Many people are worried that if they’ve been charged with a crime that there will automatically be prison time. However, prison time tends to be less common of a potential outcome in the majority of criminal cases, especially if the crime is non-violent and you have no or very little previous criminal history. Many cases can be resolved with community service or treatment programs and often sentences are probationary in nature rather than requiring active time. This of course depends predominantly on the charges against you and your criminal history.


Once you know the elements you'll have to prove to win your case, you can figure out what types of evidence will help you prove each key fact. However, not every kind of evidence can be presented in a courtroom: Complicated rules of evidence determine whether a particular document, statement, or item is admissible in court. Although you don't have to master every detail of these rules, you should do enough research to make sure that you'll be able to present the evidence you need to win.
A criminal case may in some jurisdictions be settled before a trial through a plea bargain. Typically, in a plea bargain, the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge than that which was originally brought by the grand jury or prosecutor. A defendant who goes to trial risks greater penalties than would normally be imposed through a plea bargain.
If the defendant chooses to file an answer within the time permitted, the answer must address each of the plaintiffs' allegations. The defendant has three choices to make, which include either admitting to the allegation, denying it, or pleading a lack of sufficient information to admit or deny the allegation. Some jurisdictions, like California and Florida, still authorize general denials of each and every allegation in the complaint. At the time the defendant files an answer, the defendant also raises all "affirmative" defenses. The defendant may also assert counterclaims for damages or equitable relief against the plaintiff. For example, in the case of "compulsory counterclaims," the defendant must assert some form of counterclaim or risk having the counterclaim barred in any subsequent proceeding. In the case of making a counterclaim, the defendant is making a motion directed towards the plaintiff claiming that he/she was injured in some way or would like to sue the plaintiff. The plaintiff in this example would then receive some amount of time to make a reply to this counterclaim. The defendant may also file a "third party complaint", which is the defendant's privilege to join another party or parties in the action with the belief that those parties may be liable for some or all of the plaintiff's claimed damages. An answer from the defendant in response to the claims made against him/her, can also include additional facts or a so-called "excuse" for the plead. Filing an answer "joins the cause" and moves the case into the pre-trial phase.
Whether you have been sued, or are planning to sue, you can win your case at various stages of the litigation. You must understand the law as well as the applicable procedural rules. You will win a case if you can show that your opponent missed a filing deadline, has no legitimate cause of action, spoiled or destroyed evidence, or doesn’t have strong enough evidence to win at trial.

When a final judgment is entered, the plaintiff is usually barred under the doctrine of res judicata from relitigating any of the issues, even under different legal theories. Judgments are typically a monetary award. If the defendant fails to pay, the court has various powers to seize any of the defendant's assets located within its jurisdiction, such as:


Federal investigators say William "Rick" Singer, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to money laundering, racketeering, tax evasion and other charges, took in about $25 million from 2011 to 2018 to bribe college coaches and create fake athlete profiles, some with staged photographs. In exchange, coaches would designate his clients’ children as recruited athletes to make their admissions easier.


NEW YORK, April 5- A federal judge in Manhattan on Friday rejected Expedia Inc's request for an injunction that would have required United Airlines to continue providing fare data for flights after Sept. 30, when the companies' contract ends. An injunction would have required United, part of Chicago- based United Continental Holdings Inc, to provide Expedia with...
1. “A court may not render a judgment which transcends the limits of its authority, and a judgment is void if it is beyond the powers granted to the court by the law of its organization, even where the court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter. Thus, if a court is authorized by statute to entertain jurisdiction in a particular case only, and undertakes to exercise the jurisdiction conferred in a case to which the statute has no application, the judgment rendered is void.” 46 Am. Jur. 2d, Judgments § 25, pp. 388-89.
A little respect goes a long way in the courtroom, particularly when you are representing yourself. Address the judge as "your honor," not as "Judge Smith" or "Mr. Smith." Try your best to be polite to your opponent, not demeaning or petty. Showing respect for people and procedures in the courtroom will help you gain the respect of the judge, which will make your day in court a more pleasant experience.
Try to maintain a subtle, composed smile at all times. “Practice in the mirror. You don’t want to look like a crazy person. But you might discover that a subtle, practiced smile looks friendlier and exudes more confidence than your natural expression does at rest. There’s truth to that 1980s deodorant slogan, ‘Never let them see you sweat.’ Your star witness buckles under cross-examination? Smile your subtle, practiced smile. Unexpected testimony shocks you? Subtle smile. If you frown or rock backward in surprise, a juror might conclude that you think your case has been undermined. If you keep your neutral, subtle smile, it instead says: ‘Everything’s going my way, just as I expected, all part of my master plan.’”
Two-thirds of the cases accuse the Trump administration of violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), a nearly 73-year-old law that forms the primary bulwark against arbitrary rule. The normal “win rate” for the government in such cases is about 70 percent, according to analysts and studies. But as of mid-January, a database maintained by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law shows Trump’s win rate at about 6 percent.
In civil lawsuits, particularly in  Small Claims Court, you can get a judgment by the Court for money owed you, but you may have great difficulty collecting the money. There are ways the Court can put pressure on the payee, with garnishment or a lien against the property. In these cases, you must be proactive in getting the court to use its power in any legal means necessary to get someone to pay, But, as they say, "you can't get blood from a turnip."
The court may be unwilling to enter a default judgment. But you can effectively win your case anyway. You can ask the court to prevent the other party from offering any evidence on the topic. For example, if the party’s defense is that you sent an email agreeing to a change in a contract, but that party destroyed the email, then the judge can prevent the party from arguing that you ever agreed to the change.
Two-thirds of the cases accuse the Trump administration of violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), a nearly 73-year-old law that forms the primary bulwark against arbitrary rule. The normal “win rate” for the government in such cases is about 70 percent, according to analysts and studies. But as of mid-January, a database maintained by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law shows Trump’s win rate at about 6 percent.
David Brown practices law in the Monterey, California area, where he has represented both landlords and tenants in hundreds of court cases -- most of which he felt could have been avoided if both sides were more fully informed about landlord/tenant law. Brown, a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Santa Clara Law School, also teaches law at the Monterey College of Law and is the author of Fight Your Ticket in California, Beat Your Ticket and others.
His lawyer said he reckoned he would win his lawsuit and get the money if they ever got started on the trial; but then there was ways to put it off a long time, and Judge Thatcher knowed how to do it And he said people allowed there'd be another trial to get me away from him and give me to the widow for my guardian, and they guessed it would win this time.
     5. Be like Clint Eastwood. “Look out for the jurors in the box. If Juror No. 3 is having a coughing fit, suggest a break or ask the judge if the juror can have a cup of water. Bless sneezes. An attorney who represents the National Enquirer told me about a trial in which the tabloid was sued by Clint Eastwood. During the actor’s testimony, an elderly juror sneezed. Eastwood stopped in the middle of his sentence and turned to the juror, meeting her rheumy brown eyes with his piercing blue ones. ‘God bless you, ma’am,’ he said. As she melted, the attorney for the magazine knew he’d lost the case.”
Prepare to defend court victories politically: Winning in court often isn’t enough, as opponents can mount attempts through legislatures or at the ballot to reverse good decisions and otherwise try to delegitimize the win. State constitutional amendments nullified court victories in Hawaii in the 1990s and stripped away the freedom to marry in California in 2008.  Advocates should be completely prepared to fight back against efforts to overturn the rulings, and should also work post-victory to allay concerns, refute falsehoods, and solidify support so as to leverage the win. In Massachusetts, for example, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court victory on the freedom to marry was immediately followed by attempts in the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment repealing the freedom to marry. Without the strong leadership of MassEquality, supported by national groups and funders, and many months of public education work and organizing across the state, the nation’s first marriage state could have been a short-lived triumph. Similarly, in New Mexico in 2013, we prepared for an eventual state Supreme Court ruling on marriage by launching one of our joint campaigns, New Mexico United for Marriage, focused singularly on protecting the ruling, organizing in the legislature, and directing state-wide attention to the joy brought on by the freedom to marry.
As often as possible (as we did with the plaintiffs in Texas, Mark Phariss & Vic Holmes and Cleo & Nicole Dimetman-DeLeon) Freedom to Marry would work with private legal teams or our movement partners to write in-depth profiles and stories about the plaintiffs involved in the legal cases. By spotlighting their story in this way, we were able to extend the reach of the case and allow thousands more to connect with the personal reasons behind fighting for the freedom to marry.
If all assets are located elsewhere, the plaintiff must file another suit in the appropriate court to seek enforcement of the other court's previous judgment. This can be a difficult task when crossing from a court in one state or nation to another, however, courts tend to grant each other respect when there is not a clear legal rule to the contrary. A defendant who has no assets in any jurisdiction is said to be "judgment-proof."[10] The term is generally a colloquialism to describe an impecunious defendant.
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The HOPE Court judge recognizes that high-risk offenders, who may also have co-occurring disorders, or who have failed in drug abuse treatment, fare better in HOPE Court when they are required to attend frequent status checks. Under Judge Bert Brown’s close courtroom supervision, offenders move from the streets to sober living. The program's success is based upon Judge Brown’s zero judicial tolerance, coupled with rehabilitation programs and alternative sentencing.
The court may be unwilling to enter a default judgment. But you can effectively win your case anyway. You can ask the court to prevent the other party from offering any evidence on the topic. For example, if the party’s defense is that you sent an email agreeing to a change in a contract, but that party destroyed the email, then the judge can prevent the party from arguing that you ever agreed to the change.
Washington state has become a battleground over the legality of online gambling. A landmark ruling last year against the then-parent company of Seattle-based Big Fish Games found that it was facilitating online gambling because the chips in the company’s casual casino games represented a “thing of value” under state law because users can’t play without them.
Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the course of his 35-year career he was a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms put more mojo in their practice through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations.
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If all assets are located elsewhere, the plaintiff must file another suit in the appropriate court to seek enforcement of the other court's previous judgment. This can be a difficult task when crossing from a court in one state or nation to another, however, courts tend to grant each other respect when there is not a clear legal rule to the contrary. A defendant who has no assets in any jurisdiction is said to be "judgment-proof."[10] The term is generally a colloquialism to describe an impecunious defendant.

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