How To Handle Criminal Charges When You Are Wrongly Accused

Being an innocent person who is on the receiving end of an accusation can be devastating. Presumption of innocence dictates that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove guilt. However, being innocent does not mean that you can rest easy after being charged. You must be prepared to fight to prove your innocence if possible and you must find a flaw in the prosecution’s case against you.

Try to Stop the Charges From Being Filed

The first step that any defendant should take is contacting an attorney. You should not utter a word that may be used against you in court. Instead of arguing your case to arresting officers or at the police station on your own, request to use your right to an attorney to contact a reputable criminal defense attorney.

Your attorney can try to stop the prosecution from filing the charges in the first place, particularly if there errors in the police report or it is missing key information. Some cases never get filed because a conversation between the defense attorney and the prosecutor reveals that there really is no winnable case for the prosecution. While it is unlikely, preventing the filing is the surest, fastest, and least expensive outcome.

Dismissal Before Trial

If the prosecution does file the charges, the case can still be dismantled before it goes to court. Anything such as failure to read Miranda Rights, lack of a search warrant or other procedural errors will give the attorney leverage on the prosecution. The prosecution may then drop the charges after it faces the reality that they will not be able to sustain a case that developed erroneously. Your defense attorney will have to make a judgment call as to whether or not to bring any information to the prosecution’s attention in pre-trial communication.

Going to Trial

If you are wrongly accused and the case goes to trial, there may be additional opportunities for the truth to come to light. False accusations are harder to sustain over long timeframes, new evidence may present itself that clears your name, or your attorney may be able to establish reasonable doubt during the trial process.

Many options are available for innocent defendants. The most important thing you can do is to take the charges seriously from the get go and hire an attorney to represent your best interests. An experienced attorney can truly turn things around and help clear your name. The last thing you want is to end up on a list like this: 10 Infamous Inmates Who Were Wrongly Convicted.

7 Ways to Save Money During a Divorce

Getting a divorce is expensive. I’m sure you have heard horror stories. We all have. As a divorce lawyer, I can tell you that unfortunately, those stories come true more often than you’d like to think. However, there is good news: you can follow a few simple steps to save money during a divorce.

Manage Spending During Divorce Process

Reduce Attorney Fees

Yes, getting a divorce costs money – there is no way around that – but you do not have to spend an arm and a leg on lawyer fees. It might seem crazy for me, a divorce attorney, to encourage you to spend less with your lawyer, but that’s exactly why I offer affordable, set pricing for 3 of the most common kinds of divorce.

If you are paying by the hour, reduce costs by preparing yourself before consulting with your lawyer. Just having your documents and questions in order will put you ahead of the curve.

Do Not Indulge in Emotional Shopping

Times of high stress and high emotion often lead people to binge shop. Some people are encouraged to spend all they can during the divorce, especially if they have access to joint bank accounts or credit cards. The reality is that spending sprees will leave you with less at the end and may come back to bite you when assets are being divvied up.

Fight for Your Assets (And Recognize That No One Wins)

Forget About Emotional Entitlement

Along with emotional spending, another strong emotional reaction during a divorce is emotional entitlement. Be careful not to give up too much when fighting for one prized possession. You can always buy new things.

You will both walk away feeling like you’ve lost something important

The reality of divorce is that it comes down to compromise, and you will both feel like you have lost something. You may want to fight for the iTunes collection that you painstakingly curated over the years, but if the collection is worth $400 and it costs you $1,000 in legal fees and compromises to fight for it, then it is time to walk away.

Do Not Leave Anything on the Table

While you need to know when to walk away from a costly fight over a possession, you also need to fight for your entire half. Assets and debts are equally shared in marriage. Sometimes one party will feel obligated to take less than their share during the divorce out of sympathy or guilt. While it might seem like the charitable thing to do in the short-term, in the long run, leaving money on the table often seems foolish.

Plan for Post-Divorce Costs

Assets with High Maintenance

If you got the house in the divorce, you may have won the biggest battle. However, maintaining a house comes with its own costs. As you consider your post-divorce life, do not forget to account for things like real estate taxes, insurance, and general home repair and maintenance. It adds up quickly.

Plan for Taxes

Consult an accountant or financial advisor if you have one about the tax implications of your divorce. You do not want to get hit with an unexpected, large bill from the IRS.

Going through a divorce is difficult enough without overspending on the process. Keep these tips in mind to help stay on track and on budget. If you need professional advice, contact my office to setup an initial consultation.