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Facing Drug Charges? 3 Tips For Those Seeking Alternative Sentences

Posted by on 8:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Facing Drug Charges? 3 Tips For Those Seeking Alternative Sentences

If you’re being charged for selling drugs or drug possession, you may be feeling worried about the results of your hearing. Since many people end up going to jail because of crimes related to drugs, it is something that you will want to take seriously. Thankfully, the court does allow people to avoid jail with alternative sentences, such as community service, house arrest, drug rehabilitation, or probation. If you are hoping to get one of these alternative sentences, don’t assume you’ll be lucky when it comes to your sentencing. These tips could help you get the alternative sentence that you are seeking.  Hire An Attorney ASAP Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are capable of handling your court case on your own. You should hire an attorney as quickly as you can. They can assist with navigating the legal process for you, as well as speak for you when it comes to seeking alternative sentencing from a judge. The more time your attorney has to research your case, the more guidance they will be able to give you about what needs to be done. It’s the best way to get the best defense possible. Stop Using Drugs You must kick your drug habit before your court date. You do not want to give your judge a reason to suspect that you’re still using, and an additional drug charge will make it harder to seek alternative sentencing. A judge is also more likely to be forgiving if it is your first and only drug charge, and additional charges will show that you have not changed your ways. In addition, sentencing such as probation will require that you take a supervised drug test and pass it. If you end up being offered probation and blow your chance due to having drugs in your system, you will definitely not have the judge on your side. Document The Help You Receive Taking steps to quit your drug use is important, but it is also important that you document all the help you receive. This includes receiving counseling about substance abuse, going to meetings for people struggling with addiction, or even going to outpatient rehab. Taking these steps will help prove to your judge that you’re serious about making changes to your life, but if they are not documented, it may not mean much in court. For more tips about reducing a drug charge to an alternative sentence, work with your...

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Student Loan Forgiveness With Social Security Disability

Posted by on 5:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Student Loan Forgiveness With Social Security Disability

If you are now unable to work because of a medical condition, the same avenue of financial support that assists you with monthly payments can now help you with your student loan debt. For those who qualify for Social Security Disability, you may also qualify for a program that forgives your student loan. You should understand, however, that receiving Social Security Disability benefits does not automatically mean student loan forgiveness. For a better understanding of the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Program (TPD), read on. The Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Program (TPD) While getting through the Social Security Disability application process may have been hard, the qualifications for the TPD program are even more difficult to achieve. The SSA offers two different programs, the Supplemental Security Insurance program (SSI) and the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI), and both of these can qualify you for the TPD program. To qualify for either of these programs (SSI and SSDI) you must be unable to work for at least one year; to further qualify for the TPD program, you must be unable to work for at least five years. You may qualify for the TPD program immediately if you also qualify for the Social Security Administration’s Medical Improvement Not Expected program, which grants special benefits to those with severe and/or terminal medical conditions.    What to Know About the TPD Program 1. Only four types of student loans are eligible for the TPD program: Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Service William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program Federal Perkins Loans Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) 2. If you have more than one student loan, you must submit a separate application for each loan. 3. Just as with Social Security, your income will be monitored and you cannot earn more than a certain amount, which can change yearly and is based on the cost of living. 4. Your ability to qualify for a new student loan will be greatly impacted, and may be difficult if not impossible. 5. The TPD program may be applied for online. 6. Once you contact the TPD program, collection activity will be suspended, at least temporarily, for 120 days. You have 120 days to get your entire application package submitted, or the collection activity will resume once again. If you are having trouble getting Social Security benefits, contact a Social Security attorney, like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law, for assistance. You cannot qualify for the TPD program without qualifying for Social Security, so get the help you need to qualify for these important...

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Protecting Your Assets From The High Cost Of Nursing Home Care

Posted by on 1:56 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protecting Your Assets From The High Cost Of Nursing Home Care

As you get older, it’s important to prepare for a time when you might need nursing home care. If you have assets, you should understand that if you need a nursing home, you will be responsible for paying an average of $6,844 for a semi-private room. Your assets get spent until you have no money left, unless you create an estate plan that protects your assets and allows you to qualify for Medicaid in order to pay for nursing home costs.  The Five Year Look Back Period If you find yourself suddenly in need of nursing home care, you can’t just give away your assets and get approved for Medicaid. There is a five year look back period to receive Medicaid benefits. This means that any assets that were transferred within the last five years appear as if they were given away as an attempt to avoid paying for nursing home costs. While this may not be the case, you have to be careful when you give away assets. If your assets were transferred more than five years before you need nursing home care, then you are more likely to qualify for Medicaid without any problems. Household Goods and Personal Property Not everything you own has to be liquidated in order to pay for nursing home costs. This means that you can give away most of your household goods and personal effects and still qualify for Medicaid. In some states, you can even give away a car and not have the asset count towards your Medicaid application. If you own a home and your spouse still lives in it, you don’t have to sell your home to pay for your care. The home can be transferred to your spouse, or to a child who has been living with you for a period of at least two years without penalty. If you were living alone and you are no longer going to live in your home, this is an asset that can be considered in your Medicaid application unless an irrevocable trust was set up. Setting Up an Irrevocable Medicaid Trust An irrevocable Medicaid trust is a trust that is set up to hold your assets should you need to qualify for Medicaid. All assets that are transferred to the irrevocable Medicaid trust are subject to the five year look back period, as changes to Medicaid have prevented people from hiding assets in a trust in order to qualify for the program. If assets were transferred more than five years prior, the assets will not count towards Medicaid eligibility, so it’s important to plan ahead with an estate attorney, like those at Lynn Jackson Shultz & Lebrun...

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4 Ways A Lawyer Can Help After A Coworker Starts A False Rumor

Posted by on 10:14 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways A Lawyer Can Help After A Coworker Starts A False Rumor

Are you thinking about quitting your job due to the embarrassment of a false rumor that a coworker started about you? Rather than quitting your job, you can seek justice against the person that started the rumor by filing a lawsuit. The first thing that you should do is hire a lawyer so he or she can help you build a strong case. In this article, you will learn about a few of the things a personal injury lawyer can do to help you get justice. 1. Determine if the Rumor is False In order for you to have a strong case against the person that started the rumor, it must be completely false. If any aspect of the rumor is true, you might not have a strong case. A lawyer will ask you several questions concerning the rumor and you must be completely honest when answering. You must keep in mind that holding information back can weaken your case, as the other party can bring it up in court and your lawyer won’t be properly prepared. 2. Discover How the Rumor Has Affected Your Life If the lawyer accepts your case, he or she will want to know details about how the false rumor has affected your life. For instance, if you have stopped being social with other people because of the rumor, it can be considered for compensation. You can also get compensated for counseling, defamation of character, and any physical health problems that the rumor has caused from stress. 3. Look For Witnesses You can expect your lawyer to investigate the situation in an attempt to find witnesses. He or she might speak to a few of your coworkers to find out what kind of information they can provide about the false rumor. People that know your coworker outside of work will also be contacted in case they can act as witnesses. 4. Try to Settle Out of Court Contacting your coworker or his or her lawyer about the situation will be done after your case has been built. The lawyer will try to handle the situation outside of court through mediation, as it can lead to a faster settlement. However, the case will likely go to court if the other party refuses to attend mediation or doesn’t come to a satisfactory agreement. Make an appointment to discuss the false rumor with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you are...

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Mistrials In Personal Injury Cases

Posted by on 6:06 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mistrials In Personal Injury Cases

There are a lot of things that can wrong when you take a civil case trial—that may be one of the reasons that the vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. One major thing that can derail your personal injury claim is a mistrial. Learn more about why mistrials occur and what to expect if it does. Mistrials are declared when a fair verdict is impossible. A mistrial stops a trial from continuing—and it can occur at any stage of the trial—whether it’s just at the beginning during jury selection or all the way after the jury starts deliberating on a verdict. Because trials are costly and time-consuming, mistrials are a fairly extreme option and are only used when no other option can give a fair verdict. There are a number of common reasons for mistrials: telling the jury that the defendant’s liability insurance will cover the costs of a personal injury verdict, or even mentioning that the defendant has liability insurance introducing evidence that’s been declared inadmissible in a previous ruling by mentioning it in testimony or during closing arguments the sudden death of someone critical to the case, like the judge, an attorney, one of the witnesses, the defendant, or an expert witness Problems with the jury may be one of the most likely causes of a mistrial, simply because they don’t always follow instructions. For example, a mistrial was recently declared in a prominent California injury trial after some of the jury members talked about the evidence to other people. Judges typically warn against that specific activity in an effort to keep jury members from having their opinions shaped before all the evidence in a case is presented.  Pay careful attention to the judge when a mistrial is declared. If a mistrial is declared, listen very carefully to the judge’s statements about the case. If the case is dismissed without prejudice (which is likely), that means that you are free to bring the case back to court at a later date, but a new trial isn’t ordered. The judge may hope that you and the defendant will come to an agreement without having to start the process over again—particularly if most of the evidence has already been heard. However, if it seems inevitable that the case will need to be retried, the judge may simply start the process over again and schedule the new trial date. You’ll have to go through an entirely new jury selection as well. There may also be additional meetings to discuss whatever issue brought the mistrial into being, in order to resolve the issue and prevent a re-occurrence. If the case is dismissed with prejudice, the judge is saying that it can’t be retried for some reason. At that point, you’ll want to confer with your attorney to find out what the problem is and see if you can appeal the judge’s decision to a higher court. If you need help with your person injury case, go to http://gomezmaylaw.com/ for more information and to talk to an...

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Family Feud: Avoiding Legal Inheritance Disputes

Posted by on 6:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Family Feud: Avoiding Legal Inheritance Disputes

When it comes to your last will and testament, doling out your personal possessions can be an emotional and difficult thing to do. Once you’ve gone, how can you be sure your children and other family members will get the correct items and benefits you’ve requested? Family inheritance disputes can get rather nasty and lead to long, drawn-out court battles. Fortunately, there are some things you can do in advance to ensure that these types of problems don’t occur after you’re gone. Talk It Out Before you see an attorney about your will, talk to your children about the things that mean the most to them. Have everyone sit down together and come up with an amicable agreement as to who will get what once you’ve passed. By having this conversation in advance, you’ll have a clearer picture of who truly wants that special piece of china or which necklace your daughter really has her heart set on. Get a list together of which items will be left to whom so you can have this specifically drafted on paper to keep it legal. This is a great way to avoid potential disputes later on since everyone will clearly state which things they’d truly like to inherit. Choose Your Executor With Care An executor is a person legally responsible for making sure that your final wishes per your last will and testament are carried out. Many people choose one of their children to be the executor, but if there are several siblings in your family, this can potentially become an issue. Instead, look for a professional who can remain objective after you pass and assign them as the official executor of your will. This person can be an attorney, a close family friend, or a private firm who can ensure that your wishes are carried out without getting emotionally involved.  Stay Updated As major events happen in your life such as buying a new home or getting new profits from investments, your will may need to be updated. It’s a good idea to update the paperwork every two to three years so you’re sure everything is included. When you come into new items like new vehicles or money from a 401(k), if it’s not mentioned in the will, it could become an item for contention after you pass. Meet with your lawyer every few years or so in order to add new items to the will to make sure it’s all legally written down to avoid any litigation in the future.  For more information, contact a firm such as The Law Offices of John G. McGill,...

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Don’t Wait: 3 Steps You Should Take If You’ve Been In A Car Accident

Posted by on 5:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Wait: 3 Steps You Should Take If You’ve Been In A Car Accident

Car accidents can turn your world upside down, especially if you’ve been injured or your car has been totaled. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you might not know what to do to recover from your injuries or loss of personal property. It’s important that you act fast to protect your rights – including your right to medical care, as well as any rights you may have to monetary compensation. If you’ve been in a car accident, here are three steps you should take. Obtain Medical Care If you’ve been in a car accident, you need to obtain medical care as soon as possible. This is important even if you aren’t feeling any physical symptoms. During a car accident, your body produces additional adrenaline, which may prevent you from feeling some symptoms immediately after the incident. It’s not uncommon to feel fine right after an accident, only to develop pain, dizziness and numbness days later. By seeking medical condition immediately following an accident, doctors have a better chance of diagnosing injuries you might not realize you have. Not only that, but it will be difficult to prove that your injuries are directly related to the accident if you wait days or weeks to visit the doctor. Keep Accurate Notes and Records In the days and weeks following your accident, you may experience physical symptoms, especially if you were injured. It’s important that you keep accurate notes and records relating to those injuries. Make copies of all the paperwork you receive from your doctors, including any prescriptions you receive. It’s also important for you to keep a journal about your injuries. Make notes about how your injuries are affecting your daily activities, including pain levels or incidences where your injuries prevent you from working or taking part in family activities. These records and notes will help you prove your case should you decide to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver. Speak to an Attorney As soon as you’re able to, you need to speak to a personal injury attorney, even if you’re not sure whether you’ll seek legal action against the other driver. An attorney will be able to advise you about your rights as an accident victim. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you might have. When you sit down with the attorney, be sure you bring any documentation you might have regarding the accident. If you’ve been in an accident, use the suggestions provided above to ensure that your rights as an accident victim are...

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Four Problems You May Face If You Abandon Your House

Posted by on 4:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Problems You May Face If You Abandon Your House

Legally speaking, abandoning a house isn’t a smart thing to do, even if you don’t have a current use for it. Gift it to someone, rent it out or sell it for a nominal price, but don’t treat it as if it doesn’t exist. Here are some of the consequences of abandoning a property: The Government May Take It One danger of abandoning your home is that the government may take it permanently. Some states have laws that allow the government to claim abandoned property without paying the owner. Usually, there is a specific period that must pass before the state can make its move. Therefore, don’t abandon your property if you have hopes of using it one day. You May Lose It to Squatters If you abandon your home for a long time, the government may not be the only party eyeing it. Through adverse possession laws, somebody may start using your abandoned property and later claim it legally as their own. This may happen, for example, if your adjacent neighbor starts using your abandoned house, and continues to do so for many years that trigger the adverse possession laws in your state. It May Bring Mortgage-Related Problems If the house you are abandoning has an outstanding mortgage, then you have lots or mortgage-related problems to deal with. Here are two specific problems this may raise: Damage to your credit score – Once you stop making the payments, the information starts showing up on your credit report and stays there for seven years. Tax consequences – This is possible because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats unpaid mortgage as income. Only a few homeowners get to enjoy tax breaks on unpaid mortgages; for example, you may qualify for a tax break if you took the mortgage between 2007 and 2012, and the house was your primary residence. Thus, you may find yourself spending money on a property that doesn’t benefit you in any way. It May Cause You Civil Liability Abandoning a house doesn’t release you from the liability of any damages or injuries it may cause. In the eyes of the government, you are still responsible for ensuring that other people don’t suffer damages due to the property. For example, if your abandoned house has a trampoline and a child gets injured while playing on it, you may be held responsible for the injury. If you are facing legal issues after abandoning a house, consult a lawyer, such as Steve Butcher Sr,  to help you sort them out. For example, a lawyer may help you prove that you qualify for a tax break for not paying your mortgage or help you prevent adverse possession of the land if you have future use for it....

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4 Steps To Take After Slipping And Falling In A Grocery Store

Posted by on 10:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Steps To Take After Slipping And Falling In A Grocery Store

When you head to the grocery store, you most likely expect to load your cart up with food and then go home. But if a grocery store is negligent in cleaning up spills or keeping their floor in good repair a simple shopping trip can result in a nasty slip and fall that can leave you with bad injuries. If you are hurt in a slip and fall accident at a grocery store, it is important to react in the correct manner. Take the following steps to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve after being hurt in a fall: Photograph the Area One of the best things that you can do after falling at a grocery store is take photos of the area with your cell phone. It is a good idea to take wide shots as well as close ups of a spill or area of flooring that needs to be repaired. This photographs will serve as important pieces of evidence when dealing with the grocery store’s insurance company. Alert the Supervisor on Duty After photographing the area of the fall, immediately alert the supervisor on duty about your accident. Make sure that he or she fills out an incident report that notes the details of what happened. Before leaving the store, get a copy of the incident report for your records. Go See a Doctor Slip and fall accidents can be very serious, and depending on how you fall you can cause damage to your pelvis, back, or extremities. It is in your best interest to see your doctor as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident at a grocery store. Getting prompt medical care will help you recover faster, and your medical records may also be called upon when it the time comes to discuss a financial settlement. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Settling a slip and fall accident can be a challenge because negligence must be proven. If you are not an attorney, this will be difficult for you to do on your own. After a slip and fall accident in a grocery store, it is essential to contact a personal injury lawyer like Randall A. Wolff & Associates, Ltd to represent you. Your lawyer will gather evidence from you and build your case to show that negligence by the grocery store caused your injury. A lawyer is also a very valuable resource in negotiating a settlement– there is a good chance that you will get a higher settlement if you have an experienced...

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Are You and a Neighbor Arguing Over Who Owns What? This Is What You Should Know about Adverse Possession

Posted by on 7:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are You and a Neighbor Arguing Over Who Owns What? This Is What You Should Know about Adverse Possession

Property ownership is often seen as the key to wealth—which is why ownership disputes between neighbors can quickly become contentious. What happens if you’ve been using a piece of property for years without disturbance when a neighbor suddenly tells you that you’re on the wrong side of a boundary line? This is what you should know. You may have gained the right to the property through adverse possession. Adverse possession is sometimes known as “squatter’s rights,” and it’s a legal way of gaining ownership of a piece of property over a period time. In order to acquire ownership this way, you have to meet certain conditions: Your possession has to be hostile (without the consent of the true owner). You have to actually control the property in some way. You have to use the property openly. Your possession has to continue for a specific period of time, as prescribed by law, without interruption. The exact length of time that you have to possess a piece of property this way in order for it to change hands varies widely by state. In Pennsylvania, for example, you have to wait 21 years for adverse possession to take effect. In Rhode Island, however, you can gain ownership in as few as 10 years. There may be some additional requirements specific to your state. In addition to the basic requirements, some states have additional rules that control ownership through adverse possession. For example, in Oregon, adverse possession can result in a change of ownership if you honestly and reasonably believed that you were the actual owner of the property. For example, imagine that you wanted to build a shed in your backyard. You and your neighbor have always believed that a line of bushes marked the boundary between your properties. You build the shed and don’t think anything more of it until your neighbor sells his or her property twenty years later. Your new neighbor, however, has the property surveyed and informs you that your shed is three feet over the boundary line. The odds are high that a court would not force you to move the shed after all that time. In other states, you can gain adverse possession only if you meet all of the regular criteria plus pay the taxes. In states with this rule, the time limit required to obtain possession is often shortened. California, for example, will allow you to claim adverse possession under those circumstances in only 5 years. Adverse possession claims can involve a few inches or they can involve large patches of land and houses. If you find yourself in that situation, contact a real estate attorney today. To get legal help with adverse possession issues, go to websites like this one and contact a real estate...

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