Category Archives: Criminal Law

The system of legal rules that define what conduct is classified as Criminal law. Learn how the government may prosecute that commit crimes violation of a law.

11 months ago Criminal Law , Laws

Are You Facing Conspiracy Charges? Here Are 5 Thing You Need to Consider

Did you know that just planning a crime is a crime in itself? That’s right; you could face conspiracy charges for planning to commit a crime with somebody else.

These charges are a bit more complicated than the criminal charges we are all familiar with. If you’re facing conspiracy charges, the best thing you can do is talk with an experienced attorney.

Here are five things to consider about your conspiracy charges while you look for legal representation.

1. There Are Three Elements to Prove

For the prosecutor to successfully charge you with conspiracy, they must prove three elements.

  1. To conspire, there needs to be an agreement between at least two people.
  2. The people involved must agree to and intend to commit a criminal act.
  3. At least one person performed an overt act in furtherance of the agreed-upon crime.

While these elements may seem simple, there are several subtleties to them. For example, an overt act can be something as small as buying a tool that will help with a planned burglary.

2. You’re Charged with the Crime and the Conspiracy

When you face criminal charges, you’re charged with both the crime and the conspiracy to commit the crime. These are two separate charges with different elements to prove.

Prosecutors often use this strategy because it enables them to bring in more evidence that they wouldn’t normally get to introduce.

3. You Can Be Found Guilty Alone

While the elements of conspiracy require there to be more than one person, this doesn’t apply to those involved being found guilty. Just because your co-conspirators are found not guilty, doesn’t mean that you will be too.

You and your attorney need to prepare a solid defense even though others involved have been found not guilty.

4. You Don’t Need to Commit the Crime

It isn’t the successful completion of the crime that makes a conspiracy illegal. In fact, you don’t even need to do the crime to be charged with conspiracy.

5. You Need the Right Defense

For most crimes, a solid defense is claiming that you didn’t do it. But when it comes to conspiracy, this can be a difficult thing to prove.  You can click here to learn more about how the right team can help you create the most effective defense for your criminal conspiracy charges.

Three of the most common defense strategies are abandonment, withdrawal, and entrapment. These defenses may sound similar to the defenses or other crimes, but they are a bit more complicated for conspiracy.

To prove withdrawal, you need to show three things. You need to show that you took action to abandon the conspiracy.

That you communicated your abandonment to your co-conspirators in a timely manner. Finally, that you abandoned before the completion of the plan.

Defend Yourself Against Conspiracy Charges

If you’re currently facing conspiracy charges, the best thing you can do is seek experienced legal counsel. A knowledgeable lawyer will explain the legal process and the charges that you currently face. With their help, you’ll be able to craft an effective defense.

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Criminal Injuries Compensation Claims for Domestic Violence

Unlike most compensation claims, a criminal injuries compensation claim will award you compensation from a governmental fund, rather than from the person found guilty for your personal injury.

However, as your domestic violence lawyer will tell you, this doesn’t change the process of a settlement or trial, regardless of the reason for it – be it domestic violence or personal injury that resulted from other types of criminal acts.

Applying for Compensation

If a case – or more – of domestic violence has resulted in your injury, then you can make a Criminal Injuries Compensation Claim and be compensated, directly by the government, for your injuries.

Still, there are some things that you have to take into account before applying. For example:

  • You must not be living with the abuser and you cannot plan on living with them again in the future.
  • The domestic violence act has been reported to the police in a timely manner – as soon as possible.
  • During the investigation, you must have attended court – if it was necessary – and cooperated with the police.
  • In order to apply for compensation, the abuser must have been prosecuted for their crime.
  • You must have not been the cause or the one who provoked the domestic violence incident.
  • You must make a compensation claim within two years of your injury date.
  • Lastly, you can apply for compensation if it is certain that a violent partner or abuser would not benefit from the compensation.

Naturally, most of the points mentioned above are there to make sure that the victim is not plotting with the alleged abuser in order to get compensated or that the abuser is not threatening/forcing the victim to apply for compensation.

What Can You Be Compensated For?

When it comes to compensation, you can receive awards for a variety of injuries, as well as several other things – generally, criminal injury compensation claims work similarly to personal injury cases.

For example, you can be awarded compensation if:

  • You had mental or physical injuries that resulted from domestic violence/violent crime.
  • You experienced loss of earnings, as well as future loss of earnings, as a result of the domestic violence. However, you must have been unable to work for at least 28 weeks after you’ve been injured/abused.
  • You have experienced certain types of expenses – such as medical and dental bills. These are labeled as special expenses and you can claim them if you have been incapacitated for more than 28 weeks after the incident/domestic violence incident. 

The Bottom Line

As you can see, a criminal injuries compensation claim works almost like a personal injury claim. On top of that, the injured party can apply for it even if they have been the victim of domestic violence.

This type of claim basically ensures you compensation – if you are eligible – without having to go to trial or try to settle with your abuser. Naturally, a domestic violence lawyer is able to give you more information about how to make such a claim, as well as about the process behind it.

12 months ago Criminal Law

How To Prepare For Your First Court Hearing

Going to court for the first time can be a daunting process – there’s a lot at stake, so it’s important to make sure you give a good impression. There are certain things you need to do before your hearing to make sure everything goes smoothly – read on to find out more.

Get A Lawyer

One of the most important things to do before a hearing is getting a lawyer. In Canada, if you don’t have a lawyer, you are allowed to speak to duty counsel beforehand – they are part of Legal Aid, and will give you some support if you don’t have a lawyer. However, this is not the ideal solution – getting a lawyer is not only a much more secure form of defence, but it also makes you look professional and serious, rather than unprepared. This is key – your first impression matters, so getting a lawyer is a good step in ensuring you come across well. Make sure you get a lawyer in advance – searching for the right lawyer for you (we recommend these criminal lawyers, Toronto) is essential. After all, the courtroom is a confusing place, as well as incredibly stressful, so having someone who not only knows the rules and tricks, but can keep you calm, is greatly needed to ensure you’re defended the best you can be.

Getting To Court

It’s best to arrive early to court, to avoid being late as well as to locate your courtroom and duty counsel if you need it. There will be a scanner, so don’t bring any weapons or sharp objects – it may sound like common-sense, but bringing illegal objects can have serious consequences, and can damage your case, too. Then, find your courtroom – the number should be on the document with your first court date. Once you’ve found your courtroom, there will be a list of names, also known as the court docket, outside stating everyone who is appearing that day – make sure yours is there, and if so, enter the courtroom. Sit just behind the lawyer’s bench, and wait for your name to be called. Having a lawyer is a positive here – most courts allow lawyers to deal with their cases first, so it’s most likely that you’ll be called earlier if you have a lawyer. And of course, please make sure your phone is off, or at least on silent.

What Will Happen Next?

There are a few things that can happen once you are called to the stand. If it is your first court date, and the crime you’ve been accused of is not major, you may be offered diversion. This is where the Crown may drop charges against you if you complete some form of community service, or get some counselling related to the behaviour that caused your offence. The Crown should tell you if you are entitled to diversion, and you can talk this through with your lawyer or duty counsel, and if you both agree this is the right thing to do, you’ll receive a new court date once you’ve spoken to a diversion court worker. You must not leave the courthouse until you have received a new date and informed the Crown – only once you have gone back to the courtroom, had your name called, and informed the court of your decision and new date can you leave, as before this your case is technically still unfinished. You may also get disclosure at your first court date – this means the court will tell you everything they intend on saying including any evidence they intend on providing, the kind of sentence they will ask for, etc. You should get all of this before your trial date. 

Doing your research and getting good support is the best way forward when preparing for your court date – be confident in yourself.


5 Tips to Heed When You’re Facing Criminal Allegations in Toronto

While Toronto is widely touted as one of the safest cities in North America, with relatively low crime rates, there are still plenty of cases that see the courts in this city every year. If you’re unfortunate enough to be one of the people who has been accused of a crime within the city limits of Toronto, you might be concerned about how the court process is going to unfold and what kind of consequences you’ll have to deal with. Understandably, this is certainly a time when you might face panic and anxiety. However, before you take any action to defend yourself or make any public statements, it’s best to take the following 7 steps as part of an overall response plan:

1. Consult with A Local Criminal Lawyer

Regardless of what kind of crime you’ve been accused of, it’s always wise to at least discuss your case with a reputable criminal lawyer in the area. Simply participating in an initial consultation will usually put your mind at ease because you’ll leave with an idea of what you’re up against and who your attorney might be able to help you formulate a defense that will result in a ruling be rendered in your favour. Luckily, you can easily find lawyers in Toronto by searching for the term “Criminal lawyers Toronto.”

2. Write Down the Details of Your Case

While you might think that your mental recollection of the case is sufficiently accurate, you’d be surprised at how many additional details you might be able to remember just by jotting the events of the alleged crime or your alibi on paper. This draft probably won’t be read in court or given to the judge or prosecutors, but it can serve as a useful reference for you and your lawyer while developing a defence. 

3. Gather Any Applicable Evidence

If you can find any documentation or witnesses that can substantiate your defence, it’s important to compile all of that information in an organised manner. Even the smallest details or pieces of evidence could contribute to swaying the judgment in your favour. If you know for a fact that you weren’t even at the scene of the crime, try to get in touch with people who you were with on that date so you can coordinate their testimonies as soon as possible. The longer you wait after the date of the alleged crime, the more difficult it might be to obtain testimonies from people who aren’t your close friends or family members. 

4. Do Not Speak to Anyone About Your Case Other Than Your Attorney

Many people can’t stand the thought of bottling up their opinions about their case and not discussing it with anyone. While it might be okay to confide in your closest friends or family members, to avoid incriminating yourself, it’s generally safer to keep quiet about your case unless you’re talking to your attorney. This is an important tip to remember, as you may be questioned about the case out of the blue, and you should be prepared to decline to comment. 

5. Don’t Let the Situation Control Your Life in the Meantime

Finally, one more tip that applies to everyone who is facing criminal charges – particularly for serious offences – is to not let the situation control or ruin your life during the period leading up to the trial. Try to go on about your business as normally, as this will help you keep stress levels low, make better decisions, and maintain a more professional appearance that will convey your innocence. 

A Good Lawyer is the Greatest Asset You Can Have

Ultimately, since your attorney will be acting as the mediator between you and the courts, choosing the right person to represent you is probably the most important decision you’ll have to make before the commencement of the pre-trial phase.


Charged with Shoplifting as a Minor in Las Vegas? Important Info You Need to Know

If you or your child was charged with allegedly committing shoplifting as a minor, it is extremely important to retain the services of a skilled and respected Las Vegas defense attorney. Why? Because a conviction could haunt you or your child for years into the future and impact applying to college, pursuing certain career paths, purchasing a home, and so forth. 

Overview of Shoplifting Law in Nevada

Under Nevada law, shoplifting occurs when someone “intentionally steals, takes or carries away” store property. The actual legal term for shoplifting is “larceny.” The seriousness of a larceny charge depends primarily on the value of the goods allegedly stolen.

If, for example, someone is arrested for shoplifting $650 or more worth of store property, then the individual could be charged with grand larceny, a felony offense. Conversely, if someone is arrested for shoplifting less than $650 worth of property, then they may be charged with petty larceny, a misdemeanor offense.

How Minors are Prosecuted for Criminal Offenses in Nevada

When a defendant charged with a crime is under the age of 18, that person is usually not dealt with in the traditional criminal justice system. Instead, they are prosecuted through the juvenile justice system, which has its own courts, judges, prosecutors, and rules. However, the crime of shoplifting is the same for juveniles as it is for adults. The only difference is how a juvenile court handles the criminal case.

Viable Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges

If your or your child are charged with shoplifting in Las Vegas, do not give up hope. There are an array of defenses an experienced Las Vegas criminal attorney may explore employing on your behalf when challenging a shoplifting charge. Here are examples of some potential defenses: 

  • You lacked the requisite intent to commit the shoplifting charge – The state must, prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that you intended to permanently deprive the store of the goods. If you intended to return them, or you accidentally walked out forgetting to pay, then the charges could be challenged.
  • The police charged the wrong person – Perhaps in the heat of the moment, the storeowner attributed the theft to you, when the offense was actually committed by another person. If your Las Vegas defense lawyer can raise a reasonable doubt that you were not the person who shoplifted the items at issue, then your charges could be dropped or dismissed.
  • You actually owned the property that was allegedly shoplifted – It is possible that you already owned the items at issue and the store owner or employee mistook the items for their property. You may have already paid for the items and the store owner or employee forgot about the purchase. If your defense attorney can show that you already owned the items, then shoplifting charges are not viable.

Take Action – Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Shoplifting Defense Lawyer

Juvenile shoplifting is a serious criminal charge. Any shoplifting conviction could have a serious impact on the long-term future of the juvenile, as well as the juvenile’s family. Whether you have been charged with juvenile shoplifting or you are a parent or guardian of a juvenile who is facing these charges, take action by contacting LV Criminal Defense, 400 S. 7th St #401, Las Vegas, NV 89101, 702-623-6362. Our team of skilled and experienced attorneys stand ready to help.


How To Prove Innocence When Falsely Accused Of Sexual Assault

Many times, we have seen innocent people going to jail for a sex offence they did not commit. As devastating as it sounds, it is the sad reality. What makes it even worse is that these cases tend to take a wrong turn very quickly.

The life long consequences of a sex offence conviction are hard to overstate. That is why it is key that you make sure your attorney is an expert in all the best sex crime lawyer defense strategies.

According to experience, you might end up serving time if two things happen first if the complainant has enough evidence.

Second, if the lawyers are not too smart to counter the evidence, either way, it is the job of your lawyer to ensure you don’t end up in jail. But worry not, you are innocent until proven guilty.

Here are ways on how to prove innocence when falsely accused.

Take Matter Seriously

After our involvement in many such cases, we noticed that the biggest challenge is normally the client.

This is because they often take the accusations lightly. Their innocence tends to blind them from seeing the imminent danger. With such an attitude, they often prison without knowing it.

Eventually, the lawyers will have a hard time proving your innocence. This will waste too much time dealing with your state of mind than on the case. So the minute you are accused falsely, take the accusation seriously. That way, it will be easy for your lawyers to do their jobs and prove your innocence.

Maintain Silence

During your arrest, the police will read your rights as they handcuff you. The only phrase to pay attention to is ‘You have the right to remain silent.’ As lawyers, we always advise our clients to make use of that rightfully. Keep your mouth completely shut. This is because anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.

To avoid making matters worse, simply ask for a lawyer. So far, those are the only words you should utter. Exercising this right will give us an easy time when dealing with the case. We will have a clear idea of what they might use against you and plan for it.

Get The Best Lawyers

Acquiring the best attorneys is the next step that you should take. Make sure they are not only qualified but also have a good track record. They are the only people standing between you and the prison gates. Lawyers who understand criminal law perfectly will save you a lot of time and money.

They tend to know which stones to turn and which ones not to. They will also know if you are too incriminated for them to take a deal. Any move your lawyer takes will be critical to the case. Those are just some of the benefits of a good lawyer when being falsely accused. There are quite many more.

Don’t Get In Contact With Your Accuser.

Many clients usually say ‘If I just have a few words with the accuser, I may save myself.’ We have never seen that turn out well. Once you are accused, such thoughts should be discarded from your mind immediately. Having any contact with your accuser can make matters worse than they are. By doing that, you will be helping the complainant to build a strong case.

This is a very important point to note. Even if they request for a meeting so that you two can settle the matter, decline. Not unless it is officially done in the presence of you and your attorneys. They did accuse you once, what will stop them from adding other accusations?

Turning The Case Around Is One Way Of How To Prove Innocence When Falsely Accused

This is the work of your attorney. If he or she is smart enough, then the case can be turned around. Being that false accusation is a crime, you can scare off the accuser. We must make complainant know they will be charged if the accusations are false. We then go ahead and line up the charges they are risking to face.

If at all they have no chance of winning the case, they will withdraw their charges. Quite several cases we have worked on have had such a turn of events. You can even go ahead and file a case against them. That is if you want the accuser to pay for wasting your valuable time.

Gather As Much Evidence As Possible

Every decision the judge and the jury make in court is based on the evidence available. The prosecutor will have evidence, and so should you. A good attorney will look at every angle and collect all the evidence without living any behind. These include text messages, call logs, and anything to prove you are being accused falsely.

This is the only way you will be able to prove that you are not the perpetrator. In case the victim was raped, that is, and you just happened to be his or her target. If you gather enough evidence, then you will have an easy time proving your innocence.

Avoid Plea Deals

Some accusers usually want to run things fast and get what they want. The only way they can do this is by convincing you to enter a plea deal. We strongly advise that you should not fall for it. A plea deal is where you are asked to plead guilty in exchange to some leniency. Most plea deals tend to reduce your sentence.

No matter how good the plea deal is, try and avoid it as much as possible. Any great lawyer will tell you to keep off the plea deal and take your chances. You might end up taking a plea deal, and yet you would have won the case.

In A Nutshell

Being accused falsely is not something anyone can see coming. It might get you off-guard, and any step you take might cost you. So how do you defend yourself against false accusations? By following the above ways on how to prove innocence when falsely accused.

The list has been designed for anyone accused of rape. By applying every method, you will be able to do minimum damage and get results. The last thing you want is to end up in prison simply because you had no idea what to do.

Feel free to visit our website for more information on the law and to find your closest law office.


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.


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.


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.

2 years 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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