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Why Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

Are you charged with a crime, and you’re perplexed about your next move? It’s a great idea to hire a professional criminal defense lawyer. Consulting a defense lawyer is beneficial because you’ll navigate the legal system successfully. Being charged with a criminal offense is distressing, regardless if you’re innocent or at fault. Note that the criminal and legal procedures can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if you’re a first-timer. Criminal offense has plenty of questions from the police, paperwork to file, and evidence to gather. If there’s a minor mistake in these processes, they’ll be a higher probability of fine, sentence, and harsh charge.

There’s no need to take chances because a criminal offense is a serious offense that might ruin your future. Many individuals may think that it’s cost-effective to represent themselves in the courtroom. This isn’t the case because you’ll lose a lot of money in the long run and time. Therefore, it’s a wise deal to hire a reputable defense lawyer because you’ll have a higher chance of winning the case. A criminal defense attorney will perform an in-depth investigation in order to prove your innocence in the courtroom. There are numerous benefits to why you should consider hiring a reputable criminal defense lawyer.

1. Expertise

The right criminal defense lawyer should have a minimum of five years in this field. In addition, these professionals have an excellent reputation. An experienced defense lawyer has enough training in criminal law. Therefore, this explains why they’re competent in this field. Also, there in-depth training has allowed them to identify the blind spots that will lead to your release. Note that you’re advised to hire a professional defense lawyer because they have represented numerous clients with the same criminal case. An expert defense lawyer will analyze your case bit by bit in order to identify the right perspective to employ in the courtroom.

2. They Posses the Right Resources

Representing yourself can be a daunting task because you don’t have sufficient resources that can effectively handle your case. The right criminal defense lawyer will gather relevant evidence, look for witnesses and cross-examine them, analyze your case, and prepare a winning strategy. The best criminal defense attorney will have ways on how to obtain court resources that will help you win your case. Expert defense lawyer knows how to identify experts who’ll help you succeed in the case. In addition, their sufficient resources will help them to effectively tackle your case.

3. Time Management

Time is an essential element in a courtroom. The way you respond to various questions plays a major role in deciding your sentence or release. Therefore, it’s a great idea to invest in a professional defense lawyer who has been in this field for quite some time. Preparing a criminal case can be a tiresome and time-consuming task, especially if you have insufficient expertise in this industry. Therefore, representing yourself will waste your fruitful time because you’ll have to conduct in-depth research on how criminal cases are handled. Therefore, it’s a great idea to hire a professional criminal defense lawyer with sufficient knowledge and skills in this field. These experts will save you precious time. Therefore, you’ll have enough time to enhance production in your area of specialization. You can also spend this time performing your day-to-day activities or taking adequate care of your family.

4. Cost-Saving

The right criminal defense lawyer will help you save a lot of money in the long term. For instance, if a lawyer helps you win the case, you’ll escape the jail term and higher fines, which might consume a huge amount of your money. The best criminal attorney will catalyze the process or slow it down, depending on any foreseen challenge. It’s affordable to hire the right criminal defense lawyer because you won’t miss your working days. This means you’ll increase production in your line of business because you’ll have peace of mind. Note that the right defense lawyer will negotiate for lower fines if you’re guilty. Also, these professionals will ensure you’re paid damages if you’re cleared innocent by the court of law.

5. Protection From Hefty Penalties

In a criminal charge, the plaintiff will work extra to ensure they win this case. Therefore, it’s important to hire the best defense lawyers because you know how to identify the weak links in your case. If you’re innocent and accused of a crime, it’s so painful and distressing to receive a hefty penalty for something you’re not aware of. The criminal lawyer will help you avoid severe penalties that might ruin your reputation. If the judge finds out that you’re guilty even if deep down your heart, you know you’re innocent, then a criminal defense lawyer will play a vital role to ensure you get a fair penalty. You’ll, therefore, receive a reduced fine or sentence.

6. Enough Knowledge on the Legal System

In order to succeed in a criminal case, it’s important to understand the different parties involved, such as the judges and prosecution lawyers. Avoid Do It Yourself technique because you won’t have any idea about the plaintiff, their lawyers, or the judge. You’ll be an easy target because the prosecutor will use tactics that will lead to higher penalties or jail terms. The right criminal attorney will have interact will numerous prosecutors and judges. This will help them understand how they operate, what they dislike, and what perspective to use in order to win the case. A highly trained lawyer will plan a defense strategy that will improve your chances of winning the case.

7. Dealt With Similar Cases

An experienced criminal defense lawyer will have dealt with numerous cases through previous clients. This allows them to know the right procedure to use in order to win your case. These experts have won numerous cases that are identical to yours. Therefore, investing in these experts will help you win the case. This is the reason why a professional defense lawyer will have an excellent reputation in this industry.

8. Advice on Possible Outcomes

A professional defense lawyer will advise you on various outcomes of your case. An expert defense lawyer knows the possible penalty for your case. Therefore, they’ll help you with the best tips and employ the best techniques in order to give you peace of mind.

9. Access to Law Enforcement Conduct

Your knowledge through Facebook, Television, or media isn’t enough to help you understand how law enforcement should obtain their evidence. The best criminal defense lawyer will have adequate knowledge to identify improper procedures by law enforcement agents. This will help them identify loopholes and blind spots in your case. Therefore, the lawyer will make sure that all your rights are put into consideration when conducting their investigation to gather evidence. Improper protocols in the process will lead to the dismissal of your case.

Conclusion

Above-listed are benefits of hiring a reputable criminal defense lawyer.

Pros and Cons of Being a Family Lawyer

Biggest Law Firms in South Africa - Business Link

What are the pros and cons of being a family lawyer?

First, you will really get to know your relatives. That’s because they will talk to you about delicate family issues more than your immediate family — like who’s having an affair, who’s the crazy uncle, where the dead bodies are, etc.

So yeah, that’s both a pro and a con. After that, they kind of line up like this:

Pro 1: Referrals

The Art of Referrals | SCORE

Statistically, it’s not that hard to find clients because half the people you know will get a divorce. Just do a good job, and they will come.

And family clients, who entrust their most important concerns to their lawyers, often turn to them for other legal services. So even if you don’t practice outside of family law, you can build a referral network by sending out cases to lawyers who do personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, and other work.

Pro 2: Practice Variety

Family lawyers often say they enjoy the variety of their practice because the issues go beyond custody disputes and community property.

It can be more like a general practice with cross-overs into property law, criminal law, constitutional law and even probate. You may start by filing a petition in family court, spend a day in domestic violence, wend your way through juvenile proceedings, and end up in probate court.

Pro 3: Career Satisfaction

People find career satisfaction in many ways. You may value money, peer approval, community recognition or simply doing good.

Family law, unlike some practice areas, offers all these rewards. Financially, a family lawyer can do as well as other billable-hour attorneys — let’s say, $400 an hour? And in the colloquial community of family lawyers, peer approval is almost necessary to survive.

Being of value to society and doing good is also within the family lawyer’s grasp, as more practitioners embrace collaborative family law — focusing on helping families through divorce amicably.

Con 1 Emotional

Perhaps more than any other field, family law is inherently emotional because the cases are about people’s biggest life choices and corresponding feelings of failure.

While it helps to be empathetic, it can also be hard professionally to be objective in the break-up of a family. You will have more than one client break down in tears as you advise them of legal realities.

Con 2: Stressful

7 Tips On How To Handle Stressful Situations | Betterhelp

Unfortunately, the emotional nature of family law can spill over into even more stressful areas. More than a few family cases have turned into criminal cases, including the murders of family law attorneys.

Criminal lawyers, who see the blood and guts all the time, develop tough skins to deal with criminal behavior. Family lawyers, on the other hand, are more likely to take their clients’ pains and stresses personally.

Con 3: Addiction

Alcohol and other addictions too often become pseudo-salves for stressed-out attorneys. It’s not an occupational hazard for family lawyers, but it is a problem in a significant number of cases.

“At some point in your career, you will probably encounter another lawyer whose addiction problems impair their ability to practice,” according to Family Lawyer Magazine.

Because family lawyers often work alone or in small firms, isolation and addiction problems may follow.

Trust in The Legal Industry: How Law Firm Culture Can Affect Client Acquisition

Trust is an incredibly powerful resource for any business. Workplace trust is the basis for strong relationships and is crucial to success in business. Why? Well, businesses are built on relationships. All businesses no matter their size or the industry in which they work rely on relationships. This is no more true than when it comes to law firms and chambers. The importance of trust in the legal industry cannot be understated. Trust has a huge influence on the outcomes of casework and future business for those working in law. Losing trust, whether it be with employees or clients is hugely detrimental.

Reputation is a firm’s most valuable asset

Trustworthiness is one of the most vital considerations that clients make when choosing legal counsel. To quote the official guidance of the Solicitors Regulation Authority: ‘Clients often place their confidence in solicitors during times when they are at their most vulnerable; assuming they will protect their interests, money and assets and personal, often sensitive, information.’

A meta-analysis by LawNet of nearly 70,000 satisfaction surveys and 5,000 experience reviews found that two thirds of new business for firms is won by reputation and perceived trustworthiness. On the other hand, only 4% was won on price. But when cost was important, clients were actually more concerned with the pricing structure itself than the final cost. 

This highlights the need for transparency that led to the rule changes at the end of 2018 requiring firms to be more open about their credentials and pricing models. Clients are taking more interest in being regularly updated on the progress of their cases and getting to grips with the benefits of their chosen firm. It is therefore vital that firms take practical steps to meet the needs of the public.

The highest performing teams share one key characteristic: trust. Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Why low-trust firms are doomed to struggle

But it isn’t just the relationship between a firm and its clients that can cause issues. A breakdown in trust between co-workers can be disastrous for productivity. A study of over a thousand US workers, covered in the Harvard Business Review article “The Neuroscience of Trust,” found that respondents in the top quartile for workplace trust reported more than twice the level of energy at work, were over three quarters more engaged and had 50% greater productivity than those in the bottom quartile. They also experienced 40% less burnout from their workload.

With the current regulations demanding transparency, and prospective clients placing greater value than ever before on clear pricing models and regular updates, it would be problematic to assume that internal disputes don’t spill over to the client-side. So the question is, what steps can law firms take to foster trust in the workplace?

Here are a few tips for building trust and an open, honest culture in your firm:

  • Update your firm’s performance review methods
  • Harness the power of social employee recognition
  • Give people control over how they work
  • Prioritise management skills training for new partners
  • Build-in accountability to all you do
Open communication is vital in order to build relationships that produce success in firms. Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

Update your firm’s performance review methods

The annual performance review is near-universally despised. Bosses hate conducting them, and employees dread sitting through them. What’s worse is that according to workplace analytics company Gallup, 8 out of 10 staff feel they are highly ineffective, and 6 in 10 managers believe the time that goes into setting them up is a waste of productivity due to the fact they are often untimely, based on best guesses and require a sizeable chunk of time to complete.  Regular but ultra-lightweight employee check-ins, such as those championed by Weekly10 give both staff and managers a way to raise issues, share successes and present feedback in a timely effective manner while only taking a few minutes to complete. 

Harness the power of social employee recognition

Giving staff a tool for social/peer recognition (such as Weekly10), letting them nominate a co-worker for the great work being done that may be missed by leadership, is a great way to build a workplace culture based on trust. Employee recognition helps create bonds across teams and locations within a firm, helps senior leadership unearth top talent and acts as an effective motivator for anyone recognised. This could be especially beneficial for paralegals and other support staff whose work can often be overshadowed by that of fee-earning associates. 

Give people control over how they work

One factor that can negatively impact workplace trust is when a worker has no control over how they perform their job. Be it non-standard office hours or the ability to work remotely, providing options for flexibility can be great for creating a sense of trust by making employees feel relied upon to complete their workload at their own pace. Flexible working arrangements are also becoming increasingly expected in today’s job market, so it’s as much an issue of recruitment potential as it is one of trust. If you’d like to know more about flexible working then we work with dozens of great clients (some of whom in the legal sector) utilising a range of approaches to give staff greater autonomy in how and when they work. We’d love to introduce you. Or alternatively, read our recent blog on the topic.

Where possible, look to remote or flexible working opportunities to build trust and a feeling of being valued within staff. Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

Prioritise management skills training for new partners

And finally, it’s important to make sure that anybody entering a management position has a working knowledge of key management skills. Associates are often promoted for their skill at legal casework rather than any perceived management potential, and many are forced to learn on the job. Research by the CIPD connects rising levels of at-work stress to poor management style. The only way to combat this is with practical, evidence-based leadership training so that employees feel they can be open with the firm’s partners. 

Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

Divorce and Home Ownership

Splitting a house during divorce Divorce can bring up a lot of questions. One of the main ones is “what about the house?” A house is not only typically a couple’s largest asset, but it’s also often the asset with the most emotional attachment. Your spouse and you decided that this was where you were going to spend the happiest of times – raising children and building a life. This emotional attachment can make it impossible to let go of and assign a value to. The personal importance of a house can make it the lynchpin of property division negotiations. Here are some common ways the family home is settled in a divorce.

Put the House Up for Sale

If neither spouse wants to stay in the home, or neither spouse can afford to stay in the home, you might want to put it on the market to try to get the best price possible. This can be hard for families because of the moving out process – everything can feel very final and “done.” But often times it’s easier to have the money from the sale than a large asset that reminds them of their divorce.

Buyout

A house buyout is when a spouse releases hers or his interest in the house – this is in exchange for cash or the promise of cash to be paid in the future. This often happens in instances where the primary caregiver for the children want to stay in the house with the children. There are a lot of intricacies with a buyout – you’ll want to work with a negotiator that can help advise you on this if you feel it’s the best option.

Co-Ownership

Sometimes a sale nor a buyout will work for your situation. In this case it might be best to consider co-ownership for a predetermined amount of time. This will need to be clearly defined. Essentially, this will redefine your relationship with your spouse – you will now have a business relationship of “co-owners” of the property.

6 Things You Might Not Know About Family Law

Family Law

As family law is so widely used in society, clients can accidentally spread common myths about family law that simply aren’t true. This article aims to set you straight with some truth-talking when it comes to family law and family lawyers in Melbourne.

Truth 1 – Waiting 12 Months Before Divorce

Breaking up is harder to do in Denmark after divorce law changes | Denmark  | The Guardian

Any family lawyers in Melbourne will be able to tell you that couples need to wait a minimum of 12 months after separating before they can file for an application for divorce. This 12-month period must demonstrate an irretrievable marriage breakdown. The period can involve reconciliations of up to 3 months before the separation period is reset. If there are reconciliations, the total time of separation will include periods before and after brief reconciliations.

Truth 2 – De Facto Definition

There’s a common myth that couples must live together for two years before they’re considered de facto. But the best family lawyers in Melbourne will be able to tell you that cohabitation is only one criterion for de facto status. Other factors that can impact this can include whether they have children if they share their finances, how they present their relationship to other people, and whether it’s a sexual relationship. Sometimes a couple could be thought of as de facto even if they live together for less than half of the year.

Truth 3 – Super is a Property of Marriage

Property Ownership Before and During Marriage, and After Separation | Lamudi

Leading family lawyers in Melbourne can tell you that since 2002, the Family Court treats superannuation as a “property of marriage”. This means that couples can split up their super entitlements as part of their property settlement. There are some exceptions to this, and splitting super does not turn it into immediate cash, either. Splitting super is not necessary, but it can be used to offset the division of other assets.

Truth 4 – No Parent Rights

Parents do not have rights in relation to their children, only responsibilities. Terms of the Family Law Act 1975 specify a child’s right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. The only time when this is waived is when there are concerns about the safety of the child. Parenting matters are always worked at according to what is best for the child, not according to any right of a parent.

Truth 5 – Court Proceedings Unlikely

Magistrates' court proceedings - what to expect | Business Law Donut

Family lawyers in Melbourne may advise you that not many cases relating to family law will reach trial. This is because Family Court prefers mediation over trial due to delays in being listed for trial and also because of the large cost of legal proceedings.

Truth 6 – Children’s Issues Demand Mediation

Couples must attempt mediation before engaging family lawyers to pursue Family Court proceedings about children’s issues. If mediation is not possible or practical, or if there is violence or a risk to the children’s welfare, then this expectation is waived.  

To gain a more comprehensive understanding of family law, consult with suitably qualified and experienced family lawyers in Melbourne.