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Category Archives: Criminal Law

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What Constitutes Criminally Insane in a Court of Law

Is it possible to commit murder while sleepwalking? What if you did and then had no recollection of the ordeal?

Such was the case in the infamous murder trial of Steven Steinberg. Jurors determined he wasn’t responsible for his actions due to temporary insanity.

What does it mean to be criminally insane? How does one prove it, and what are the consequences? Read on to learn all the details.

History of the Insanity Defense

Society has always recognized the existence of outliers. While mental illness wasn’t completely comprehended, our ancestors did have a vague understanding.

By the late-thirteenth-century, England’s courtrooms began to recognize the “complete madness” defense. Judges would find a person not guilty by reason of insanity when the accused failed the “wild beast” test.

This test measured the defendant’s memory and understanding. The ‘mad’ defendant would show a comparable understanding as an “infant, brute, or wild beast.”

Thus, they couldn’t get held accountable for their actions.

How to Prove Criminal Insanity

This same notion continues to come into play in today’s courtrooms. How do you prove criminal insanity based on today’s legal standards? To be successful, an insanity plea must contain the following elements:

  • The defendant didn’t understand what they were doing
  • The person failed to know right from wrong
  • The individual acted on an uncontrollable impulse

Often, the person pleading insane is also suffering from a diagnosed mental condition. Not every state offers the insanity defense.

An experienced attorney is usually necessary when attempting to use this legal strategy.

Consequences of Getting Labeled Criminally Insane

Despite the attention a plea of insanity gets, it’s rare for such a defense to be successful in court.

When it is successful, the consequences are not desirable. While the criminally insane may avoid jail time, they will get institutionalized instead. Here’s what can happen when a person gets deemed insane:

  • Court mandates a hospital order (defendant can’t leave the hospital)
  • A restriction order
  • Supervision and treatment order

Unlike a criminal sentence, there are no limits on how long an insane person will get held. The person will remain institutionalized until they’re no longer a threat.

In most circumstances, institutionalization lasts longer than incarceration in prison.

What’s Temporary Insanity?

Another common defense strategy is to plead not guilty by way of temporary insanity.

Temporary insanity means the individual was insane when the crime occurred. This means the person lost control in the heat of the moment. Here are some factors involved with this defense:

  • The crime wasn’t premeditated
  • The person had a diminished capacity to reason at the time of the crime

Often, a mental health expert will need to testify about the individual’s state of mind. Evidence like psychological evaluations or a lie detector test is crucial in these cases.

The Controversial Insanity Defense

Criminally insane individuals do exist. Often, their crimes are a result of untreated mental illness. Institutionalization and medication are useful solutions.

What’s your take on this controversial legal defense strategy? Let us know your views by leaving a comment in the box below.

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What are the responsibilities of a criminal lawyer?

Life has many twists and turns to offer. It is quite likely that you might require legal help to bail you out of certain unexpected situation where you find yourself seeking refuge in a legal professional, a criminal defense lawyer to be precise.

In this write-up, let us find out the various roles and responsibilities of a criminal lawyer. So, read through the paragraphs that follow.

Primary responsibility is definitely to maintain integrity. It is important that he must represent his clients honestly in the court of law. Also, it is mandatory that he must not indulge in any conflict of interest. In other words, honesty essentially means that the same lawyer must not represent both the parties involved in the case.

Duties of a criminal defense lawyer

Check out the following listed below-

  • Case assessment

Before taking up the case, the criminal lawyer will assess its well. He will consider all the essential aspects related to the case. If he is defending a client who is at fault, he must be able to handle the situation wisely and smartly.

  • Gathering information

In order to proceed in a positive direction, he must collect necessary and relevant information pertaining to the case he is handling. He has to obtain proof, documents, scan through documents. Also, if he can get in touch with witnesses, it will ensure that the case is strong. It means putting in a lot of od time, energy, and most importantly effort.

  • Conveying updates to clients

From time to time, the lawyer must sit with the clients, explain how far the case has proceeded, what will be the best option for them at the moment, and what will be his next course of action. At all times, you must inform the clients about the proceedings, latest developments, whether positive or adverse. It is also important that he decides the hearing dates that the court allots.

  • Good analytical power

It is imperative that he must have the capacity to analyze any situation that is pertaining to the case. Getting into the depth is crucial. Since he will have worked with different clients and have faced various situations, he must also be able to ascertain the next move of the opponent. Here is where his skill actually lies.

  • Stay abreast with latest rules and compliances

It is a well-known fact that several criminal lawyers are operating in the field. However, you must have your own USP that will make you stand out from the rest. And if you can do so, you stand a better chance of getting more clients. As such, it is crucial to strengthen your case with the latest compliances or norms that have been introduced in the judicial system.

Aside from the responsibilities mentioned above, it is also his duty to be able to cope up with stressful situations. No matter whatever adverse situations arise, the lawyer must be capable of rising up to the situation, tackle it to the best interest of the clients and come out triumphant.

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Tips to Choose the Right Criminal Lawyer for Your Defense

You never know when you might get involved in a criminal offense. It is here that you should have an experienced and skilled legal counsel to represent you in court so that you are given a chance to prove your innocence. The courts will hold you innocent until proven guilty. Getting entangled in a criminal lawsuit is stressful, and it is here that you need skilled and qualified criminal defense lawyers to represent you in court and guide you throughout the legal process.

What will the criminal defense lawyer do for you?

Criminal defense lawyers will take up your case and represent you aggressively in court. They are experts in the field of criminal law. They will ensure your best interests are looked into when you are a party to criminal litigation. They are specialists in the field of crimes related to drugs, theft, probation, juvenile justice, restraining orders and expungement. These experts will also help you prepare the documentation for the case and collect evidence that works in your favor. For them, their clients are the top priority, and even if you have committed the crime and are guilty, they will work towards getting you the minimum levels of punishment and penalty you deserve.

How do you find the right criminal defense lawyer to represent you?

When you start searching for the right criminal defense lawyer for your needs, make sure that you hire a professional who is experienced and skilled in the field of criminal law and justice. Talk to professionals that have been in the criminal field of justice for a long time so that you are assured that your case is in the right hands. Most criminal defense lawyers have personal websites, and you can see more on their credentials. The right lawyer will not only be experienced but compassionate as well. Make a list of the top criminal defense lawyers in your area and go through the website.

Read online client testimonials and reviews

To make sure that the lawyer has good track records in the past, read client testimonials and reviews online. Read them carefully so that you get an insight into whether the lawyer is genuine or not. You may contact legal firms that specialize in the field of criminal defense. These firms will also help you find a good criminal defense lawyer for your case with success!

Get a free consultation

Reputed criminal defense lawyers will also give their clients a free consultation when it comes to an understanding of the case. They will talk with their clients and make them aware of their fundamental rights when it comes to criminal case litigation.  

The duration of the criminal case will depend upon many factors. The competent court of law will take into account the severity of the crime, the circumstantial evidence, the nature of the offense committed and more. However, a good criminal defense lawyer will always aggressively defend you and be proactive when it comes to unexpected twists and turns of a criminal defense case.

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5 months ago Criminal Law , Laws

Your Options for Getting in Touch with A Jailed Person – Explained

The incarceration of a loved one can be quite emotionally draining. While most state laws in the US provide visitation rights to friends and family members of inmates, exceptions can arise depending on the nuances of that particular case.

For instance, the laws laid down by the Federal Bureau of Prisons mentions that each inmate is generally allotted 4 hours every month for visitations. However, most jails in Florida and New Orleans have instead resorted to paid video-calls between inmates and their loved ones, cutting down on or completely doing away with in-person visits.

Knowledge of the right channels to pursue can help you connect quickly with jailed loved ones. There are many websites that are useful for looking up an inmate’s detail and finding legal assistance for visitation rights. It, thus, becomes extremely important to be thorough with your state’s jail laws, the category under which the felony falls, and the kind of visitation rights you are looking for.

What are the Different Types of Visitations?

Contact visits is the most widely prevalent category of visitations across the United States. The visitor(s) can sits across a table from the inmate, and physical contact is restricted to greetings and farewells. Holding hands is strictly prohibited. Frequent violation of these rules can lead to suspension of visitation rights. These visits are usually limited to a short span of time.

Non-contact visitations separate the visitor(s) from the inmate via a glass partition, and communication takes place through a phone. These conversations are generally supervised by a prison guard. In the last couple years, however, paid video visitations, as mentioned earlier, are becoming more and more common.

Conjugal Visits: Are They a Possibility?

Conjugal visits are considered a positive solution to the mental burdens of an inmate as also an incentive for them to comply with prison norms in the hope of an early release. In the US, prisoners in federal custody are not entitled to conjugal visits. However, prisoners in state custody are governed by that particular state’s laws. Currently, only California, Connecticut, New York and Washington allow conjugal visits, with California being the only state to extend these rights to homosexual couples as well.

Who Can Visit an Inmate?

Visitors need prior approval from jail authorities before being allowed to visit. Prisoners, who are in the process of being transferred from one jail to another, or are yet to be processed into the system, may not be allowed visitations before an approved visitors’ list has been prepared.

Additionally, children, especially those not in the custody of the inmate, are generally not granted visitation permits. Religious visits by priests or clergymen are allowed, but also restricted in their scope. Unless the accused or the convicted inmate has been booked on grounds that hamper national security or has been deemed a threat to society, visits by lawyers are generally allowed and granted scope for confidentiality.

Will my Jailed Loved One Be Granted Visitation?

Only in certain cases like solitary confinement, or those convicted or accused of grand felonies are visitation rights completely eliminated. However, they are subject to limitations, strict rules and supervisions by prison authorities. Visitation rights can be temporarily suspended by the prison authorities on grounds like non-cooperation on the part of the inmate, violation of visitation rules by listed visitor(s), attempt at smuggling contraband, and other such cases, where legal preventive measures are deemed necessary. These can, however, be challenged in court if the inmate and his family feel that they are unjustified.

How to Fill Out the Visiting Application

The jail authorities will be running a background check on your profile and cross-verify the information you have put down. If any of them turn up erroneous, you can be denied visitation rights. You can also be denied on other grounds like if you have a prior conviction of your own, you are already on another inmate’s visitation list in the same prison, you are on probation or parole. You can appeal the decision in court within a certain time frame. Approved visits by minors, accompanied by an adult, require special application to be filled out.

Contact Prison Authorities Regarding Visitation Guidelines

Each prison has its own set of rules governing visits. Ideally, you should call the prison helpline and ask them the dress code, what you are required to bring, what items you are not allowed to enter the prison premises with, and what you can pass on to the inmate when you come to visit. Visitors are required to produce a proof of identity at the time of arrival, so ask them beforehand which identification proofs they accept as valid.

Concluding Remarks

The criminal justice system in the US can become quite bureaucratic and difficult to understand for the layman to approach and understand. A legal counsel is deemed a necessity in such cases. A qualified lawyer can not only help you get in touch with your loved ones on the other side of the bars, but also expedite their release. Certain cases become eligible for pro bono, which means that the case is worked on by the legal team free of charge.

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Do Ankle Bracelets have Microphones

Frequently judges order that suspects get GPS bracelets during probation and pre-trial release. Even though the clients who agree to wear the bracelets avoid continued detention. Well, it is customary that there is some punishing effect in the end. You may get additional arrest warrants, needed for frequent court visits, and charges of tampering. If you think that you need a professional to assist you get out of the injustice being practiced, as per Milwaukee criminal defense attorney, Matt Meyers people are likely to get preventable problems without doing anything wrong. Often, the devices can add up to the defendant’s fault, and severe penalties result. The article highlights the concern about ankle bracelets having microphones.

How Do Ankle Bracelets Monitoring Work?

The device, GPS ankle bracelets, are often used as a correction system that monitors offenders actions without the need for permanent detention. Many times the bracelet denotes the period between trial and imprisonment. At the same time, this allows an individual to continue with the regular life but with limited undertakings. Well, there are many types available that suit every kind of offender.

The truth is, in addition to the well-known features, GPS ankle bracelets have added communication and sensor devices. For example, a drug convict may get the type that occasionally monitors the sweat produced to tell the degree of soberness. Sometimes, the tracker has a two-way sensor system. With this, the correctional officers can notify the wearer not to go beyond the limit of the safe zone. The monitoring system as well sounds an alarm in case the offenders remove the anklet, to avoid escaping attempts.

The design of the electronic monitors calls for all time wearing as the device is tamper-resistant. It has radio frequency indicator that communicates to the monitoring station. The programming may allow you to have some freedom in a specific area, and the functions alert the officers should let you go beyond the region. So, the conditions differ among individuals while some get forced to stay indoors for the whole period of the sentence. On the other hand, others get allowed to travel or work or travel within the community.

Ankle Bracelets Rules and Limits

If the court demands you to have an ankle bracelet, you must understand the usage of necessities, rules, and also restrictions. The discussion continues to heat up. However, it is vital to remember some truths about what the monitoring system is capable of doing or not. The trackers help offenders who desire to get back into society. The device also can spare the suspect, from probing or jail time and work on release programs. Some convicts may serve the in-house sentence while wearing the designed ankle bracelet. The restrictions consist of:

  • signal interference if the user needs to stay within the home
  • No taking drugs or alcohol and give in to drug testing
  • Pay some fees during use and fines should you fail
  • Visit your parole officer every week
  • Employment
  • Submission to all the supervision conditions

When you appear in Court, the Judge tells the person convicted the assumed violation. In case the individual denies the allegation, the Court can jail the person with or minus bond awaiting a further hearing. If you do not adhere to the rules, for instance, you decide to go beyond the designated distance or remove the device; authorities will come to your house. You could violate the sentence, and as a result face consequences like:

  • Get in prison without an arrest warrant at anyplace you get caught
  • As an alternative of getting arrested, the Judge can give a Notification to Come to Court

What is the Furthest You Can Go With an Ankle Bracelet?

Offender tracking system got introduced sometime back in the US. And now many countries continue to accept implementing the structure together. There is a centrally located computer which assembles the information from the installed monitoring device. The program works only for sentenced criminals undergoing work-release sentences or on trial and suspects awaiting a hearing.

Dependent on the exact terms prearranged for you for house arrest, a schedule will get set for you. With this, you only get permitted to move from your residence during sometimes. For instance, when going for employment and additional accepted activities, like grocery buying or visiting the church. The rest of the times, you must remain in the specified range of the designed monitoring equipment.

What If Your Ankle Bracelet Monitor Vibrates?

The difference in kinds of ankle bracelet monitors also means diverse capabilities. Some vibrate when the supervising officer tries to connect with you. Should this happen, then follow the provided instructions to declare the receipt of the communication. In case it vibrates, and you did not get instructions, you need to inform your controlling officer instantly. If you assume such an event, then you are likely risking the device and your life.

Indeed, the system may malfunction, or you could get accused of breaking the agreed terms. You should never try cutting off or removing your ankle bracelet monitor. Taking out or interfering with the monitor is known as a third-degree crime. The act is illegal and means about five years imprisonment, paying up to

$5,000 payment, or both. Remember the warning signal not only gets detected by you but also the officers who control it.

Can Your Ankle Bracelets Hear You Every time?

Another easy way of making the offender monitoring system involves including a fixed-line phone. The leading part of the tracking means it is to prove the criminal’s agreement to the rules. The person needs to have the ankle bracelet on at all the time. In such a situation, the monitoring computer will call you at home or work. The server has a speech recognition software which detects who has received the call. N case the criminal is absent, or somebody else picks up the phone, such fraud gets discovered, and the parole officer gets notified.

The type, however, works well for possibly violent soccer criminal sentenced by the court to remain indoors during club’s games. The system makes calls any time and repeatedly. Voice recording might not help, so

the device opts to ask random questions to confirm the real person. The monitor gets programmed to maintain the communication with officers to prevent rule violations. The notifications are enough to tell you that you get heard from the other end.

However, you need to be careful since signal loss although a common incidence for many people, can lead to broken connection. The device’s batteries need regular charging to keep charge the whole day. Failure to do this may force you to go back home and plug in the wall outlet. Some offenders have stayed in jail due to the hard moments like during power loss.

Who Holds Your Recorded Information?

The ankle bracelets are enclosed, a waterproof device more prominent than the sports watch. Well, a receiver gets installed in the monitored criminal’s house by the authorities. The sensor will detect and send signals the anklet captures within a particular programmed range. The extent of the distance can get prolonged to include some part of the area that you reside in or get a full allowance.

The monitoring systems have GPS navigation control to determine the moves of the person. All the collected information of your movements gets transferred to the central computer server. But the question is who has access to all the tracked data? Mostly, the details go to the corrections department, but other law enforcement team can access it too. In some instances, the hired monitoring company has the data.

What Should You Do To Avoid Problems

For a criminal to be on the safe side of the law, your movements need to conform to the specific time plan or set court requirements. If you have the chance to leave home during the day for work purposes, then the systems will ensure you take a direct route until you get back home or to jail. In case, you go beyond the limits; a warning gets sent to you.

The ankle bracelet will vibrate, and it is possible to receive an alarm also. The GPS feature, although works depending on where it got activated, and sometimes gets on without notice. Thousand of people in court, however, feel the device and technology violates the privacy of attorney-client relations. There is no privacy with this since even your personal and private chats get heard and recorded without your awareness and a court warrant. Such recordings can open another case for you and can act as substantial evidence against you. So, to avoid the consequences you must be cautious of what you do or say. The microphones are listening and can send you back to jail.

Finally, the first-time and non-violent suspects, jailing is not an ideal sentence. The best alternative is either a house arrest or monitored device, ankle bracelets. The system can watch all your activities and can make a call. If the phone gets answered, the central computer receives a notification which is accessible by the authorities. Indeed, the device can hear you and record whatever you say.

There are many related restrictions, and failure to comply can lead you to prison. Understand the way the anklets work and find it better when you abide by the rules. Keep in mind the golden rule, never attempt to tamper with the systems, you will lose reliability and the expected privileges. So, avoid getting back to detention.

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What Should You Do If You Are Arrested for a Criminal Offense?

Although each state has its own laws and procedures they follow when a person is charged with a criminal offense, the one good thing is that you are protected to some degree under the United States Constitution. In fact, most lawyers say that the process is fairly similar from state to state but the one thing is for certain no matter where you are charged and arrested for a criminal offense – talk to no one until you’ve hired an attorney. That should go without saying. If you’ve never been arrested before, it can come as quite a shock. Here is some of what you need to know.

Your Constitutional Rights

The reason you shouldn’t give any kind of statement to the police is because it can, and most often will, be used in a court of law. This is where altogether too many innocent people get themselves in hot water. Never thinking that what they say could be misconstrued, they feel they have nothing to fear since they know they are not guilty of what they are being accused of.

You have Miranda Rights protecting you under the 5th Amendment in which you don’t have to say anything that might incriminate you. If you’ve never been arrested before and have no clue what the actual crime is, how do you know what is safe to say? Therefore, only talk to an attorney and have one present when you make a statement. Your freedom could depend on it!

Call a Bail Bondsman

This is another area where many first offenders and innocent people aren’t familiar with. Many people believe that the moment they are brought into the station and booked, they can call a bail bondsman like Goldberg Bail Bonds that has bondsmen throughout the state of Minnesota. It’s easy to find them because they have so many locations, but it won’t do you any good until you’ve had a bond hearing.

That may be the same day, the next morning or even longer if it’s a weekend or holiday. Yes, you should call a bail bondsman, but don’t waste your time until you know what your bail is set at. They can do nothing for you until then and will only tell you as much.

Do You Really Only Get One Phone Call?

You have probably watched dozens of movies where the person being arrested is allowed to make only one phone call. Actually, that may or may not be the case depending on where you were arrested, the seriousness of the crime you are accused of having committed and alas, your behavior during the arrest. Actually, in most places you are granted a reasonable amount of calls because under the 6th Amendment you are entitled to legal defense the moment proceedings commence. That would be at the time of your arrest, would it not? However, taking all of the above into consideration and not being familiar with the judicial system in your locale, don’t take anything for granted. You may only get one call and you may be allowed half a dozen. You may be given bail the same day and you may need to wait a reasonable length of time until court convenes again. There are so many variables that the only thing you can be sure of is the fact that you should not speak to anyone until you’ve hired legal counsel. Your freedom could very well depend on it. Isn’t it better to always be safe than sorry?

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5 months ago Crimes , Criminal Defense , Criminal Law , Fraud , Laws

Criminal Defense Attorney Tips: Healing From A Sexual Assault

Surviving a sexual assault is quite an ordeal; the kind that will likely leave you with post-traumatic stress in one form or another. For what it’s worth, do know that you are not at fault for what you’ve been through, and there is light in the times ahead of you. Although it may take a considerable amount of time to process this, with the right frame of mind and the necessary support, you will once again rebuild your sense of self-worth and attain emotional balance, coming out of it stronger than ever before. In no particular order of significance, there’s a whole lot you can do to put all of this behind you:

  1. Find someone you can trust

Going through recovery alone means you’re only going to be making everything needlessly harder on yourself. Instead, it’s better to find someone you can trust and open yourself up to what happened. Remain communicative. Sure enough, there’s stigma all around, but that’s all the more reason to open up to the people you trust; those who’ll be keeping it a secret. But whatever you do, don’t keep telling yourself that it never happened; denying the truth will only serve to reinforce the image of being a victim in your mind. If you need to feel vulnerable for a bit and seek solitude while you heal, that’s completely understandable. Just don’t completely isolate yourself for a prolonged period of time – socializing will help you heal.

  1. Don’t feel guilty about what happened

It’s important to realize that what happened to you has absolutely nothing to do with your values or personality. By no means did you bring this upon yourself. Many sexual assault victims are harsh on themselves, thinking they should have done more to stop the attack. However, when you’re experiencing physical trauma, your body gets frozen and you’re often completely unable to move. Thinking clearly becomes quite a challenge, and in the end, you end up doing nothing about it. And if someone you know did this to you, don’t blame yourself for trusting that person; there was probably no way to anticipate it. If you were intoxicated at the time, don’t blame yourself for it – the only one who is to blame is the attacker, no one else.

  1. Stay strong

As you’re recovering, flashbacks may gradually keep coming back, reminding you of the events that transpired. It’s not uncommon for the victims to develop a post-traumatic stress disorder. If you find yourself on the edge all the time, experiencing nightmares, and being overly vigilant even when the threat has passed, it might be time to seek out professional help. This is especially true if these feelings linger on for an extended period of time. Do you get irritated by certain places or smells but can’t find a reason for it? Are you experiencing shortness of breath and a lingering sense of panic even when no immediate danger is in sight? These are all signs of PTSD – if you notice these, try to calm down any way you can. On a positive note, there are specifically-designed techniques for this that can help you.

  1. Learn how to deal with flashbacks

No matter how strong you are, you will likely experience some flashbacks at some point, making you feel as if the attack is happening all over again. By realizing this, you will be much better equipped to take control of the situation and realize it’s, in fact, a flashback, not reality. You’re not a victim – you’re a survivor. Remember that, always, especially when times get tough and flashbacks keep reappearing. When you’re in the middle of a flashback, it also helps to ground yourself in the present reality to prevent your mind from escaping to dark places. For instance, you can describe the room that you are in. Is it the same one as the one in which the attack happened? If not, this is a convincing argument that you’re in the present, not the past. Go over this every time a flashback occurs, and you will ground yourself in the present reality.

  1. Connect yourself to your feelings once again

You may think that staying forever numb will shield yours from emotional trauma. While this may be true, you are also robbing yourself of positive feelings of excitement and enjoy; a compromise that is rarely worth taking. A life without feelings is existing, not living. There are many things you can try to establish the connection to your body and feel more confident again. Have you tried meditation? If you’re the sporty type, martial arts are another thing you can try. Plus, they have the self-defence element to them that will make you a powerful force to be reckoned with and re-establish your confidence. In general, any kind of rhythmic movement will help. Some may prefer dancing, others may like to artistically express themselves by playing an instrument. But no matter which path you take, just get moving – it will get better!

  1. Fight back

Now that you’ve somehow managed to rebuild at least a part of your self-esteem, it’s time to fight back and press charges against the perpetrators. Keep your chin up, lawyer up, and gather the evidence necessary so they will pay for their misdeeds. Do your due diligence and learn more about what’s needed to prevail in court, then push it with full speed ahead. The only alternative is staying silent, but you don’t want that, do you? Punishing whoever did this to you is the only way to make sure the same thing won’t happen to another unfortunate individual. As a matter of fact, people who do such ill-conceived things count on your fear of them as well as your embarrassment in hopes that they won’t get punished. Standing up for yourself may not be the easiest thing on your plate, but it’s the only right one to do.

Conclusion

The road to overcoming this will be long and riddled with obstacles, but by seeing the light in front of you, you’ll be able to pull yourself together and live your life once again. After all, many sexual assault survivors have successfully done so in the past, so keep your chin up and follow in their footsteps.

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Busted for Drug Possession? This Is What Happens Next

Humans make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes get us caught. If your mistake of being irresponsible with drug possession gets you caught, it can mean you’re in a lot of trouble.

But that trouble doesn’t have to ruin your life. If you take the right steps you can minimize the damage this charge does to your future.

Learn the right steps below.

Don’t Admit to Drug Possession (or Anything)

When you’re arrested for drug possession it can mean one of two things: you’re bodily in possession (you’re high) and you have the drug on you.

Either way, the officer may try to use scare tactics to confuse or scare you into confessing. Don’t give into this. When they read you your rights, take the “You have the right to remain silent” right to heart.

Do not admit to anything. You may ask clarifying questions like “Am I free to go?” and “what am I being arrested for?” But don’t ask questions that prompt guilt.

For example, don’t ask “am I being arrested because I smell like weed?” That’s supplying the officer with evidence that you agree you smell like weed.

Ask them general questions if you have to and let them fill in the details. Or just stay silent and wait for a lawyer.

If You’re Booked . . .

If you’re sent to jail or holding, try to get out as soon as possible. That seems obvious, but a lot of people don’t know what that means, or how to do it successfully.

Do not tell the other people in holding what you’re being held for. Don’t admit to anything. You can say “they said they were arresting me for ___” but if anyone asks to follow up questions, deny or stay silent.

When you’re in holding, you can get out in one of two ways. You can pay your bail yourself – usually with about 10 to 20% down. Or you can call a loved one.

You get more than one phone call, usually, in larger jails because the more people you can contact to get you out, the less work the prison has to do.

After you find someone to post your bail (or you do it and get out) call a lawyer immediately.

Find the Right Lawyer

When you’re out of immediate danger, get some sleep. You’ll be tired from the events of the arrest and won’t be thinking clearly from the stress. This is another reason it’s so important to stay silent.

When you wake up, write down everything you remember about your arrest. It’s okay if it’s not in order or it doesn’t make sense. Just get it all out on paper.

When you talk to your lawyer, you’ll now have a list of things to help answer their questions.

If necessary, you may want to look into a rehab program, like this site.

Listen to Your Representation

Whatever your lawyer says, you need to do. Now, of course, you’re your own person and you can ask questions or draw boundaries. But in general, you need to follow their advice.

They’re employed for a reason and they know what to do. Give them the information they ask for in your drug possession case then let them help you.

Learn what you need in a lawyer, here

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Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Have A Criminal Attorney On Standby

You might not believe it but preparing for the unforeseen circumstances is always necessary, this is according to entrepreneur.com. The preparation will always get you into a better mental state, unlike when you are caught unaware and you have to make hurried decisions. Hurried decisions sometimes can make you make the wrong decisions. For instance, having a criminal defence attorney doesn’t mean you are a criminal. It is just advisable for you depending on what you do, because you are preparing yourself for anything. Who knows when you will commit a crime or who knows when you will be accused of committing crime? When you hire one, you will need to consider lots of features of the lawyer. However, this procedure will be a bit difficult for you when you desperately need one. So it is better to hire one in advance. All in all, when you have a criminal defence attorney by your side, you get to enjoy certain things. Some of these things include;

  • Familiar territories

Any good criminal defence attorney knows his or her battling grounds. Thus, they stand a better chance of knowing what happens there more than you do. You need them because they have already mastered the art of defending other crime related cases. Through these cases, they have gathered relevant skills and knowledge which they can always use in your favour. They can always use such skills to swing a case in your direction. On the other hand, they know how to look for loopholes in crime related cases. Once they have a loophole, they always use it to your benefit. One thing you should never forget is that such abilities can only be exercised by someone who has gathered enough experience. With experience, you will always be more confident of the case brought against you.

  • Defend you

Any attorney you hire should always represent you legally. Whether he or she is a criminal defence attorney or a divorce attorney. Legally representing you involves defending you and at the same offering guidance on the nature of your case. It your criminal defence attorney who will advise you on what to respond to and what not to respond to. Defending you generally means, making sure that you don’t get to jail or if you do, you get a short jail term. Some crimes have heavy penalties, it is up to your criminal defence attorney to make sure that the punishment isn’t severe.  If you are a family person, you can’t afford to be away from your family for a very long time. That’s why your lawyer should use all means possible to get you back to your family.

  • Paper work

Crime related cases require a lot. You will always get tired once the case is done. However, that doesn’t have to be the way forward. With a criminal defence attorney on standby, you will be able to rest because they will take care of the paper work. The paper work in each case is different. A criminal defence attorney has colleagues who will always ensure that all the paper work is done and there is proper filing of each document you agree on with the court. Sometimes, the paper work will involve typing of agreements or even drafts on the court proceedings, this is something you can’t handle if you aren’t used to it. That why you need to hire a criminal defence attorney from www.caldwellkearns.com/practice_area/criminal-defense/.

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6 months ago Crimes , Criminal Law , Fraud , Laws

Types of Prison Sentences in the UK

The UK government has different types of prison sentences, that are given out to both adults and young people in court. Learn about all of them, in this post.

When the law is broken, and a person is sentenced for a crime, there are varying degrees of prison sentences given. In the UK, our criminal justice system encompasses different types of prison sentences, for those found guilty in a court of law. As each crime is different, some less serious than others, there must be different forms of prison sentencing in place.
We’ve spoken to THB Legal, leading solicitors in Chelmsford serving Essex and East Anglia, about the different kinds of prison sentences there are in the UK. In this post, we will examine what each of these sentences entails, including length and conviction. Learn all about the prison sentencing process, right here.

1. Concurrent and Consecutive Sentences

In cases of criminal law, where the person is convicted of committing more than a single crime, these prison sentences are called concurrent and consecutive sentences. The difference between them is that concurrent sentences are sentences served in conjunction with one and another, where us consecutive sentences are served one after the other. So, if a judge or magistrate sentences the person to a concurrent sentence of one crime equalling 2 years and another crime with a sentencing of 4 years, they will be imprisoned for 4 years in total (as the sentences are served at the same time). As for consecutive sentencing, if the same person has committed one crime and been sentenced for 2 years, with another crime committed where the sentencing is 4 years, they will serve a total of 6 years in prison.

2. Suspended Prison Sentences

Suspended sentences are when the person deemed guilty, serves their sentencing outside of prison – in the community. This comes with conditions of service, including having to refrain from going near a specific place or individual or doing unpaid work for the community (known as community payback). In suspended prison sentencing cases, if the person sentenced breaks the conditions of their sentencing, they can be put into prison. Those on suspended sentencing must adhere to certain requirements, including activity, unpaid, curfew and residence requirements among others (specified by the judge or magistrate on sentencing). Suspended prison sentences are usually for less severe criminal charges.

3. Determinate Prison Sentences

This type of prison sentencing specifies a set, fixed length of time. Determinate sentencing is given by a judge or magistrate where the person convicted serves for a fixed length of time. There are some exceptions, but usually a determinate prison sentence must be served in full. However, for sentences of over 12months, the first half of the sentence is carried out in prison. Then, the second half of the sentencing is carried out in the community. Similar to suspended sentencing, there are some criteria that must be met. If the person convicted breaks the conditions of their second half community sentencing, they can be placed back into prison. Similarly, for cases where the determinate sentence is under 12months, the prisoner is usually released half way through their sentence.

4. Indeterminate Prison Sentences

Contrasting determinate prison sentences, indeterminate sentences do not have a fixed period of time for sentencing. For those incarcerated, this means that they will not have a date that they are released from prison. The judge will provide a set amount of years that are the minimum that must be served, also known as a tariff. Once the tariff has been served, they will be considered for release. A Parole Board will decide if the individual is allowed to be released, after their tariff has been served. A collection of individuals will determine whether a prisoner can be released on parole, taking into consideration the safety of the public should this person be released. They must assess if they are going to be able to re-enter this person into society without any negative impact on the public.

5. Life Sentences

For the most severe of cases, courts must give life sentences. A life sentence is given in cases of murder but can also be given for other severe cases included bank robbery and rape charges. Life sentences usually are served for the remaining duration of the individual’s life. Should they be considered for release, if they commit another crime whilst out of prison, they can be returned into prison at any given time. If the court gives a whole life sentence, the convicted person is not considered for release, under any circumstances. There is no minimum term and no chance for release. If the judge deems the case serious enough to grant a whole life sentence, the convicted will serve the rest of their life in prison (without chance of release).

6. Sentences for Young People

All of the sentences above are for adults (those over the age of 18). Those ages 17 and under receive different sentences for crimes. Firstly, there is detention and training order, given to those aged between 12-17. The sentence ranges from 4months – 2 years. The first half of the detention and training order is served in custody, then the second half will be served whilst they’re in the community. However, for crimes more severe, like violent and sexual crimes, young people will receive an extended sentence. Young people given an extended sentence may spend a long time in custody. When they are released, they will be placed under supervision. This supervisory period lasts, again, for a long time. They are usually tagged in this period to be monitored.

Finally, for cases of murder where the person is young, courts will set a minimum amount of time for the young person to spend in custody. They will be unable to apply for parole until this minimum sentence has been served. Should they be released, they will be under supervision for the remainder of their lives. For other serious crimes, young people can be given the same sentence as an adult, including life sentences.

These are the different kinds of prison sentences for those convicted in the UK.

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