Archive for the ‘General Information’ Category

Do I have to do court ordered community service?

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Sometimes I have people come into the office and they tell me that they can’t do community service because they have a health problem.  Perhaps they hurt their back or something else and they feel that they should be given a chance by the court to just bypass the community service requirement because of their special situation.

The court doesn’t really give people a pass just because they don’t want to do something, or it’s hard for them to do it.

What can you do?

If you have been ordered to do community service, you will need to  do something to help the community.  You have probably been assigned a representative from the court services unit or the probation office and they can help you with ideas of where you might be able to do your community service.

Picking up trash on the side of the road is only one thing that is available.  You might help at a food bank either getting food ready to put on their shelves, or put food in bags for clients.  You might also help out at a church or community center in a lot of different ways including getting the weekly bulletin or monthly newsletter ready to be delivered.  During the winter months, you can also help at homeless shelters or church communities that provide temporary housing and food for the homeless.  Many thrift stores use volunteer help to put price tags on items or other tasks around the shop.

The most important thing is that you need to find something to do that will fulfill your community service requirements.  If not, you might just find yourself in jail.

Can I give up my parental rights?

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

I often have young men come into my office to ask if they can give up their parental rights to a child because their ex is pregnant.  Often the expectant mother has told the young man that he can give up his parental rights if he will just leave her and the child alone (and she promises not to ask for child support at any time in the future).

First of all, there really aren’t any parental rights until the child is born.

Also, you can NOT sign over your parental rights unless there is someone else ready, willing and able to take over (an example would be an adoption).

If the mother says you are the father, but you are not married, then you have the right to sign or not sign the birth certificate.  If you sign the birth certificate, you are stating that you will accept being the legal father of this child with all of the rights and responsibilities that come with being a father.  If you do not sign the birth certificate, then you are not the legal father until and unless other actions take place.

The mother can take you to court for child support, at which time you can request a DNA test to make sure you are the father.  If the court determines that you are the father via the DNA test results, they can then order you to pay child support.  If the court determines that you are not the father via DNA test results, then the court can not order you to pay child support based on the DNA results.

You can also go to court and accept responsibility for the child by stating under oath that you are the father without going the DNA route, but take note that you cannot take a DNA test later and overrule this statement so you had better be sure this is what you want to do.

If you have questions about this, or any legal topic, please contact the office of Beavers Law, P.C. at 757-234-4650 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.  You can also visit us on the web at www.BeaversLaw.com.

A New Year, A New Company!

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

We work with a lot of individuals and small business owners and we often tell them that you should periodically re-evaluate your situation.

At Kristina Beavers, Attorney at Law, we did just that.  We re-evaluated our situation and determined that we really needed to become a Professional Corporation.

Why?  We have worked wonderfully as a sole proprietorship for over 8 years and when we considered a change in the past, it just didn’t seem to be necessary.  However, things change.  We get older and the ease of being a sole proprietorship also means that if anything happened to Kristina Beavers, the firm itself would need to be dissolved.  This would not be a good thing for our attorneys or our clients.

So, we have decided to incorporate and we are now officially ‘Beavers Law, P.C.’   This means that if anything happens to Kristina Beavers, the firm will continue and the attorneys and clients will be able to go on as before.

This means more details for us to watch out for, more mandatory meetings and annual reports to be completed.  But we think this is worth it to ensure the continuity of our service to our clients.

Please join us in welcoming in a New Year and a New Company!

We are also adding more attorneys and new office locations in Hampton and Williamsburg for your convenience.

If you have any questions, or wish to speak to one of our attorneys, please contact the office at 757-234-4650.

Can a policeman lie?

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

The short answer is ‘yes’, a policeman (or policeperson) can — and often does– lie to you during their investigation.  Of course, if they are under oath and on the stand in a courtroom, they are required to tell the truth.  But I am talking about during the investigation phase.  That time when they are asking you questions usually at the police station.

Sometimes, the policeman will tell you that someone in another room has already told them everything and they are giving you an opportunity to tell your side of it so that they can talk to the prosecutor and help you get a better deal.  Sometimes they will tell you that they have evidence that they really don’t have.  I’ve listened to tapes where the same policeman went to four different rooms and told each one of the potential defendants that he already knew everything — when in reality he had not gotten information from anyone.

Remember that during the investigation, it is the policeman’s job to get the information needed to help get a conviction.  If they are talking to you in an interview room, they are not trying to be your friend!

So what should you do?  The police officer will probably read you what are called ‘Miranda’ rights.  These include the ‘right to remain silent, and anything that you say can and will be used against you in a court of law’  and the ‘right to an attorney and have that attorney present during questioning, if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you’.  Once you have been read these rights you need to tell the officer ‘I want to talk to my attorney before I speak with you’, and then be quiet.

Don’t say, ‘do you think I need an attorney’? or ‘maybe I should talk to an attorney’.  Very clearly say, ‘I want to talk to my attorney before I speak with you’. and then be quiet and say nothing else.

The policeman will probably tell you that they can’t help you if  you refuse to talk to them, but stick to your statement and wait to speak to your attorney before you talk to them.  This might mean you will spend the night in jail until you can have an attorney appointed for you, but that is much better than having you say something that can be used against you later.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.

Posting Online

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

I read a lot of legal question and answer sites and it always amazes me that people will put very detailed and personal information in an online forum, especially about criminal activity.

DO NOT DO THIS!

Online legal forums, and other online places, are open to the public.  Yes, this means that you might get someone to answer your question for free, but you are more likely to have the details of your particular situation seen by everyone including the police and opposing counsel.

As a lawyer, I regularly look for online posts that refer to my clients or their opponents.  And, yes, I can and do use this information for the benefit of my client.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.