Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Criminal Law in Oakland County

oakland county criminal defense attorney Criminal law is a category of law that broadly refers to state and federal laws that make certain crimes punishable by imprisonment and fines. Criminal cases deal with violation of criminal statutes as provided for in the law in Oakland County. Each state has a penal code that outlines crimes, charges against those crimes and penalties. Criminal cases are essentially felonies and face at least a jail time of more than one year. Oakland County criminal defense attorney represent persons charged with crimes in court.

Common Criminal Charges in Oakland County and Their Penalties

Criminal charges are either treated as felonies or capital crimes. Capital crimes are punishable by death while felonies by more than a year of imprisonment. Besides imprisonment, convicts can face more penalties. These include: restitution and fines.

oakland county criminal defense attorneyNotably, criminal charges in Oakland County are not eligible for parole, probation or community service.  Convicts have to face jail time and other penalties.

Criminal charges are filed by the government against the perpetrator. The prosecution has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty and consequently convict the defendant. Once convicted, the defendant is subject to either custodial or non custodial punishment or both. Criminal charges are tried by superior court in a jury trial.

Criminal law stipulates timelines for charging a criminal suspect. It also abolished the death penalty as a punishment to any criminal charges in Oakland. A defendant may appeal a court verdict resulting to retrial of the case.

Penalties for criminal charges are served on the basis of the degree of crime as follows;
·         First degree crimes: The accused are served the direst penalties. Imprisonment for at least 10 years and up to a lifetime imprisonment. Hefty fines up to $200,000.
·         Second degree crimes:  5 – 10 years of jail time and fines up to $150,000
·         Third degree crimes: 3-5 years of imprisonment and fines up to $15,000
·         Fourth degree crimes: Up to 18 months of imprisonment and fines up to $10,000

Penalties are more severe for offenders with past criminal records.

Oakland County Criminal Defense Attorney

oakland county criminal defense attorneyOnce charged with a criminal offense, the accused is faced with a challenging responsibility to prove their innocence. Criminal attorneys provide legal advice to the accused. They also prepare a defense case for the accused, collecting evidence and presenting witnesses and arguing against the prosecutor to prove the innocence of the defendant. They represent defendants in the court trial and appeal for a retrial if the court sentence is unsatisfactory.

An Oakland County criminal defense attorney fully understands both the state and federal laws. They have the best chance of creating a solid defense plan for the accused that can lead to dismissal of charges or lead to less serious trials. A criminal defense attorney works hard to protect the rights of the accused.

The best defense attorneys are experienced in practicing criminal law. They are comfortable in the courtroom and articulate their arguments on the court floor effectively. An excellent defense attorney can mean the difference between hefty fines and penalties or none at all for individuals faced with criminal charges.

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Criminal convictions have long-term ramifications on the reputation of a convict. The criminal records show up on background checks, making it difficult for them to find jobs even after serving jail time. People faced with criminal charges hire criminal defense attorneys to represent them in court and offer solid legal advice.

Common Oakland County Laws

Oakland County has several laws stipulated under the Michigan State and federal laws. Oakland County lawyers help citizens in interpreting and understanding major laws and their implications if those laws are broken. They also represent persons charged with various crimes in court. Theft related crimes, marijuana related crimes and drunk driving crimes are among the most common crimes in Oakland.

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Theft Related Laws

Under this category, crimes are categorized into petty theft laws, shoplifting laws and embezzlement laws. One is considered to have committed larceny if they steal money, goods, public records or property. Theft is defined as the act of taking someone else’s property without their consent.

oakland county lawyers Theft is considered a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the stolen goods or property. Theft of goods whose value is below $200 is considered petty theft, a misdemeanor punishable by not more than $500 fines or repaying the value of the stolen goods three fold or imprisonment for up to 93 days.

Stealing goods worth more than $200 but less than $100 is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment or up to $2000 in fines or repaying thrice the value of goods.

Theft of goods whose value exceeds $1000 (including motor vehicles, real estate property or hiking the price of goods by $1000) is considered a felony which is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and up to $10000 fines. Stealing goods worth $20000 and above attracts up to 10 years of imprisonment and hefty fines.

Marijuana Laws

oakland county lawyers Oakland allows medical consumption of marijuana. It is considered an offense to drive under the influence of marijuana whether for medical purposes or otherwise. Non medical possession or use of marijuana attracts up to $2000 fines or up to one year jail term. Possession of marijuana paraphernalia can lead up to 90 days imprisonment.

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

OWI is commonly referred to as DUI (Driving Under Influence) crimes in others states. Oakland County has zero tolerance for drunk driving for persons under the age of 21. Individuals above the age of 21 must not exceed a BAC of 0.08% and 0.04% if operating a commercial vehicle. Individuals are required to voluntarily submit to the BAC test. Refusal to take the test can cause license suspension for up to 5 years, depending on whether it is a first, second or third offense.

A first time OWI offense in Oakland is considered a misdemeanor unless it involved a deadly accident, in which case it is treated as a felony. Most OWI charges in Oakland County result to loss of driving privileges for a given time.

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If one is accused with OWI, Oakland County lawyers specializing in OWI charges can plea bargain for fewer charges. In most cases, a plea bargain is awarded for reckless driving which is a lesser charge and hence, attracts lesser penalties. To be on the safe side, one shouldn’t drink and drive.

Being charged with a crime in Oakland can significantly taint an individual’s public image. The record shows up in background checks making it hard for one to access employment or college vacancies. Oakland County lawyers work with the accused to build a strong defense case or file for offense record sealing.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

What to Ask Before Hiring an Oakland County Criminal Defense Attorney

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When a person needs to hire a criminal attorney, they usually need to find one promptly. However, prior to hiring one, certain questions need to be asked.

Meeting with an Oakland County Criminal Defense Attorney

When a person first meets with an attorney, they typically take the following items along to the meeting:

• Any documents received from the court that show the charges and next appearance date

• The bail papers

• If the person’s property was searched, they take any papers the police gave them

• A copy of the police report, if available

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Defense attorneys also find it helpful if clients provide a list of witnesses, other defendants and victims.

Many clients also take along a list of questions to ask their oakland county criminal defense attorney.

1. The Attorney’s Experience and Background

When a client first meets with the attorney, they usually find out if he or she has prior experience defending against similar charges. Questions asked include:

• Where did the attorney attend law school and when did he or she graduate?

• How long have they been practicing criminal law?

• How often do they appear in court?

• Do they regularly negotiate plea agreements?

• How often do their clients go to trial?

• How familiar are they with the charges against the client?

2. Assessment of the Case
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Whether a person is charged with a crime in a state, federal or county court, they will want their defense attorney to offer a good idea of what lies ahead. Questions asked include:

• What are the client’s legal options? Should they plead guilty, make a plea agreement or go to trial?

• What aspects of the case will work in the client’s favor?

• What potential problems could arise?

• What can the client expect at different stages of the process, including motions, disposition and trail?

3. Case Management

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This is the term attorneys use to describe how the logistics of a case are handled. It is important to understand what goes on behind the scenes in a case to avoid misunderstandings. Typical questions include:

• Is the attorney available to represent the client?

• Will anyone else be working on the case? Is the client able to meet them?

• Will the attorney be personally representing the client in court, or will the responsibility lie with someone else?

• If the client has questions, who should they contact?

• How does the attorney prefer to be contacts and how quickly do they usually respond?

4. Hiring a Criminal Attorney

After a client meets with a criminal attorney or two, they will have to select one. If they only met with one and are happy with the way the attorney operates, that makes the decision easier.
If the client is struggling to decide, they could ask themselves:

• Which attorney has the experience they need with the charges they are facing?

• Which attorney offered the advice the client found most helpful?

The answers to such questions will lead the client facing criminal charges to the best defense attorney to represent their case.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Oakland County Lawyers Can Assist with a Personal Injury Claim

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The time immediately after a person a been injured in an accident or slip and fall can be stressful and confusing. Once they have taken care of their health, they can consider a personal injury claim for the injuries they incurred.

The First Step in Filing for a Personal Injury Claim

There are several steps that can be taken, in any order, to claim for an injury. These steps are:

• Collecting evidence that will point to the person who caused the accident and the damage that was caused as a result.

• Notating everything that happened to the injured person after the accident. This could include items such as hospital bills and lost work.

• Collecting names and contact details of witnesses that observed the accident.

Oakland County Lawyers Advise There Is a Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit

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There is a time limit to filing a lawsuit for injury compensation. Settling a personal injury claim is time consuming and if a claim is not filed in a timely manner, the injured person may not be able to collect compensation.

The statutes of limitations note a maximum time a person has to bring particular lawsuits. Once that time period passes, the injured person may be barred from bringing a lawsuit to recover for their injuries.

Oakland county lawyers are familiar with the state’s statute of limitations and will advise if the person’s personal injury claim has a time period by which a lawsuit needs to be filed.
Personal Injury Claims Against the Government

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Unlike filing a claim against a company or individual, if someone needs to file a claim against a government employee, government agency or the government itself, there is a limited amount of time in which that claim has to be filed. Depending on the type of case and the state in which a person lives, the time period can range from 30 days to one year. If the timelines are not abided by, the person could lose their right to recover any type of compensation for their injuries or damage to property.

When to Notify a Person of a Claim

If one is planning on filing a lawsuit against an individual or other entity that is not a government agency or the government, there is no set time limit by which they have to be notified of the intention to file a suit. However, this does not mean someone should take their time with the matter. By acting timeously, the chances are increased that the claim will be resolved quicker.

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Even if one notifies people of their intention to file a lawsuit, it does not necessarily mean that they have to file the suit. By giving notice, the injured person only preserves their rights and prevents other parties from defending against the lawsuit with the argument that too much time passed.

By notifying other parties, one simply ensures that they will be able to proceed with negotiations regarding a settlement and arbitration at their own speed, without feeling pressured or rushed.

A personal injury claim can usually be settled with the right assistance.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hiring Oakland County Criminal Defense Attorney vs. Self-Representation: Which Option Is Better?

Criminal defendants who do not wish to rely on professional legal assistance provided by an experienced attorney can decide to represent themselves in court. Their choice could be influenced by multiple factors, including a precarious financial situation or (often misguided) personal beliefs.

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Why Do Certain Defendants Go In Favor of Self-Representation?
oakland county criminal defense attorney Some defendants may be inclined to think that the crime they are charged with is not serious enough to account for the costs linked to professional legal representation. In some cases, defendants may decide to plead guilty and accept the sentence that may vary in their case, erroneously thinking that hiring an attorney won’t have an impact on the outcome of their case. Moreover, defendants who choose to represent themselves in court do not have to comply with the rules and regulations of an ethical code respected by all lawyers. As a result, they can cause chaos and put more pressure on a system that is already overloaded by delaying proceedings and filing motion after motion. Nonetheless, this approach is usually counterproductive and can easily backfire. Last but not least, certain defendants agree to take changes and expose themselves to the inherent risks of self-representation to gain access to certain small privileges, such as access to the jail’s library.

Reasons Why Hiring a Seasoned Oakland County Criminal Defense Attorney Is the Best Option for Any Defendant
oakland county criminal defense attorney While self-representation may be a feasible option for defendants facing trial for minor crimes, such as shoplifting, those who are charged with felonies and face serious consequences shouldn’t neglect the benefits of hiring a seasoned Oakland county criminal defense attorney. A good lawyer with extensive courtroom experience, specialized in cases similar to the ones that the defendant is involved in could handle all the proceedings in an ideal manner, prevent delays and errors, and bring his or her client a few steps closer to a favorable outcome (a lesser sentence or a not guilty verdict).

As points out, defendants who choose to represent themselves in court usually lower their odds of success simply because they are not properly trained to defend their best interests in court. They are unfamiliar with the legal framework that a lawyer would rely on to prove their innocence; not to mention that they don’t know the protocol that they must follow to support their cause, like entering evidence or making objections.

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Lack of knowledge on these matters can stop them from winning a case. Moreover, poor communication and persuasion, influencing and negotiating skills are other important limitations that could make it difficult for any defendant to win his or her own battle in court. Last but not least, the problem of bias is one other drawback of self-representation. Defendants may have a hard time building a compelling case as long as they cannot present facts in an objective manner and support fair arguments in front of the jury. All these reasons underline the importance of quality legal representation and give defendants a few more reasons to hire the best Oakland County lawyers that they can afford.

Finding the Most Competent Oakland County Lawyers

oakland county lawyers People who get involved in court actions that go well beyond small claims may require the best legal representation to protect their best interests. When managing their case on their own is not an option for one or more reasons, including the fact that they don’t know the laws that build the foundation of their case, individuals with no or insufficient legal training will inevitably need to rely on the expert guidance of competent Oakland county lawyers. Here are a few steps that a person should follow to find and benefit from the very best legal assistance in Michigan.

Asking for Referrals. To begin with, an individual seeking quality legal representation should ask for referrals within his or her circle of friends, relatives and coworkers. Chances are that one of his closest ones has already dealt with a similar issue requiring professional legal services. In this case, a friend or a family member could offer valuable information on a lawyer’s background, skills, personal approach to handling a case, expertise and fees.

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Exploring One’s Options with Help from an Employer. Certain individuals may be surprised to find out that their employers offer a legal plan that is a part of the employee benefits. In this context, a person in need of quality, affordable legal assistance should start by checking with their employers to find out whether or not this important advantage is available.

oakland county lawyers Relying on Various Online and Offline Resources. If access to legal representation is not a part of their employee benefits, people facing trial should continue their search and analyze the data provided by multiple online and offline resources to make the best decision when it comes to hiring reliable Oakland County Lawyers.

For starters, a person can obtain a list of local lawyers from the bar association. At the same time, they can use a local telephone book to identify and use the Lawyer Referral Number. By doing so, they could get accurate information on some of the most respectable professionals who could protect their best interest in court.

oakland county lawyers Moreover, a person should also consider browsing through the yellow pages (under the Attorneys section) to check out a full list of local attorneys specialized in cases like the ones that he or she may be involved in. Additionally, those looking for qualified, fully trained professionals who practice law in their area should count on the guidance provided by experts from legal assistance and resource centers within their communities. For example, the Legal Assistance Center based in Grand Rapids and Eastern Michigan University Legal Resource Center are only two options that could guide potential clients in the right direction, towards affordable and effective legal representation that could help them build a strong, consistent and compelling case in court.

Instead of just consulting one resource, individuals seeking legal services should rely on the information provided by a number of outlets to gather all the details related to a lawyer’s practice, including success rate, client reviews and potential claims, and get the bigger picture before choosing to collaborate with a certain law firm.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Getting a Qualified Oakland County Criminal Defense Attorney

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Being accused of criminal activity can be a very traumatizing event. After being charged with a crime, a person may be left in a very incoherent state and have uncertainties about what action to take next. Everyone wants to receive justice, but no one wants to deal with the expenses and lengthy time frame traditionally associated with court proceedings. An Oakland County criminal defense attorney is a valuable asset that a person can use to clear their reputation and make sure their rights are protected in a speedy and affordable manner. Though the legal system may be a bit complicated to those without experience in it, a qualified professional can help anyone get through a court case easier.

Ensuring that Rights Are Protected

oakland county criminal defense attorney
It can be very tense to wind up charged with criminal activity. The thought of appearing in court and having to defend oneself can be very stressful. Everyone wants to ensure that their rights are protected, and an oakland county criminal defense attorney knows exactly how to make sure due process is delivered. From beginning to end, anyone can fare better in a legal case with a qualified legal professional to defend them. Though some may be skeptical about the legal system that is in place, quality attorneys know how to function within the parameters of law and deliver optimal results.

Compliance with All Laws – New or Old

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Law is constantly evolving in order to keep up with newly developing issues in society. Sometimes a person can commit an offense without knowing it, resulting in a surprising charge and a stressful situation to deal with. A quality agency not only has experienced professionals, but they are constantly researching new laws and discovering the best course of action to take in any given situation. Whether it’s a longstanding law that people are commonly charged with violating or a new law that people are unaware of, a versatile organization can provide clients with the protection they need.

Handling a Variety of Issues with Care

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Even if a person is charged with a serious crime, the qualified attorneys in the area know the best course of action to take to get the best result. If it’s a serious issue like violence or robbery, these professionals will still stick by their client and help them get the most lenient verdict possible. Smaller charges like traffic misdemeanors and drug-related offenses will be treated with the same amount of seriousness, as a professional agency is willing to handle any issue no matter how big or small.

Reasonable Fees and Flexible Payment Plans

Being charged with a crime can be a very difficult endeavor, and most professionals recommend contacting a lawyer as soon as possible to minimize the chance of serious consequences with the authorities. By offering reasonable fees and a variety of flexible payment options, most legal offices make it easy for anyone to contact them for help regardless of their financial status. Getting quality criminal defense is a right everyone has and that no one should pass up on.