I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five. – Steven Wright
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough. – Abraham Lincoln
In the old days, you would have one lawyer to handle everything: speeding tickets, buying a house, contracts, litigation, real estate, copyrights, leasing, entertainment, intellectual property, forensic accounting, criminal offenses… the list goes on. Now, you have to have a separate lawyer for each one of those categories! – James Belushi
One of the things I was taught in law school is that I’d never be able to think the same again – that being a lawyer is something that’s part of who I am as an individual now. – Anita Hill
A lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an architect. – Walter Scott
If you are a lawyer, and you want to take on easier cases, you can prosecute traffic violations or something. You’d have a very high rate of success, and you probably could sleep more easily at night. But that’s not what drives me. – Amal Clooney
Note: The following is a summary of a new law. becasue of the intricacies invoiced in any law it’s advised that you seek more information ofr a lawyer. Most of teh following Expungement information was obtained from www.zapmyrecord.com. We take no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided.
Have you been arrested in Alabama for a non-violent crime some time in your past? Are you exhausted explaining this on every application you fill out for employment? This year Alabama passed a new expungement law; this lets numerous arrested or charged people wipe their criminal records clean. No more explaining on your applications about certain charges.
Even an unproven criminal charge can cause you problems in your professional life for years to come. Potential employers shy away whenever an applicant has a criminal charge in his or her past that cause him or her to check “YES” to a question concerning if there is an arrest in his or her past.
This new law on expungement will allow you the chance to provide the answer “NO” under certain conditions on a job application when it comes up if you have ever been charged or arrested with a non-violent crime. Expunging your record is not immediately given you, though, you have first file the proper petition and you may have to go to court. The proceedings for expungement make you place all the facts on the line and you must take it seriously. This is not something to do on your own. You need to make sure you hire a lawyer with expertise in this area. One slight mistake or omission may cause your petition to be denied. You must also act quickly because the legislature could change its mind at any time. This part of the state government could repeal or change the new law on expungement whenever it wants now or in the future.
This new law is not for the people who were convicted of a crime, but only for those not found guilty of charges against them. Under certain circumstances, the person could file for immediate expungement. It differs between charges and the outcome on when the person can file for expungement.
When the court approves an expungement petition, orders will be issued for all pertinent government agency, court, and police records, with certain stipulations, to be deleted. It will be as if the case never happened. Under most circumstances if anyone asks about this case, the person (some exceptions apply) will be told that no criminal record is listed. Alabama will even ask that federal records be expunged of the case. This means that if the case is in the FBI’s national database, Alabama will request the case removed from the database. When you have had your record expunged you do not have to disclose information about is on any types of applications for employment or other matters. However, you will still need to admit to the matter for specific government agencies, financial institutions and banks, utilities, and other organizations that have the ability to access even expunged records depending on the situation.
There is no limit under this law as to how many charges one person could have expunged. However, the rest of the person’s criminal history will have an influence on whether or not the expungement is approved.
This new law provides reputable individuals a chance to start over after being falsely accused. We have been practicing criminal law for decades in Alabama, and we provide all our resources and experience to assist people expunge their criminal records. Our law firm looks forward also to helping you.
Seven Questions to Ask before Hiring an Attorney
No matter how desperate you are to start building your defense, there is no excuse for hiring an attorney without asking the appropriate questions and obtaining acceptable answers. In fact, the more desperate you are, the more important it is to carefully screen your attorney options. You want to find the attorney with the most experience and the deepest drive to help you out. The following seven questions will help you identify that attorney.
1. How long have you been practicing law in this state?
The laws are different in every state, so you need an attorney who is familiar with the state you are facing charges in at the moment. If you find an excellent attorney who just moved to the state, you have to wonder whether they have the knowledge needed to mount a stellar defense in this state.
2. What is your specialty, and what percentage of your cases fall within that specialty?
You are basically asking what type of case this attorney prefers to take on. If they spend most of their time defending against one type of case, for example car wrecks, and that is not the type of case you have, then you may someone else for your case. On the other hand, if you were in a car wreck and you find out the lawyer you are talking to has handled hundreds of these kinds of cases, they might be your choice for representation. Passion is what often makes the difference between a successful car wreck lawyer and a losing attorney.
3. Can you tell me about your educational experience, including your rank at graduation and all honor achievements? Are you board certified?
This question may make some attorneys nervous if they were ranked low in their graduating class or did not make it to that exclusive Law Review invitation. The answer you receive will tell you how accomplished an attorney was in school, but accomplishments after graduation on real cases will count as well. Never work with an attorney who is not board certified.
4. Have you been disciplined by the bar of any state in the past?
It is important to ask about all states in which the attorney may have practiced because some bad attorneys will hop states. A previous disciplinary action may not signal a horrible attorney, but you do want to ask for details about that situation. Previous behavior is the biggest predictor of future behavior.
5. How many jury cases have you handled, and what were the outcomes of those cases?
You can tailor this question to meet the specifics of your case. Attorneys will handle cases different when they are before a jury rather than a judge. There may be other special factors for your case that not all attorneys are qualified to handle.
6. Will you handle my case personally? If not, who else will be involved in the case?
Do not assume that the attorney you meet with initially will handle all details of your case. If the attorney works in a firm, it can be handed off to someone with less experience or a questionable history. You want to determine who will handle your case and ask them all of the questions listed here.
7. What problems or obstacles do your foresee for my case? What are your ideas for handling this case?
Men and women deal with DUI everyday! Is time for you to hire a lawyer. While these attorneys can be expensive, you are going to need them if you want to have better odds of winning your case. The reason is that this professional will have the knowledge and expertise to represent you and in some cases they can have all charges dropped. In the rare occurrence there will be a conviction; this professional will help you to reduce your sentence and fines, while even having some charges still dropped from your record. As soon as you are charged with a DUI, you should be hiring an attorney.
How to Choose a DUI Specialist – Although you might feel it is best to hire the cheapest lawyer you can find, it won’t be the wisest move you can make. A better choice will be to look through all the attorneys who specialize in this type of case. After all, generalists will have a basic understanding of the law, while a specialist would know all the laws that will keep you safe, thanks to their years of experience.
Building a Strong Defense – Today, there is more pressure to prosecute those charged with drunk driving. When you have the right attorney on hand, they will be able to point out the inappropriate actions of anyone involved. This can help you to avoid a sentence that you might have been wrongfully charged with. Even if you think you are innocent, you will find that the legal process may not be on your side. Thankfully, these professionals know what to look for and how to use the legal system in an effort to protect you.
When the Numbers Are against You – Even when you know what your blood alcohol level was, or when you know you failed a sobriety test in the field, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. While many people assume this means an instant conviction, you will find that your attorney will know what to look for in these tests. If something wasn’t done according to standard procedure, they can begin to poke holes in the case of the prosecution and that could mean you are able to see charges reduced you might otherwise face.
Between states the DUI laws will vary. In some areas of the country, they may even be known by different names, such as a DWI. An attorney from any area you are charged in will know the local laws and can help you to work through your case in that location. This reduces the risk of a wrongful conviction and even helps to boost your overall odds.
Reducing Penalties – As DUI laws become stricter, the penalties they are coupled with become more severe. In some cases, a first offense can result in the loss of a license and that can lead to a negative impact on your life, including the loss of a job. If you are a habitual offender in the eyes of the court, you can face a felony that will include losing some of your rights, such as the right to vote. Because the consequences are so severe, you will want to ensure that you hire the right people to keep you protected when you are facing these charges.
When you have an attorney with legal knowledge in this area, you can ensure that your risks are minimized. They will be able to reduce the risk of conviction, while helping to ensure that some items never hit your record. If you were to instead beg for mercy from the court, you would find that most courts have no mercy when it comes to a DUI.
When you choose a qualified DUI lawyer, you are taking steps to protect yourself. That way you avoid extreme punishments and charges. Even if you don’t think you will win, they can help you to make it out of a bad situation. No one wants to lose freedom, or even their way of life form a DUI conviction. Because of this, ensure you have the best possible representation in court.
Many of American companies today are banning the use of cell phones while driving for their employees during work hours. They also are encouraging their employees to carry the practice into their personal driving while not on the job. This is in part because of the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) recommendation back in December 2011 that calls for the District of Columbia and all the states to ban cell phone use while driving.
Owens Corning is one of the companies that have enacted a ban on employees. Since the ban the employees have learned that the world does not shatter, because of a missed phone call and that the employees find different ways to work within the limits of the ban according to Doug Pontsler and Owens Corning vice president in charge of safety, environmental and health at the company.
Shell International back in the later part of the 1990s discovered and there was an increase of not just accidents, but also fatalities among the contractors and employees of its company. This was because of cell phone use while they were driving. In the later part of 2002, a global ban was placed on the use of cell phones while driving and then revamped to ban texting and even the hand-free devices in 2005. Mr. Watson the company’s global road safety manager says this ban is strictly enforced and could mean the employee being dismissed. It has been successful not solely because of the plan, but because training has been included, to help the employees understand how to work with it to still do their jobs. Wrecks are down by approximately 57% through these and other safety measures.
S&ME is another company that enacted a program prohibiting the use of company cell phones while driving personal or company vehicles. The president of the company, Randy Neuhaus, understands how hard it is to quit doing this action, and admitted that even he had trouble at first. Today though, he cannot think of letting it cause a distraction that could cause loss of life.
Federal investigators recommend that all states place bans on use of mobile phones while driving except when necessary in an emergency situation. This is spurred on in part because of fatal crashes like the one a teenager had while texting where the teen received or sent a total of 11 texts in the 11 minutes preceding the wreck. This recommendation even includes hands-free devices. This would go further than what the states have enacted in their new laws.
At present 35 of the 50 states along with the District of Columbia has placed a ban on texting during operating a vehicle. Only 9 of these states have banned the use of hand-held mobile phones. District of Columbia also has this ban in place. However, the bans are not enforced as strongly as they should be.
People in this country would have a hard time with a total ban on using cell phones while driving. These phones are such a part of our daily lives today. However, more and more companies and individuals are becoming aware of the distraction that cell phones are when operating a vehicle.
It is always a good idea to plan ahead so that you will know what to do is you have an auto accident. One way of doing this is to establish a relationship with a car accident lawyer. This can save lots of grief in the future.
According to www.shoalslawyers.com – Just After an Auto Accident Follow This List
• Don’t drive away after being involved in an auto accident. There are serious consequences that could follow.
• Keep your cool so that you will be able to handle deal with everything that takes place next, and to keep everyone else calm.
• Make sure that all passengers involved in the accident are safe and check for injuries that may require immediate emergency services. Call 911 if you are unsure.
• Make sure that oncoming cars are aware of the accident by turning on your hazard lights or by setting out flares to mark where it is safe for them to drive.
• Move your car out of the way if there are no serious injuries to allow for traffic flow to continue.
If there was another car involved in the auto accident, be sure to exchange information with them and call the police if the damages were greater than $500. Don’t leave the scene until you have obtained the following.
• Contact information for the other driver including name and telephone number.
• Driver’s license number.
• Vehicle identification number (VIN) of the other vehicle.
• Since the owner of the vehicle could be different from the driver’s, get their name and address as well.
• Name, address and telephone number of the insurance company and the policy number for the other vehicle.
This information can be found on the insurance card that should be in the vehicle. If you are unable to obtain this information, be sure to take down the tag number of the vehicle. Read More