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What Choices Do You Have When You Need Legal Help

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Crime

Contrary to popular belief, not all legal matters need the expertise of a lawyer. In small claims and less serious disputes, self-representation and negotiation with the involved party may suffice, however for more serious issues such as tax problems, harassments, crime conviction et cetera, the assistance of an attorney is highly advisable. Since legal matters vary from person to person, knowing and understanding the choices you have is very important. This list will provide you some ideas on plausible choices you may undertake when you need legal help.

 

Consult Legal Advice Groups

There are many websites and organizations around the world that offer free advice on legal matters either through phone or email that you can take advantage of. These websites have a plethora of information regarding your legal situation on various subjects such as mortgage problems, gender and domestic violence, social complaints, discrimination as well as parking ticket violations. Aside from providing counsel regarding your legal matters, websites such as Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Avvo also provide information about your rights and the law. Getting a good grasp on your situation and having expert advice can help you decide whether you can settle disputes among parties involved or whether you need to pursue a legal action.

 

Enlist the Help of Law Centers

Going to Law Centers and enlisting their help is another option if you need legal help. Law centers are popularized in the United Kingdom but were adopted by some countries throughout the years. These not-for-profit legal service organizations specialize in social welfare law. They offer legal advice, casework, as well as represent individuals and groups from the community. Law centers are also involved in educating people about their legal rights and the country’s laws in order to prevent other people or groups from abusing their rights.  

 

Hire A Lawyer

Though hiring a lawyer can be quite expensive, you cannot disregard the importance of having one particularly for serious legal issues, as they are experts on the intricacies of the law. At one point or another, you cannot a    elude hiring lawyers especially if you are charged with serious criminal offenses you didn’t commit. Attorneys are experts in the field of law so they can strike up a plea bargain, a settlement, challenge or suppress evidence and ultimately help you avoid any sticky situations early on if you opt to hire them.

 

Avail for Legal Aid

If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer but is in dire need of one, there are various legal aids that you can avail as long as you meet some of the requirements set up. Those who can validate that their income cannot support the cost of legal assistance are entitled to a legal aid. There are also law firms such as Phillips & Associates that sometimes offer pro bono work for those who need legal assistance but cannot afford it. There are also some lawyers, like those from Associates in OKC, who may offer “No win, no fee” service that allows you to get legal service without paying if you didn’t win the case.

Black man files civil rights lawsuit against California officer

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Crime
Black man files civil rights lawsuit against California officer

Nandi Cain, center, answers a reporters question concerning the alleged beating he received from a Sacramento Police officer two weeks ago during a news conference Monday, April 24, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif.

Nandi Cain, center, answers a reporters question concerning the alleged beating he received from a Sacramento Police officer two weeks ago during a news conference Monday, April 24, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif.  (AP)

A black man hurled to the ground and punched repeatedly in the face by a police officer this month has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and county of Sacramento, claiming Monday he was targeted because of his race and abused in jail after his arrest.

The lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages for Nandi Cain, who police said was jaywalking, also named the officer as a plaintiff and identified him as Anthony Figueroa, said Cain’s lawyer, John Burris.

Cain told reporters that his memory of the event is blurry because he suffered a concussion and could barely see because of a black eye and that his nose was broken.

Burris said Cain was guilty mainly of “walking while black” and that the incident reminded him of the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King in Los Angeles. Four white police officers were acquitted in King’s beating 25 years ago, sparking days of deadly rioting.

Police who had criticized the officer’s actions during the widely publicized April 10 event captured on video had not identified him, saying only that the officer was a two-year member of the force placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Officer Matthew McPhail, a department spokesman, said the department wasn’t commenting because of the pending lawsuit.

Figueroa also did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment about the lawsuit or the April 10 incident, which officials have said happened when Cain was told by the officer to stop because he had jaywalked on a residential street in California’s state capital.

McPhail and Cain’s attorneys said they did not know the race or ethnicity of the arresting officer.

Cain, 24, refused and challenged the officer to a fight, officials have said.

Video taken by a police cruiser dash camera and bystanders captured Cain complaining the officer was stopping him “for nothing” and telling the officer, “if you were a real man you would take your gun away and fight me like a real man.”

The officer then lunged at Cain and tackled him, punching him repeatedly, according to the video released by the police department. Video of the confrontation filmed by a bystander went viral and generated outrage across the U.S.

Cain was handcuffed for suspicion of resisting arrest and an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant, authorities have said. Police said he continued resisting by kicking the interior of a patrol car and was restrained with a leg hobble.

After being brought to a jail, Cain was repeatedly kneed in the ribs by corrections officers who also used their knees to pin him down while stripping off his clothes, said the federal lawsuit filed Sunday in Sacramento.

“I’ve been embarrassed and discriminated against when all I’ve been trying to do is go home from work,” Cain told reporters.

Cain cried out in pain while he was naked on the floor of the jail and was mocked by the corrections officers, the lawsuit said.

It said he was left alone in a cell without medical attention, food or the ability to make a phone call.

The allegations about Cain’s treatment in the jail “will be investigated accordingly,” a sheriff’s department spokesman, Sgt. Tony Turnbull, said in a statement. “I would like to reiterate that these are only allegations, and before people jump to conclusions, let the investigation speak for itself.”

Cain was released from jail after nine hours and no charges were filed against him.

Since then, Cain said he has been depressed with nightmares and cold sweats and unable to sleep or eat regularly. He said he is still receiving medical treatment for the concussion. He told authorities that he even searched for “std testing, near me” to find a testing clinic in the rare chance he had contracted an STD but it was determined it was a concussion that is causing his problem.

Cain speculated that he might still be in jail if a bystander had not initially posted video of the confrontation.

“Racism is still alive, and you would think, it’s 2017 that it would die, but it still exists,” Cain said, adding that he had been racially targeted before but that this event marked the first time it was captured in images.

He added: “Now that we brought it to surface, justice will be served and we will make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

The police department and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg have previously called the officer’s behavior disturbing and unreasonable.

Burris contested the allegation that his client was jaywalking.

“But jaywalking in and of itself does not and should not ever result in a person being beaten about his face and head without a justification for it,” he said.

Man charged with abuse after allegedly locking 2 children in trash container

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Crime
Man charged with abuse after allegedly locking 2 children in trash container
Lorenzo McCullough

Lorenzo McCullough  (Dotham Police Department)

Police in Alabama say a man is charged with abuse after allegedly locking two young children inside a trash bin container where authorities found them covered in ants.

A statement issued Monday by Dothan police says 25-year-old Lorenzo McCullough is being held without bond.

Police say a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old were found early Sunday inside a brick structure that contained trash bins. The children were covered by ants, and both were taken to a hospital.

Authorities had received a call earlier from someone saying McCullough was suicidal and threatening to harm the children. Officers found him hiding in a closet and located the children later.

Court records aren’t available to show if McCullough has a lawyer. Police haven’t said whether there’s a relationship between the man and the children.