Chris Brown & the Search Warrant

Most of you have undoubtedly heard that there was a standoff between the Los Angeles Police and Chris Brown, who was at home. Although this has been a bit sensationalized, the police were at his home after a phone call was made by a woman who claims she was threatened by Brown, but there was no “standoff.”

Instead Brown exercised his right to NOT allow the police into his home without a search warrant. Most people might think that if the police come knocking on your door that you have to let them in, but you DO NOT have to let them in. The home is one of the sacred things that the law protects and that is why we have laws about ‘breaking and entering’ and ‘trespassing.’ So if the police come to your home and ask to come in, you can do what Chris Brown did and ask to see a warrant! If they do not have a warrant and you don’t want them in your home, then they can’t come in! If they DO have a warrant, then you DO have to let them in, but until then it is your call. Chris Brown refused to let the police in without a warrant, but after the police obtained one, he let them in, was arrested and released on bail.

Of course there are always exceptions to this rule and we aren’t sure what is going to happen to Chris Brown just yet, but if you have any questions about your rights or there has been a police search at your home, 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.

#chrisbrown #searchwarrant #homesearch #criminallaw #yourrights

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Taking the English Test

When you apply for naturalization you must pass an English and Civics Test. But for certain people there are exemptions.

The first one is called the 50/20 exemption. If you are 50 or older at the time you file for naturalization and have lived as a green card holder in the United States for 20 years, you are exempt from the English test.

The second exemption is the 55/15. If you are 55 or older at the time you file for naturalization and have lived as a green card holder in the United States for 20 years, you are also exempt from the English test.

If you qualify for either exemption, you must still take the civics test. But if you qualify for these exemptions, then you can take the civics test in your native language!

If you have any questions about naturalization or the English or Civics test, 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.

 

#naturalization #englishtest #civicstest #greencard #uscitizen

 

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

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

 

 

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