Immigration Status And Criminal Convictions: What You Should Know

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, a criminal conviction could potentially have an unexpected outcome: deportation. However, it may be possible to get the court to vacate your conviction or grant you a waiver so that you’re able to remain in the country. Here are some things you should know. Almost any crime could be cause for deportation. Specific state and federal laws make certain crimes an automatic cause for deportation. It may not surprise you to learn that things like murder, drug trafficking, and rape will get you deported. However, there’s a concept in immigration law called “crimes of moral turpitude” which is often vaguely and broadly defined. That phrase encompasses roughly any crime that the courts consider to be immoral or vile. Almost any crime can be put under that umbrella, given the right set of circumstances (or a judge). That means that you can end up being deported for things like simple drug possession, involuntary manslaughter after a car accident, tax evasion, or a conviction for domestic violence after a fight with your spouse turns violent. You may have accepted a plea without understanding the consequences. If you accepted a plea deal in order to avoid a trial and lessen the charges or your sentence, you may have done so without realizing the effect it might have on your immigration status. Immigration is a complex legal arena, and your criminal defense attorney may not have been aware of the fact that you could end up deported if you took a fairly minor plea. If you weren’t advised of the possibility that you could be deported before you took the plea, you may be able to get the court to vacate your conviction. You may also be able to get the court to vacate your conviction if a language barrier prevented you from fully understanding the consequences of your actions and you weren’t provided with an interpreter. It might be possible to get a waiver for certain crimes. If your crime was a relatively minor crime that falls under the definition of moral turpitude and occurred more than 15 years ago, you may be able to file for a waiver under section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The waiver will permit you to avoid deportation. You can also ask for a waiver under this section if you can prove that a close relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is dependent upon you in some way and would suffer extreme hardship if you were deported. For example, if you are the primary caretaker of your U.S. born children, who are citizens, you could easily make a case that they would suffer...

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4 Steps To Planning A Safe Christmas Party With Alcohol

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Having a Christmas party for all of your friends and family can be a lot of fun for everyone. If you intend to serve your guests liquor, beer, and wine, there are certain precautions that you should take to ensure that everyone remains as safe as possible during and after the party. Get a Bartender This doesn’t mean that you have to spend a bunch of money hiring a professional bartender for the evening – it just means that you need someone serving drinks who isn’t getting hammered. Someone responsible should be in charge of the bar to ensure that none of the guests get too intoxicated. This person can monitor how much everyone is drinking and either shut the intoxicated guests off or make their drinks with less alcohol. Note: This person will also be responsible for keeping any underage guests from drinking and putting themselves and you at risk of legal complications. Serve the Right Food Ok – you want your guests to love the food that you are serving, but you need the food to absorb the alcohol a bit to keep everyone safe. Foods to consider should be fatty – not necessarily greasy and unhealthy, but contain natural fats – think nuts. Load the buffet with carbs – pizza, pasta and potatoes are great options. Have a fruit bar with bananas for alcohol absorption, and water-laden fruits like watermelon to help keep guests hydrated. Transportation This is the most important part of keeping your guests safe. Although a person may appear un-intoxicated at the end of the night, those few drinks are more than enough to impair driving abilities and put them and other drivers at risk on the roads. If you have a taxi service in your area, use it. If you don’t have a taxi service to utilize, enlist a few good people to help you get your guests home. These people may include people from the neighborhood, off-duty police officers or firefighters or even members of the local church. Reach out to your local police department to find out what resources are available in your area to assist you with transporting your guests safely. Accommodations In some cases, your guests may be safer crashing at your place. If you don’t have extra beds in your home, gather some sleeping bags and pillows. Chances are, your guests won’t care where they pass out at the end of the night as long as they can crash somewhere safe and warm. Your Christmas party can be fun and safe. Just keep these things in mind as you plan for the event and enlist the help of trustworthy individuals to assist you with keeping everyone safe....

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What To Do When A Car Accident Is Your Fault

Posted by on Nov 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

No one wants to be involved in a car accident no matter how minor it may be.  Even with a small accident, the process of resolving the issue can be timely and unnerving.  If you are ever in a car accident and it is your fault, you should remember to do several things to make future proceedings go a little smoother for you. Never Admit Guilt Never admit that you are guilty of causing the car accident.  You should not mention it to the people in the other car or even any passengers in your car.  In fact, when the investigating officer at the scene of the accident questions you, do not admit you are guilty.  You should present the facts of the accident the way you remember them.  It may appear you were the cause of the accident; however, there may be circumstances or situations that actually caused the automobile accident that you are not aware of at the time. Check for Injuries Check to see if you or the other driver has any injuries, in addition to the passengers of the vehicles.  Try to assess the severity of the injuries of anyone who was hurt in the crash.  You may need this information when you make the 911 call.  If you have doubts about whether or not someone was injured, go ahead and call 911. Call Police/Call 911 If the car accident is minor, you can call the police.  If you call 911, the dispatcher will dispatch all the services you will need to the site of the car accident.  A police office is dispatched to interview and make a report.  If one of the vehicles is on fire, the closest fire department will dispatch firefighters. If someone is injured or if an injury is suspected, an ambulance is dispatched to the scene.  The emergency medical services dispatched are usually the closest ones to the accident. Refrain from Arguing Do not argue with the driver or any passengers.  Keep your distance if the other driver becomes combatant.  Do not say you are sorry because it can be misinterpreted as an admission of guilt. Take Pictures and Notes If you have a camera or a cell phone with a camera, you should take pictures of the damage done to both cars.  If you are unfamiliar with the area, be sure to take pictures to help you when you need to provide details later.  Jot down notes while the accident is still fresh in your mind. Exchange Insurance Information You can exchange information before the investigating officer arrives at the scene or you can wait until the officer investigates and writes a report.  You will need to contact your...

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Important Information About Getting Guardianship Of A Parent With Alzheimer’s

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When your parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is reasonable to expect that sometime in the near future, it may be necessary to obtain guardianship and make important decisions for them. Sadly, the average person will only live four to eight years after being diagnosed with the disease and one out of every nine people in the United States over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s. By developing a care plan and starting the process of becoming your parent’s legal guardian as early as possible, you can comply with their wishes later on, when they may lack the mental ability to make informed decisions. #1-Know What Situations Are Appropriate For Legal Guardianship Of A Parent It is important to note that obtaining guardianship over a parent is not always the best or only choice. In general, it will be helpful if there is not already a person selected to make their decisions. A power of attorney is a popular way to avoid the need for legal guardianship because most of the responsibilities of the two are identical and fair. It could be another family member, a trusted friend or even a lawyer. If that person was selected by your parent when they were able to make informed decisions and there is no reason to believe that the person with the power of attorney will negatively impact your parent’s life, it might not be necessary to ask for guardianship. #2-Guardianship Allows You To Take On A Parental Role For Your Own Parent It is first necessary to remember that because Alzheimer’s patients suffer from memory loss and dementia, one day in the future, they will not be able to reliably take care of themselves. Therefore, as the legal guardian, you will eventually need to need to make decisions for them, provide supervision and meet their physical, emotional, safety and health needs, just as you would for your children. #3-Guardianship Is A Permanent And Legally Binding Decision You will usually be expected to prove that you will be financially responsible for your parent and final decisions about guardianship will need to be approved by the judge. Although guardianship is a permanent and binding decision, you could petition the court to make changes to the agreement in the future, if the circumstances change. You will need to prove to the court that guardianship over your parent is in their best interests and that their physician agrees. Assuming that everything has met with the court’s requirements, your mom or dad will be declared incompetent to make their own decisions and doing so becomes your responsibility. In conclusion, when you first learn that one of your parents has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it...

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4 Tips For Choosing A Personal Injury Lawyer

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have been involved in an accident in which you have been injured by the fault of another, then you are probably going to want to make a claim. This will ensure that you receive proper compensation for your injuries and more. In order to ensure that you have a higher chance of receiving your proper compensation, you will want to hire a personal injury lawyer (such as one from Schlicter & Schonack LLP). To be sure that you hire the right personal injury lawyer for your case, you will want to consider these following tips: Take Notes of Communication: First of all, you want to be sure that you choose a lawyer who communicates well. This will guarantee that throughout the length of your case, you can count on them to provide you with all new details in a timely manner. You don’t ever want to be out of the loop during this process. You can take notes of how well a lawyer communicates based on how quickly they get back to you to schedule an appointment, for example.  Don’t Wait to Hire a Lawyer: Before you even file your personal injury claim, you should be looking for a lawyer. This is because if you wait too long, you may not have the opportunity to find the right lawyer for you. You may have to choose the first lawyer you find just because you are running out of time. You also want to be sure that you have a lawyer by your side during the process of filing your claim because they will help you fill out all the proper details and more. Make Sure Payment is Contingency: When you are meeting with any personal injury lawyer, you want to be sure that they offer contingency payment plans. This is because a contingency payment plan means that you will have no upfront costs and the lawyer will only be paid when you win your case. This means that they have an even higher motivation to fight your case.  Be Sure the Lawyer is Local: Always be sure that you are seeking help from a lawyer who is local and works with only local personal injury cases. This guarantees that they know a great deal about the laws involved in your specific city. This will work out in your favor because then nothing will be overlooked.  By following and utilizing these four tips, you can be sure that everything works in your advantage and you have a much higher chance of winning your...

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Is It Possible To Re-Open A Workers’ Comp Case?

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

In many instances, the workers’ compensation claim ends once the worker has returned back to work and recovered fully from his or her injuries. However, there are some instances in which it is necessary for the claim to stay open for an extended period of time. If you believe that you are entitled to benefits beyond those you were initially offered, here is what you need to know.  Can You Receive Benefits If Your Condition Worsens? In the event that your condition returns or worsens after the workers’ compensation claim has been paid, there is a chance that you can still receive benefits. Whether or not you can depends on the wording of your settlement agreement.  Some agreements include language that allows for future benefits if the condition returns or worsens. For instance, if you suffered a back injury in the workplace accident that led to the initial claim and years later, your doctor recommended surgery to alleviate recurring pain, your benefits could possibly cover the cost of the surgery, lost wages, and additional medical care. You would simply need to contact your employer’s insurance company and re-open your claim. However, this is only possible if your claim was not a full and final release.  A full and final release would end any responsibility your employer and the insurance company had for your injury. There is an exception, though, that could possibly allow you to re-open your claim and receive benefits. If you live in a state that allows for the re-opening of claims involving injuries that recurred or became worse, you can use the law to get the needed benefits. There could possibly be a time restriction that limits the amount of time you have to re-open your case.  What If You Have Permanent Scarring? Even with good medical treatment, there are some injuries that result in permanent scarring. Ideally, the scarring that you received was included in the initial rating of your disability by the insurance company and you were paid for it.  However, if it was difficult to determine the full extent of the scarring at the time of the settlement and you believe that you should receive additional benefits because the level of disfigurement is now evident and not properly compensated for, you can possibly re-open your case.  Some states have laws that allow for a one-time settlement for scarring. If you did not receive the amount, you can file a claim to request it.  There are many other situations in which you can potentially ask for your claim to be re-opened. Since workers’ compensation laws can vary from state to state, consult with a workers’ comp attorney in your area who is familiar with...

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