Everything you need to know about criminal law.

Three Ways To Get Rid Of Drug Charge Records

A drug charge on your record may do more than stigmatize you; it can affect your life in other serious ways. It can prevent you from renting an apartment or house, and from getting a decent job. There are some effective ways to prevent getting a drug charge put in your record, or to get the record sealed or expunged.

Completing a Drug Diversion Program

A diversion is a program that you can enter when you go to court, if you are eligible, and you may or may not have to enter a plea.  When you successfully complete all the required steps, the drug charge will not be entered, or it will be erased, from your criminal history. This type of program usually lasts six months or longer.

This program may require you to:

  • Attend counseling sessions, group therapy, or a 12-step group

  • Enter into a more restrictive drug treatment program

  • Attend life-skill classes

  • Get vocational training/find employment

  • Perform community service work

  • Pay fines

  • Report for regular drug-testing.

 The requirements differ by locality or state, and also by your charges and personal history.

Getting a Drug Charge Expunged

To get a drug charge expunged from your record, you will want to get a criminal lawyer to help you properly navigate the system. Most states have their own requirements. Once the charge is expunged, you no longer have to disclose it to potential landlords or employers.

A specific amount of time may have to pass after your conviction before you can seek to have the charge expunged. In some states, the judge who sentenced you will be the same judge to order an expungement, and they will want to see evidence that you are acting responsibly and are not likely to return to using illegal substances. This might include:

  • Records showing you have successfully completed all requirements of your conviction, and that all fees/fines were paid.

  • You remain free from any new charges.

  • Documentation that you attended and successfully completed a recovery program.

  • Proof of successful employment history since the conviction.

Obtaining a Certificate of Actual Innocence

This form of expungement, a certificate of actual innocence, is the best one to get because it is proof that you were innocent of the crime and should not have been charged. You are eligible to get this in most cases by showing that the charges against you were dropped or that you were found not guilty at trial.

Seeking Legal Assistance

A criminal lawyer can advise you on your best course of action and will complete all the paperwork for you. 

3 Celebrities Who Fought A DUI Conviction

Most drivers try hard to stay safe and prevent injuries to others while on the road. Unfortunately, though, one bad decision to drive while you are drunk or high on drugs could change your life and even end your life and the lives of others. If you are trying to deal with the aftermath of getting behind the wheel while your were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reading about these celebrities who faced convictions may help inspire you to take action now to work towards a solution.

Amy Locane

She was once one of the stars on Melrose Place, one of the most successful prime time dramas of the 1990′s. However, in 2013, Amy Locane received a DUI conviction. The actress was admittedly drunk when she struck another vehicle with her SUV, instantly killing the other driver.

Although she was sentenced to three years in jail for driving under the influence, the victim’s family members were not happy since they wanted her to get the maximum ten-year sentence. Locane made a statement that expressed how she felt that her own suffering would never end.

John Denver 

Since he is best known for his wholesome image and beautiful music, many people are surprised to learn that John Denver was arrested for driving while drunk. In fact, at the time of his death, he was scheduled to go to court to face his second trial for driving under the influence. The first one had resulted in a hung jury. His attorney stated to the press that the only reason that Denver was in the situation was because he was targeted as a celebrity.

Lindsay Lohan

Although her career seems to be on the mend now with her reality show turn on OWN and a new London play, Lindsay Lohan was mocked in the media for several years for her self-destructive ways. In 2007, Lohan was sentenced to jail for multiple counts of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and she also had to perform community service and go to an 18-month alcohol education program.  

If you have been arrested for drinking under the influence, try not to worry. You don’t have to wind up with a conviction just because you were arrested. Contact an attorney, like Eric J. Engan Attorney At Law, who can help you figure out the best defense for your situation and advise you on the next steps you need to take to successfully deal with the problems at hand.

Biggest Legal Mistakes People Make In A Divorce

Divorce proceedings are complicated, confusing and downright scary at times. It’s not something you can really be prepared for. It’s an emotional time full of meetings, paperwork, communications and more. It’s easy to get bogged down in the proceedings and lose track of what’s going on. But fortunately, there are some things we can learn from mistakes others have made. Here’s a look at the most common legal mistakes people make when going through a divorce, and how to avoid them.

Not Checking the Information. It’s important to review information given to you by your attorney and by your spouse’s attorney. Lawyers are human and make mistakes sometimes. Small things like an incorrect name of a child can lead to complicated problems. All the legal language can be intimidating, but look it over. Read everything you can to make sure it’s accurate. Once it’s sent to the court, it’s usually too late to correct.

Waiting Too Long. A divorce is an emotional time. Many people just aren’t concerned with piles of paperwork and deadlines. But when you don’t get documents completed on time, you’re not doing what the court has asked. This could cause problems and lead the court to look on you unfavorably. Meeting deadlines is a way to make sure you hold on to your rights and you get what you deserve.

Hiding Information. Even though their attorney is looking out for them, many people simply don’t trust lawyers. They think that they can control things by withholding financial assets or other information. You’re never going to fool the legal system though, and hiding information can make you look very bad. Your attorney, like those at Kalasnik Law Office for instance, needs the most information possible to help you with your case. To do the best job, they need the whole truth.

Not Being Realistic. All too often, people enter divorce proceedings thinking they’ll keep everything, and their spouse will get nothing. It’s not just finances that are in dispute though, but so are children, property, businesses, retirement funds and more. Keep your demands reasonable and know that you won’t get everything.

Not Asking Questions. The legal system is intimidating. Because of that, many people accept everything they’re told – often without understanding what’s happening. Ask as many questions as you can about your case. It’s important to understand the proceedings. Ask things like your lawyer’s honest opinion about your case, and about what happens to certain financial aspects after the divorce. If you sign documents without knowing what you’re signing, there’s a good chance you will end up hurting your case. 

Going through a divorce isn’t a thing people really plan to do. But focusing on these areas will make sure you’re doing everything you can to obtain a favorable ruling.

Understand Injury Costs Before Accepting A Workers Compensation Settlement

When you’re on the verge of a workers compensation reward, it may feel like the system is working properly. A decent sum of money, nice treatment from your company and the medical company and a reasonably quick decision may seem positive, but is it? Consider a few concerns surrounding injuries and their potential costs in other to understand the potential worth of your claim.

How Much Does An Injury Cost You?

If you’ve been injured on the job and need workers compensation, the damage is no small thing. From broken bones to burns or loss of eyesight or hearing, different injuries can have a major impact on our life. An insurance settlement shouldn’t just be for a few hospital visits and consultations, but getting your life as close to normal as possible.

Consider a moderate eye injury. If a person working with caustic liquids manages to get some liquid in his or her eye, there could be a serious burn that can affect eyesight either temporarily or permanently. At the first few weeks or months of the injury, it’s too early to tell how long an injury may last or what its true affects are.

Let’s assume in the example that the eyesight returns after a few weeks, but the person notices a slight haze in one eye. It doesn’t seem to go away, but the person can get used to it. Unfortunately, the small haze makes reading road signs or fine print slightly difficult. Glasses may be needed for one eye, requiring a prescription that may need to be changed every few years

If the eye damage is more severe, the injured worker may want surgery. If surgery is unable to heal the problem, the costs of rebuilding a life damaged by reduced eyesight can be hard to calculate.

Don’t Jump For Big Payouts

As it is difficult to calculate how much a lifestyle after injury will cost, settling for a set amount of money might not be in your best interests. Especially in the case of lower and middle-income workers, an enticing payout of around $100,000 may look like a great reward.

How long will that money last? With continued medical routines, therapy and different products needed to cope with a life changed by injury, you may have less money in your pocket than when you were working. Instead of jumping at a payout that looks good to you, consult a workers compensation lawyer at a place like Shaevitz Shaevitz & Kotzamanis.

A lawyer can work with medical professionals to investigate the injury, changes to your lifestyle and estimate a cost of living. More importantly, if your injury has a chance of worsening over the years, stipulations can be made to change your compensation amount as the situation changes.

Don’t take the first offer you’re given; speak with a workers compensation lawyer first.

Three Things Your Civil Litigation Attorney Should Do For You

If you are issuing a lawsuit to another party for any reason, you will need a personal injury attorney. The lawyer you select will be responsible for providing you with legal guidance, and this representative is required to complete a number of legal tasks during civil litigation.

Filing the Lawsuit

The first thing you should do when contemplating legal action is to schedule a consultation with your attorney.  The details of the case will be discussed thoroughly and the lawyer you choose will be able to inform you if you have a strong case or not.

If the case is considered to be strong enough, the attorney will file a lawsuit.

Listed below are items that should be considered when filing:

1. The jurisdiction of where the lawsuit should be issued.

2. The decision for the legal action to be filed in a federal or state court.

3.  The proper forms that are mandatory, including the complaint and summons to issue on the defendant.

4.  The allegations and charges the plaintiff is making should be proved beforehand by the plaintiff.

Discovery Process

Civil litigation attorneys should inform their clients about the discovery process.

Additionally, the lawyers will be required to assist their clients with all of the responses that are required during this part of civil litigation.

Listed below are the four parts of discovery:

1. Written interrogatories – Questions that are served on each party during the discovery process and are exclusively about the case. The amount of questions that either disputing party is asked may vary, but each party is typically asked around 25 to 50 questions.

2. The deposition – Either the plaintiff or defendant may be required to complete a face-to-fact interview with the attorney from the other side. This is often referred to as an interrogation, and the responses provided by person giving the deposition will be recorded and used in a court of law if the case proceeds to court.

3.  Requests for admissions – Statements may be delivered to the plaintiff or defendant and these must be either admitted or denied.

4.  Request for production documents – The time to submit any documentation to prove your case is during this stage. For example, police reports stating you were not at fault for an accident or emails showing the other party was to blame for something should be entered at this time.

Representation in Court

If the case proceeds to court, your attorney will provide the opening statements regarding your case to either a judge or jury.

The civil litigation attorney you select should represent you through the entirety of the case that may include court.

Finally, by understanding the role of your attorney throughout the litigation process, you will be better prepared for what lies ahead during this legal process. You can contact professionals, like those at the Law Office of James E Hall and ask more questions.