Category Archives: Latest Blog

How Victims Can Get Help in a Domestic Violence Case

In the United States, a good percentage of adult women have been assaulted by their partners at some point of time in their lives.

This is true even for men.

For each victim, domestic violence in the form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse can cause immense distress.

Such form of domestic violence is not just a criminal issue but a social and health concern as well.

Domestic violence costs billions of dollars in expenses annually in terms of medical costs and lost productivity.

We all have a role in curbing domestic violence.

Close family members and friends are usually the first to hear that someone they know is experiencing domestic violence.

In many states, domestic violence is considered a distinctive and clear-cut crime.

In Maryland, the law clearly defines domestic violence as episodes of following acts between family members:

  • Serious bodily harm
  • Attempted rape or sexual abuse
  • Any form of assault
  • Any act that threatens a family member of impending bodily harm
  • False confinement that is interfering with a person’s freedom.

When you hear of domestic violence, your initial impulse is to assume that men are the provokers or aggressors.

This, of course, is true for most of the reported cases but men are victims as well more often than you think.

The types of violence men experience can include:

  • Insults, scolds, and rebukes
  • Interference from family members
  • Threats to exposure of awkward personal details
  • Shoving and slapping
  • Display of domineering possessiveness, suspicion, or envy

In any case, a victim of domestic abuse is still a victim, man or woman.

What can you do if you are a victim of domestic abuse?

If you want to take the legal route, keep in mind that domestic violence laws vary widely in each state.

Arrest policies differ too.

In Maryland, the arrest is at the officer’s discretion. The police officer may arrest the alleged abuser if he or she thinks the person battered the partner or if there is any evidence of physical injury. The officer may also arrest the alleged abuser if he or she thinks unless done so the abuser may cause physical injury or property damage.

Nevertheless, police and prosecutors face challenges when it comes to arresting or charging the alleged perpetrators of domestic violence.

The two key reasons for this are:

  1. Failure to report by victims – Victims may be reluctantly thinking it is an isolated act and may not happen again or may fear that reporting may incite the abuser further. If one of the partners is dependent on the other, the victim may fear that he or she may lose financial support.
  2. Disinclination to testify – Even after the victim reports attacks or abuse, they may not testify at the trial. As one domestic violence defense lawyer in MD pointed out, “Defendants have a right to cross-examine their accusers, and as such, it becomes a challenge for prosecutors to offer violence victims’ statements as evidences in lieu of the victim’s actual testimony in court”.

In any case, victims of domestic violence must consult an experienced attorney such as a domestic violence defense lawyer in MD. He or she will explain the law to you and counsel you on a further course of action.

Domestic Violence vs Civil Harassment: When Your House is Not Safe for You

People have misconceptions with regard to domestic violence. Some consider it a part of civil harassment, while others think that domestic violence means only physical assault.

According to divorce and custody lawyers in Maryland, a lot of divorces happen due to domestic violence. If your partner inflicts violence upon you in any form, you can file for divorce.

The following will give you a clear idea of the difference between domestic violence and civil harassment.

  •  Domestic violence revolves around family members. These include married couples, ex-couples, blood relatives, and live-in couples. This means, if you are divorced and your ex-husband/wife inflicts any kind of violence upon you, your case comes under the domestic violence category.
  • Acts of violence, which feature non-domestic nature, come under the category of civil harassment.
  • So, the vital fact that determines whether the case is of domestic violence or civil harassment is the relationship between the two parties. Say, if somebody inflicts any kind of violence upon his/her neighbor and the neighbor is unrelated to the perpetrator of the crime in any manner, the case is of civil harassment.

 Domestic violence

Domestic violence is not restricted to physical abuse. It also covers emotional abuse, threatening the victim, stalking, and causing a disturbance at the victim’s workplace.

Domestic violence cases are diverse. That’s why measures to curb this kind of violence differ too.

According to divorce and custody lawyers in Maryland, this has nothing to do with education, social status, financial position, and religion. Some of the most educated and financially sound people have been found guilty of domestic violence.

 Core of violence

Domestic violence is more of a mindset problem than a case of crime. As per psychologists, people with low self-esteem tend to hide their “low-ness” by acting superior.

They themselves are powerless and so put up a show of power, either by physically abusing the person or emotionally ensnaring them in a power trap. Their feeling of inadequacy and lack of tolerance reflect in their violent behavior.

If you or somebody you know is a victim of domestic violence, please do not suffer in silence. You are only encouraging your perpetrator towards further violence. In most cases, according to lawyers, offenders don’t change as hoped by the victim.

So, it is better to call one of the best law firms for a competent lawyer. If things are too out of control, get a divorce and start a new, respectable life. Nobody deserves domestic violence.

Bankruptcy Lawyers and Attorneys – How They Can Help When You Have Financial Problems

How do you know when is the right time to consult a bankruptcy lawyer? You may be facing financial troubles and feel that bankruptcy filing is the best possible solution under the circumstances. But, filing it on your own may entail a lot of hard work and the chances of making mistakes are very high. Hiring a professional to do this for you can be a wise decision.

You should look for experienced bankruptcy lawyers in Northern Virginia when you are a resident of this state. Without a reputed Northern Virginia bankruptcy lawyer to give you financial advice you may face many challenges when doing the paperwork. The process can be quite complicated and even a simple case will need you to fill out lengthy forms.

How can bankruptcy lawyers help you?

Bankruptcy lawyers can be of two kinds, namely commercial and consumer bankruptcy lawyers. The first kind will guide you to file for business bankruptcy and the second kind will help you file for individual bankruptcy. Commercial bankruptcy attorneys can protect the businesses from creditors during this process; they can help you pay off loans and ensure that you get time to reorganize the business.

  • The biggest advantage of hiring a capable bankruptcy lawyer is that he will ensure you clearly understand your options so that you can file for the right type of bankruptcy. For instance, both Chapters 7 and 13 can offer protection from creditors, but the right choice will depend on the uniqueness of your situation.
  • Another good reason to look for an experienced bankruptcy attorney is that he will ensure you comply with all requirements for bankruptcy. This is because such cases may easily get dismissed if the criteria are not met. For instance, you will need to pay court fees when you fill out the forms, obey court orders, or even make payments on time to ensure that the case goes through.
  • Any experienced lawyer will make sure that your property is protected and you do not have to undergo unprecedented losses. In case you are supposed to receive money, this should be enlisted under property in the paperwork. Else, you stand to lose money from proceeds of lawsuits, tax refunds, inherited money, bonuses, or sales commissions.
  • Your bankruptcy lawyer will also show you the best ways to handle credit card debts and payday loans. He will tell you how this condition can affect your credit ratings and advise you on ways to restore the ratings at the earliest.
  • The attorney you hire will also help you find ways for preventing foreclosure and repossession to enable you to maintain your home and cars. In case you are going through divorce settlements, he will show you how best to handle the debts so as to minimize the effects on children and inheritances.
  • Finally, your attorney will tell you how to discharge debts and show you the ways to handle whatever remains as debt. He will also guide in settling the existing debts and teach you ways to avoid such situations in the future by showing you the importance of making a budget, cutting down on expenses wherever possible, and prioritizing expenses.

When you find a reputed bankruptcy law firm, you will see that most of the attorneys are open for a free consultation.

No-Asset Bankruptcy Cost: How Consumers Can Go For The Affordable Chapter 7 Option

For those in financial distress Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a wonderful option. It is a low cost answer for most people.

According to a chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer in Northern Virginia, “A Chapter 7 case can be considered a no-asset case. This is because it allows you to file for affordable bankruptcy to get out of debt while holding on to your property”.

But can you do it without the assistance of a lawyer?

Yes, you may, because the laws do not require you to hire a bankruptcy attorney.

If your situation is a no asset case, then the entire task can be completed within 5-6 months’ time from the date the petition is filed.

Nevertheless, if you can afford a lawyer, it is a sensible decision because bankruptcy issues can be complicated at times and legal counsel is just the thing you may need.

Yet, if you are short of funds, there are options for filing a Chapter 7 case. One of them is taking assistance from a non-profit company dedicated to helping financially challenged individuals.

Another rule of the thumb is, simpler your bankruptcy case, the easier it is to do it on your own.

How to decide if your case is simple?

Here are a few pointers that can help you decide.

• Your income is less than the state median.

• You own very few assets.

• You do not have priority debts, for example, child and spousal support, fines and penalties, some taxes, and retirement plan loans, to name a few.

• There are no any fraud cases against you.

Regardless of your situation, you will be happy if you can file for a no-asset bankruptcy case.

What is a no-asset case anyway?

It is a case when you are able to protect all of your assets within bankruptcy exemptions so that the trustee will not be able to sell any property you own.

In a no-asset case, the court sends out a notice to creditors that they will not receive anything and there is no any necessity for them to file a proof of claim.

A proof of claim is formal paper work that creditors must complete before getting paid.

If you feel you cannot afford a lawyer, consider one of the following options:

• Try to get assistance from a legal aid society or pro bono attorney. A pro bono lawyer is one who agrees to take up a part or whole of your case at no cost to you.

• File on your own if you are confident of doing so.

• File for Chapter 13 and pay for your lawyer fees through the repayment plan.

• Halt making payments on debts that are likely get wiped off.

Some people take a knee-jerk decision to file on their own. This is a bad risk if you cannot do your own research and put in sufficient time. You may even risk losing nonexempt assets.

Yes, you can make Chapter 7 affordable but give it a lot of thought before taking a final decision.

How Drug Offense Attorneys Can Help Protect Your Legal Rights When You Are Accused Of A Drug Crime

In the United States, drug crimes are viewed as offenses of a very serious nature and such crimes are vigorously pursued by law enforcement agencies. Statistics and data reveal that drug-related crimes are on the increase in the US. The authorities use numerous resources to stem the flow of illegal drugs through various channels.

Drug-Related Crimes Are Viewed Extra Seriously

If you are a suspect in any drug-related case and/or being invested for suspected illegal drug activity, it is important to contact a drug offense attorney at the earliest. The tactics used by law enforcement agencies in drug-related offenses have often raised constitutional concerns. By using the experience and expertise of an attorney specializing in criminal law, you can be sure that everything done by the agencies is within the ambit of the law.

Those who are accused and suspected of any drug-related offense fear the worst which often leads to confusion and stress. In such a state of mind, it can become difficult to make practical decisions. By using the expertise of a lawyer with profound knowledge of criminal law, it is possible to get the best possible outcome for your case through proper representation.

Heavy punishments are common in drug-related crime across the country. However, the rules related to the crime may be interpreted differently in various states. Prison time, hefty penalties, and fines can be avoided if you get the best possible legal counsel to represent you.

The Most Common Offenses Related To Drugs Across The US Are:

  • Possession or exchange of a banned substance, any illegal drug, or prescription drug
  • Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute
  • Illegal manufacturing, sale, or delivery of a controlled substance
  • Drug trafficking
  • Fabricating of a controlled substance

Each of these offenses is viewed seriously and attracts huge penalties in all the states of the country without exception. At the same time, there is deep introspection and inspection of every drug offense lawyer in Largo. The authorities will look at your past history to check if you have a criminal record or have served a sentence under any similar crime. Those with a past criminal record are likely to face severe penalties and harsher sentences.

Contacting An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Can Benefit You In Many Ways:

  • They will make you aware of your legal rights and defenses.
  • They will make sure your legal rights are protected at every stage of the process.
  • They will bring all their negotiating skills to the table to make that critical difference while plea bargaining that can result in lower charges and/or penalties.

Drug offenses are viewed as crimes of an extremely serious nature by the state and federal laws. It can affect your future adversely and at various levels. By hiring an attorney with many years of experience in drug offense crimes, you can be assured of making the best use of the right provisions of the legal system and the rules applicable to your state.

Top Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Provide the Best Possible Solution for Your Distressing Financial Condition

The present global economic condition is pretty fragile and the consequences are being borne by a growing number of individuals and organizations as they struggle to meet their financial needs and obligations. The increase in the instances of people and companies filing for bankruptcy establishes the fact that the global economy is not in the pink of health.

Filing for bankruptcy is certainly not an easy decision to make as there are a number of factors involved that can affect the present, future, and distant future of the affected organization or individual.

Why Bankruptcy Can Be the Best Option

For many people, bankruptcy can be a good option to get relief from relentless phone calls from creditors and to chart out a financial roadmap for the future. However, filing for bankruptcy is not easy as bankruptcy laws are complex and might not be easy to decipher for a common man.

The best option is to find an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can not only explain you the core aspects of the bankruptcy laws but can also help you file for bankruptcy as prescribed by law. Your bankruptcy lawyer will also be able to guide you in choosing the right chapter for bankruptcy depending on your circumstances and condition.

Choosing an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Be Beneficial In Many Ways

  • They will show you how to manage your seemingly insurmountable debt problems in a legal and practical manner.
  • They can create the circumstances for you to rebuild your finances and recover from the crisis in a planned manner.
  • They will plan an effective way of achieving closure of your debts so that life can start afresh for you and your loved ones.

One of the biggest benefits of filing for bankruptcy is that you can get relief from those stressful and hassling phone calls and visits from your creditors. Your lawyer will handle the issue of meeting your creditors and answering their calls, making it easy for you to focus on rebuilding your life.

Your bankruptcy lawyer will also help create the circumstances for that much-needed normalcy in your life. You can look forward to getting on with your plans and start investing your time, energy, and resources to getting life back on track as quickly as possible. They will deal with the creditors and the legal side of the problem.

Make a Sensible Choice

Different chapters of bankruptcy have been created for businesses and individuals. Also, the law has some variance in interpretation and implementation in different states. That’s why it makes sense to hire the services of a local bankruptcy lawyer. It will work in your favor because a local lawyer will be well-versed with the state bankruptcy laws and how they are implemented in various situations. They will also be aware of how the local court functions, which can work to your advantage.

Your choice of a bankruptcy lawyer must be made carefully as it can make a difference to the outcome of your bankruptcy filing. An extensive amount of legal knowledge is imperative to achieve a successful bankruptcy. Do not rush into making a choice. Do so after careful consideration and choose a bankruptcy lawyer best suited for your specific situation.

5 Things about American Independence Day Celebrations Most Americans Are Unaware Of

There is an iconic painting in which all the founding fathers of the Declaration of Independence are seen presenting the first draft of the document and signing it. However, according to the reputed historian, David McCullough, this painting is merely representative in nature and no such meeting of all the delegates ever happened in Philadelphia.

There are many other similar facts that the general American public is probably unaware of.

No, the Declaration of Independence Was Not Signed On July 4.

The Fourth of July is not the date on which the Declaration was formally signed. The Continental Congress had taken an official stand for declaring July 2 as Independence Day. Printed copies were signed by John Hancock and Secretary Charles Thomson to be delivered to the military officers and the numerous political committees. However, most of the other 54 men on the committee signed the official copy on August 2, while others signed it at an even later date.

The First Celebrations Were Wild and Raucous.

Upon the declaration of independence, the colonies let loose their years of accumulated frustration by bringing down the statue of King George III in Manhattan. The statue was melted into bullets later while the coat of arms was used as tinder for a bonfire in Philadelphia. In Savannah, Georgia, they burnt an effigy and conducted a mock funeral of the King.

Savoring Salmon On The Fourth of July Is A British Practice.

The tradition of eating salmon on the Fourth of July began in New England and it happened by sheer coincidence. At that time of the year, the rivers had an abundance of salmon and were hence served liberally right through the region. It found its way into the I-day celebrations and has stayed that way ever since.

Independence Day Holiday Was First Recognized by Massachusetts.

The state of Massachusetts was the first to recognize the Fourth of July as an official holiday. This was announced in 1781. However it was not until June 28, 1870, that Independence Day was declared as an official holiday for federal employees when the Congress declared the first four holidays for the country, the other three being New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Around 15,000 Independence Day Fireworks Celebrations Take Place Every Year.

Over 15,000 fireworks displays take place all over the country on the American Independence Day according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. The most expensive fireworks are displayed at the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular with the cost running into a couple of millions.

There are many other interesting facts associated with the Independence Day celebrations such as the billions that the countrymen spend on food on this day and the spectacular quantity of hot dogs that are consumed by the Americans on I-Day. Also, more beer is sold on and around the Fourth of July holiday than during any other time throughout the year.

What To Consider When Choosing The Best Bankruptcy Lawyer in Northern Virginia

The chances of people ending up filing for bankruptcy are increasing because of the uncertain and highly fragile global economic environment. If you are a North Virginia resident, grappling with a financial situation that’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage with every passing day, you need the services of a competent and experienced bankruptcy lawyer Northern Virginia.

It is very important that you understand the implications of dragging your financial crisis to the edge. There are people who believe that filing for bankruptcy is not such a good move as it can affect their reputation and ability to raise loans in the future. But when bankruptcy is staring hard down at you, your present rather than your future should be what you should be immediately concerned about. By hiring the best bankruptcy lawyer Northern Virginia, you will have access to expert advice and guidance – both are important for making the right moves.

You must make sure that you choose lawyers dealing exclusively with bankruptcy law. There are many legal offices dedicated to bankruptcy law in Northern Virginia. You must research them and create a shortlist of the best. They must be bankruptcy lawyers with a proven track record and must have the experience of having handled various types of bankruptcy cases.

While looking for an affordable bankruptcy lawyer, MD you can consider personal referrals from friends, family members or relatives who have gone through a similar situation. The local bar association is another good source of information for finding the most competent and successful bankruptcy lawyer in your locality.

When you have finally collected names of the top bankruptcy lawyers, the next step is to visit their websites and look for more details such as their list of successful cases, their fees, whether they offer free initial consultancy and so on.

Follow these simple steps and you can be sure of finding the best bankruptcy lawyer Northern Virginia, sooner than later.

What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and What Are the Steps to File It in Maryland?

Unemployment, medical expenses, overextended credit, or marital problems, debt can get the best of us and when it does, many of us opt in to filing for bankruptcy. There are six types of bankruptcy chapters: 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15. This article is all about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Maryland.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? 

There’s a simple answer to this question. You will either pay for your debt or give up your non-exempt properties to settle. It is the most common chapter of bankruptcy. An appointed trustee will collect non-exempt properties and sell them in order to pay the creditor. If there aren’t any non-exempt properties available, then the debtor’s credit will reflect accordingly. This will linger for 10 years on their report. You can only file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Maryland every eight years.

What are some of the reasons why your Chapter 7 is denied? 

  1. Transferring, moving, or concealing property
  2. Hiding income
  3. Lying
  4. Unable to explain why you lost the assets
  5. Not complying with court order
  6. Failing to take the two mandatory finance instructional courses

As long as you comply with these rules, your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case is more likely to get accepted. A local bankruptcy lawyer in MD will review your case in detail and help you file the case

What are some of the Maryland bankruptcy exemptions? 

  1. Equity on a property
  2. Property that is secured by a loan in which you are current on payments (a car, house, boat, etc.)
  3. In a marriage, when filing jointly, a few claims by both parties: jewelry clothing, household appliances, pension, furniture, etc.

What are the steps to take for filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Maryland? 

  1. Paperwork – In this step, you will have to list all of your current incomes: wages, salaries, Social Security post retirement, pensions, state disability insurance, annuity payments… the list goes on. You cannot leave out any source of income. You will have to record major financial transactions: creditors you have paid over $600 to and all transfers of assets in the last two years before filing for bankruptcy. You will have to record monthly living expenses: housing, transportation, childcare, healthcare, etc. You will have to record your debts and all of your properties, and that’s not just real estate – it includes cash, precious metals, collectibles, commodities, etc. You will also retract your income taxes for the last two years, your house deeds, car titles and loan documents. If you’re having trouble with this step, please talk it over with an attorney.
  2. Determine which of your properties are exempt from seizure – This part of the bankruptcy process is handled through the Maryland district bankruptcy court. You will have to file a two page petition and your schedules (a group of forms) with the court.

The creditors and the judge will have the deciding factor on whether to approve your request or not.

It becomes extremely important that you work on a proper strategy and planning with your local bankruptcy lawyer in MD before filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Maryland.

Excessive debt happens. It isn’t always about our purchasing choices. Sometimes it’s just a matter of something as uncontrollable as a lay-off. As to why we cannot pay our bills on time, well, it happens, and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can offer relief in such a worrisome matter.

How to Stop Your Home from Being Foreclosed In Maryland

Prince George's County Foreclosure Attorney

While the rate of foreclosures on Maryland homes has been slowly declining in the last few years, the numbers are still staggering. On average, about 3,500 homes go into foreclosure proceedings each month. Statistically, that’s close to double the national rate. And if you’ve missed a couple of payments in a row, you could well be headed toward foreclosure of your home. So, what can you do to stave off foreclosure?

A number of things.

Don’t hide from your lender!

Many people make the mistake of going on as if nothing has happened, perhaps hoping they’ll be able to “catch up”. They ignore late payment notices, as well as phone and email requests for payment. The next thing they know, their bank or lending firm has issued a foreclosure notice. At that point, for you the option is probably come up with cash or face eviction.

Never hide from your lender! At the first inkling of financial problems, get in touch with the lender and explain what’s going on. Ask your lender for forbearance. In forbearance, your lender agrees to temporarily reduce or suspend your mortgage payments for a short period. You’re more likely to be able to get forbearance if you can show that your financial difficulties are temporary or that you’re expecting a large sum (for example, a tax refund) that will let you bring your account current. Lenders don’t want to foreclose on properties. It’s expensive and time consuming, so it’s in their interest to work with you. In many cases they might agree to extend your grace period for late payments or allow you to skip anywhere from 1-6 payments over a 1-2 year period (a forbearance). They might also accept reduced payments for up to 18 months.

Restructure your mortgage

If your financial situation has changed permanently, and your income has dropped, you may be a candidate for a loan restructure. This can involve extending the term of the loan so you have a longer period to pay, and your loan payments will be lowered, making them more affordable while spreading delinquent payment over several years.

But if you still can’t make the payments, Fannie Mae administers the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which helps modify home loans to make them more affordable for struggling buyers.

The bankruptcy option

Bankruptcy is a last resort. It’s a drastic measure and should not be taken lightly. Why? It can have a very negative impact on your credit rating for up to 10 years. This is an option that should be discussed with an attorney who specializes in this type of procedure. If you file for bankruptcy, however, your lender can’t foreclosure on your house. This gives you a window of opportunity to fix the problem and to find a solution.

Filing for bankruptcy is not easy. It is critical that you choose the service of one of the top bankruptcy lawyers in MD. You will find many lawyers specializing in bankruptcy law but a locally practicing personal bankruptcy attorney Maryland will be able to serve your cause better because of their deep knowledge and understanding of the local laws and how the local courts work.

Don’t wait!

If you even have an inkling that financial trouble is on the way due to a loss of income, give your lender a heads up. Remember, your lender wants you to succeed and get back on the right track. It’s in their interest as well as yours.

For more information on Bankruptcy Law, Click here.