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Answers To Common Questions From Those Facing Criminal Charges

Posted by on 1:51 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answers To Common Questions From Those Facing Criminal Charges

There are few experiences in life that can be more stressful or frightening than being formally charged with a crime. Sadly, there are many people that are unsure of what they should expect from the criminal justice system. To help you be better prepared for the legal aspects of this situation, you might need to have a few questions answered. What If The Bail Is Set Too High? In order to allow individuals to help formulate their defense and to minimize disruptions to the lives of defendants, the court system allows individuals to post bail so that they will be able to leave jail until their trial date. Unfortunately, the courts can set bail that is too high for low-income defendants to pay. When this is the case, it is often possible to have your attorney petition to have the bail reduced. For this type of petition to be successful, the attorney will need to show that you are not a flight risk and that it is impossible for you to make the bail payment given your financial circumstances. When Will You Be Offered A Plea Bargain? It is common for prosecutors to offer defendants plea bargains as a way to minimize court costs. However, while it is common for these deals to be offered, you should be aware that the prosecutor is under no obligation to offer a plea bargain to every defendant. Rather, the offering of a plea deal will largely depend on the strength of the evidence against the defendant. Additionally, you should never blindly accept a plea bargain without first having it reviewed by an experienced criminal defense attorney. These professionals will be able to ensure that you fully understand the terms of your plea bargain, and they can also let you know whether accepting the bargain would be wise given your particular case. How Do Criminal Attorneys Charge Clients For Their Services? When it goes to paying a criminal defense attorney, it is important to understand that attorneys can charge their clients in a couple of different ways. One of the more common is for the defendant to pay an hourly rate for the services of the attorney. On a regular basis, the attorney will provide the defendant with an invoice for their billable hours, and they will cease working on the case until this invoice is paid. For simple cases or clients that may have difficulty paying an hourly rate, there are many attorneys that work on a flat fee basis. By paying their flat fee, you will be able to retain their services through most of your proceedings. These professionals may require an additional fee for appeals due to the additional work that is involved with preparing the appellate briefs for these cases. For more information, contact a criminal law attorney, like one from Begley Carlin & Mandio...

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When Do You Need A Lawyer For Your Workplace Injury?

Posted by on 3:35 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Do You Need A Lawyer For Your Workplace Injury?

If you are injured at work, you should get treatment, receive workers’ compensation benefits, and resume work once you are healed. That is the ideal process, and some people actually benefit from it without the need of a lawyer. However, you need a lawyer for your work-related-injury issues if: You Have Serious Injuries If your injury keeps you from work for a few weeks and doesn’t leave you with any permanent disability, then you may be able to handle it without a lawyer’s input provided there are no other complications. However, if you have a serious injury that may keep you out of work for months, you are better off letting an attorney handle it. The same is true if your injuries lead to a disability. This is because a small error can lead to a huge loss of benefits for serious injuries. For minor injuries, the difference (in terms of the benefits) between having a lawyer and processing the claim on your own may not be significant. Your Employer Wants You To Return To Work Before You Are Ready Ideally, you should return to work when you have reached your point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). You can then resume your pre-injury workload or start with lighter duties as you reintegrate into the workplace. The weekly benefits usually stop once you start receiving wages that are equal or greater than your pre-injury wages. Once in a while, however, an employer asks an injured employee to return to work before the employee is fully recovered. This can intensify the injuries, undo the work already done by the treating physician, and lead to decreased productivity. If that ever happens to you, you need a lawyer who understands what the law says about returning to work after an injury. That way you will be in a better position to safeguard your interests. You Believe A Position Has Been Create For You At Work You also need a lawyer if a new position has been created for you at work. This is dangerous because you will be out of work if the position becomes irrelevant, which can happen anytime. If the position did not exist before you were injured, how can you tell that it is integral to your employer’s needs? Some employers do this if they don’t want to fire you because it would create legal problems for them, but don’t want to retain you either due to your injuries. In short, analyze the circumstances of your injuries and decide whether you need an attorney. You probably don’t need a lawyer for a minor injury if your employer is cooperating and you are getting the benefits you deserve. However, consult a lawyer any time you foresee a difficulty with your case. If you’re interested, click the following link for more about this topic....

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Divorce Paperwork Necessary In California

Posted by on 8:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Divorce Paperwork Necessary In California

If you have been thinking about starting a divorce or legal separation, the paperwork may seem daunting. In California, there is a specific set of paperwork you must file in order to initiate the process. Understanding the required information ahead of time will help you make smart decisions about the upcoming proceedings. Petition – Marriage/Domestic Partnership (FL-100) This petition is the first you will submit when you are looking to start a divorce or legal separation. This form will ask you to list the dates, property you own together, debts you owe, and children you have. Summons (FL-110) This is the document required to send to your partner or spouse notifying them that a court case has been initiated. The summons will also notify your partner or spouse of the events that will occur in the event that he or she does not respond to the summons within 30 days. Proof of Service of Summons (FL-115) This document is used to inform the court that you have served papers to your spouse or domestic partner. Generally, you are not allowed to serve the papers yourself. You may need to rely on a process service to complete this step. Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (FL-105/GC-120) This divorce paperwork is only necessary if you have minor children, those under the age of 18. You must fill out the form and file it along with your petition. This document is used to inform the court of the child’s residence. This document will also include information about other custody orders involving you, your partner, and the child(ren) in question. Child Custody and Visitation Application Attachment (FL-311) This form is optional and only necessary if you have minor children. You would need to fill out this form if you want to ensure that you provide an adequate overview of your current custody arrangement. Property Declaration (Family Law) Form (FL-160) This form is necessary for those who require more than the allotted amount of space to list any property you own and debts you may owe. The form allows you to list each item individually, as well as each owed debt. You also need to specify whether each item is community, meaning it belongs to both of you, or separate, meaning that it is solely yours or your partner’s.   No matter what kind of divorce you are going through, these documents may be required in California to ensure that you do not miss any steps along the...

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The Many Types Of Intellectual Property?

Posted by on 10:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Many Types Of Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property is a pretty important legal field that has an impact on many aspects of your life. If you have any intention of owning your own brand, creating your own products, inventing anything, or even if you are just a normal consumer of products, then learning about the different forms of intellectual property can be quite helpful. To help you get started, here are the three main types of intellectual property: What material does a copyright cover? Copyrights are probably the type of intellectual property that you have heard the most about, since copyright protection is a rather popular topic nowadays. The basic idea is that a copyright allows you to protect a creative work from being reproduced or sold. Having a copyright allows you to control who can and cannot copy and sell your work, which allows you to have some degree of control over how much money you make from your product. Many different materials are covered, including movies, books, plays, video games, songs, and television shows. However, it’s important to note that another work needs to have copied your copyrighted work if you want to take it to court. If there are just some similarities (such as two movies that have very similar characters and stories), then your lawsuit might not be very successful. What material does a patent cover? While a copyright covers creative materials, a patent protects the more technological and industrial side of things. If you design some revolutionary new process or creation, then a patent can help you secure exclusive rights to that invention. This can allow you to sell your invention or use it for your own benefit until the patent runs out. Patents are also one of the hardest types of intellectual property to acquire because your invention will need to satisfy a long list of requirements in order to qualify for patent acquisition. What material does a trademark cover? Finally, trademarks cover specific concepts that relate to branding and identification of companies. Words, logos, shapes, and images can be trademarks, which makes the field pretty difficult to pin down. This is made even murkier by the fact that you don’t really need to apply for a trademark in some cases. Instead, simply using your logo for a long period of time will allow you to have some claim to that logo as a trademark by default. If another company then infringes on your trademark, you will have the ability to take them to court, even though you never officially purchased the rights to your...

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Legal Advantages Of Being The First To File For Divorce

Posted by on 2:25 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Legal Advantages Of Being The First To File For Divorce

When a married couple divorces, the one who initiates the divorce proceedings has several advantages over their partner. The advantages may be psychological, financial, or even legal. Here are three legal advantages you may enjoy by being the first to file for divorce: Choice of Jurisdiction If you live in different states, then you can both file for divorce in your respective states. You just need to satisfy your state’s residency requirements. The divorce proceedings will continue in the jurisdiction of the spouse who files first. The location of your divorce has a great impact on divorce process or outcome since states have different divorce rules. For example, a few states recognize fault divorces, which may benefit “innocent” spouses. You may, for example, apply for a fault divorce and (if you can prove the fault) walk away with a larger portion of your marital property. Chance to Withdraw the Petition It is easier for the spouse who filed for divorce to stop the process than it is for their spouse. If you initiated the proceedings and changed your mind shortly afterward, you can go to court and withdraw the petition. Each state has its own set of procedures to follow, but it usually involves completing and filing a document at the court where you submitted your petition. However, you have no such luck if you did not initiate the divorce proceedings. In that case, all you can do is to contest the elements in your partner’s petition, such as property and debt settlement. Chance to Control the Timing Finally, deciding to act, rather than waiting for your spouse to do it, may allow you to time your divorce to your benefit. Timing has a great effect on different aspects of divorce. For example, in most states, the assets you acquire after filing for divorce are your separate property, not marital property, which means you get to keep them during asset division. However, even if you decided a long time ago to divorce your spouse, but you haven’t submitted the relevant petition, anything you earn will be divided between you since it is considered marital property. Therefore, taking the initiative may help you time your divorce to help you protect your assets. Therefore, if you have made up your mind to divorce your partner, it’s best to consult an attorney and be the first to file the divorce petition. However, you aren’t doomed if your spouse beats you to the punch. Just react fast by consulting a lawyer to help you reply to the divorce petition. For more information, contact a local firm like McKone &...

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Potential Complications That May Make An Annulment Unappealing

Posted by on 3:14 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Potential Complications That May Make An Annulment Unappealing

Getting an annulment is an effective way of treating your previous marriage as if it never existed. However, an annulment isn’t for everybody because it is fraught with some complications. Here are three examples of such complications: You Might Not Get Spousal Support An annulment can destabilize you financially because your spouse isn’t legally obligated to support you after the marriage has been voided. This is unlike a divorce where you are entitled to financial support not only during the divorce process but also after the divorce is finalized. Consider an example where you quit your job to take care of your family after getting married. If your marriage is annulled a few months later, you may be left jobless and without spousal support. Only in a few states will you be awarded spousal support if your marriage is annulled after many years. Property Division Might Not Take Place In most states, if your marriage is annulled, each of you returns to their previous state before marriage. This means the property isn’t divided; rather, each of you retains the properties in their names. Therefore, if the house is in your spouse’s name, then they get to keep it. So you can be living in the same house today and tomorrow you have to move out because your spouse has a new roommate and you no longer live with them. Even if they decide to sell the house, they don’t have to seek your permission because the house isn’t your marital property. Proving the Annulment Ground May Be Difficult Each state has specific grounds for which a marriage can be annulled. The common ones include bigamy, incest, fraud, duress, and mental incompetence, among others. Also, the ground on which you are basing your application must have existed before your union. As is the usual case with legal requirements, you have to prove your ground. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. For example, proving that your partner was mentally incompetent or impotent before your union isn’t easy; you may require expensive expert testimony. In fact, if your state allows it, it might be easier to get a no-fault divorce than an annulment. Therefore, if you wish to declare your marriage void, do your research and understand the potential obstacles. Consult a family lawyer to help you understand how the legal ramifications apply to your unique situation before making a decision. In some cases, you may be better off with a divorce. To learn more, contact a family lawyer like Watson Law...

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Why Social Security May Call For Independent Medical Examination

Posted by on 8:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Social Security May Call For Independent Medical Examination

Independent medical examination (IME) isn’t a requirement from everybody applying for Social Security Disability benefits. However, some people may be required to undergo it before their application can be processed. Here are three situations in which the Social Security Administration may send you to an independent medical examiner: Your Doctor Prefers Not To Perform the CE Doctors aren’t obliged to perform the consultative examination for Social Security.  Your doctor may decline to give the examination for one reason or another. For example, the doctor may decline to give the examination due to a busy workload. Since fees for these examinations are set by the Social Security, your doctor may prefer not to give you the CE if they feel the fees are too low and their time may be more valuable elsewhere. Whatever your doctors reason for boycotting the examination, you still have to be examined, so the SSA will send you to an independent examiner. The SSA Has Unfavorable Experience with Your Doctor The SSA has been sending people for medical examinations for many years, so it’s likely that they have dealt with many doctors in your area. If their experience with your doctor has been less-than-satisfactory, they may prefer to send you to an independent doctor instead. For example, it may be that your doctor hasn’t been cooperative with prior clients before or always sends incomplete examination reports. Your Doctor Lacks the Necessary Equipment The SSA determines the information it needs to handle your applications. Your doctor may be unable to supply the information required by the SSA if the doctor doesn’t have the necessary equipment to conduct the tests. In this case, you will be referred to an independent medical examiner with the necessary equipment. Your Doctor Is Unavailable Lastly, you may also get sent to an independent examiner if your treating physician is unavailable. This usually happens if you haven’t been treated by a doctor for a long time, and you have moved (or your doctor has moved). To make matters worse, this gap in treatment may also raise the need for medical examination because your health status may have changed from the last time you were treated. In such a case, you may be sent to an IME instead of wasting resources to locate your former treating physician. Whatever reasons send you to the independent medical examiner, its best to comply with the SSA’s directives because failure to do so may get your case dismissed. However, it’s in your best interest to consult an attorney before going for the exam. Your doctor will prepare you for the example, educate you on what to expect and how to behave during the examination. For more information, contact Todd East Attorney at Law or a similar legal...

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3 Myths About Corporate Lawyers

Posted by on 12:22 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Myths About Corporate Lawyers

Becoming a corporate lawyer is something that many potential law students are interested in. They often image high salaries as well as boardroom meetings and court. Many also associate being a corporate lawyer with high stress and crazy work hours. While there may be a handful of corporate law jobs that fit the stereotype, the reality is usually quite different. Here are three common myths about corporate law. It’s Always High Paying The salary for a corporate lawyer is somewhere between $66,000 and $170,000. There is a lot of variation in these numbers due to a variety of factors. Things like experience, employer, and even location can play a big role in how much a corporate lawyer takes home. Recent graduates of law school tend to fall on the low end of this salary range while experienced lawyers tend to fall on the high end. One thing that is true is that corporate law does on average pay more than what many other types of law pay. The average annual salary for lawyers in general is $133,470 while the average annual salary for a corporate lawyer working for companies and enterprises is $169,890.  Time Is Split Between The Boardroom and Courtroom Spending time in the courtroom is actually a rarity for many corporate lawyers. Corporate law is usually focused on drafting contracts and other business dealings. The main goal of many corporate lawyers is to make sure that their company’s transactions are legal. Often this type of law is said to be closer to banking than to law. This doesn’t mean that no time is spent int he courtroom. In fact, some companies do hire corporate lawyers just for litigation purposes. Either way, it is rare for a lawyer’s time to be spent evenly between the boardroom and the courtroom They Work All The Time Like many jobs, sometimes law requires working nights and weekends. One myth of corporate lawyers is that they spend every waking moment at work. While some big law firms and corporate offices may require a lot of time spent on work, not all corporate lawyers work crazy hours. Many firms do require that their employees work somewhere between 60 and 80 hours a week. Other lawyers often end up working less depending on where they work and their responsibilities.  Corporate law is something that many entering law school consider. Others may be turned off by this type of law’s reputation. The truth is that it is a very diverse field of law. Some corporate lawyers spend hours in the courtroom while others spend the majority of their time in the boardroom. The salary earned varies greatly from job to job as do working hours. Contact a corporate lawyer, like Ashley West at Carter West Law, for more...

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Got Your Eye on a Short Sale? Watch Out for These Legal Pitfalls

Posted by on 12:02 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Got Your Eye on a Short Sale? Watch Out for These Legal Pitfalls

When a homeowner faces foreclosure, the lending institution who holds the lien on the home may choose to allow the owner to sell the home for less than what is currently owed on the house. If you’re in the market for a new home, a short sale can be a great way to purchase a house at a bargain price. However, they can pose some legal pitfalls if you don’t know what to watch out for. Following are some of the more common pitfalls associated with short sales.  Banks May Not Disclose More often than not, homes are sold “as is” in a short sale, which means that the bank will not make any repairs on the home before you take possession. Additionally, banks often do not have to disclose potential problems with the home the same way that a private seller would. If the home is in a flood plain, affected by termite damage, or otherwise damaged, you will not have any legal recourse to seek compensation after you take possession. Any problems with the home, such as non-permitted additions, will also become your responsibility. You may even have to pay fines for problems that you didn’t know existed.  Closing Can Take a Long Time It can take a long time for a bank to approve a short sale because it can take a while for them to investigate the proposal and make a decision. What’s more, banks may push back closing dates due to legal issues surrounding the property. They may even pull the plug on a deal at the last minute. The bottom line is that you can’t depend on a closing date when you purchase a home through a short sale.  Debt May Be Attached Debts, such as liens and back taxes, may be attached to a property when you purchase it via a short sale. And since you are purchasing the home for less than what is owed, there may be some unexpected creditors that come out of the woodwork looking for their money. For example, the holder of a second mortgage may seek payment from you once you take ownership of the home.  Since there is so much legal red tape involved with short sales, it’s vital that you hire a real estate attorney with experience in short sales. An attorney can help you uncover potential pitfalls before they become problems. An attorney can also research the property to make sure there aren’t any liens or debts attached to the...

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4 Things To Know About Car Accident Lawsuits In Michigan

Posted by on 1:31 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things To Know About Car Accident Lawsuits In Michigan

If you live in Michigan and have been involved in a car accident, you need to understand how the state’s unique no-fault car insurance requirements affect your ability to sue the driver who was responsible for the accident.  #1 Your Insurance Covers Your Injuries In the state of Michigan, all drivers are required to carry no-fault car insurance. Essentially, no-fault car insurance means that you carry your own personal injury protection policy.  If you are involved in an auto accident, instead of relying on the other driver’s insurance to pay your medical bills, your auto insurance is obligated to pay your medical bills for you. They are also required to cover any lost wages that you suffer as a result of the accident. Your insurance is obligated to pay for all of your medical expenses up to the limits of your policy. #2 No Insurance? That’s Your Problem If you don’t have insurance, the other driver’s insurance company is not obligated to pay your medical bills. In fact, if you don’t have insurance and are involved in a car accident, you could find yourself facing a ticket or fine for breaking the law and failing to operate a vehicle without property insurance.  #3 Serious Injuries Are The Only Ones That Make It To Court Due to Michigan’s no-fault car insurance policy, if your insurance will pay for your medical bills and lost wages, you cannot pursue the at-fault driver through the court system. This policy was put in place so that small vehicular accident lawsuits would stop clogging up the court system. The only exception to this rule are serious injuries. If you sustained a serious injury that either caused permanent damage, serious disfigurement, or serious impairment, you can pursue the other driver in court of any and all expenses that exceed those covered under your no-fault insurance policy. #4 Statute Of Limitation Still Applies If you sustained serious injuries, it is important to note that there is a statute of limitations to your claim. If you sustained serious injuries, you have three years from the date of your accident to start your claim. That means your attorney would need to file the initial complaint as well as the summons within one year of the date of your accident.  If you were involved in a car accident in Michigan, more than likely your injuries will be covered through your own insurance policy and you will not need to sue the other driver for payment of your injuries. You can only sue the other driver if you sustained serious injuries that exceeded your no-fault insurance policy.  Consult with a company like Barton Smith & Barton LLP to learn more about your rights in situations like...

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