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Steps to Take Before Being Sentenced

After a person has been found guilty either by pleading guilty, accepting a plea agreement or being found guilty by a judge or jury, the next phase of the criminal case is sentencing. The sentencing phase determines how much time a person will be ordered to serve as well as any other sentences that will be imposed. It is important that the defendant through his or her lawyer take certain steps before he or she is sentenced.

Five Acts Better Left for Professionals in Criminal Defense Cases

While your life, liberty and reputation may be on the line in a criminal case, there are certain aspects of your criminal defense that may be better left for your lawyer to handle.

When Is a Person Legally Insane?

The insanity defense is one of th emost controversial defenses. Additionally, it has one of the lowest success rates among all criminal defenses. Knowing about the insanity defense and when this defense may apply has the potential to help a criminal defendant who may be able to assert this defense.

Criminal Appeal Based on Unfair Trial

In the United States, all criminal defendants have the right to receive a fair trial. There are numerous constitutional safeguards in place to help protect these rights.

Police Interrogation and Confessions

When someone is suspected of committing a crime, one of the most effective ways to convict the individual is to present a confession from him or her admitting to the crime.

Criminal Cases and Marital Exceptions

One of the biggest public policies in the United States is protecting the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is considered by many to be a sacred bond. As such, the privacy between spouses to be able to talk about nearly anything is also held sacred. This truism also operates in many courts of law. In most jurisdictions, it is difficult or impossible to force one spouse to testify against another spouse. This concept is referred to as marital privilege.

Rules Regarding Evidence Spoliation

At civil trials, both parties may present evidence and testimony to prove their side of the story. In many cases, the most effective way to convince others of a party’s side is by presenting physical evidence or documentary evidence. However, getting rid of evidence before it can be used in court can have a significant impact on a case and important implications.

Static-99 Reports Explained

In criminal cases, it is common for there to be a number of confusing terms, such as arraignment, indictment, information, constitutional rights and other legal jargon that only experienced lawyers understand. One term that many criminal defendants are not often aware of is a Static-99 report.

Police Confessionals

One of the most common pieces of advice that a lawyer gives to his or her client is not to say anything. This is especially true when dealing with statements made to the police.

Can a Spouse Testify Against His or Her Spouse?

When one or both spouses are in legal trouble, the question of privileges and testimonial exceptions may arise. This is an important concept as it may prohibit one spouse from talking out against another.

Right to a Speedy Trial

Every US citizen has the right to a speedy trial as provided by the United States Constitution. Many state constitutions also contain similar provisions that guarantee that a person’s criminal case will be handled expediently. Looking at how this right can be treated in a particular state can give a criminal defendant a better sense of his or her rights and possible arguments that can be asserted to get criminal charges dismissed.

Travel Restrictions While on Probation

When individuals are convicted of crimes, they often face a number of punishments. One such punishment that is often imposed is probation. It is important for a criminal defendant to understand the restrictions that probation imposes, including limitations on the ability to travel.

Criminal Defense Strategies

When a person is facing criminal charges, there are high stakes. His or her liberty may be at stake, along with his or her standing in the community and his or her profession. A criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the circumstances involving the case and find critical mistakes that were made by law enforcement to help improve the defendant’s chance at a successful defense.

Road Rage and Legal Consequences

Drivers have become more aggressive on roads and in traffic for several years. This phenomenon has become one of the top issues that often leads to vehicle accidents. Outbursts of violent behavior have become commonplace in traffic jams and in rush hour.

Prevent Loss of Driving Privileges with the Help of a Lawyer

Many individuals may find their driver’s license revoked, suspended or made useless along with driving privileges removed for various reasons. These results may occur because of the commission of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, hit and run crimes, driving in a reckless manner, driving well over the speed limit or running from an arrest.

Pain Medication Errors and Medical Malpractice

Medication often affects individuals differently based on body chemistry and many different factors. It sometimes requires some tweaking and testing to determine which pills work the best for the patient. To discover the right medication for the person, careful attention to the entire process is required by the healthcare professional.

Late Night Automotive Accidents

Collisions occur at night more so than during the day for various reasons. The lack of light affects many drivers adversely, but the bright lights of other vehicles may also be a contributing factor to the extensive numbers of accidents in the dark.

Impounded Vehicles Explained

A vehicle is impounded often when tickets issued by law enforcement officers go unpaid or other crimes such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs occur. When an owner’s vehicle is impounded, he or she often finds it difficult to make it to work, pick up children or make trips to get groceries and pay bills.

Criminal Defense for Vehicular Manslaughter Charges

One of the most egregious criminal charges a person may face involving a vehicle is the traffic violation of vehicular manslaughter. This crime is usually in conjunction with other traffic criminal acts such as reckless driving, driving under the influence or other similar acts.

How Bail Is Set

In many cases, a criminal defendant can leave police custody by posting bail. The amount that bail is ordered at is different in each case depending on a number of factors.

Analyzing False Confessions and Exonerations

Given the significant number of exonerations that have been issued in recent years, it is important to consider what events led to these exonerations and the flaws in the American criminal justice system. Many exonerations were the result of false confessions.

Common Questions about Plea Bargains

Rather than trying every criminal case, the prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer may resolve a case by agreeing to a plea agreement. Many criminal cases are disposed of through this type of agreement. Some of the common questions related to plea bargains include:

Steps to Take If You Cannot Afford to Make Bail in Your Case

The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the issuance of excessive bail. However, courts have found that excessive bail does not simply mean that the defendant cannot afford bail. When bail is too high, a defendant may not be able to pay it and may need to look into other arrangements.

Pleading Not Guilty Even When Guilty

Many individuals have heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.” This means that all criminal defendants are presumed to be innocent. The only thing that overcomes this presumption is if the prosecutor proves that the defendant is guilty by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Constitutional Rights of Criminal Defendants

Individuals who are facing criminal charges have a number of key rights that must be honored throughout the process. By being aware of this information, criminal defendants can take necessary steps to protect these important rights.

Plea Bargaining Basics

A criminal defense lawyer may be able to negotiate an agreement between a criminal defendant and a prosecutor. This agreement is referred to as a “plea bargain” or “plea agreement.” There are a number of benefits of plea bargaining.

History of Plea Bargains

A plea bargain is a negotiated agreement for a criminal defendant whereby he or she agrees to plead guilty in exchange for a more favorable outcome. This outcome may be the dropping of additional charges, a reduction in the sentence or being charged with a lesser crime.

Need for Experienced Lawyer in Drug Trafficking Case

Drug trafficking charges are extremely serious with the potential to carry some of the stiffest penalties in the country. For this reason, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible

Reasons to Expunge a Criminal Record

When a person has been convicted of a crime, he or she usually acquires a criminal record which can be accessed by landlords, potential employers and members of the general record. In order to conceal this record of past indiscretions, some criminal defendant decide to have their criminal record expunged.

Stages of Criminal Defense

The American criminal justice system is one of the most complex, making it difficult for many criminal defendants to navigate this system alone.

Explanation of Violent Crimes

Individuals who have been charged with a violent crime may wish to seek immediate legal counsel in order to help combat the potential consequences of such charges. Having a firm understanding of these crimes and the charges associated with them can help provide a better defense.

Facing Assault and Battery Charges? What You Need to Know

Assault and battery charges are very serious in nature. Being convicted of a crime of this nature corresponds with potentially life-altering consequences. Due to the potential consequences, a person should immediately seek legal representation in order to have the best chance at avoiding a conviction.

How Assault and Aggravated Assault Differ

Assault charges and aggravated assault charges differ in a number of important ways. An assault charge may be elevated to an aggravated assault charge when certain factors are at play. Whether a charge is considered assault or aggravated assault also affects the potential punishment that a defendant can face.

Domestic Battery Laws

Domestic violence instances continue to run rampant throughout the country. Learning about the laws related to domestic battery and the potential penalties that a conviction can mean is the first step that a defendant who is facing domestic battery charges may take.

Is Domestic Violence a Felony or Misdemeanor?

Domestic violence is taken seriously in jurisdictions throughout the country. In some areas, domestic violence is considered a felony. In others, it is considered a misdemeanor. This classification has a dramatic impact on the potential sentences that a defendant may face.

Right to Confront Accuser in Sex Abuse Cases

Individuals accused of crimes of sexual abuse often face serious consequences when the allegations become public. Various areas of their lives are affected in negative ways. Even relationships may end from the mere mention of possible sex abuse towards another person. The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives a criminal defendant the right to confront his or her accuser.

Repercussions of Domestic Violence Accusations

When domestic violence ensues, the person that perpetrates the acts and is convicted may find himself or herself on the receiving end of many harsh punishments. This conviction usually occurs when the prosecution is successful at proving the accused has harmed the victim in a violent and intentional way.

Is Prosecution the Only Way to Stop Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a continuing issue that has predominately affected women and young children. Laws have been changing to assist in changing situations for many and awareness about these constant problems has been heightened.

An Overview of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is an act that has been difficult to categorize legally in some states, but it has been increasing in occurrence throughout the entire country. It is often defined as the actions of an offender through violent or aggressive conduct towards those at home. These individuals at home may be family members, a spouse, children or those residing in the house.

Choking as a Felony

Many states are taking proactive steps to make choking a more serious offense by elevating it to a felony charge. Choking is a criminal act that is often associated with domestic violence. Despite this association, many states do not currently consider this offense to be a felony. Like many aspects of domestic violence issues, this elevation of the crime is a highly debated topic.

Constitutional Right to Legal Counsel

Any citizen in the United States who is facing criminal charges is guaranteed the right to legal counsel. If he or she cannot afford his or her own lawyer, one will be appointed to him or her. Despite this fundamental right, many individuals are not aware of this right, how far this right extends, the rights associated with the right to legal counsel and when a person qualifies to have a lawyer appointed by the court.

Constitutional Right to a Fair Trial

When a person is accused of a crime, the consequences at stake are significant. A conviction can mean the loss of freedom with years behind bars. Having a criminal record can impact the rest of a person’s life and limit career and educational opportunities. Due to these possibilities, many criminal defendants seek legal counsel.

Federal Criminal Appeals Process

If a defendant is convicted of a crime in a trial court, he or she has the right to appeal this decision to the appellate court. In order to make a successful appeal, it is necessary to be familiar with the process involved.

Resisting Arrest without the Presence of Violence

When someone imagines someone else resisting arrest, they often have a mental image of a person violently thrashing around and physically resisting an officer who is simply attempting to handcuff him or her. Many people equate this scenario with resisting arrest and realize that this can often be a criminal act.

What Are My Rights If Stopped on the Street?

It is not uncommon for a person to happen upon a law enforcement officer. He or she may be stopped by the law enforcement officer and asked questions. If a person runs into this situation, it is important that he or she understands his or her rights.

Potential Defenses to Crimes

In order to avoid a conviction, it is necessary to build a defensive strategy in a criminal case. This strategy is based on the particular circumstances involved in the case.

Common Defenses in Criminal Cases

When a person is facing serious criminal charges, he or she needs to develop a strong defense. A criminal defense lawyer can advise a defendant of his or her rights so that the defendant does not do anything to self-incriminate. Additionally, a criminal defense lawyer can discuss the process of a criminal case, the prosecutor’s role and the potential defenses that may apply.

Self Defense Laws

Many individuals believe that they have the legal right to protect themselves. However, there are times when self-defense laws do not apply. If a person uses self-defense in an instance when this defense does not apply, the person executing self-defense may face criminal charges of his or her own.

Discovery in Criminal Cases

The discovery process involves the parties sharing information about the case so that a proper counter-argument can be presented. In a civil case, the plaintiff and the defendant may ask for information from the other side, including answering certain questions, producing certain documents and making certain admissions or denials under oath.

Combating Felony Charges

Criminal offenses are typically classified into categories: misdemeanors or felonies. Felony charges are considered more serious than misdemeanors. The penalties for felony convictions are also more severe than those of misdemeanors.

Dangers of Stop and Frisk

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures. Despite this important freedom, there are limitations to it. For example, stop and frisk allows a law enforcement officer to briefly detain a person when no probable cause exists.

Pedestrian Stop Laws

While many people are aware of the frequency of being pulled over by law enforcement when driving, fewer individuals may be aware of law enforcement’s ability to conduct a stop on a pedestrian. Similar to drivers, pedestrians may be stopped by law enforcement officers when they commit a traffic offense.

Laws Regarding Stop and Frisk

The term “stop and frisk” refers to a law enforcement officer’s limited right to detain a person momentarily and inspect him or her for weapons. While this right seems to be at odds with constitutional protections, the United States Supreme Court has upheld this practice as constitutional.

Domestic Violence against Men

When people think of domestic violence, they often visualize the image of a distressed woman who has been mistreated by her boyfriend or husband. However, women are far from the only victims of domestic violence.

Battery: Civil and Criminal Consequences

When a person is the aggressor in a battery case, he or she may be subject to criminal charges. He or she may also be subject to a civil complaint.

Criminal Charges vs. Civil Complaints

Criminal law and civil law are two different types of law that vary based on their purpose, potential punishments and the process in which cases are presented to the court. In some instances, a defendant may be subject to criminal charges and a civil complaint.

Retrieving Personal Property when No Contact Order Is in Place

A no contact order is a civil order that instructs a person not to have contact with another person, often because the other person has alleged physical abuse, sexual assault, stalking or harassment.

No Contact Orders in Family Law

In some family law cases, a no contact order may be issued. This order prohibits the defendant from having any contact with the alleged victim. A no contact order is a tool that has often been effectively used to assist victims of domestic violence.

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act is an extension of the Violence Against Women Act, which was passed in 1994. This important law served to combat domestic violence, sexual abuse and stalking.

Abuse Inflicted on Elderly Women

Although abuse may be inflicted on anyone, young or old, male or female, there is a disproportionate number of incidences involving elderly women. Abuse takes on many forms, and it is important to be able to recognize the signs of elder abuse in order to stop it.

Evidence Necessary for a Protective Order Involving Family Violence

When attempting to get a protective order when family violence is involved, victims are often confronting a complex issue. However, it is important to steadily pursue this goal in order to receive the myriad benefits that this tool provides.

Fighting Restraining Order Petitions

Restraining orders are an important tool for victims of domestic violence. They limit the interactions that the victim is subjected to when involving the alleged abuser. They have proven to have a direct impact on the reduction of domestic violence crimes. However, a restraining order can sometimes be taken out based on false allegations.

False Allegations Regarding Domestic Violence

Domestic violence affects every socioeconomic level, culture and race in the United States. Due to the prevalence of domestic violence in the United States, safeguards have been put in place to help the victims of domestic violence escape this situation and to have prompt access to the court system.

When Protection Orders Are Misused

Victims of domestic violence can secure a protection order so that the alleged abuser cannot be around them. This is a court order that instructs the defendant not to have contact with the victim and to cease any abusive behavior toward the victim.

What You Should Know About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States. It often affects every segment of society. Whether you are a victim of domestic violence, someone accused of domestic violence or a witness to what you suspect is domestic violence, there are many things for you to know about this subject.

When You Need a Protective Order

Every year, victims of domestic violence are seriously injured and some are even killed. Victims of domestic violence can take a step toward protecting themselves by requesting a protective order. A protective serves as an injunction, an order by the court for someone not to do something.

Domestic Violence Process Explained

Domestic violence is a serious violent crime with aggressive behavior from one person often injuring another. Bodily harm to various degrees is the outcome of these crimes, and the perpetrator may be arrested, charged with a violent crime and possibly convicted.

Assault and Battery in Personal Injury Claims

Along with the criminal charge of assault and battery, the person affected may have a personal injury claim. It is important to know which charges may be filed against a person based on acts he or she committed.

DUI and Traffic Events Regarding Commercial Driver’s License Laws

When a commercial driver is convicted of a DUI, he or she may face a one year disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Any subsequent DUIs may cause a life-long ban of driving these vehicles. The severity of these crimes is reflected in how a driver’s CDL license suspension lasts in time.

DUI Penalties are Greater with Child Involvement

When a person is convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses, they are typically subject to greater penalties. When a child under sixteen is present during the trip with a driver that is drunk, substantial penalties are enacted with conviction in most states. Some states have different ages such as fourteen where penalties increase.

DUI and Child Endangerment

When a child’s safety, health or wellbeing is in danger of being compromised while, a person causing this danger may be prosecuted for child endangerment. This is the case for any driver that is drinking and driving with these children in the vehicle.

If the Witness Refuses to Testify, Are the Charges Dropped?

A common question that prosecutors are asked is if a case will be dismissed if the victim decides not to testify against the alleged abuser. The answer to this question depends on the state and the particular circumstances involved in the case.

Immigration Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

Individuals who are not United States citizens risk being removed from the country if they are convicted of certain crimes. A conviction for a domestic violence crime can affect the ability of an immigrant to remain in the United States. It can also impact his or her ability to re-enter the country after leaving or traveling.

Relationship between Alcohol and Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, it is all too common for a link to exist between alcohol intake and domestic violence. In most situations, a person who commits domestic violence is not considering the legal consequences of his or her actions at the time of inflicting injury on another.

Drunk Driving Involving Children

When children are involved with a driver that has been drinking, the crime becomes more serious than normal DUI offenses. These crimes may end in an aggravated DUI with penalties for endangerment. Severe consequences may be incurred through these activities no matter if any injuries are the result of the trip.

The Consequences of Domestic Violence

Tragically, domestic violence is far too common. According to the United States Department of Justice, one in three victims of violent crimes suffered at the hands of a family member. Domestic violence is a serious allegation that carries with it the potential to impose many serious consequences.

Federal BAC for Pilots

While most individuals associate drinking and transportation with drunk drivers of passenger vehicles, other people responsible for transportation may put the greater public in danger by drinking on the job. This includes drivers of commercial vehicles, mass transit vehicles and airplane pilots.

DUI Arrests and Subsequent Stages

When a person is arrested for drinking and driving, he or she may go through a number of stages. This process can be confusing for someone who has never gone through it before.

Going to Trial or Accepting a Plea Bargain in a Vehicular Manslaughter Case

When a person drives drunk and causes an accident that results in death, he or she may be charged with vehicular manslaughter. The major decision that a defendant to this type of case must make is whether to accept a plea bargain or proceed to trial. How he or she proceeds with such a case depends on a number of factors, including the following:

Step-By-Step Guide to Defending DUI Vehicular Manslaughter Cases

Vehicular manslaughter cases can result in the defendant being sentenced to years behind bars. An effective defensive legal strategy may be able to help reduce charges, have them dismissed or result in acquittal for the defendant. Ways to establish this strategy include:

Defenses to DUI Vehicular Homicide Cases

Vehicular homicide is a serious criminal offense that is charged when a car accident results in the loss of someone’s life. Some extenuating circumstance is usually present to raise the defendant’s culpability from ordinary negligence, such as violating a traffic law, falling asleep at the wheel or drinking and driving.

Consequences of Committing Vehicular Manslaughter While Impaired

Vehicular manslaughter charges may follow when someone drinks and drives and causes an accident due to his or her impaired state. When a person has only two drinks, he or she may have a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of 0.08. Venturing out after partaking in these drinks can often result in catastrophe.

Why a DUI Fatality Should Result in a First Degree Murder Charge

Although advocacy groups like MADD have made great strides in educating the public about the dangers of drinking and driving, the act continues to be a problem throughout the nation. When a person intentionally drinks and then decides to drive, public outrage may demand justice for the loss of human life.

Can I Be Held Responsible for Letting My Friend Drive Drunk?

Due to an increasing number of drunk driving accidents, many states have cracked down on situations involving drunk drivers. This includes implications for both criminal culpability and civil liability.

DUI Process in Court

In some states, more than one case may occur with the same driving offense. Laws in different states allow both administrative and potentially criminal charges to be filed for drivers charged with a DUI. This may lead to two different types of penalties and possible fines.

Avoid a Commercial DUI and its Negative Consequences

Drinking and driving is a serious offense in any situation. However, it is even more so when the defendant is a commercial truck driver. A conviction can mean a loss of freedom and a livelihood.

Commercial Vehicle DUI Penalties

Due to the potential for catastrophic accidents involving commercial trucks, federal and state laws are tougher on commercial vehicle drivers than they are on drivers of other vehicles. Commercial truck drivers are also subject to potentially harsher sentences, making it even more important to have competent legal defense to fight these charges.

Three Potential Defenses to DUI Charges

If convicted of DUI, a person may face serious consequences including jail time, fines, community service and probation. In order to avoid these potential ramifications, he or she will need a strong defense. Some defenses that may apply to the case include:

Dispelling Misconceptions about DUI

DUI charges are some of the most common in the United States. Due to this prevalence, there is a lot of inaccurate information regarding alcohol, how to determine BAC limits, drunk driving charges, rights and potential defenses. Some myths and the reality behind them include:

Deciding Whether or Not to Take DUI Tests

When a person is pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, he or she may be asked to take part in a number of different tests. Whether or not the person should take such a test depends on whether or not he or she was drinking, his or her perceived BAC level, state law and comfort level.

Phases of a DUI Arrest

Although the process of a DUI arrest may vary in each jurisdiction, the general procedures are similar. They usually consist of the following phases:

General Rules for DUI Cases

Many individuals are stopped for suspicion of DUI. Knowing what to do in the situation and the rules associated with such stops can help a person strengthen his or her defense if he or she is arrested for DUI.

A DUI Process Guide

Every day people are stopped for suspicion of drunk driving. Being convicted of DUI often leads to significant consequences even for first time offenders including possible jail time. However, reduced charges or a dismissal of the case may be possible if the defendant has a good case and a knowledgeable DUI lawyer.

DUI Strategy for Traffic Stops

One of the most common questions that a criminal defense lawyer is asked is what to do if pulled over for DUI. This is an important question considering that DUI is one of the most often charged crimes across the country.

Attacking the Charges against a DUI Defendant

Individuals who are facing serious criminal charges such as DUI want to avoid the negative ramifications of a conviction. For a DUI offense, these penalties often include jail time, fines, the imposition of other fees, an order to attend alcohol treatment and the loss of a driver’s license.

DUI Guide for Lawyers

Many criminal defense lawyers will handle a DUI case at some point during their career. This is one of the charges that is most often brought against individuals. Being aware of the following information can inform lawyers about important aspects of DUI cases for lawyers who do not typically handle these cases.

Sobriety Checkpoints and DUI, Obtain a Lawyer

One way that many people ultimately confront DUI charges is after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. If someone is stopped a checkpoint of this nature, it is important that he or she contacts a defense lawyer who is seasoned on DUI laws, state laws regarding sobriety checkpoints and local customs regarding the establishment of sobriety checkpoints.

Save Time, Energy and Money by Hiring a Lawyer for a DUI

Many individuals make the mistake of not hiring a lawyer after they have been arrested for DUI. They mistakenly believe that they can handle the case themselves or think that everything will be fine if they simply quickly plead guilty.

Liability with Dram Shop

In an effort to curb the disastrous results of drunk driving, more and more states have implemented laws to hold additional parties responsible for their collusion in contributing to drunk driving. These laws are often instituted when strict penalties for DUI have failed to successfully decrease the number of accidents and DUI cases.

Prom Season and Dram Shop Liability

Prom is one of the most festive times of the year for high school students. For many, it is the first time that they dress up to a formal event and the first time that they may be given full freedom by their parents. While this is certainly an exciting time, it is also a time to be concerned about alcohol abuse and potential liability issues associated with the event.

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