Legal Resources For Free Criminal Records

In this chaotic world, how sure are you that the people you befriend with are indeed worth your trust and acceptance? Recent reports from various forms of media such as television, newspaper, and the like are usually exposing different criminal offenses committed by anyone around the world. Having that said, it is essential that you take pro active steps to safeguard yourself and your loved ones. A thorough New York Criminal Records search can give you answers you need.

Also famous by its nickname the Empire State, New York came out as the 3rd most-populous place in America. Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, its number of residents has already reached 19,378,102. By land area, it’s the 27th largest location worldwide. In one way or another, these figures somehow caused a huge impact on the crime rate of the state.

Investigating someone’s personal background is now an easy task to do. Inhabitants of New York are entitled to get hold of this information through various means. First off, you may pay a visit at your local courthouse or your local police department. Any of these offices require several steps to be followed and paperworks to comply with. An official application form must be secured and filled-out with necessary details before it will be forwarded to the appropriate department.

In the past, other people also resort to hiring private investigators who can perform the task for them. However, such option is rather expensive and time-inefficient, too. As opposed to these conventional ways of gathering the information, searching through the Internet is by far the most favorable option to pick. This method offers a kind of search that’s more convenient, immediate, discreet, and low-cost.

Generally, this information can be used to support different cases including legal proceedings, police investigations, and employment screening by various companies. Moreover, it provides significant facts that can help you scrutinize the personal background of anyone around you, especially those who appear to be suspicious in any way. Without any doubt, it brings to light every single detail that you need to ensure your security and protection.

There are two types of services online that offer Free Criminal Records: free-of-charge and fee-based. Free search sites are known to produce incomplete and erroneous results. Paying a small charge for the service online is worth it and even more. With paid record providers, you’re guaranteed to receive complete, comprehensive and accurate report in the quickest time possible.

How to Find & Understand the Law

“Legal Research: How to Find & Understand the Law” by Attorney Stephen Elias and the Editors of Nolo is another book in the huge legal library published by Nolo, a publisher that prides itself on making the law accessible to everyone. I’m an attorney, and I still like the books put out by Nolo, especially the ones on areas I’m not as familiar with, but want a little knowledge. Nolo always delivers.

Not everyone can afford Lexis or Westlaw, the two biggest subscriber based on-line legal resources. In law school we had access to both, because both companies wanted to earn your loyalty for when you got out and started practicing. Many firms have one or the other, and I suppose large firms may subscribe to both. Even with access to one of these, I find that I can often find things faster and easier with free resources. Many states have statutes and such on-line these days. More and more are becoming available all the time.

That’s where the book “Legal Research” comes in. It provides easy to follow research methods to help you answer your legal questions. The book has sections for on-line research as well as information regarding law libraries for those who have access to one.

The book consists of 386 pages divided among ten information packed chapters. The chapters include:

One: Understanding the Basics of the Law. Brief descriptions of what the law is, sources of law, state versus federal law, and the court system. Too basic for an attorney, but for the layperson the book was written for, this is a good introduction.

Two: Finding Legal Resources. This chapter explains where legal information is located, primary and secondary sources, internet resources for legal topics, and legal research websites. It includes Lexis and Westlaw, but also other sites that are free. I like the tips and warnings through out the book as well. Good caution that not every opinion you find is good law. Obvious to someone who had it drilled into them during law school, but probably not known to many laypeople.

Three: Identifying Your Legal Issue. Things to know before you go looking, like is the case civil or criminal, figuring out the area of law you want to research, what resources will help you with what you need to find, and figuring out your legal research question. This is important, you want to know what you’re really looking for before you go searching.

Four: Finding and Using Secondary Sources. This chapter explores sources such as online resources (including a bit about deciding if reliable), self-help legal books, legal encyclopedias, form books, practice manuals, continuing legal education publications, law reviews, and so on. Many law firms will have a lot of these kinds of resources, and you will find even more at a law library. This chapter gives a brief overview of what these sources are.

Five: Finding and Using Constitutions, Statutes, Regulations, and Ordinances. These are the bulk of legislatively or administratively created law. This chapter explains how to find these resources and how to use them. It covers finding and using constitutions, finding federal statutes, finding state statutes, understanding them, finding regulations and other rules and ordinances. All of these are important depending on your particular issue. This chapter is a good introduction to this world of “laws” for those that are charting unfamiliar territory.

Six: Finding Cases. Some of our law is not found in statutes, but in the decisions of cases that have already been decided. These cases interpreted laws and are now the rule until legislature changes it, or another case overrules it. Roe v. Wade is an example of a famous case that is looked to regarding abortion law. This chapter helps the reader learn how to use citations to find cases, find cases on the internet, find cases in the law library.

Seven: Using Case Law. This chapter actually explains what a case is, how they are published, and how cases affect later disputes. If you matter relies on case law, this chapter will help you.

Eight: Validating Your Research. I pointed out the tip earlier, and this chapter goes further to help you make sure you have “good law.” It teaches you how to Shepardize a Case, a process we lawyers use to ensure the cases we are relying on are still good. If you are trying to make a case yourself, you must be sure you are relying on “good law.” These are the kinds of things lawyers know that many laypeople don’t.

Nine: Organizing and Putting Your Legal Research to Use. One thing clerks, legal interns, and associates spend a lot of time doing is research. Once you find the information, you must put what you find in written form for those that asked you to find it. This chapter provides the basics for writing a legal memorandum. Not as thorough as the semester class most first year law students take, but good for the non-lawyer. There is a brief section about going to court and the court process and about a couple pages on finding and working with a lawyer.

Ten: Research Hypothetical and Memorandum. Maybe it is because lawyer learn by case studies and examples that this chapter provides a research problem, how to discover the facts, and then how to approach the question to research. It’s very short, so it will give the non-lawyer a little example of how to look at the law and go about finding your answer.

The book chapters stop here on page 255. The next 100 plus pages is a glossary, which a person would not need if they have a legal dictionary. Nolo actually has a simple legal dictionary that won’t replace “Black’s” but is a good resource. Then there is a short appendix on topics and an index.

Overall, I think this book could be very valuable for the person who wants or needs to do legal research but does not know where to start. If you are forced to do-it-yourself, this guide can lead the way. It is a very good description of the legal research process for those without a law degree.

Alain Burrese, J.D. is a performance and personal development expert who teaches how to live, take action, and get things done through the Warrior’s Edge. Alain combines his military, martial art, and Asian experiences with his business, law, and conflict resolution education into a powerful way of living with balance, honor, and integrity. He teaches how to use the Warrior’s Edge to Take Action and Achieve Remarkable Results. Alain is the author of Hard-Won Wisdom From The School Of Hard Knocks, the DVDs Hapkido Hoshinsul, Streetfighting Essentials, Hapkido Cane, the Lock On Joint Locking series, and numerous articles and reviews.

Legal Forms Online

For a long time now, the Internet has been used as tool to help with a number of activities. Many people today who are in need of legal counsel simply can not afford it. As a result, they are at a disadvantage when dealing with people who can actually afford legal representation. In the public’s interest, there are a number of sites on the Internet that work towards making inexpensive legal resources available to people. These resources enable almost anyone to represent themselves in cases to obtain legal benefits. The resources include legal documents as well as legal forms. Apart from that, legal information along with law resources are also available. There are quite a few people who would prefer not to spend more money than is absolutely necessary for legal advice that is as trivial as how to complete a simple legal document or form. There are now such websites that provide this assistance in the form of resources and legal forms online.

Legal forms online are also an extremely efficient way to manage all your legal affairs in a private and secure manner from the comfort of your own home or perhaps your office. The Web sites that offer such forms are able to provide their customers with both comfort as well as control that are available to them as a result of online methods of legal forms preparation.

If you are trying to work around time constraints, the option of legal forms online could be your best resort. The online legal forms can generally be obtained immediately, and without having to leave your home or office. As a result, they save a lot of your valuable time. All you need to do is answer a few simple questions and then within a matter of a few minutes your work is done. Based on your answers, a properly completed legal document is generated in a ready to print format. It is tailor made to your required situation and will be based on the laws of the state where you reside.

Prepaid Legal Services Overview

No matter if you plan to use the services of a legal company in the future or you think about running one, it is important to understand the basics and the mechanism of action of a law firm.

Only this way you can make your company thrive over the years, keeping in mind that the competition is intense in the legal field. Here is a brief overview of the most notable aspects of running a legal firm:

Law Firms Come in Different Sizes and Fields of Specialization

Just like any other business, a legal company can be small, medium-sized or big, depending on the total number of employees and the fields of specialization. It often happens that the small firms have one or two practitioners (many sole practitioners start a company on their own after passing the bar exam), while the larger ones can have several thousands of lawyers.

Small firms (sole practitioners) are the most common, and one of the benefits of opting for such a practitioner is that you will benefit from all the attention and the one-on-one counseling you need. At the same time, a sole practitioner also has lower fees and costs, and they usually specialize in smaller, less complicated cases.

On the other hand, slightly bigger firms can have up to 10 employees and they have more expertise in certain specialties, they are more experienced and they can also handle a wide array of legal matters. It often happens that these medium-sized firms take the complex cases from sole practitioners who cannot manage them on their own.

It is not uncommon for a professional legal company to have between 10 and 50 lawyers who have full-service capabilities and who specialize in a wide array of legal matters, from the less complex ones (such as driving under the influence) to the most complex (murder cases and such). These law firms are usually more expensive given the fact that they have a reputation to maintain: it often takes tens of years for a legal company to grow to this size and to make a name for itself in this highly competitive industry, therefore these lawyers will always struggle to rise to the expectations of their customers.

Last, but not least, the largest legal companies often have hundreds of lawyers and they benefit from all the legal resources required to solve even the most complex legal matters. These companies handle legal problems for governments, corporations and such, unlike smaller ones who usually specialize in normal legal matters for individuals.

Understanding the Legal Personnel

Not all the professionals who work in a legal office are lawyers, and not all the legal offices are law firms.

Generally, two or more lawyers become partners or associates when they decide to start a legal firm. In addition to lawyers, in a legal company you can find paralegal professionals (people with extensive legal training but who do not activate as lawyers), legal assistants and secretaries, law clerks, investigators and such. These positions as well as the number of employees can vary greatly depending on the size of the firm.

Prepaid Legal Services Overview

Our word has become more and more dangerous over the years. Driving down the freeway on our way to work we pass by collisions on a weekly basis. Turning on your local news station will give you even more accident news. With the number of tragedies that strike everyday there is a need for medical and legal resources.

Damage control is something that we naturally do as Americans. We purchase car insurance, home insurance, renters insurance and for some prepaid legal service.

Although an army of attorneys at your beck and call could be nice, there are a number of people that will find prepaid legal service to be a waste of money. If you are injured in a serious accident it would be a good idea to retain a skilled personal injury lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers will offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee. In this situation a prepaid legal service is not the best solution.

For those who are handling their own legal matters, a prepaid legal plain may be a good choice. These plains usually work similar to your medical benefits. You or your employer pay an annual fee and in exchange you are provided with specific legal services which are dependent on your specific plan.

Plans provided can vary. Some plans could include an office consultation, phone consultations and help preparing legal documents. More extensive plans may cover trials and dispute resolutions.

There are two types of prepaid legal plan available to consumers. The first is the basic access plan for employees. This is where a member can easily access legal services through the telephone.

The second type is the comprehensive prepaid legal plan. Aside from the consultation services, a comprehensive plan will usually allow a member to receive employer-funded benefits. Benefits can include negotiations with parties, preparing legal documents and representation in court. Some companies offer legal service coverage for families too.

The big question that everyone wants to know here is this. Is it worth it to purchase a prepaid legal plan? Not knowing what the future holds can be a scary situation for most people. When considering one of these plans I use the following logic. If I were to need legal advice I might purchase the prepaid legal plan but only after I considered other options. Try calling a few law firms to see if you can schedule a free consultation. If that doesn’t help a prepaid legal plan maybe just what you need. Still there may be other situation where you can handle your own claim yourself. The number of self-help articles out there and books available online make it possible for you to gain the knowledge you need at a fraction of the cost.