The Reason You Need to Hire a Real Estate Attorney

People who are embarking down the complicated road of property transactions often question whether they will need a real estate attorney to get them to closing. Individuals on the buyer side typically wonder whether they can simply rely on their realtor and avoid the additional cost of a legal expert. Although every state has different requirements, here are four universal reasons why having a lawyer to guide you to the end of your realty deal may ultimately be more cost effective.

1. You Are an Out of Town Buyer

Buying a house when you’re from out of town and unfamiliar with the regulations and local customs in your new city can be overwhelming. Once you find your dream home, a real estate attorney can be essential in negotiating and executing the contract, assisting you in finding the best mortgage, and also helping you to close the mortgage. Errors that occur during the buying process always have the potential to result in the loss of your deposit and could even cause you to incur substantial legal fees if litigation were to result.

2. You Are in a Hurricane, Flood, or Tornado Zone

If you’re located in a hurricane, flood, or tornado zone, you may need a lawyer to walk you through the terms of any required supplementary homeowners insurance. The amount of forms that need to be signed when you’re purchasing a house can be daunting, and if you’re not careful, you may overlook something important. For example, in some cases you could be required to buy supplemental homeowners insurance, such as flood insurance. Hiring someone with legal expertise can help you avoid confusion that could potentially derail your ability to qualify for a mortgage.

3. The Land Is Owned by the Bank

If you’re trying to buy something that is bank-owned, you may be excited by the prospect of getting a great deal, but contract negotiations can be lengthy and complex. A lawyer can be essential during these negotiations and in making sure the home you’re looking at is priced competitively. In addition, bank-owned houses are generally sold “as is” and can have defects that would be expensive to repair. Working with a legal advisor can help you investigate the bank’s price as well as the potential costs involved with repairs.

4. The Property Has Exterior Improvements

If the house you’re pursuing has had any improvements to the lot, such as a pool, fence, garage, or an outdoor shed, it may be necessary to have a real estate attorney review the deed and conduct a survey of the lot. A survey can make sure that all improvements were built properly and according to code as well as ensure that nothing is encroaching onto your neighbor’s property. Without a survey, you may incur expenses after you move in and realize you are infringing on your neighbor, or you may need to rebuild something that is not up to code.

Considering all of the complexities involved with becoming a homebuyer, once you have begun the process, you will likely be relieved to have a real estate attorney on your side.

 

Advice From Land Law Expert

Picture this scenario: after months of careful consideration and feasibility studies, you have finally decided to develop and build a commercial establishment on that piece of land you’ve inherited from your parents. However, a relative you didn’t know you had is contesting your ownership of the land, thereby, throwing a wrench into your carefully laid out plans. What should you do? In this situation, it’s best to consult someone who is an expert at land law.

Why Consult the Experts
Hiring a lawyer who has extensive experience solving land disputes and other related problems can be a great help in such a situation. The lawyer can provide you with the legal advice you require to solve such a problem in a more amicable and peaceful manner and prevent you from making rash decisions that can cause you more problems down the road.

If the one contesting your ownership of the property decided to bring the land dispute to court, you can expect your lawyer to represent you. He or she can help you win the case so you can carry out your plans for the land you want to develop.

Finding a Land Law Expert to Help
To ensure your success, you should carefully choose the lawyer or law firm you’ll hire. Here are some tips to help you.

1. Choose a lawyer who is thorough and responsive
It’s important to choose a lawyer who is thorough and responsive to your needs. This will give you the assurance that he (or she) won’t overlook any detail that will potentially cause you problems in the future.

To determine if a lawyer meets this requirement, you should pay attention to how he interacts with you during your initial meeting. Ask if you can contact him anytime to discuss any concern you may have throughout the duration of your case.

2. Ensure that the lawyer has the necessary experience
If you want to get the best results possible, ensure that the lawyer you’ll hire has extensive experience in the area of law for which you require his services. So in this case, find a lawyer who specialises in land law, not in personal injury or commercial law. Ask about the previous cases he has handled so you’ll know what he is capable of.

If you have legal problems, it’s always better to seek professional assistance than to try to solve everything on your own. As such, ensure that you’ll hire the best land or development law expert so you can put your mind at ease.

 

Posted in Law

Its Time To Call Your Lawyer

Car accidents can be debilitating events. They are lethal, dangerous, and scarring, and they can derail a person’s ability to work, play, and enjoy life for months, even years. Worst of all, they often come back to haunt people in their dreams, with the blunt trauma of impact playing over and over again on repeat. However, there is a way for people who have suffered from a terrible incident to reclaim damages, even psychological damages. That’s by hiring a car accident lawyer. While this move may not be immediately appealing to some, as it often involves lots of paperwork, in certain cases, the results can be startling. A good legal official will be able to help you reclaim the life that you deserve after a terrible crash. Here are some of the things to look for if you think you might want to hire an attorney.

Property Damage

One of the biggest effects that a crash can have on your finances is in the way of property damage. Autos are expensive; for many Americans, they are the single most expensive purchase of a lifetime. If a vehicle is destroyed or significantly damaged in a wreck, you have every reason to seek recompense through a legal appeal. First, the case will go through your car insurance company, whose job it is to choose whether the car is worth saving or not. If the car is to be repaired, then the payment should come from the other person’s insurance plan (assuming that they are at fault, of course). However, the initial amount offered by many insurance coverers is simply not enough to cover the actual cost of damage and repair. This is when a car accident lawyer steps in. Armed with the experience and knowledge that comes with years in the legal system, an attorney will be able to navigate the complex network of claims necessary to successfully seek recompense for damage.

Personal Injury

Another case that may call for an attorney is that of personal injury. This injury should be covered by the part of insurance known as ‘liability coverage.’ To get full coverage, however, you will need to keep full and accurate records of all of your treatment. Because insurance companies are businesses, many seek to minimize the payments they incur by causing injury, and they will ask to see the medical bills and statements. Keeping solid records could save you thousands of dollars. And sometimes, even when accurate records are kept, the company still won’t pay. That’s when you call on a car accident lawyer. These lawyers know how to frame a demand so that it will receive maximum attention from insurance providers, and they will also know how to prevent the sort of intangible damage experienced in the form of mental anguish. With their expertise at your side, you will be able to recover from the accident without worrying about money.

 

Tips To Deal With DWI Charge

When a motorist refuses to submit to a lawful DWI test, his driving privileges will automatically be suspended in most states. If it is the driver’s first offense, the period of suspension typically lasts between one and six months. If he agrees to a sobriety test and his blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, he will be arrested on the spot.

Even for a first offense, a driver may face expensive fines and the possibility of jail time. At the very least, his license will be suspended and/or he will have to pay an often hefty fine. Depending on how much alcohol the motorist had in his system, he may also be sentenced to up to one year in jail and/or one year of probation. It is for these reasons that it often makes sense to fight the charges in court.

Legal Options

Challenging a DWI charge may not be easy, but there is hope. If, for example, the arresting officer did not follow proper procedure, it may be possible to get the charges dismissed. Depending on the facts of the case, an experienced defense attorney may utilize any or all of the following legal strategies: challenge the procedure, challenge the field sobriety test, challenge the breathalyzer results, suppress the driver’s statements — if they were incriminating. It may also be possible to challenge the actual stop. Why?

As hard as they work and as tough as a job they have, police officers sometimes cut corners. They occasionally stop drivers based solely on a hunch. If a traffic cop had no legitimate reason to stop you, it may be possible to get the charges thrown out, even if you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence!

How To Proceed

In most states, a motorist has a limited amount of time to request a formal review hearing, where his attorney can officially contest the suspension of his driving privileges. If the suspension is not contested, fines, probation, and possible jail time may ensue. Because the penalties associated with a first offense are manageable for most motorists, they seldom contest their suspension.

By comparison, most drivers who have a record speak to a defense attorney before they agree to anything. In some cases, it may be possible for an experienced attorney to get a plea bargain that helps the defendant avoid jail time. At the very least, an attorney can give helpful legal advice in a time of need.

If you have been charged with drunk driving, an experienced DWI attorney may be able to help.

 

Common Mistake On Traffic Laws

Sometimes even the safest drivers cross the line between legal and illegal driving. While there are a lot of traffic laws that most people agree need to be followed at all times (like stopping at a red light), there are others that are broken by seemingly everyone. When you’re in a hurry, it can be tempting to push the limits of what’s legal, but it’s important to remember that these laws exist for your safety and the safety of others.

1. Speeding

Many people seem to take speed limits as “suggestions” and may get frustrated when the car in front of them is actually going the correct speed. When you’re running late, going 30 mph can feel like 10 mph, but you’ll be even later if you get pulled over.

Conversely, driving too slowly can also be dangerous, especially on the highway. Not all states have speed minimums, but if you live in a state that does, it’s important to make sure that you are at least going the minimum, when possible.

2. Rolling through stop signs

Running a stop sign is a terrible idea because it’s extremely dangerous (not to mention illegal). Although most people are aware of that, some consistently roll though stop signs. Taking a quick look around then rolling through a stop sign when you think the coast is clear can seem like a good idea. Take the time it takes. Observe the intersection closely. Accidents occur frequently because of inattention. Rolling a stop sign can turn into an expensive mistake.

3. Failure to stop for pedestrians

This happens too frequently. It almost seems that people aren’t even aware that pedestrians usually have the right-of-way. If pedestrians are waiting to cross at a crosswalk, you must wait for them to cross before you drive.

4. Failure to signal

Turn signals are an important means of communication we have with other drivers. They allow other drivers to know they need to slow down and give you room to change lanes or know which way you’re going to turn. Signal your intent long before you take action. Flipping on your turn signal while you’re in the middle of changing lanes or once you’ve already started turning is not sufficient notice to other drivers.

5. Illegal turns

Always be aware of your state’s laws regarding U-turns. Some states allow U-turns while others don’t. Pay attention to all posted signs, as there may be some areas where they aren’t permitted. Also look for signs at traffic lights, because right turns on red may be prohibited at some intersections.

6. Texting while driving

With varying degrees of restrictions, it is illegal to text and drive in almost every state in the U.S. Many states also have other laws regarding distracted driving, such as only talking on the phone using a hands-free device. Always be aware of the laws in your state regarding texting and hands-free devices. However, even if there are no laws against texting while driving, it is still a safety risk.

When you’re in a rush, traffic laws can feel like an inconvenience, but they are designed to keep you and everyone else safe.

 

Posted in Law

Tips To Hire DWI Lawyers

The US law strictly prohibits anyone to drive a motor vehicle when he is intoxicated with alcohol. In some states, this violation is called Driving Under the Influence or DUI while in other places, this is known as Driving While Intoxicated or DWI. Drivers who are arrested as DUI or DWI suspects usually hire the services of a certified DWI lawyer. This attorney can defend them in related cases, and also represent them during legal procedures.

A DWI lawyer is, primarily, an attorney with the license to practice law where the suspected offense happened. Just as other legal professionals specialize in cases involving personal injuries or domestic violence, DWI lawyers choose to focus on cases concerning people that have been accused of drunk driving. In general, this means that these lawyers are well versed with the language as well as the application of the DWI laws of the state. They are confident that they can successfully defend their client and win the case.

A county deputy or police officer who is on duty can assess whether or not a driver is too drunk to drive, based on his/her behavior on the street. While the traffic is on a stop, the officer can let the driver undergo a couple of field tests to determine his/her response time, coordination and coherence. When the officer finds out that the driver is too drunk with alcohol to drive properly and safely, the driver will be asked to puff into a breathalyzer. This machine has the capacity to measure the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream of an individual.

In case the test results fall in between.08% to.10%, the driver can face DWI charges and can be brought to a police station to undertake a blood test. He can be detained in jail from a few hours to a number of days, until he/she appears for the first time before a judge. By this time, the suspect can hire the services of a DWI lawyer to represent him/her during the trial, and in the meantime, arrange for his/her release before the said date.

The process of establishing the legal impairment of a person while driving may be simple. However, it is usually more challenging to successfully prosecute a DWI suspect. In this regard, a DWI lawyer has to study the necessary documents and test results related to the case. In addition to this, he will invite certain people for questioning, such as the suspect, possible witnesses, arresting officer and lab technicians to know the chain of events, and gather evidence.

While the case is on trial, a DWI lawyer can interrogate the officer regarding the legality of the arrest, and perhaps ask if he has clearly pointed out the rights of the defendants, as an example. The field tests that showed intoxication may have been carried out under unfavorable conditions or uneven ground. During the traffic stop, the defendant may have been over fatigued or suffering from health issues, like hypoglycemia or diabetes.

 

The Differences Between DWIs Versus DUIs

It is scientifically proven that any amount of alcohol consumption affects your coordination, mental thought process, and reaction time, which all affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Many states, including the state of Missouri, have a zero tolerance law that strictly mandates how the police handle certain situations.

What does Zero Tolerance Mean?

A zero tolerance law means that anyone pulled over driving a vehicle whose blood-alcohol level is over the legal limit – in Missouri’s case of .08% – will automatically be charged with a criminal ticket.

This law also severely penalizes anyone under the legal age of 21 caught driving under any percent influence of alcohol or drugs. Anyone under 21 who receives this charge could automatically lose their license and be required to go to traffic school.

The Different Offenses

When charged with this offense, there are several different terms that could be used on your criminal ticket. These are: DWI, which stands for Driving While Intoxicated; DUI, which means Driving Under the Influence; and DUID, which stands for driving under the influence of drugs.

Although each of these charges is fairly similar to the other two, as they all encompass some form of driving illegally while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, the level of severity of the charge differs in certain states. If you live in an area of jurisdiction that classifies these charges separately, here is what the different charges could mean for you:

The DWI

The DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, is the most serious charge of the three. This charge indicates that the offender experienced obvious impairment, and his or her blood-alcohol level was well above the legal limit.

This charge is very difficult to reduce to a DUI with a plea bargain, as the offender completely disregarded the law and endangered other people.

The DUI

The DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is a slightly less severe charge than a DWI. The legal technicality of the term DUI indicates that the person charged with this offense had a lower level of impairment than someone charged with a DWI.

This charge means that when the offender was pulled over, he or she was only slightly above the legal blood-alcohol limit. This charge is more likely to be reduced with a plea bargain; however, it is highly unlikely that the offender will walk away scot-free.

The DUID

The DUID, or Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, is slightly more difficult to categorize as many states have different laws and regulations. No matter what state you are in, it is illegal to operate a vehicle under the age of 21 with a traceable amount of drugs in your system.

Some states have a “per se” law that makes it illegal to operate any type of vehicle with a detectable amount of drugs in your body, while others have a zero tolerance law that could result in a suspended license. Although Missouri does not have this law, surrounding states such as Illinois do.

Any type of impaired driving is extremely dangerous and can harm yourself and other people. No matter what type of charge you receive, it is very important to acquire legal help. A lawyer is much more capable and qualified to deal with these charges than you are, and he or she has a much better likelihood of reducing a charge.

 

Information About Construction Zone Traffic Law and Ticket Types

During the summer months, construction zones can make traveling by car a hassle. Not only do construction zones increase your travel time as you have to slow down to pass through them, but it can also create traffic jams in typically un-congested areas.

Despite how inconvenient it may be, traffic construction is necessary to keep the motorways in adequate condition. Although it may be frustrating to travel through construction zones, it is important to follow the traffic laws as it protects other motorists and the construction workers as well.

Distracted Driving Laws

Distracted driving laws vary from state to state, and when traveling through multiple states, it’s important to know and understand the laws in the surrounding states.

One of the biggest distracted driving culprits is cell phone use. In many states, cell phone use is illegal when driving. Even if a state may not prohibit cell phone use in normal areas, construction zones usually have additional restrictions on phone usage to reduce the likelihood of distracted driving.

Construction Zone Tickets

There are multiple types of tickets that you can receive in construction zones, and the most common ticket is a speeding ticket. With the reduction of speed limits for extended lengths of the road – and some areas that are poorly marked – it becomes difficult for you to know where a construction zone begins or ends.

There are two main types of speed limit reductions in construction zones. The first is an actual, photo-enforced speed limit, work zone reduction. This is a newer development that has made its way into the work zones as states have updated their laws to use speed cameras and radar guns to catch speeding motorists. This speed reduction is enforced throughout the entirety of the area, even if workers are not present.

The second type of speed limit reduction is a stated limit that applies only when workers are present. There are usually flashing lights or indicators on the speed limit signs that indicate when workers are present, which helps drivers know when to abide by the speed limit. These limits could also be photo enforced, but it is more common that a police officer is there to ensure that motorists follow the speed limit.

Handling a Ticket

If you have received a ticket in a working area, you will be subjected to a higher fine and steeper punishment. You will also most likely have to appear in court and could receive a large penalty for endangering motorists and workers.

Dealing with these types of ticket can be very difficult, and it is best to find someone who regularly handles these situations. Find a lawyer who knows and understands the specific traffic laws for your area, and let them work on your behalf.

From the beginning, the Traffic Law Headquarters has subscribed to a different philosophy-client satisfaction is #1 priority. Since the establishment of the Traffic Law Headquarters in 2000, we’ve earned a loyal client following as a result of hard work, high quality results, and reasonable attorney fees. Sixteen years later our philosophy hasn’t changed! e represent clients throughout the State of Missouri for traffic tickets, DWI offenses, criminal cases, appeals to the Department of Revenue concerning driver license suspensions (5 year denials, 10 year denials, etc.), arrest and criminal record expungements, reversing traffic guilty pleas, and injury cases.

 

All About Criminal Court Cases

Criminal court cases go through methodical steps to reach a verdict:
1) the case is assigned to a federal or state court based on the type of crime
2) the defendant obtains a lawyer
3) an arraignment or bail hearing takes place where the charges are read and defendant enters a plea of guilty/not-guilty or no-contest
4) preparation for the trial takes place where the defense and prosecution gather evidence
5) the trial takes place where, in the end, a verdict is delivered and
6) an appeal may be pursued if there is a guilty verdict.

There are countless millions of criminal court cases that take place in America every year; and here are three types of criminal court cases that are, unfortunately, far too pervasive.

Domestic Violence Crimes

Domestic violence can include violent acts or violent threats and can escalate very quickly. Domestic violence prevails in every city in every state in America. Women are usually the victims associated with domestic violence, so much so that the Bureau of Justice Statistics states that 1 out of every 4 women in the United States will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Another disturbing statistic reveals that in 2 out of 3 female homicide cases, women are killed by a family member or intimate partner. Men cannot be discounted, however, since there are nearly 3 million physical assaults on men, every year, who are involved in domestic violence scenarios. Whether a case might involve people who are blood-related, married, cohabitating or have children together, domestic crimes carry immense consequences monetarily, physically, psychologically and even socially when one considers that at least 1/3 of families that are a part of New York City’s family shelter system are homeless due to domestic violence.

A few examples of activities that can be a part of domestic violence could include threats of violence, assault, stalking, protective order violations and interruption of a communication device during the time domestic violence may be taking place. Emotions run high in these types of cases and a conviction, many times, boils down to the credibility of the parties involved. Unfortunately, failure to report this type of abuse to the police for fear of reprisal, for example, and refusal to cooperate with prosecutors (not agreeing to testify against the attacker at trial) makes this type of offense one of the hardest crimes to successfully prosecute.

Controlled Substance Crimes

Again, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, drug and alcohol abuse costs the United States more than a staggering $110 BILLION each year! In federal and state criminal justice systems, most drug abuse cases originate not from the actual use of controlled substances but from possession or distribution of controlled substances including marijuana, cocaine, and anabolic steroids which stimulate muscle growth.

The legal ramifications associated with a conviction for distribution and trafficking of controlled substances can be sentences that range from 3 years in prison to life in prison. In a court of law, a district attorney must prove that the accused person knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled substance and did not have a valid prescription for the drugs in question. As would be expected, charges for possession, alone, are typically less serious than charges for possession with the willful intent to distribute.

Burglary and Home-Invasion Crimes

A Home invasion is categorized as a type of burglary and is usually punished more severely than other types of burglaries. Burglaries can be treated as felonies though, in some cases, they are relegated as misdemeanors, depending on the offense. Depending on the potential for damage, the legal punishment for a particular burglary is dispersed, correspondingly. For example, if the crime resulted in someone becoming injured or if the intruder used a lethal weapon, the seriousness of the crime would be elevated.

Penalties for a home invasion burglary and trespass will vary by state; but in most cases where burglary is considered a felony, the act can be punishable by more than a year in prison in addition to a fine. It is not uncommon for states to impose terms of life-in-prison for armed home invasions!

Regardless of the type of burglary accusation one might be facing, hiring a good criminal defense attorney is a defendant’s only hope of obtaining the best possible (or least severe) outcome in a court of law.

 

Survive On Jury Trial

History of The Right To A Trial By Jury

The right to a jury is one of the most common rights next to voting. It is something that is such a normal part of the fabric of our society, and it is a cornerstone of our democracy. Written into the bill of rights, the right to a trial by a jury is a right that allows one to maintain their property, life, and liberty unless a group of their peers decides otherwise using common sense and data provided by lawyers. This right is so powerful, that US citizens are required to do jury duty, which makes the act important and very consequential.

It is often that we see news surrounding a verdict passed down by a jury on a big case that made a national headline. Movies have also been made solely about jury’s. The movie 12 Angry Men, for example, focuses on a jury’s deliberation on a case. We also see juries portrayed on television shows. But how did the notion of a jury and the right to trial by a jury come to pass, that it became such an indelible part of the American way?

According to American Bar, “The American jury system has its origins in medieval England.” The publication goes on to state. “The Anglo-Saxon kings who ruled England from the 6th to the 11th centuries and the Normans who conquered England in 1066 used various legal procedures that provided possible models for the jury.” It seems to make sense then that our roots in right to trial by a jury, originally stems from the country that colonized America. As certain religions followed colonization, it seems that the right to trial by jury also did.

King Henry the second of England was the true innovator, however. He came up with a system to help with land disputes. He instituted a policy where twelve free and lawful men were under oath. These men would state who was the true owner or heir of the property in question. This is the basis on which modern jury’s are based. The only difference is that King Henry’s juries had to come to court with knowledge of what had happened as opposed to today where they Jurors are informed by the lawyers of the facts. Henry did eventually introduce the idea of a presenting jury in which they would hear the facts. This is what we now know today.

The penalties in England were harsh. Records show that most penalties resulted in death. This is where juries became influential. They became seen as protectors of the innocent. Juries would punish serious criminals with death, but other lesser criminals would get whipped or branded, which were much lighter penalties.

Over the next several centuries the role of the jury shifted. It went from having to bring in facts to being presented facts. At these times, juries could bring personal biases and beliefs to the deliberation as well. It was in the colonization of American by the British that juries began to take on bigger roles. The British had a law that stated that any trade done with the colonies had to use British ships. When the law was broken, jurors in the colonies would not punish the accused because they did not think the law was just. Thus, the British started to create special courts that did not use a jury. This would become a major charge in the case for the American Revolution. In the Declaration of Independence, one of the charges is not allowing many cases a jury.

Once the revolution was over, the battle over juries still existed. In writing the Constitution, it only guaranteed the right to trial by jury for criminal cases. However, there was no mention of the right to trial for civil cases. There would be those who argued that such a right should be added to the Constitution. They were known as Anti-Federalist. The Constitution was eventually ratified with a demand from the states that citizens receive the right to trial in civil and criminal cases. This was assured with the sixth and seventh amendments to the Constitution.

By no means was the idea of an equal jury realized until the 1970s when women were given the right to be on trials. Until then, blacks were initially excluded from juries, which consisted of all white men. Eventually, blacks were allowed on a jury with no restrictions or proof that they were fit to serve during the civil rights movement.

The juries we know today were formed through innovation as a way to solve disputes, colonization, revolution, and civil rights movements. With such a long and winding history, the next time you are asked to serve jury duty, feel proud that you are a part of a continuing history and legacy that allows people due process, which without, penalties may be most certainly death.