Why A Good Lawyer is Your Best Friend When Erasing...

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Why A Good Lawyer is Your Best Friend When Erasing Your Criminal Record

On many different levels erasing a criminal background is a good idea and in many United States jurisdictions entirely within the realm of possibility. Each state and territory within the United States has some kind of law that deals with legally erasing or hiding a criminal background within that jurisdiction.

Some states make the remedy very attainable (or easy to qualify for) and others have more stringent criteria. Regardless of jurisdiction, retaining a good, competent lawyer should always be your first step when pursuing a plan to tidy up your past.


Because having such legal help could make the difference in your success. Let me lay out the situation.

Law is not black and white. Laws typically give the rules but do not necessarily provide guidance on how the rule should be applied in a particular case. Further, there are exceptions to most rules/laws. Knowing if and how an exception applies in your case can be important and tricky. It may well mean the difference in whether or not you?re able to succeed in erasing or hiding your criminal background.

A good lawyer will be able to help you navigate the morass and tangle of laws that could be your ticket to legally scrubbing the indiscretions of your past. Additionally, if your case does not perfectly fit the provisions of the law allowing for an expungement (legal erasing of a criminal background) a competent lawyer may be able to find a way to help by finding a little-known exception or a creative argument that gets the intended result. This is where lawyers really earn their salt.

Here?s another thing: laws can be (and often are) ambiguous. This circumstance by definition leaves more control of the case in the discretion of a judge. Essentially this means that two different people with the same criminal background can have two different results. In other words, a judge in one case can decide that the person petitioning the court is entitled to expungement under the laws of the state while a different judge looking at the same case could swing the other way.

Here again, having a competent lawyer may help sway the court into giving you the benefit of the doubt in a close call. Further, it never hurts if your attorney happens to be politically connected.

I want to make this last point crystal clear: you should never try to clean up your criminal background without the help a lawyer. Why? Because there are tons of pitfalls that could easily lead to failure and worse, some peril related to arousing interest in a dormant criminal case. You don?t want a prosecutor trying to resurrect a case against you just because you went nosing around without knowing what you were doing.

Do yourself a favor. Get my book (?The Ultimate Guide to Second Chances: Legal Ways to Erase or Hide Your Criminal Background?) and get a lawyer!

Texas attorney Daniel Hall is the author of the upcoming book "The Ultimate Guide to Second Chances: Legal Ways to Erase or Hide Your Criminal Background" He learned that the remedies discussed in the book existed when he discovered some of his clients had minor criminal blemishes which were holding them back. The book is designed to help those people with petty criminal records which according to tracking statistics is fully 25% of the American populace. Find out more about how the book might help you by visiting: http://www.UltimateSecondChance.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Daniel_Hall

Daniel Hall - EzineArticles Expert Author

This article courtesy of  http://www.mentzlaw.com.
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* Government Statistics on Legal Verdicts and Jury Awards - $ U.S. district courts terminated approximately 512,000 civil cases during fiscal years 2002-03. Nearly 20% or 98,786 of these cases were torts in which plaintiffs claimed injury, loss, or damage from a defendant’s negligent or intentional acts. $ Of the 98,786 tort cases terminated in U.S. district courts in 2002-03, about 2% or 1,647 cases were decided by a bench or jury trial. $ An estimated 9 out of 10 tort trials involved personal injury issues C most frequently, product liability, motor vehicle (accident), marine, and medical malpractice cases. $ Juries decided about 71% of all tort cases brought to trial in U.S. district courts; judges adjudicated the remaining 29%. $ Plaintiffs won in 48% of tort trials terminated in U.S. district courts in 2002-03. Plaintiffs won less frequently in medical malpractice (37%) and product liability (34%) trials. $ Eighty-four percent of plaintiff winners received monetary damages with an estimated median award of $201,000. $ Plaintiffs won more often in bench (54%) than in jury (46%) tort trials. The estimated median damage awards were higher in jury ($244,000) than in bench ($150,000) tort trials. April 2006 - A Jury in New Jersey found last week that Vioxx significantly contributed to a 77-year-old man's heart attack awarded him $9 million in punitive damages yesterday, raising Merck & Co.'s liability in the case to $13.5 million and intensifying pressure on it to settle such lawsuits. Example of Personal Injury Case 2004 : Ford Explorer rollover-prone and roof not crash safe and worthy- CASE TYPE : Product Design Defect, Auto Truck Vehicle - SUV, Motor Vehicle – Rollover CASE : Buell-Wilson v. Ford Motor Co., San Diego Co., Calif., Super. Ct. GIC 800836 Los Angeles, Calif. JURY VERDICT: $369,000,000 (369 Millions Dolalrs 2005 - In what may be one of the biggest massive medical malpractice tort verdicts in the state of Texas, a state jury awarded $606 million - including a remarkable $ 600 million dollars in punitive damages - to the family of an 82-year-old patient who had cancer and then who died after receiving an overdose of chemotherapy drugs. 2005 - In the 9th big loss for Ford in SUV Explorer rollover cases, a Florida jury awarded $61.2 million to the parents of an 18-year-old boy who was killed in a 1997 (wrongful death & Product Defect and Product Liability Issues) Example of Personal Injury Lawyer Case 2004 : Dodge Caravan seatback collapsed on baby in a car-seat - CASE TYPE : Automobiles, Products Liability - Product Design Defect, Wrongful Death, Motor Vehicle - Rear-ender, Motor Vehicle - Passenger, Motor Vehicle - Minivan CASE : Flax v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., Davidson Co., Tenn., Cir. Ct. O2C-1288 JURY VERDICT : $105,500,000 (105 Million Dollars 2005 – Billion Dollar Verdicts - In one of 2005's largest verdicts to an individual plaintiff regarding financial fraud , a Florida jury ordered Morgan Stanley Broker Dealer to pay $1.45 billion to investor Ronald O. Perelman for defrauding him in the sale of his camping gear company - Coleman. 2005 - February, a prominent Houston law firm and a Texas bank were SMACKED and Beaten with a $65.5 million verdict in a highly complex estate planning case that involved major problems and conflicts of interest. (65 million dollar jury award) 2005 – 3 years after a jury acquitted a company in Florida of manslaughter and criminal charges, a Florida civil jury SLAMMED the outdoor advertiser with a $65 million jury award verdict for the shock and electrocution of a sixth-grade boy. Age Discrimination - In December, a Los Angeles California jury found that PrivatAir - an aviation company focusing on private airline services - wrongfully fired Captain Doyle D. Baker on the basis of his age, defaming him in the termination process and causing extreme emotional distress.

Punitive damages serve a number of important functions which—despite a few horror stories, which are themselves either apocryphal or overturned in the courts, the functions remain valid and in the public interest. Persons causing great harm—persons deliberately or with gross negligence causing great harm should not view paying damages as merely a cost of doing business, a cost that might fit neatly into a risk analysis of wrongdoing. That is what happened in the Ford Pinto case in which the cost of paying claims to victims of a known deadly hazard was deemed less than the cost to retool the assembly line, and thus the hazard was maintained knowing full well that further people—more people would be injured or killed. This is the purpose of punitive damages, to punish this kind of egregious wrongdoing, and to deter, to be a deterrent to such conduct. It is not immediately clear why a deterrent—or the necessity of the deterrent should bear any great relationship to the amount of actual damages in a given case. There is nothing wrong and indeed something highly desirable in maintaining this disincentive to wrongdoing in an appropriate relationship to the harm and the conduct of the tort-feasor. This trend has led one commentator to suggest that ''[p]unitive damages have replaced baseball as our national sport.'' Theodore B. Olson, Rule of Law: The Dangerous National Sport of Punitive Damages, Wall St. J., Oct. 5, 1994, at A17. See also Malcolm E. Wheeler, A Proposal for Further Common Law Development of the Use of Punitive Damages in Modern Products Liability Litigation, 40 Ala. L. Rev. 919, 919 (1989) (''Today, hardly a month goes by without a multimillion-dollar punitive damages verdict in a product liability case.'').  


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