We’ll be sharing legal advice, feedback on recent case results, and highlighting some of the most popular legal cases throughout the country.
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The trend in recent years has been to clearly spell out your final wishes in a document that defines your end-of-life wishes. This goes above and beyond a Last Will and Testament and explains your plans with regard to burial, cremation, organ donation, or providing your body for scientific learning and research. Certain states, recognizing that individuals are making arrangements using multiple documents, have passed laws that allow for documents that are not a person’s Will to be recognized by the state and considered in their final disposition.
Legislative Acts on Your Behalf
Several state legislatures have sought to minimize conflicts that often arise after someone passes on by passing ‘Disposition of Last Remains’ acts for their citizens. These laws take into account an individual’s right to determine for themselves (or appoint someone to decide) how it is they want to be cared for and memorialized after their death. more »
According to news reports a female student called the police station last Tuesday to report an on-campus rape that occurred between 12:45 am and 1:30 am in a co-ed dormitory. The school has key-card access to this dorm so no one is certain how the two men were able to get inside, the individual in question cannot describe the men, and it is not very likely that anyone will be arrested anytime soon. Knowing that, you may wonder why I chose to discuss this legal matter. Several reasons, including those that are controversial. Rape is a serious crime, deserving of serious punishment, and should never be used as a tool of any kind, either by those who are seeking attention or those who would detract from victim’s rights by using individual false claims to conflate the less-than-detailed rape claims of others. more »
Sometimes it seems that banks and the government are on opposite sides of the housing coin. After filling their coffers by dealing subprime loans, then getting bailed out by tax payers when the market corrected itself, banks now have made getting a home loan or a refinance next to impossible, except for a small percentage of consumers with pristine credit, high incomes, and ample home equity.
The federal government, on the other side, is doing its portion to make home ownership affordable, through some recent programs designed to help consumers refinance, including those with high interest rates or whose properties are under water. The government also helps homeowners in other ways that are intended to encourage buying real estate, especially for first-time buyers.
Many people don’t realize that the federal government insures mortgages against defaulting. Mortgage insurance, which is also called mortgage guaranty, is a type of insurance policy that protects lenders or investors against losses should a mortgage default. Banks will typically require homeowners buy insurance if their down payment is less than 20 percent. If the buyer defaults resulting in the property selling at a loss, the insurance then covers part of that loss. The Federal Housing Administration offers mortgage insurance as does the United States Veterans Administration; these are the guaranties underlying popular FHA, VA and FNMA loans. more »
The increasing demand for experienced legal advisors have resulted in the present scenario with a number of skilled legal professionals competing with each other for an attorney’s job that meets their passion and satisfies their remunerative requirements as well. Despite the excessively high competition prevalent, the fact is that there are still a number of vacancies for the deserving candidates. The remuneration and the status a person appointed as an attorney for a multinational firm enjoys is indeed a motivation for the aspiring competitor. To grab the position of an attorney is however not as easy as it is dreamt!
Compared to other professional occupations, the requirement for a legal advisor is much greater in the global scenario. This demand is also establish to grow up the curve with the opening up of the international market for businesses of all scales and sizes. The spectacular newfound strides the Information Technology firms have been making has also catapulted the emergence of small but strong business firms into the international trade and marketing arena. more »
Driving under the Influence, or Driving While Intoxicated as it is labeled in some places, is taken as serious crime and is penalized accordingly. The societal stigma corresponding to this law-breaking stems from its potential to cause harm and the fact that its perpetrators have full knowledge of this prospective. Every year, laws about DUIs and DWIs are becoming more and more stringent in the hopes that they will deter people from drunk driving. But because DUI legislation and punishments vary from state to state, a DUI lawyer is often necessary to properly defend oneself against this type of charge.
The Temptation: Unfortunately, the possibility of being tried for drinking and driving is the farthest thing from holiday season revelers’ minds. Their main focus is on enjoying time off from work and having a good time. For most people, this involves imbibing an excessive amount of alcohol. When one’s brain becomes addled, the dangers of drinking and driving are easily forgotten.
Sometimes, even a few glasses can land a person a DUI. For instance, a minor traffic violation can result in being subjected to a field sobriety test, a test for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or having your breath analyzed to reveal your level of intoxication. In most states, a BAC of 0.08 is the legal limit, and a higher finding is grounds for a DUI.
The Repercussions: The minimum penalties (there are usually more than one) for a DUI conviction are heavy fines (about $400 to more than $1,000), community service (at least 40 hours), temporary license suspension and even some jail time (from three days or more). In addition, depending on the state, one’s car may be impounded and the court might impose mandatory counseling, put you on house arrest and have breath analyzers installed in your car. All of this will be paid from the pocket of the person convicted. The penalties increase for every repeat offense within 10 years of each other.
There are other repercussions that go beyond the punishment set forth by the court. For instance, the jail time, fines and other expenses will result in financial difficulty, especially for middle or lower class people. Employment will also be adversely affected as this goes on the record. Time in jail might also result in being shunned from social circles. Even those who earn more and can easily pay the fines will find the other penalties can become a significant burden. This can quickly drain away holiday fun.
Your Options: A person may opt to act as his or her own counsel in court. However, because legislation is constantly changing and each state has its own set of rules, a layperson’s knowledge is not up to the task of an adequate defense. Even a DUI lawyer does not try to master every DUI law, but instead specializes in only one or two.
Another option is to accept a court-appointed lawyer, which may be somewhat better. However, he or she cannot provide the same defense as a private DUI lawyer. In addition, the budget court-appointed lawyers receive is much lower than those from the prosecutor’s office so they, by necessity, have fewer resources with which to assist the person facing a DUI charge.
Hiring a DUI lawyer, despite the expense, is the better choice. He or she can map out the best strategy based on the circumstances of the case. Also, he or she has the expertise and the means to find loopholes for clients.
For example, most state prosecutors do not really consider a DUI case a “real” criminal case despite it being categorized as such, thus they do not really prepare for the case. A DUI lawyer is still more knowledgeable, though, than a layperson because of the number of cases he or she handles or prosecutes every day. The same is true of the arresting officer whose DUI caseload makes it difficult for him or her to recall each specific incident.
On the other hand, a good DUI lawyer is an expert in defending this type of case and has the track record to prove it. He or she will even study the science involved in measuring intoxication levels and understands the tests’ reliability. Readings from breath-analyzing machines can be erroneous by up to 50%. This has resulted in the dismissal of a significant number of cases. Police officers are also inconsistent in following correct procedure when administering a field sobriety test. He or she will take full advantage of this and have the penalties significantly reduced or even get the case dismissed on technical grounds.
For most people, drinking is an integral part of celebrating the holidays. Some drive after a glass or two but are definitely not intoxicated, while others get carried away and drive drunk. Those who are caught, or meet a traffic accident, face heavy penalties that a DUI lawyer can help decrease or even get dismissed depending on the circumstances. The cost of hiring one may be high, but it is cheaper than the price of regret.
The housing market in West Virginia has been among the nation’s best for more than two years now, and that trend will continue. Home prices increased by greater margins in 2012 in West Virginia than in any other state (by 8.6%) with the runner up being left far behind (Wyoming at 3.6%). In March of 2014, West Virginia was one of only 10 states found by a Freddie Mac assessment to be “on stable ground,” and the 12% increase in home values seen in West Virginia over the last year is predicted by most to be sign of things to come rather than an isolated blip.
There is, however, an accompanying housing shortage in West Virginia, making it a very competitive market and making the assistance of a good realtor or real estate lawyer all the more important. West Virginia has long struggled with poverty and still has a lack of jobs that send young people out of state in search of work, but rentals for college students and homes for a huge influx of retirees looking for an affordable place to live have created this relative boom in West Virginia’s housing market. more »
Infidelity is one of the biggest stressors on a relationship. Statistics show that fewer than a third of marriages are able to recover after one spouse steps outside of the marriage. Cheating introduces harm not only to the relationship but also to the spurned spouse. The difficulty of learning of and dealing with infidelity is hard enough in a private relationship, and that difficulty is compounded when one spouse is a celebrity and the details are made public by the media.
Late last week, members of San Antonio’s press were invited to sit in on a prostitution sting that nabbed David Lucero, aged 51. For soliciting an undercover officer for sex, Lucero was charged with a class B misdemeanor. Lucero, an events services manager at the Alamodome, is an employee of the city of San Antonio. Lucero’s name is unfamiliar to most, but Christian and Tejano music fans are likely familiar with his wife. more »