When Should I Accept a Plea Deal?

Most people associate criminal cases with the courtroom. The truth is, close to 90 percent of all criminal cases never go to trial. So how are they settled? It all comes down to plea deals. They are constantly being thrown around, but it is important to know when to accept and when to explore your other options.

Are you asking yourself, “When should I accept a plea deal?” Well, the answer varies case by case, but here are some tips.

Understand Why Plea Deals Are Allowed

The first step to figuring out when to accept a plea deal is to understand why plea deals are allowed in the first place. In part, plea bargains are offered to help speed up the process in criminal cases. Both sides should feel as though they are getting something in their favor from the plea deal.

Money is another huge factor in why so many end up accepting a plea bargain. Legal fees, court costs, fines, and more can really start to add up in a hurry.

A plea deal might not seem that great for prosecutors, but they are able to see quick punishment. This will allow them to still be seen as successful in their job, even if they could have fought for a stiffer punishment.

Plea Deals Aren’t Offered Out of Kindness

With so many people using the term “plea bargain,” one might think that it is a good deal and the prosecution is trying to be nice. That is almost never the case, however. They are offering a plea deal for a reason. In most cases, they feel that they know exactly what they can get out of the arrangement, and they know you will agree. Make sure that you are comfortable with the plea deal before you accept—because the other side certainly is.

Plea deals can feel like a game at times. Perhaps the prosecution is showing what is essentially a poker face regarding the strength of the case they have against you. No one really knows for sure, which is why it is risky to go to trial if a decent plea deal is offered.

Sometimes It Helps to Move On

In some cases, a plea deal is a way of just moving on. This is particularly true if it looks as though jail or prison time is inevitable. Perhaps a lawyer has looked at the case from every angle and can’t find a way to avoid incarceration. Instead of prolonging the inevitable, a plea deal can get everything started.

Using firms like Chicago Trusted Attorneys can help with obtaining a fair plea deal, even if jail time is unavoidable. There are still specifics that can be hashed out with the plea deal, and jail time might be reduced in some way.

A plea deal might not be ideal, but there are certainly advantages to going this route. Just make sure to do your homework in preparation for a potential plea deal.

Does a Mother Always Have a Right to Custody of Her Children?

When it comes to the custody of your child, it’s understandable that you might have several very serious concerns. After all, making sure that your child is well cared for and that you can remain an integral part of their life is paramount.

Many times, men wonder if they even have any options when it comes to custody because it is often believed that a mother usually takes custody of her children. In fact, it’s not unusual for a family lawyer in Pittsburgh to have a client ask about this. While child custody is a complicated matter, the short answer to whether a mother always gets custody of the children is typically “no.”

Understanding Pennsylvania Child Custody Laws

In the state of Pennsylvania, a court will take several factors into consideration when determining child custody. These factors can include things like the relationship each parent has with the child, if there is a history of abuse or neglect, past criminal convictions, the ability of the parents to care for the child and meet the responsibilities that custody requires, and even, in some cases, the wishes of the child will be taken into consideration.

A court can grant joint custody, which is essentially, both parents sharing custody, or a judge might award sole custody, which can be awarded to either one of the parents. If a judge feels that it is in the best interest of the child, sole custody might be awarded; however, this type of custody arrangement is usually based on extenuating circumstances that warrant such an arrangement.

Child Custody Is Based on Sixteen Factors

Pennsylvania has a fairly straightforward approach to determining child custody. In January 2011, a new law went into effect outlining sixteen factors that a judge must consider when determining how child custody will be determined. These factors would clearly put more weight on items that could affect the health and wellbeing of the child, but all sixteen factors must be weighed fairly when making a custody determination. Additionally, in Pittsburgh, a judge is not allowed to automatically assume that one parent, such as the mother, would be the most likely parent to be granted custody. Each case must be determined based on the outlined criteria that is spelled out in the law.

Important factors in this sixteen-step plan to determine custody can include somewhat subtle things, such as whether one of the parents would be more likely to encourage the child to have a relationship with the noncustodial parent as well as the types and scope of duties each parent has participated in. Of course, a judge will look at the ability of each parent to be able to maintain a safe, stable, and nurturing home environment that best meets the child’s needs.

Struggling with Infertility? You Have Other Options

Trying to have a baby is supposed to be one of the most exciting times in a couple’s life. However, that excitement can turn to a life of frustration and anxiety if it becomes difficult to conceive a child. Infertility is an issue many face around the world, and it affects roughly one out of eight couples in the United States.

The good news is that in today’s world, there are options for those dealing with infertility. Here is a look at five of the most popular options couples are turning to.

Fertility Drugs

After an initial visit with a fertility specialist, more often than not, a couple will be prescribed some fertility drugs to try to help with the situation. This particularly helps a woman who might have trouble ovulating.

Drugs for fertility can be taken either in pill form or injected. If the drugs work as expected, results can come as soon as three to six months.

Artificial Insemination

Men who suffer from infertility can’t take the same type of drug, but there is an option called artificial insemination that a lot of couples have success with. This is when a doctor will place sperm directly into a woman’s uterus to make the process easier.

Low sperm count isn’t the end of the world for men, but it usually takes a little bit of patience. When using artificial insemination, men are advised to avoid having sex for a few days leading up to the procedure.

Results with artificial insemination don’t always happen right away. It might take a few tries to have success.

In Vitro Fertilization

IVF is a process that takes place in a lab, on a dish. Therefore, not everyone looks at it as something that is the best option, but sometimes it is the only way to go. With this process, eggs are extracted from the female and fertilized with a sperm sample from the male to form an embryo. Once the embryo is properly formed, it is implanted back into the uterus.

The good thing about IVF is that it can work with male and/or female infertility. The beginning stages of the process might seem a little different but, if successful, the pregnancy takes place as normal.

Surrogacy

Stepping away from a woman carrying her own baby, getting a surrogate mother is for those couples running out of options. Surrogacy is something that is still pretty quietly talked about, but it is becoming increasingly popular for women who just can’t get pregnant in other ways. Baby Steps Surrogacy Center is just one of many locations in the United States helping with this process, both logistically and legally.

A surrogate mother simply carries the baby and ultimately delivers the child. Right after birth, the biological couple take over as parent(s). Surrogacy is made possible by implanting the embryo into another woman’s body. There are a lot of legal issues with surrogacy, so couples should be prepared when using that method.

Adoption

Finally, those couples with infertility issues can always consider adoption. Until the end of time, there will always be children looking for forever homes and parents who love them like they are their own. Adoption isn’t for everyone, but it is a great way to have a child, or children, and broaden your family.

Holding the At-Fault Party Accountable After the Death of a Loved One

A death in the family is never easy, however, it can be especially traumatic when it was a result of someone else’s negligence. So, if you believe that your loved one lost their life due to the negligence of someone else, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death case. However, there are many steps involved in cases such as these, and a wrongful death lawyer in Milwaukee can assist you through this process.

How a lawyer proceeds with your case will depend on several factors. There are many crucial steps when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit, including identifying everyone who is a possible defendant, keeping evidence intact, and deciding whether an estate should be created.

Some of the most common examples of wrongful death cases your attorney may specialize in include car accidents, on-the-job mishaps, bike accidents, train accidents, pedestrian accidents, drownings, and dog attacks. A competent wrongful death attorney will work tirelessly to prove and explain liability, determine your economic losses, and evaluate your noneconomic damages. Depending on the type of accident, expert witnesses, such as financial experts or car accident reconstructionist, may need to be called in for testimony.

You should note that not everyone is eligible to file a lawsuit. Just because you lost a loved one that was very important in your life, does not mean that you are within your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For instance, only certain relationships qualify. A registered spouse, children, stepchildren, or parent of the deceased will be able to file a lawsuit, especially if they were financially dependent on that person. While it is possible for other people who were involved in the dead person’s life to file a lawsuit, they cannot do it on their own. What basically happens is that the estate will file a claim and then disburse it.

Furthermore, in order to get compensation in a wrongful death case, you need to be able to prove that the defendant was negligent and that it was that negligence that caused the loved one’s death. While this may be obvious in certain situations, others will require more damning evidence. Therefore, it is advisable and crucial that you preserve as much information as you possibly can about the incident.

Some information that should be preserved include detailed records of all medical reports. In order to have evidence of the cause of death, you will need to request an autopsy report as well. You should also maintain all information pertaining to expenses such as medical bills, property damages, funeral expenses, etc. So, make sure that you have receipts for all of these. If there were eyewitnesses to the incident, get their contact information and ask them to write down exactly what they saw. Photographs and video recordings are especially valuable, if relevant to the case. If the incident occurred on or in a business, you should request copies of their surveillance videos.

So, while losing a loved one is never easy to deal with, you should take solace in the fact that holding the at-fault party accountable is the right thing to do, as this will ensure they do not repeat their actions.

Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you’ve recently been injured due to someone else’s oversight or negligence, you may want to know more about the average timeline of a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, the progression of cases like these is never set in stone. There are several variables that can impact the rate at which claimants move towards resolution. In fact, these same variables can also play an important role in determining whether you have a case worth pursuing. The good news is that there are a few general rules that you can bear in mind as you start the process of seeking fair compensation for your pain, suffering, injuries, and losses.

During the Earliest Stages of Your Case

All related insurance companies should be notified of the event that has caused injury right away. The sooner that insurance companies are informed, the easier it will be for these entities to link your physical damages with the circumstances that have led to them.

Notifying insurance companies early on and carefully documenting damages is key. If you wait several months before acting, it could be presumed that you’ve injured yourself in some other way and are simply looking for a covered party to assume responsibility for your damages. You also want to receive a comprehensive medical examination from a licensed physician as quickly after the accident as possible. Having doctors put your injuries on record is always a vital part of building your case.

Small Claims Rarely Go to Court

In the interest of limiting their spending, many insurance companies are reticent to have claims go to court. For relatively nominal damages, such as those falling below twenty thousand dollars in total, claimants are often offered settlements before their cases even start moving along the path to trial.

As such, even if your car has been totaled in a crash and you’ve been forced to spend countless hours receiving treatment from general doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists, you may be able to reach a reasonable settlement agreement with insurers without having to present and argue before a judge. Settling outside of court allows both parties to tightly control their legal costs.

Getting Legal Assistance

One large part of understanding the timeline of a personal injury lawsuit is recognizing the importance of good legal representation. Lawyers often can expedite these cases by lending legal clout and by motivating insurance companies to act and assume culpability. Statistically, claimants are far more likely to receive fair settlements when they are represented by seasoned personal injury lawyers than they are if choosing to represent themselves. During your initial consultation with an Idaho personal injury lawyer, they can professionally review the details of your case, so you can find out whether your claim is one that should be pursued, long before you start investing money and time into building your case.

Timing

In many instances, high-value claims that are not too complex will reach a satisfactory conclusion for all parties within approximately twelve to eighteen months. However, it is vital to note that claimants are advised against settling before their medical treatment is complete. That’s because medical bills that are accrued after a settlement is received will have to be covered by the agreed upon monies. No additional settlements or negotiations will be provided once the claim is closed.