What is the arraignment process

After you’re arrested, booked, and the initial bail phase of the criminal process occurs – the first stage of the courtroom proceedings happen – the arraignment. This is a very typical process – where a person whose charged with a crime is called before the criminal judge.

In case your a family member, you should try to look into the central booking and arraignment website to see where your family member is. In some cases, you can hire an NYC arraignment lawyer who just handles this for you.

The judge will read the charges against the person, and ask the defendant if he/she has an attorney or needs the help of a court appointed attorney. The judge will ask the defendant how he/she pleads, and will then decide whether to set bail, or alter the bail amount – based on the defendant. The arraignment is where the judge will announce the date of future proceedings in the case, such as the preliminary hearing, the pre-trial motions, and the actual trial itself.

Also at this preliminary hearing, the prosecutor will give you/your attorney copies of the police report and all other documents that are pertinent to your case. In a DUI/DWI case, the prosecutor can provide the defendant with lab reports of any blood, or other toxicology/chemical tests which were performed and will be used in the case.

If you’re being accused of a crime, you have a constitutional right to the assistance of attorney. If you wish to be represented by an attorney but can’t hire one, then the government will provide you one at no cost. Usually, these are called public defenders – who are responsible for protecting you at all stages of the criminal defense process.

At this stage, once you complete the arrangement, your goal should be to get yourself a private criminal defense attorney. Most attorneys will offer a risk free consultation.



The Benefits Of Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer

Accidents are a part of life and can occur without warning. If you have been the victim of an accident, you probably have incurred medical bills and lost time from work. While this can be a frustrating and trying time, there are professionals that can help make it less painful. Below is a list of the primary benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the legal process after an accident.

A Lawyer Knows How It Works

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can really take the confusion out of navigating the legal process after you have been injured. Whether you were hurt in a car accident, slip and fall or due to someone’s negligence a lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome of your claim. He knows how to gather the evidence, talk to witnesses and file the proper documents in court.

An Attorney Knows How Much You Deserve

Personal injury lawyers make it their business to know exactly what your claim is worth. This means you don’t have to guess if a proposed settlement is a fair offer. In most cases, the at-fault party’s insurance company is looking to save as much money as possible when making you an offer. Having an attorney represent you is the best way to be sure you are getting a fair deal.

Lawyers Are Master Negotiators

When you are involved in an accident, you may have astronomical medical expenses and even outstanding liens. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to negotiate with the insurance company for the best settlement. In addition, he must also negotiate a settlement that will cover outstanding medical bills and liens. This is key to protecting your credit.

A Lawyer Can Save You Time

Speaking to insurance companies, medical institutions and bill collectors takes a great deal of time and patience. You may not have the experience or time to deal with these issues. Having someone you trust to communicate with these companies can give you time to focus on your recovery and your family.

They Want To Help You

Most personal injury lawyers only get paid if you win your case. This means they want to help you obtain the best settlement for your injuries. Since your lawyer will not get paid until a settlement is reached and paid to you, he will work hard to reach an agreement quickly with the insurance company.

A Lawyer Can Go To Trial

While the vast majority of personal injury cases are negotiated out of court, some go to trial if an agreement cannot be reached. Having an attorney with extensive trial experience is a huge benefit for you if the case goes to court. The insurance company will definitely have lawyers working hard to keep their costs as low as possible. If you go into court alone, you may not come away with as much money as if you had an attorney with you.

They Offer Support

If you have been injured in an accident due to no fault of your own, you may feel confused, hurt, angry and fearful for the future. Your personal injury attorney has helped guide many people through the same emotions and concerns. They can provide you a great deal of understanding and support you may not find elsewhere.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you in many ways. If you have been injured, it may benefit you from obtaining advice from an experienced attorney in your area. Taking this simple step can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries.

This article is from Farar & Lewis LLP – a team of Los Angeles personal injury attorneys with a track record of success.

Is There a Time Limit for Getting a Marriage Annulled?

Here’s a great article by Todd Spodek, a New York Divorce Lawyer. The laws that govern marriage and divorce for most states do not set a time limit under which a motion for annulment of a marriage must be brought. In fact, most states will leave such decisions to the discretion of the court hearing the annulment motion so long as the court will adhere to the rulings of other courts that were presented with the same or similar circumstances.

Some states, such as California, limit annulment to a certain period of time after a significant life milestone. As an example, California law limits an annulment on the part of an underage party at the time of the marriage to within four years after the underage party reaches the age of legal consent. This four-year statute of limitations is also true in cases of fraud that was not discovered until later, where the statute begins on the date that the fraud was discovered.

In general, the longer period of time that has elapsed since the marriage and the filing of the request for annulment makes it less likely that an annulment will be granted. In most cases the only exceptions to this generalization will be made in cases where there was a deliberate concealment of a fact that might have caused the other party not to enter into the marriage, such as concealing the existence of a previous marriage that ended in divorce or the fact that one party had a criminal record that was unknown to the marriage partner.

If there is a situation that would have prohibited one party from legally marrying, such as still being married to a spouse and not having obtained a divorce prior to the current marriage, an annulment may be granted regardless of how much time has elapsed. This is also generally true if the parties would have been legally unable to marry for reasons such as being under the age of consent or if they were related to each other in such a degree that state law would have banned the marriage.

A court is under no obligation to grant an annulment if the judge thinks that an annulment is not in the best interests of justice and thus, by extension, the interests of the parties involved in the annulment request. As an example, if the court feels there has been too great a time that has passed since the marriage and that the parties have accumulated too much property in common that a return to their pre-marital status would unfairly penalize on party, the court may dismiss the annulment action and suggest that a divorce is a better course of action.

Like a divorce, a request for annulment must be made in the state where the original marriage took place. If this is not possible due to the parties having lived as a couple in another state, an annulment request will be valid if the requesting party has met the state’s residence requirement for filing for divorce.

Recapping the above, most states do not place a time limit on when an annulment can be requested. There are some jurisdictions, such as California, where state law has established such limitations but even these can be subject to modification depending on the circumstances of each case. In any case, and regardless of jurisdiction or special circumstance, the advice of a domestic relations or family law attorney familiar with the appropriate state law should be consulted prior to beginning an annulment action.

Do You Need to Hire a Criminal Lawyer?

This article is by Michael Kotik – a premier Philadelphia criminal attorney. Being charged with a crime is never a positive experience. Some crimes are relatively low level legal issues that do not necessarily carry a jail sentence. This means that having a criminal defense attorney is not a legal requirement when there is no chance for a jail term and the only punishments are financial. However, this can still present a problem for an individual who pleads guilty because it generates a criminal history that the defendant may not have from prior legal situations. Merely having a criminal history for misdemeanors can be problematic in the future, as those convicted of certain seemingly small crimes can still be denied public housing, gainful employment or government benefits in certain conditions.

Do You Need a Clean Criminal History?
Having a clean criminal history can be a very important component of maintaining your good name when there are prospects for a bright future. And in some instances, those who are already gainfully employed in a professional field may actually have to leave that earning platform, which becomes a very expensive addition to a fine even when no jail sentence is included. This is especially true for industries like truck driving that require an even stricter adherence to rules of the road. Even a DUI charge can put a career on hold for several years. Your need for a criminal attorney always depends on the material case facts and the potential negative outcome following the conviction.

Can You Avoid a Jail Sentence?
Jail terms are common with many criminal charges, and always apply when felony charges are leveled by the state or federal government. All defendants in criminal cases are required by law to have some form of professional legal counsel who is effective and adequate according to the rules of the court. This evaluation assessment can be a problem when defendants are represented by a court appointed pro bono attorney, or even when the court requires the defendant to pay a minimal legal fee in addition to any sentencing. Going to jail can result in lost wages, or even employment in some situations. This just adds insult to injury when fines are included additionally as part of the punishment. Being on probation or parole can present trouble too for some convicted individuals, especially regarding drug charges. Even in misdemeanor cases, the defendant can receive up to one year in jail although it does not produce a felony record. Always remember that probation is often not available for those who have a prior record, so avoiding the conviction at any ate can be vital for the defendant.

What Can an Attorney Accomplish?
Many times having a reputable attorney handling a criminal case means that a full investigation can be conducted in the defendant’s behalf, establishing a counter argument and version of events. Many charges are applied on borderline or inadmissible evidence when the arresting police officer or the prosecutor are over-zealous in seeking a conviction. Prosecutors are not required to respect the rights of the accused beyond the basic assurance that a pro bono attorney will at least be representing your case. Pro bono attorneys are commonly actual employees of the same state that is pressing the charges and they must deal with the prosecutor every day on a wide variety of cases. This never bodes well for the defendant and many times an appointed counsel will walk the defendant directly into a conviction for professional protection. Defendants in criminal cases always need an attorney who will investigate the evidence, question the officers, and negotiate aggressively with the state attorney, including with illegal search and seizure cases. This may also include taking a case completely to trial, which prosecutors hate and appointed attorneys are reluctant to complete.

Always remember that retaining a criminal defense attorney to fight a criminal case is really an investment in the future of the defendant, but it is important to choose one with a solid track record of proven results for their clients. This is especially true regarding dismissed cases because of weak or inadmissible evidence. Prosecuting attorneys do not appreciate being upstaged in court, and having an attorney who is more concerned about the client than the perception of the prosecutor is an important quality for the right attorney. Always get a criminal defense attorney, and get a good one who can potentially win an acquittal or get a case dismissed completely.

Do you need a personal injury lawyer to get compensation

If you have been in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. This article by NYC personal injury attorney Steve raiser discusses how to get compensation after an injury. However, you must prove that the other party was negligent for your injuries or that a company manufactured a defective product that hurt you. While it may be in your best interest to hire legal counsel to help with your case, you don’t need an attorney to get compensation for your injuries and other damages.

The Case May Be Relatively Easy to Win By Yourself

In some cases, the evidence is so clear that another party was at fault for your injuries that the case isn’t contested. Instead, you get the compensation that you want in a quick settlement or after a short trial. It is also possible that the other side in your case doesn’t want you to go public or for details of the story to get out. Therefore, they will give you whatever you want to make a lawsuit go away.

The Amount You Seek May Be Relatively Low

You may not want to hire an attorney if the amount that you seek in damages is less than $5,000. Instead, you may be able to get what you want in small claims court or through mediation that doesn’t require legal counsel to be present. While you may be compensated for your legal fees as part of a settlement, there is no guarantee that it will happen. That could mean that you pay more in legal fees than you win from the person or entity that hurt you.

You Have a Good Understanding of the Law

If you feel like you have a good understanding of the law, it may not be worth hiring an attorney. However, you may still want to hire outside legal counsel even if you are a lawyer yourself. This is because an outside party may be able to take a more objective look at the facts in the case and make a better legal argument on your behalf.

How to Prove Negligence

Whether you choose to hire an attorney or not, you will need to prove that negligence occurred. First, you must show that your injuries could have been a foreseeable result of someone’s carelessness. From a legal standpoint, talking on a phone while driving a car or chasing someone across a slippery floor creates conditions where an individual could get hurt.

Next, you have to show that there were damages resulting from an individual’s negligent behavior. If someone was talking on the phone in their car, it wouldn’t be negligent if that vehicle drove past you without causing any physical injuries or damage to property. Damages may include the cost of medical bills, lost wages or the value of destroyed property such as a car or bike.

Proving a Product Was Defective

If you claim that a defective product caused your injuries, there are additional elements that you may need to prove. For instance, you must show that the product was used as intended when you were hurt. You must also show that it wasn’t altered in a substantial fashion when the injuries occurred. However, it is generally not necessary to prove that the manufacturer knew of the defect under strict liability laws.

Those who have been hurt and did nothing to contribute to their injuries may wish to talk with an attorney. While you aren’t required to use one to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering, it is generally easier to win you case with legal counsel present. It may also allow you to spend more time focusing on your recovery as opposed to holding a defendant responsible for his or her actions.

Why do you need a DWI lawyer?

This article is by Nima Haddadi, a premier Los Angeles dui lawyer and a partner at the Raiser & Kenniff, law firm. who is also a former prosecutor. One of the first things you think about after being arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is whether or not you should hire an attorney. You have heard that it is perfectly legal to represent yourself in these types of cases, and you are wondering if you should save the time and effort and just go to court alone. The decision you make will have an impact on the outcome of your case.

Yes, it is perfectly legal to represent yourself in court when you have been charged with DWI. But the real question is, do you want to take that kind of risk? While having an attorney cannot guarantee any specific outcome to a trial, using a DWI lawyer to represent your case will provide you with the following benefits:

• Knowledge of the Law. Your attorney has the experience and knowledge you need to fight this type of charge. They understand the law, know what changes have occurred, and know which laws apply specifically to your case and which do not. This knowledge can and will make a difference in your case.
• Knowledge of Defenses. There are many different reasons that a person can be viewed as DWI by the police. An attorney will examine the charges and determine if they are accurate. Your attorney will also present the facts to the court in a manner that is most beneficial to your case.
• Knowledge of Sentencing. If there is sufficient evidence for a conviction, your attorney may be able to negotiate on your behalf for a lesser sentence. This can make a large difference on the outcome of your case.

How A DWI Impacts Your Life

If you are convicted of a DWI, you will face many challenges in your personal life. The legal penalties of a conviction include:

• Possible incarceration
• Possible community service
• Fines and court costs
• Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
• Loss of driving privileges

Your punishment may be one or more of the items contained on the list above. In addition to these penalties, you will also face:
• Transportation costs because you have no license
• Higher insurance rates when you can drive again
• A criminal conviction on your record that could impact employment
• Financial strain from fines and community service fees
• Personal stress between you and your family members

Working With A DWI Attorney

Your DWI later will closely examine all the aspects of your case and determine the best possible solution. Laws and defenses change every day. Your attorney will know and understand these changes and use them to help your case. Building a solid defense for you will provide a better outcome to the charges.

In the end, you have to ask yourself how much risk you are willing to take when you have to go before the court for your charges. Approaching the court alone without the right knowledge is sure to end in a conviction. Taking advantage of the skills, experience and knowledge of a DWI attorney will always be to your benefit.