Archive for October, 2018

Are My Employers Notified If I Am Arrested or Convicted of a Felony?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Are My Employers Notified If I Am Arrested or Convicted of a Felony?

Many people are aware of the fact that when you apply for a job or are offered a position, a background check is likely to follow. But what happens if you’re already employed and you know you’re going to be convicted of a felony? Will your employer find out? What will happen to your job? While each legal case is individual in nature and the answer depends greatly on surrounding circumstances, here are a few things you should know.

Felony Arrests Are Nearly Impossible to Hide

If you’re arrested for something like shoplifting, your employer is very unlikely to ever find out unless you tell them, you tell a coworker who tells them, or they see it on the media for some reason. But felonies are a different thing altogether. Since felony convictions are quite serious in nature, it’s almost assured that your employer will find out. For one thing, if you live in a state where bail is legal, the bail bondsman will have to confirm your employment and will have to call your employer to do so. For another, being convicted of a felony usually comes with jail time, so it’s going to start becoming obvious to your employer that something is wrong when you’re not there for an extended period of time.

Minor Felonies Might Not Be Revealed

That being said, minor felonies might fly under the radar. Unless you do something to provoke the police officer, the thing you’re accused of doing directly relates to your job, or your employer is the victim, the police won’t have much of a need to call your employer and let them know. For instance, if you stole money and you work in a position of financial trust, they might tell your employer. But it’s possible that you could be arrested for a minor felony and never have to tell your employer. A conviction, on the other hand, will be almost impossible to hide.

Convictions Will Likely Be Revealed

An arrest is one thing and, if you’re not convicted, you might be able to get on with your life relatively unscathed. But if you’re convicted or you’ll have to be in jail awaiting a trial, it’s pretty much a guarantee that your employer will find out. You’ll be missing work while you’re in jail, you’ll have to get time off to attend your trial dates even if you are on bail, and if you’re imprisoned, obviously you won’t be working anymore after that, so your employer will find out.

Negotiating a Lesser Sentence

Unless you’re accused of something like murder or grand theft, there’s usually a way to negotiate a lesser sentence. A criminal defense attorney can help you do this. It’s important to hire an attorney to help you through this process. The legal system is complex and there are many nuances that the average person isn’t aware of. Hiring an attorney can help you avoid losing your job and can help you get back on track as soon as possible.

It’s important to hire a criminal defense attorney any time you’re accused of a crime, especially if it’s a felony. Felonies are serious business and can cause you a lot of stress and hardship for many years to come. Contact an experienced, reputable criminal defense attorney in your area and make sure you have someone to fight for you. A defense lawyer can help you obtain the best possible outcome, can negotiate your sentence, and in some cases can keep you from losing your job. Don’t leave your future to chance by trying to go it alone.

What Happens When You File For Bankruptcy?

Friday, October 26th, 2018

What Happens When You File For Bankruptcy?

Financial hardship is difficult, but it happens to everyone in some form or another. Sometimes those hardships can become so great that bankruptcy becomes an option. While choosing whether bankruptcy is the best option for you is a difficult decision, your bankruptcy attorney can help sort out the details and guide you towards the best path for your particular case. Every case is different, and there are a number of factors that play into how you’ll file. However, knowing what to expect before you enter the process can help you make an informed decision and put you at ease. Here are the basic components to bankruptcy filing.

Paperwork and Filing Fees

There is a lot of paperwork involved in the bankruptcy process, and it all has to be filled out perfectly and on a certain schedule. Ironically, there are also filing fees to pay when you submit your bankruptcy paperwork. For Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it’s usually about $200 to $300. For Chapter 11 it’s nearly $2,000.

Automatic Stay

As soon as your filing is done you’ll receive what’s called an automatic stay. That means all collections activities against you are frozen until the bankruptcy is closed. In other words, you can take a breath without having to deal with harassing, nonstop collection calls and bills coming in the mail for credit card payments.

Credit Counseling

The government requirements anyone who is filing for bankruptcy to take credit counseling 180 days before you file. Be sure to check with your local bankruptcy laws and make sure you’re taking a course that is court-approved. You’ll also have to take a debtor education course if you want to discharge your debt via Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Creditors Meeting

In most bankruptcy cases, you’ll have a meeting with your bankruptcy trustee, your bankruptcy attorney, and any creditors who choose to come. It’s a meeting that happens at a courthouse during which you’ll have to answer questions about your financial situation and your decision to file. It can feel a little invasive and nerve-racking, but it’s really just a chance for you to present your case and explain the financial hardships that led up to your decision to file. Having an experienced bankruptcy attorney present is a good idea because he or she can advocate more effectively for you than you will probably be able to on your own unless you have extensive legal knowledge.

This meeting will happen a few weeks after you file. You’ll receive a decision about your bankruptcy request and the official filing will be made shortly thereafter if you’re accepted. It’s good to bring any documentation that validates your financial situation as well as proof that you’ve made attempts to correct your situation on your own before considering bankruptcy.

Liquidation of Assets For Chapter 7

If you’re filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the next step will probably be the liquidation of your assets. However, only nonexempt property can be sold for liquidation purposes Your car and home are usually exempt since not having them would impose undue hardship upon you. However, most creditors opt to pass on collecting items in question because they usually feel that the cost of retrieving and liquidating the items just isn’t worth it. Because of that, very few Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtors ever have to part with their property unless they have multiple homes or something of that nature.

Payment Plan For Chapter 13

If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your next step will be to negotiate and agree to a payment plan. You might have opted for Chapter 13 or you might have had to file Chapter 13 by default because you didn’t pass the Chapter 7 means test. Either way, have your bankruptcy attorney by your side so you can make sure the payment plan negotiated has your best interest at heart and will set you up for success. The plan will spread your total debt into monthly payments. Some debt amounts may be reduced or eliminated during the process. That being said, priority debts such as child support, employee wages, alimony, and tax obligations cannot be reduced or eliminated and must be paid in full over the course of your payment plan.

Moving Forward

Once you’ve begun repayment, your next step is to make sure you don’t miss a single payment going forward. Meet with your bankruptcy attorney to craft a solid plan that will set you up for success. If you filed for Chapter 7, your next step will likely be having your slate wiped clean save for any debts that can’t be included in bankruptcy. Debts that can’t be wiped out are things like child support, alimony, and tax obligations. Regardless, you can now move forward in the knowledge that your burden is much lighter and that you have a new lease on your financial life.

While there’s no legal requirement to hire a bankruptcy attorney, it’s highly advisable that you do so. Bankruptcy is a legal matter and is more nuanced than most people realize. A qualified and experienced bankruptcy attorney can make sure you’re doing everything correctly, in the proper order, and on time. Additionally, a bankruptcy lawyer can advocate for you and negotiate the best possible outcome for you. The bankruptcy process can be difficult, but you don’t have to go it alone. Consult with a bankruptcy attorney today and take the first step on the road towards protecting your financial future.

How Do I Know If I Would Qualify For Social Security Disability in Texas?

Friday, October 19th, 2018

How Do I Know If I Would Qualify For Social Security Disability in Texas?

If you live in the state of Texas and you’ve ever wondered if you would qualify for Social Security disability, you probably know how hard it can be to find out that information. Lengthy searches online only uncover a wealth of information that can be difficult to sort through. While it is best to hire an attorney to help you with these matters, there are some things that are important to know. Here are some of the ways in which you could qualify for Social Security disability in Texas.

Definition of Disability

First, you must qualify under the definition of disability in the state of Texas. You must prove that your case can satisfy the social security definition of disability, in other words. This definition states that you must have an impairment that can be medically determined and that such impairment is severe. However, this vague definition is only the beginning. The rest of the points following this will illustrate what that definition of disability, as per the social security definition of disability in Texas, requires.

Severe

As mentioned above, your condition must be severe. For example, a headache is not considered severe, chronic migraines might be. A sprained ankle is not a severe condition, but a serious break maybe. The more documentation you were medical provider can offer, the better you will fare in court. Your lawyer will also know more about your classification from a legal standpoint and can help you craft a case that is more likely to be successful then it would be if you decided to go it alone.

Assessment by Disability Examiner

Having a medical professional say that your condition is severe can go a long way to help you make your case. However, that alone is not enough. Each case that goes before Social Security administrators is assigned a disability examiner. That disability examiner will review the evidence and examine you to see if your condition is, in fact, severe. This determination is what the rest of your case hinges on, so the evidence you bring to court with you is often more important than simply having a doctor classify you as having a severe condition.

One Full Year

The disabling condition that you have has to last for at least one full year in order to qualify for Social Security disability in the state of Texas. You don’t have to be out of work or disabled for a year before you apply, though. It just means that the medical evidence must show that the condition will be disabling for an entire year. This requirement can sometimes be ambiguous, because different doctors might come up different reasonings or decisions as to whether or not your employment will in fact last for an entire year. Ambiguities like these are more proof that you should bring a disability attorney with you when you make your case.

Prevented From Working

In addition to the other requirements above, the Social Security definition of disability in the state of Texas also requires that the limitations of your condition impede you from working. In other words, the condition you have most directly disable you from being able to work in order for you to qualify for disability. It also states that even if you can work a little bit, if you can’t engage and work at the level that would earn you minimum income sufficient to live on, you also qualify. As per previous requirements, this inability to work must also exist for one full year.

Severe Unto Death

This requirement might sound harsh, but the definition of disability under Texas State Social Security standards also requires that your condition be severe enough that it may possibly result in death. This is another area where ambiguity comes into play. For instance, if a blind person walks into traffic because they don’t have a guide dog does that mean blindness is potentially fatal? Does the condition itself have to lead to the fatality, or can conditions surrounding the illness lead to fatality? Whether or not it has to be in medically fatal condition is often up for debate. Again, don’t try to argue this alone. Hire a qualified disability attorney in Texas to help you navigate the legal system and advocate for your rights.

No matter which legal issue is on the table, having an attorney at your side is always an asset. Don’t try to argue for your own rights. The law is intentionally written to be confusing and difficult for the average person to navigate. That’s why law school exists. Get started today by hiring an attorney or asking for a consultation. Only a qualified and experienced disability attorney in the state of Texas can help you make the case for your disability qualification. Obtaining a consultation is your first step on the road to protecting your health and your future.

How Can I Expunge My DUI in California?

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Expunging your record is like getting the opportunity to have a legal do-over. Getting an expungement can release you from some of the long-term negative consequences of being convicted of a DUI in California. However, in order to get an expungement, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. For some people, the expungement itself may not be worth going through the process. For others, the expungement can be a new lease on life. You should consult with your attorney to make sure that expungement is the right option for you, but here are the basics.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to expunge a California DUI from your record, you must have been convicted of a California misdemeanor or felony DUI. Secondly, you must successfully complete your probation. Thirdly, if you served any time in state prison for the offense you will not be eligible to expunge your record. However, if you would have been able to avoid state prison had Proposition 47 in past at the time of your convictions, you may also be eligible. To alleviate overcrowding, California passed Proposition 47, which sent certain classes of prisoners, usually non-violent drug offenses, to county jails from the state jails. If you were in a state prison for a drug-related offense but it was prior to the passage of Proposition 47, you might still be eligible to expunge your DUI in California.

Process

First, you have to complete your probation. This is not optional. Then, you have to petition the court to expunge your DUI from the record. A judge will review the conditions of your case and your request and will either grant or deny you a petition for expungement. A person who is convicted but has their record expunged and is granted that expungement will withdraw their guilty or no contest plea. If you were found guilty by jury or bench trial, the judge will set aside the verdict in your case and dismiss it. While the process seems simple, it’s still important to go to the process with legal representation as only a qualified DUI attorney can help you navigate the subtleties of the legal system and obtain the best possible outcome.

Benefits of Expungement

There are many benefits of expungement. For one thing, you’ll have an easier time securing a job. This is particularly true if the job you wanted has to do with transportation or requires driving. Secondly, having a clean record when people search your background is always a good thing. Thirdly, you won’t have to wait multiple years in order to clear your record. And finally, it could be easier to obtain car loans, car insurance, and other similar financial securities. While expungement is not for everybody, it does often provide benefits that outweigh the inconvenience of the process.

It’s important to consult with an attorney anytime you’re going to go through it legal process. The legal system is intentionally vague, ambiguous, and difficult to navigate for the average citizen. Only a qualified legal professional can help you attain the most beneficial results. Make sure to hire an experienced California DUI attorney so that you have the best chance expunging your DUI conviction. Get a consultation today and take the first step on the road towards protecting your freedom and future.

I Was In an Auto Accident In My Truck. Will I Lose My CDL?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

I Was In an Auto Accident In My Truck. Will I Lose My CDL?

Most commercial truck drivers are required to have a Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL. Because of the nature of commercial driving, CDL holders are held to higher safety standards. Minor infractions for non-commercial drivers can be serious infractions for CDL holders. If you get into an accident in your commercial truck, a number of things can happen. Whether or not you lose your license is going to depend on the specifics of your case, and only a qualified traffic attorney in your state will be able to help you defend yourself against license loss. However, here are some of the things that contribute to the loss or retention of your CDL.

Severity of Accident

If the accident was minor, you might only get a warning. This is particularly true if only property was damaged and there were no injuries. If injuries occurred, license loss or at least a temporary suspension is more likely. Mass property damage can also lead to suspension or total license loss, though. For instance, if nobody was hurt but you wiped out six cars that were parked on the street, that could be grounds for suspension or revocation of your CDL.

Fault or Negligence

If you were at fault, you’re more likely to face harsh license-related punishments. If you’re not at fault, any disciplinary action is likely to be less severe or even non-existent. Just because you’re at fault doesn’t mean your license will be taken. However, if you’re found to be negligent or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may have to face license suspension or revocation.

Previous Driving Record

Many states will take your driving record into account when determining whether or not you will lose your CDL. If it’s your first and only accident in several years, you’re probably fine unless aggravating circumstances are present. Aggravating circumstances are things like alcohol use, violence, or injuries — things that make your legal situation worse. If you’ve had multiple or previous serious accidents, you could also be facing license revocation or suspension. Another factor that could play a part is how long you’ve had your license. If you just got your CDL and you’ve already gotten into an accident, you might lose your license. You could also be sent to extra training. It really depends on the other circumstances of your case.

State Laws

Where the accident occurs matters, as well. So does the state in which you got your license and operate out of. So, in other words, if you got your license in Maine and you were traveling cross-county, an accident you had in Michigan would mean that both Michigan and Maine laws are taken into consideration. Some states have stricter CDL laws and traffic laws than others. Consult with your traffic attorney to determine which laws impact your case.

Company You Work For

While losing your license is mostly a state matter, losing your job is a company manner. There have been many situations where a driver lost their CDL for a time but didn’t lose their job. Your employer might chose to put you on trips that don’t require a CDL or to let you do other jobs while you serve your suspension. In other circumstances, companies have fired their employees who got into accidents even when they got to keep their CDL just because of the liability posed to the company itself. Hiring an attorney to help you fight for your job rights is also important. Always consult with an attorney who specializes in workers’ rights and employment so you can make sure your rights are protected.

Never try to best the legal system on your own. It’s designed to be confusing and nearly impossible for the average person to navigate. That’s why law school exists. Your freedom and your rights need to be protected no matter what, and only an experienced attorney can help you do that. Consult with an attorney today and make the first step towards protecting your freedom, your rights, and your future.