What a Difference a Criminal Attorney Can Make

3 Common Defenses To Criminal Charges

If you are being convicted of a criminal charge, then you should definitely hire the services of a good criminal defense attorney. In addition to being able to negotiate and help you throughout the generalities of the court process, a criminal defense attorney will act as your advocate in the court room, and should help provide you with a rock solid defense against the prosecution. Here are just a few of the most common defenses that are used in a criminal court. Entrapment If a government agent has convinced you to commit a crime that you normally would have never committed, this is illegal, and is considered entrapment. This is usually levied against law enforcement officers. Entrapment can be quite difficult to prove in a court of law, even by a seasoned criminal defense attorney. This is due to the fact that law officers can give you plenty of opportunities to commit a crime that does not actually constitute entrapment. Under the Influence Although voluntary intoxication by drugs or alcohol does not usually absolve someone from a crime, there are some cases where you can argue this case. For example, if a crime requires what some states term a “specific intent,” then your attorney can assert that you were far too intoxicated to know that you were acting in accordance with that specific intent. Often times, this defense leads only to a partial acquittal. For example, if you were being charged with attacking someone with a lead pipe and you were under the influence, your attorney could argue that you didn’t have specific intent to kill an individual, but you can still be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, which is a crime that does not require a specific intent. Reasonable Doubt Your attorney can appeal to the jury before they deliberate. In every criminal case, the jury can only make a guilty verdict decision if the evidence is levied against you is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means if there is any inkling of the belief that you did not commit the crime, then the jury must declare you not guilty. This means there is a high burden of proof placed upon the prosecution. Your attorney can make the claim that the evidence and witness accounts were far from sufficient when it comes to proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and therefore, the jury must find you, as […]

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The Case For Seeking An Interlock Device

If you are being sentenced for a DUI, asking your judge for an interlock device can be a great way to keep from getting your license completely suspended. Here are some of the main draws of asking for an interlock device.  Interlock Devices are Popular… Interlock devices are well accepted by the public, with 69 and 88 percent of people agreeing that they are a safe solution for allowing people with DUI charges to stay on the road. Even MADD is in support of them. But what really matters is your judge’s opinion; since there’s no law stating they must give you the right to an interlock device, it can take some convincing.  … But You’ll Likely Need a Lawyer to Get One Although many judges are willing to grant an interlock device, you will often need the help of a lawyer to negotiate for one. For one, by asking for an interlock device, you’re essentially accepting that the DUI charge is correct, which can open you up to some other penalties if you’re not smart about negotiating. Your lawyer will help to keep the DUI penalties low while also successfully negotiating for the interlock device.  In order to show that you are a good candidate for the interlock device, your DUI attorney should help you to show that the car is a necessity. If you drive your children to school and live in a rural area where they couldn’t easily take a bus, or you need the car to make it to work, this shows a level of necessity. Your past criminal record may come into play as well, so have your lawyer help you do damage control on any past criminal charges.  Their Safety Relies on Good Behavior If you are granted an interlock device, it can give you incentives for sober driving. The device will only function if you pass a breathalyzer test before you start the ignition. Your ignition lock will also administer a breathalyzer test at various intervals while you’re driving to make sure that you’re still sober. This can be a good push for those who want to retain their driver’s license and who are struggling with sobriety.  In short, an interlock device is a great option for maintaining your license and a level of personal functionality. Find an experienced DUI attorney to help you decide whether to pursue this option during your trial. 

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Three Crucial Reasons To Insist On A Designated Driver

Although you probably don’t enjoy parties as much when you’re assigned to be a designated driver, it’s a very important role for a number of reasons. You may feel like a babysitter, but remember that without you, your friends who are drinking may not be able to get home safely, legally, or at all. Here are three reasons why you and your friends should be sure to have a designated driver every time you go out to a party, even if you have to hire one from a designated driver service. 1. Keeping everyone safe Just under one in three deaths caused by traffic accidents are influenced by alcohol. This adds up to about thirty people daily in the US alone. If you care about safety, either your own or your friends’ or that of innocent children riding in other cars that may be hit by a drunk driver, you’ll make sure that you and your friends don’t drink and drive. And that doesn’t mean deciding who’s the least drunk after the party and having them drive; even a little alcohol in your bloodstream can impair your driving ability, and some states have a zero-tolerance policy. So it’s important to plan in advance for one person to abstain from all alcohol for the evening. 2. Keeping your record clean Although some states do allow a little alcohol in the blood while driving, police officers can arrest you for less. This means you could potentially get a DUI on your record even if you don’t deserve one, especially if other circumstances make it seem like you have a questionable amount of alcohol in your blood (for example, if you’re exhausted and aren’t driving as cautiously as usual, or if the car smells like alcohol because your friends have been drinking in it). Making sure you’re completely clean when you’re driving other people who’ve been drinking is the best way to make sure you don’t get one of these circumstantial DUIs. 3. Letting everyone enjoy the party If you don’t know in advance how you’re going to get home, you may find that the party is less enjoyable, especially if you’re a worrier. And if you’re the most responsible person in your group of friends, you may find that failing to plan a driver in advance means you end up as the default designated driver every time. Taking turns abstaining from alcohol will mean you […]

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4 Key Mistakes To Avoid In Your Criminal Case

If you find yourself in trouble with the law, you need to make sure you are doing everything you can to prevent the case from spiraling out of control further. Trying to handle the case on your own could end up leading to more and more problems. When faced with a potential felony charge, you need to make sure you do everything you can to protect yourself. Don’t make one of these mistakes in your criminal case. Voluntarily Giving a Statement Even though you aren’t required to speak with the police officer, many people end up doing so. They give their statement without thinking about it. Whatever you do, don’t say anything until you have the chance to speak with your lawyer first. Letting the Police Search Your Home or Work If the police officers come to your work or home and try to search through everything, you should tell them no. Unless the officers have the proper credentials and the necessary search warrants, they have no business being there in the first place. Read through the warrant and determine what they are allowed to search and what they aren’t. You have the right to watch them as they search. Taking a Polygraph Test While you might think you are helping your case, you could end up making it worse by taking a polygraph test. Even though the results might say that you passed the test, the results cannot be used in court as proof of your innocence. You are simply wasting your time, so don’t take the test. Resisting Arrest There are so many people who end up fighting the cops when they show up to arrest them. What do you think you are going to gain from fighting them in the first place? They are only going to use your resisting arrest against you in court. The best thing you can do is to cooperate with them as best you can. By taking the time to follow the tips above, you can prevent yourself from making a crucial mistake in your criminal case. Criminal charges are a serious matter and need to be treated as such. Make sure you choose a marijuana defense attorney who is going to fight for your rights every step of the way. By having a trained and skilled lawyer working for you, it will make sure you don’t end up getting in more […]

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Will You Lose Your License To Practice Medicine If You’re Convicted Of A Crime?

If you’re convicted of a criminal offense, will you lose your license to practice medicine? The answer may depend partially on what crime you committed and partially on the state in which you live. This is what you should know about criminal convictions, your medical license, and your ability to continue to practice in general: The Reaction Of The State Licensing Board Most states have a set of professional standards to which they expect doctors to adhere. A conviction of any sort, even a misdemeanor, could easily result in a finding of professional misconduct when put before the licensing board. Many doctors are under the impression that they won’t lose their license if the crime has nothing to do with their behavior as a doctor. They might expect to lose their license to practice if they are convicted of selling prescriptions or assaulting a patient. However, crimes of moral turpitude, like embezzlement and tax evasion can also lead to the loss of their license as well. However, what can happen and what does happen may vary widely. While most states require physicians to report a conviction or guilty plea to the licensing board, the reaction to that information may not impact your license at all or for long. Studies indicate that only around 40% of doctors who are convicted of criminal misconduct directly related to the practice of medicine have their licenses revoked. The Problem With Federal Healthcare Programs Even if you avoid losing your state license to practice, you may still run into problems with federal healthcare programs that could affect your ability to practice. The Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) can revoke your privilege to bill for treatment under those services for a number of crimes that it deems detrimental to the programs or beneficiaries. Felony crimes like murder, rape, and assault are specifically listed and probably not surprising. However, you can also lose your right to bill if you’ve been convicted of a financial crime or any crime that the CMS decides could negatively impact patient care. While this doesn’t affect your license to practice, it can be very problematic because not being able to bill those programs can cripple a physician’s ability to make a living.   The Response From Your Employer Or Partners If you are in a partnership with other physicians or work for a hospital or clinic, a criminal conviction could […]

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Slip And Fall: When Is Your Landlord Liable?

Even if you are a cautious soul, accidents happen. Maybe you tripped over a piece of frayed carpet or, worse, took a tumble down the stairs when the handrail broke. If you are injured during a fall in your rented apartment or home, when is your landlord liable?  Common Falls Stairs are the location of many accidents. If the center part of the steps is worn down, you can easily slip whether the surface is wood or carpet. Of course, outdoor steps are particularly hazardous in wet and cold weather. Other causes of slips and falls are broken sidewalks, ripped carpeting, cluttered areas, and loose floorboards.  Landlord Responsibility While you are expected to practice common sense and look where you are going, landlords do have a responsibility to take certain precautions and maintain the property to help prevent these accidents. Although each case is different, generally landlords are held liable for your fall when they: Caused the area to be slick or worn Knew about the dangerous area but failed to correct it Would have known of the danger if they had performed routine maintenance Your landlord is expected to provide you with “reasonably safe” conditions. In other words, your landlord isn’t expected to prevent any possible accident that could happen, but he needs to promptly repair hazards such as leaking roofs and uneven surfaces. Also, your landlord needs to follow the municipality’s building codes. If you fall because the building violated these codes, the property owner may well be found liable for your accident.  Your Responsibility Not all slip and fall accidents are your landlord’s responsibility. You are expected to take safety measures, such as using the railing while descending slippery stairs. Also, if you are using your phone when you fall while walking across an uneven surface, you may be held responsible for your injury rather than your landlord.  Personal Injury Lawyer If you feel your landlord may be liable for your accident, hire a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests. She can determine whether you have grounds for a case and make certain your legal action is filed promptly. You are expected to safeguard your own health by behaving carefully and cautiously while in your rented home or apartment. However, if you suffer an injury due to negligence on the part of the landlord, you may be due compensation for your injuries. If you take a fall, seek […]

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Your DUI And Fetal Loss: How The Courts May Perceive It

When you drive drunk and hit a car that carries a pregnant woman, you are already in a lot of legal trouble. However, when that woman loses her baby due to the trauma of the accident, can she sue you? How does it become a criminal offense on the same level as murder? These are all legal questions which the courts would view in the following ways, and which your DUI attorney can help resolve for you. Vehicular Assault In any accident, and not just the ones involving a DUI, injury to other persons is classified as a vehicular assault and is already a felony. An injured pregnant woman may be considered to be two assault victims if her unborn child incurs injuries in the womb as well. The assault on the unborn child may also extend to birth defects or developmental delays after the baby is born. The laws vary slightly from state to state because of the difference in opinion regarding when a fetus is considered another living person. The fact remains that you (under the influence) still used your vehicle to injure someone else. Vehicular Manslaughter Killing another person, even by accident, with your vehicle is considered “vehicular manslaughter.”  If a pregnant woman lives, but the severity of her injuries causes the baby to be born early or self-abort and die, then you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter. That translates to “accidental murder” in most courts, but unintentional homicide is still homicide. Ergo, your lawyer will have to argue that you are very remorseful for what has occurred and that you would agree to a lesser sentence and counseling if the judge were merciful and willing to forgive a first-time offense. (However, if you are going before the judge for a repeat DUI offense that has resulted in the loss of life, you cannot get a lighter sentence.) Fetal Death, Lighter DUI Sentences and Being Sued In the event that you do receive a lighter sentence for a first-time DUI offense that resulted in a fetal death, you should still retain your lawyer’s legal help. The mother and family of the lost baby will undoubtedly try to sue you, because they will be very upset about your sentence and feel that no justice was served for the loss of a life. After your criminal hearings for the accident, your attorney can act as your defense in court for the lawsuits that are sure […]

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Standing Up To Criminal Charges – Preparing For Your Day In Court

If you have been charged with a crime that will be brought to court, getting ready for this should be a priority. It is important that you take your situation seriously and work with your criminal defense attorney so that they can represent you as best as they can. Here are four things that you should be sure to do to prepare for your upcoming court case. 1. Act the Part Dressing well and knowing how to address the court are both important if you will be taking the stand during your hearing. If you need advice on a conservative outfit, your criminal defense attorney can help. Be sure to go over your succinct statements and practice addressing the judge as “Your Honor.” It is important that you look and sound as if you are taking your court case seriously. 2. Come With a Clear Head Having a clear head and being ready for the day is important so that you are present and ready for your case. Make sure that you clear you schedule the evening and morning before court so that you aren’t stressed from other events in your life. Secure a ride to the courthouse ahead of time if you need this. Make sure that you are early for your case so that there is no reason for you to show up stressed or rattled. 3. Give Your Full Attention In order to show that you are serious about your day in court, it is important that you are 100% focused on your case. Don’t bring along unnecessary family members that may distract you. Be sure you work out child care ahead of time if needed. Turn your cell phone off so that you don’t make any disruptions during your case and accidently come across as taking the entire process lightly. 4. Don’t Lose Your Cool Being charged with a crime can be a stressful process, especially if you don’t agree with the charges or your arrest was upsetting. Bringing up details from this or seeing law enforcement from the incident might cause you to become tense. It is important to take deep breaths and stick to the facts that you have gone over with your criminal defense attorney. Any outbursts or showcasing anger can cause a judge to write you off as someone who doesn’t even want a second chance. Fighting or lowering criminal charges can […]

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Are You Accused of Hacking a Server?

The recent hack of a popular adultery website made a lot of anti-infidelity advocates happy, but if you wish to follow in the hacker’s footsteps, you should think twice. The hackers have gone to great pains to cover their tracks because their hack is against the law. If you are accused of carrying out such a serious offense, you will need to craft a defense with the help of a criminal lawyer. Did Someone Else Use Your Computer? If there is someone else who had access to your computer and has the capability of hacking into a website, you could argue that you were not the individual who performed the hack. However, if prosecutors discover evidence that you are attempting to cover up your tracks, this may lead them to believe that you were actually behind the hack. Did You Steal Data? Your reason for hacking can influence the extent to which you are punished. For example, if you hack with the intent of stealing data, such as credit card information, you may face harsher penalties than if you hack for your personal enjoyment. A forensics specialist can be called upon by your criminal attorney as an expert witness who may be able to prove that you did not access and copy data based on evidence left behind on the computer you hacked. By proving that you didn’t steal data, you may be able to have your charges reduced. Were You Given Permission to Access the Computer? You may be accused of electronically gaining unauthorized access to someone else’s computer. Under these circumstances, if you can prove that you were given permission by the owner of the computer, or if there was a reason to believe that you were granted access, you can use this fact to have your charges dropped. Have You Hired an Attorney? Normally, committing a computer crime is considered a felony and you may be required to spend up to one year in prison. However, if you have committed a scheme that was meant to defraud others, if you cost someone more than a specific amount in damages determined by the legislature of the state in which the hacking occurred, or if you have interrupted a government service or utility, you may be charged with a felony that can carry much more serious penalties. Regardless, remember to speak with a criminal lawyer specialized in computer crimes. […]

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Ease the Stress of Awaiting a Criminal Trial with These 4 Ideas

When you have had criminal charges brought against you, it is natural that you would feel some degree of stress about what may happen after your trial. While the stress can be overwhelming at times, using the following suggestions can help you calm down and prepare for your trial. Don’t Hide Things from Your Lawyer It is critical that you share as much information as you can with your attorney. You may be tempted to keep some information to yourself because you think it is irrelevant or makes you look guilty, but it is very important that you don’t withhold things. Not only might seemingly unimportant information prove helpful for your case, but the prosecutor may find out anyway and try to use it against you. Your lawyer will have to play catch-up in order to mount a strong defense for you. Instead, keep your conscience clear by sharing everything with your lawyer. When they have all the information, you will feel less guilty about hiding something and they can do a better job of defending you. Avoid Anyone Involved in the Case Try to stay away from old haunts where you might run into someone connected with your case. Certainly, avoid searching out people that may take the stand or have some interest in the case against you. You may decide to head over to an acquaintance’s house after you’ve heard that they are going to testify, for example, but it is a better idea to stay away from anyone involved in the case until it is over. Staying away will ensure that there are no further problems and that you won’t find yourself facing even more charges when you show up for court. Take Care of Yourself You may think that you’re already taking care of yourself, but as you await your trial, it is especially important that you practice good self-care. Be sure you get enough sleep, as losing sleep can make you more anxious. Try to eat as well as you can, and make every attempt to surround yourself with supportive people. Picture the Future Picturing the future may be something you want to avoid, but it may help you to think about what could happen after your trial. Think of all the things you’ll do if you are declared innocent. Think about what steps you might take if you are found guilty; you might file […]

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