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MUST SEE TV? THE MYTHS OF MIRANDA WARNINGS

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On a daily basis, someone tells me the following “they didn’t even read me my Miranda rights”.  Because police television shows and movies have been popular for fifty years; everyone has heard, “You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney….”  Even Mom can give a Miranda warning from hearing it so often on television. But does that familiarity help to explain the rights of an accused, or not?

        Reality is very different from television and movies.  Although what you hear actors saying may be correct; that is where the confusion begins and further it has created an urban legend of misunderstanding in our society.  In this blog I will not delve into the history of Miranda v. Arizona. Nor will I discuss in detail what the specific rights are; as noted above, you can probably recite them!  What I am going to write about is when do these rights apply to you. In other words, when does a cop have to read you your rights?

        The short answer to this question is simple; maybe never.  The Miranda rights do not have to be recited you unless two things occur.  First, you must be under arrest. Police are generally trained to ask a lot of questions prior to an actual arrest, so watch your words.  The Miranda rights do not apply during this questioning and you may incriminate yourself.  So, if an officer walks up to you on the street and begins asking questions (and you’re not under arrest); he/she can do that without Miranda being a concern.  Anything you say at that time is evidence and can be used against you without violating your rights. Officers are trained to say, “I just have some questions, you’re not under arrest,” just to get people to talk.  This tactic is specifically used to get around Miranda. Once the phrase, “you are under arrest,” is said, then Miranda rights may become mandatory.

        The Second item is that the police must want to question you. There are times when the police may not need your statement or even care to talk to you.  Street cameras sometimes speak for you, for instance. If the police are interested in asking you about a crime, they must give the warning. If they are simply making small talk or asking you what you want for dinner while in jail, there is no need for the warning.

        Now you know how Miranda rights apply in a criminal case.  Hopefully, I have cleared up this widely misunderstood area of criminal procedure and you can ignore the television shows that use these important rights for dramatic effect.  Always remember, you are your best protection, so keep quiet until you talk to your lawyer, like a criminal defense lawyer State College, PA trusts.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from De Boef Lucchesi, P.C. for their insight into miranda rights.

Facing a DUI Charge?

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Driving under the influence of alcohol is a grave mistake that can cause you, or someone else, a great deal of pain and suffering. Not only is driving under the influence of alcohol risky because it can cause accidents resulting in bodily injury or death, but it can also cost you a lot more. For example, depending on the circumstances of your case, a DUI conviction may result in losing your license, being charged significant fines, an order to attend mandatory substance abuse counseling, an order for mandatory use of a ignition interlock device, and even substantial jail time. If you feel as if you have been wrongly charged with a DUI, these potential outcomes seem particularly terrible because you did not commit the crime with which you are charged. That is where the attorneys at [law firm] may be able to help. In the event you or a loved one needs legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact a DUI attorney MD relies on to assist.

They Know the Law

Over their years of experience practicing law the attorneys at have learned laws and the court procedures with proficiency. This is an important part of providing competent legal representation. Knowing the courts, judges, prosecutors, and court system can save you time and stress. Knowing the law will help your case. The attorneys  know the defenses available and they know how to assert them to benefit your case.

They Know You

Their years of experience have also allowed the attorneys] to represent a number of criminal defendants and many who have had DUI charges filed against them. They have almost certainly represented defendants just like you with charges similar to yours. Because they have seen so many cases, including cases similar to yours, they have well-developed strategies for handling your case. They know how to spot errors in law enforcement action and procedure. They know your legal rights and defenses, and they are capable of providing competent advocacy to get you a fair result at trial. Not only do they understand your case and the charges against you, they also understand what you are going through and they are capable of providing you the support you need to get your life back on track.


Thank you to the The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C for providing their insight on DUI charges.

What are my visitation rights after a criminal conviction?

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If a parent is convicted of a crime, they are usually concerned about how it will affect their custody agreements and visitation rights. There is no perfectly correct way to predict how this will change your parenting schedule as no situation is exactly like another. In some cases, a court may make changes to custody orders due to a criminal conviction.

How is the child affected?

Courts prefer to keep a consistent schedule when dealing with family law and don’t typically make changes to a child’s routine unnecessarily. The specific criminal conviction is considered when deciding whether to change a custody order. Most importantly, they want to determine if the behavior that led to the crime could influence their presence with their child and if it will have negative effects on the child. In order to decide, the court looks for unquestionable evidence that it is best to change the order.

  • Types of convictions regarding domestic violence, assault or substance abuse problems are all behavioral issues that could influence your custody agreement.
  • A conviction as a result of illegal sexual behavior is also a likely ignition for change.
  • Something like a bounced check might not have as much weight in custody decisions.

Conditions on Parent Time

A court can place any condition on parental visitation if it will benefit the child. Conditions based on the nature of the conviction that affect parenting time can also be added to changes on custody agreements. For example, a conviction related to Driving Under the Influence (DUI) might result in a court order requiring a third party to transport the children. Possession of drugs in your home may limit your parenting to public space or supervision only. Sometimes drug tests could be required to maintaining parenting time.

Parental Involvement

Unless it is detrimental to the child’s well-being, the court is going to encourage both parents to have a relationship with the child. If it is possible, the court wants both parents to have parenting time available. The court will even arrange for supervised visitation if necessary for a parent. Professional organizations and third party individuals can be allowed by the court to facilitate supervision for visitation. However, a court can also change a custody order or visitation of a non-parent who is involved with the children. If this non-parent has received a criminal conviction and the court believes they are a bad influence, the court can prevent a child from living or visiting with this non-parent.

A Skilled Attorney Can Help

A parent facing a criminal charge or has received a conviction should look to hire a skilled attorney, like a family lawyer Tampa FL trusts. An attorney can help you decide what is best for your family and maintain your family relationship. If your case goes to court, an attorney can help you present well and hopefully maintain your custody agreement, or alter it favorably.  


Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Mckinney Law Group for their insight into family law.

 

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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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.

 

BACKGROUND CHECK? KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.

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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.

BEFORE CONDUCTING A BACKGROUND CHECK

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 ADVERSE ACTION BASED ON BACKGROUND REPORT

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 TAKING ADVERSE ACTION BASED ON BACKGROUND REPORT

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.