Answering all Legal Questions, Whether They've Been Asked or Not!

Archive for September, 2013

When is it Too Late to Hire a Divorce Attorney?

These days you can research anything on the Internet, from crocheting a hat to solving a quadratic equation. With the enormous amount of information available online, many people have turned to do-it-yourself remedies instead of hiring professionals. People are doing this with their health, decorating, and even divorce. Many people are choosing to represent themselves in divorce proceedings, usually after researching the undertaking online or talking to a divorced friend, family member, or acquaintance. Unfortunately, many who decide to handle this proceeding alone quickly become overwhelmed with the legal aspects of divorce. Those who chose to represent themselves are disadvantaged in that they are often unaware of the legal jargon associated with divorce, unprepared to handle aggressive lawyers, and uninformed on how to deal with issues that are connected with the divorce (like child custody). Fortunately, DIYers can hire lawyers at several stages of their divorce, allowing them to remedy their situation with professional advice and representation.

Those who have decided to represent themselves but have become overwhelmed sometimes think that it is too late for them to hire a divorce attorney. In most cases, however, this is untrue. There are many steps in a divorce and many places where an attorney can be hired. If you are going to be petitioning for divorce, the best time in the process to hire an attorney is before starting any of the steps in the divorce proceeding. At this time, the divorce attorney can advise you on the upcoming process and help you fill out the petition for divorce. If you are the respondent, not the petitioner, the best time to hire a divorce attorney is when you are served the petition of divorce. In both of these situations, hiring an attorney as early as feasible is a great decision that will help you get the best service possible.

After the petition is filed and the respondent has responded, there is a mandatory waiting period. In Utah, this waiting period is 90 days, but it can vary state-to-state. At this point, contested issues will be handled in mediation. This is also a great time to hire an attorney. Help through the mediation process is invaluable because emotions can run high and discussions can get confusing. After mediation, there will be pre-trial steps like child custody evaluations and conferences. Again, these are great places to hire an attorney. Having a lawyer to guide you through these discussions is helpful. Following the pre-trial steps, the case will go to court and a divorce decree will be issued, not issued, or the trial will be continued.

At any of these steps along the way, you can hire a divorce attorney. Even when the divorce decree has been issued, you can file an appeal within 30 days and hire an attorney for that process. The only time in the divorce proceeding when it is too late to hire an attorney is 30 days after the divorce decree. Thus, even adamant do-it-yourself-ers can get professional legal help at any step, even if they began the divorce proceedings representing themselves.

How Marijuana Legalization Would Affect Crime Rates

In troubled times such as the global economic crisis of the early twenty-first century, every government is doing whatever they can to make a profit and save themselves from the worst situation. In such a time, decisions like legalizing marijuana are tough but necessary. Its potential legalization is focused solely on the profits it will bring to the economy. But we must also get an insight into the effect it would have on other factors, especially crime rates of different states.

Marijuana is used in limited quantities for medical purposes. When given to cancer patients it helps renew their appetite, cure insomnia, reduce anxiety and thus help relieve chronic pain. All these medical benefits, especially to ease the troubles of cancer seem worth the trouble. Unlike most other drugs, medical marijuana is not physically addictive, although it can have a high psychological impact.

It is important to understand the effect that marijuana legalization would have on all factors of the social structure:

1.     Less incentive for criminal behaviour:

Often illegal drugs act as a motivation for committing crimes. If marijuana is legalized it would mean that people have one less thing to gain from the crimes they commit like robbery, arson, embezzlement, small thefts or public brawls. Even illegal drug trading and illegal drug mafia would be discouraged.

2.     Lower prices:

Illegality causes prices of Marijuana to steep higher. If made legal, drug cost would reduce dramatically, thus taking away the ‘charm’ from the drug. People often think that things that come at a high price are worth the trouble. On the other hand, if drug rates go down, it will be easily available to the common people, especially young kids. This would mean pushing youngsters into a circle of drug use and abuse. It could lead to irrational behaviour, violent instincts, and increase in petty or serious crimes.

3.     Drug and drive:

Now the police have to deal with alcohol abuse on a regular basis, but with the legalization of Marijuana their problems might get multiplied. People might not be held for illegal possession, but what they do under the influence of  Marijuana could be unimaginable.

4.     Focus on real crimes:

Police might be freed from checking everyone for possession of Marijuana, instead they can focus on the more serious crimes inflicting the society. It will also free people’s minds towards trying pot once in their lives and it will not be a big deal anymore.

It would be wiser to have people use Marijuana under a controlled environment, but that would mean more vigilance from the police. Even with that kind of vigilance, it will not have to be to the extent that they are vigilant currently. The profit that can be made from the legalization would ensure more taxes for the state and federal government. This will, in turn, benefit the average tax paying citizen and can be used to strengthen the judicial and security system for the society, thus ensuring that any kind of crime is discouraged.

Sources:

1.     http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/04/marijuana-legalization-research_n_1850470.html
2.     http://ascjportfolios.org/mmm/?p=617
3.     http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/marijuana-legalization
4.     http://www.rawstory.com/exclusives/amanda/legalizing_marijuana_violent_crime_731.htm
5.     http://sundial.csun.edu/2009/11/legalizing-marijuana-can-reduce-crime-increase-revenue-for-state/
6.     http://www.alternet.org/marijuana-decriminalization-drops-youth-crime-rates-stunning-20-one-year
7.     http://www.cnbc.com/id/36201668
8.     http://growingpot.org/medical-benefits-of-cannabis-2/can-legalizing-cannabis-lower-the-crime-rate/