• Does Geographical Residence of a Parent Affect a Custody Decision?

    finding a great custody attorneyWhen deciding who the child lives with in a divorce settlement, the judge may base their decision at least partly on the geographic location of the parents. For example, if one parent has moved to a new part of the country, far away from the original home where the two parents lived together when they were married, the judge may not grant custody to that parent.

    Other factors will come into play, of course, but the judge will be looking at the child’s well-being. If the child has lived in the area for a long time, establishing relationships and getting used to the school and the town, then the judge would be more likely to keep the child in the same place.

    The judge will consider how comfortable the child would be living with one parent or the other. If the move to a new location would be deemed emotionally distressing, then the judge may not allow custody of the child to the parent who lives far away from the child’s current home.

    The judge may post a geographic restriction on where the child is allowed to live. This usually occurs when both parents live in the same general area. The judge will then impose an area restriction based around where the two parents live, where the child’s school is located and other areas of interest and importance to the child.

    The parent who has custody of the child may not be allowed to move the child outside that area unless they receive permission from the other parent. If the other parent moves away, however, then the restriction will be lifted because the area will no longer be deemed important to both parents.

    When deciding the custody of the child, the judge may also take into consideration the quality of life they will receive with one parent or another, depending on the geographic location of the parents. If one parent lives in what is considered a dangerous neighborhood, where the child’s chances of success and well-being are considered at risk, then the judge may not grant custody of the child to that parent while they live in that area.

    That kind of decision can be made regardless of what other factors are working in that parent’s favor. Of course, these situations have a considerable degree of complexity and it’s wise to consult a qualified law firm to help you navigate all custody issues.

  • How Bail Bonds Work

    Bail – What Is It?

    Many of us will have watched news broadcasts when we witness a celebrity being released on bail where the bail was set at $xxx, dollars.

    So what exactly is bail?

    please-bail-me-out-of-jailBail is a financial guarantee that if you are released from custody, that you will return to court when required. If you fail to return to court on the specified day, you are effectively forfeiting the amount of money of the bail.

    Bail is not guaranteed, the judge can refuse to give bail to anyone for any number of reasons, but in most cases, everyone is offered the option of bail. As the person in jail you do not have to pay the bail, it is an option, but in most cases, people are only too happy to pay the bail and get out of jail.

    Using a Local Bail Bondsman?

    In the majority of cases, the amount of the bail is normally more than the majority of people will have in liquid cash, and while it is possible to use assets to cover the bail, most people will seek the services of a bail bonding agency like http://angelsbailbonds.com/norwalk/.

    The bail bonding agency will then pay the bail amount and assume responsibility for ensuring that their new client will turn up at court. If the subject of the court case fails to turn up for the court, then it is very likely, and totally legal in the United States, for the bail agency to hire a bounty hunter in order to find the subject. Interestingly the United States is one of the few countries in the world that allows the use of bounty hunters.

    In the majority of cases when you use a bail bondsman you will pay an up-front deposit which is non-refundable, even if you are subsequently found not guilty. The amount of this deposit can vary depending on circumstances, but in general, the rate is 10 percent of the bail amount. Should the client decide to abscond, and the bounty hunter finds them and returns them to court, normally the bail bond company will get their bail money returned, as they have then completed their side of the agreement.

    Using Collateral to Guarantee Bail

    In order to cover themselves, most bail bonds companies will take out some form of security, on the subject’s assets, to cover all eventualities. If the client doesn’t have enough assets to cover the cost, then it is normal practice for the bail bond company to take out securities against other family members, or friends, who are prepared to assist their client. Depending on the size of the bail this could even involve taking a lien on the person’s home.

    If you are going to assist a family or friend in their attempts to get bail, you need to be 100 percent confident that they will actually turn up at court, or alternatively be prepared to forfeit the amount of money you guaranteed. Watch this video if you want to know more about how bail bonds work.

    Hopefully you won’t ever require the services of a bail bond company, but if you ever do at least now you have some idea how the process works.

  • Estate Planning Essentials

    Estate planning is a difficult subject to face, and a complicated one. It’s difficult, because the subject matter is inherently uncomfortable: nobody wants to confront the inevitability of their own death – or that of a loved one under their care, in the case of someone with power of attorney over a relative’s affairs. It’s uncomfortable, and it’s awkward. Death is all but a taboo subject in western society today… and to engage in estate planning is to confront the concept directly, often under the auspices of there being an imminent health crisis, or else a situation of greater than usual threat to one’s well being.

    In other words, there’s a feeling of “it’s coming… and sooner, rather than later” attached to the notion of estate planning. It has been described as being like facing down your own mortality, almost as if dealing with a terminal illness in itself. It’s small wonder, really, that the subject of estate planning has its own legal advocates, attorneys who specialize in the implementation and subsequent management of a person’s wishes regarding what is to happen to their estate after they pass on.

    Estate planning is also complicated, because there are a range of issues to face in terms of what is best, both for your peace of mind and for the care and well-being of those who survive you. That range of issues can be different depending upon whether you’re married or single, whether you have minor children or not, and – following the recent supreme court decision – there are steps that need to be taken by newly married homosexual couples, who might have previously only dreamed to hope of achieving legal recognition.

    One of the most important aspects of estate planning is to consult with a lawyer. There are lawyers whose practices are specialized in the handling of estate planning, attorneys who know how difficult and uncomfortable a subject it is – who have often seen to the planning of the management of their own estates, and those of their family members. They have experience in dealing with people during the delicate time that comes after the death of a loved one, when certain aspects of the departed individual’s will must be executed.

     

    If you are disabled, or if you were to die without a plan in place for the management of your estate, your state of residence will implement its own solutions as to the handling of your financial and physical assets following your death. Without a carefully drafted series of legal documents, your assets will probably be sold off, and the proceeds – which are not necessarily tax-free – may be divided into simple equal portions between your spouse and any children. Additionally, if your children are young, the courts – not your family – will have the predominant say in who receives custody of them.

    They will try to make the best decisions that they can, for all involved – but if you consult with an estate planning attorney, a lawyer who is educated in the way the system works, you will be able to make decisions in advance, while still in control of your own assets, that the courts will abide by in lieu of any other serious considerations – meaning, as long as you are of sound mind and body, in other words.

    Estate planning is a difficult subject to face, and a complicated one. It’s difficult, because the subject matter is inherently uncomfortable: nobody wants to confront the inevitability of their own death – or that of a loved one under their care, in the case of someone with power of attorney over a relative’s affairs. It’s uncomfortable, and it’s awkward. Death is all but a taboo subject in western society today… and to engage in estate planning is to confront the concept directly, often under the auspices of there being an imminent health crisis, or else a situation of greater than usual threat to one’s well being.

    estate lawIn other words, there’s a feeling of “it’s coming… and sooner, rather than later” attached to the notion of estate planning. It has been described as being like facing down your own mortality, almost as if dealing with a terminal illness in itself. It’s small wonder, really, that the subject of estate planning has its own legal advocates, attorneys who specialize in the implementation and subsequent management of a person’s wishes regarding what is to happen to their estate after they pass on.

    Estate planning is also complicated, because there are a range of issues to face in terms of what is best, both for your peace of mind and for the care and well-being of those who survive you. That range of issues can be different depending upon whether you’re married or single, whether you have minor children or not, and – following the recent supreme court decision – there are steps that need to be taken by newly married homosexual couples, who might have previously only dreamed to hope of achieving legal recognition.

    One of the most important aspects of estate planning is to consult with a lawyer. There are lawyers whose practices are specialized in the handling of estate planning, attorneys who know how difficult and uncomfortable a subject it is – who have often seen to the planning of the management of their own estates, and those of their family members. They have experience in dealing with people during the delicate time that comes after the death of a loved one, when certain aspects of the departed individual’s will must be executed.

    If you are disabled, or if you were to die without a plan in place for the management of your estate, your state of residence will implement its own solutions as to the handling of your financial and physical assets following your death. Without a carefully drafted series of legal documents, your assets will probably be sold off, and the proceeds – which are not necessarily tax-free – may be divided into simple equal portions between your spouse and any children. Additionally, if your children are young, the courts – not your family – will have the predominant say in who receives custody of them.

    They will try to make the best decisions that they can, for all involved – but if you consult with an estate planning attorney, a lawyer who is educated in the way the system works, you will be able to make decisions in advance, while still in control of your own assets, that the courts will abide by in lieu of any other serious considerations – meaning, as long as you are of sound mind and body, in other words.

  • A Civil Litigator’s Take On Criminal Law

    Criminal DefenseIn the course of our civil litigation practices, some of us venture from time-to-time into the criminal litigation world on behalf of existing clients who face criminal sanction for some alleged transgression. Very often this type of work is pushed over to a firm undertaking criminal law as a full time practice. Sometimes, however, clients additionally demand the personal attention of their solicitor to ensure some oversight as to what is happening.

    For the civil litigator, the criminal world works in a strangely relaxed and sometimes bizarre fashion. From recent experience it is not uncommon for witnesses, the accused, or even the relevant judge not to turn up, and for the matter to be routinely adjourned. On occasion the reason for adjournment is a lack of communication between the court and the prison service – with no notice of production the prisoner is not produced.
    There are, of course, more significant issues at stake in the criminal court than in the civil court: one can be looking at very serious crimes, and a most important human right – the freedom of the individual – but to this civil litigator, the way in which the criminal courts work seems vastly wasteful. The relaxed way in which fixed dates are approached would not be tolerated in the civil courts. As a civil practitioner we can become frustrated with the way in which the county courts work, but it is rare that they will allow repeated adjournments of cases, as appears to happen quite regularly in the criminal courts.
    There are other marked differences. First, a dip into the criminal system and the consequent discussions with attorneys and clerks reminds one of the low levels of remuneration for the Junior Bar at both District and Circuit Court levels. One Junior recently told me that a day at Circuit Court was wasted because one of the witnesses did not attend. As the court kept the case open, she was to be paid something in the region of £48 for the wasted day’s work.
    Because so many hearings do not proceed, attorneys can take a relaxed view of preparation and hearings, and the advocacy is done much more on the hoof than in civil practice. This is by no means a failing of the system; it is simply a different approach.
    The other thing that strikes me when comparing civil and criminal practice is the way in which lawyers’ chambers are run. It becomes quite apparent that the clerks to criminal defense attorneys have much more day-to-day control of chambers than civil clerks. Again this is not a criticism; it is just an interesting comparison. Certainly at the junior end, work comes in to chambers at a fairly late stage, and is distributed by the clerks whose job it is to ensure someone turns up to the hearing.

    If you’d like the input of an Orlando criminal defense attorney, we favor the team at Grozinger for their depth of experience. That being said, it’s wise to interview layers to find the right fit. Court machinations aside, their really can be stark differences.

  • Chicago Has Outstanding DUI Defense Attorneys

    chicago dui

    If you are charged with DUI, you may feel tempted to seek the help of any attorney; worse still, you may feel prompted not to look for any legal advice at all. Both alternatives present great risks given your present situation. Similarly, if a loved one has been charged with DUI, you should focus and keep a clear head and look for the best Chicago DUI attorneys.

    What is DUI?

    Any act of dangerous driving may be considered as being caused by DUI. Consequently, a driver may be charged with this crime (or misdemeanor) accordingly. A DUI may involve the suspension of your driving privileges in many cases. For example, if the driver’s breath, blood or urine test were positive, the Illinois Secretary of State would suspend the driver’s license for at least, six months. If on the accused did not accept to take the test, their license would be removed for over a year. Last but not least, a DUI charge may result in criminal prosecution which may eventually end in conviction. This is why a charge with DUI must be dealt with by the most dedicated and professional lawyers in Chicago.

    Gruszeczki & Smith Law

    Who are they?

    Both Michael Gruszeczki and Dustin Smith have been prosecutors. Therefore, they have a wide experience on the way both police and prosecutors work. Moreover, they know exactly what arguments will be put forward by the prosecution and what type of evidence will be presented and how. They are also familiar with the different procedures involved in each case, such as investigative techniques, tests and above all, the different ways in which the police testify at court. All this expertise combined together has endowed attorneys at Gruszeczki & Smith with the power to analyze each case with a deeper insight than most average lawyers would.

    What to expect?

    From the very moment you get in touch with these attorneys, you begin to feel the safety and assurance that only sound professionals can provide. Rest assured that they have only one purpose in mind: to get a non-guilty verdict. Since many scenarios are possible, this goal is sometimes achieved through other means. For example, in many cases a trial is not even necessary and the accused is dismissed without even losing their driver’s license. In many other cases, the trial actually takes place, but the experts are able to find flaws in the procedures and obtain interesting plea bargains in return. Whatever the case, the driver must know that they will be carefully informed all throughout the procedure. Unlike many other legal professionals who keep their clients in the dark concerning their approach, with Gruszeczki & Smith traffic defense you will get all the information you need and more. This close contact with clients helps to relief stress and cast the shadows away. Also, clients feel that they are being a part of the process themselves by knowing what comes next. Many testimonials mention this quality as helping to reduce fear and increase optimism.