Understanding Some Basics On Criminal Law

Criminal laws consist of prosecution by the government of someone for an action that has been grouped as a crime. Civil cases, to the contrary, involve individuals and organizations seeking to deal with legal disagreements. In a criminal case, the state, through a prosecutor, triggers the suit, while in a civil case the victim brings the suit. Persons convicted of a crime may be imprisoned, ticketed, or both. However, people deemed accountable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money damages, but are not jailed.

A “crime” is any act or failure to act in violation of a public law outlawing or commanding it. Even though there are various common law crimes, nearly all criminal offenses in the United States are implemented by local, state, and federal governing bodies. Criminal laws range significantly from state to state. There is, nonetheless, a Model Penal Code (MPC) which acts as a good beginning position to obtain an understanding of the basic structure of criminal liability.

Criminal offenses include both felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are ordinarily violations punishable by imprisonment of a year or more, while misdemeanors are violations punishable by less than a year. However, no conduct is a crime if it has not been previously confirmed as such either by statute or common law. Recently, the list of Federal criminal offenses dealing with activities stretching out further than state borders or having special impact on federal operations, has developed.

All statutes describing criminal behavior can be broken down into their various elements. Most criminal offenses (with the exception of strict-liability offenses) include two elements: an act, or “actus reus,” and a mental state, or “mens rea”. Prosecutors have got to prove each and every element of the criminal offense to yield a conviction. Additionally, the prosecutor has to persuade the jury or judge “beyond a reasonable doubt” of every fact required to constitute the criminal offense charged. In civil cases, the plaintiff has to show a defendant is at fault only by a “preponderance of the evidence,” or more than 50%.

The heighten burden required in a criminal case reflects the serious consequences of a criminal conviction.

Citizenship and Immigration

For many Americans, their U.S. citizenship issued at birth is something they dont think twice about. But for applying immigrants, citizenship is a serious goal.

Hopefully most American natural born citizens understand that citizenship is one of the most greatly desired gifts this countrys government can bestow on its citizens. For those of us who have not had to go through the process of becoming a U.S Citizen apart from being naturally born here, there is only one other way to become U.S. citizens and that is by the often times-lengthy process of what is known as “naturalization”.

Naturalization can often times be a complicated process so you should consult with an immigration lawyer rather than attempting this yourself. Even something as simple as travel within the country or state is something that a person needs to know the rules about and this is where an Immigration lawyer is needed so that you have someone to ask questions such as “How long does it take for USCIS to issue work permission and travel permission?” or “When should I renew my work and travel permission?”

Learning about your new country and its rights and the responsibilities that accompany citizenship is an important part of being a good citizen and at the USCIS and the Office of Citizenship they have developed a great amount of resources and a variety of educational materials that allow immigrants to learn more about U.S. history and government as they prepare for the naturalization test.

A final thought on the naturalization process; in addition to finding good counsel and being represented by an immigration lawyer, there are general requirements that the USCIS will look for by those who look to make our great country their home, to name just a few: good moral character, a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government, and favorable disposition toward the United States.

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When You Should Hire A Houston Criminal Law Attorney

The legal system in the United States is very confusing to the average person because of the way codes are written and the particular language that is used. This is usually the reason why you should hire a Houston Criminal Attorney if you are involved in certain types of legal matters in the state of Texas. Of course, if you don’t know anything about the law, how will you know when you should seek the services of a qualified lawyer? The truth is, there are some basic things that are easy to learn about the legal system that help you determine if you need legal counsel and which type of professional to acquire.

First of all, you need to know that the criminal justice system is based on two things: actus reus and mens rae. Actus reus is the committing of an act of guilt while mens rae is the state of mind when committing the act. This defines a crime as an act of guilt (that breaks a law) committed by a person with the intention of said act. Thus, if you are accused of committing a crime it is because it has been determined that you had the intention of participating in an illegal activity and then committed to the activity. A Houston Criminal Law Attorney can help you better understand the terms.

Secondly, you should know that there are two types of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are crimes that can be punishable by imprisonment for under a year. Misdemeanors include things like:
*Petty theft and larceny
*Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (without incident)
*Minor in possession of alcohol
*Reckless driving
*Trespassing
*Disorderly conduct

Felonies, then, are crimes that can be punishable by imprisonment of more than a year. Felonies include things like:
*Murder
*Assault
*Rape
*Kidnapping
*Robbery
A qualified Houston Criminal Attorney can help you determine what action you should take based on which category of crime in which your case falls.

Determining if a crime has been committed is only part of the criminal law process. It is important to have a Criminal Law Attorney because the other side of criminal law is sentencing, or punishment. Every crime has a set type of punishment that has been determined to be suitable. This punishment can be jail time, fines, community service, or a combination of these. Your attorney can often negotiate these limitations based on your personal employment, financial, and family responsibilities, which is another reason they are a worthy investment.

The bottom line is that if you are considering hiring a professional Houston Criminal Law Attorney then you should at least see if you can get a free consultation. Many lawyers offer this service to help educate potential clients on the complexities of the legal system and to help ease their mind. In fact, the peace of mind you can get from knowing that a qualified professional is handling your case for you is usually worth what they charge.

Items Of Public Divorce Records

There is no doubt at all that right to freedom of information act has changed the whole society. Few years back, no one would have thought that he could get the information related to the delicate issues like divorce through online application. However, this is now a reality. The public divorce records are available online through some formalities. The applicant has to fill the form online and then he can get the complete record within few days. It is easy and risk as well as stress free. The divorce might have occurred due to violence or abuse. Through the public records, it is now quite easy to find out all the details.

At second marriage, it is quite possible that the other party will like to know about the person in question. This is definitely possible. All these cases are filed in the county where both the spouse lives. However, keeping the divorce record is the matter of the state government. A very huge state repository is being maintained and it has been found that more than 40% of the marriages in United States are being broken within one year due to the various reasons. Thus, it is quite easy to understand that this state repository is huge and many records are being available.

Generally, these public records contain the details related to child, property, assets as well as the venue and the timing of the divorce. It should be kept in mind that majority of divorces are due to brutal assaults and both the spouse will definitely like to hide it. In fact, most of the records are being declared confidential and hence one will find that such records are not being available. However, on special request and on payment of certain fees these records might be handed over to the applicant.

A perfect divorce record will contain the records like time and location, all the settlement details, grounds for divorce, filing number, final decree as well as the pertinent information. There are many situations when the divorce records might be required. It can be simply a gesture made by some friend. Sometimes the spouse might want to remarry and hence he or she will have to present a copy of divorce record. Some of the government processes require the spouse to prove that they are now single and in all those circumstances, the person involved will have to provide the copy of the divorce record, which they can get through email, phone, and fax or by filling online form.

These details are also used for the genealogy research and there is no doubt at all that these records are very useful. Sometimes one will find that the public divorce records are also used for the negative purposes. Sometimes, the enemies might use them for the blackmailing purposes and this can be very dangerous. However, in 90% cases, these records are being used for healthy purposes and hence, there are no issues at that that these records should not be given to all the people. However, only required information should be given.

An Immigration Law firm in New York talks about deportation without hearing -Part I

Millions of people around the globe apply for an American visa, every year, in order to gain entry to this land of coveted opportunities. However, only a few and deserving out of them gain entry to this land. Ask any immigrant what is his biggest fear? The answer would be, -Deportation to their home countries.- The illegal immigration reform added the removal proceedings in an amendment process to Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to expel aliens and bar them from entering the United States. .

It is a routine procedure for all those being served a deportation to have a hearing in fort of the immigration judge to explain his/her side of the story. However, a foreign national can be deported without any hearing in many cases. An Immigration law firm in New York talks about these types of deportation procedure in the section below.

Generally, two types of deportation procedures do not involve a hearing i.e. the expedited removal process and the administrative removal process. In both the processes, the individual requires help from an experienced immigration attorney to take a person out of the immigration entangles. Expedited removal process –

In this process, foreign nationals who have misrepresented their eligibility to enter the United States are generally targeted. This also includes immigrants who have furnished false information at the port or border in order to gain entry. Aliens who have gained entry by providing false and forged documents are also removed by this process. In most cases, aliens are deported without hearing. However, in some cases, it involves those seeking asylum, the alien is interviewed by an asylum officer. An individual is barred from entering the United States for a period of 5 to 20 years if removed by the expedited removal process. This process also applies in cases in which an alien has been convicted of a crime such as those related to drug, rape, murder, sexual abuse of minors and possession of fire arms. However, these aliens are deported only on the completion of their prison term

In the part-II of the article, we will look at the various aspects of removal due to an administrative process.

Hemp And Legal Implications

Copyright 2006 Francesca Black

In 1619 Jamestown Colony, Virginia enacted laws ordering farmers to grow hemp. Similar laws were enacted in Massachusetts in 1631, Connecticut in 1632 and the Chesapeake Colonies in the mid-1700’s.

Even though the U.S. government encouraged American farmers to grow hemp for WWII and had even accepted it as payment of taxes in Colonial America, it is now prohibited to grow hemp in the United States.

Cannabis hemp was legal tender in most of the Americas from 1631 until the early 1800’s. you could even pay your taxes with cannabis hemp. In the mid-to-late 1800’s the 2nd & 3rd most commonly used medications were concentrated cannabis extracts and resins (a.k.a. hashish). At one time American companies Eli Lily, Squibb and Park Davis produced cannabis extract medicines but clearly that is no longer the case..

Today the THC levels in industrial hemp are so low that no one could ever get high from smoking it. Moreover, hemp contains a relatively high percentage of another cannabinoid, CBD, that actually blocks the marijuana high. Hemp, it turns out, is not only not marijuana; it could be called ‘antimarijuana.’ Although opponents of hemp production claim that hemp fields will be used to hide marijuana fields, this is unlikely because cross-pollination between hemp and marijuana plants would significantly reduce the potency of the marijuana plant.

On March 12, 1998, Canada legalized hemp production and set a limit of 0.3% THC content that may be present in the plants and requires that all seeds be certified for THC content.

In 1942 the US government strongly encouraged hemp cultivation to help with the war effort, going so far as to produce a film entitled “Hemp For Victory”. Hemp was grown commercially (with increasing government interference) in the United States until the 1950s. While congress expressly expected the continued production of industrial hemp, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics lumped industrial hemp with marijuana, as its successor the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), does to this day. Even though the US government encouraged American farmers to grow hemp for WWII and had even accepted it as payment of taxes in Colonial America, it is now prohibited to grow hemp in the United States. While industrial hemp and marijuana may look somewhat alike to the untrained eye, an easily trained eye can easily distinguish the difference.

The European Union subsidizes its farmers to grow industrial hemp. Hemp seed is not psychoactive and cannot be used as a drug. Hemp Seed does not contain THC. From 1842 through the 1880s, extremely strong marijuana (then known as cannabis extractums), hashish extracts, tinctures, and elixirs were routinely the second and third most-used medicines in America for humans (from birth through old age). These extracts were also used in veterinary medicine until the 1920s.

The illogical and unrealistic reasons for not growing hemp should be set aside now, as this crop will be a wonderful economic boon. In 1935 116 million pounds (58,000 tons) of hemp seed was used to make paints and varnishes yet it has been effectively prohibited in the United States since the 1950s.

Hemp was doomed by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which placed an extremely high tax and made it effectively impossible to grow industrial hemp. While congress expressly expected the continued production of industrial hemp, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics lumped industrial hemp with marijuana, as its successor the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), does to this day. While industrial hemp and marijuana may look somewhat alike to the untrained eye, an easily trained eye can easily distinguish the difference.

No marijuana grower would hide marijuana plants in a hemp field. Marijuana is grown widely spaced to maximize flowers and leaves; hemp is grown tightly-spaced to maximize stalk and is usually harvested before it goes to seed. It is also the first place where law enforcement officials would look. No one would want to smoke industrial hemp. Industrial hemp has a THC content of between 0.05 and 1%. Marijuana has a THC content of 3% to 20%. To receive a standard psychoactive dose would require a person to power-smoke 10-12 hemp cigarettes over a very short period of time. The large volume, high temperature of vapor, gas and smoke would be difficult for a person to withstand, much less enjoy.

The US State Department must certify each year that a foreign nation is cooperating in the war on drugs. The European Union subsidizes its farmers to grow industrial hemp. Those nations are not on this list, because the US State Department distinguishes the difference between hemp and marijuana. Over 30 industrialized democracies do distinguish hemp from marijuana. International treaties regarding marijuana make an exception for hemp, and trade alliances such as NAFTA allow for the importation of hemp. In fact NAFTA allow for the importation of hemp. All members of the Group of Seven Industrialized Nations permit hemp cultivation except one-the United States.

An Immigration Lawyer in New York of the Best Immigration Law Firm Save from being Ripped

Portray a scene, you logged on to your email account and discovered that your inbox highlighting an unread email from an unknown address stating that, -Congratulations, your application for Diversity Visa Lottery is approved and you need to send some money to the mentioned details.- The first line you mutter out will be, -Oh my God! Is it real?-, and without confirming anything, you will swipe your credit card of the bank in New York for the payment. After few days, on ringing the concerned authorities in New York City, you will be pulled out of an illusion and this time your lines will be, -why the hell, I did not checked this thing with an immigration lawyer New York from a best immigration law firm?-

Diversity Visa Lottery program, for which millions of dreamers try their luck, but only few of them are lucky enough to bag a Green Card. Irrefutably, getting a USA Green Card is something for which, people are ready to pay any price and are on their toes to do anything. Instead of acting like a wise goose, they behave like a stupid nerd and become an easy target of scammers.

The only solution to bridle fake lawyers bragging about their so-called best immigration law firm is -awareness’. One must consider below mentioned important tips extracted from a magazine article of an immigration lawyer New York law offices –

No approval emails from state department: To end all confusions, from the year 2012 onwards, candidates are advised to check their application status on the DV lottery website as State Department announced himself free from all responsibilities of notifying qualified candidates.

Keep a close look on website’s domain: In any case, if applicant receives any email from State Department, one should check the suffix of the sender, does that have -.gov- or not. It is advised that the visa department never use any other website for its DV program besides dvslottery.state.gov.

Do not pay anything to anyone for DVP: This Diversity visa lottery program is free of cost, and government of United States charges nothing for the visa. On submitting your interest for this program, you will be acknowledged with a unique confirmation code. Therefore, if anyone asks you pay anything, consider him a scammer who want to puncture your wallet

You won’t get more or before luck: The selection criterion is unique, applications are selected on a random basis and there is no such tactics to enhance success chances. If anyone promises you so, mean he is beating you around bushes.

Therefore, do not trust anyone whose promises are full of hot air, and always let your case to be handled by an immigration lawyer New York working for a best immigration law firm.

Criminal Law and the Part a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Plays in the Society

It’s commonly straightforward to distinguish a civil case from a criminal one– by evaluating the parties involved. If the document states Doe v. Smith, it’s often a civil case; but if the file says Doe v. United States or Doe v. Illinois, it’s a criminal case. It’s important to understand the difference because many people still often mix them up like a smoothie.

A criminal defense lawyer in Chicago takes on criminal claims– infractions that hurt the public like rape and murder. There’s no solitary definition of crime, but it highlights any act of transgression of the law that damages the public. This is why particular court files normally declare Doe v. United States, implying the plaintiff is the people of the United States. It can likewise work by state like Doe v. Illinois, implying the offender will confront the people of Illinois. .

In submitting a criminal case, the prosecutor of the jurisdiction where the unlawful act took place establishes whether or not the charge ought to be pursued. Because of the gravity of the lawsuit, criminal allegations have to be submitted within 72 hours if any apprehension is made. A number of states simply need charges to be submitted within 48 hours.

Compared to a civil case, a criminal case involves more than simply remuneration for damages. The offender, if verified liable, can also be imprisoned, required to carry out community service, or be subject under the capital punishment. The matter of proving the defendant’s guilt generally lies at the hands of the government that filed the complaint.

If there’s something that civil and criminal lawsuits share, it’s typically the possibility of a retrial or an appeal to reconsider the previous ruling. Nonetheless, this is already out of the hands of a typical court; appeals are currently the duty of an appellate court (or court of appeals). An appellate court will simply inspect whether or not there are incongruities with the legal proceeding in question. It can either require a fresh trial to be hosted or the case rejected entirely.

For more information about criminal lawsuits, go to the websites at Nolo.com and Diffen.com. For more details, you can visit a criminal attorney in Chicago.

The Legal Status Of Methylone

Although Methylone has been gaining its popularity, there are still some issues that surround this drug. One of it is if it is legal to sell this drug or not. This is considered to be one of the problems that companies selling this drug is having. There are some who are in favor of this drug are saying that it should not be ban for it has no known harmful effect. Others who are not in favor of this drug are filling up a petition regarding on the prohibition of this drug for it is still a form of illegal drug. Up to this day, there is still an ongoing debate on whether to ban this drug or not.
At some state such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Netherland, it is illegal for someone to sell and have this drug. Anyone who is caught buying or selling this product will automatically be in jail and a particular penalty depending on the state awaits them. However, this kind of situation is different from the United States. There is still an ongoing debate on whether to ban this drug on their country or not. The Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA is still having some debate on whether this drug is considered to be a legal or an illegal drug. They are still studying its effect on the individual and whether the effects are harmful or not. Also, they are taking into consideration the effect of this drug in their economical status for it is one of the product that is being sold largely in their state and produces high income to the investor.
But even if there is still no law regarding on the use of this drug in the United States, there are still some countries that already implemented a law regarding the use of Methylone. In Louisiana, their governor have already put a ban regarding on the possession and selling of not just this drug but other research drug such as mephedrone and MDPV as well. This is due to some claim that there has been an increasing accident recorded in the state due to the use of this drug. There are people who are calling the emergency hotline due to over dosage of this drug, while there are some reported incidents on killing associated with the use of this drug. Aside from Louisiana, North Dakota and Kentucky also make a ban regarding on the use of this drug.