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Considering Divorce? Consult With an Attorney First

divorce attorneyGetting divorced is not as simple as moving out of the home you share with your spouse and starting a new life. You have to divide your property legally and arrange for financial support of your children. Whether you have a lot of assets or not, it is important to talk to a lawyer before you file for divorce. An attorney who focuses on family law can help you understand your rights so you can make the best decisions for you and your family.

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Involving a lawyer does not have to make your divorce adversarial. If you and your spouse can agree on the division of assets, custody and support of children and any other issues specific to your situation, you can present your written agreement to the judge and avoid litigation. This kind of divorce is usually less expensive than a trial. You may each be happier with the outcome of your settlement if you are able to sit down together, with or without your lawyers to divide your assets and debt as well as make decisions for the best interest of your children.

By consulting with a lawyer early, you will have legal representation on-hand if negotiations with your spouse don’t result in a reasonable settlement. Your divorce lawyer can work with your spouse’s lawyer to try to negotiate on your behalf and may even help you work out a compromise with your spouse to speed the process along. Part of your lawyer’s job is to ensure that you get a fair share of the marital assets and sufficient parenting time with your children. Your attorney will advocate for your rights throughout the divorce.

An amicable divorce is more likely to be successful if both you and your spouse are committed to the process. If one of you hires an aggressive lawyer, you may find yourself involved in litigation. It is important to choose a divorce lawyer with experience helping clients negotiate divorce settlements through mediation. With this method, you will spend less of your marital assets on legal fees and have more to use to start your new, single life.

17 Jun 2014
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Dog Bites And Your Rights As A Victim

personal injury lawyerFlorida laws protect victims of unfortunate accidents. Among these accidents that are likely to occur in the home are dog bites. If you were injured by a neighborhood dog or while visiting someone’s home, you can contact a personal injury attorney to file a claim if the owner does not cover the cost of your medical requirements.

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Dog Bites and Your Rights

Certain conditions apply dog bites and attacks in the state of Florida. The first is that the initial bite does not count against the pet owner. The one-bite ruling that is upheld in Florida establishes that the liability for injury does not begin unless the dog continues to bite or attack you. When you are the victim of a dog attack, you should contact a personal injury attorney to establish your rights.

The next condition that applies to these laws is that the victim must prove she or he was within their rights to be within the property. The judge requires this testimony to establish that the victim did not sustain injuries while trespassing or unlawfully entering the premises. If it is proven that the victim was not within their rights to visit the property and the dog was protecting it for its owner, the victim doesn’t have a case against the pet owner.

The Presence of Malice

With the growing number of animal attacks associated with certain dog breeds on the rise, it is urgent that the presence of malice is established in these cases. When a fatality occurs due to the victim’s injuries, their family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the pet owner. In these cases, it is necessary for law enforcement to establish whether or not the dog should be put down. If it is determined that the animal poses a threat to the public the court can offer euthanasia.

Animal attacks produce grisly injuries in some cases. This could present a life-threatening situation for the victim and for anyone who comes in contact with it. If you were injured due to a dog attack, you should schedule a consultation with an accident lawyer as soon as possible.

17 Jun 2014
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The Basics Of The Miranda Warning (Miranda Rights)

Purported offenders in the United States do have rights at the moment of their arrest. The Miranda warning or Miranda rule represents those rights for the purported offender, giving them the ‘right to remain silent’ upon arrest.

The Miranda warning

According to Montoya Shaffer, a Philadelphia criminal attorney, the Miranda warning is a formal warning required by police to read to criminal suspects in police custody before they are interrogated. The rights inform and remind accused suspects that, under the United States Constitution, they have the privilege to invoke their rights any time during the interview.

The Miranda warning is as follows (referenced from MirandaRights.org):

“You have the right to remain silent.

If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law.

You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have [that lawyer] present during any questioning.

If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.

If you choose to talk to the police officer, you have the right to stop the interview at any time.”

Whenever the accused party is held in police custody, police officials are legally required to read the Miranda warning if they want to interview the suspect and use their answers as evidence in a trial.

No Miranda warning is required if the suspect isn’t in police custody; this usually applies to cases where police interview witnesses or suspects about a recent crime or if the accused confesses to a crime before being read their Miranda rights.

The history of the Miranda warning

The Miranda warning was instated as a part of United States common law after the United States Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that defendants (suspects) had the right against self-incrimination during interrogation, the right to consult with an attorney before and during questioning and the right to voluntary consent to and waive these rights before police interrogation.

The case involved Ernesto Miranda of Phoenix, Arizona. In 1963, he was arrested for robbing a bank worker while armed (armed robbery). During a police interrogation, Miranda signed a written confession to his crime; he also confessed to kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old girl days before the robbery occurred.

Although he was convinced of the robbery, his attorney appealed the case due to the fact that Miranda didn’t understand he had the right against self-incrimination. Evidence (the confession) was used in the trial, though his attorney argued that his confession wasn’t truly voluntary and could not be used.

The 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona was a case that impacted law enforcement in the United States, making the reading of Miranda rights a regular procedure for police.

from: Montoya Shaffer Criminal Lawyers

For a Philly criminal defense attorney, contact Montoya Shaffer

09 Jun 2014
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The Procedures Of Juvenile Court Cases

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Article from Robb MacDonald, the criminal defence lawyer.

Juvenile court is a special type of court (sometimes a department of a trial court) that deals with underage defendants charged with crimes. It also deals with minors who may have been neglected or out of their parent’s or guardian’s control.

Most juvenile courts handle minors under age 18, though it varies depending on the jurisdiction where the minor might be tried.

Holding a juvenile accountable before juvenile court

While minors are sent to juvenile court, some minors don’t need to be assessed by the court system. In those cases, police officers only detain and warn the minor before letting them go. Repeat offenders remain detained until their parent or guardian gets them. Young offenders may repeat a crime or commit a severe crime are usually charged before admittance in a juvenile court.

Minors are entitled to receive legal representation by criminal lawyers in juvenile court. Social workers and parents also get involved to help encourage the minor to not repeat their offenses. Serious offenders (or repeated offenders) are more likely to receive a prison sentence, sometimes being granted transfer to a state prison upon reaching legal age.

The procedures of juvenile court

Juvenile court handles cases of both delinquency and dependency, otherwise known as cases of committed crimes and cases of transferring guardianship. According to Nolo.com’s look at juvenile court, the procedures in juvenile court are different than that of a standard criminal court.

When juveniles violate a criminal law, the procedures in handling the case are different from those tried as an adult. The professionals involved in the case (police, prosecutors, juvenile court officials and judges) all exercise their privilege to informally handle the case. Most juvenile cases, as a result, don’t reach a formal adjudicative hearing.

Juveniles also have different constitutional rights than adults who have committed crimes. To provide an example from our source, juveniles have a right to use an attorney at an adjudicatory hearing (if their case reaches one). They don’t have the right, however, to have their case presented before a jury.

Some juvenile cases may be transferred to adult court. This procedure is known as a waiver, and it’s typically invoked for juveniles who commit serious offenses (such as murder or rape). Juveniles marked as repeat offenders may also be granted a waiver. They also have the right to a hearing, mainly to decide whether their case should be transferred to an adult court.

A judge generally reserves the right to appoint an appropriate sentencing for a convicted minor. A minor may be sent to a traditional juvenile detention facility or placed under house arrest. Other punishments used by juvenile courts include counseling, probation and curfews.

Contact Robb MacDonald, one of the best Toronto criminal defence lawyers.

09 Jun 2014
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