Criminal Law and Other Services We Offer

CRIMINAL:
Criminal Defense: When facing possible criminal conviction, you will find the most important decision you make is choosing an attorney. I have handled hundreds of criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to felonies and offer a free consultation to sit down and discuss your charges. If you are out of the area or unable to come in for an appointment, call our office and set up a phone consultation.

Traffic Offenses/DWIs: A speeding ticket may seem like an insignificant offense but can have unexpected consequences on your driving record and insurance premiums. Before you simply pay off the ticket, contact our office to discuss your options in handling the citation. If you are out of town, contact our office and we can do everything from a free consultation to receiving payment by phone. By hiring an attorney, you save the time and hassle of appearing in court. More importantly, I can potentially reduce or eliminate the points on your license and increases in insurance on minor traffic violations. Speaking with an attorney following a driving while impaired (DWI) arrest can positively affect the outcome of your case. Do not attempt to represent yourself in court for a DWI when you can talk at no cost with an experienced attorney who can look into the best approach for the situation. criminal law experts

Domestic Violence: States take domestic violence charges seriously and it is crucial that you speak to an attorney before appearing in court to ensure that your case is handled properly. A conviction of domestic violence may result in a jail sentence and will cost you the right to possess any firearms. For members of the military, this element is important as there is no exception to the law. It is especially imperative for military service members to speak with an attorney as soon as possible because a domestic violence conviction will likely lead to a discharge from service.

Expungements: What many people may not know, even if you are found not guilty or have a criminal charge dismissed is that the charge itself remains on the individual’s criminal record forever. The only way to have the charge removed is through the expungement process. Contact our office for a free consultation to discuss if you are eligible for an expungement.

FAMILY LAW
Separation Agreements: In some states, parties cannot file for a divorce until they have been separated for a minimum of one year. A separation agreement can be prepared at any time during the separation period to outline property division, child visitation, and spousal/child support. By having a separation agreement in place, couples have the security of knowing what to expect when divorced. Our office can execute a separation agreement for you and then incorporate it into the Uncontested Divorce once the year of separation has been reached.

Uncontested Divorce: An uncontested divorce can be obtained once the parties have been separated for a minimum of one year and have all issues such as property and child custody worked out amicably. Hiring an attorney for an uncontested divorce saves you the time and headache of appearing in court. As long as one party resides in the state for six months prior, we can obtain the divorce on your behalf without your appearance being necessary. If you have an existing separation agreement in place, we can incorporate the agreement into the divorce judgment or can prepare one for you if needed.

Uncontested Family Law: Although uncontested matters may seem painless, family law procedures can be confusing and frustrating when attempting to handle these situations alone. Contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss how I can assist you with filing the appropriate actions to achieve desired results ranging in issues from adoptions to child support to divorces.

If your matter cannot be resolved in an uncontested manner, please contact us. We have attorneys that exclusively handle contested domestic matters
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Pakistani cleric says willing to review blasphemy law

The head of a powerful religious body said on Thursday he is willing to review Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws that critics say are regularly misused and have led to the deaths of hundreds, to decide if they are Islamic.

Pakistan’s religious and political elites almost universally keep clear of debating blasphemy laws in a country where criticism of Islam is a highly sensitive subject. Even rumours of blasphemy have sparked rampaging mobs and deadly riots.

But Muhammad Khan Sherani, chairman of a body that advises the government on the compatibility of laws with Islam, told Reuters he was willing to reopen the debate and see whether sentences as harsh as the death penalty were fair.

“The government of Pakistan should officially, at the government level, refer the law on committing blasphemy to the Council of Islamic Ideology. There is a lot of difference of opinion among the clergy on this issue,” Sherani said in an interview at his office close to Pakistan’s parliament.

“Then the council can seriously consider things and give its recommendation of whether it needs to stay the same or if it needs to be hardened or if it needs to be softened,” Sherani, dressed in a traditional black robe, said.

Sherani, who has hit the headlines in recent weeks after his council obstructed a bill to deter child marriages, did not disclose his own position.

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws mandate the death penalty, although no sentence has been carried out. Critics say the law is abused in poor, rural areas by enemies falsely accusing others to settle personal scores.

Presenting evidence in court can be considered a new infringement, so judges are reluctant to hear cases. Those acquitted have often been lynched.

Salman Taseer, a prominent liberal politician, was killed by his own bodyguard in 2011 after he had championed the cause of a Christian woman sentenced to death under the law.

CHILD MARRIAGE

Sherani, a member of parliament representing Pakistan’s largest Islamist party, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, for some embodies Pakistan’s struggle to balance modern, democratic ideals with pleasing conservative religious bodies demanding the imposition of strict Islamic law.

In recent years his 54-year old council has ruled DNA cannot be used as primary evidence in rape cases, and supported a law that requires woman alleging rape to get four male witnesses to testify in court before a case is heard.

His members’ decision this month to block a bill to impose harsher penalties for marrying off girls as young as eight or nine has angered human rights activists.

Senators have since debated whether the council, in its current form, is right for the modern democratic Pakistan that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said his country must represent.

Sherani, head of the council since 2010, defended its recommendations, saying it was his job, as mandated by the constitution, to ensure the laws of the land were in line with Islam. The council’s advice is not binding.

“The state should only be concerned up until a point with the question of marriage,” he said. “After reaching the age of maturity (puberty) the child has the right to reject a union.”

Three percent of girls in Pakistan are married before they turn 15 and 21 percent before age 18, according to UNICEF.

Sherani said there were many un-Islamic laws on the statute book that he was advising the government to overturn, including presidential pardons for a murderer.

Many of Pakistan’s problems, including violence against religious minorities, were the result of the government failing to be sufficiently Islamic and instead pandering to the West, he said.

“Pakistan’s present government is a defender of the interests of the West,” Sherani said. “Don’t equate what the government thinks to what Islam is.”