Monthly Archives: December 2015

Common Services Offered By Pre-paid Legal Plans

Considering a pre-paid legal plan? He’s a run-down of the services  you”re most likely to get and also some legal documents you need to sign before you enrol.
Telephone and Office Consultation: You have unlimited telephone access to  a panel of attorneys regarding any legal matter of interest to you. You  can also make brief consultation visits to your lawyer for up to 30  minutes per day at no cost to you.  The only condition placed on these two benefits is that you enquire about  a different legal matter.  This aspect of coverage provided by legal plans is one of the most  beneficial because it promotes preventive law. Preventive law is very much  like preventive medicine – it helps in anticipating potential problems and  taking the appropriate legal steps so that unnecessary legal problems or  risks are avoided. With a simple phone call to your lawyer you can avoid  getting embroiled in a hellish legal situation, and you can even identify  legal rights you don’t even know you had.
Follow-Up Service: The panel of lawyers will write letters and make phone  calls on your behalf to adverse third parties. Such follow-up service may  be all it takes to solve many of your legal problems.
Legal document review: Simple personal legal documents, such as your  insurance policies, sales contracts and leases will be reviewed. Any  questions of legal nature that you have about the documents will also get  answered by your attorney.
Drafting of wills: A will is a written document that regulates how you want  your property distributed after your death. Your attorney will draft your  will according to your state’s laws so that it’s valid when you die. He  will also advise you on any provisions you might want to consider, such as  appointing a guardian and establishing a trust.
Discount on regular fees: Any additional services not covered in the  written fee agreement will be at regular fees – either hourly or flat –  with a discount between 20 to 30%. These services generally include family  matters, such as divorce and the custody of children, and court  representation, such as traffic tickets and lawsuits.
Some of the legal paperwork you need to read carefully, agree on and sign  include the following:
Written fee agreement: This is an agreement that outlines what services are  provided in the plan, how much it costs and the methods of payment.
Grievance procedure: This document details the procedures that will be  taken by the provide to resolve any complaints about attorneys or disputes  regarding service fees.

A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Defend Against A Misdemeanor Charge

A misdemeanor isn’t as heavy as other crimes but you can be charged for it and this will become part of your permanent record. Fortunately, you can fight it with the help of a criminal defense lawyer.
When you are charted with a misdemeanor, you are given a citation which states the date and time that you will appear in court.
Do you have to see a lawyer? Some people do so immediately so they can be guided throughout the process. For that, you have to hire one. Surely you can get somebody because if you don’t, a state appointed lawyer will be the one to help you but they don’t do that well compared to private counsel.
For you to quality a state appointed counsel, you will have to fill up a form. You will also be required to reimburse the state for the legal services of the public defender.
When you finally hire a lawyer, tell them what happened because only then will they be able to figure out a strategy to help you out. For instance, your lawyer can argue that illegal items that were found in your possession were planted. If that is the case, during the arraignment proceedings, you will enter a plea of not guilty.
What is the difference between a plea of guilty and not guilty? If you enter a guilty plea, you give up the right to a trial since you admit to the crime. However, when you plead not guilty, you will stand trial and the jury will decide whether or not you are really guilty of the crime.
Here, the prosecution will be bringing in witnesses, police reports and the evidence. Your criminal defense lawyer will have the chance here to dispute the findings and if he or she is successful, reasonable doubt is achieved and your chances of getting a not guilty verdict become higher.
Once the closing arguments are made, the jury will now deliberate. If you are found to be not guilty, then you walk. But if you are guilty, then you will be sentenced shortly which may mean paying a fine, spending some time in jail, doing community service and placed on probation. You can appeal your case of course which will be done by your criminal defense lawyer.
The objective in this proceeding is to get you a not guilty verdict so you don’t have to spend time in jail. However, if you are guilty and given the option to make a deal, perhaps you should take it.
The process of facing a misdemeanor charge is the same even if you are below 18 years of age. The only difference is that a parent or guardian is also present together with your lawyer when you have to face the judge.
Since being charged with a misdemeanor isn’t that serious, some people decide to represent themselves. If you decide to do this, make sure you are familiar with the law and the procedures involved in your case because during trial, no one will help you or advise you on what you should do. But if are not sure how the legal process goes, why trouble yourself when you can hire a criminal defense lawyer who does this for a living.

Find A Lawyer After A Boating Accident

Finding a lawyer after being involved in a boating accident is very important.  Whether you were the cause of the accident or you were the victim, securing effective legal counsel can make your life dealing with the accident much easier.
What should you look for in a lawyer?  Well, you should first ask questions and find a lawyer who specializes or at least has some experience with boating accidents.  After an accident has happened – especially a boating accident – finding a lawyer might not be your first inclination, and it shouldn’t be.  But you should find your lawyer as soon after the boating accident as possible.
Believe it or not, maritime accidents carry the same possibility of penalties and fines as a car accident.  Depending on the severity of the accident, the amount of damages awarded is often just as large as with a car wreck.  Of course, we hope you had already secured adequate boating insurance, but if you are the victim, you still need to have all of the information you can get. Typically, powerboats such as runabouts, cabin cruisers and jet skis are the most common watercraft to be involved in boating accidents, although sailboats can be involved in accidents as well.  The most frequent sources of injuries are caused from propeller accidents and collisions. Because personal watercraft such as jet skis can’t be steered when the throttle is released, inexperienced drivers often have collisions when confronted with an emergency. Serious personal injury and even death can occur due to a boating collision or from a person falling over the side of a watercraft and drowning.   As the operator of a vessel you are required by law to file a formal, written report of an accident.  Reports must generally be filed within 48 hours of the date of the accident.  That is applicable whether there are injuries or not. In general, you will only need to find a lawyer after a boating accident if there is some damage done either to the coastline, the boats, or in the loss of life or serious injuries.  Just to be safe, it’s still a good idea to file a report with your state maritime authority so you can avoid any fines that might come about for not filing an accident report. Boating accident attorneys will approach the accident just as they would a car accident.  They will speak on your behalf using previous laws to strengthen your case.  Their job is to obtain compensation both for damages as well as injuries, if there are any. Finding a lawyer after a boating accident is definitely a good step to take when becoming involved in a wreck on the water.  If for nothing else, you will be properly represented and properly defended dependig on what side of the accident you are on.

Life As A Criminal Defense Lawyer

Life as a criminal defense lawyer is not easy when your job is basically to help those who are arrested of a crime. While some of the clients you meet are innocent, many of them are guilty and have had previous run-ins with the law.
Since the law dictates that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and you decided to specialize in this field, you have to defend this person by putting up the best defense there is available.
There are various strategies you can use to get your client off. You can plead insanity or claim that someone else did the crime. If your client has something to offer, you can make a deal with the district attorney in exchange for the client being granted immunity.
But before you decide what cards to play, you have to talk to your client. If this person is in jail, you have to go there and ask what happened. You should already discuss whether to enter a guilty or not guilty plea because your client will be arraigned shortly.
When a trial date has been set, you can get a copy of the documents of the case from the district attorney’s office because by law, both sides are supposed to view everything from the police reports to the evidence.
You will also get a copy of the people the prosecution will be calling to the witness stand as they too will also be aware of that so there will be no surprises during trial.
When it is your turn to cross examine the witness, you should use whatever is available to cast doubt on their testimony because this is the only way that the jury may be convinced that your client is not capable of doing the crime. Using expert witnesses of your own is also helpful since they can dispute the claims of the other camp.
Before the jury will reach its verdict, you will have one last chance to state your client’s innocence when you are given the opportunity for your closing argument. When it is all over, you just have to wait for the decision of the court to take the next course of action.
Your client’s not guilty verdict means your job is done and you can move on and work with another client. A guilty verdict means you have to stay on as counsel for this individual and appeal the jury’s decision to a higher court so you can perhaps get a reversal.
The best way to win an appeal is to determine if there is something in the trial that shouldn’t have happened or was overlooked. These technicalities are better known as constitutional protections. For instance, the client’s confession was taken without the presence of a lawyer so whatever they said is inadmissible in court. The same goes if a search was done without a warrant.
There are many examples which you can use. You may even cite a case with similar circumstances because this serves as precedence to the one you are working on.
The life of a criminal defense lawyer is challenging no matter how many times you have been inside the court room. This is because you get to work with different clients each time since someone who was innocent can no longer be charged with the same offense because of the principle of double jeopardy.