Do grandparents get visitation rights after a divorce? North Carolina laws might allow them to.

Posted by on Sep 16, 2017 in Child custody

The bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren are special and unique. Grandparents have much to teach their grandchildren and often lend their life experience to helping the grandchildren grow and mature into bright and motivated people. Whenever parents decide to divorce, however, the relationship between the grandchildren and their grandparents often suffers as a result. A difficult custody battle can make this even more difficult and may even prevent the grandparents from seeing the grandchildren entirely.

Courts will often step in in cases where the grandparents wish to have access to the grandchildren, but laws in North Carolina that were passed in 2011 set the stage for grandparents to have stronger rights when it comes to seeing children following a divorce. While grandparents cannot sue for visitation rights if the grandchildren still live with both parents, they may be able to do so in the case of divorce (under very particular circumstances). The house bill HB-239 allows grandparents to legally file for visitation rights, and the court can determine if it is in the best interests of the grandchildren to allow the grandparents to have visitation rights. This is typically decided on a case-by-case basis and is usually decided if the grandparents and grandchildren request the ability to see each other, if the grandparents are physically and mentally fit to watch the children, and if the visitation rights do not violate the rights of the parents.

Ultimately a strong family bond is essential to a happy childhood, and having loving figures in their lives will undoubtedly benefit the children as they grow. Families need to consider the complete effects that a divorce or separation will have on their children, and some of the ancillary issues like the visitation rights of grandparents must be considered.

Divorce may be inevitable for some couples and the rising rates of divorce show that families no longer feel the need to “stick it out” when things are not working. Divorce does not necessarily have to be a bad thing, especially if the couple simply cannot make things work together. Children may eventually benefit from happy, separated parents, and as long as they are able to retain healthy relationships with all of their family members, they may continue to develop in a positive way.

A child custody lawyer can help parents and grandparents determine how visitation should work. The best interests of the child should always be the first thing on anyone’s mind, and it is always a good idea to discuss all of the options when it comes to sharing visitation. If the custody issues become contentious, an experienced family lawyer should be called in to explain your legal rights when it comes to custody for parents and grandparents alike.  By calling a lawyer, you know that you will be given all of the information you need to make a wise decision on behalf of the child. Whether or not grandparents will be given more rights in future North Carolina legislation remains undecided at this time, but at least the state recognizes that grandparents should be considered.

 

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How Wrong Conviction Causes Innocent People to Suffer Years in Jail

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Criminal Defense

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) makes more than 30,000 drug-related arrests every year. Drug-related activities are serious federal and state crimes. These activities include simple possession, possession with intent, sale of a controlled substance, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, and drug conspiracy. Punishment for those convicted can include mandatory sentence, steep fines, and possibly many hours of community service, among others. A mandatory sentence is a penalty that a court must hand down to a person convicted of an offense. Felony offenses, under state law, for example, are punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of at least one year imprisonment. Class A felonies, which are the most serious, carry a minimum of 15 years jail time. Mandatory minimum sentences, however, may be increased due to certain factors, such as prior convictions and aggravating factors.

Two specific arrests frequently made by state and federal arresting officers are simple possession of illegal drugs and possession with intent. Simple possession alleges that an individual possesses a controlled substance for his/her own personal use (illegal or controlled substance includes cocaine, heroin, marijuana and ecstasy). Heroin, marijuana and ecstasy are Schedule I drugs or drugs with no currently accepted medical use and which have a high potential for abuse; cocaine, on the other hand, is a Schedule II drug or a type of illegal drug that also has a high potential for abuse; use of drugs under this category can potentially lead to severe psychological or physical dependence too.

Possession with intent is an activity that is more serious than simple possession. It alleges that a person who possesses illegal drugs has intent to sell, distribute, deliver, or even manufacture a controlled substance since the amount of drugs that he/she possesses is obviously too much for any one person to use. Besides possession of an amount of drugs to much for one’s own use, the presence of some items, like sand/mall plastic bags, containers, or scales are also more likely indicative of a possessor’s intent to sell. A simple possession may only be a misdemeanor; possession with intent, though, is always considered by state and federal authorities as a felony.

While it is only right to catch and punish those involved in drug crimes and drug-related activities, there is the unfortunate reality of innocent people being made to suffer years of jail term due to wrong conviction. This can be due to:

Systemic bias, or institutional bias. This refers to an inherent tendency to support particular outcomes (such as excluding black jurors from cases involving African Americans);

“Tunnel vision” or confirmation bias.” This involves forming an initial impression about one person’s guilt, and then tunneling or focusing on proving that person’s guilt while overlooking exculpatory information and other suspects; and,

Plea bargaining. This is a case wherein an accused confesses to a crime that he/she did not commit in exchange for a minimum sentence for the offense he/she is being charged with. While a plea bargain would save a person from a lengthy time in jail, it also forgoes the necessity of a trial wherein he/she can prove his/her innocence.
Unlike the state system, many federal charges for possession with the intent to distribute can be punished by life sentences. As unlikely as it may be to actually get a life sentence in some cases, the fact that it is even within the realm of possibility should motivate you to do everything you can to protect yourself during the coming legal process. Aside from the prison terms that can be handed down in some cases, the federal courts have the power to level multi-million dollar fines against you if you are convicted. When these charges are considered to be second or even third offenses, their potential penalties are significantly increased; in fact, every third offense on these charges is punishable only by a life sentence.

Despite calls upon state and federal lawmakers to ease sentencing guidelines for drug crimes, the fact remains that a conviction at the state level and especially at the federal level can dramatically change your life. That being said, if you have been arrested for selling drugs and charged with a serious drug offense, you will need to do everything in your power to defend your rights and to protect your future from the consequences of a conviction. Reaching out to a seasoned drug crime defense attorney as soon after your arrest as you are able, may just be the key to defending your rights and saving yourself from a conviction.

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What Can I Do if I’ve Been Charged with Tax Fraud?

Posted by on Apr 23, 2017 in Taxes

To commit fraudulence against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a federal offense that could mean more than just jail time and a hefty fine to the United States government. A criminal conviction on this scale could be catastrophic for the availability of opportunities in any circle – educational, professional, and even social. Even the allegation can be enough to hurt your reputation.

So what can you do if the IRS has placed a case of tax fraud against you? Well, the most recommended course of action is to contact a professional white collar criminal defense attorney as soon as possible; it must become your first priority to be represented by someone who is experienced in the field so that your moves and case can be proceeded in an informed, careful manner. You never know when something you say or do could incriminate you without meaning to.

If you have been charged with tax fraud or tax evasion, there is every chance that you have already been monitored for quite a while, according to the information stated on the website of the lawyers with Kohler Hart Powell, SC. Some are even audited in their place of business in order to check previous account entries in order to be certain of how much was evaded or fraudulently documented (i.e. personal expenses claimed as business expenses).

This can be a difficult, stressful time and it is important that the law is utilized in such a way that it upholds both sides of the argument with objective equality, without malicious influence or prejudice that may be present. Legal proceedings such as this are undoubtedly complicated, which is why legal help should be sought as early on as possible.

Every little thing can matter – this is no time for rookie mistakes as tax fraud is a very serious felony.

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Benefits of Dog Walking

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Dog Walking

Walking your dog can be a hassle, but it shouldn’t be. It should be an activity where you and your buddy can have fun while enjoying the benefits of dog walking. Below are just some of the benefits of dog walking to your dog and to you.

Better health
This is one of the most obvious benefits of dog walking. It keeps not just your dog in top shape, but also yourself. It keeps both of you from obesity and other health conditions that may have negative effects on the body.

Walking can also be a form of exercise if done with enough effort and time, giving you and your dog less problems that are associated with lack of physical activity, such as feelings of weakness, digestion issues, and sleeping problems.

No more energy issues
Some dog breeds really require more physical activity compared to others. If your dog has no way to expend its extra energy, it may resort to behaviors you would not like, such as knocking over household items, chewing on soft furniture, digging on yards, and hyperactivity.

Giving them a way to use up their energy, such as the case for walking, will help them relax and be more behave. This also prevents hard feelings between you and your dog, which can occur if you react violently toward your dog’s destructive behaviors.

Better relationship
Doing activities together, such as walking, also forms better relationships. Having a more solid relationship with your dog will form more trust and love between you two, making each other a lot happier.

With no destructive behaviors and attention-seeking gestures such as excessive barking, you will also have less reason and instances where you can get annoyed and do something reckless to your dog.

These benefits should be enough reasons for you to take your buddy out for a little quality time. With better health, less energy issues, and a more solid relationship, you will appreciate your dog even more. But there are times where you do not have enough time to walk your dog yourself, so it may be best to get someone else to do it for you, like those from Walk! ATX.

But at the end of the day, it is better to walk your dog by yourself, because you will not be able to get the benefit of better relationships if you rely on someone else to do it for you. To maximize the benefits of dog walking, you and your dog should both make the effort.

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Defending Against Controlled Substance/Drug Charges

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

Prosecutors take drug crimes seriously and will often pursue the harshest sentences available in the law against anyone they suspect of committing a drug-related offense. Bearing that in mind, you will need to do everything you can to defend your rights and to protect your future throughout the coming legal process.

According to the website of the Nashville criminal attorneys at Horst Law, if you’re facing drug crime allegations, you will need to develop a comprehensive legal strategy to defend your freedoms and protect your rights in and out of court. Some of the reasons a person may find themselves in trouble with the law on drug-related matters include:

  • Marijuana Possession
  • Cocaine Possession
  • Heroin Possession
  • Methamphetamine Possession
  • Controlled Substance/Drug Possession
  • Controlled Substance/Drug Sales
  • Controlled Substance/Drug Manufacturing / Delivery
  • Controlled Substance/Drug Traffic / Distribution
  • Controlled Substance/Drug Paraphernalia
  • Controlled Substance/Drug Importation

Though your charges are serious, you need to remember that you will still have the opportunity to defend yourself. Whatever your circumstances, it will be in your best interests to start understanding exactly what you’re up against in order to better defend yourself. These are serious matters that are nothing to be trifled with.

If you or someone you love has been charged with an offense related to a controlled substance or drug, you should strive to understand what your options are to defend yourself from the severe penalties that come with drug crime convictions. There are many valid ways a person can defend themselves, so be sure to see if you can apply some such defense to your benefit.

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