FREE LEGAL ADVICE - Q & A
Free Legal Advice - How to Plead on Criminal Cases: Guilty or Not-Guilty?
To many of us, the answer to this question is very simple: if you are not guilty you should plead Not Guilty, consequently if you are guilty you should plead Guilty. However, it’s rarely that simple. When you are accused of committing a crime regardless of what kind of criminal case you face, the best free legal advice you can get is to plea Not Guilty.
By law, you are innocent until proven guilty. This means that even the guilty accused has a legal right to plead Not Guilty and to let the Court decide whether there is enough evidence to prove guilt against him beyond a reasonable doubt.
One of the reasons is that the legal system is, as you probably know, not perfect. Everything in the courtroom lies on the evidence they have against you. Although there are some exceptions, this evidence must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual accused has in fact committed the crime he or she is charged with.
Another reason is, by pleading not guilty will eventually delay the process and force the prosecutors to come up with enough irrefutable evidence--which might not happen. There are many criminal trials where the prosecution simply can not prove its case and a person who is truly guilty is acquitted (a couple of celebrity cases comes to mind.)
On the other hand, sometimes overwhelming evidence is enough to support a conviction and a person who is truly not guilty can certainly be convicted and incarcerated for a crime he did not commit.
That is how the judicial system works. It is said that it is much better for a guilty person to be acquitted, than for an innocent person to be convicted of a crime he did not commit.
"She didn't look thirteen, your honor." Possibly a defense; it depends. "She didn't look six, your honor." Never a defense, you just need to die. (A Judge)
Free Legal Advice - Malpractice Case
Please, I need to know how to proceed in a possible case of malpractice where my son died in December 4, 2004. I had an attorney handling the case and just now, one week before the statute of limitation is about to expire, he resigns. What can I do about this? Can I get an extension to file? Can someone help me to make this attorney continue with the case? He made me think at all times, that there was a case . He even sent me a medical report made by a nurse where it was proven that negligence took place and that the medications killed my son. Please, I need someone to contact me as soon as possible.
It's hard to advise on this matter without knowing all the facts such as: why have you waited so long to get an attorney, how long the attorney has been helping you, why he/she has not file the suit yet, are you trying to take legal action against the hospital or the drug manufacturer€?
Anyway, the law changes from State to State, some states you can file for an extension, some you can't. My suggestion is to speak to other attorneys in your area as soon as possible. Get their number from the phone book and ask for a free consultation. You still have time. And, depending on what they say, consider also filling a legal malpractice lawsuit against your former lawyer.
Best of luck!
Gil - Usattorneylegalservices.com
Thanks for replying so soon. I looked for an attorney immediately after I received the autopsy report stating that the cause of death was "intoxication due to the combination of prescribed drugs for his back". Unfortunately, the Florida Malpractice law firm didn't take the case .Then, I hired this attorney last year in June and he asked for all medical records, copy of death certificate, autopsy report, prescription copies, family information and everything else needed to start with the case. I had a personal meeting with him last December to go over the case and sign papers for the Probate Court. I paid him money to go to Probate Court and appoint me as my son's legal Representative. I even have an evaluation made by a licensed nurse/medical practitioner where she states clearly that there was negligence and a very strong case of possible malpractice. When the lawyer sent me the report he said he was going to file the intent to sue but he never did; I don't know why.
The problem is that I no longer live in Florida (I moved to Puerto Rico) and I signed a power of attorney to have the lawyer represent me.
What can I do now? Who can I call? Can I file a complaint on line or over the phone? Can you get me this information?
Please, I really appreciate all the help you can get me.
Thanks very much.
PS: I have a letter of administration from the Probate Court authorizing me as my son's persona representative.
I’d suggest contacting the Florida Bar Association at http://www.floridabar.org/ and disclose the whole situation to them and maybe file a complain against the attorney. They can refer you to a lawyer that will be able to help you and inform you about filling for an extension in that state.
I’m afraid I can’t be of further help to you since I’m in Nevada and am not licensed in Florida.
Hope everything works out for you.
Free Legal Advice - Child Support
My husband and i were together for 18yrs, and have 3 children together, this past april he decided to leave us and move to an apartment of his own. i dont work, i have always been a stay at home mom, and our youngest son has CF. when he first moved out he was still supporting us and providing food and nessecities.........as of two weeks ago though he stopped sending any money at all. my rent is past due, the power bill and phone bill arent paid, and i have no income or way to buy food for our kids..........what should i do? can you give me some advice on what move to make?
Lisa from Illinois
I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I did some research and found some information in your state that can steer you in the right direction.
Any parent or person with custody of a child who needs help to establish a child support or medical support order or to collect support payments can apply for child support enforcement services. People who have received assistance under cash assistance programs - Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or the new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Medicaid or Federally-assisted Foster Care programs are automatically referred for child support enforcement services.
This web site will fill you in the details on how to apply, with phone numbers and regional offices:
Also this site has many frequent asked questions that will help you:
And: www.collectchildsupport.com/ www.childsupport.com/form.asp
I hope this will help.
Free Legal Advice - Power of Attorney and denial of entry to home
I am power of attorney for a neighbor of mine. She is now in a nursing home permanently. I do not have her keys and have been denied entry into her apt. to get papers and clothes for her and for filing Medicaid. I have also been denied keys to the apt. when asked for copies by the site manager so I can have them so I can get in to help pack to move her things out at the end of the month. He will not even take me over to the apt. and let me in. He told me that I can only go in when the freind of the family comes over to move more furniture out. He is not power of attorney. Do I have a right to keys since I never see the friend of the family and need to get them from the site manager??
Also, can I get an order of protection or something for verbal abuse? The site mager has been extremely abusive everytime I have had to deal with him and I don't feel safe living here anymore. He is also doing this to others and the property manager doesn't seem to believe me. I do have witnesses of his behavior.
Thank you for any help you can give me. This is a terribly upsetting situation.
Hi Debbie, sorry for taking so long to answer your email.
It's hard to speculate on your situation without hearing from the other side. But, assuming you have a valid power of attorney document, which is properly signed, notarized, witnessed and has not been revoked, you should have the right to enter the apartment. Also, if your neighbor owns rent or other type of fees to the apartment administration, that could be the reason for the denial.
If everything is right I think you have a couple of options here:
1- It seems to me that the "friend of the family" has told the site manager not to let you in. Try dealing with the apartment manager directly. Ask them to call your neighbor (assuming she is not incapacitated) and confirm her permission to enter the apartment. Or have her get the keys for you.
2- Call law enforcement, show them the valid POA and explain the situation. They will help.
Because you also live in the same complex, the last option should be of last resort. They may ask you to move out. It's a delicate situation.
If none of these solve your problem is time to consult a local lawyer (if you haven't already). Most attorneys offer free initial consultation and will answer your questions in a more detailed manner, since the laws vary from state to state and he/she is more familiar with the laws in your local community.
Hope this will help.