Attorney Plus http://www.attorney.plus Find a hand picked Attorney Tue, 18 Jul 2017 11:18:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 4 Legal Tips About Divorce http://www.attorney.plus/4-legal-tips-divorce/ Wed, 13 Apr 2016 00:27:55 +0000 http://www.attorney.plus/?p=356 4 Legal Tips About Divorce Divorce is not something many consider a good thing, sure their may be situations where the separation of two unhappy people might prove to be more beneficial then for these two parties to stay together but often times divorce can be a shocking and painful experience. In order for you... Read more »

The post 4 Legal Tips About Divorce appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
4 Legal Tips

About Divorce

Divorce is not something many consider a good thing, sure their may be situations where the separation of two unhappy people might prove to be more beneficial then for these two parties to stay together but often times divorce can be a shocking and painful experience. In order for you to be well protected in the event that this tragic occurrence happens we have compiled a few tips in order to ease the difficult processes if you are to encounter it.

  1. Mind Your Finances: Being mindful of your finances from the very beginning of any relationship, no matter how stable the relationship is. This can be done a variety of different ways but is normally accomplished using a prenuptial agreement. These agreements are used to separate who owns what during the marriage and even after the marriage has ended. If you are already married and still want to use a similar agreement then you might look into a postnuptial agreement which can achieve the same results.
  2. Focus on the Long Term: Avoid becoming dependent, or rather staying dependent on your ex spouse during and after the separation process. Doing so can put you in a precarious position of relying too heavily  on a party that shouldn’t be trusted any longer to have your best interest at heart. This also applies to any tax documentation that will take place. Be sure to communicate, and guard yourself from any costly mistakes that could be made maliciously or out of simple negligence.
  3. Use Social Media Wisely: One sure way to make sure that your case goes south for you is to take to social media and air your dirty laundry. Not only does this show a lack of tact it can also be used as any reasoning in court as to your behavior and over all demeanor.
  4. Hire an Attorney: In any event the smartest thing you can do to make sure that you are well protected by hiring an attorney. In this way you can be sure that you are going to be treated fairly as well as have access to legal advice. With the comfort of having the law on your side you can ensure that you emerge from this difficult time without having to sacrifice any more then you have to. Making sure to employ a lawyer can be the best way to be sure that your divorce doesn’t completely ruin your life.

The post 4 Legal Tips About Divorce appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
5 Legal Tips for Small Businesses http://www.attorney.plus/5-legal-tips-small-businesses/ Mon, 11 Apr 2016 22:59:09 +0000 http://www.attorney.plus/?p=354 5 Legal Tips For Small Businesses As more and more people decide that they would rather be their own boss, or simply decide that they want to own their own business; so too does the small business subset grow. Some small business owners are pursuing their work in their free time, while others go so... Read more »

The post 5 Legal Tips for Small Businesses appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
5 Legal Tips

For Small Businesses

As more and more people decide that they would rather be their own boss, or simply decide that they want to own their own business; so too does the small business subset grow. Some small business owners are pursuing their work in their free time, while others go so far as to chasing their dream full time. Regardless of the situation or circumstance you find yourself in it is of the upmost importance to protect yourself from any legal troubles that could materialize. In order to help you as much as possible we have compiled what we consider to be the most helpful legal tips for small businesses.

  1. Get Legal Advice Early: The most effective way to deal with litigation is to involve the proper lawyer as quick as possible. Involving the proper lawyer can avoid missteps that can either cost you footing in the litigation process or prevent unneeded costs, be sure to contact a proper lawyer in any event you feel it may be nessecary.
  2. Keep Up to Date Legally: This is extremely important in any type of business whether it be serving food to filing records. If you are not following the legal guidelines for your business type, you can end up doing more harm then good unintentionally.
  3. Protect Your Intellectual Property: There are few things worse then seeing your hard work cashed in on by someone else. õt only can this be extremely disheartening it can also set you back months if not years. In order to prevent this from ever occuring be sure to protect your intellectual property. You can protect yourxelf by seeking trademark registration, or by ensuring that your employees or visitors to your business sign non disclosure documents, or even non competition agreements.
  4. Keep Proper Corporate Records: Another way to avoid any legal trouble with your small business is to ensure that you are up to date. Small businesses have become notorious for letting their mandated paperwork fall to the wayside, even though the paperwork is just as important if not more so. Remember failing to keep up with corporate records can result in personal liability and even shut your business down for a period of time.
  5. List All Responsibilities and Rights: It is paramount that if you are going into business with partners to have listed which individual has what responsibilities and rights. Often times, partners or shareholders fail to sit down and list down their rights and responsibilities. When problem arise, this often result in costly litigation fees which drain parties both financially and mentally. Such problems can be simply avoid by having an agreement which deal with the following issues:
    • How much capital must each person contribute?
    • What happens if the business needs more capital?
    • What happens if one person leaves the business?
    • What happens if one person dies?

The post 5 Legal Tips for Small Businesses appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
More Startup Myth s http://www.attorney.plus/more-startup-myths/ Tue, 22 Mar 2016 05:40:06 +0000 http://www.attorney.plus/?p=349 Continuing with the themes of a startup and the surrounding falsehoods, a myth if you will, we again direct you to these amazing articles written by Rocket Lawyer. Myth 4: It Doesn’t Matter Employee or Contractor Once you start to need additional help outside of your co-founders, startups often think that the employee or contractor... Read more »

The post More Startup Myth s appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Continuing with the themes of a startup and the surrounding falsehoods, a myth if you will, we again direct you to these amazing articles written by Rocket Lawyer.

Myth 4: It Doesn’t Matter Employee or Contractor

Once you start to need additional help outside of your co-founders, startups often think that the employee or contractor is always a choice. It’s actually not and your lawyer or CPA can help you figure out that potential land mine.

When you have anyone helping you, it’s similar to the co-founder situation—sign a contract or agreement that spells out who is doing what for whom. With contractors, you need to make sure that you receive the full rights and ownership of anything created. You can try to manage this yourself, but having a professional review contracts is money well spent, particularly for large purchases like software development or website design.

Myth 5: Crowdfund First, Protect Later

A popular method to raise funds and validate your market is rewards-based crowdfunding. An Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign can be very lucrative; however, it can also be your company’s’ downfall if you do not protect your product and brand before launching your campaign.

It’s one thing to pitch accredited investors or groups with an IP strategy and no IP filings or registrations. On the other hand, launching a public crowd funding campaign without IP protection not only leads to copycats but can also impact your rights to patent in the US and internationally. Protect before you pitch!

Myth 6: Domain Name Is the Same as Trademark

This is almost two myths in one. Not only is acquiring a domain name different from securing a trademark, clever spelling tricks do not work either. The notion that tweaking the spelling of a familiar competitor’s domain or using a different top-level domain (TLD) (e.g., .net or .me) are big misconceptions around using a familiar name for a similar product or company.

A domain name is just that. You can put up a website on a valid domain name and still receive a cease and desist letter if your name is infringing. If I were to sell soft drinks using a website like koke.com or coke.biz, even though I may properly own those domains, I do not have a trademark and I am likely to hear from Coca-Cola’s legal department. Also, I wasted money on the domains and any branding. Make sure you have a professional search done before you grab that domain name!

Myth 7: No One Cares if I Use this Picture

Another way to receive a cease and desist letter, or worse, a hefty fine, is to just grab content off the internet without first reading the fine print. If you did not take the picture or create the content, you need to find out if you have the rights to use it.

Some creators are happy to have their work used for free, even for commercial purposes, and others may license for a small price. There are many software programs now that check for infringement and using something that is not yours will not go unnoticed.

But wait, you may be thinking: “The picture did not have a copyright symbol on it?!” It simply does not matter. If you did not create it, find out how to use it properly.

Source found here: Source

The post More Startup Myth s appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Startup Myth http://www.attorney.plus/startup-myths/ Mon, 21 Mar 2016 23:21:08 +0000 http://www.attorney.plus/?p=347 Startups love to get stuff done. As an entrepreneur I live to tick stuff off my list. However, the number of “housekeeping” tasks can be overwhelming. Sadly, skipping steps that are not as sexy as product development and customer focus groups hampers your chance for success. You run the risk of losing, or not being... Read more »

The post Startup Myth appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Startups love to get stuff done. As an entrepreneur I live to tick stuff off my list. However, the number of “housekeeping” tasks can be overwhelming. Sadly, skipping steps that are not as sexy as product development and customer focus groups hampers your chance for success. You run the risk of losing, or not being able to monetize, your valuable strategic assets and forget about attracting financing or investment!

Years spent talking to entrepreneurs has unearthed the following five myths that need busting:

Myth 1: Go-to-Market First, Boring Paperwork Second

Everyone on the path to funding or innovating wants traction as soon as possible to demonstrate viability. The boring paperwork and tedious system setup are often ignored in favor of rushing to a minimum viable product or prototype. Those early steps with your venture lay the foundation just like building a home. The same need for groundwork applies with a mature business and new product lines.

Investors want to minimize risk and are leery of companies that have skipped having contracts and agreements in place. Do not operate on a handshake because without a proper contract you may not own your product, even if you paid for it.

Myth 2: A Patent Will Protect Our Company from All Competitors

Many founders think that a patent is a shield from other companies. Unfortunately, while you have the right to exclude others from creating your patented item, it is costly business to do so.

That said, provisional patents and patents are still important but you have to first identify your potential patents. Next, you should have a professional help assess the patentability and whether you should use other intellectual property (IP) protection like trade secrets. Even having done your homework to understand that the patent will need to be enforced to have your monopoly is a good start.

Myth 3: We Will Be Co-Founders Forever

Like many marriages, the initial co-founder bliss can fade or explode and sadly, it regularly does. Without a proper agreement on how the founder divorce will unfold, you are likely in for trouble. For example, do you have a co-founder leave with the intellectual property that they brought to the business, or do you purchase it? Do you have the right to buy the person out of the company, or do they continue on as a silent partner?

Entrepreneurs and small businesses need to focus on running their business—fighting patent infringement or co-founder lawsuits will be a horrible distraction. Have a written co-founder agreement with buy-sell provisions from the beginning.

Article from here

The post Startup Myth appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Vaping Vs. Law http://www.attorney.plus/vaping-vs-law/ Fri, 18 Mar 2016 19:55:13 +0000 http://www.attorney.plus/?p=346 Vaping Vs. Law A new trend of the smoking culture, young and old is the introduction of vaporizers or vaping. These relatively new smoking devices are relatively unregulated as they fall between the categories of smoking and well breathing regular air. E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that turn liquified nicotine and other combustibles... Read more »

The post Vaping Vs. Law appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Vaping Vs. Law

A new trend of the smoking culture, young and old is the introduction of vaporizers or vaping. These relatively new smoking devices are relatively unregulated as they fall between the categories of smoking and well breathing regular air.

E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that turn liquified nicotine and other combustibles into a vapor that the user then inhales. In fact a whole new subculture has been developed by young people who call themselves Vapers, or Vapes for short.

Retail sales of vaping technology and the assorted juices and interchangeable parts and pieces have tripled within recent years reaching into a million dollar industry.

While some states have imposed restrictions or bans on where e-cigaretts or e-cigars can be used, there currently is no federal law in place and the local laws and ordinances are murky at best. Many local bans and ordinances opposing e-cigarette or e-cigar use state that these devices should be banned wherever general smoking is prohibited.

Smoking bans are enacted to protect the public from the harm of secondhand smoke, but e-cigarettes have not been shown to cause harm to bystanders. In fact, all evidence to date shows that the low health risks associated with e-smoking is comparable to other smokeless nicotine products.

Let me provide some additional ammunition for those of you looking to defend a client from an onerous e-smoking ban:

  • The low risks of e-tobacco is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth, Dr Maciej L Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand, Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University, and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.
  • A comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University School of Public Health based on over 9,000 observations of e-cigarette liquid and vapor found “no apparent concern” for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor, even under “worst case” assumptions about exposure.
  • Electronic cigarette and cigar use is easy to distinguish from actual smoking. Although some e-cigarettes resemble real cigarettes, many do not. It is easy to tell when someone lights a cigarette from the smell of smoke. E-cigarette vapor is practically odorless, and generally any detectable odor is not unpleasant and smells nothing like smoke. Additionally, e-smoking users can decide whether to release any vapor (“discreet vaping”). With so little evidence of use, enforcing use bans on electronic cigarettes would be nearly impossible.
  • Currently there is no California or federal law that restricts where people can use e-smoking accessories. Unless your local smoke-free law defines “smoking” to include e-cigarette or e-cigar use, the use of this product may be legal in places where smoking cigarettes is prohibited.

Source: Here

 

The post Vaping Vs. Law appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Social Media Etiquette http://www.attorney.plus/social-media-etiquette/ Thu, 17 Mar 2016 21:27:51 +0000 http://www.attorney.plus/?p=342 Social Media Etiquette Social Media is not going away any time soon, with the ability to share your information to untold amounts of people the sooner you adapt to the changing climate of the technological world the better. One way to adapt to the forefront of this information sharing highway is to master the social... Read more »

The post Social Media Etiquette appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Social Media Etiquette

Social Media is not going away any time soon, with the ability to share your information to untold amounts of people the sooner you adapt to the changing climate of the technological world the better. One way to adapt to the forefront of this information sharing highway is to master the social etiquette of certain sites in order to get your name and business out there without being a nuisance and having everyone block you.

“While there are numerous ways to keep in touch with clients, it is always best to take advantage of the free tools at your disposal and find efficient ways to offer information about your practice and personal legal philosophy. As more and more people turn to social media apps instead of actual websites for consumer research, sites like Twitter and Facebook are an effective, personable way to offer existing and prospective clients a rundown of your business in the following ways:

Promote your firm and its lawyers with anecdotes about client successes and firm accomplishments.

Establish your knowledge or skills by writing or sharing blog posts, presentations, and tips relevant to your practice area or locale.

Build a sense of community: prospective clients want to work with lawyers they feel like they know, like, and trust.

Showcase your values, since social media becomes an extension of you and your firm’s brand.” – Source

By using social media correctly you are able to establish a customer base as well as a referral system quickly, as your site becomes easier to access through your online profile. The more a client can access your information, and trust you the higher the chance is that they will seek out your services when they need them.

This involves quite a bit of fore thought as to what, when, and how you post your information as well as your opinion on something, and can even go as deep as to manipulate the structure of both your posts as well as your replies. In order to succeed you must realize that every social media site is its own entity with its own code of conduct that you need to follow in order to succeed. It is recommended that you establish a social media policy for yourself and your company that way you are always on the same page. It may even be helpful to employ or assign an editor to make sure that your campaigns across these social media outlets remains consistent and informed.

Journalist Jennifer Landry has put together this wonderful chart which may help to guide you down the path of social media excellence:

social_media_etiquette1

The post Social Media Etiquette appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Even More Crazy Laws http://www.attorney.plus/even-more-crazy-laws/ Wed, 16 Mar 2016 21:59:09 +0000 http://www.attorney.plus/?p=340 Even More Crazy Laws New Jersey: If you commit or attempt to commit a murder while wearing a bulletproof vest you are also breaking another law, aside from the attempted murder. New Mexico: It is illegal to start the state anthem and not finish it, if you are in for respecting your state, you can’t cop out... Read more »

The post Even More Crazy Laws appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Even More Crazy Laws
  • New Jersey: If you commit or attempt to commit a murder while wearing a bulletproof vest you are also breaking another law, aside from the attempted murder.
  • New Mexico: It is illegal to start the state anthem and not finish it, if you are in for respecting your state, you can’t cop out in between a stanza.
  • New York: In New York, if a person “being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised” then that person is an illegal loiterer, unless you’re at a masquerade ball.
  • North Carolina: A law in North Carolina prohibits the stealing of used kitchen grease, so if that is how you get your kicks be sure to be in another state.
  • North Dakota: You may not knowingly clone or attempt to clone throughout the state, mad scientists beware.
  • Ohio: Allowing a fish to imbibe alcohol is strictly illegal
  • Oklahoma: Though Oklahoma is home to many oddities, bear wrestling and horse tripping are deemed illegal.
  • Oregon: Carrying a person under the age of 18 on any external part of the car is unlawful.
  • Pennsylvania: Filed as a third class misdemeanor either administering love potions, or divining where someone should dig for treasure is not worth your record.
  • Rhode Island: If you intentionally bite off your friend’s arm, you will go to jail. If it’s an accident, though, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
  • South Carolina: Individuals under the age of 18 are not allowed to play pinball, we hear tell it is a gate way activity to all kinds of unseemly behavior like mini golf.
  • South Dakota: Fireworks are not illegal in South Dakota, as long as you are exclusively using them to scare crows away from your sunflower crop.
  • Tennessee: Any and all recreations that include games or amusement in a cemetery are forbidden.
  • Texas: If you’re standing up, you’re only legally allowed to take three sips of beer. Which means if you’re chugging, you better sit down.
  • Utah: Utah has some laws left over from their time as a mostly Mormon state that make them notoriously zany, but one that sticks out are special curtains which hide the bartender from all but the bar in order that children not see the alcohol.
  • Vermont: Shooting birds for amusement is forbidden, there must be a reason for it besides fun.
  • Virginia: Having sex out of wedlock is defined as a CLass 4 misdemeanor, and if convicted you can face fines up to two hundred and fifty ($250) dollars
  • Washington: Destroying another person’s beer cask, barrel, keg, or bottle is strictly forbidden, as is filling those things without the owner’s written consent.
  • West Virginia: A government official can not hold office if they have ever taken part in a duel.
  • Wisconsin:Under state law, no butter substitutes may be fed to students, patients, or inmates of any state institution unless a doctor prescribes it for their health.
  • Wyoming: Taking or harming a fish with a gun is against the law in Wyoming

The post Even More Crazy Laws appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
More Crazy Laws http://www.attorney.plus/more-crazy-laws/ Tue, 15 Mar 2016 23:11:29 +0000 http://www.attorney.plus/?p=338 More Crazy Laws Continuing with last posts theme about the craziest laws in each state we present: Illinois: Falling asleep in a cheese factory, bakery, confectionery, or a creamery is strictly illegal, mostly due to the Illinois Sanitary Food Preperation Act. Indiana: It is prohibited to catch a fish with your bare hands anywhere within the state... Read more »

The post More Crazy Laws appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
More Crazy Laws

Continuing with last posts theme about the craziest laws in each state we present:

  • Illinois: Falling asleep in a cheese factory, bakery, confectionery, or a creamery is strictly illegal, mostly due to the Illinois Sanitary Food Preperation Act.
  • Indiana: It is prohibited to catch a fish with your bare hands anywhere within the state of Indiana, nevermind if you actually could.
  • Iowa: Boxes which are used to store or ship hops must measure exactly thirt six (36) inches in length, anything over or under is punishable.
  • Kansas: Owning any gambling device made after 1950 is a crime, if it was made before 1950 it is free and legal to own.
  • Kentucky: Dye a baby chick, duckling, or rabbit any hue of the rainbow in Kentucky and you’ll be charged a $100-$500 fine. You’re also not allowed to sell them.
  • Louisiana: Any insultive or abusive remarks are forbidden from any boxing match, although any other sporting event is completely free reign.
  • Maine: Even as a non-profit orginization you must obtain a license to be able to host a raffle, however the prize cannot be any form of alcohol or a live animal.
  • Maryland: This state has a law barring the sale of non-latex condoms in any bathroom vending machines.
  • Massachusetts: Exploding golf balls are not allowed in MA. First-time violators get a fine of up to $500, but don’t make this a career, because repeat offenders can earn jail time.
  • Michigan: There is an explicit law making drinking and being inebriated on a train thanks to Act 68 of 1913.
  • Minnesota: A Minnesota law makes sure that greased pig contests as well as turkey scrambles are unlawful.
  • Mississippi: Any illegitimate child is forgiven however upon having the second illegitimate child you will be found to be breaking a established Mississippi law.
  • Missouri: If for any reason a sherriff is to be imprisoned in their home county jail, the coroner is thereby in charge of the jail until such time as a new sheriff is established.
  • Montana: Montana has several laws which establish that scavenging roadkill for meat is entirely legal.
  • Nebraska: There are several laws in place that prohibit any one diagnosed with a venerial disease from marrying within the state.
  • Nevada: Any object thrown from a chairlift in Nevada is seen as illegal and can result in a fine or even jail time.
  • New Hampshire: You’ve got to be strategic about your seaweed harvesting in NH. Carrying the stuff “from seashore below high-water mark” after the sun has set is a violation of the state’s fish and game provisions.

The post More Crazy Laws appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Crazy Laws http://www.attorney.plus/crazy-laws/ Mon, 14 Mar 2016 22:38:22 +0000 http://www.attorney.plus/?p=336 Crazy Laws No doubt you have heard of some laws that are ridiculous in nature, especially internationally. However taking a quick look at our own legal system will show that the United States is no exception to having crazy rules that you would think shouldn’t need to exist: Alabama: Currently holds a law which makes it... Read more »

The post Crazy Laws appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Crazy Laws

No doubt you have heard of some laws that are ridiculous in nature, especially internationally. However taking a quick look at our own legal system will show that the United States is no exception to having crazy rules that you would think shouldn’t need to exist:

  • Alabama: Currently holds a law which makes it illegal for any one classified as an “idiot” or any person who is insane to vote.
  • Alaska: A law Alska has may seem like a no brainer; it is strictly illegal to supply liqour to a minor, and also to a moose.
  • Arizona: One must have a special permit renewed every year that allows you to feed spoiled foodstuffs to your pigs.
  • Arkansas: Mis pronouncing the name of the state isn’t just rude in Arkansas, they have deemed that an offense such as that is downright illegal. Imagine telling your cell mate what you are in for.
  • California: If for some odd reason you are having a frog jumping contest (huh?) and a frog suffers a fatal injury (how?) you are barred from using the frogs remains as a food source.
  • Colorado: Another no brainer, as a horse is a vehicle you are not allowed to operate the horse while under the influnece of any narcotics or alchol.
  • Conneticut: For a pickle to legally qualify for the illustrious title of pickle it must bounce off of the floor when thrown, other wise it is simply a cucumber soaked in vinegar.
  • Deleware: There are grounds for annulment if you happen to get married because of any dares.
  • Florida: There are several rules in Florida which prohibit any kind of contest, promotion, or activity that could possibly endanger an individual that has dwarfism.
  • Georgia: Using foul language to any individual under the age of fourteen is disorderly conduct. If they are older then fifteen then go ahead.
  • Hawaii: As of 2013, car passengers who don’t wear seat belts are subject to $100 fines. If all the seats are full, though, don’t worry: it’s totally legal for anyone over 12 years old to hang out in the bed of the truck. In the open. With zero protection.
  • Idaho: Cannibalism will get you up to 14 years in prison… except in extreme cases where you had to eat your friend to survive. And if that’s the case, you’ve already been punished enough.

As you can see there are a multitude of laws that would be seen as no brainers, or just plain crazy.

The post Crazy Laws appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Your Rights When Apprehended http://www.attorney.plus/rights-when-apprehended/ Fri, 11 Mar 2016 22:14:02 +0000 http://www.attorney.plus/?p=334 Your Rights When Apprehended Things to Know If Stopped By the Police Here are four rights to remember the next time you’re stopped by a police officer: The Right: You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud. The Reason: The Fifth Amendment to the U.S.... Read more »

The post Your Rights When Apprehended appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>
Your Rights When Apprehended

Things to Know If Stopped By the Police

Here are four rights to remember the next time you’re stopped by a police officer:

The Right: You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.

The Reason: The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself or herself. At trial, the prosecution can’t call the defendant as a witness, or comment on the defendant’s failure to testify. Whether to testify or not is exclusively the privilege of the defendant. In other words, no police officer can threaten or force you to speak if you do not want to. When interacting with police officers, silence is a virtue as well as a right.

The Right: You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car, or your home.

The Reason: The Fourth Amendment safeguards private citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. The amendment requires police officers to obtain written permission from a court of law to legally search a person and his or her property and seize evidence while they are investigating possible criminal activity. Evidence obtained through illegal searches is not admissible in a court of law. However, police can legally search without a warrant if probable cause is established or if consent is given by an individual.

The Right: If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.

The Reason: If a police officer tells you to stop for no apparent reason, you can ask them if it is an order. If the officer issues specific orders to stop, then you must comply. Police officers also are allowed to perform what is called a Terry Stop, where they detain a subject for a short period based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. The name comes fromTerry v. Ohio in which the Supreme Court held that police may briefly detain a person whom they reasonably suspect is involved in criminal activity; the Court also held that police may do a limited search of the suspect’s outer garments for weapons if they have a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the person detained may be “armed and dangerous.” When a search for weapons is authorized, the procedure is known as a “stop and frisk.” However, if you are not under arrest, the officer cannot prevent you from leaving peacefully.

The Right: You have the right to a lawyer. If you are arrested, ask for one immediately.

The Reason: The Sixth Amendment states that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” The amendment recognizes that most individuals are not legal experts, which means you have a right to counsel. This ties back to the Fifth Amendment’s protections against self-incrimination.

It also is important to note that the Constitution applies to everyone on U.S. soil, regardless of immigration or citizenship status. That’s right: even if you are an undocumented immigrant, you have certain rights the police must respect.

Now that you know your rights, it’s good to remember you also have certain responsibilities as a private citizen when interacting with police. Some of these include:

  • Staying calm and being polite.
  • Not interfering with or obstructing the police.
  • Not lying or giving false documents.
  • Preparing yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
  • Remembering the details of the encounter.
  • Filing a written complaint or seeking legal counsel if you feel your rights have been violated.

Source for all above information : here

 

The post Your Rights When Apprehended appeared first on Attorney Plus.

]]>