Legal Terminology 101

Navigating the legal process can be a nerve-racking and tricky situation. Those of us who find themselves in legal waters may feel vulnerable and frightened. These feelings are normal, and it can be very confusing. Lawyers and judges have many years of schooling and work experience so the legal process can be second nature to them. For the average Joe caught up in this, they may find themselves out of the loop. When facing the need for legal advice up to 96% of people utilize a search engine in their quest. On the surface, the law seems convoluted at times, but it does not have to be. Follow along with these explanations for some of the most common legal terms. Welcome to legal terminology 101!

Types of Lawyers

Not all lawyers are created the same. People use attorneys for all sorts of legal concerns. Some need lawyers because they are going through a divorce. Others are trying to settle a family member’s will and estate. You might have suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence. There are also people who have run afoul of the law. All of these scenarios involve the need for a lawyer, even though they are wildly different. A good law firm should have many different lawyers who specialize in the different legal aspects. If you’re caught up in a criminal court case, you don’t want a copyright attorney defending you. It is important to know the different functions and descriptions in legal terminology 101.

Family Law

A family law attorney handles all family-related legal proceedings. One of the most prominent functions of a family lawyer is handling divorce proceedings. They act as the estranged couples’ mediator. They will devise a plan of action and divvy up the assets. This is an extremely stressful time for families and a great family lawyer can handle the proceedings with the utmost sensitivity.

Family law attorneys do not just settle divorces. They will also assist in custody and guardianship cases. When a couple divorces, there is often so much more than just dividing assets. If they have young children, custody agreements must be settled as well. The lawyers, working with the parents will help decide what kind of agreement is best. Many different factors play into this. The individual’s financial situation, work schedule, and history all help decide the custody agreement. Other major duties of the job include settling the wills and estates of deceased family members and facilitating adoptions. Many of these situations involve high emotions and stress. It is important that family law attorneys have sensitivity and empathy to help these families deal with the process.

Injury Attorneys

Despite taking all necessary precautions and putting safety first, accidents do still happen. Sometimes they may be simple “acts of God,” where nobody is considered at fault. Most of the time, however, there is someone legally responsible. Someone may have cut safety corners and are negligent for the injuries that have occurred as a result of it. If you have been injured as a result of someone’s negligence, contacting a personal injury attorney should be a major priority. Many injury sufferers often lament dealing with insurance companies. A competent personal injury lawyer can take on the insurance companies and ensure fair compensation. They will investigate the claim and try to prove that the injury is a result of the other party’s negligence. They will also negotiate on your behalf with the company until a fair settlement is reached.

Sometimes the injury occurs at your place of employment. When that happens, you will be out of work for quite some time. Lost wages and mounting medical bills are sure to follow, placing undue stress on the injured person. Work injury attorneys will help ensure you fair worker’s compensation. They will try to close any legal loopholes that the employer may try to exploit. These attorneys should be knowledgeable about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and regulations. With this information, they can negotiate a settlement for you. Personal and work injury attorneys are vital members of the law community. Understanding their role is important in legal terminology 101.

Criminal Defense Attorneys

When someone pictures a lawyer, they often picture a criminal law attorney in the midst of “the trial of the century.” There have been numerous popular television shows and movies centered around this profession. While these portrayals are mostly unrealistic, a criminal law attorney plays an important role in the legal field. Anyone who is caught in legal hot water will need a criminal law attorney to navigate this legal minefield. Contrary to popular belief, most criminal cases do not wind up in a trial. These lawyers will fight to defend you and ensure fair treatment.

Criminal law attorneys should be knowledgeable in case law and precedence. They can use legal arguments from past cases and apply them to your case. If the district attorney has been overzealous in their charges, your attorney can negotiate the dropping of some of them. With the prospect of possible prison time looming, you will need a quality attorney representing you. They work to make sure that you are granted a 100% fair trial. Nobody wants to go to jail and a great attorney can help prevent that. Knowing all there is to know about criminal defense attorneys can help you tremendously in legal terminology 101.

Guns

There are numerous types of criminal law cases. Every night on the news, we see stories about criminals being taken into custody after breaking the law. The laws broken vary in severity. While all crime is not right, some are much more serious. The severity of the crime is usually reflected in the length of the sentence. Some crimes result in only a brief jail sentence or probation/community service. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have crimes that result in a life sentence or even the death penalty. A defining factor in many of these crimes involve guns. Guns play a major part in many crimes. A robbery charge can be further complicated for a theft defense attorney if a gun was prevalent at the crime. It is important to learn the role of guns in legal terminology 101.

Purchasing a gun is much more complicated than any other purchase. Before you can purchase a gun, a background check has to be conducted. The laws vary by state, but a background check remains a constant. These can help prevent guns from winding up in the wrong hands. For the store owners, the gun sale process is a process that should be taken seriously. Many gun sales are done illegally. Guns are a lucrative item on the black market. Criminals are known to shave off serial numbers so they cannot be traced. If you are planning to purchase a gun, it is important to follow all gun sale laws. A private sale from a friend may be the easier method but is not advised. It is best to buy from a certified gun salesperson. Consider these anecdotes in legal terminology 101 when making a purchase.

Bail Bonds

In legal terminology 101, you might hear of the term, bail bonds. When someone has been charged with a crime, they will also face the bail process. The bail is set to reflect the nature of the crime. For minor non-violent crimes, the bail will be set at a low amount or forfeited altogether. Serious crimes such as murder, acts of terrorism, and sex crimes, the defendant may be a danger to the public. An exuberantly high amount or none at all will be set to keep the defendant in police custody. If a defendant is unable to pay their bail, they must stay in jail during the legal process. This could throw a monkey wrench into their legal plans, as they plan to sort out their case. They will be out of work and unable to provide for their family at this time. This is where bail bonds come into play.

There are plenty of bail bonds services that you can utilize at this time. The agent, or bondsman, will pay a portion of the amount and make a promise to the court that the defendant will appear on their scheduled date. Should the defendant fail to appear, the bondsman will be required to pay the entire amount. You will have to pay a fee to the agent beforehand. The fee is typically about 10-15% of the actual bail amount. The bail bond service may require you to offer collateral, such as jewelry, so that they can be reimbursed after a court date no-show.

If you are searching in need of a bail bond service, it is important to conduct research. Solicit suggestions from friends and family who have been in similar situations. Make sure that it is a reputable service. Be wary of any scams and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Once you have found the right service you must adhere to all parameters of the contract you sign. If you understand this legal terminology 101, you will be able to navigate this tricky situation.

Other Types of Lawyers

Criminal, personal injury, and family lawyers are some of the most common attorneys we utilize today. They are not the only types of lawyers out there working. Some of these lawyers practice in specialized legal areas. You can continue to understand these types of law practices in legal terminology 101. Among these types of lawyers include, bankruptcy law, employment law, and immigration law.

Sometimes a business or person suffers a great financial loss. There are a number of different options that they can take. One option is bankruptcy. There are different types of bankruptcy and a bankruptcy lawyer will help guide the person or business through the process. Chapter 11 bankruptcy involves the reorganization of the loan in order to pay off their creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the total liquidation of the company assets. A bankruptcy lawyer will help you decide the best course of action. They can advise you of your eligibility and even help you avoid bankruptcy altogether if you can.

Legal concerns often arise in the workplace. An employee can have an issue with the company at large. The company itself may have legal problems with employees and outside vendors. In order to navigate these muddy waters, an employment lawyer will come in to play. Employment lawyers are well-versed in employment contracts and agreements. They can help settle any legal issues involving business relationships.

Immigration law is another essential law practice. They will help clients in all aspects of the immigration and citizenship process. They will help facilitate the legalities of the green card process. They will also help defend asylum seekers in immigration court. Immigration lawyers are knowledgeable in the different types of visas and help in the application process.

Shareholders’ Agreement

A shareholders, or stockholders, agreement is a legal document that helps decide the direction of a company and its management. Shareholder agreements. outline the shareholders’ rights and privileges. It is used to make sure that all shareholders are treated fairly. It can dictate the pricing of shares and how they are sold. A lawyer, who specializes in contract law, will help draft these agreements. If the shareholders feel they have been treated unfairly, they can contact a lawyer to settle to fight for their rights against the company. Shareholder agreements and the legal proceedings that involve them are import factors of legal terminology 101.

Having to deal with the legal process can be an overwhelming endeavor. Whether you’re going through a divorce, suffered an accident, or have been arrested, you will want someone to help guide you through this nerve-racking process. A quality lawyer will do just that. It can be a frightening situation, but with the right attorney, you can safely navigate these hiccups in life. There are several words and phrases in legal terminology 101 that you hopefully now have a better understanding of. The legal process can be a tricky one, but with the right research and the right team fighting for you, you’ll be ok.



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