You Need a Lawyer!

Thu, Jun 23, 2011

Bankruptcy

Florida AttorneyLet’s face it. Laws are not written to provide us with entertainment, or to help us find outlets for our natural generosity and creativity. No, laws are written because we are fallible human beings who occasionally need to be rescued from our less-than-admirable impulses and actions. When you’re at your most vulnerable, however, it’s hard to make good decisions. That’s where lawyers come in. Here’s how a lawyer can help you in two common traumatic experiences: the DUI stop, and overwhelming debt.

DUI? You Need a Lawyer!

Florida has stringent impaired driving laws. You can lose your license, have your car impounded, pay fines, do community service, be required to use an interlock ignition device, or spend time in jail. If you’re impaired–DON’T DRIVE!  If, however, you’re stopped because an officer believes you’re intoxicated, do everything he asks, including submitting to a breathalyzer or other test. By signing your driver’s license, you’ve given “implied consent” to just these tests; to refuse means that you’ll immediately lose your license for one year–eighteen months if you object again. So do what you’re asked, and then call your lawyer.

Believe it or not, a lawyer can challenge a DUI arrest. First, he’ll work to contest the administrative suspension of your license, asking the court to grant you a temporary permit until your case is decided.  A knowledgeable lawyer can have your offense reduced to reckless driving, or get the charges dismissed altogether. If you’re convicted of reckless driving, your attorney may be able to persuade the court to “withhold adjudication,” which keeps points from accruing on your license.

Your attorney will defend you against the DUI charge itself. He can bring up jurisdictional concerns, argue there was no probable cause for the stop itself, and challenge your field sobriety test or even the breath test.  While it may seem that the breathalyzer should be fool-proof it can, in fact, be fallible, its results influenced by something as innocent as alcohol trapped in dentures, or a belch. Other tests, such as those conducted on blood or urine, are subject to technical mistakes, contamination, and chain-of-custody errors.  An experienced attorney knows where the system can potentially fail you. In Florida, drunk or drugged driving is a serious offense; if you’re accused, you need a serious defense.

Debt? You Need a Lawyer!

A DUI is not the only legal problem we can bring upon ourselves. Most bankruptcies, of course, are due to catastrophic events such as a serious illness, job loss, or divorce. Some debt problems, however, can be blamed solely on plain old overspending. Credit makes it easy for us to live beyond our means. Fortunately, the law provides a way to get out from under suffocating debt; a Florida Bankruptcy Attorney can help you obtain debt relief.

One of the first indications your debt is unmanageable is a phone call. Only it isn’t one phone call–it’s several. At home, at work, on your cell…and it’s anything but friendly. You find yourself avoiding the phone, shutting off the ringer, even lying to escape the browbeating harassment. If you dread the mailman and let voicemail pick up, it’s time to call a Creditor Harassment Lawyer and explore your debt relief options.

Bankruptcy is a complicated legal procedure that has only become more complex over time; for this reason, you’re required to have an attorney. A Florida bankruptcy attorney uses an intricate formula to determine if you’re eligible for Chapter 7 debt relief or a Chapter 13 repayment plan. You’ll be asked to provide a complete list of assets and debts, complete with names, addresses and account numbers. Once your bankruptcy petition is filed, your creditors will no longer be able to contact you, under the Automatic Stay provision in bankruptcy law. If they continue to do so, they’re in violation of the law; report them to your creditor harassment lawyer.

After your petition is filed, you’ll attend a 341 hearing with the bankruptcy trustee. This hearing is a calm, straightforward proceeding, the primary goal of which is to ascertain if you have assets the trustee can take to pay to your creditors. If you listed all of your assets in your paperwork, and are truthful during these proceedings, everything will go smoothly. Besides, you won’t be alone; your Florida bankruptcy attorney will accompany you. If you filed for Chapter 7, your bankruptcy will be discharged a few months later. If a 13, you’ll make payments to the Chapter 13 trustee for several years until your debts are satisfied. Either way, bankruptcy frees you from the misery of overwhelming debt.

Many times, the law protects us from the mistakes of others. Sometimes, however, we need the law–and lawyers–to help protect us from ourselves. If you find yourself facing embarrassing, potentially catastrophic circumstances such as a DUI arrest or crushing debt, let an attorney help!

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