Thursday, March 5, 2015

Plea Bargaining in Domestic Violence

Goodman Law Group, P.C.
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088


domestic violence lawyer


                Plea bargaining happens when there is an arrangement between the prosecutor and the defendant regarding a criminal case. The disposition should be agreed on by both parties involved. Plea bargaining could end a certain case without having a trial procedure. The most important part of plea bargaining is that the defendant should plead guilty and confess to the crime that he/she is being charged. The defendant, consulting a domestic violence lawyer, also waives his/her right to trial and understands the consequences (charges, maximum sentences, etc) he/she could get after pleading guilty.

Plea Bargaining in Domestic Violence
               
                The plea bargaining in domestic violence is often discouraged because it somehow betrays the policies regarding domestic violence, neglects the fact that the offender should be penalized, and decreases the gravity of the crime committed. However, plea bargaining is sometimes considered to spare the victim, even his/her family, from the stress of having a trial. Some victims find it stressful to testify in front of an audience which is necessary in trial proceedings.

The following are some recommendations regarding the use of plea bargaining:

  • The intention of protecting the victim, ending domestic violence, holding the offender accountable and reinforcing the grave criminal nature of domestic violence should be part of the approach in plea bargaining.
  • The victim should always be consulted by the defendant.
  • Plea negotiation before the arraignment would be preferred to reduce trauma for the victim and to immediately start the rehabilitation of the defendant.
  • The following questions should be asked in considering charge reduction:
     Is a child present during the crime?
     Were weapons used? Or were there any threats of using a weapon?
     Are there any injuries inflicted?
     Does the defendant have a history of abuse?
     Does the defendant have any prior criminal record?
     What is the extent of the violence and the evidence presented?
     What are the requests of the victim?

  • The results of the plea bargain should correspond to the sentencing guidelines of the office.
  • The reduced charge, if possible, should emulate the original nature of the crime.
  • Using the need for the defendant's timely rehabilitation as a basis for plea bargaining will be considered if the importance of its timeliness should be emphasized.

The judge, who does not participate in plea bargain discussions, may reject the guilty plea and the disposition itself if the charges do not have any factual basis.


If you have any concerns about domestic violence and other criminal offenses, consult with Atty. Ross Goodman, one of the top criminal defense lawyers in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How to Win a Child’s Sole Custody?

Goodman Law Group, P.C.
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088



Some parents who separate agree for a joint custody to their child. This means that they have to share the time that they will spend on the child and also share on the expenses for the child’s education, daily living and so on. Custody also has something to do with the decision-making on the child’s behalf regarding education and financial management. However, there are separated parents who do not want to share the custody of their child. Hence, they fight for sole custody.

Child’s Sole Custody in Nevada
In Nevada, if the child is still a minor, the sole custody automatically goes to the mother, making it hard for fathers to win the sole custody of his child. But don’t worry. It is still possible for the father to win his child’s sole custody with the help of a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer.

There would be a process of observation and interviews from professionals (who may be a lawyer or a psychologist) and acquaintances of both parties. The judge will also ask questions to both parties. The last stage of the process requires the decision of the judge on who will win the child’s sole custody.

Granting Sole Custody
Here are the factors considered by courts when granting sole custody rights:

  • Parenting ability - The court has to know who reaches out more to the child and who could satisfy the needs of the child emotionally. The parent has to prove that he/she teaches good values and that he is a good example to the child.
  • Financial Stability - The parent has to prove that he/she can give every need of the child and support him monetarily.
  •   Health - A healthy parent can function more than a weak one.
  • Involvement in child’s every activity - The parent has to prove that he/she is engaged with the child’s activities in school, community and home.


In some cases, one party easily gets the sole custody because he/she has proven that the other party isn’t a good example to the child. It is either the other party hurts the child, takes illegal drugs or has a mental or behavioral problem. If one party is not able to prove it, the case has to undergo the regular process.


If you want to win the sole custody of your child, hire a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer that could surely help you win the case. Atty. Ross C. Goodman is the most experienced and the most reliable criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas. Call his law firm, Goodman Law Group, at (702) 383-5088 for a free legal consultation. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jurisdictional Requirements for Domestic Violence Victims in Las Vegas

Goodman Law Group, P.C.
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088


Domestic violence cases are easy to file in Las Vegas, but they are not automatically accepted by the court. The plaintiff should meet several jurisdictional requirements first, before the case can be accommodated in court. Some cases are dismissed because they lack subject matter jurisdiction (as decided by the judge). If you are a defendant, make sure that you hire a Las Vegas domestic violence attorney who knows if the plaintiff or your complainant do not fall under any of the following requirements:

·         The victim is your spouse/former spouse           
Victims of domestic violence who fall under this category should be 18 years old and above. It could also be an emancipated minor. The victim could also share a child with you or both of you are expecting a child.

·         The victim is a household member or a former household member       
Aside from spousal relationships, domestic violence could also happen between a parent and a daughter/son. A house helper could also become a domestic violence victim especially if they are staying in the place of the accused.

·         You and the victim are in a dating relationship 
Most domestic violence cases happen between a man and a woman. So whether they are married or not, it is still possible for domestic violence to occur in this type of relationship.

These are just a few examples of some jurisdictional factors that a judge considers to make sure that a certain case is in fact under domestic violence. 

If you are looking for an experienced lawyer that specializes in domestic violence and other criminal cases in Las Vegas, look no further. Atty. Ross C. Goodman is one of the best lawyers in his field. If you need his services, just call (702) 383 – 5088 or visit his office at 520 South 4th Street Las Vegas, NV 89101.

Power and Control in Domestic Violence

Goodman Law Group, P.C.          
520 S 4th St,        
Las Vegas, NV 89101       
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088                
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088


Power and Control Wheel

The power and control wheel was developed in 1982 by the Domestic Abuse Program in Minneapolis to explain the nature of abuse, to delineate the forms of abuse used to control another person, and to educate people with the goal of stopping violence. (source: Wikipedia)

Why does a person choose to abuse?
Basically, a person chooses to abuse someone for power and control.  By using different strategies, an abuser is able to gain and maintain control over a victim.

Here are some ways on how power and control is used in domestic violence:

Emotional Abuse
This is also known as psychological abuse or “chronic verbal aggression” by researchers. 

Common examples:
·         Improper name calling
·         Constant criticism
·         Belittling the victim’s abilities and competency
·         Jealousy
·         Accusations of imagined affairs
·         Insults
·         Withholding affection
·         Putdowns
·         Silent treatment
·         Threats to friends/family
·         Public humiliation
·         Manipulating the victim’s feelings and emotions to induce guilt
·         Blaming the victim for the abuse
·         Verbally abusing the victim
·         Threatening to “out” partners in the GLBT community
·         Subverting a partner’s relationship with the children
·         Repeatedly making and breaking promises.


Physical Abuse
This is defined as the use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment.

Examples:
·         Hitting
·         Grabbing
·         Smacking
·         Pinching
·         Kicking
·         Shoving
·         Biting
·         Slapping
·         Burning
·         Arm-twisting
·         Pushing
·         Punching
·         Restraining from leaving a room/house
·         Hitting or threats with objects or weapon
·         Strangulation
·         Stabbing
·         Shooting. 

Sexual Abuse
This involves attempting to coerce any sexual contact without the consent of the victim.

Examples:
·         Marital rape
·         Acquaintance rape
·         Forced prostitution
·         Forced sex after physical beating
·         Criticizing sexual performance
·         Unwanted sexual acts
·         Forcing unprotected sex/pregnancy
·         Fondling
·         Sodomy
·         Sex outside the relationship – putting the victim at risk for disease.

Financial Abuse
This involves misuse of a person’s money, property or assets through theft or fraud.

Example
·         Having total control over the victim’s earned income
·         Having total control over victim’s public assistance or social security
·         Being forced to work
·         Having no access to money
·         Being given an allowance
·         Forbidding attendance at school
·         Forbidding employment
·         Not having any say in how the money is spent
·         Having to beg or ask for more money
·         Forced welfare fraud
·         Withholding information about family running up bills for which the victim is responsible for payment, having to do favors for money.


Are you accused of being responsible to any of these forms of abuse? Hire a domestic violence lawyer right away! Atty. Ross C. Goodman is one of the most prominent and the most experienced Las Vegas domestic violence lawyers.  Call him at (702) 383-5088 or visit his office for a free legal consultation.






Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Criminal Court Process in Las Vegas Nevada

Goodman Law Group, P.C.
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088


A criminal case like domestic violence takes a long process in Nevada. That is why you need to hire an experienced and excellent Las Vegas Domestic Violence lawyer who can guide you in this drawn-out process. Here are the phases that explain the criminal court process in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Arraignment
The Arraignment is the first appearance of the defendant in court once a criminal case has been formally filed against him/her. The person will be notified of the criminal complaint against him/her. The defendant is required to give a plea, whether it is “guilty”, “no contest” or “not guilty”. Then, the next court date will be scheduled which might be for a pretrial, preliminary hearing or a trial.

Pretrial Conference
A pretrial is when the District Attorney provides the defense attorney with all the evidences that they plan to use against the defendant during trial. If there is any evidence beneficial to the defendant, the DA needs to hand it over. The DA and the defense attorney will consider a plea bargain. It is when the defendant agrees to plead “guilty” or “no contest” to reduce the charges and/or penalties. If the judge approves the plea bargain, the domestic violence case goes directly to the sentencing phase.

Preliminary Hearings                                                            
When the domestic violence case is considered a felony, a preliminary hearing happens. This is a vital phase as it can help the judge determine whether the evidences are sufficient to proceed from justice court up to district court (where felony cases are handled). Additionally, it helps the defense prepare for a trial as it can give a preview of the DA’s case. The judge may either discharge the case or let it be “bound over” to the district court.
*Bound over - the judge has released a discovery that there is a “probable cause” to proceed.

Trial
If the case is not dismissed or settled by plea bargain, it proceeds to a trial. The victim and the other witnesses will be given a subpoena to testify in court on the scheduled trial date. Depending on the case, the trial may either be a “bench trial” or a “jury trial”. A bench trial is when the ruling judge declares the verdict, while a jury trial is when a group of local citizens in Nevada is asked to sit during a trial and render the verdict. All the evidences provided by both parties will be heard by the judge and/or the jury and then decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
Note: Only those cases who are facing more than six months in jail are allowed to have a jury trial.

Sentencing
The judge will enforce the right sentence based on the guidelines formed by the Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) if the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty at trial. The sentence depends on the level of domestic violence charges, from misdemeanor to felony cases. It may include fines, imprisonment, community service and counseling.

If you are facing domestic violence charges, Atty. Ross C. Goodman can assist you in the whole criminal court process. He is an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Las Vegas who specializes in criminal defense. Just call (702) 383 – 5088 for more information.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Questions to Ask Your Prospect Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer

Goodman Law Group, P.C.         
520 S 4th St,       
Las Vegas, NV 89101      
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088               
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088

                There are many criminal defense lawyers in Las Vegas and hiring one is no easy task. Here are some of the questions you should ask your prospect Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer to know if he is the right one for your case:

Background/Qualifications
Of course you have to choose a criminal defense lawyer that has an impressive background. You can ask his/her educational background and questions related to the charges he/she has defended. Here some examples:

·         When did you graduate and where did you attend law school?
·         How long have you been practicing criminal defense?
·         How many charges similar in my case have you handled?
·         Do your clients go to trial?
·         How often do you negotiate plea agreements with the prosecutor’s office?


Legal fees          
Make sure that you and your Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer are on the same page when it comes to professional and other fees. Some lawyers charge an hourly fee or a flat fee. Although several lawyers have lower rates, it is given that a criminal defense lawyer with an impressive reputation could charge more than the average. Here are some sample questions for your lawyer regarding legal fees:

·          Do you charge your clients an hourly fee or a flat fee?
·         (If the lawyer charges an hourly fee) What is your rate by the hour? Do I have to pay for a retainer fee?
·         (If the lawyer charges a flat fee) How much is it? What does it include and does not include? Do I have to pay everything in advance? Is it refundable?
·         Are there any other expenses that I have to pay outside your fee? What could they be? Can you provide me an estimate?      


Case assessment            
A good criminal defense lawyer should be able to give you an idea of what you should expect whether you are charged in a county, state or federal court. Here are some relevant questions you could ask:

·         Do I have plenty of legal options?
·         What would you recommend: a guilty plea, a plea agreement or a trial?
·         What problems you think we could face in my particular case?
·         What are the aspects of my case do you think that could work in my favor?
·         Could you walk me through the legal process?



Case management         
Your criminal defense lawyer should be able to provide you everything that is happening in your case to avoid confusion which includes how he/she handles the logistics of your case. Here are some sample questions regarding case management:

·         Is there anyone who will work in my case? Who is he and what is his roles?
·         Are you the one who will represent me in court? If not, who will it be?
·         Can I call you if I have certain concerns or will it be someone else’s responsibility?
·         How do you prefer to be reached?
·         Do we have to meet regularly? Or will you arrange meetings only if necessary?




Atty. Ross C. Goodman is one of the best criminal defense lawyers in Las Vegas. If you are charged with criminal offenses such as domestic violence, DUI and drug crimes, just call Goodman Law Group at (702) 383-5088 and he will gladly help.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Domestic Violence Conviction Repercussions

Goodman Law Group, P.C.
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088

hands in handcuffs


Being charged with domestic violence is different from being convicted. There are certain consequences of being formerly convicted in a civil or criminal charge. This is the reason why you should hire an excellent Las Vegas domestic violence lawyer who will defend you in court. Here are some of the repercussions of being convicted of a domestic violence case:

·         Loss of child custody or visitation rights      
         
This would be applicable if the person convicted has a child or children. One of the major factors that the court considers in determining the visitation rights and custody is whether one of the parties has a history of domestic violence. The court always considers what is best for the children, especially because they are minors.

·         Not having more employment opportunities     

Although there are just a few restrictions on hiring a former convicted individual, some employers are hesitant to hire people who were once convicted. It would also be difficult for them to find jobs because their options are limited.

·         There could be no chance of possessing firearms again 

Offenders, especially those who have been issued with restraining orders, are usually restrained from firearm ownership or possession. This could be a problem for people whose job descriptions require firearms (e.g. police officers, security guards, etc).

·         Revocation or denial of certain state licenses    

There is a possibility that a person convicted of domestic violence may lose certain licenses and certificates such as professional licenses or business licenses. There is also a possibility that these important licenses and certificates can no longer be renewed in the future.

·         Issuance of criminal law restraining order           

If there are allegations of domestic violence, criminal and family courts automatically issue restraining orders to the accused to protect the victim. This could mean that the convicted would be spared of his liberty since he would be restrained from going to certain locations.


Atty. Ross C. Goodman is one of the best domestic violence lawyers in Las Vegas. He specializes in criminal defense. He has the highest record of “not guilty verdicts” in Las Vegas. If you need his help, just call (702) 383 – 5088. You may also visit his office at 520 South 4th Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101.