How To Chose The Right Lawyer After Getting A DUI

A DUI arrest is a serious legal matter that can have both immediate and long-lasting negative consequences. As a result of a DUI conviction, a person can lose his or her license, become incarcerated and have a permanent criminal record. For all of these reasons, it is important for a person with a DUI charge to choose the right criminal defense lawyer. There are a number of different things that a person should consider when choosing a DUI lawyer.

dui check point

Experience

Though all attorneys are legally allowed to defend a person charged with DUI, not all of them have the experience needed to present a proper defense. For example, an attorney who focuses on real estate transactions may not be well informed on the latest DUI related court decisions, the newest testing technology and proper field sobriety test procedures. This lack of experience could result in a client being wrongly convicted or being given a heavier sentence than normal.

Local Court Familiarity

Attorneys are licensed by state and can work anywhere with-in that state. However, having an attorney that is familiar with the judges and court system in a specific area is an asset to his or her clients. When choosing an attorney, a person should find one that has extensive experience working in the specific court where the charges will be heard as the attorney will likely be better able to negotiate a settlement or argue the case.

Ethics

Like anyone engaged in business, it shouldn’t be surprising if an attorney has a past client or two that is unhappy with their work as it simply isn’t possible to please everyone. However, numerous complaints with the state bar about an attorney may be an indication of a problem. A client should check with the bar in his or her state to find about any complaints against a prospective attorney.

Personality

As with any other professional relationship, a person should choose an attorney that he or she is comfortable working with on a regular basis. An attorney and client who clash personally are unlikely to work well together and obtain a favorable ruling for the client. An attorney should be open to discussing the case, should listen to the client’s story and take the time to answer any questions that the client may have about the case.

License Recovery

Almost all DUI convictions will result in a suspended driver’s license. However, a competent lawyer will be able to assist a client in recovering his or her license. To do this, a person convicted of a drunk driving offense will likely need to obtain SR-22 insurance before getting a new license. This insurance is a form of auto insurance for high risk drivers that includes a direct reporting to the state about the validity of the insurance. An experienced lawyer will be able to help a client obtain the proper SR-22 coverage and assist the client through the licensing process.

By carefully considering the choice of lawyer to represent a person’s interests who has been charged with a DUI, a person will be able to minimize the impact the arrest will have on his or her life. This will help him or her to learn from the mistake of drunk driving without being unduly punished as a result of not having an effective legal defense to protect his or her rights.

Five Things to Consider After an Accident

Accidents happen every day. A car accident can come out of nowhere when someone doesn’t pay attention. A slip is just one misstep away, especially in icy conditions. Injuries happen all the time.

If you have been injured in an accident, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury attorney to pursue a claim on your behalf. However, before you hire the first one you find, you may want to consider the following:
First, How did the accident happen?

If an auto accident occurs in broad daylight, with ten witnesses and they all report that driver A ran into driver B, who was at a complete and legal stop at a stop sign, then there aren’t any real questions. But most accidents are not that straightforward. While these circumstances shouldn’t govern whether or not you think you have a case, you should consider all of the facts as you remember them.
Second, think about your injuries

Before hiring an attorney, you will want to have an idea of how you were injured and what was injured. A visit to the emergency room or the doctor soon after the accident can easily answer this question.
Third, consider who you hire

There are attorneys of all shapes, sizes and abilities out there. How can you make sure you hire the best? Personal references are always a great way to start. Was a friend or co-worker injured recently? Did an attorney help them? Find out who they recommend, as well as who they don’t. Meet with several attorneys, and go with the one that you feel most comfortable with.
Fourth, think about whether you caused any part of your injuries

Once a claim is made, the other party will likely point to all of the reasons why it is not their fault. Be prepared for it, and alert your attorney to these facts. Did you slip and fall on the stairs at home the same day you slipped and fell at a store? Or did you just walk very quickly through a freshly mopped floor, ignoring the “Caution” sign posted? You may still have a claim for your injuries in both scenarios, but your attorney should be aware of any important facts.
Fifth, can the other party pay for your injuries?

Obtaining a judgment for injuries is often easier than collecting it. Before hiring counsel, pull together any information you have about the other party or parties. What are their names? Do they have insurance? This can be vital in assisting your attorney when pursuing your claim.

Hiring an attorney to pursue your injuries is an important decision. Take care to document your accident, the other parties and your injuries so you can provide this information to your attorney.

Legal Assistance Vs. Debt Consolidation: Why a Legal Professional Can Help

When you are struggling with debt, it is not uncommon to turn to a professional to help you manage the problem. Many people look into debt settlement companies or debt restructuring organizations for help. While these types of businesses can provide some help with your debt, you may be better off financially having legal assistance.

Using an attorney for your debt issues has many benefits that cannot be obtained when using other forms of debt restructuring. An attorney can negotiate your debts just like a consolidation company, but they can also provide you with additional services.

Benefits To Using Legal Assistance For Debt Issues

• Legal Knowledge. Your attorney understands debt and contract law. They can easily work with your creditors to reduce and consolidate your debt within the terms of your contract. Additionally, since your attorney understands these laws very well, they may also be able to use the terms of your contract for credit to your advantage. Most people do not stop and read these terms and they can contain important information about repaying your debts.
• Negotiation. Lawyers are trained negotiators. This skill can benefit you when it comes to reducing your debt burden. Your attorney may be able to have fees and other charges removed from your debt as well as having interest rates dropped or stopped. Each of these benefits will greatly reduce your debt.
• Cease and Desist. Your legal representative ill have the authority to make debt collectors cease and desist all collection efforts while they are in the negotiation process. This will help give you a little relief as you put your financial life back together.
• Credit Reporting. As part of the repayment plan, your attorney can require the creditor to sign a contract stating that they will report the debt as paid in full when it is paid off. Many creditors “forget” to do this, leaving you with a tainted credit report. By requiring these companies to post your account in this manner, your credit score will not suffer the same impact as a bad debt. Improving your credit score will be very important once you have repaid your debts so that you are not facing future financial problems and can reestablish credit.
• Bankruptcy Option. If your financial situation is one where the only option is bankruptcy, your attorney will be able to prepare this type of case for you also. Most attorneys, however, are often able to avoid this option through negotiations with the creditors.
• Future Financial Planning. Once your debts are under control, your attorney can help you establish trusts and other legal documents to protect your assets in the future. This is very beneficial to your financial security. This type of service is only available form an attorney.

If you are facing financial hardships and are not sure where to turn, take the time to investigate a law firm or attorney that specializes in this type of practice. You will be amazed at the help that they can provide and their services are very similar in price to consolidation or restructuring companies. The benefits will help you regain control of your debts and create a bright financial future.

Nine Laws that are Always Changing and How to Stay on Top of Them

Though it might be considered by some to be an inconvenience, the ability of the law to change is actually an intelligent part of the design of any legal system. The best laws are those that can be easily changed or amended to respond to new circumstances or concerns, benefiting a large number of people in the process. Some laws change more than others, though, with nine laws seeing the most frequent revisions of all.

1. Personal Tax Laws

It seems that almost every new tax year brings hundreds of changes to personal tax law, issued by the government in an effort to boost revenue, help the economy, and benefit taxpayers in some unique way. If there’s one change to count on each year, it is certainly personal tax laws and guidelines.

2. Corporate Tax Laws

Like personal tax laws, corporate tax policy is an area of frequent change at both the state level and in Washington, DC. That’s largely because lawmakers are always looking for the right combination of company incentives and revenue-boosting regulations that benefit state and federal budgets.

3. Immigration Policy

In recent times, immigration policy has moved swiftly into an area of frequent change. Whether it’s the debate over a path to citizenship or the financial and personal obligations that new arrivals must follow, this is an area that has frequently adapted to the country’s needs over the past two centuries.

4. Corporate Finance Regulations

From financial reporting regulations to offshore tax policies and more, the government’s interest in regulating corporate behavior tends to wax and wane over time. That means accountants, legal professionals, and executives, must all be aware of the ongoing changes and new ways of doing business. Otherwise, they risk heavy fines and government penalties.

5. Marriage Law

Marriage equality legislation is changing the way people do their taxes and report their finances on a state-by-state basis, and it’s a process that looks to continue apace without sweeping, federal guidelines anytime soon.

6. Distracted Driving Laws

It began with banning in-car phone calls, but distracted driving laws now cover everything from adjusting the stereo to sending a text message or holding a phone up to the ear. These laws change as new public safety concerns arise, and their frequent modification is certain to continue in a high-tech world.

7. Health Insurance Requirements

Corporate and individual health insurance mandates, as well as other requirements for this key benefit, have changed a lot in recent years. Though the pace of change may slow down after the Affordable Care Act’s full implementation in 2014, occasional modifications to this law are bound to be part of corporate and private life.

8. Consumer Finance Regulations

The newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is modifying everything from credit card terms to the availability of some investment mechanisms. Fast-paced changes are about to become the norm for this industry, which will be both a benefit and a burden for those in the accounting and legal professions.

9. Bankruptcy Laws

The nature of bankruptcy has changed over time, including the addition of “financial restructuring” options and more. As personal and corporate finance continue to evolve, so, too, will bankruptcy and its legal jargon.

To Keep Apace, Pursue Continuing Education on Fiscal and Federal Policy

Continuing education courses offer a great way to stay abreast of new government laws, regulations, and other changes that occur on a state or local level. These courses are both affordable and essential, with many professions requiring their professionals to seek continuing education as a way to reduce the risk of broken laws, stiff penalties, and customer frustrations.

Seven Steps To Becoming A Legal US Citizen

The process of becoming a United States citizen can be a long and tedious one. It can take over six months for your application to get processed. The reason that it takes a long time to process applications is because there has been a drastic increase in the number of applications. There are a number of things that you will have to do in order to become a United States citizen. Below are some tips for becoming a United States citizen:
Determine If You Are Eligible

Before you send in an application, you will have to determine whether you are eligible to become a United States citizen. You must have had your Green Card for at least five years and be over the age of 18. A green card is a card that authorizes you to live and work inside of the United States permanently.

You are also eligible if you have been married to a United States citizen for at least three years and have not left the United States for more than six months. If you are engaged your fiancé will have to receive a green card as well before the marriage. You will also be required to pass a test given by the US Citizen and Immigration Services and an interview.

Complete The Application

After determining whether you are eligible; you will need to complete the naturalization application form. You will also need to send in several documents along with your applications. The documents required can vary, depending on your individual situation. You can bring copies of the documents, but you may need to bring the original copies during your interview.

Take Your Photographs

You will need to have two color, passport-style photographs along with your application.

Send In Your Application

You will have to send a fee along with your application. The naturalization application fee is currently $595. Contact the U.S. Citizen And Immigration Services if you want to know more about the fees.

Get Fingerprinted

The U.S. Citizen And Immigration Services will send you a letter letting you know where and when you will need to get your fingers printed.

Go To Your Interview

You will also receive a letter in the mail stating where and when you should go for your interview. It is very important for you to constantly be on the lookout for this letter because you will not be given a second notice. You will need to bring your green card and passport to your interview. Even if your passport has expired, you will still need to bring it to your interview.

During the interview, you will answer questions about your background and education. You will also need to take the civic and English tests.

Wait For A Decision

After your interview, you will need to wait for a decision. If your application is approved, then you will need to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and attend a ceremony. The U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services will let you know when the ceremony will take place.

There are several steps that you will need to take in order to become a legal United States citizen. You will have to first determine whether you are eligible, fill out application, get photographed, send in an application, attend an interview and wait for a decision.

Construction Businesses: Legal Implications Associated with Contractor Insurance

When running a construction business or working as an independent contractor in the field, a person will want to buy a decent contractor insurance policy covering him or her in case of serious errors or injuries. While true, when choosing contractor insurance, one must think of the long-term implications. With this in mind, here are the legal implications associated with contractor insurance.

Who needs it: When working as a contractor, people will often skip this expensive bill as a way to save money. The thought behind this is simple as plenty of contractors think their work doesn’t merit insurance. However, whether you work as a general contractor, a painter, an electrician or in any other construction field, you will need insurance. Otherwise, one false move can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

May need more: First and foremost, when you want to find a job, the site may require high levels of insurance. This is true when you work on a government building or complete tasks for a corporation. To understand how much you need to carry, ask the owner of the property what they require. While this is a pain, it will save you money in the long run if you buy the right levels of insurance. However, if you want to avoid this altogether, you need to purchase enough insurance to complete any job. Then, you can confidently bid for any work and not worry about needing to increase your insurance coverage.

You may not have the best coverage: While plenty of professionals will rush out and buy a policy, they won’t always buy the right one. Sadly, when this happens, you are vulnerable if errors occur. Think about it, if you only buy general liability insurance, you will not protect your commercial vehicle or your employees. No, instead, to understand what you need, it’s best to chat with an insurance agent who can help you determine your best course of action. Remember, when buying insurance, it’s not enough to sign up for a random service and write a check; you need to choose the policies covering your unique situation.

Workers’ compensation: As mentioned, if you hire contractors or employees, you will need worker’s compensation insurance. While rules vary from state-to-state, you cannot justify ignoring this fact. If you do, not only will you struggle to land jobs where people require workers’ comp insurance, but you will lose out on government contracts where people will verify that you carry enough insurance to protect workers on the site. If not, you will hurt your reputation and end up missing out on future jobs.

Don’t miss one payment: Finally, if you buy the right policy and carry proof of insurance, you can land a new job. While true, you will hurt your cause if you miss a payment, as providers will suspend your coverage. To avoid this, you can either pay your bills automatically or in full from the beginning. Otherwise, with one missed payment, you will hurt your reputation and lose your insurance coverage. If a person discovers this, he or she may kick you off the job site.

With these five legal implications to understand, you can find the best coverage for your construction firm. If not, you will struggle to stay ahead if you commit an error.

Breaking Down Bankruptcy: 7 Vs 13

When people start to think about the possibility of filing for bankruptcy, they often get confused about the types of bankruptcy. The reason for this is that there are two forms of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Which one applies to your situation will depend upon your personal finances and whether you qualify to file for one or both forms of bankruptcy. The following is an overview of both types of bankruptcies as well as alternatives to bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
When people think of bankruptcy, this is the type they usually have in mind. When a person files for Chapter 7, it is possible to have all of their debts washed away, and they are given a fresh financial start. Filing for this type of bankruptcy can be appealing. The idea of all of your debts disappearing overnight is like a dream come true. What you need to be kept in mind is that an individual must qualify for this type of bankruptcy. Qualifications that must be met include annual income and assets. Income will need to be below the median income for the state a person resides, and any assets not exempt from bankruptcy will need to be liquidated to pay creditors. Equally important to understand is that not all debts can be discharged by a bankruptcy. Student loans and back child support are debts that will still exist after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Many court judgments and taxes owed cannot be bankrupted as well.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
When filing for Chapter 13, an individual’s debts are reorganized and often reduced. Interest is usually suspended, and a lump sum is paid once a month to a trustee who then distributes the money to creditors per a formula approved by a judge. There are several advantages to this type of bankruptcy. The first is that a single payment is made each month instead of several to a variety of lenders. This gives a borrower a chance to breathe and take control of their finances. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will eliminate monthly interest from adding more to the debt. A fixed amount of money is owed and paid for in monthly installments for the period of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This can be several years. After this time has elapsed, the bankruptcy is discharged, and you will owe no debts other than the ones not covered in a bankruptcy.

Which Bankruptcy Is Best?
The standards for qualifying for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are much stricter than those for a Chapter 13, so usually if an individual qualifies for both, it is a Chapter 7 filing that is a better choice. This is because more debt will be discharged in a shorter frame of time than under a Chapter 13. However, both bankruptcies will affect your credit negatively for 10 years. Which type of bankruptcy a person decides to file is not nearly as important as whether to file in the first place. There are long term consequences to an individual’s personal finances that should be avoided as much as possible.

Alternatives to Bankruptcy
One of the most popular ways to avoid bankruptcy is a consolidated loan or using consolidated debt services. There are companies that specialize in negotiating with lenders to reduce and consolidate debt for a consumer and give them a chance to avoid a bankruptcy.

Regardless of what path is chosen to get out of debt, bankruptcy should not be taken lightly. It can be a life changing decision, and not everyone is better off after going through a bankruptcy. Debt counseling and debt consolidation services need to be used first.

Do Startups Need Lawyers? What are the Risks of Noting Having One?

Do Startups Need Lawyers? What are the Risks of Noting Having One?

lawWhen running a startup, it’s easy to forget about important things like hiring a lawyer. However, this is a mistake as it’s not easy to run a company without help from a legal professional. Think about it, with one small mistake, one can watch as their corporation suffers serious damage. With this in mind, here are five risks of not having a lawyer.

Starting out a company: First and foremost, when starting a corporation, it’s easy to make serious errors. Think about it, when incorporating, plenty of people commit errors, minor or major. For example, when starting a company, it’s not easy to remember what type of corporation a person wants. For example, some individuals will want a limited liability corporation. On the other hand, others will want to use another option. Either way, when starting out in the business world, one needs to choose the perfect option for their needs. Otherwise, when one doesn’t do so, they will suffer in the long run.

Dealing with a minor lawsuit: In reality, when running a company, large or small, one will deal with a lawsuit. Think about it, over time, it’s not easy to run a company without dealing with angry or bitter ex-employees or clients. When his happens, a corporation will deal with plenty of lawsuits and other problems. While true, with a serious lawyer on your side, you can avoid most issues. Otherwise, without an attorney, one will suffer during the proceedings as the other people will certainly have a lawyer.

Expanding: When expanding a company, you will need to take the advice from a smart and hardworking lawyer. Remember, not only is it difficult to start a company without the help of a lawyer, but you will struggle without learning the basics. Not only will an entrepreneur need to learn the basics of expanding, but he or she will struggle when trying to find ways to find more clients from around the world.

Lowering tax rate: All-too-often, a small business owner will end up paying a high tax rate. While this is not easy to avoid, one can pay lower taxes if they hire a qualified and hardworking tax attorney. Think about it, when dealing with state and local governments, it’s not easy to avoid taxes. However, with a hardworking and qualified tax attorney on your side, you can lower your tax burden, immediately.

Dealing with an employee: Sadly, when trying to offer employment opportunities to people, it’s easy to end up in court as some people seemingly want to raise trouble. This is common whether working with union employees in California or people in Texas. However, with a hardworking and dedicated lawyer on your side, you can squash these fears and take action. Remember, as entrepreneur, you can take control and hire a lawyer who will take action immediately. Otherwise, if you don’t take action, you will watch as your workers try to form a union and exercise their rights. Remember, without a lawyer, you will face an uphill battle against overzealous employees.

When hiring a lawyer, a corporation or person can protect his or her rights. Otherwise, without this, one will face an uphill battle in the court of law. Luckily, with a lawyer on your side, you will not struggle to assert your rights.

5 Of The Most Epic Lawyer Movies Of All Time

We all love a good court room film– suspense, drama, and even some laughs. If you are in the mood for an epic lawyer movie, consider some of these suggestions, which are sure to get those law suit juices flowing. These movies are the best of the best when it comes to court room, plots, and include both mega successful dramas and comedies.

Primal Fear

Primal Fear earns its distinction as a classic lawyer movie for its ahead of the times ending– before films like The Sixth Sense broadened the suspense genre, Primal Fear was one of the first movies to present the trick ending. Starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney as two lawyers in a case against a young accused murderer, played by Edward Norton, and the film will keep you guessing until the very end. It is lawyer drama at its best.

Liar/Liar

Everyone loves a comedy, and few men do comedy as well as Jim Carrey, who stars in the hilarious lawyer movie, Liar/Liar. Carrey plays a successful, cut throat lawyer who lies in all aspects of life, both in court and out, to get his way. His young son makes a wish that results in Carrey being able to only tell the truth, no matter what, and hilarity ensues. It is a great laugh, and a film parents can even watch with their kids (this was before Jim Carrey got too raunchy).

A Time to Kill

Courtroom dramas are one of the best film dramas, and A Time to Kill is one of the most edge of your seat dramas you are likely to see. The movie was based on the hit book of the same name, and stars Matthew McConaughey as a lawyer representing Samuel L. Jackson, who is on trial for killing the young men who raped and left his minor daughter for dead. Racial themes are a big part of the movie, as it is set in the deep south, and the plot turns will have you interested the entire time.

Legally Blonde

To lighten things up a bit, Legally Blonde makes the list, as it is a mega hit movie with some big law chops. Reese Witherspoon plays a sorority girl who follows her ex to Harvard Law School, becoming her own independent woman in the process. There are some great themes in the film, paired with plenty of laughs. It is perfect for those looking for a good rom com, and it all caps off with a big court room ending.

Runaway Jury

Finally, Runaway Jury is another book to film conversion with some gripping court room drama. John Cusack and Rachel Weisz team up to manipulate a jury in a prominent case, while Gene Hackman plays a high powered analyst who defense teams pay to get the verdict they want. With these two sides against each other, the plot unfolds with suspense, mystery and drama, with a big reveal at the end that makes it all worth it.

These movies are all great examples of law films, and it is hard to pick just one favorite to watch. Instead, get yourself comfortable on the couch with a number of these court room films, and you will have hours of entertainment ahead of you, filled with some suspense and good laughs.

What Happens When Lawyers Need Lawyers: 5 Different Scenarios

The justice system is rife with complexity, and attorneys often need lawyers of their own to address intricate legal issues. There are several instances that mandate the need for external representation, and being one’s own lawyer often amounts to hours of unpaid labor. Below are five of the most common kinds of cases that necessitate the need for lawyers to employ other lawyers.
1. Disabled Rights

Just like in any other career, daily work can be severely interrupted by illness or injury. During instances of unexpected disabilities, attorneys need to have a proxy to ensure their duties are fulfilled. Unfortunately, a lot of bureaucratic effort is involved in the simple process of transferring cases, so incapacitated lawyers must have a reliable agent on hand. These parties can handle all basic filings, and they will stand in during most hearings. Whenever possible, they are also tasked with acquiring monetary compensation for the lawyer that is out of work.
2. Confidentiality Preservation

The best lawyers never shy away from controversy, so their need for privacy can be higher than most other occupations. Certain gag orders can limit the participation of attorneys that have been previously in a case’s progression, which means secondary representation is required. Groundbreaking lawyers may also seek counsel when their trailblazing methods land them in hot water. It is much easier to plead Fifth Amendment rights when another lawyer is doing all of the talking.
3. Remote Representation

Occupational demands often dictate that lawyers operate within multiple precincts and jurisdictions. Most of the time, these areas are closely located; however, some attorneys have offices in several parts of the country. If scheduled courtroom appearances are destined to overlap, another attorney may be sent to handle processions in the absence of a summoned party. If physical presence is not needed for a hearing, then a lawyer can skip it entirely. The whole affair can be left to an underling or intern.
4. Malpractice Protection

Because there are endless challenges associated with legalese mazes, errors are bound to happen on occasion during even the most professional attorney’s careers. To stave off damaging malpractice litigation, it is wise to have a specialized defense lawyer on retainer at all times. A sterling reputation can be maintained by employing a hawkish ally to oversee risky courtroom strategies.
5. Post-Disbarment Trials

Banishment from law practice closes the door on working in the courtroom, but it opens the door for a ton of new legal problems. Reinstatement is a nearly impossible journey, and the rules depend on regional codes and specific infractions. Usually, a lengthy time period must also pass before reentry will even be considered. This range typically encompasses five years. This is a huge window for potential run-ins with the law, and the best bet for withstanding any court procedure is through outside help. Judges are characteristically harsh when it comes to disgraced lawyers, so top-notch representation is the safest route.

The examples detailed above refer to very specific instances of lawyers serving lawyers, but there are general causes for the layered practice too. For example, prosecutors have a tendency to make lousy defenders, so these workers have to reach across the aisle to receive aid from their inherently opposite counterparts. Ultimately, every case is unique!