Category Archives: criminal defense

Damages that can be Recovered in Wrongful Death Cases

wrongful death claimsAn unexpected death in the family always leaves a void in everyone. Although wrongful death laws vary by state, justice should always be served. For one, the bereaved family members are encouraged to seek compensation for both past and future losses. You can file a claim for funeral expenses, hospital charges, future economic contributions and many more.

Kinds of Wrongful Death Damages

There are many things that you and your family can claim after an accidental death. You can claim monetary and various types of compensation that are related to the future of the family of the deceased. Here are some examples:

  • Wage loss for the deceased’s life expectancy – this range from the untimely death to the anticipated time/age the deceased will retire from work.
  • Loss of household roles
  • Loss of spousal companionship
  • Loss of aid in caring for his/her children

As the direct family of the deceased, you may also file claims for the damages that you have already incurred including funeral expenses, medical bills for the accident and the family’s pain for the unexpected loss.

Factors that Affect Wrongful Death Claims

Let’s be honest, it will always be inhumane to put a price on a person’s life. Monetary and other forms of compensation can never replace the life of your loved one. The negligence of a company, individual or anyone can never be paid for when a life is lost. The bereaved family’s pain can never be compensated enough. However, it is the only way to help the family of the deceased move on from their loss. A wrongful death claim may help determine the life of a victim is valued at. It includes factors like employment, family roles and lifespan.

When a younger person becomes a victim of a wrongful death, it is reasonable that he or she is expected to live for a longer time compared to an elderly victim. Had the accident not occurred, the victim is expected to have contributed more to his or her family. This is why a wrongful death claim for a younger victim is expected to be more than what is provided for elderly victims.

Moreover, the compensation for the future income of an individual who has a high-paying job is higher than that of a victim that has low income. The compensation is also expected to be high if the deceased has more dependents (spouse and children). Wrongful death claims is a complicated situation to be involved in. But a reliable and knowledgeable lawyer should be able to clearly explain everything to you.

Different Categories of Criminal Offenses

criminal offenseThe three categories of criminal offense in the United States include felony, misdemeanor and infraction. These different categories are differentiated by the severity of the offense and the type of punishment given to an individual that is convicted of the crime.


This is the most serious category of all crimes. The punishment for a felony committed is incarceration of more than a year in jail. Some cases even go as far as life imprisonment without parole and others even end up in execution. Property and violation crimes can both be considered as felony. Rape, robbery, murder and many other crimes all fall under felony and are appropriately punishable under the law.

Moreover, the person who committed the crime along with all his or her accessories will be charged with felony and will serve the sentenced punishment for the act they committed.  People who helped prevent the capture of a felon will also be punished. The classification of a felony is different from one state to another and each has its own minimum or maximum sentences.

However, anyone who is convicted as a felon will lose his or her civil rights, will not be allowed to vote or even bear arms.


This category encompasses crimes that are not as severe as felonies. These illegal acts are referred to as lesser crimes wherein the maximum sentence is for 1 year or less in prison. A misdemeanor can be distinguished from a felony depending on the seriousness of a crime. Frustrated homicide is considered a felony while punching someone is just a misdemeanor. However, there are some cases of misdemeanors that can rise up to felony under specific circumstances. Take for instance, possession of marijuana that is less than an ounce in some states is classified as misdemeanor. But if you have more than an ounce then possession with the intent to distribute can be charged to you and this is a felony.


An infraction is a committed crime that does not call for jail time as a sentence. They are usually considered as petty crimes that are punishable by fines. Infractions may also not be taken to court if the settlement has already been done. They are ordinances that are passed to control the behavior of residents in a certain community. Examples of these are speed limit, no parking and anti-noise laws. However, just like any other crime an infraction may also be raised up to a more serious level of crime. So be very careful not to commit an act that causes damage or injury as it can be considered as a serious offense.

Everything to Know About Crime

CrimeA crime refers to an act that breaks the law and this will result to an appropriate punishment. In the event that you violate a law or breach a rule, then you are considered to have committed a criminal offense. Crimes are categorized into two types – property crime and violent crime.

Property Crime

This type of crime is committed to you when someone damages, destroys or steals your property. Good examples are stealing of a car and vandalizing an establishment. This type of crime has the highest percentage of occurrence in the United States.

Violent Crime

 Violent crimes, on the other hand, occur when someone harms, threatens or conspires to harm you or anybody else. This type of crime involves force or threat of force. The most common violent crimes committed in the country include rape, murder, robbery and kidnapping.

Some crimes can be categorized as both property and violent crimes. A good example is carjacking a vehicle at gunpoint or conducting robbery at a convenience store using a handgun as a weapon.

Federal, State and Local Laws

Society has a system of laws used to determine if an act is a crime. There are three separate systems of laws in the United States and these are federal, state and local systems.

Federal Law – this system is run by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The laws passed by the Congress apply to everyone living in the country. There are instances when a federal law is in conflict with the state or local law of a certain place. When this happens, the federal law is generally followed.

State Law – this system is ruled by elected legislators and may greatly vary from state to state. Drunk driving is considered illegal in the United States but the punishment for each state is different. Another example is the gun laws followed in all 50 states – there is variation from one state to another.

Local Law – this is usually referred to as ordinances because it is passed by the local county or governing bodies of a specific city. Local laws or ordinances usually rule how the residents of a specific community should behave. For example, a local no smoking ordinance may prohibit the citizens of Mississippi from smoking in public but it will not affect the residents of the other 49 states.

Ignorance of the Law

There is usually intent to break the law for an individual to commit a criminal offense. However, there are instances that a person is unaware of the law when he or she commits the act and is therefore charged with a crime. Always remember though, that ignorance of the law is not an excuse. So always be aware of the laws that apply in the place where you are.

Who to Sue during Defective Product Claims

defective productsHave you been a victim of a defective product? Do you wish to file a case to recover the damage you’ve incurred? If so, get to know the right people or companies to sue in the event of a defective product claim. However, be reminded that identifying all the parties liable for your injury is a complicated process. So you have to be resourceful and vigilant to ensure your full recovery for all the damages incurred.

Members of the Chain of Distribution

Keep in mind that you should always include all the parties in the ‘chain of distribution’. This means that you start from the manufacturer to the distributors of the product that you bought. Here are some information that you might find useful about the entities that you should look for.

Manufacturer. The manufacturer of the product is always at the beginning of the chain. They vary in size – some may be big companies and others may be individuals working from their garage. If in any case you’ll be dealing with a big company, you should include the manufacturer of the defective part and the manufacturer of the whole product. In fact, you can include everyone from design to marketing if you believe that they are potentially connected to the defect.

Retailer. The retailer may not be responsible for producing the defective product but he or she still has a role to play in your injury for selling it. Always remember that all the parties involved in the ‘chain of distribution’ should be included in your lawsuit.

Wholesaler or Distributor. In between the manufacturer and the retailer, there are many other parties involved such as the wholesalers and distributors. They are what they call ‘middle men’, but are still significant members of the ‘chain of distribution. They are also liable for your injury and should be included in your lawsuit.

Dealing with Foreign Defendants

In some cases, you may have to deal with foreign businesses as your defendants. However, this reason should not hinder you from pursuing a case against them. Take comfort in the fact that doing business in the country subjects the company to the jurisdiction of the courts where it is located.  

Dealing with Corporation Defendants

All of the parties included in the ‘chain of distribution’ may be corporations. The liability law states that corporations are considered as persons and will be held responsible if proven guilty. However, corporations may change shape, form and size especially if merging with other organizations takes place. The successor will always take responsibility for the predecessor’s participation in distributing such defective products.

Perks of Having the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer

criminal defense lawyerIf you’ve done something that can result to serious penalties, you better look for the best criminal defense lawyer in town or you’ll surely serve some time in prison.

You’ll need someone to represent you in court and prevent you from looking at prison time. The legal system of the country does not care if you have a great mind and a high IQ. It requires you to have a competent representative in the form of a licensed attorney.

Criminal cases vary from one another and each criminal lawyer has their own specialization. The best criminal defense lawyer should be able to spot certain arguments and factors that could mitigate your case. Some may even be able to get you a negotiation instead.

The bottom line is you would need a good lawyer for your criminal trial for committing a potential crime.

Obligations of a Criminal Defense Lawyer

  • Call witnesses in your defense and cross-examine witnesses of the prosecution.
  • Work with you and the prosecutor to come up with a ‘negotiation’. Doing this should help with your potential sentence and even get rid of the charges filed against you.
  • Come up with a good plan to alleviate your potential sentence. If you have a good criminal defense lawyer, he or she should be able to stop you from coming back in the criminal justice system in case you are proven guilty.
  • Help you deal with your turmoil of emotions – depression, embarrassment, low self-esteem. He or she should be able to provide emotional support.
  • Must keep you up-to-date of your trial’s status. A good criminal defense lawyer always has helpful insights about your case and what your next action should be. He or she should ready you for whatever is going to happen with your case in the future.
  • Educate you about certain legal rules and regulations. Many of the laws that apply to criminal prosecutions cannot be found on books.
  • Inform you about the hidden costs that come with pleading guilty. Although doing so may shorten your potential sentence, you may not be able to find a job after serving your punishment.
  • A good criminal lawyer is vigilant in finding evidence for your case. He or she is able to efficiently gather statements or witnesses to help out your case.
  • Hire investigators that can perform investigations to both the crime and the witnesses. In short, a good criminal lawyer will exhaust his or her resources just to help you with your case.

Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association

Hispanic National Law Enforcement AssociationThe Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association or HNLEA is a non-profit group of professionals that is dedicated in implementing justice and promoting the interests of the Latinos and minorities in the profession of law enforcement. This group also aims to assist the government, law enforcement bodies and officers, community members and other related agencies to be more aware of the concerns of the Hispanic community.

History of HNLEA

In May of the year 1990, five officers of the Prince George’s County Police Department went to New Jersey to meet up with the leader of a growing Hispanic Law Association at that time. After the said meeting, the five officers were very inspired to create a new group – Hispanic Police Officers Association of Maryland.

Their inspired idea was realized in June of the same year as they gathered more officers from different agencies located in the state. The small group that they started further developed into a social organization which later became an affiliate of the Hispanic Law Enforcement Association. This tie-up paved the way to the creation of its new name which we now know as HNLEA.

The organization has two main purposes: to support the Hispanic community and to facilitate for the best interests of the officers. HNLEA is very dedicated when it comes to providing excellent service to its communities and fulfilling the needs of the members by promoting change and awareness in the law.

As the group continuously grows, it also proceeds to funding different programs that will foster the progress of a community. Examples of these programs are the Christmas baskets for the needy, Christmas Toys for Tots and Hispanic Festival. They also support summer camp groups for the minors and alcohol and drug prevention activities.

Membership Program

HNLEA is accepting applications for membership up to this day. In fact, they are strongly encouraging all sworn law enforcement officers who serve in recognized police agencies. An officer who wants to be a member of this group must be sponsored by at least one active member and will be charged an annual due of $50. This amount may be paid through Paypal, cash, check or money order. Aspiring members who are not officers may apply for the associate membership or business membership. The group is open to anyone who has the interest in enhancing both the large community and minority law enforcement groups of the Latinos.

Hispanic National Bar Foundation

Hispanic National Bar FoundationHistory

The organization was created in the year 1985 by dedicated Hispanic lawyers who overcame great odds to become successful in the law industry. They want to become role models to their fellow Latinos who dream of becoming attorneys too. This group started out small but continuously grew throughout the years and became a recognized national organization that offers scholarships, fellowships, conferences, resources and other support programs. It is their goal to help and inspire their fellow Hispanics to achieve academically especially in the field of law.

The Hispanic National Bar Foundation strongly believes that knowledge and diversity can help the communities. As the number of Latinos increases in the United States, the success of their youth in education becomes more important. The organization acknowledges that the Hispanics still suffer from lack of opportunities, information, financial support and other related issues while living in the U.S. This is why they act upon these concerns as the voice of their affected communities to achieve progress and improvement for their native group. Until today, the members of HNBF work on programs that will address the needs of Hispanic students and provide equal education opportunities – just as the founders had envisioned when they created the group.


The group’s mission statement is simple and clear – they want to help their fellow Latinos reach their potential through obtaining higher education and add to the diversity of legal professions. They want to establish in the Hispanic culture that achieving a higher education is an expectation and not an exception.

Future Latino Leaders Law Camp

The HNBF in Washington D.C. runs this program which lasts for 9 days in the goal of providing chosen Latino high school students the chance to learn more about the field. This law camp was established in 2005 to offer students the opportunity to come to D.C. and get to know more about college applications, meet influential leaders for support and tour different places like government agencies.

The law camp is free of charge but there is a non-refundable application fee of $50 and those who would like to join are responsible in arranging their transportation to and from Washington. They also offer scholarships depending on the financial need of the applicant/student. The organization is dedicated to helping the accepted applicants and their families to ensure that they can attend the camp and its related activities. This is one of the best opportunities that any aspiring law student should not miss.

The Hispanic American Community

hispanic cultureMost of the members of the Hispanic American community came from Cuba, Central and South America, Puerto Rico and various Spanish-speaking places.


The Hispanic community is made up mostly of Catholics. These days however, the number of Pentecostals is also increasing. They strongly believe that our health is a gift from God and that we should take care of it. It is a common practice to offer a prayer to prevent illnesses. They also wear religious medals and amulets or keep relics at home. They like visiting shrines and offering candles to different statues and pictures of Saints. The Latinos are well known for their unwavering faith and regular recitals of prayers.

Social Customs

Hispanics give high regard to their elders in the family. They respect them for their experiences and come to them for advice when they need one. When Latinos get sick, they go to their family members first and ask for support and care. They are very family-oriented and recommend safe and simple home remedies.

They also regard the man as the head of the family – the one who makes major decisions. Hispanics practice a strong sense of Paternalism but treat females equally. They deem women as sacred and they always protect them. They do this not because they believe that women are incapable, but because the solidarity of a Hispanic family depends on the well-being of the female.


Hispanics are very private people. They believe that personal matters should be handled only within the family. They highly value modesty and not just for women! They consider the area between the waist and the knees very private.

Some Latinos look down on people who are mentally ill. They often hide this information from people who know them and they also refuse to seek professional help.

Health Practices

The Latinos are known to extremely express their feelings. They want to be taken care of when they are sick because for them, it’s one way to show love and affection to their loved ones. Consequently, they may avoid preventive health care and often show up late in meetings.

Since most of them are Catholics, they refuse to follow birth control techniques other than the rhythm method. They consider plump bodies ideal and thinness as a health problem. They are not used to the idea of social workers and mainly rely on their family and friends for support.

Reasons Why You Would Want to be a Lawyer

benefits of being a lawyerGreat Earning Potential

If you don’t know yet, lawyers are actually one of the highest earning professionals in the world. In fact, majority of them earn high above the national average. Those that are at the top of their league get as much as million dollar incomes. Don’t forget though that a lawyer’s paycheck is affected by a lot of factors – employer size, experience level, geographic location, etc.

Opportunity to Help Others

If you have a great passion to help out others, then this job will suit you. Lawyers have the power to help or represent an individual, group or organizations that are involved in any legal situation. There are various types of lawyers; personal injury, corporate, criminal and many more. It depends on the type of legal problem that you want to handle. If you become a public interest lawyer, then you can handle legal causes for the greater good of the society. You can help out those who are in need of legal assistance but could not pay for it.

Work Environment

If you want to skip the part of working in a small cubicle, then work hard to be big shot lawyer! This is a sure ticket to land your own plush office with a number support staff at your calling. Being an excellent and popular lawyer will also earn you perks like free gym membership or a box seat at a huge sports event.

Intellectual Challenge

If you are one to enjoy an intellectually rewarding profession, then being a lawyer is your best bet. Your responsibility may range from helping patent a trade secret to designing a trial strategy. You will have a lot of legal responsibilities that you are required to handle even under pressure. Lawyers are problem-solvers, analysts and even innovative thinkers.


One of the things that people like about being lawyers is the flexibility of the schedule. If this ticks your interest, then you’ll work fine as a lawyer. However, you must be willing to put in the extra hours if you have a big case to handle. You also must have the patience to answer phone calls from clients even after work hours are over. As a lawyer, you are not required to be confined in your office the whole day. You can spend it in the field gathering all the evidences that you need for a particular case. Your time is in your own hands!

How to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer

best lawyersWhenever you have to deal with legal problems, especially ones that involve big amounts of money, you have to seek the help of a lawyer. After all, lawyers are well-trained to handle and dispense legal information. They are also well-versed when it comes to offering legal strategic advice and apply sophisticated technical skills that will suit your particular situation. Since there are already a lot of lawyers in service these days, it’s quite overwhelming to choose the right one.

Here are some suggestions on how you can find the right lawyer for you.

Personal Referrals – this is probably the best type of research that you can do. Get substantial information from people you know who have dealt with lawyers in the past. Based on their different experiences, make your judgment as to which lawyer is best to go with. Remember, lawyers have different specialization – personal injury, corporate, criminal, etc. Choose one that suits your current situation to avoid being redirected and wasting time.

Websites – numerous websites are now offering helpful information about various lawyers., for one is very helpful in sourcing out lawyers in different areas of the world. This website has an impressive directory of lawyers that may help make your search easy. The profiles available here tell you about the lawyers experience, education, style and personality, etc.

Lawyer Referral Services – this is another source that you may find useful as there is quite a variety of of lawyer referral services. These services are very careful in screening their lawyers and only list lawyers that pass their qualifications and requirements. In choosing a referral service, the best thing to do is ask them what their qualifications are to get an idea of how they gauge the lawyers that they include in their list.

Interview Your Prospective Lawyer

When you’ve done the research and finalized the names of your prospective lawyers, the next step is to meet them upclose and personal. Always remember that no matter how popular or experienced a lawyer is, if you are not comfortable with them then you shouldn’t get their services. Pay attention to their personality, communication and promptness as well as their willingness to work with you.

See if you can establish an ideal client-lawyer relationship with him or her. If you don’t think you can, then it is best to trust your instincts as you will always be in doubt. Also consider if they are easy to contact and communicate with. It is very important that you are able to get in touch with your lawyer especially during emergencies. If you do not want to experience any delay with your legal problem, ensure that your lawyer can give you the time that you deserve. Finally, it is prime that your lawyer is able to provide you with the legal information that you need. A good lawyer will help you acquire a good working knowledge of the legal principles and procedures you need to deal with your situation. He or she will never leave you in the dark and will represent you all the way.