Monday, December 11, 2017

When do you need an attorney?

July 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, Legal Tips

Bad things can happen to anyone at anytime. There are some mistakes that people make that do have consequences that come with them. Sometimes these mistakes can lead to court appearances and heavy fines added in. When this is a problem for anyone, it may be a good idea to talk to an attorney and find out your rights. It is always better to have someone else on your side when you get into trouble.

There are many ways that you can find a good attorney. You can simply look in the yellow pages or online for a listing of the local attorneys in your area. You can call around until you find one that is willing to help you with your situation. Another way to find a good firm is to get referrals. You can ask around for some good advice from people that have used one before. This is usually a good way to get help with this kind of need.

There are lots of reasons why someone may need to hire an attorney. It can be anything from a simple traffic violation to more serious things like assault or theft. Whatever the reasons may be, you should find an attorney that only handles certain kinds of law. For some attorneys they will specialize in a specific part. This is always going to be the best way to go when you are trying to get the best possible representation.

Many times people may find that they need to have a family matter or real estate matter taken care of through the court system. When this happens, it is going to be required that you get an attorney to help you settle the matter. If you are trying to get something resolved by the law, you need to have the proper representation so that you can do your best at winning.

Anytime you purchase or sell a home, you will find it necessary to have an attorney handle some of the paperwork. It is just the normal formality things that they have to settle. It is a lot easier on you when you find someone that knows this kind of work best. You will have a better time at getting everything handled in a timely manner.

Most attorneys do require a retainer paid up front before they perform any services. This is going to be a fee that is usually a few hundred dollars. This will cover some of the up front costs so that they can get started on fighting your case. This is a formality so you should make sure that you could afford the attorney before you decide to choose them.

Getting an attorney is going to be the best way to handle any legal problem that you may have. You should never go at anything alone and having someone on your side is the best way to make sure that you are taken care of.

We recommend the best rated Attorneys in California Law Offices of Tarman & Shamuilian ( Bobby) www.tslawteam.com/attorney-profiles/bobby-shamuilian

Tips on Selecting the Right Personal Injury or Car Accident Lawyer

June 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Legal Tips

If you are in a car accident and suffer an injury, you should consult with an attorney. Although most people would like to do the right thing and compensate your for your injury, it is rarely up to the person which caused the injury. In fact, it will more than likely be at the discretion of the other person’s insurance company. In addition, as we all know, insurance companies will do everything in their power not to offer compensation for your injury or offer a settlement to you way below what you would receive if you had hired a lawyer. If you did not know, insurance companies profit from this type of under compensation.

An experienced car accident or personal injury lawyer will know how to negotiate with the insurance company, build your case, and take your case to trial if necessary. It is not advisable for you to meet personally with the insurance company without your lawyer present. Insurance companies will do everything they can to take advantage of you and will obtain statements from you that could jeopardize your case if you should decide to sue.

Find the right lawyer can be a time consuming and challenging task. Usually people begin their search when they are in need of one immediately. A lawyer should be selected for their expertise and experience in car accident cases. The right lawyer will have experience in cases such as yours and will be able to take action immediately. The right lawyer will know what to do immediately without having to research your case or check court decisions, as he/she should be familiar with your type of case. Selecting the right lawyer will save you time and money in the long run.

Begin your search for your lawyer as soon as possible. A critical deadline called ¡°statue of limitations¡± and other deadlines may give you a limited amount of time to take legal action. Do no rely on advice from friends and family in choosing your lawyer, doing so will limit your search for the ¡°right lawyer¡±. However, if a family member or friend can recommend a lawyer that has work experiences in a case similar to yours, then act on their recommendation and make the appointment to meet him or her.

The most important factor in selecting your lawyer is that you are comfortable speaking with him or her and that you feel that a working relationship can develop. A good working relationship and communication can be a vital key to the success of your case.

What is Fair Use?

May 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured, Legal Tips

Copyright 2006 Sharon Housley

As the Internet matures, users and governments are struggling to manage controversial issues. Lets face it, the Internet did not exist when the US copyright laws were written;let us not forget, while many countries respect copyright laws, the Internet is global without a governing body. There are not only different laws, rules and regulations, but also jurisdiction issues. RSS didn’t exist when copyright laws were written either. While ardent supporters feel any content in a feed can be syndicated, other equally fervernet publishers contend that original works are just that–original works, and in many countries protected by copyright laws.

Much of the Internet is uncharted terroritory. There is no single agencies that has complete control over content or censorship, and it is unlikely that there will ever be a recognized body that regulates and agrees to terms and conditions to govern the online world. At this point, the location of webhosts and companies owning domains dictate what laws that are observed. In other words, if a company in the US or UK is violating a copyright and their host is in the US or UK, it will be easy to enforce copyright laws in the event of a violation and have the website content pulled. If the website is located on a server in a region that does not recognize or acknowledge the rights of a copyright holder, the web host will be less likely to cooperate in removing the offending content.

Regardless of whether you manage an RSS feed or syndicate existing feeds, it is a good idea to become familiar with what constitutes fair use under copyright laws. Fair use allows portions of copy written material to be reproduced or republished without the consent or permission from the copyright holder.

Determining protection can be complex. Fair use is often disputed, and it is difficult for legal scholars to understand, and even more difficult for publishers to decipher. When determining fair use there are a few questions that help determine whether a copyright violation has occurred. The questions you should ask are:

Is the work protected? How much material is copied? What is the nature of the work that was copied? Is the individual reproducing the work profiting? How was the original works affected by being copied?

When attempting to determine copyright protection, it is important to remember that the US copyright law does not require a notice to appear in order for creative works to be protected. The fact that the work is unique and is “created” is enough to ensure protection.

Not surprisingly, creative works that contain a higher level of complexity have a higher degree of protection. The fair use doctrine is part of US copyright law and it allows for publishers to incorporate some copyrighted material into works without the expressed permission of the copyright holder.

Keep in mind that fair use is based on the belief that the general public and media are entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials. The fair use extends to commentary on the creative works, criticism of creative works, or even the creation of a parody that relates to the copyrighted material. Understanding the intent of the copyright laws help publishers interpret them.

Xbox Murder

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Tips

It happened on August 6, 2004. A gruesome murder. At approximately 1am, six individuals were stabbed and then beaten to their deaths. The murdered victims were Michelle Ann Nathan, 19; Erin Belanger, 22; Francisco Ayo-Roman, 30; Anthony Vega, 34; Roberto Gonzalez, 28 and Jonathan Gleason, 17. Most of the victims were asleep when the attack occurred. According to reports, the victims did not fight back.

What in the world could have caused the heartless criminals to violently kill the aforementioned and two small dogs? The shocking answer is a Xbox game. The murderers were squatting at one of the victim’s grandparent’s vacant home. When the Xbox game and some clothing were removed from the home, where they were staying illegally, the boys became enraged.

A clerk at Wal-Mart told investigators that the band of criminals was joking and laughing about killing people. The crew bought baseball bats—this was just two days before the heinous crime. What happened next was simply gruesome. That was almost two years ago. The trial, which had to be moved due to excessive media coverage, is about to get underway.

The prosecution is adamant about seeking the death penalty if the defendants are convicted. To bolster their case, they managed to get one of the crew to flip. His name is Robert Cannon, 19, and he’s going to spill the beans about the destructive events on that fateful August morning. In exchange, Cannon will serve a life sentence. The other three are Troy Victorino, 29; Michael Salas, 20 and Jerone Hunter, 20.

The group is facing six counts of first-degree murder, five counts of mutilating a dead human body and many other felony offenses. Troy Victorino has been labeled as the ringleader. Just before the fatal attacks, he was arrested for beating his friend in the face with a walking stick. Victorino was released on a pitiful $2,500 bond. He was now free to coordinate and strike again.

Due to the bloody evidence in the prosecution’s possession, one can assume that the defendants stand a very good chance at receiving capital punishment if convicted. Since Robert Cannon flipped, the prosecution has a very good case. It will be an uphill battle for the defense. The trial is expected to last about two months. This trial was moved, due to the overwhelming media coverage, to St. Augustine.

The Process of Family Court Restraining Orders

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Tips

Copyright 2006 Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer

The first step to understanding the process of obtaining a family law domestic violence restraining order is to understand that this process is quite different from the process involved when protective orders are automatically put into place by the courts in criminal matters. In criminal matters, the police and the court are empowered to issue “automatic” temporary restraining orders. Evidentiary hearings are not conducted before these restraining orders are put into place. Consequently, in criminal courts the protected party does not need to be a part of the process.

In many instances, victims of domestic violence need to obtain a restraining order in family court, for example, where the criminal court restraining order is not adequate to deal with issues such as child support, spousal support, or custody and visitation. In other instances, a victim of domestic violence may need the protection of the family court where criminal charges were not filed or have been dismissed.

Unlike criminal matters, the protected party seeking a family law restraining order has to file his or her own papers, attend at least two hearings, and be able to conduct an evidentiary hearing. In addition, the Petitioner in a family court restraining order matter is responsible for ensuring that the Respondent has been served prior to the hearing.

At the hearing, Petitioners seeking a family law restraining order must be able to present a case, and convince the judge by a preponderance of the evidence that domestic violence was committed. Thus, a basic understanding of what constitutes domestic violence is essential. In some instances, the matter does not qualify as a domestic violence case, because the parties do not have the right type of relationship. Instead, the case may be filed as a “Civil Harassment” matter, which involves its own unique process and standard of proof.

The hearing for a permanent restraining order is essentially a mini trial. At the hearing, all of the rules of evidence apply, and both parties have the right to a meaningful opportunity to present evidence and cross examine witnesses. Preparing for a family court restraining order hearing should include, composing direct and cross examination questions, and when possible, gathering of physical and demonstrative evidence. In this high tech age that we live in, e-mail messages, voice messages, and surveillance video are frequently introduced into evidence to prove or disprove a case. Police reports are also allowed into evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule. Thus, litigants should attempt to obtain police reports, whenever possible, as they can be very persuasive to the judge. People within the legal profession recognize the serious consequences involved with the issuance of permanent restraining orders. Given that restraining orders typically impose significant limitations on a party’s liberty, and can affect a party’s ability to find or maintain employment, these matters are being taken more seriously by the courts in recent years. Courts have become more skeptical of the requests that are made for restraining orders and hold the moving party to his or her burden. Indeed, the days of family courts “rubber stamping” restraining orders appear to be coming to an end. Consequently, it is incumbent upon any person who is faced with having to be a part of this process to do his or her homework before entering the courtroom.

The Police Want to Speak With Me – What Should I Do?

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Tips

Copyright 2006 Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer

Have you ever stopped to consider what you would do if you were suddenly faced with the prospect of getting arrested and being asked by the police to speak to them? Most of my law abiding clients never consider such circumstances since they do not foresee the possibility of ever having problems with the law. Unfortunately, life is not predictable, and some of us may find ourselves in compromising positions where the police will attempt to speak with us.

In this article I will provide you with useful information in the event the “unimaginable” happens and you are accused of committing a crime. As you will read, there are several reasons why it may be in your best interests not to speak with the police until you have first spoken with an attorney.

THEIR CASE MAY NOT BE MADE WITHOUT YOUR STATEMENT:

First of all, the police may not be able to make a case against you without your statement. It is a little known fact that obtaining a confession or incriminating statements from the accused is the number one tool law enforcement officers rely on in making their case. Approximately 70 percent of all criminal cases filed by the District Attorney’s office have sufficient evidence for filings, only because the accused made a statement to the police. Consequently, police officers are specially trained to illicit statements from people accused of crimes. They are sent to special schools where they receive training on how to use psychology and to employ tricks to get people to speak. And in case you didn’t know, it is perfectly within the law for police officers to use trickery or to tell lies in order to obtain a statement.

LAW ENFORCEMENT ALWAYS WINS:

When you are accused of a crime, giving your “side of the story” to the police is usually the wrong thing to do. As the popular former prosecutor and noted author – Vincent Bugliosi once wrote, getting a statement from the accused almost always favors the prosecution. Once the government has your version of the incident, you are pinned down as to certain facts, and the government will spend countless hours tearing your story apart. Prosecutors are taught to use defendant’s statements in trial, even when they are self serving, since the statements are usually more helpful to the government’s case than harmful. Thus, as the Miranda warnings state, “your statement can and will be used against you.”

MIRANDA WARNINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS REQUIRED:

Contrary to popular belief, the police are not required to give you the Miranda warnings prior to speaking with you in all situations. Miranda warnings are only required when the police have you in a “custodial” situation, i.e., when you are not free to leave. Therefore, there are many situations where the police can contact you and speak to you without having to give you the Miranda rights. For example, police officers frequently make telephone calls to people suspected of crimes and obtain voluntary statements without having to give Miranda warnings. Incidentally, these phone conversations are usually secretly tape recorded, which the police are authorized to do! Also, officers frequently ask people to drop by the station to give a statement, or they drop by your house to talk to you. So long as the Court finds you were “free to leave,” the police are not required to “Mirandize” you before speaking to you.

SPEAKING TO THEM CAN RUIN A GOOD DEFENSE:

Experienced defense attorneys know the value of going to trial when their client’s have not spoken, since the government’s case may not be very strong. When the accused has not provided the police with a statement, his or her attorney has the opportunity to analyze the government’s case before making a opening and closing statements or deciding if a particular witness should testify. Conversely, when you speak to the police you will probably eliminate most of the defenses your attorney can employ on your behalf.

IF THEIR MOTIVES ARE INNOCENT, THEY CAN WAIT:

Assume that the police want to speak with you as a “witness.” The police tell you they do not consider you as a suspect and they believe you possess information that may be helpful in their investigation. Before speaking to them, you may want to ask yourself, “what’s the hurry?” In most circumstances, the police can wait long enough for you to consult with an attorney, since they are contacting you after the incident and there is no emergency that requires your statement. Furthermore, if the motives of the police are as innocent as they sound, the police should be willing to wait until you have consulted with an attorney.

IT IS YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT NOT TO TALK:

Many people who are aware of their rights not to speak to the police, waive their Constitutional rights, because they are afraid of looking guilty. Believe it or not, many Police officers and Prosecutors accused of crimes (and who should know their rights better than the rest of us) frequently waive their rights, and end up ruining the defenses they may have had.

When you find yourself in need, do not hesitate in exercising your Constitutional rights. Remember, exercising your Constitutional rights can never be used against you in a criminal case. Thus, if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t want to speak to the police, just tell the police, “I’d like to speak with you, but first I will need to speak with my attorney to ensure my rights are protected.”

The Argument for Torture

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Tips

I. Practical Considerations

The problem of the “ticking bomb” – rediscovered after September 11 by Alan Dershowitz, a renowned criminal defense lawyer in the United States – is old hat. Should physical torture be applied – where psychological strain has failed – in order to discover the whereabouts of a ticking bomb and thus prevent a mass slaughter of the innocent? This apparent ethical dilemma has been confronted by ethicists and jurists from Great Britain to Israel.

Nor is Dershowitz’s proposal to have the courts issue “torture warrants” (Los Angeles Times, November 8, 2001) unprecedented. In a controversial decision in 1996, the Supreme Court of Israel permitted its internal security forces to apply “moderate physical pressure” during the interrogation of suspects.

It has thus fully embraced the recommendation of the 1987 Landau Commission, presided over by a former Supreme Court judge. This blanket absolution was repealed in 1999 when widespread abuses against Palestinian detainees were unearthed by human rights organizations.

Indeed, this juridical reversal – in the face of growing suicidal terrorism – demonstrates how slippery the ethical slope can be. What started off as permission to apply mild torture in extreme cases avalanched into an all-pervasive and pernicious practice. This lesson – that torture is habit-forming and metastasizes incontrollably throughout the system – is the most powerful – perhaps the only – argument against it.

As Harvey Silverglate argued in his rebuttal of Dershowitz’s aforementioned op-ed piece:

“Institutionalizing torture will give it society’s imprimatur, lending it a degree of respectability. It will then be virtually impossible to curb not only the increasing frequency with which warrants will be sought – and granted – but also the inevitable rise in unauthorized use of torture. Unauthorized torture will increase not only to extract life-saving information, but also to obtain confessions (many of which will then prove false). It will also be used to punish real or imagined infractions, or for no reason other than human sadism. This is a genie we should not let out of the bottle.”

Alas, these are weak contentions.

That something has the potential to be widely abused – and has been and is being widely misused – should not inevitably lead to its utter, universal, and unconditional proscription. Guns, cars, knives, and books have always been put to vile ends. Nowhere did this lead to their complete interdiction.

Moreover, torture is erroneously perceived by liberals as a kind of punishment. Suspects – innocent until proven guilty – indeed should not be subject to penalty. But torture is merely an interrogation technique. Ethically, it is no different to any other pre-trial process: shackling, detention, questioning, or bad press. Inevitably, the very act of suspecting someone is traumatic and bound to inflict pain and suffering – psychological, pecuniary, and physical – on the suspect.

True, torture is bound to yield false confessions and wrong information, Seneca claimed that it “forces even the innocent to lie”. St. Augustine expounded on the moral deplorability of torture thus: “If the accused be innocent, he will undergo for an uncertain crime a certain punishment, and that not for having committed a crime, but because it is unknown whether he committed it.”

But the same can be said about other, less corporeal, methods of interrogation. Moreover, the flip side of ill-gotten admissions is specious denials of guilt. Criminals regularly disown their misdeeds and thus evade their penal consequences. The very threat of torture is bound to limit this miscarriage of justice. Judges and juries can always decide what confessions are involuntary and were extracted under duress.

Thus, if there was a way to ensure that non-lethal torture is narrowly defined, applied solely to extract time-critical information in accordance with a strict set of rules and specifications, determined openly and revised frequently by an accountable public body; that abusers are severely punished and instantly removed; that the tortured have recourse to the judicial system and to medical attention at any time – then the procedure would have been ethically justified in rare cases if carried out by the authorities.

In Israel, the Supreme Court upheld the right of the state to apply ‘moderate physical pressure’ to suspects in ticking bomb cases. It retained the right of appeal and review. A public committee established guidelines for state-sanctioned torture and, as a result, the incidence of rabid and rampant mistreatment has declined. Still, Israel’s legal apparatus is flimsy, biased and inadequate. It should be augmented with a public – even international – review board and a rigorous appeal procedure.

This proviso – “if carried out by the authorities” – is crucial.

The sovereign has rights denied the individual, or any subset of society. It can judicially kill with impunity. Its organs – the police, the military – can exercise violence. It is allowed to conceal information, possess illicit or dangerous substances, deploy arms, invade one’s bodily integrity, or confiscate property. To permit the sovereign to torture while forbidding individuals, or organizations from doing so would, therefore, not be without precedent, or inconsistent.

Alan Dershowitz expounds:

“(In the United States) any interrogation technique, including the use of truth serum or even torture, is not prohibited. All that is prohibited is the introduction into evidence of the fruits of such techniques in a criminal trial against the person on whom the techniques were used. But the evidence could be used against that suspect in a non-criminal case – such as a deportation hearing – or against someone else.”

When the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi concentration camps were revealed, C.S. Lewis wrote, in quite desperation:

“What was the sense in saying the enemy were in the wrong unless Right is a real thing which the Nazis at bottom knew as well as we did and ought to have practiced? If they had no notion of what we mean by Right, then, though we might still have had to fight them, we could no more have blamed them for that than for the color of their hair.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, paperback edition, 1952).

But legal torture should never be directed at innocent civilians based on arbitrary criteria such as their race or religion. If this principle is observed, torture would not reflect on the moral standing of the state. Identical acts are considered morally sound when carried out by the realm – and condemnable when discharged by individuals. Consider the denial of freedom. It is lawful incarceration at the hands of the republic – but kidnapping if effected by terrorists.

Nor is torture, as “The Economist” misguidedly claims, a taboo.

According to the 2002 edition of the “Encyclopedia Britannica”, taboos are “the prohibition of an action or the use of an object based on ritualistic distinctions of them either as being sacred and consecrated or as being dangerous, unclean, and accursed.” Evidently, none of this applies to torture. On the contrary, torture – as opposed, for instance, to incest – is a universal, state-sanctioned behavior.

Amnesty International – who should know better – professed to have been shocked by the results of their own surveys:

“In preparing for its third international campaign to stop torture, Amnesty International conducted a survey of its research files on 195 countries and territories. The survey covered the period from the beginning of 1997 to mid-2000. Information on torture is usually concealed, and reports of torture are often hard to document, so the figures almost certainly underestimate its extent. The statistics are shocking. There were reports of torture or ill-treatment by state officials in more than 150 countries. In more than 70, they were widespread or persistent. In more than 80 countries, people reportedly died as a result.”

Countries and regimes abstain from torture – or, more often, claim to do so – because such overt abstention is expedient. It is a form of global political correctness, a policy choice intended to demonstrate common values and to extract concessions or benefits from others. Giving up this efficient weapon in the law enforcement arsenal even in Damoclean circumstances is often rewarded with foreign direct investment, military aid, and other forms of support.

But such ethical magnanimity is a luxury in times of war, or when faced with a threat to innocent life. Even the courts of the most liberal societies sanctioned atrocities in extraordinary circumstances. Here the law conforms both with common sense and with formal, utilitarian, ethics.

II. Ethical Considerations

Rights – whether moral or legal – impose obligations or duties on third parties towards the right-holder. One has a right AGAINST other people and thus can prescribe to them certain obligatory behaviors and proscribe certain acts or omissions. Rights and duties are two sides of the same Janus-like ethical coin.

This duality confuses people. They often erroneously identify rights with their attendant duties or obligations, with the morally decent, or even with the morally permissible. One’s rights inform other people how they MUST behave towards one – not how they SHOULD, or OUGHT to act morally. Moral behavior is not dependent on the existence of a right. Obligations are.

To complicate matters further, many apparently simple and straightforward rights are amalgams of more basic moral or legal principles. To treat such rights as unities is to mistreat them.

Take the right not to be tortured. It is a compendium of many distinct rights, among them: the right to bodily and mental integrity, the right to avoid self-incrimination, the right not to be pained, or killed, the right to save one’s life (wrongly reduced merely to the right to self-defense), the right to prolong one’s life (e.g., by receiving medical attention), and the right not to be forced to lie under duress.

None of these rights is self-evident, or unambiguous, or universal, or immutable, or automatically applicable. It is safe to say, therefore, that these rights are not primary – but derivative, nonessential, or mere “wants”.

Moreover, the fact that the torturer also has rights whose violation may justify torture is often overlooked.

Consider these two, for instance:

The Rights of Third Parties against the Tortured

What is just and what is unjust is determined by an ethical calculus, or a social contract – both in constant flux. Still, it is commonly agreed that every person has the right not to be tortured, or killed unjustly.

Yet, even if we find an Archimedean immutable point of moral reference – does A’s right not to be tortured, let alone killed, mean that third parties are to refrain from enforcing the rights of other people against A?

What if the only way to right wrongs committed, or about to be committed by A against others – was to torture, or kill A? There is a moral obligation to right wrongs by restoring, or safeguarding the rights of those wronged, or about to be wronged by A.

If the defiant silence – or even the mere existence – of A are predicated on the repeated and continuous violation of the rights of others (especially their right to live), and if these people object to such violation – then A must be tortured, or killed if that is the only way to right the wrong and re-assert the rights of A’s victims.

This, ironically, is the argument used by liberals to justify abortion when the fetus (in the role of A) threatens his mother’s rights to health and life.

The Right to Save One’s Own Life

One has a right to save one’s life by exercising self-defense or otherwise, by taking certain actions, or by avoiding them. Judaism – as well as other religious, moral, and legal systems – accepts that one has the right to kill a pursuer who knowingly and intentionally is bent on taking one’s life. Hunting down Osama bin-Laden in the wilds of Afghanistan is, therefore, morally acceptable (though not morally mandatory). So is torturing his minions.

When there is a clash between equally potent rights – for instance, the conflicting rights to life of two people – we can decide among them randomly (by flipping a coin, or casting dice). Alternatively, we can add and subtract rights in a somewhat macabre arithmetic. The right to life definitely prevails over the right to comfort, bodily integrity, absence of pain and so on. Where life is at stake, non-lethal torture is justified by any ethical calculus.

Utilitarianism – a form of crass moral calculus – calls for the maximization of utility (life, happiness, pleasure). The lives, happiness, or pleasure of the many outweigh the life, happiness, or pleasure of the few. If by killing or torturing the few we (a) save the lives of the many (b) the combined life expectancy of the many is longer than the combined life expectancy of the few and (c) there is no other way to save the lives of the many – it is morally permissible to kill, or torture the few.

III. The Social Treaty

There is no way to enforce certain rights without infringing on others. The calculus of ethics relies on implicit and explicit quantitative and qualitative hierarchies. The rights of the many outweigh certain rights of the few. Higher-level rights – such as the right to life – override rights of a lower order.

The rights of individuals are not absolute but “prima facie”. They are restricted both by the rights of others and by the common interest. They are inextricably connected to duties towards other individuals in particular and the community in general. In other words, though not dependent on idiosyncratic cultural and social contexts, they are an integral part of a social covenant.

It can be argued that a suspect has excluded himself from the social treaty by refusing to uphold the rights of others – for instance, by declining to collaborate with law enforcement agencies in forestalling an imminent disaster. Such inaction amounts to the abrogation of many of one’s rights (for instance, the right to be free). Why not apply this abrogation to his or her right not to be tortured?

So you got a Speeding Ticket, So now what?

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Legal Tips

Speeding tickets are no fun. If you are pulled over for speeding and issued a citation legally, you do not need a lawyer unless you were also driving recklessly and are also cited for reckless driving. Speeding tickets are fairly straight forward, for the most part. However, depending on how much over the speed limit you were driving and which state you live in, your vehicle could be impounded (typically 40 mph over the speed limit). Additionally in some states, if you are under 18, your license may become suspended. But, if none of these conditions apply to you, you have the right to do two things: either pay the ticket, usually through mail, or else dispute the charge against you. After becoming aware of the law, I learned that anyone who pleads guilty on speeding tickets where they were cited for not speeding at all or cited for not going too much over the speed limit, subjects himself to unnecessary punishment from the law, since most speeding tickets of this type can be dismissed. I had a friend who was once cited for speeding when he was not and decided to fight the ticket.

So how do I fight a speeding ticket if I don’t think I was speeding?

Courts do not like to waste time and taxpayer dollars on petty crimes. To dispute a speeding ticket, you must within 10 days in most instances either sign the portion of the ticket that says “not guilty” and mail it to the place where you would send the payment for the fine or write a letter of dispute with the ticket number included in the letter, as well as your reasons for disputing the charges. In the written dispute, you must include ticket numbers, the date the ticket was received, the “act and section of the defense,” and your personal information. Thus, it depends on the state, but for the most part, states have a writing address where the dispute can be mailed. Check with your local county clerk to learn where to mail the dispute form.

After you have completed the dispute form, you will then wait to hear from the proper authorities, which will mail you a letter stating the date that your hearing will start. Make sure you attend the hearing and try to be at the courtroom at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the court hearing.

When the judge or district magistrate in some cases asks you how you plea, make sure you plead not guilty. He will then ask you to tell your story. As in my friend’s case above, he simply told him what had happened. He told the judge that when he saw the cop he looked at his speedometer and he was only going 35 mph in a 35 mph zone. The cop had cited him for going over 45 mph in the 35 mph zone. The cop was there and he conceded. At this point the judge will decide if your case is worthy of continuance and may possibly throw out the case or in the case of a district magistrate will decide your case; otherwise, in the case of a judge, you may be summoned to appear at another hearing at which your case will be decided.

Affording Legal Help Concerning Bankruptcy

April 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Legal Tips

Mails coming from different parts of the country, credit companies crowding your door. You feel like every creditor is hassling and harassing you from every corner of your life. You are broke and got no where to turn to. Whenever you consider the idea for filing for a bankruptcy status, it seems to be impossible. But think about this – there is still hope for this kind of predicament.

If you are experiencing this kind of situation, you can do things to ease up your burden. With all of these, you are not alone. Unfortunately, the recent change in the way bankruptcy should be dealt is tough knowing that when you ask for help, you are bound to pay what you don’t have. Do not fret. There are other ways wherein you can still afford getting legal help for a bankruptcy status.

Below are the different important steps for finding legal aid for a bankruptcy situation.

1. Confer with a counselor with expertise on credit. These types of professionals are equipped to help you to be able to control your debt even without filing any bankruptcy claim. Luckily, a majority of these people offer their consultations for free.

2. Legal fees must be included in your case of bankruptcy. If you are planning to file Chapter 13 on bankruptcy, you have the option to pay your solicitor or attorney his fee the way you are paying your entire bills. In some situations, you can have the opportunity to cease paying bills like credit cards so that you can prioritize paying your lawyer or attorney.

3. Whenever there are offers for free consultation, take advantage of the chance. Events like these are common among lawyers and it’s more beneficial on your part to ensure that the solicitor or lawyer is the person whom you can trust and put your bankruptcy situation in process.

4. Pro bono lawyers are also one of the most important considerations that you have to take advantage of. This is a perfect opportunity although these lawyers are not always present to appeal to your case or represent you. Some attorney will help you and work for you with a minimal or reduced fee but not totally for free. Matters like these are important to ask when you are engaged in a free consultation. It will give you a wider view on what to expect and what not to expect when it comes to lawyer guarantee service of your status.

5. Limited representations must always be considered. These kinds of options are not available in all states of America but your state may have it. The irony with this is that, when the responsibilities of your attorney are limited, you expect that the bill you have to pay them is also less. On the other hand, you have to make it clear that even if the sum isn’t that great, the case is handled carefully and with ease.

Remember that any kind of error within the process of handling can result to dismissal of your case and seeing your remaining money go down the drain. Worse, you have to pay them back again just to make sure that they win your case.

Upon knowing the things above, you are to expect that a fee is always present in any kind of service that is why, when there are openings for free consultations for legal help, you have to grab the opportunity.

Conditions for Financial Matters in getting Legal Help

April 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Legal Tips

Have you ever heard that legal help is free? Think again. Still there are factors that are needed to be considered in order to qualify for legal help. One of which is having financial stability. You can’t expect someone helping you out with your problems and getting nothing out of it. You have to at least be included on the list of financially acceptable level of status in order to qualify for getting legal help.

Getting Benefits

If you have Pension credit, or having Income Support to back you up, then you automatically qualify to getting legal aid. Another thing that will make you qualify is when you consider yourself as an asylum seeker who is seeking for asylum support otherwise you have to meet with conditions involving capital and income matters.Income GenerationIf you have a monthly income of more than $2,500, there is a thin possibility that you will get any kind of legal aid.

Gross monthly income refers to the national insurance and tax that is stripped off and excludes different security benefits. If you have a number of 4 children, the limit may go up by $200 for the fifth children and for every additional child. It is mandatory that you include the income of your partner unless you have any kind of disputes with him or her.Now, if you have a gross income of $2,500 or less every month, you adviser or solicitor will investigate what your disposable income is.

A disposable income is the sum of income that you have when deductions are already made for child support, tax and national insurance. Another consideration is when you have children or a partner that is not earning anything, then a portion of your income will be taken. Again, if you have a partner that is earning, this will be included in the computation unless you have a problem with him or her.

In order to qualify for legal aid, your disposable income every month should be less than $699. If you belong within this income limit, then you don’t have to pay any kind of fee for legal help.

Capital

Disposal capital which also refers to as your savings should not be more than $8,000. This kind of amount will not get you free legal help. Disposable capital would include the following:

• valuable or priceless items

• money that you have kept in the bank

• the overall value of your house, more so if you own it.

Your mortgage will also be dependent on this factor.

Still, you have to include any kind of capital from your partner if you are not experiencing any kind of difficulty or dispute against him or her. Some of the things that you have to pay when it comes to legal help are cases regarding family, any kind of negligence taken from medical fields and a personal case of injury.

If this happens, before embarking into contracts and conditions, your legal adviser will lay down the bill that you have to pay them. It is for you to decide if you will taken it into consideration or just drop the idea of getting legal help out of these matters. Further information will be given to you by the solicitor in order to make you decide on what is best.

Next Page »