How do you become a green card holder? Part One

A person who has a green card has legal permanent resident status. If you are a legal permanent resident or LPR, that means that you can potentially apply for citizenship after a certain period of time. But how do you get a green card?

One of the most common ways is through a family member who is a US citizen. If you are the spouse, an unmarried child under the age of 21, or a parent of a US citizen you are deemed an ‘immediate relative.’ If you are an immediate relative you do not have to wait for a visa, because there are an unlimited number of visas for immediate relatives.

If you are a child of a US citizen who is over 21 and unmarried (first preference), a child of a US citizen who is over 21 and MARRIED (third preference), or a sibling of a US citizen (fourth preference), you will have to wait for your visa, which could potentially take years. If you fit into one of these three preferences, there are only a certain number of visas available and currently the system is backlogged. So although you may be approved for a visa, you have to wait for your visa number to become current in the country you are from before you actually receive it. You can check online for the wait times for these types of visas.

Whether you are an immediate relative or fit into one of the four preferences, you will have to file an I-130 which is a petition to show how you are related to the US citizen, and then at some point you will file an I-485, which is the application for your green card. If you are an immediate relative, it may be possible to file the I-130 and I-485 at the same time.

If you have any questions about the process or want to apply for a green card for a family member, please call our office at 508-438-1198.

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY JAMIE COSME. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.

#greencard #lpr #legalpermanentresident #immigration #visa #uscitizen

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Safekeeping of Important Documents

A common question I hear from my clients is: “where should I keep my estate planning documents?” Often, the first thought people a have is to put important documents in safe deposit box. Makes sense, right? Wrong! Unless there is a co-owner on the safe deposit box, no one will be able to gain access to the box or its contents without your permission or court order, and the documents that may provide that permission are in the box! As such, I always advise my clients to not keep their documents in a safe deposit box.

So what other options do you have for safekeeping these documents?

As having the original documents is of utmost importance, it is imperative that the documents are kept in a safe place, but are also accessible. Often, my clients choose to keep the originals at my office with copies at home in a filing cabinet or desk drawer with the location of the original documents noted.

Many times clients will also consider keeping their estate planning documents in a safe, but that presents many of the same problems of keeping the documents in a safe deposit box.

Regardless of whether you choose to keep your estate planning documents at your lawyer’s office or at home, it is imperative that your family knows the location of the documents and how to access them quickly and without delay when they are needed.

 

#estateplanning #will #lawyer

Why fight it?

Traffic Enforcement

 

In Massachusetts, a speeding ticket is a civil offense.  Unlike criminal offenses, it is not mandatory to appear in court.  You have the choice to either accept responsibility and pay the ticket, or appeal the ticket and fight it.

With civil motor vehicle citations, the consequences can vary.  It is important to base your decision to fight it on whether the offense will generate any consequenses to your license, your insurance, or both.

  1. Is the ticket surchargeable?  In Massachusetts, violations are either surchargeable or not surchargeable.  It is important to determine whether the infraction is surchargeable.  If the infraction is not surchargable  (for example, a seat belt violation) it will not have consequenses on your license or insurance, and is merely a fine.  If the infraction is surchargeable, paying the fine could result in increased insurance costs, losing safe driver discounts, and license suspensions.
  2. How does your insurance handle this type of ticket?  it is a good idea to speak with your insurance company to see what consequence if any it will have on  your policy. Some companies offer a freebie where they will not surcharge the first ticket in 6 years.  Some surcharge for a first ticket.  Some revoke the safe driver discount on a first ticket but do not add in a surcharge.  It is important to know how your insurance company  handles the ticket.
  3. How long will it cause your insurance to go up?  Not all tickets are weighted the same.  It is good to ask your insurance whether it is something that may cause an increase in your policy for 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, or even 6 years.
  4. Will this ticket trigger a license supension? In Massachusetts, if you are convicted of 3 speeding tickets in 1 year, 3 moving violations in 2 years, or 7 surchargeable events in 3 years, you could be facing a license suspension. Appealling the ticket can push back the finding date usedto determine if you qualify for the suspension. Winning the ticket can keep it from counting towards these suspensions.
  5. Are you a Junior Operator? In Massachusetts, if you are a junior operator and convicted of a speeding ticket or texting ticket, there is an automatic suspension of your license, a hefty reinstatement fee, and a required driver retraining class you are required to take.  Further, for the speeding ticket, you must retake the driver’s test to get your license back.  A junior operator should ALWAYS contest the ticket.

If you were cited in Massachusetts and are considering fighting the ticket, contact Broadbent & Taylor at 508-438-1198 to discuss representation.  We offer free consultations for all traffic matters.

 

THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY KELLY BROADBENT.  THIS BLOG IS NOT MEANT TO CONVEY LEGAL ADVICE.  IT DOES NOT ESTABLISH AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

 

#FIGHTSPEEDINGTICKET #MASSACHUSETTS #CDL #JOL #LICENSESUSPENSIONS

 

 

Dating in the Internet Age: Catfishing and Statutory Rape

computer_station

In the new millenium, meeting a significant other is no longer 2 consenting adults at a bar or night club flirting; dating is not a set up by mutual friends.  Most dating relationships are a matter of swipe left or right on Tinder;  answer 1000 questions on Eharmony; or clicking on interesting profiles and messaging back and forth on Plenty of Fish.

When you meet a prospective significant other on the internet, there are so many unknowns.  Because the circle of possible mates has expanded by a million, there is no way to knoow for sure you are getting what you are looking for.

A large danger of online dating is catfishing.  Catfishing occurs when someone is untruthful about their identity in their online profile.  This can include lies about gender, age, appearance or other characteristics.

From a legal prospective, lies about age can be extremely dangerous to the other party.  Many of the websites require participants to be a certain age and to check a box that they are 18 or to enter a birthdate, however, there are no safeguards in place to ensure that the parties are actually over the age of 18.

In Massachusetts, mistake of age of your sexual partner is not a defense to a charge of statutory rape, even if that mistake is reasonable. If the child claims to be 17 years old, and produces a drivers license indicating they are in fact 17 years old, it is not a defense to statutory rape if that child is in fact 15 years old.   (Commonwealth v. Miller, 432 N.E.2d 463 (Mass. 1982).)

Criminal charges can result when the parties in the above scenerio engage in sexting with one another.  Sending or receiving or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photos or images to a person under the age of 18 is a crime in Massachusetts.  It is illegal for ANYONE to knowingly send out or desseminte pictures  of a person under 18 in the state of nudity or engaged in a sexual act.  This includes the act of the child sending out the lewd pictures, which can actually result in felony charges being filed AGAINST the child taking the pictures and sending them out.  In the same vein,  mere possession of these photos (without further dissemination) is also a felony, and can result in charges to anyone that knowingly possesses these photos, even if they were not solicited.

With internet dating becoming predonimant, the danger of children posing as adults on social networks and on dating websites has become a growing problem.  A lack in adult supervision with internet use, and growing popularity of types apps and websites make it a clear danger to anyone who is actively looking to date.  If you are involved in internet dating, do your homework.  Make sure your partner is who they claim to be before engaging in sexual conduct.  Make sure your partner is of age before engaging in sexting.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been catfished and need legal advice, contact Broadbent & Taylor at (508) 438-1198 for a consultation.

THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY KELLY BROADBENT.  IT IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

#CRIMINALLAWYER #MASSACHUSETTS #catfish

 

 

CWOF? Pre-Trial Probation?

If you have a criminal matter and you are thinking about a plea, you have several options, including asking for a CWOF or Pre-Trial Probation, but what is a CWOF and what is Pre-Trial probation and what is the difference between the two terms? Read on.

A CWOF stands for “Continuance without a Finding.” A CWOF is a determination by the court that there is sufficient evidence against the defendant, but the court refrains from entering the ‘guilty’ finding. The CWOF is a final adjudication, but the defendant avoids having the ‘guilty’ on his/her record. The court will continue the case for a certain amount of time, and as long as the defendant adheres to certain conditions, the criminal matter is dismissed. If the defendant violates any of the conditions, the CWOF may be revoked and a guilty finding may be entered, which may include jail time.

Pre-Trial Probation is different than a CWOF because you do not have to admit that there is sufficient evidence against you, and if you violate pre-trial probation you are not found guilty, but your case returns to the court and goes through the process once again.

If you have any questions or find yourself in a criminal conundrum please call our office!

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY JAMIE COSME. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.

 

#cwof #pretrialprobation #criminal

CDL Drivers Keep Right

truck

On the Massachusetts Turnpike (Route 90), and other roads deemed “Metropolitan Roadways” by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a special set of regulations exist governing travel on the highways.

Massachusetts 700 CMR 7.08 specifically deals with operation on the roadways, laying out protocol and special limitations when operating on these roadways.

With CDL Drivers, our practice encounters a lot of problems dealing with travelling in the left lane.  Specifically, 700 MCR 7.08 states: “(13) Keeping to the Right. (a) In the Tunnels. The operator of a truck, bus, school bus, or slow-moving motor vehicle in the Tunnels shall drive only in the right-hand lane unless a toll collector, Massachusetts State Police officer, or sign otherwise directs. 700 CMR: MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 7.08: continued (b) On Ways Other than the Tunnels. The operator of a motor vehicle on a way other than the Tunnels shall drive in the lane nearest the right shoulder of the roadway, when that lane is available for ordinary travel, except when overtaking another vehicle in that lane or at the direction of a Massachusetts State Police officer or sign. When the lane nearest the right shoulder of the roadway is a creeper lane or breakdown lane, an operator shall drive in the lane adjacent to the creeper lane or breakdown lane, except when overtaking another vehicle in that lane or at the direction of a Massachusetts State Police officer or a sign.”

Essentially, if the road is a 2 lane road, the CDL vehicle should only be in the left lane when overtaking a vehicle or when instructed by an offier or a sign.  When dealing with the 3 lane road ways, the truck should travel in the right lane and only move into the middle lane for passing purposes.  The Left lane is a restricted lane and should not be used for passing purposes by CDL vehicles.  If you are caught in the left lane, Massachusetts State Troopers will issue a vioaltion under 700 CMR 7.08 for a Left Lane Restriction.

A big difference with Massachusetts, as opposed to other states, is that this restriction is NOT POSTED on the roadway.  CDL drivers that use Massachusetts roadways are expected to be aware of this difference and to compley with this restriction.

If you are issued a citation under 700 CMR 7.08, contact Broadbent & Taylor at (508) 438-1198 for representation on the citation.  Protect your license and your livelihood by contesting these tickets.

THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY KELLY BROADBENT.  THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVISE AND DOES NOT FORM AN ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGE.

#trafficlawyer, #cdlviolation #massachusetts #speedingticketlawyer

 

 

 

But the light was Yellow!!

 

light

In my practice, I run into a lot of tickets written for red light violation.  When I speak with the operator, most are adamant that the light was not red when they passed through the intersection.  I hear over and over again “The light was yellow!”

In driver’s ed, many are taught to “stop if it is safe to do so”.  Most drivers interpret this to mean that  it is not necessary to stop if the light is not a solid red.

The application of the law is very different from the public understanding.  Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 89 Section 9 : “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not cross or enter an intersection, which it is unable to proceed through, without stopping and thereby blocking vehicles from travelling in a free direction. A green light is no defense to blocking the intersection. The driver must wait another cycle of the signal light, if necessary.”

The courts interpret this statute to mean that you cannot cross into an intersection unless you are fully able to clear the intersection without the light turning.  According to the language in this statute, even if the light is green, you are not to pass into the intersection if there is traffic that would prevent you from clearing the entire intersection.  If the light is turning yellow, the language encourages a driver to stop and wait another cycle of the light so that there is no danger of blocking the intersection or being caught in the path of other traffic who may be waiting for the green signal.

As the statute states, having a green light is not a defense if you have entered the intersection and are unable to clear through before the light changes to red.

This is a surchargeable event in Massachusetts that counts towards insurance increases and towards license suspensions.  If you have received a citation for a red light violation, contact Broadbent & Taylor at (508) 438-1198 to discuss fighting the ticket.

THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY KELLY BROADBENT.  IT IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE.  IT DOES NOT FORM AN ATTORNEY CLIENT  RELATIONSHIP.

www. kbctlaw.com

#redlightviolation #fightspeedingticket #trafficlawyer #massachusetts