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Defence Strategies of a Criminal Lawyer

Defence Strategies of a Criminal Lawyer

Being charged with a crime should not be taken lightly. The commission of an offence is punishable with penalties that include fines and imprisonment. Criminal laws are complex and, if you are in Sydney, are best left to a criminal lawyer Sydney based, one who possesses the appropriate education and experience to defend you in court.

Defences in criminal law

Anyone charged with an offence is entitled to raise all possible legal defences he may have in his favour to avoid or reduce penalties. Your defence strategy includes hiring a criminal lawyer who has a good grasp of the rules of criminal procedure and the defences available under the criminal code.

Some of the defences against criminal responsibility include self defence, insanity and the exercise of a lawful authority or order. Your lawyer should be able to determine whether any of these defences exist in your favour, when to invoke them, and how to establish these defences in court.

Some principles of criminal law

While criminal laws in Australia are administered by individual jurisdictions across the country, the same basic principles apply regardless of where you have been charged. These principles include:

Presumption of Innocence

Anyone who is charged with the commission of an offence is considered innocent until the prosecution is able to prove that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The slightest doubt that the accused has committed the offence charged will result in his acquittal or finding of “not guilty.”

Moreover, it is the prosecution’s duty to present enough evidence before the judge or jury to prove the guilt of the accused in what is known as the burden of proof.

In some cases, when the lawyer of the accused feels that the evidence presented by the prosecution is not strong enough to lead to a conviction, he may choose not to present any evidence on behalf of his client and let the judge or jury decide the case on the basis of the prosecution’s lack of evidence. No two cases are exactly alike and your criminal lawyer should be able to devise a defence strategy after making a careful assessment of the facts of your case.

Double jeopardy

Every person who is charged with a crime has a right not to be prosecuted twice for the same act or offence. This is also known as the rule against double jeopardy. Double jeopardy exists when a person is charged again for an act or offence that he had already been acquitted or convicted of.

Most people are unaware of this basic principle so that a good criminal lawyer should not only be able to represent you in court but more importantly, he should be able to ensure that you are not being tried or are in danger of being punished twice for the same offence.

Your criminal case should not be left to chance as the incorrect strategy may lead to serious consequences. Avoid steep fines, jail time and a criminal record by getting the best criminal lawyer Sydney has.…

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It’s Important to Plan End of Life Decisions

It’s Important to Plan End of Life Decisions

An effective estate plan is more than a decision on how to distribute your assets after death and should be developed at the law offices of a qualified estate planning attorney. A will is an important starting point in the process, but may not always be enough depending on your specific situation. There are a variety of estate planning tools that can be utilized to give you and your family security and peace of mind. A will is a written document that outlines how a person wants their assets and property distributed upon their death. If applicable it will indicate who will become the guardian of minor children or disabled dependents. A will also sets out who will administer the estate.

Using quality legal representation to assist you in preparing your will can help ensure your wishes are followed. Dying without a will or leaving an ill-prepared will can lead to confusion, contests by family members and increased probate costs. A trust is used to manage assets or property. There are different types of trusts available depending on the situation. For instance, a living trust is used to transfer assets to a trust to be administrated for the benefit of the person until death. A testamentary trust is established in a will and usually prepares for the financial care of minor children or disabled dependents.

A successful and enforceable trust should be prepared by an attorney to ensure it meets all legal requirements. Other important estate planning tools include living wills and powers of attorney. A power of attorney is used to assign personal powers to an agent to act on your behalf in a legal capacity. Different types of powers of attorney include limited, general, durable and financial.

For instance, a durable power of attorney allows your agent to act in your capacity during your incapacitation. Utilizing a power of attorney in this regard helps avoid the state becoming involved in your affairs. Quality legal representation can help you understand what type of documents applies to your unique situation and ensure they are executed correctly. A living will, also referred to as an advanced health care directive, is used to specify your wishes concerning end of life decisions. Specifically, it is used to communicate to family members and medical professionals what life-saving measures, if any, should be taken.

Using an attorney to help draft your living will can help guarantee there are no misunderstandings regarding your last requests. Developing an estate plan has become a necessary part of life. It is important to interview and hire a qualified attorney from a law firm capable of handling your estate planning needs.…

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Concealed Weapons Permits in Arizona

Concealed Weapons Permits in Arizona

Arizona recently passed the “Constitutional Carry Bill,” a law allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons in public without a permit. It would seem that there is now no reason to get a permit, right? Wrong. In reality, there are many benefits to obtaining a permit. In this article I will describe the process to get a concealed weapons permit, and in the next article I’ll describe the benefits to having a permit versus not having one.

First, to get a concealed weapons permit in Arizona you must meet a few basic qualifications. You may not be a felon, must be over the age of 21, not be deemed mentally infirm by the court, and you must not have a domestic abuse conviction (misdemeanor or not). You must complete a training course, ran by a private school, which lasts at least eight hours and covers a specific curriculum provided by the state. Next, an applicant must have their fingerprints documented by someone licensed by the state. They will submit proof of training and identification and their fingerprint cards to the Department of Public Safety along with a $60 application fee. As Arizona is a “shall issue” state, as long as all their ducks are in a row the permit will be issued and mailed out quickly. Turnaround is generally 2-4 weeks from door to door.

The courses cover a variety of topics. The first few hours are spent on nomenclature and definitions, the basics of understanding a handgun and how it works. Many courses will explain the pros and cons of each type of weapon, for example automatics versus revolvers. As there are also many different methods of carrying a concealed weapon, classes will review this as well and analyze which solutions work best for which situations.

Another important section to be reviewed is the weapons safety rules. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded, never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to destroy, keep your weapon on safe (if applicable) and your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire, know your target and what lies beyond it, and maintain control of you firearm are the five modern weapons safety rules.

After the safety brief, there will be a mandatory qualification exercise. Every student in the class will have to fire ten rounds at a short distance at a man-shaped target. They must strike the target with a high percentage. It is generally impossible to fail this test due to marksmanship as it is at a very close range, this is effectively just a test of basic understanding of the weapon.

The next few hours are spent on the legalities of concealed weapons carry and self defense. There are many legal intricacies which determine where you may and may not carry a weapon, and general guidelines for what you should do if you have to use a weapon in defense of yourself or another.

In my next article, I’ll explain the benefits to having a concealed weapons permit versus relying on the “Constitutional Carry Law” recently enacted.…

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Criminal Lawyer: Marijuana Charges Don’t Have To Ruin Your Life

Criminal Lawyer: Marijuana Charges Don’t Have To Ruin Your Life

With the help of a good criminal lawyer, marijuana charges don’t have to bring about the life ruination you may be currently envisioning. Make no mistake about it: any illicit drug charges are serious and they can bring with them harsh penalties. Whether you’ve been arrested for possession, distribution, or growing, a conviction could be disastrous. The worst thing you can do is attempt to defend yourself, by yourself. You need an attorney who is an expert at handling similar cases. He will bring expertise and experience to bear on the case, the value of which can hardly be calculated.

The Law

Many states in the country are moving towards some degree of legalization, or at least de-criminalization, of this popular drug. With advocates pointing out the many medicinal uses of the drug and detractors pointing out the dangers, it is still uncertain where everything will come out in the end. As it stands now, however, it is still perfectly possible to be arrested for all levels of possession in every state. For a criminal lawyer, marijuana charges are among the most common cases to come across the desk. This is what’s important to remember: you aren’t alone. And if you hire a good attorney, your chances of fighting back are better than ever.

Consequences

Perhaps you think you don’t need a criminal lawyer. Marijuana charges are minor, after all, right? While being arrested for a small amount of pot is hardly comparable to being arrested for murder or even a stronger drug like heroin, you can’t afford to be flippant about your situation. Depending on the circumstances, your record, and the judge on any particular day, you could wind up facing very serious consequences. Among them: a permanent record reflecting your mistakes, reduced chances of employment, heavy fines, and possible jail time. In some states, your driver’s license could be suspended. Don’t play games with your future.

Alternatives

Obviously, the best case scenario involves being acquitted on all charges. Let’s face it, though: in most situations that simply isn’t going to happen. Prosecutors don’t make a career out of trying losing cases. If you’re being brought up on charges, they probably have enough evidence on which to convict you. That’s not what hiring an attorney is about. It’s about protecting your rights and exploring alternatives to harsh punishments. Drug assistance programs are available and your attorney may be able to argue for their use as such an alternative. If you can avoid jail time and a conviction, it may be worth looking into.…

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Juvenile Delinquency in Criminal Law

Juvenile Delinquency in Criminal Law

The term juvenile delinquency refers to the age group of criminals who are not adults. The overwhelming majority of legal systems in the world have special rules and regulations to deal with this group. The few exceptions are in the Middle East and in a few African countries, where kids are often tried as adults.

Some of the measures taken by most states to deal with juvenile delinquents include special detention centers and different sentences for the same crimes. The theory here is that the mind is not really developed until a person reaches at least 18, and so it is not fair to owe the rest of your life to jail time if you made a terrible decision when you were 11 years old.There are numerous theories on the causes of crime, and many of these can also be applied to the underage spectrum.

In the media, youth crime plays a special role as the interest seems to be quite universal for even mild crimes. For the violent type, though, the coverage is insurmountable on an otherwise slow news day, and you will probably know what I’m talking about if you read your local papers and watch the TV during news hour. Politicians also often weigh in on reported youth crimes, and those of violent nature often are almost required to be addressed in an election year. That is how important this issue is for the political world.

Since the 1950s, crime has risen in general, but the biggest spike has been in crimes by younger people. Nobody is quite sure of the reasons for this relatively high increase compared to the rest of the field, but a few people have some guesses. Within criminology, the causes of youth crime are a topic of constant discussion, as any criminal lawyer will tell you.

A juvenile delinquent will likely commit the same crime multiple times habitually. This is the nature of delinquents. It is a sad, never-ending cycle unless intervention is staged by the police or other groups. It all starts with the parents, and some are simply too scared to report what they need to report, thinking that their kids will be worse off with state intervention, but the exact opposite could not be more true.

I’ve outlined some of the issues concerning the delinquency of young people. The studies into this area of criminal law are never ending so check this site regularly.…

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Arizona’s Proposition 203 Passes

Arizona’s Proposition 203 Passes

Proposition 203, the medical marijuana initiative, has passed in Arizona as of the November 2010 elections. An amazing demonstration of how every vote counts, it passed by less than 5,000 votes. This means that in Arizona, doctors can prescribe marijuana to patients and they can receive legal marijuana for medicinal use.

Medical marijuana was a hotly contested issue. Proposition 203 specifically allows for doctor prescribed marijuana use in the following cases (source is the AZ Department of Health Services):

Cancer

Glaucoma

AIDS/HIV

Hepatitis C

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Crohn’s disease

Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease

A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces any of the following:

Cachexia or wasting syndrome

Severe and chronic pain

Severe nausea

Seizures (including those characteristic of epilepsy) or

Severe and persistent muscle spasms (including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis)

Long story short, a person needs to contact a doctor who will sign a certificate stating that a person has a debilitating disease which may be treated with marijuana. The person would then receive a medical marijuana card through the AZ Department of Health Services, and could purchase the drug from a nonprofit registered dispensary.

Marijuana will still not be allowed for personal use in non-medical situations.

What does this mean for Arizona? The Grand Canyon State has joined fifteen other states and the District of Columbia this year in legalizing medical pot. It is still at odds, however, with the federal law which classifies marijuana as an illegal controlled substance. This means that while state law may effectively facilitate the use of marijuana in medical circumstances, that person is still technically in violation of federal law.

In California, which has led the way for medical marijuana policies, there have been several cases of people growing marijuana under the state law and still being prosecuted by the federal government. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other federal agencies regularly conduct raids on dispensaries, leading to some conflict between state and federal legislatures.

This will require great care to be taken in Arizona by those wishing to consume medical marijuana. Purchasing an amount which by federal law could be considered trafficking should be carefully considered in light of the potential repercussions. Some cases in California have resulted in between one and five years in a federal penitentiary.

If you’ve been charged with a federal crime relating to marijuana, contact a reputable criminal attorney immediately. A criminal lawyer will evaluate your case, often at no cost, and represent your issues in the courtroom. This area of law is still hotly contested, and if you find yourself in trouble with contrasting laws you need adequate representation to protect your interests.…

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Explaining Battery Charges

Explaining Battery Charges

Battery is an intentional unpermitted act which causes harm or, it is offensive contact from one person towards another person’s body. People are supposed to have the right to have their body left alone by others, when another person violates this inherent right by touching them or striking them in an unpleasant manner, they can be charged with battery.

Battery is one of those crimes that are both a tort and a crime at the same time; the main element being, harmful or offensive physical contact. The main difference between the two is how they are penalized. In a civil liability case, the defendant can be ordered to pay the plaintiff damages, whereas the criminal punishment for criminal battery typically consists of fines, imprisonment or both.

In order for the prosecution to convict the defendant it must be proven that an act was committed by the defendant. They also have to prove that the intention of the act was to cause harmful or offensive contact against the victim. Therefore, if the defendant lacked intent and harmed the victim entirely by accident or mistake, the prosecution may not have a case for battery charges.

Rude and offensive behavior can lead to battery charges, even if the defendant merely threw a drink in the victim’s face, or if they knocked a hat off their head. These days, any type of offensive behavior can result in criminal penalties. It is not necessary for the victim to have a bruise, or scratch after the altercation. As long as the rude, offensive or unwanted contact took place, it is enough for battery charges to be charged against the individual.

The element of “intent” is the key factor for battery charges. In criminal law, the element of intent is satisfied when the act was done with the intent to harm or injure, or if it was done with criminal negligence, meaning the person failed to use care to avoid criminal consequences.

There are different degrees of this offense. The degree of harm or injury that was exacted upon the victim will determine the penalties that the defendant faces; for example, slapping someone in the face will have a much lighter sentence than beating a person within an inch of their life. These charges vary and they can include: sexual assault, sexual battery, domestic assault and battery, aggravated assault & battery against a child, gang-related assault and battery, assault of a police officer, and school fighting.

It’s important to look at the big picture when you are facing criminal charges. Even if you acted in self defense, or if the other person was acting aggressively towards you and egging you on, you could still wind up with a criminal conviction and be sent to jail. Unfortunately, fights happen every day. It is not fair to listen to just one side of the story; however, it will be up to your criminal defense attorney to paint the full picture to the prosecutor or inside the courtroom. You deserve to be heard, and you deserve to explain what happened from your point of view. If you want to protect your freedom and your legal rights, contact a highly qualified criminal defense lawyer right away.…