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Expungements in California

September 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Everyone makes mistakes. When those mistakes make their mark on a criminal record, it can destroy goals, hopes and dreams. Just one criminal conviction can make it very difficult to find employment or make advances in your career, only adding to your embarrassment.

Luckily, California law makes it possible to get an expungement off your criminal record. An “expungement” is court-ordered proiStock_000003580532XSmallcess in which a criminal conviction or criminal report is “sealed.”

Once your record is expunged, your criminal charge will not come up on your criminal background search for many employers and agencies. Some employers and agencies will still have access, but a vast majority of employers will not see the past criminal charge.

The rules for getting an expungement vary state to state. In most states, there is no expungement for those with felonies or sex offenses. Juvenile and misdemeanor convictions usually are eligible for expungement. Expungements can be especially beneficial for someone looking for a job. In California, most misdemeanors and some felony cases can be expunged.

To qualify for an expungement in California, you need to have finished probation, followed all court orders and have no new charges made against you. After the defined time period has passed, you may be eligible for expungement. To find out more, you should consult a criminal lawyer.

It is important to keep in mind that some criminal offenses cannot be expunged, or will take several years for expungement to take place. Expungement for sexual offenses or DUI cases, for example, should be discussed with a criminal defense lawyer, who can explain procedures and other outcomes. A criminal defense lawyer can help relieve you from your prior conviction by helping you expunge your record.

About Camilo Concha:  Camilo Concha, is the founder of Attorney Search Network, a  Lawyer Referral Service in California certified by the California State Bar and meets all the American Bar Standards as a Lawyer Referral Service. Attorney Search Network has been in business for over 11 years.

When is the right time to update your will or trust?

September 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Changes occur in everyone’s life. When changes such as marriage, birth, divorce, child adoption, death of a family member, or the value of an estate affect the terms of a will or trust, it is essential to update your will or trust. In that case, it is advised to consult an estate planning lawyer.

Any major change in your life is a good reason to make your will or trust current. Furthermore, if you have not yet set up a will or trust, now it the perfect time to do so. The last thing you would want is for the courts to decide all matters of distribution for you when you die without a will. The last thing your family would want is a higher tax burden in case your will is not updated.

Most often, wills are written years ago and do not reflect significant changes. Updating your will or trust can help avoid unfortunate situations such as leaving assets to deceased spouses or not recognizing new grandchildren as beneficiaries.

An estate planning lawyer can help you update your will or trust to reflect how you would like to allocate your estate. A lawyer can create an amendment to your will, print it out and have it signed and witnessed.

About Camilo Concha:
Camilo Concha, is the founder of Attorney Search Network, a  Lawyer Referral Service in California certified by the California State Bar and meets all the American Bar Standards as a Lawyer Referral Service. Attorney Search Network has been in business for over 11 years.

Immigration Law

August 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Immigration law encompasses the ever changing laws that deal with the entry to the United States. Immigration law is what governs the persons who are not citizens of the United States to come to the United States as a tourist, for work, for study or for the purpose of becoming a United States citizen.Immigration law can be very complicated and even a burden when dealing with U.S immigration. Some of the issues that may come up with immigration law are:

  • Employment issues: If you need work authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Family issues: If you have family abroad who wish to join you in the U.S, or if you want to get reunited with your children.
  • Deportation issues: If you are facing deportation or removal from the U.S.
  • Citizenship issues: If you wish to receive the benefits that U.S. citizenship offers.
  • Criminal offense issues: If there is a criminal offense that keeps you from obtaining a green card.
  • Student issues: If you wish to pursue your education in the U.S.
  • Asylum issues: If you wish to stay in the U.S because your native country is unstable.

The citizenship process can be a very lengthy process. U.S citizenship applications can get complicated. Sometimes, citizenship applicants are wrongfully denied naturalization, causing an applicant to appeal or reapply, delaying the naturalization process.During the citizenship process, the government needs to know that applicants:

  • Have been continuously and physically residing in the U.S
  • Can read, write and speak English
  • Have an understanding of the U.S government system, history and the principles outlined in the U.S constitution
  • Have good morals and are proud to live in the U.S

Deportation: Under immigration law, deportations are the removal of aliens from the U.S when the alien has violated the immigration laws. Deportations are ordered by immigration judges, even if no prior punishment has been imposed. Those who go through a deportation, or removal, are usually immigrants who have entered the U.S illegally or non-citizens who have committed serious crimes.

Deportations occur year after year and cause thousands of people to be separated from their family, friends, and communities. Families and businesses suffer and the person removed from the country must start their immigration and citizenship applications from the very beginning. In some cases, deportations are so severe that individuals are completely barred from returning to the U.S. That’s why it is important to begin paperwork as soon as possible.

Asylum/Refugee: Persons who have fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, group membership, or political opinion may be eligible for asylum or refugee status. Refugees may apply for refugee status at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. The USCIS will review documents and give refugees documents for entering the U.S.  It is important to apply for refugee status very soon after entry to the U.S. The petition/application should be completed without errors or misstatements so that the application process does not delay. The application should be filed within one year of entering the U.S. The evidence required for the application is extensive and sometimes difficult to obtain.

Writ of Mandate Definition: In some cases, the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fails to move forward with or delays an immigration case. When a green card application, citizenship application or other type of immigration application is delayed, a writ of mandate, also known as writ of mandamus, can be filed with the Federal Court. A writ of mandate is a formal written civil action that is issued to the USCIS when an applicant’s case has been delayed for one year or more, with or without explanation, to compel the USCIS to take action on the application. Seeking a writ of mandate may be necessary in order to protect your rights, but while a writ of mandate authorizes the court to order a remedy, it is only a means of determining the reasons why the decisions are pending. It does not determine the outcome of the decision. By forcing the USCIS to make a decision, an applicant might be faced with denial. This may be appealed in a timely manner, with the help of an immigration lawyer.

What an Immigration Lawyer can do for you:

An immigration law lawyer can be on your side when it comes to the various issues in immigration law. An immigration lawyer can increase your chances of entry, work or study in the United States and eventually help you get citizenship. Contacting an immigration lawyer for immigration issues is a good way to avoid the burdens of immigration law. A lawyer saves people and businesses time and effort.

About Camilo Concha:
Camilo Concha, is the founder of Attorney Search Network, a  Lawyer Referral Service in California certified by the California State Bar and meets all the American Bar Standards as a Lawyer Referral Service. Attorney Search Network has been in business for over 11 years.

Environmental Law

August 16, 2013 Leave a comment

 

Environmental law involves statutes, common law, treaties, conventions, regulations and policies that deal with the natural environment. Environmental law reduces the negative impact of human activity on the natural environment. This includes air and water quality, global climate change, agriculture, species protection, hazardous chemicals, waste management, contaminated land and many more areas.

Consequences of Environment Law:

Many countries throughout the world have different sets of environmental laws, which they implement differently. Environment law regulations protect the environment, which in turn affects our quality of life and health. It is therefore important that we have ways of dealing with environmental issues quickly and efficiently and know the basics so that we are aware of what to do if we suspect contamination. 

What a Lawyer can do for you:

An environmental lawyer can help you in the case of damage or injury through contamination. If you realize that you have been affected by environmental contamination, it important to seek legal assistance. An environmental lawyer can do the necessary research and has the resources to help you file a successful claim. A lawyer can also help you determine which party is responsible for the contamination, so that you can recover damages.

 

About Camilo Concha: Camilo Concha, is the founder of Attorney Search Network, a  Lawyer Referral Service in California certified by the California State Bar and meets all the American Bar Standards as a Lawyer Referral Service. Attorney Search Network has been in business for over 11 years

 

Consumer Law

August 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Consumer law is applied to the efforts of the government, public-interest organizations, individuals, and businesses to establish, protect, and enforce the rights of people who buy products such as food, automobiles or services such as health care and insurance. The basic consumer protection rights, are set forth by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in his 1962 message to Congress on consumerism, are as follow: (1) the right to safety; (2) the right to be informed; (3) the right to choose; and (4) the right to be heard.

  • The right to safety: Products offered for sale should not pose undue risk of physical harm to consumers or their families.
  • The right to be informed: Consumers need sufficient information in order to choose wisely among the competing products and services available. To ensure that consumers have the information they need to buy wisely, the federal and many state governments have passed several important laws directing businesses to disclose necessary information.
  • The right to choose: When a market is not competitive, sellers can set the price as high as they wish. To preserve competition in the marketplace, federal consumer laws make it illegal for businesses to monopolize an industry, restrain trade, or fix prices. The FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice share the responsibility for enforcing these laws.
  • The right to be heard: A consumer who has been cheated of his/her consumer protection rights through the purchase of a product or service that does not perform properly has the right to seek a refund, replacement of the product, or other remedy.

Consequences of Consumer Law: Many consumer problems are caused by incorrect or fraudulent information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) bears the primary responsibility for making sure that advertising and labeling are not false or misleading, but does not enforce consumer laws. Therefore, sometimes a buyer finds that the manufacturer or seller will not cooperate in resolving the complaint.

What a Consumer Law Lawyer can do for you: In recent years consumer protection laws have been passed to help dissatisfied consumers. Some consumer laws declared certain deceptive business practices illegal and give consumers the right to sue a business believed to be violating the law. This is where a good consumer protection lawyer comes into play. A consumer lawyer can help you settle any consumer claim successfully and make sure you get compensated monetarily for any pain and suffering.

About Camilo Concha:
Camilo Concha, is the founder of Attorney Search Network, a  Lawyer Referral Service in California certified by the California State Bar and meets all the American Bar Standards as a Lawyer Referral Service. Attorney Search Network has been in business for over 11 years.

Class Action Lawsuits

Class Action Lawsuits:

A class action lawsuits is a civil suit brought by one or more people on behalf of themselves and others who are in similarly situation. Class action lawsuits brought under state law may extend its jurisdiction to all the members of the class action lawsuit, including out of state, and international members. Class action lawsuits may also be transmitted into the federal court if the claim occurs under federal law, or if all named representative members of the potential plaintiff class are from a different state than the defendant. Any class action lawsuits brought in federal court are consolidated for pre-trail purposes through the device of multi-district litigation (MDL).

 

Consequences of Class Action Lawsuits:

A class action lawsuit is a result of consumers being injured as a result of an allegedly defective product; manufacturers having defective or hazardous products that cause harm to the consumer, breach of contracts, securities claims, consumer fraud and stockholders who purchased shares after the company issued deceptive news. After the class action complaint is filed plaintiffs must file a motion to have the class action lawsuit certified and without certification, the motion to be heard in a court of law will be denied.

 

What a Lawyer can do for you:

When filing a class action lawsuit, it is best to have the guidance of professional who knows how to handle class action lawsuits. Class action lawyers help seek justice and protect others in the future. A class action lawsuit case can only be brought successfully if the class action lawyer can demonstrate “commonality”. Commonality means that each class member suffered harm in a similar fashion. Moreover, a competent class action lawsuit lawyer conducts the litigation and keeps abreast of all major developments in the case.

 

Types of Class Action Lawsuits:

  • Automobile Recalls
  • Smoking Related Fires (Burn Victims)
  • Smoking Related Fires (Property Damage)
  • Toxic Torts

 

About Camilo Concha:
Camilo Concha, is the founder of Attorney Search Network, a  Lawyer Referral Service in California certified by the California State Bar and meets all the American Bar Standards as a Lawyer Referral Service. Attorney Search Network has been in business for over 11 years.

Criminal Law

Criminal Defense Law:

Criminal law is the body of law pertaining to crimes against the state or conduct detrimental to society as a whole. Violation of criminal statues is punishable by law. Criminal law is everything that is not civil.

 

Consequences of Criminal Law:

Being arrested or accused of a criminal crime can put your future at risk and affect your love ones. Being accused of a crime is a serious allegation that should be taken serious as you may be found guilty and be sentence time in jail or prison.

 

What a Criminal Defense Lawyer can do for you?

A criminal lawyer can represent and defend your rights if you have been charged with a crime. The representation by a criminal lawyer is crucial to your criminal law case. Most criminal lawyers are experienced with criminal law terms, criminal laws, proceedings, and trials. A criminal lawyer can also provide you a number of services necessary to build a strong defense in your criminal case.

 

About Camilo Concha:
Camilo Concha, is the founder of Attorney Search Network, a  Lawyer Referral Service in California certified by the California State Bar and meets all the American Bar Standards as a Lawyer Referral Service. Attorney Search Network has been in business for over 11 years.