Law

Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel

By: Undisputed Legal/Court Service Department

A. When Right Attaches 

1. The Sixth Amendment provides that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” 

a. State constitution, Const. art. I, § 22, is co-extensive with the Sixth Amendment. See generally State v. Medlock, 86 Wn. App. 89, 97-935 P.2d 693, review denied, 133 Wn.2d 1012 (1997). 

2. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel does not attach until a prosecution is commenced, that is, at or after the initiation of adversary judicial criminal proceedings, whether by way of formal charge, preliminary hearing, indictment, information, or arraignment. McNeil v. Wisconsin, 501 U.S. 171, 175, 115 L. Ed. 2d 158, 111 S. Ct. 2204 (1991). 

a. A defendant’s custodial status is irrelevant to the determination of whether the Sixth Amendment right to counsel has attached. 

Find Something Wrong on Your Credit Report?

By: Undisputed Legal/Court Service Department

Under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to dispute wrong

 information on your credit report.  Follow this checklist:

  • Write to the credit reporting agency.  Include your name, address, date or birth, and 

Social Security Number So the agency can identify you.

  • Identify the specific debt you are disputing, explain in detail why the information 

Is wrong, and request that the debt be changed or removed.  Include copies of any 

Documentation  that supports your position

History of the Miranda Rule 

By: Undisputed Legal/Court Service Department

  1. Police questioned arrested person at police station for four hours until he confessed. The court was concerned about psychological coercion. Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478 (1964).
  2. Officers agreed to drop some charges if suspect would confess to kidnaping. Suspect agreed and confessed. He was convicted of kidnapping and rape. Conviction overturned by court. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).

Fifth Amendment Right To Counsel – Know Your Rights

By: Undisputed Legal/Court Service Department

Constitutional Requirement

1. No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against him/herself. (Fifth Amendment, U.S. Constitution)

  1. Right must be asserted to take effect.
  2. Provision prevents the defendant from being called as a witness for the prosecution in a criminal case.
  3. Provision prevents the prosecution or any witness from commenting upon the defendant’s failure to take the stand or to answer questions.
  4. Limited to testimonial evidence (oral or written).

Driving with a Suspended or Revoked Drivers License?

New York Motor Vehicle Laws

By: Undisputed Legal/Court Service Department

It is a criminal violation to drive while your license is suspended or revoked, and there are mandatory fines from $200 to $5,000. You can face mandatory imprisonment or probation. The vehicle being driven could be seized and forfeited. More severe penalties apply to drivers who drive while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs while their license or privilege are already under suspension or revocation for a previous

Agreements To Share Expenses or Property

Generally, if it is legal for two persons who are not living together to enter into an agreement, it also is legal for the couple living together to enter into a similar agreement. The fact that two people are living together and unmarried does not make an agreement automatically illegal. So, if two people wish to agree about how much each will pay for rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, auto expenses, etcetera, the agreement can be valid and enforceable. If one party does not keep his or her end of the bargain, that person can be sued. 

If the loss of a large amount of money is involved, a lawsuit or threat of a lawsuit may be worthwhile. If the dollar amount is relatively small, the wiser course of action probably is to walk away, hopefully with some added wisdom for dealing with the next relationship. Similarly, if there is no practical way to collect the amount due from the person who broke a promise if, for example, the person has virtually no assets and no steady source of income a lawsuit is not likely to be worth the effort. 

Living Together in The Eyes of The Law

There is nothing illegal about an unmarried couple living together. The couple generally can live wherever they wish. Some local zoning laws prohibit more than three unrelated persons from living together in one house or apartment, but those laws would not apply to a two person household. The government’s attempt to limit a couple’s right to live together would probably be considered a violation of the couple’s right to free association under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

A few states still have laws on the books prohibiting fornication sexual relations between two persons who are not married but such laws are almost never enforced. Some states also have laws against sodomy, which, among other things, prohibit sexual relations between people of the same sex. Those laws are rarely enforced if the conduct is private, consensual, and between adults (although in 1986, the United States Supreme Court in a divided decision did uphold a Georgia law criminalizing private sexual relations between two men). 

For information on serving legal papers visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

Called Off The Engagement, Do I Have To Give Back The Ring?

If an engagement is broken off, what happens to the engagement ring? Normally it should be returned to the person who gave it. The ring usually is viewed as a gift given in anticipation of marriage. If the marriage will not take place, the condition upon which the gift was given has been removed, so the gift should be returned. 

If the parties have given each other presents during their relationship such as birthday presents or holiday presents those gifts normally do not have to be returned. Those presents usually would be viewed as unconditional gifts, such as those between friends. Once the gift is given, the recipient is entitled to keep it, unless the person making the gift placed a clear condition when presenting the gift. 

For information on serving legal papers visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

Burden Of Proof And What it Means.

Whenever a party brings an allegation in any type of case, that party must prove those allegations. The standard or burden of proof varies depending on the type of case involved. In civil cases, for example, the burden of proof is usually preponderance of the evidence. This standard requires the plaintiff to prove that the allegations in the complaint are more likely true than not. Many commentators have described it as the plaintiff ’s burden to tip the scales of proof in the plaintiff ’s direction. Others have attempted to quantify it by saying that if the plaintiff can establish the facts to 51%, then the plaintiff has satisfied preponderance of the evidence. There are different burdens of proof in different types of actions. For instance, in criminal cases, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. If preponderance of the evidence is considered to be a slight tipping of the scale in the plaintiff’s favor, proof beyond a reasonable doubt would require the government to swing the scale entirely to its side. Although preponderance of the evidence is the most com- monly seen burden of proof, there are situations in which a civil litigant might have to prove his or her case by clear and convincing evidence. The standard of “clear and convincing evidence” is higher than preponderance of the evidence and less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It falls somewhere between these two burdens. Clear and convincing evidence requires the fact finder to determine with substantial certainty that the party’s allegations are true. 

How Does Civil Law Differ from Other Areas of Law?

There are dozens of other branches of law. Administrative law deals with the rules and regula- tions that govern governmental agencies. Admiralty law governs the law of the sea. Bankruptcy law is concerned with discharging debts through court proceedings. Criminal law focuses on punishing lawbreakers. Domestic law involves divorces, alimony, and child custody issues. Civil law is different than these other areas of law in several important respects. For instance, civil cases differ from the previously mentioned types of cases in all of the following ways: