Archive for December, 2018

I Was Arrested For a Crime But Wasn’t Read My Miranda Rights. What Should I Do?

Friday, December 28th, 2018

I Was Arrested For a Crime But Wasn’t Read My Miranda Rights. What Should I Do?

Miranda rights are so ubiquitous that nearly everyone knows the first few lines, if not the entire shpiel. “You have the right to remain silent” is a phrase heard on virtually every police procedural show. Even little kids who are pretending to be cops will repeat these words when pretending to arrest someone. But if you’ve been arrested by a real cop, it’s no laughing matter. This is particularly true if you were arrested without being read your rights. What are Miranda rights, and what happens if you’re arrested without having them read to you? Each case is different and only a qualified criminal defense attorney can give you accurate information for your situation, but here are some basics.

What Has to Be Included?

Contrary to popular belief, Miranda rights don’t have to be read verbatim, or word for word. Instead, they simply have to convey four main pieces of information. One, they have to tell you that you have the right to remain silent, or not speak. Secondly, you must be advised that anything you say can be used against you when you get to court. Thirdly, you have to be told that you have a legal right to a lawyer or attorney. And finally, you have to be told that an attorney will be made available to you for free if you can’t afford one. If any one of those components is missing, your Miranda rights were not adequately read to you.

When Do They Have to Be Read?

So when do you have to be read your rights? When you’re pulled over? When you’re asked to get out of your car? Only if you’re in handcuffs? This gets a little tricky. Technically, any time you’re detained or “in custody” you have to be read your rights. It doesn’t matter if you’re standing on the side of the road, sitting in a coffee shop, or at the police station, if the officer you’re speaking with considers you to be in custody, then you have to be read your rights. That being said, many officers want to make you believe you’re in custody when you’re not. Always ask if you are in custody or if you’re free to go. If you’re free to go, then go, and don’t answer any questions until you have an attorney present.

Even If You’re Not in Custody…

That being said, you can have incriminating statements used against you even if you made those statements when you weren’t in custody. Again, the law is tricky. You should assume that anything you say to an officer is being recorded somehow and will be brought up later. Other than providing your ID, license, and registration and other routine pieces of information, you should politely refuse to answer any questions until you have an attorney present. Never offer up information that wasn’t asked for, either. Your words can easily be twisted and presented as evidence against you, even if you were just trying to answer their questions or explain a situation.

If Your Rights Aren’t Read

Get a criminal defense attorney any time you’re arrested or questioned. However, it’s exceptionally important to get a criminal defense attorney if your rights weren’t read to you. You won’t be entirely off the hook, but large parts of what you said may be inadmissible in court if you weren’t properly read your rights. Your attorney can help you craft the best defense possible so you can obtain the most beneficial and fair outcome.

If your rights aren’t read to you, any statements or pieces of evidence resulting from those statements is likely to be deemed inadmissible in court. You can help your case greatly by hiring an experienced, qualified criminal defense attorney who can advocate for you and your rights in court. Never go it alone when it comes to the legal system. Your freedom and livelihood can only defended through proper legal representation. Get a consultation and take the first step towards protecting your freedom and your future.

My Injury Happened at Work. How Do I Know If I Have a Case Against My Employer?

Thursday, December 20th, 2018

My Injury Happened at Work. How Do I Know If I Have a Case Against My Employer?

Workers compensation exists to protect employees when they are injured during the course of their job duties. Still, it can sometimes be confusing to know whether or not you have a case against your employer, even if the injury happened at work. Ambiguities in the law do exist, and there are certain cases where your employer might actually win the case if you tried to sue them. While each case is individual and you’ll have to discuss it with your workers compensation attorney to know for sure, if you can answer “no” to the following questions, you’re probably well within your rights to bring a case against your employer.

Were You Supposed to Be Working?

Even if you’re employed at a company, you can still lose a workers compensation case if you were working outside of prescribed hours. Let’s say you’re a contractor and you went to work on a site when the site was technically shut down. That could mean you came earlier than the job site officially opened or you stayed past the official close of day to finish something up. If you were injured during those “off” hours, you might have a tougher time making a case.

Were You Breaking Any Rules?

If the employee manual expressly forbids the behavior you were engaged in when you were injured, you might have trouble bringing a workers compensation case against your employer. For instance, if you’re a welder and your manual expressly forbids working without an eye shield, if you got injured when you weren’t wearing one, they could come back and say that you were breaking company rules. Since those rules exist to protect you and you chose to ignore them, it might be harder to win that case.

Were You Defying Common Sense?

In most areas of law there is what’s called a “reasonable person” standard. It generally asks: “If a reasonable person was faced with the situation you were in, would they have behaved in the way that you did?” In other words, were you using common sense? If you were changing a lightbulb when the injury happened, and you were wearing six-inch heels on a rickety ladder and standing on the top rung, you might have a harder time winning that case since an argument could be made that you weren’t acting as a “reasonable person” would.

Was Your Behavior Dangerous or Negligent?

This is similar to the common sense rule, but it takes it a step further. If you were behaving in a dangerous or negligent manner when you were injured, your employer might be off the hook, and you might have a harder time making your case. For instance, if you injured your hand because you were reaching into the cracks of machinery to reach something, that could be considered a dangerous or negligent thing to do. If you tripped on something, fell, and hurt your ankle but you were also running in heels when it happened, your employer could say you were acting in a negligent manner. In other words, were you doing something that is objectively dangerous and shows negligence for your safety and the safety of others? If so, you’re going to have a tougher time making the case against your employer for workers compensation claims.

If none of these apply to you, you’re probably more than able to file and win a workers compensation claim. However, each case is individual and unique, and your workers compensation attorney will be able to tell you whether or not you have a case. If you do, your attorney will work with you to craft the best possible defense to ensure you obtain the most beneficial outcome possible. Consult with a workers compensation attorney today and make sure you go to court with the law on your side.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Tax Attorney?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Tax Attorney?

Taxes. The only inevitable thing in life aside from death itself. Taxes certainly aren’t fun, and getting in trouble because of tax issues is an even worse day. Most people choose to do their taxes alone or by going to one of the many popular tax offices that exist. Very few choose to hire attorneys. However, hiring a tax attorney isn’t just for the super rich or for corporations. There are two main ways a tax attorney can help you. One is by helping you plan, and the other is by helping you defend yourself and your assets against IRS audits, accusations, or IRS agent misconduct.

Tax Planning

Tax attorneys can advise you about tax advantages you may have that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. This can include aspects of estate planning, business endeavors, real estate activities, or other areas of the tax code. A tax attorney can also help you find and take advantage of every tax deduction that is legally available to you, helping you minimize tax liability. Also, tax attorneys can help you avoid common filing mistakes that may alert the IRS and inspire them to audit you.

Audit Defense

If you’re being audited or you think you might be, a tax attorney can act as an expert advocate to ensure the legality of the audit. They can also defend you against unlawful IRS agent conduct and help you sort out your next steps. They can also advocate for you in court, if necessary, and take care of the audit before it comes down to an invasive and embarrassing search. These are just a few of the ways a tax attorney can help defend you against an audit and protect your property and reputation.

Defense Against Tax-related Charges

Tax fraud and tax evasion are both serious crimes. They’re not treated as an unintentional error or mistake. Instead, they are prosecuted as serious crimes that can land you in jail for up to five years. You could lose your business, be forced to liquidate assets, and more. If you’ve been charged with either of these crimes or you’ve been threatened with those charges, hire a tax attorney immediately. A tax attorney can help advocate for you and prepare the best defense possible.

Taxes aren’t fun, but it’s important to protect yourself. Any time you’re dealing with finances, especially when the IRS is involved, it’s important to make sure you have the law behind you. Regardless of your situation, consulting with a qualified tax attorney in your state could be the difference between protecting your rights or finding yourself at the wrong end of an IRS audit. Get a consultation today and take the first step to protecting your property, your freedom, and your future.