Tag Archives: Law

Factors That Distinguish a Felony From a Misdemeanor

Lawyer explaining to his client the difference of felony and MisdemeanorCrimes are divided into felonies and misdemeanors in most states. Some states have a third class comprising petty offenses. A felony is the most severe type of crime in all states.

If you are charged with a felony, the first thing you should do is get a good felony attorney in Provo, as suggested by Matthew Jube, Attorney at Law. Specific statutes define the distinction in felonies and misdemeanors. That said, below are some factors that distinguish a misdemeanor from a felony.

The Type of Crime

Misdemeanors are largely non-violent crimes and these include trespassing, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and petty theft. Simple assault and some types of drug possession in first-time offenders can also be considered misdemeanors. Felonies are violent crimes, which cause extreme psychological damage or show extreme negligence. These include manslaughter, aggravated assault, murder, robbery, and vehicular homicide, among others.

Punishment

Misdemeanor convictions usually cause jail time of up to one year or probation. The convict can sometimes serve his or her jail time in a local county jail rather than a high-security prison. Prison sentences for felonies are more than a year and can even attract life sentences or capital punishment. A felony sentence is served at a maximum security prison.

The Consequences of a Conviction

All persons convicted of a misdemeanor and felony after turning 18 years get a permanent criminal record. The record affects your future employment and rights to gun ownership, depending on the crime. Felonies have a more severe effect compared to misdemeanors. It is easy to expunge a first time, low-level and nonviolent misdemeanor from your record. Felony convictions are almost impossible to expunge and carry more grave consequences.

Based on your previous criminal records and your crime’s specific circumstances, a misdemeanor can be upgraded to a felony. There are different classes of felonies and they affect your sentencing. Hiring a qualified and experienced felony lawyer increases your chances of getting a lesser sentence.

Parenting After Divorce: What You Should Do for Your Kids

Divorce cracked paperBoulder is one of the best cities in Colorado for raising a family. But no matter how great this location is, it could still be the worst place for your kids if you are not a responsible parent.

Raising children is not easy, especially after divorce. Here are some things to remember so that your kids will not get caught in the crossfire of co-parenting.

Review rules on custody

Let’s say your ex-spouse is the non-custody parent; he or she is allowed visitation rights to your children. Your ex-spouse may also take the children on road trips and other travel arrangements, provided he or she abides by the custody agreement you came up with the help of a family lawyer from burnhamlaw.com.

Share notes with the other parent

Even if you are already separated, you still need to communicate with your ex-spouse if you notice any changes in your children’s behavior. Sometimes, they may open up to one parent but not the other, or they could be embarrassed to talk to both.

These are understandable when they reach a certain age, but it does not mean you should just let them drift away. Try to be a parent and a friend to your kids at the same time, and if they open up to you, ask your partner for some advice on how to deal with their issues.

Be involved in your kids’ activities

There is a fine line between being a controlling parent and being a supportive one. Be the latter and check in with their school to see how they are doing, but do not decide which activities they should take just because you want them to move towards a particular career path. This is a choice you should help them make, but the final decision is theirs.

Parenting is hard, indeed. Make it easier by not making all the decisions for your partner or children. Be supportive, but know when to step back.

Colorado Strives to Curb Growing Trend of Domestic Violence

Woman crying due to domestic violenceDomestic violence cases among teenagers in Colorado are growing, which leads some advocacy groups to take action and raise awareness on the issue. The Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence said that women between 16 and 24 years old are almost three times the national average to be more likely suffering abuse from their domestic partners.

Aside from hiring a family attorney in Colorado Springs or in Denver, there are several other ways to prevent the rise of domestic violence cases in the state.

Silent Treatment

Katie Bergstrom, a violence prevention educator at the Phoenix Center, believes that domestic abuse mainly takes places since people have refused to talk about it, as well as not “addressing power and control.”

Bergstrom said that a silent treatment to the problem worsens it, as women feel more helpless and perpetrators feel they can get away with their violent and abusive ways. On the other hand, technology such as mobile phones and social media are also contributing to the problem, she noted.

For instance, perpetrators can use social media to track down their partners. Bergstrom said that turning off your phone’s location settings can be helpful, although it can backfire in some cases as it can trigger suspicion.

Losing Their Homes

There are many factors why victims still choose to stay with their partners, but the idea of leaving their homes may be the most prominent. Homelessness serves as the main deterrent for victims to leave their abusive partners. According to recent research, one in five households has struggled with domestic violence before entering the shelter.

Some are lucky to find a place to stay with family, friends or afford to live in short-stay motels. Others, however, are left with no choice due to having nowhere else to go.

Victims of domestic violence should seek help from a trusted person as early as possible before the problem becomes worse than third-party intervention may no longer be achievable.

The Ins and Outs of Custody Laws for Teenage Children

Child Custody in New Mexico

Some marriages simply can’t manage to remain intact. One way or another, a couple will call it quits, while also putting a certain level of strain on their social relationships. If a couple has children, however, things get a bit more complicated. But that’s the least of the problems involved. What if the children are already teens?

This situation is a dilemma that child custody lawyers often have to face. It’s one thing for a judge to decide and not worry about what a toddler wishes. Teenagers, on the other hand, make the jury’s job tougher, as they typically have something to say about matters, to some extent.

Local Laws

In New Mexico, child custody decisions significantly involve the best interests of a child. Numerous factors affect this, but among the main deciding factors are the child’s desires if he/she is 14 or older. At this age, a child has a certain degree of mental autonomy to decide with whom to live. It’s not that easy, however, as factors such as the relationship with parents and other immediate relatives can sway a final decision either way.

The jury doesn’t always grant requests, however. For instance, a child can choose to live with a parent who can’t ably provide for their needs (or give them improper benefits, like extremely lenient policies), which can prove detrimental in the long run. Or the child may feel the responsibility to side with a parent who needs their care when it should be the other way around.

Deciding Factors

Alluding to biology, teenagers aren’t exactly fit to decide on tough matters such as custody battles. Their brains are not mature enough, as does their way of thinking. Until a person reaches the age of 25, the rational part of the brain isn’t fully developed yet making them physically ‘unfit’ to decide on anything concerning their lives in the long run.

The more rational adults come in this case. Despite marital issues, a couple should serve to provide sound decision-making in the event of a custodial battle. Teenagers can’t know what they want or need yet. At the end of the day, a custodial battle must end with the child having a chance to a good, productive life.