Bankruptcy Saved my Family — Can it Save Yours?

Three Less Common Defenses To Drug Possession Charges

Common defenses to drug possession charges include medicinal use, personal use and unlawful search and seizure. However, these are not the only defenses you can use if charged with the possession of illegal drugs. Here are three other surprising defenses you can raise:

Fleeting Possession

To get a good idea of fleeting possession, picture this scenario: You are sitting next to a stranger in a public park, and he or she is popping some illegal pills. The stranger sees a police on patrol approaching and shoves the drugs into your hands. You throw the drugs away, but the officer has already seen them and arrests you for drug possession. Should you be convicted of this “crime?”

In this case, you will not be convicted of drug possession because you merely held the drugs, but quickly discarded them when you realized what they were. This is what is called fleeting possession.

Unwitting Possession

You can claim unwitting possession if you actually had the drugs in your possession, but without your knowledge. There is no way the court will prove that you are guilty of the possession if you didn’t know they were on you in the first place.

Consider an example where your boss sends you with a closed package to deliver to a client. Now suppose that the police arrest you with the package, which turns out to be full of illegal drugs. You can use the unwitting possession defense if you can prove that the package is not yours, and that you were not aware of its contents.

The Drugs are Missing

You may also avoid an illegal drug conviction if you can prove that the drugs you have been accused of possessing are missing. If you are being prosecuted for drug possession, then the actual drugs should be present as evidence. For example, if it is cocaine, then the prosecutors cannot get a sample of cocaine elsewhere and use it.

Drugs can get lost in transit, tampered with in evidence lockers or get lost due to inadequate paperwork trail. However, it is difficult to swing this defense on your own. You will need a skilled attorney who can challenge the prosecutors to prove that the drugs they have are the actual ones you were arrested with.

Now you see why it is so important to hire a criminal defense lawyer when you are accused of drug possession. Such attorneys understand the law and can come up with suitable defenses for all kinds of situations.

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Workplace Violence: What You Should Do Now If You’ve Been Assaulted

If another employee has assaulted you in any way, you need to take the issue seriously. Workplace violence is something that you, your employer, and legal professionals need to work through in order to help you feel safe while you are at work. Learn what signifies assault at work, and what you need to do about it.

Assault at work

Assault is a physical attack on another person. Assault is a slap, shove, punch in the face, or violent threat placed upon you. While you are at work, you can be assaulted by another employee, your boss, or even customers or clients that come into your establishment. If you’ve been assaulted, you need to know what you should do immediately so you can protect yourself against further attacks.

Alert your employer

Any assault needs to be reported to your employer, so you can record instances in which you’ve been attacked. Your employer is responsible for keeping you safe, especially if you work in secluded areas alone (as a security guard or front desk personnel, for example), or if you work with a single other employee. Once your employee has been made aware that you have been attacked while on the job, it is their obligation to take measures to keep you safe. They can do this by:

  • increasing security cameras on the property
  • removing the employee who attacked you
  • transferring you to a safer department
  • providing workman’s compensation for any injuries

If your employer fails to take measures to keep you safe or you continue to get assaulted while working, you need to take legal action to protect yourself at work.

When to get a lawyer

You should get a personal injury lawyer if you’ve been assaulted at work and it resulted in an injury, or if your employer has failed to keep you safe. Even if your employer is giving you time off, has fired the person who has attacked you, and you are getting financial restitution for your injury, you should still seek legal counsel. Your employer may be held at fault for the attack for not anticipating your safety needs. Or, the other employee that harmed you may need to be sued for the injuries and emotional distress that you’ve received due to their attack. A personal injury lawyer can help you explore all your rights so you can feel safe while in the workplace.

When you get attacked at work, you should always treat the situation seriously. Know exactly what you should do to best protect yourself in the event of workplace violence, so you can get the security you need.

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The Right To Sue For Injuries When Not Covered Under Workers’ Compensation

When you have been injured on the job, it can be a frustrating and stressful time. You get frustrated when you realize that you can’t go to work for awhile, and wonder how in the world you’ll support your family. If you’re lucky enough to be considered a W-2 employee, you should be covered under workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that is required by all employers to be purchased for their employees. The program works in such a way that it protects the employee when they are injured. Things like medical bills, lost wages and even rehabilitation will be paid under the workers compensation program. 

Your employer is protected because when you are covered under workers’ compensation, the money that comes to fund the payouts you receive come from the insurance company, not the assets of your employer. Also, you cannot sue your employer because of your injuries. If you are not a W-2 employee, things can get a little more complicated:

The 1099 Independent Contractor

If you receive a 1099 at the end of the year, and you do not have any taxes taken out of your paycheck, you are considered a 1099 independent contractor. You are not considered an employee, and therefore you do not qualify for workers’ compensation.

Now, if you are a contractor that does multiple jobs for many employees, it would have been wise if you had taken out some type of liability insurance or health insurance before you started looking for work. If you have, you should be covered under those policies, at least for payments of all your medical bills and rehabilitation needs. 

Because you are not covered under the workers’ compensation policy, however, you can sue the entity you were working with, because they are not your employer.

Suing for Compensation

There are a couple of different law suits you can pursue if you have been injured on a job where you were deemed an independent contractor.

  • Negligence. You can sue the entity you were working for if you can prove that they were negligent and somehow caused your injury. It is their job to keep a work place safe no matter if they hire independent contractors or employees.
  • Violation of Labor Laws. If you feel that the entity you worked for somehow violated labor laws, you may want to consider suing under those grounds as well.

Also, it’s important to understand that you may have been incorrectly deemed an independent contractor, and all along should have been an employee, and therefore covered under workers compensation. Talk to an experienced workers compensation attorney for more information on your rights to sue due to injury.

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Hotly Contested: When You Want A Divorce But Your Spouse Doesn’t

It is very rare for a spouse to contest a divorce, since most divorcing couples are happy to split. However, there may be other reasons at play, some of which may be the reason your own spouse is contesting your divorce. If you can manage to be reasonably civil, you may discover that the reason or reasons are one of the following.

Religious Reasons

Catholicism as well as Hasidic Judaism are two religions which fervently admonish against divorce regardless of the situation. It is also very difficult to divorce someone of the Scientologist faith, since they value close-knit families so much. If your spouse belongs to one of these religions, he or she might cite religious reasons for contesting the divorce.

Financial Reasons

Whether or not there was a pre-nuptial agreement signed, your spouse may have a lot to lose in the divorce. If he or she will get nothing in alimony and/or you do not have any children for which child support must be paid, your spouse may have to find a better-paying job or adjust to a very thrifty way of life. This may make him or her feel quite desperate, hopeless or lost, on top of losing someone he or she really loved. Ergo, your spouse may hire a contested divorce lawyer to try and keep the marriage intact or gain something financial from the split.

Emotional or Psychological Reasons

Some people become very dependent upon another, so much so in fact that they are psychologically bonded in an unhealthy way to you. When you decide that you want to end the marriage, your spouse may contest it because he or she may not know how to detach from this unhealthy bond he or she has created with you. Your spouse may also have some strong emotional attachment to you still, and if your spouse still loves you, be it in a healthy or unhealthy way, he or she could contest the divorce for these reasons also.

Responding to Your Spouse’s Contest of the Divorce

You may have to hire a divorce lawyer such as Lisa J Kleinberg to handle your spouse’s contest of the divorce. It presents some complicated and unusual situations when a spouse contests your divorce, and you will need all the legal help you can get. If you think there is even the slightest chance that your spouse could contest the divorce, hire a contested divorce lawyer right away so that you do not have to fire one lawyer to hire another lawyer to get the experienced lawyer you need.

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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring An Attorney

Hiring an attorney to handle your personal injury case can be stressful, especially if you’ve never had to do so before, and you have a serious case. You probably wonder about many things, like what to expect, how to tell if the lawyer is right for your case, and your ability to pay for legal assistance.

While these are all common concerns, you can pretty much cover them all by avoiding some common mistakes people make when hiring an attorney:

Not Checking The Attorney’s Courtroom Track Record

If you want to have some idea of what to expect from an attorney, look into his or her track record in the courtroom. Contrary to what you may believe, many attorneys never actually step foot into a courtroom. Some are great negotiators who are best at solving legal problems from their office and reaching fair settlements without having to go to trial. So, checking the the track record can help you decide if this attorney is right for your case.

If you have a case that is likely to end up in court, look for an attorney who has courtroom experience and not just negotiating skills. A lawyer that is not cut out for courtroom drama may pressure you into a settlement just to avoid court. 

Not Checking For Conflicts Of Interest

You should always avoid working with an attorney who has represented the business, organization or individual you are filing a suit against. Your attorney’s past relationship can make you wonder if your attorney is working to represent your best interest. Even though it’s the attorney’s duty to check for conflict of interest, an attorney that really wants your business may rationalize away the previous relationship. 

It is important to bring up this issue during your initial meeting and make sure you are certain there are no conflicts before signing an agreement of representation. 

Not Interviewing And Negotiating 

It is not wise to hire the first attorney you interview. There are a number of different approaches to settling personal injury cases, so you want input from more than one attorney. 

Cost is another reason to interview several attorneys. You should also ask the lawyer if he or she can come down on price. There is no shortage of lawyers out there willing to represent you, so it’s a buyer’s market out there. Attorneys eager for your business are likely to come down a bit a price. 

You can also negotiate the way you are billed. You might suggest being billed a flat-fee instead of an hourly rate. If the lawyer is taking your case on contingency, discuss whether he or she will accept a lower percentage of your settlement. 

When it comes to filing a lawsuit, you need to be in charge of choosing who represents you. This way you can find the attorney who you can be sure will have your best interest in mind when building and trying your case. Need more help? Have other questions? Contact a company like Edward J. Achrem & Associates, Ltd.

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3 Benefits To Expect From The Right Divorce Attorney

When you and your spouse realize that your marriage is over, it is essential to find the right divorce attorney for each of you. Although it may be tempting to share one lawyer, it is a better idea to protect your interests by choosing your own legal counsel. In addition, it is important to remember that the attorney-client privilege of guaranteed privacy of conversations with your lawyer.

Slow Down The Divorce and Dissolution Process

Although it is often tempting to end the marriage, sell the home and dispose of joint assets immediately after the decision to divorce has been made, doing so it not always helpful. Instead, it is better to consider how those financial assets could benefit each of you, if allowed to mature. For example, a standard divorce decree might order both of you to close out joint investments and refinance items from both parties to just one of you.  

Both of those actions could cost extra money and can present a pointless financial challenge. Fortunately, your divorce attorney can help you come up with an agreement that works for both parties that clearly outlines a more efficient way of disposing of debts and maximizing income from investments over time. It should also be pointed out that the delay of the divorce might only be for a brief period of time, while the questions of controlling joint assets and debts can occur for years after the divorce is final.

Think About The Long-Term Plans You Made While Married

Although it is easy to assume that credit cards, mortgages and company stock are the biggest items to negotiate during a divorce, there are other aspects that you need to consider as well. For example, joint burial plots, time-shares and long-term asset developments can be agreed to by both parties, before filing for the divorce. By doing so, in the future you will have fewer challenging discussions with your former spouse, as everything was clearly outlined and approved by a judge now.

Allow For On-going Financial Support, When Warranted

Child support and alimony payments are common reasons to wind up back in court a few years down the road. One way that your divorce attorney can help you prevent that expensive and stressful event is by determining now only a dollar amount for support payments today, but how it will increase or decrease in the future. 

It is fairly common for judges to approve divorce decrees and agreements that have been agreed to by both spouses, as long as both parties are aware of the details and the agreement itself is legal. That also includes the possibility of community property, if you live in a state that mandates it.  (For more information on divorce attorney’s, contact Hampole Gowri V Atty)

In conclusion, a divorce is often the most stressful and challenging experience you can imagine. However, by protecting your current and future interests, and planning for the future of your family, it does not have to be the disastrous event that everyone dreads. 

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