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Who Determines the Punishment a Defendant Gets?

Who Determines the Punishment a Defendant Gets?

It may seem like punishment given to criminal offenders varies greatly across cases. That’s because it does. In nearly every case, the judge is in charge of choosing an appropriate sentence. Jurors are typically instructed not to consider punishment in their deliberations, but in few cases they are involved in sentencing decisions. For instance, in some states, capital punishment cannot be imposed in a jury trial unless the jury recommends the death penalty instead of life imprisonment.

Before sentencing, punishment for a crime is not always specifically defined. All federal criminal statutes and some state statutes contain specific, mandatory sentences, which the judge is required to impose. If there is no mandatory sentence, judges may tailor the sentence to the offender, taking a variety of factors into account. Oftentimes sentences are not outlined in statutes. Make a consultation with a criminal lawyer for an accurate estimate of a likely sentence for a specific crime.

In cases that lack a mandatory sentence, defense lawyers may demonstrate circumstances for the judge to consider when considering a sentence. These are called mitigating factors, and they can convince a judge to impose a lesser sentence. The judge may consider these and other factors when making a decision, including past criminal record, age, and genuine remorse for the crime, as well as circumstances under which the crime was committed.

Aggravating factors may also be taken into account. One common aggravating circumstance that may lead to a stiffer sentence is a defendant’s history of committing similar crimes. Others include the use of a weapon, unusual cruelness to a victim, or grave damages resulting from a defendant’s actions.

Sentencing for a felony crime often involves jail time, though the actual length of incarceration time may be shorter than the time sentenced by the judge. A person convicted of a felony could be released from jail early for parole, good behavior, and a variety of factors. Contact a felony lawyer to inquire about felony sentencing and length of jail time.

In DUI convictions, type of punishment can vary. In severe cases where the defendant’s actions caused injury or death, a lengthy prison term may be imposed. In cases of misdemeanor DUI, sentencing may include a fine, brief jail time, probation, suspension of driver’s license, community service, or alcohol rehabilitation.

The sentencing judge may take statements from the prosecutor and the defense into account, as well as prior DUI record, criminal background, personal circumstances, and remorse indicated by the defendant. A DUI lawyer can give an accurate estimate of sentencing in these cases.

Sentencing imposed for a crime can differ greatly depending on a number of factors. Therefore, it can be hard to anticipate the sentence a judge will impose. In all criminal cases, a criminal lawyer will give you the most accurate estimate of a likely sentence, based on the crime committed.…

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What Factors to Consider When Hiring an Immigration Attorney

If you want to immigrate to the USA, you need to look for someone who can help you prepare the immigration visa. However, there is no way of knowing which of them are good. Therefore, the best thing to do is to hire an immigration lawyer to assist you in the visa application preparation. You need to consider a few factors to ensure you hire the right immigration lawyer.

Keep Within Your Budget

The most important thing is to find an immigration lawyer that is within your budget. Immigration lawyers can charge an hourly rate between $100 – $700. You can expect to pay more if the attorney spends a lot of time attending the immigration law court proceeding. Some attorneys charge a flat fee of about $2,000 – $10,000 for handling family based visa applications.

You also have to consider the consultation fees which can range from $50 – $100. There are also immigration attorney Dallas free consultation that don’t charge any fee on the consultation session. Finally, you must remember that it is worthwhile to spend money on hiring an immigration lawyer. If you are inexperienced, handling the visa preparation yourself could result in you not receiving the immigration benefits you sought after.

Focus in a Specialty Immigration Law Area

Firstly, the law firm that you choose must focus on practicing a specific immigration law area. You’ll have to find a law firm that has an office in the USA. For example, some law firms practice family based immigration. There are also law firms that practice business immigration laws. If you want to move to the US with all your family members, you should look for a law firm that practices family based immigration.

Hire a Law Firm Based in USA

In addition, the immigration law firm you choose must have an office in the USA. The office can be from any state in the USA no matter the country of your origin. It is up to you to visit the office of the law firm. However, this is not necessary because all the communication with the lawyer can take place electronically.

Find Out Who Will Be Handling Your Case

Next, you want to look for a law firm that will assign your case to an experienced immigration lawyer. Usually, the immigration lawyer will work with other paralegals staff to prepare the documents. You want to make sure that your phone calls on important issues get answered by an immigration lawyer if your case is assigned to a paralegal. Large law firms will usually assign your case to a paralegal or outsource it to an off-site immigration paralegal to reduce cost.  As a client, it is important for you to know whether your immigration work is done by the office or outsourced due to factors such as cost, ability to respond to queries quickly, and the extent the law firm would take to protect the clients’ interests.

Look Out for Red Flags

When hiring an immigration lawyer, make sure you look out for red flags. For example, the lawyer should not carry malpractice insurance unless he is based in Oregon which is required on all attorneys. Malpractice insurance can increase the legal cost. You will also want to be careful for attorneys who make too many promises. You should avoid attorneys who guarantee success in your immigration application.…

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Can You Afford to Hire a Criminal Lawyer?

Can You Afford to Hire a Criminal Lawyer?

So, you have absolutely no money, and you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime. Is it still possible for you to hire a criminal lawyer to help fight your case?

The word, “hire,” in this instance means you’ll be protected by the Constitution and assigned an attorney to help with your case. These attorneys are reputable, licensed and most likely work in a public defender’s office. This court-appointed criminal lawyer will be offered to you for a very small fee, if you can afford it, or free of charge.

Most states have public defender offices because there are so many defendants who aren’t able to pay an attorney out of their own pocket. But don’t think you’re getting someone who won’t take your case seriously. Often, these attorneys have gained valuable experience in cases just like yours and are fully able to work on your behalf for a positive outcome.

If your state doesn’t have a public defender’s office, they will probably assign you to someone from a local, private law firm who is skilled in this area of the law. This type of attorney will do this pro bono, or, without charge to you. The state reimburses them for their time and service.

Generally, when you first appear in court, the judge will ask you if you have a criminal lawyer or, if not, do you want one to be appointed for you. If you can’t afford one, you need to be ready to submit financial information to the judge for approval.

There’s usually no waiting period for your introduction to the court-appointed attorney. The judge will connect you with him or her immediately and finish your court appearance. Sometimes, depending on your state’s court system procedures, you’ll have to wait to meet your assigned attorney in order for the judge to review your financial situation.

But what if the courts appoint an attorney and you discover you’re unhappy with their representation? Is it possible to change attorneys in the middle of your case? Sadly, the answer is almost always no.

It’s an extremely rare event if a judge deems it necessary to change your public defender just because the two of you don’t get along. Keep in mind that your criminal lawyer and you may indeed disagree over some of the points of your case, but the disagreements are common. Sometimes it’s necessary to change when there are severe differences but this scenario is usually rare.

Some people believe, if their funds are limited, they ought to represent themselves in court. This rule must be totally dependent on how minor or severe your case is. If you’re facing possible jail time, this is not the time to be your own best defense. But charges, such as minor traffic violations, rarely need legal assistance. Major and more serious charges, which may result in jail time, should never be without the help of a qualified criminal lawyer.…

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Being Arrested Is Not the Worst Thing in the World

Being Arrested Is Not the Worst Thing in the World

I’ve spent hundreds – maybe thousands – of hours in jail. I’m a criminal defense lawyer. On any given day, I may be in jail interviewing a client, or appearing in a jail courtroom, or trying to free someone.

It’s what I do.

Most people have never been in jail. Thankfully. Jail is, after all, not the best place in the world to be. That’s putting it mildly.

But as I, any good Raleigh criminal lawyer, and even any police officer or prosecutor will tell you, being arrested is not the worst thing in the world. Not by a long stretch.

I say this, because so many of my clients call me after they’ve been arrested. But, before they were arrested, they gave statements. And they gave statements to police because the police officer or detective told them, “If you don’t want to talk to me, that’s fine. I’ll have to arrest you.”

So in their desperation not to be arrested, people talk. And they give statements. And, lo’ and behold, they’re still arrested.

You may be saying to me, “But, but… the police said they wouldn’t arrest me! They promised me if I talked, they wouldn’t arrest.”

Welcome to the cruel world of criminal investigations. The Supreme Court has held that police may deceive – some may say, “lie” – to people in during the course of the investigation. Police will frequently deceive, shade the truth, and, yes, even lie, in order conduct an investigation.

It’s not that police are bad people. They aren’t. But they have jobs. And keeping you out of jail is not one of them. Putting you in jail, if they believe or suspect, you’ve committed a crime, is an officer’s job. And in pursuit of that job, police will say what needs to be said in order to persuade the person to talk, even if they know at the end of the day that they are going to arrest you.

Back to my original point: Being Arrested (and being placed in jail) is not the Worst Thing in the World.

Talking to police… giving unprotected statements – meaning statements without the presence of a lawyer… that’s much, much worse than being placed in jail. Even if you have “nothing to hide,” talking to police is almost always a bad idea, whether you’re being investigated for a simple Driving While Impaired (DWI), or whether you’re being questioned about or investigated for the murder of your wife.

People call me all the time before they’ve been arrested but after they’ve been contacted by police. And while every situation is different and you should always call a lawyer – [#phone#] – before taking advice, I always recommend hiring a lawyer before talking to police.

While every case is different, people who hire lawyers before police arrest or charge a crime, almost always do better in the criminal justice system, than people who don’t. Some people are never charged. And those who are charged, generally have an easier time achieving better results.

What is Worse than Being Arrested? Having a criminal conviction!

In most instances, it is usually very simple to get someone out of jail, particularly if the crime is not violent or serious and particularly if the person has no other serious criminal history. So being arrested is unpleasant. It is scary. It’s stressful. But it’s over in a few hours, and, in many cases, people can get out of jail that same day or within a day or so.

If police are questioning you, my general thought is that you should always respectfully decline to speak without the help of a lawyer. Do it politely. If police persist, and threaten arrest, you should continue to insist on your right to a lawyer.

Even if you can’t afford a lawyer at that moment, friends or family can usually help. Or you can work out a payment plan with a lawyer.

But you should never give up your right to speak with a lawyer. Doing so is foolish, and is much more expensive for you in the long term.

And, of course, speaking with a police officer almost always strengthens their case against you, even if you “don’t have anything to hide.”…

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In Need of a DUI Criminal Defence Lawyer

In Need of a DUI Criminal Defence Lawyer

Driving under Influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offence and is punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada. In Vancouver, DUI cases have been on a rise with startling facts indicating the rise of negligent and prohibited driving in the city.

But there are instances when a driver needs serious legal assistance to prove his innocence and here the criminal defence lawyers come in handy. Criminal lawyers offer legal representation to the individuals charged of DUI in the court of law. They offer initial consultation and legal services to the accused to prove his innocence or reduce the punishment for the accused.

A Driving under Influence guilty has to face a long trial and once proven guilty, he has to serve a maximum sentence and also pay a fine. A negligent driver can be charged under various sections in the Canadian court of law. Some of these include Driving under the influence of Alcohol, Driving under the influence of psychoactive drugs, Drunk and Driving, driving while prohibited, Driving while 90-day administrative suspension, rash driving, over-speeding etc.

These are serious allegations which can be levied on an accused for DUI and Impaired driving charges. These serious criminal offences greatly affect the professional as well as the personal life of the guilty as well as the accused. The guilty person faces court trial, is either sentenced to jail for a given time period or has to pay a heavy fine as a penance or as a payment for damaged induced.

An experienced criminal lawyer in Vancouver with years of experience in the Criminal law domain will be able to assist an accused better. He will have the adequate and appropriate knowledge about the intricacies of Canadian law and the possibilities of reducing the punishment. They offer legal advice and assistance throughout the trial and prove instrumental in resolving cases through legal consultation as well.…

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Finding an Aggressive Criminal Lawyer

Finding an Aggressive Criminal Lawyer

Finding a criminal lawyer who can help you to overcome the charges you are facing is a good idea no matter how big or small your case is. However, there is a difference in finding an aggressive attorney. If you are facing significant charges, such as drug crimes, sex crimes or even murder charges, there is no doubt you need a professional who is going to work hard for you to prove that you are innocent. Even if you are unable to win such a case, this type of attorney can help you to avoid the worst type of outcome.

Who Do You Want In Charge Of Your Life?

As you talk to and compare options in these professionals, ask yourself which one is going to be best at protecting your life. The right criminal lawyer is one that you can count on to provide you with outstanding legal aid. This is the type of person to do whatever it takes to help you to get back to your family, especially if you are facing charges you did not commit. As you talk to these professionals, find out if they are truly an aggressive team with the ability to help you to win.

Will They Research Your Situation?

In many cases, individuals hire lawyers whom simply show up for client meetings and then show up on the day of the trial to represent the individual in court. The problem is, this is not helpful enough. You need a person who is going to research your situation and devise a plan that is going to help you to overcome the limitations you are facing. For example, they may hire an expert witness to testify that you simply could not have committed the crime based on your location, your emotional health or other factors.

Do They Think Creatively?

Yet another factor to look for when it comes to hiring someone to represent you in a court of law is whether the professional is able to think creatively to help you to improve your odds. For example, they may work to create another scenario that is very realistic and that can be backed up by facts that shows you could not or may not have been able to commit the crime you are charged with in this situation. By doing this, they cast reasonable doubt.

You need a criminal lawyer. The professional you need needs to be aggressive and able to go after the truth in your situation. You need to know that when you trust in this professional that he or she is doing everything in their power to help you to be successful.…

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All About Dealing With Personal Injury

All About Dealing With Personal Injury

Having to deal with a personal injury can be a difficult thing to go through, whether if it’s based off your own personal experience or someone close to you. Fortunately, there are ways in which you may be able to get help and potential compensation for your troubles, providing that you take the time to look into things properly.

Personal injury is something that touches upon several areas. It can be both physical and psychological, often resulting in not only the individual being hurt, but also their loved ones, personal life in general and so forth.

These situations can fall under numerous cases more often than not, and many people may not even realize when they could potentially fall under one. Such situations can involve anything from a car accident to malpractice, accidents within the work place or on a construction site, injuries obtained during birth or at school and so on.

If you’re suspecting that you may have a case or could potentially be suffering from personal injury, or even if a loved one is, then you can often find numerous resources on the subject in order to get a more in depth look. Such resources can generally be found throughout numerous books and tutorials, as well as over the internet.

Along side of many people not realizing as to whether or not they have suffered an injury, many people often don’t recognize the fact that they may be eligible for compensation. However, by taking the time to look into matters on your own, you can help to get a better feel for situations that may be similar and what you may be able to expect from certain outcomes.

For those who are aware that they may have a case, many often wonder what comes next or how they can go about resolving the situation at hand and what steps they can take in order to ensure better chances for success. While some prefer to take care of things on their own, many often fall into trouble when it comes to dealing with the legal system or insurance companies.

While many people have successfully received compensation for their case by taking matters into their own hands, most find further success in having a specialized attorney handle things for them. Often this is because a specialized lawyer will have the knowledge to know the ins and outs of the legal system, but also with cases that are specifically dealing with that of injuries. As a result, they can better detect crucial information that can make or break a case, unlike many untrained professionals.

If you feel that you may have case when it comes to personal injury, then it may be a good idea to get legal consultation from a lawyer in order to at least see what your options are. Fortunately, many offer free consultation for the initial visit, often where you can find out more about your case, how likely you are to receive compensation, as well as other factors.…