A Car Accident Attorney Can be a Strong Guarantor for Your Rights

For any injured person it is difficult to understand how to protect his rights. He is aware that he will get the compensation but does not know whom to claim for the compensation and how much amount will be fair and what damages will be included in the compensation. To make the things easier for him, it is better that he should contact personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The personal injury attorney will help the victims and their families who are affected by serious injuries by obtaining the maximum compensation for them.

Unfortunately, if you or someone close to you have met with an auto accident in California, then it is important for you to hire a top-rated personal injury law firm in California to protect your rights. Hiring car accident attorney in California can give strength to your case and put the defence attorney under stress. California auto accident attorneys prove to be strong guarantor for your rights. They truly understand their client’s position and keep sympathy with them. They value their injuries and losses and make them feel important and comfortable.

If the injured person decides to fight on his own for his rights, he may land up in mess and confusion. As a common man he may not have the knowledge of California auto accident laws and subsequently don’t know what is required to get the success. Therefore there are possibilities that he may get disappointed by his defeat.

Appointing experienced and professional car accident attorney California will add a competitive edge to your case against insurance companies to claim for the appropriate compensation.

California auto accidents lawyers have good reputation and represent highest ethical standards in the legal profession which will give assurance to the injured person that his rights will be protected.

An injured person can concentrate on his recovery when he get assurance that auto accident attorney is sharing his burden by fighting for his rights and compensation.

California car accident attorney understands that injury resulted from an auto accident may require physical therapies, medical treatments, surgical consultations  and also involves loss of the peace of mind, pain, sufferings, economic loss, loss of future wages and many intangible losses. Therefore he realizes accident victim’s medical and mental condition and help them to maximize their financial compensation.

Involvement of personal California personal injury attorneys or car accident attorneys will keep the insurance companies on toes. They will also appoint insurance adjusters who will aim to reduce the settlement claim by gathering various evidences.

Sometimes when any person get injuries in California auto accident and does not receive the required amount of medical attention in the hospital because doctors are not sure about his financial conditions then he can hire California car accident attorney  who will guarantee to the hospital on the victim’s behalf.

Getting injuries in the auto accident is a life changing experience especially when these injuries are permanent and therefore hiring the right auto accident attorney is also an important decision because he will represent you and understand your pain and sufferings and truly protect your rights.

Getting Florida Criminal Charges Dropped: No Information, Nol Pros and Dismissal

Because I couldn’t fit anything else in the file cabinets, I decided to get rid of all of the closed and old files. As I was shredding the files, I realized how many of our clients get their charges dropped, either before they ever go to court, or after formal charges have been filed. When I look back over the past 8 years, I remember the really difficult case and clients. But the majority of our clients, whose names and cases I had forgotten, get their charges dropped. Most of our clients come from referrals, we don’t do any marketing other than this blog and our website. So I would guess, one of the reasons we’re able to limit our advertising is because people get such good results when they hire us, and they tell two friends and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends.

What’s the difference between these terms in a criminal case?

No Information – means formal charges were never filed – the person may have been arrested but the State Attorney decided not to file formal charges.

Nol Pros – or more correctly Nolle Prosequi – means there were formal charges filed, but the State Attorney has decided to drop those charges.

In both a No Info and a Nol Pros, you are probably eligible for expunging the record if this is your first offense.

A dismissal occurs when formal charges have been filed, but you have entered into a modified probation – usually pre-trial intervention, and once completed, the charges are dismissed. If the charges are dismissed, you may be eligible for expunging, but are most likely eligible for sealing.

How do you get your charge dropped or dismissed? Call Lowenthalandabrams.com – although we won’t guarantee it, it happens to a lot of my clients!

Your Right to Remain Silent

In our practice Baker Legal hear from clients all the time that the police did not read them their rights, meaning Miranda rights, when they are arrested. Contrary to every television show and most people’s belief – the police don’t have to read you your rights in all arrests. The police only read you your rights when:

You are in custody – that means physically not free to leave, handcuffed, in an interrogation room, in the back of a police cruiser, etc.

AND – AND – AND – AND (not to be confused with OR)

  1. They ask you questions.

Therefore, if you are merely being arrested and no one asks you anything – Miranda rights do not apply. OR If you are not in custody and you volunteer information, or they ask you questions; Miranda rights do not apply.

So in sum – there must be two events present – CUSTODY and INTERROGATION.

So what happens if you remain silent through any police questioning whatever the circumstances – GOOD FOR YOU. That’s what you should do, according to Newport Beach personal injury lawyer.

If you are stopped by the police on the street, at your house, in your car – you must give the police your name and identification if you have it – BUT THAT’S IT. You are not required to do anything else.

In a recent first degree murder case out of Palm Beach County, Florida; a woman was on trial for shooting her husband. When the police arrived at the house, she was sitting in her son’s car and made no response to the officer’s questions of whether she needed anything or would like a bottle of water.  She was not yet under arrest (or in CUSTODY) nor were those questions likely to be confused with an interrogation. During her trial, she choose not to testify – yet the prosecutor said on several occasions, including closing argument, that because she said nothing, this concluded she was guilty since an innocent person would have protested their innocence. Ultimately she was convicted of murder and sentenced to life and currently resides in the Lowell Correctional Facility.

She appealed her conviction, arguing that the prosecutor could not comment on her PRE ARREST silence, since she never testified at trial. If she had, and had said something contrary to her pre or even post arrest statements, this could be used against her to “impeach” her trial testimony. But she didn’t testify and therefore any comment on her silence could not be used against her. (Some courts including the US Supreme Court have distinguished this from POST arrest testimony and the prosecutors ability to comment which is a blog for another day – )

The Fourth DCA overturned her conviction and said that the prosecutors comments on Mrs. Horwitz’s silence were improper and have remanded the case for a new trial. Note that just because there is error in a trial the appeallate courts do not have to grant a new trial – only when the error is “harmful” meaning that the error was so severe that it potentially caused the jurors to be swayed by the error.  In some cases, not this one, but some, the evidence is SO OVERWHELMING that regardless of the error, the courts do not grant a new trial. But in Mrs. Horwitz’s case, she’s getting a new trial – if she’s convicted again of murder, she’ll probably get the same sentence – Life. She has nothing to lose, so she might as well go for it again. Good luck Mrs. Horwitz!

Visitation during the Holidays

AVOID HOLIDAY STRESSES: PRE-PLANNING VISITATION SCHEDULES

If you are currently involved in, or are one of the recently divorced with minor children, the prospect of negotiating visitation during the holidays probably seems like a frightening task. While you may have a Court Order or a Temporary Order outlining just what visitation will be during the festive season, it is not uncommon for you to feel some anxiety about potential problems that could arise, especially if your ex-spouse is a jerk. Below are some tips you can try to help alleviate some of the pressure not only during the holidays, but throughout the year to help make visitation worry-free:

  1. Try to be nice:

It’s an old adage that has special meaning during the holidays. For the sake of the kids, try not to get excited if your ex brings the kids home a few minutes late. If you know your ex is the one who is unreasonable and often misinterprets what he or she is entitled to based on the visitation order, gently remind them. If that doesn’t work, use guilt–“Y’know, it’s the holidays, can’t we just try to work this out for the kid’s sake?” Remember that despite your current feelings, there was a time where you (hopefully) cared for this other person. Remind yourself (and them, if necessary) of those better times, and try to push ahead.

  1. Notify, notify, notify

: if the ex is the forgetful type, be sure to give them a head’s up by phoning them about visitation. If talking one-on-one with your ex is uncomfortable or not advisable based on past relationship dynamics, use e-mail. E-mail is good because you don’t have to listen to them and you have a record of trying to contact in case holiday visitation becomes a legal matter. On a more practical level, if you anticipate trouble, giving your ex advance notice or a gentle reminder about holiday visitation can avoid trouble before the actual day arrives.

  1. Never alert your kids, especially small ones, if there is a problem

: This can be a bit more difficult with older kids, as they likely have enough sophistication, even if neither of you say anything, to realize that there are problems. No matter what, don’t shout, curse, or scream at your ex in front of your kids, and avoid bad-mouthing your ex to, or in front of, the children. Not only does this put the child in the unfortunate position of having to choose one parent over the other, it is quite selfish because it places your anger and frustration above the child’s welfare. Also, if you continually dis your ex in the child’s presence, your ex will likely have a strong case of parental alienation against you.

  1. Plan ahead:

Similar to notification, it is a good idea to make the other parent aware of where you and your child will be going during the holiday break. Be sure not to go outside the parameters of what the initial parenting plan and visitation schedule allow–if you cannot take the child out of state, don’t do it. Be aware that if you do go outside what the visitation schedule allows, you could be setting yourself up for some serious trouble–your ex could file a parental abduction charge against you, and the criminal and civil ramifications of that can be quite harsh and expensive for you.

These are just a few ideas to help ease the stress of coordinating visitation with a minor child.

The Right to an Attorney in Criminal Cases

Most people have watched enough television to know what Miranda rights are –

Although everyone has heard these rights, it is amazing to me, how many people waive them when the police come to “talk”.

First of all, unless you are sitting in the back of a police car, or in a police station and YOU ARE NOT FREE TO LEAVE, you are not entitled to these rights.

Secondly, just because you were arrested doesn’t mean the police have to read you your rights. If they’re not planning on talking to you, there’s no reason. I hear so many people say, “They never read me my rights.” Thinking that in itself will get them out of the crime.

Please note, even if you were in custody AND no one read you your rights AND they questioned you – you still might not get out of it. It all depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. And the lawyer you hire. Just because the police didn’t follow the rules, if your attorney doesn’t file a MOTION TO SUPPRESS, it doesn’t matter.

In a recent case out of Tampa, Florida – the police brought a man named Green into the station for questioning on several Dealing in Stolen Property charges. He was clearly in custody. They read him his rights and he said he wanted a San Angelo injury lawyer. As happens more often than not – the cop told Green he couldn’t get him a lawyer right this minute – it just didn’t work that way. The cop continued to question Green who ultimately confessed. Although I realize this happens all the time, it’s rarely on video tape for the court to witness.

The fact that there was a videotape of the confession was lucky for Green, because the Second DCA said his confession should have been thrown out since he “unequivocally” asked for a lawyer during questioning. See Green v. State, 2nd DCA, 9/9/11

If the cops want to question you about ANYTHING – even if you know you’re completely innocent – ASK FOR A LAWYER – and stick to your guns. Don’t let them bully or confuse you. Eventually it will become your word against theirs – and who do you think the prosecutors and judges will believe?

Violation of Probation

When someone is convicted of a crime, especially a misdemeanor crime, they often think probation is the way to go. In the recent case of Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, perhaps it wasn’t the best idea.  As you have probably read about in all of the papers, TMZ, ESPN, and countless other places, Chad Johnson was placed on probation in Broward County for Domestic Battery against his now ex wife Evelyn Lozada and given the standard 12 months of probation to include anger management classes.  (It did not help his lawyer or his case when his wife went on to release statements through her publicist about not tolerating domestic violence and shared her story with most major talk shows. For those of you unfamiliar with her, she was on the VH1 reality TV show Basketball Wives and was quite violent herself. And yes, I’m admitting I’ve watched it, once.)

The former NFL star violated his probation by not showing up to meetings with his probation officer, among other things, and his lawyer worked out a deal to keep him out of jail and get him reinstated on probation with the addition of more community service hours. Looks like a good deal, until he slaps, or pats, his lawyer on the rear and the courtroom breaks out in laughter. (For why this is inappropriate please look at the past few blogs called “How not to act in court” and “What not to wear in court”) The judge then rejects his plea deal and sentences him to 30 days in jail. While in jail he tweets “Love me through the good and the bad . . . .see  you in 30.” This is NOT going to help when his lawyer asks for a resentencing. If he’s so concerned about his 30 days, why is he tweeting? It’s like a Lindsay Lohan train wreck.

When anyone violates their probation, it is ultimately up to the judge as to whether or not they serve jail time or are reinstated on probation. Judges consider many factors when making their decision, such as remorse or the ability to take things seriously, and Johnson’s actions didn’t show either of those things. Anytime I go into court with my clients, I am very clear of what is expected of them and how to dress and act. If it looks like you take things seriously and are remorseful, you will have a much better outcome with the judge if you violate Probation. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how good your lawyer is, if you do or say something that offends the judge in court, you are most likely going to jail. And if you tweet or Facebook about it later, no one can help you.

What may help his cause is the former Hillsborough County Prosecutor, turned Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, has entered in the mix on his side. She apparently told TMZ that “this event seems to be an issue of judicial temperament.” Why the Florida Attorney General is talking to TMZ of all media outlets just blows up the insanity surrounding this entire media circus. But she’s clearly on his side and thinks the judge is wrong. It will be interesting to see what sort of pull she has with the judges in Broward County. If only my clients could get this kind of backing.

Pasco County Domestic Violence Injunctions

How much evidence is enough evidence for a judge to grant a domestic violence injunction?

Domestic Violence Injunctions (DVI) appear to be the most abused pleading of the Court these days.  First, in order to file a domestic violence injunction, there must be a DOMESTIC relationship – like boyfriend and girlfriend who live together or have a child in common, husband and wife, or other people who live in the same household. Domestic Violence Injunctions do not apply to your neighbor, your spouse’s ex, your significant other’s ex, or someone you work with. Those are called  Repeat Violence Injunctions and require at lease two acts of violence or threats of imminent harm. If you have a question about that, please call me.

Many times, I see people in court who are not victims of violence, but rather victims of horribly annoying behavior by the other party. In order for a judge to grant a domestic violence injunction, the behavior needs to be more than “mere uncivil behavior that causes distress or annoyance.” See Power v. Boyle, 60 So. 3d 496 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011), but rather must place a person in fear of imminent harm. In a recent DCA case out of the First District, a circuit court judge granted a domestic violence injunction against a wife who used her husband’s email password to access his account, then used the personal information found in those emails to further her cause in a divorce case. She also changed his password so he could no longer access his own email. But the District Court said that behavior did not rise to the level of “stalking” or “cyberstalking” because it wasn’t the wife’s “own words” used to harass the soon to be ex-husband. In other words, had she written him harassing or threatening emails, or used his account and sent emails pretending to be him – it may have been enough. But merely changing the password and using his own emails against him was not enough to meet the threshold of evidence required for a domestic violence injunction.

So back to the original question, what is enough? Often, it depends on the judge who hears the case.  The judge is the ultimate fact finder and unless clearly wrong, an appellate court usually will not overturn the trial judge’s decision. (Note there are many legal standards on appeal, and they vary depending on circumstances and whether the case is civil or criminal) Acts of physical violence are usually enough. Threats to harm a person, that could reasonably be carried out, are usually enough. Harming a family pet, threats with weapons, abuse to a child who lives in the home – are all usually enough. Harassing and annoying behavior, sometimes is not enough.

The best thing to do if you are planning to file a DVI is to either hire a lawyer to represent you, and/or talk to an advocate in your local domestic violence shelter. The advocates are in court every day and sometimes they have better insight into a particular judge or set of facts than many of the lawyers. If someone has filed a DVI against you, you definitely need representation by a lawyer.

Pinellas Domestic Battery with Sex Toy

Last Wednesday the Treasure Island police arrested a woman for domestic battery.  That’s not the strangest part, because plenty of women are arrested for domestic battery, whether they are the aggressor or not.

This woman was arrested for “poking” her live in boyfriend with a sex toy.   According to the St. Petersburg Times article from Saturday, July 11, 2009; there was no allegation of injury or real threat of violence.  I guess, technically speaking, “poking” is a battery, which is any unwanted touching. But was this touching unwanted?  With a sex toy?

Apparently, he was the one who called the police.  And they arrested her.  Must of have been a slow night in the Treasure Island Police Department.  If this arrest isn’t a cry for why that agency needs to be consolidated into Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, I’m not sure what is.

What this arrest shows is how “seriously” the police take domestic battery complaints.  Especially if someone is drunk.  In most instances, if the police are called to a domestic battery incident, someone gets arrested.   Especially if someone is drunk. So unless you are the victim of a crime or in fear for you safety, don’t call the police.  Their job isn’t to monitor your sex life.

Clearwater, Florida: Domestic Violence Injunctions

Is spanking a child enough reason for a judge to grant a domestic violence injunction?

NO.

In order to legally get a domestic violence injunction, it must be proven by the Petitioner, or on behalf of the Petitioner in the case of a child, that there is an immediate threat of harm or fear.

Florida law says that spanking is a reasonable form of punishment when it does not harm the child. In fact, spanking is a defense to a criminal charge of child abuse or a charge of child abuse under Florida Statute 39 which is the Dependency statute.

In this particular case, a divorced father spanked his 14 year old daughter one time for being disrespectful. The daughter testified that she was being sarcastic. While my personal opinion is generally against spanking, when every other form of discipline, such as taking things away, grounding, and time outs don’t work, spanking may be appropriate in some instances. G.C. v. R.S. and K.C., 1st DCA, 9/16/11

A parent or legal guardian of a child can file for a domestic violence injunction on behalf of the child, even if they themselves are not a victim. If your child is the victim of abuse, or someone is saying that you are an abuser – call Blackstonepc.com. Domestic Violence injunctions, although civil in nature, have the ability to cause criminal charges and take away various liberties such as one’s ability to own or purchase guns.