Category Archives: Law

Crime Statistics in Utah That You Should Be Aware of

Crime Statistics in UtahAccording to the 2015 Preliminary Crime in Utah Report from the Utah Department of Public Safety, there were 94,597 index crimes reported in 2015. The numbers showed almost an 8 percent surge from the figures in 2014 wherein there were 87,615 index crimes reported.

It is advisable to hire a misdemeanor lawyer in Provo, Utah especially if you believe that you or a family member has been wrongfully accused of a crime. It is important to minimize the long-term impacts of misdemeanor charges, says Matthew Jube, Attorney at Law, especially one that involves a minor, as it can affect his employment in the future.

Number of Arrests

In terms of arrests, there were 116,763 arrests made in 2015. While the numbers showed a mere 0.25 percent decrease from the rates in 2014, legal age arrests surged by 0.72 percent. The only good news is that juvenile arrests went down by 6.17 percent.

In specific, the violent crime rate surged by 13.18 percent. Homicides also increased by 3.57 percent. The same goes for robbery (3.93 percent), rape (11.77 percent) and aggravated assault (17.33 percent).

Proper Crimes

The numbers of property crimes were just as concerning as it increased by nearly 8 percent. The highest increase was motor vehicle theft by 22.58 percent followed by burglary (11.53 percent), arson (8.07 percent) and larceny (5.48 percent), which are examples of misdemeanor crimes.

Other misdemeanor crimes include the majority of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges, vandalism, shoplifting, and prostitution. If you and your family are going through similar offenses, it is important to note that while misdemeanor has a less severe punishment compared to felonies, the crime still appears on one’s personal record. It can be quite damaging for minors who wish to find good employment and a brighter future even if some cases don’t always involve time spent in jail.

Being aware of the crime statistics is necessary. Always do your research to make wise decisions.

Who’s Representing You? Things You Should Remember When Choosing a Lawyer

Choose the Right Lawyer for YouGetting the right lawyer for your case can be a difficult task. A good lawyer spells the difference between winning or losing your case so you’ll want the best one you can hire. So how can you tell if you have chosen the perfect representation?

The Past Matters

When talking to a lawyer about getting represented, ask for their case histories. Don’t just look at the number of cases won versus those that were lost: look at who they were representing. Did they represent frivolous litigators or criminal cases? The quality of their clients can tell you not just how good they are, but also how honest they are. A trustworthy lawyer, says Bern Ripka LLP, will maximize his billable hours to your advantage, minimizing the need to extend the hearings and the need to increase their charges.

Tell the Truth

A general sign of sincerity is eye contact. People who can maintain eye contact during conversation are those who have nothing to hide. Constantly averting the eyes may mean they are hiding something. Ask questions about how much he thinks your case will cost and the billing method. Clear answers are favorable but diverting your attention to another topic is not a good sign. You don’t want to win the case but get stuck with an enormous bill, so be sure the maximum amount that your lawyer can bill you for. Get it in writing and have it included in the contract you sign.

Stay Where You Are

There is more than one reason people file cases where they live. (Unless they have reason to do otherwise.) First, is that hiring someone local means you don’t accrue extra travel expenses. Second, your lawyer should not only be an expert in your case. Your lawyer should also be familiar with the nuances of local laws. Filing in New York with a New York-based lawyer means he will know the ins and outs of New York courts.

Take Your Time

Interview at least three lawyers before you decide on who to hire. Remember that the outcome of your case may hinge on getting the right representation.

Guide to Finding the Right Divorce Lawyer

Family Law in Albuquerque

Family Law in AlbuquerqueWhen you’re embroiled in divorce proceedings, especially in Albuquerque courts, it would be best to make sure that you’re well represented, and that you’d be able to make the most out of it. That could happen if you have the best lawyer on your side. But how do you make sure of that, then? Here are some tips.

Knowledgeable in Family Law — but Knows How to Speak in Layman’s Terms

Finding the best divorce lawyer in Albuquerque should start by checking if your prospective lawyer is board certified, but is also able to help you know what’s going on by speaking to you in a manner you understand, and not in a way that would just make him seem like a know-it-all. A great divorce lawyer is someone who can empathize with you, not one who will make you more confused than you already are.

Someone Who Knows that Children’s Needs Should be Put First

A lawyer who only thinks about money or the things he’d get probably isn’t someone you can trust. A good divorce lawyer should think about your children’s needs first. After all, they’re really the ones who would always be affected by this divorce.

Someone with Whom You Have Great Rapport with

You’d know if a lawyer could be trusted or not. You would definitely feel it. There are times when you should actually listen to your gut feel — and doing so in finding a lawyer is just right. You should feel that this person is worthy of your trust. You should be able to tell this person about the deepest, darkest parts of the marriage without him judging you.

Affordable, but Competent

And, try to find a lawyer who is actually competent enough without charging too much. This way, you’d know that he or she actually cares.

Competent Lawyer = Hassle-Free Divorce

By knowing how to choose the best lawyer among the many choices you have, you can be sure that your divorce would be hassle-free — and that’s truly what you want and need.

Fair Negotiations: Should Employers Offer Redeployment During Redundancy?

Redeployment for Redundant Employees in ChristchurchIt’s a dilemma for your employer: they need to make your role redundant, as they think it is no longer needed, no longer exists, or has closed because the company became insolvent.

They, however, have this obligation to consider other options, such as redeployment, rather than completely terminating your employment.

Redundancy in a Nutshell

The Department of Labour defines redundancy as a situation where the position of an employee has become an excess to the requirements of the business. Generally, this occurs when there is a steady decrease in the company revenue, or the company is considering an organisational restructure.

Being made redundant is taxing. You may not get any warning that your contract is about to end; in other cases, you may have only a few weeks or months of negotiations and rumours before the company announces it. Either way, redundancy is a difficult and emotional process.

Take heart, because there is always another option: redeployment.

When Redeployment is Justifiable

Many employment contracts state that if an employee’s job is deemed redundant, the human resource team or management can offer them a suitable alternative role. This process is called redeployment.

What constitutes as a ‘suitable alternative role’, however, may depend on how your Individual Employment Agreement (IEA) or Collective Agreement (CA) defines that term. Courts provide a general definition: if a job requires certain skills and experience the employee can provide, it may be viewed as a suitable alternative role.

According to Section 4 of the Employment Relations Act 2000, employers should, of course, be fair when making employees redundant and offering redeployment. In addition, the employee fit for the alternative role should be considered for it in the first instance, rather than having them apply the same way external candidates do.

If you believe that the employer did not treat you fairly during the redundancy and redeployment process, the best way to deal with the situation is not to simply move on — but to consult with a legal professional.

A Look into Maori Customary Law

Customary Law in New ZealandThe Maori are New Zealand’s original settlers, having an established community and culture dating back hundreds of years. As with many countries that were later taken over by the Europeans, New Zealand has a dark history of conflict between the British Crown and the indigenous populations.

Today, the New Zealand government protects the rights of their Maori citizen, to preserve their culture and their way of life. Maori customary rights were also implemented by way of apology for the past conflict between European settlers and the NZ tribal communities.

Protecting Maori Rights

According to Rainey Collins Lawyers, there are many Maori citizens who seek legal assistance in various fields of negotiation. This may include settlements with various government agencies, including the Conservation Department and Land Information NZ (LINZ). It may take several years to give the indigenous populations everything that is owed to them.

There are some customary laws that are already in effect:

Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011

One of the more recent customary laws implemented in New Zealand is the Takutai Moana Act of 2011. Formally known as the Marina and Coastal Area Act 2011, this law protects the Maori marine activities and gives them more freedom to access the coast.

According to the Takutai Moana Act, any iwi is allowed to negotiate with the Crown for customary rights to marine activities. Iwi is a term for tribe, and may include all individuals who are part of the Maori nation.

Iwi may claim a customary title over marine areas. Currently, the Crown has no ownership of the foreshore and seabed of New Zealand, which is a central part of the Maori way of life. This act also allows iwi to continue practices such as collecting hangi (brick oven) stones, fishing, and aquaculture, and seafaring.

The NZ government is constantly revising existing laws and introducing new ones to protect the cultural heritage and rights of the Maori people.

Why a DIY Divorce May Backfire

Divorce Process Divorce, they say, can be expensive. This is why many are wondering if they can their file their own divorce and go through the process without the help of an attorney. It is, of course, possible to do it or handle it on your own. The only problem is, there are risks associated, especially if you are not familiar with the process and the specific laws in your state.

To Do or Not To Do

DIY divorce may possibly work if you and your spouse are in good agreement on all issues. These include property division, child custody and visitation, debts, and spousal support. Denver divorce lawyers note that if you’re not comfortable with the arrangement, it is better to skip this method.

Completing the marriage dissolution on your own is also not advisable if there is an unresolved anger between you and your spouse. The same is also true if there is an issue of spousal abuse or domestic violence. You might also want to avoid DIY divorce if you think that your spouse is hiding assets or money.

Money and Services

It is not necessarily true that you can save time and money if you complete the process on your own. It is important to note the divorce require preparations of necessary paperwork, as well as settlement negotiations. If you want to get a fair settlement and protect your rights, hiring a divorce lawyer is still your best choice.

While it is true the lawyer charges some fees, they think of the other long-term issues you may not have considered. They can offer guidance and protection to get what you deserve. Divorce lawyers will also take the responsibility of preparing necessary paperwork and providing legal representation whenever needed.

Divorce is a serious and complicated matter. While you may want to save money and take the process on your own, it is not the best option. This is especially the case if you are dealing with a deceptive spouse, as well as complex family assets and debts. During this difficult time, a divorce lawyer can work in your best interest and make sure that you get what is right.

Filing for Bankruptcy? Do Not Ever Consider Doing It Alone

Filing for Bankruptcy in ArkansasBankruptcy is one of the scariest situations you may ever face in your life. Anyone would never want to experience this kind of problem, but sometimes, it is their last option. In a lot of cases, Arkansas residents usually file for bankruptcy because of their inability to repay their debts.

One thing to keep in mind about this process, though, is that the world of bankruptcy consists of so many complexities. So when you find yourself in a position wherein you think filing for this procedure is your last and best option, you should start looking for one of the most reputable bankruptcy lawyers in Arkansas.

What bankruptcy really is

In a nutshell, bankruptcy means owing more than what you can pay for. This is just its core component, though. Bankruptcy laws before and now have undergone considerable changes. With the government enforcing much stricter rules, filing for this process has become even more difficult. Also, since you have six different chapters to choose from, you will find it hard to determine which one best suits you situation. Although the primary chapters for personal bankruptcy include 7 and 13.

Where a bankruptcy lawyer comes into play

As mentioned above, chapter 7 and 13 are the two main types of personal bankruptcy. These two have their own sets of complex procedures and requirements, and doing the filing all by yourself can lead to even greater financial damage, especially when you make a mistake in choosing the most appropriate chapter.

This is where you should consider hiring a bankruptcy lawyer. Your chosen lawyer will help you come to a decision as to which chapter you should file for, and once you have made your decision, the filing process can begin.

What you can expect from your lawyer

Your enlisted bankruptcy lawyer will gather all the requirements, including paperwork, documents, and other proof or evidence needed to make your claim justifiable and valid. You will receive the necessary guidance all throughout the process to increase your chances of success.

A Legal Limbo for Single Fathers: Can They Win Child Custody?

Single Fathers for Child CustodyThat it’s only proper for children to end up under their mother’s care, because she gave them life, is an argument many are familiar with, and it may have a bearing on the outcome of legal proceedings. More often than not, the mother ends up as the de facto legal guardian for the child following a long custody battle.

But, the process ensues in order to see which parent will be able to provide for the child best.

Considering this, is ending up under the mother’s care always best? What chances do single fathers have in this scenario?

The Challenges

Single fathers have the burden of proving themselves fit to be their children’s sole legal guardian. To do this, proper representation is necessary. In states like Colorado, the court does not appoint attorneys to represent individuals in child custody or divorce proceedings.

That the court does not assign a lawyer for the defense means possibly having to represent one’s self in court. Unless you’re a lawyer yourself, the clause is a big handicap for anyone.

Another issue fathers have to face is how the court supposedly sides with women most of the time. Whether or not the response is brought by thoroughly considering the child’s wellbeing, it isn’t favorable to the father, especially if he has a negative image. He can’t expect to get a sympathy vote, which is allegedly what makes mothers win custody.

The Chance

Still, fathers may have good chances of getting custody of their child. U.S. law is currently taking steps to better emphasize and extend the rights of the father.

In addition, there are many other factors the judge and jury look at when considering a rightful guardian. If the father proves to be capable of supporting the children and providing a happy home for them, there may be no reason he can’t be the legal guardian.

For the father to have a chance at getting custody, he needs to have good representation and prove that he is a good parent. In this legal limbo, the outcome ultimately rests in his hands and the law.

99% of Detainees Don’t Have a Lawyer and Fail to Secure Their Rights

Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyPeople arrested for a crime often face a very overwhelming and confusing situation. It can be particularly devastating if you believe you’re innocent or a victim of police injustice.

In recent years, the Chicago police have gone under fire for getting away with abuse of power and brutality. To top it off, less than 1% of the people they have arrested seek an attorney following their arrest. Should this happen to you?

A Breach of Constitutional Rights?

The right to an attorney is an integral part of the Miranda Rights given to all individuals facing an arrest. The startling statistics has put Chicago police under scrutiny: could they be breaching constitutional rights? The Chicago Police Department clears up the issue and maintains that each arrestee is read their rights accordingly.

In a state where murder, police abuse, and racial discrimination are rampant, the right to an Illinois criminal defense attorney is a greater concern. But with more than 99% of detainees lacking access to legal aid, the Chicago Police has a lot to answer for.

What To Do During an Arrest

If you’re arrested for whatever crime, knowing your rights – and standing firm in them – is critical. Here’s what you should do during an arrest:

Don’t Resist

Resisting arrest can aggravate the situation and further the charges against you. If you believe you’re a victim of discrimination or racial profiling, or detained for no probable cause, express your concerns verbally. Never physically assault an officer.

Hire an attorney.

You also have a right to an attorney. Do not hesitate to ask for one at the first chance you get. The longer you are without a legal professional, the more vulnerable you are to self-incrimination.

Stay silent.

You have the right to remain silent until your attorney arrives. Once arrested, the police can use anything you say against you, so it’s safest to let your attorney do the talking.

The best way to get the fairest outcome from an arrest is to secure your rights. And the best way to do that is having a criminal defense present immediately following your arrest.

3 NZ Employment Laws You Should Be Aware Of

NZ Employment LawsAs an employee in New Zealand, you must know the rights the law provides you to protect your best interests. You give your time and energy, and even risk your safety sometimes, for work, so it’s only reasonable to look after your back at all times.

Most people only know about their basic entitlements, but these legislations can shed light on several workplace rights everyone should be aware of:

Employment Relations Act 2000

This law specifically protects you from being discriminated against in your work environment. Your right against discrimination applies based on certain grounds, including:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Colour
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Family Status
  • Ethical Beliefs
  • Ethnic Origins
  • Marital Status

However, there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, discrimination on the grounds of personality, height or criminal record is not necessarily unlawful unless it indirectly leads to the unlawful grounds.

The best way to know if you’ve been unlawfully discriminated against is to consult an experienced employee lawyer.

Equal Pay Act 1972

Under the EPA 1972, it’s an offence to refuse or not to offer anyone to the same employment terms, fringe benefits, conditions of work and opportunities for training, transfer and promotion as are made for others of the same qualification because of gender, an employment advocate from I.R.Thompson Associates Ltd. explains.

As this legislation covers agreements made under the ERA 2000, it’s now common for cases about this kind of discrimination to be pursued under the ERA 2000.

Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

Particularly to members of the labour force working in an industrial environment, this law allows you to refuse to perform work if you believe it’s likely to cause you serious harm. While occupation hazards are sometimes unavoidable, your employer must do everything to keep the level of risk to a minimum and protect your welfare at all costs.

'Good faith' is one of the many principles of New Zealand employments laws, but if you think any of your workplace rights have been violated, tried to resolve the issue with your employer and failed, it’s best to seek sound legal advice for the best course of action to take.