been the victim of sexual misconduct, you may want to reach out to an experienced criminal offense lawyer.

Civil Lawsuits vs Criminal Prosecution

Civil lawsuits put the accused against the accuser in court. When the alleged victim files a lawsuit stating that they were the victim of sexual misconduct, they must state how they are emotionally distressed, why they are in need of lost wages and medical expenses, and explain any physical injuries sustained. However, criminal prosecution is the action made on behalf of the general public for the purpose of punishing the accused (for example, a couple who had sexual relations in public). The state brings the case forward in criminal prosecution and if a conviction is made, the accused may have to pay financial restitution. However, this amount will most likely be far less than the accuser would receive in a civil lawsuit settlement, so it is advised that you pursue a civil lawsuit in a direct misconduct case and not go through your state.

Standard of Proof

In a criminal case, the “standard of proof” (what it takes to convict the accused) is much higher. If no logical conclusion can be formed other than that the accused committed the crime, they are convicted. The state must prove that the accused is guilty without a doubt, or “beyond reasonable doubt” as the court states. They must also provide clear and convincing evidence and preponderance of evidence. In civil cases, however, the standard of proof is way lower. Evidence is usually more prominent in a civil lawsuit case, as it is more personal.

Contact an Attorney

You should reach out to a criminal offense lawyer if you are considering pursuing a lawsuit for sexual misconduct such as the sexual assault lawyer Phoenix AZ locals turn to. They can help further assist you in court, in your claim, and make sure that you receive a fair compensation in the settlement.


Thanks to authors at Lorona Mead Attorneys at Law for their insight into Criminal Defense Law.add media

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident DUI


Being accused of drunk driving while enjoying a leisurely ride on a motorcycle can be a devastating turning point in many people’s lives. After an arrest, you may now be faced with fines, jail time, a suspension of your driver’s license and more. Not only that, but if you were involved in an accident with another car while riding your motorcycle, the other driver may file a lawsuit against you and claim you are at-fault for the wreck because you were drunk.


It may feel as if the entire world is crumbling down on top of you. Here we address the many concerns you may have in a question and answer format, in an effort to educate and get you prepared for what may come.


How will I know if the other driver decides to file a lawsuit against me?

If the other driver decides to file a lawsuit against you, they will most commonly start with submitting a petition to the court regarding the accident. You will then be notified typically within 30 days of this lawsuit against you, including a copy of the complaint. A process server or sheriff will most likely hand-deliver the documents to you, in which you must complete and return the accompanying paperwork within a designated amount of time. Do not be late in sending in the return documents, to prevent against further consequences.


How long does this person have to file a lawsuit?

The duration of time a party has to file a lawsuit to the court depends on the state you live in. Most often, the driver has up to five years after the date of the accident to submit. It can come has a huge surprise when after years later, you believe the accident was handled by your insurance company only to find out the other driver decided to file a lawsuit against you. At this time, it is recommended you seek the assistance of an attorney, like a criminal lawyer baltimore MD trusts, who can help you through the legal process.


Does my insurance company get notified of my lawsuit?

Your insurance company may not receive notice of the lawsuit in relation to the accident, so you should contact your insurance representative the same day you are served the summons. Your insurance company can play a part in the lawsuit, because if you are found at-fault then you and the agency may be financially responsible for damages and injuries related to the accident.


If I was convicted of a DUI on my motorcycle when the crash happened, what are my chances of walking away not at-fault?

It is likely the plaintiff will use your DUI charge as an argument for why you are at-fault for the accident. However, just because you were driving under the influence does not automatically mean you are at-fault. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you riding under the influence may not be a deciding factor. Your attorney can help you create a strategic plan to help fight this lawsuit against you.  


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into criminal defense.


When a Wrongful Death Suit Follows a Manslaughter Charge


It is common for the family of a loved one to bring forth a wrongful death suit in the event that a person is convicted of manslaughter. Wrongful death claims are a type of civil suit that can be filed if someone’s death was the result of another person’s negligence. In most cases, once the defendant is found guilty in a criminal court, the family of the victim will bring forth a wrongful death suit.


Contact an Attorney

When a loved one passes away due to someone’s negligent actions, you will likely want justice. A personal injury attorney can help carry this out. An attorney will be especially beneficial in managing your wrongful death case because they can be challenging to win and come with many complexities. An attorney can help you to navigate the legal system when enduring the extensive amount of preparation that is required for a wrongful death claim.


Suing for Wrongful Death after a Manslaughter Conviction

When a person is convicted of manslaughter, a civil suit for wrongful death can be brought forth. Because wrongful death is civil court and manslaughter is criminal, it is not considered “double jeopardy” which protects someone from being tried for the same crime more than once.

  • Manslaughter Charges: These charges are brought to criminal court by a prosecutor when they are charging someone with intentionally or unintentionally killing someone. Jail time could be the consequence to a conviction.
  • Wrongful Death Claim: If a defendant is found guilty of another’s death in a wrongful death claim, they will not be punished punitively with jail time. In a wrongful death suit, the family of the person who has passed away can sue the defendant for damages.


Financial Compensation

There are a few types of financial compensation that may be requested by the family depending on the circumstances surrounding the passing of a loved one.


  • Compensatory Damages: are monies that are needed in order for the plaintiff to recoup any financial losses they have suffered as the result of their loved one’s wrongful death. This can include expenses such as:
    • Lost wages from the victim
    • Medical expenses
    • Funeral expenses
    • Mental health treatment expenses that may be needed to help you or loved ones cope with the victim’s death
  • Punitive Damages: Are in addition to compensatory damages and are awarded to the claimant to punish the defendant for their wrong-doing.
    • Punitive damages are fairly common
    • They are designed to punish the defendant financially for killing another person.


It will be important to have your case assessed by a personal injury attorney who has experience in wrongful death such as the wrongful death lawyer Phoenix, AZ locals turn to. This often will come at no risk to you financially, considering it is common practice for attorneys to provide their first consultation free of charge. You may be entitled to a settlement if your loved one died due to someone’s negligent actions.

Thanks to authors at Kamper Estrada LLC for their insight into Personal Injury Law.




If you’ve been the subject of a background check, know that the employer requesting the check must follow certain steps before taking an adverse action against you based on your report.  With some exceptions, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates what employers must do to legally conduct a background check on you, or to fire or to decline to hire you based on information in your background report.


To legally obtain a background check, an employer must get your consent. The employer must also clearly and conspicuously disclose any intention to obtain an investigative consumer report (i.e., a report about your character, reputation, personal characteristics or lifestyle) and must inform you of your right to know the nature and scope of such a report.  In either case, the employer’s request for authorization must be in writing and separate from any other documents (with the exception of the background check authorization itself). Further, the employer must inform you that the information obtained may be used to make employment decisions about you.

Before conducting a background check, the employer must also provide you with documentation about your rights under the FCRA. Next, the employer must certify to the reporting agency that they complied with FCRA requirements related to disclosure and authorization and that the information will not be used for illegal discrimination. If the background check will include medical information (worker’s compensation history, for example), the information requested must be relevant, and the employer is bound by strict non-disclosure requirements.


Before taking any adverse action against you based on information in your background report, the employer must provide you with a notice of the adverse action, a copy of the background report, and a summary of your rights under FCRA, along with sufficient time for you to review and dispute the reported information. If the employer skips the steps required by FCRA, you should talk with an attorney, like discrimination lawyer Atlanta GA trusts, to determine whether your rights have been violated.


After an employer takes an adverse action against you as a result of your background report, the employer must provide you with contact information for the reporting agency, including name, address, and phone number. The employer must make it clear that the reporting agency is not responsible for the adverse action and is not in possession of any information about why the adverse action was taken. The employer must also inform you of your right to obtain the information reported if you request it from the reporting agency within 60 days. Finally, the employer must inform you about your right to dispute any inaccurate or incomplete information with the reporting agency. If the employer skips any of these steps after taking an adverse action against you, you should consult with an attorney who has experience with FCRA claims and Federal Trade Commission complaints.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Barrett & Farahany for their insight into background checks.


Can a Public Relations Firm Help my Criminal Case?


Being in the public eye for a criminal act is usually the last way that a person to gain their 15 minutes of fame. If you are charged with a crime, you are probably working with a defense attorney for legal representation. Public relations can be a way to compliment the representation that you are receiving. Many attorneys look to a PR firm New York, NY, trusts to manage the information being covered by media so that they can focus on the legalities of the case. It is not uncommon for a publicist to play an active role in a criminal case by partnering with the defendant and attorney.

Public Relations

Public relations and high profile legal cases often go hand in hand. This is a primary reason for law firms to employ a public relations firm to help manage the public’s perception of a case. Some law firms may even employ an in-house publicist for this very reason. Without someone to manage media outlets during a court case, the coverage may take a direction that is unmanageable and unhelpful for the defense. The media can have a great influence on the outcome of a legal case; and can paint a picture of a person who is guilty without having all of the information. While an attorney may be good at managing legal complexities, PR may not be their area of expertise. A PR firm can help take back control of the dialogue happening in the media.  

The Impact of Media Coverage

Cases that involve someone who is famous or sparks interest among the public usually garner vast amounts of media coverage. Through social media, a case can quickly receive national attention. Often, the media will develop a biased perspective of a person who is charged with a crime. Nowadays, information is readily available to the public within seconds.  A PR firm will be vital in providing a quick response media outlets.

High Profile Cases

There are various reasons for a criminal case to be covered by the media. There are a number of cases that have gained attention because they are more than just a criminal case; they result in the occurrence of a social cause. There are a number of criminal cases that have brought forth social movements and even shifted the law. Examples of high profile criminal cases include:

  • The OJ Simpson Trial
  • The Rodney King Beating
  • Scott Peterson Trial
  • Casey Anthony Trial

There will be much in question if you have been charged with a crime and must endure legal proceedings. It’s likely that you will be worried about serving time for the crime you have been accused of. Contending with the media if your case is in the public eye will only add to the stressors you are likely experiencing. With a publicist as part of your legal team, you can be assured that a professional with experience is managing your case in the media so that your attorney can manage your case in the courtroom.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Goldman McCormick for their insight into public relations.


Fleeing the Scene of an Accident


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 Phoenix AZ relies 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.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Lorona Mead for their insight into fleeing the scene of an accident.


Do You Need A Lawyer For A Speeding Ticket?



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.