In World magazines you might read popular stories, entertaining tidbits about famous people, and scandals. Some of these scandals and scams include immigration scams.
The last thing you want is to end up the victim of an immigration scam where you spend thousands of dollars on an attorney who promises to give you a green card and social security number, but then disappears and leaves you with nothing. It is, unfortunately, too common that attorneys or those posing as attorneys, will take advantage of people who are desperate for a green card or work visa, and vulnerable to scams. So, when you pay someone to file your immigration applications for you, it’s important to make sure that you are working with someone legitimate.
How can I tell if my attorney is a real attorney?
There are many ways that you can tell whether your immigration attorney is real.
- Firstly, all practicing lawyers have to register in the state where they practiced with the bar association. You can find an online attorney registration from the American Bar Association and look for the attorney you are considering. Each state will have its individual attorney registration which you can find online. Now, this simply verifies whether they are a legally practicing attorney, but it doesn’t verify whether they are the right fit for you.
- Top immigration attorneys will also be members of organizations like the AILA which has its own list of members. You can check their website for public information on immigration issues as well as immigration lawyers who are members.
- The best Immigration lawyer is an ardent follower of state and federal legal requirements. There are actual requirements for practicing attorneys that stipulate they cannot make promises or guarantees about their services especially where marketing content is concerned. There’s very specific language about what attorneys can and cannot say to their clients.
Attorney #1 says, “I have worked on similar cases although yours has a more complex timeline. That said we can discuss what is likely to transpire in the event that this application is accepted or denied, and what our firm will do for you there after”.
This attorney is very clear about what their history is, how your case fits there, and what the following steps will be. Compare this to another example.
Attorney #2 says, “I’ve worked on a lot of cases just like yours and this will be easy. I promise we will get your application submitted and approved. No problem.”
In this second example, the attorney makes promises that they simply cannot substantiate. There is no attorney who can promise results or guarantee that an application will get approved. An attorney can explain what the application process is, How likely it is that it will get approved based on your situation, and what they provide in terms of legal services if it gets denied, but no attorney should make unfounded promises like this. If someone does, and it sounds too good to be true, it most definitely is.
Going through immigration matters can be time consuming and complex. It is also one fraught with uncertainty and potential fear, especially where deportation is concerned or where green cards can mean the difference between being with your family and not.
However, choosing someone who offers false promises like these simply because it gives you hope or peace of mind, might end with ineligibility, deportation, or even worse, prosecution for filing false application and then deportation. Remember, just because you have an attorney doesn’t mean you can’t be prosecuted if by mistake you commit a crime like falsifying applications. Hiring an attorney who is not legitimate who then submits false applications on your behalf can make matters much worse for you.
How can I protect myself when working with an attorney?
Thankfully, while these scams do happen, there are thousands of legitimate immigration attorneys near you who can offer qualified service and help you complete your immigration case whatever it may be. There are some tried-and-true simple steps for protecting yourself when working with an immigration attorney.
- Firstly, you should always ask for a copy of everything that you sign. A good attorney will automatically send you copies of any documents that you sign with their firm.
- Secondly, make sure that your immigration attorney is registered in the state where you live, or if you are a foreigner overseas, just make sure that they are registered in the state where they practice.
- Remember that lawyers cannot make promises or guarantees of any kind. They are not legally allowed to. So if an attorney guarantees that your application will get approved or guarantees that you will get a green card by using them, consider someone else.
What to Do After a DUI: 7 Necessary Steps to Take
A police officer pulled you over, gave you a breath test, and before you even realized what was happening, hauled you off to jail.
Don’t panic. You won’t be stuck in there forever. Remembering a few simple tips will ensure you get back out of jail again and prepare you for your day in court.
We’ve put together this guide to walk you through what to do after a DUI, so make sure you keep reading below!
- Don’t Forget Your Court Date!
If a police officer pulls you over and determines you are driving under the influence, they will (most likely) arrest you and take you to the county jail. At some point while you’re there, you will receive a notice that includes your court date.
Do not lose this date!
Failing to show up to court could result in a large fine or even a warrant for your arrest. If you want to stay out of jail and get your license back as soon as possible, making your court dates should be your top priority.
Keep in mind, you will likely have more than one court date. Make sure you show up to all these court dates on time every time.
- Contact a Bail Bondsman
Depending on where you live, you may not be able to get out of jail after your DUI arrest until one of two things happen: your first court date rolls around or you post bail. Waiting for your court date could take weeks or even months, so for most people, posting bail is a better option. This will allow you to continue work, school, or looking after your kids while you wait for your court date.
But you might not be able to afford bail on your own. A bail bondsman helps you cover the initial cost of bail so you can get out of jail and back to your normal life. If you can’t do this from jail, you can ask a friend or family member to do it on your behalf.
- Request a DMV Hearing
After you get out of jail, one of the first things you should do is request a DMV hearing. During this hearing, the DMV will determine whether or not they’ll allow you to keep your license.
If you don’t request one of these hearings, your license will be automatically suspended. However, keep in mind, just because you request a hearing doesn’t mean you will get to keep your license.
- Figure out Your Transportation
If you don’t pass your DMV hearing, you won’t have a driver’s license anymore. If you plan to continue going to work or school, you will need to find other transportation options. This might include a bus, a bike, rideshare, carpooling with a friend, etc.
At the very least, though, you’ll need someone to pick you up from the jail and give you a ride home.
Don’t try to keep driving without your license. This could result in a serious fine and even jail time (up to six months). It will also hurt your case. No judge will look favorably on you if you continued to break the law after your DUI.
Above all else, make sure you at least have transportation to your court dates.
- Hire a DUI Attorney
Getting a DUI doesn’t just mean you can’t drive. It can impact a lot of other areas of your life, including your work, your school, and even your home life. An attorney will walk you through your case and make sure you get the most favorable results.
You should never try to represent yourself during a DUI case. You simply don’t know the law as well as an attorney, and it’s easy to miss something or make easy mistakes that can hurt you during the trial.
If you want to hire the best DUI attorney, make sure you spend some time researching options in your area. Prentiss Law Office is a good place to start.
- Prepare for Your Court Date
Do you want to plead guilty during your trial? If not, you’ll need to form a strong defense to prove your innocence. This will take some time, and it might take some legwork from you.
Your attorney will help you put together the best representation for you, and they will likely take care of most of the hard work for you. However, it’s a good idea to be involved in this process.
Communicate with your attorney often so you stay in the loop and understand everything that is happening during your case.
- Learn About SR-22 Insurance
Your car insurance premiums will get much higher after your DUI. Because of this, it’s a good idea to look into SR-22 insurance as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have your license back yet, learning about this insurance will ensure you are prepared when you do.
What to Do After a DUI
If you’re having a hard time remembering what to do after a DUI, the most important thing to remember is to hire an attorney. After that, your attorney will be able to walk you through the rest of the process, take care of the difficult steps for you, and make sure you get the best representation in court.
Want to learn a few more helpful tips for other tricky legal situations? You’re in the right place! Don’t hesitate to take a look at the rest of our blog today!
What Is an Offer in Compromise? A Complete Guide
If there’s one group you never want to mess around with, it’s the IRS. Failing to meet federal tax obligations (or lying about them in order to pay a smaller amount) can lead to serious legal consequences, including fines and even jail time. But what happens if you financially cannot pay the amount that the federal government insists that you owe?
Fortunately, in such circumstances, you are not without options. An “offer in compromise” may be able to help you avoid a serious legal complication. What is an offer in compromise? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is an Offer in Compromise?
First things first, what is an offer in compromise? As the name would suggest, an offer in compromise is an offer of payment to compromise on the amount you actually owe the federal government. It’s something that will allow you to pay any tax debts you owe to the government for less than the amount you owe when you cannot pay the entire amount.
Who’s Eligible for an IRS Offer in Compromise?
There are only a few circumstances under which one can fill out an IRS Offer in Compromise tax form. These circumstances are:
- Complete inability to repay the amount of tax debt required
- Doubt as to Liability, or a suspected miscalculation of the amount owed by the taxpayer
- Effective Tax Administration, or a circumstance where a taxpayer could pay, but it would destroy their finances to do so
The approval rate for an Offer in Compromise is extremely low. So, while it is on the table as an option, you would need a legal professional to help you understand the implications.
Make Sure to Follow This Offer in Compromise Advice
If you want to increase your chances of approval for an offer in compromise, you need to have thorough records of your finances throughout the past year. If you intend on claiming an economic hardship, you’d best have the bank statements, medical documents, and other proofs to back it up.
Additionally, you should have a backup plan to repay your tax debts in the event that you can’t get approved for an offer in compromise. If there’s one thing the government will never allow you to forget, it’s the debts that you owe them. Depending on the type of debts you owe the IRS, they can garnish your wages to collect the amount that’s owed to them.
Let’s Review the Basics of Our Offer in Compromise Guide
Getting back to the basics, what is an offer in compromise? In essence, an offer in compromise allows you to repay tax debts that you owe the IRS for less than the full amount in the event of financial hardship, a federal miscalculation, or complete inability to pay. However, it’s not easy to get approved for one, so you may need to have a backup plan at the ready just in case.
If you’d like to learn more about thorny IRS issues like this, then check out our blog for more articles like this one.
What Do I Need to File a Truck Accident Injury Claim?
A truck accident is one of the most terrifying experiences anyone can undergo on the road. These huge vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and cars can be destroyed beyond repair during a truck accident.
While truck drivers must prove competence and maintain multiple certifications in order to drive these massive vehicles, accidents still happen. When they do, it’s important to have an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side to ensure that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled.
What Makes Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
Truck accidents are tricky situations to navigate. This is due to many issues specific to truck accidents such as determining who is at fault:
- The Truck Driver. Many people assume that the driver of the truck is solely responsible in a truck accident. While this certainly can be the case, often times they are only partially responsible and the fault lies with other parties as well.
- The Owner of the Truck. The person who owns the truck may hold some responsibility for any accidents that occur if they didn’t properly vet their driver, didn’t perform required repairs on the truck, or made any other oversights.
- The Company Who Loaded the Truck. If the truck was improperly loaded, an accident could result due to shifting cargo during transit. In this case, the loading company could be at least partially responsible for the accident in question.
- The Truck Manufacturer. When a part of the truck fails, the responsibility may lie with the truck manufacturer. This is something that can only be determined with close inspection, and a qualified truck accident lawyer can help ensure that this inspection is performed properly.
I’ve Been Involved in a Truck Accident, What Should I Do?
Before you pursue any legal action, the most important step is to seek medical attention. Not only will your doctor make sure that you haven’t suffered any injuries that need to be addressed, the documentation from the physician can prove invaluable, should your case need to go to court.
After you’ve seen your doctor, the next appropriate step is to contact a truck accident lawyer. Truck accident lawyers can help you in a number of ways including:
- Collecting Evidence from the Scene of the Accident. Because truck accidents produce so much evidence, it can be overwhelming to attempt to gather all of this evidence on your own. Your lawyer will know exactly what to do and what evidence to look for after the accident.
- Contacting the Appropriate Parties. There are a number of people who will need to be contacted after a truck accident such as the involved insurance companies and witnesses to the accident. Your lawyer can handle this part of the process or at least advise you on who you should speak to and when.
- Advising You on When and If you Should Accept a Settlement Offer. Insurance companies will attempt to settle your case as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible. Your lawyer will ensure that you don’t sign any agreements before you are fully healed or and/or fully compensated.
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