Criminal law covers a whole host of laws, but its defining characteristic is that it represents crimes committed against the public. This means the nature of a criminal act undermines the interests of the public as a whole.
Civil law, on the other hand, covers crimes committed against individuals. Breaking a contract would be an example of a civil crime, as it doesn’t affect all of society.
Still, this is a rather basic understanding of what criminal law entails. To get a better understanding of what types of things fall under the general umbrella of “criminal law”, we’ll begin with the three broad categories of crime:
22 Apr / 2014
Adopting a child locally is not for everyone. Some people struggle knowing that the baby’s birth family is nearby and might later want the child. Others struggle to find a child they’d like to adopt within the timeframes they want.
These factors sometimes lead parents to consider international adoption. While this is an amazing act of charity on the part of the adoptive parents, it also comes with its own set of unique challenges. Continue reading to discover what some of those are so you can make sure you’re ready for them.
15 Apr / 2014
Adoption is a lifelong decision that, while rewarding, oftentimes begins with anxiety and stress. One decision you’ll need to make is what method you’ll be using for adoption. As this will affect the rest of the process, continue reading so you better understand some of your options.
15 Nov / 2013
With the onset of the holiday season comes the onset of holiday parties. These are just one more reason to enjoy this time of year.
It’s always fun seeing loved ones, exchanging gifts and partaking in old traditions.
However, you know what they say about too much of a good thing which can be a problem when it comes to drinking and driving home from holiday parties. While this is no crime by itself, getting behind the wheel absolutely is.
10 Sep / 2013
If you are thinking about filing for an uncontested divorce, it can understandably be tempting to try a do-it-yourself divorce. Many couples believe that not involving attorneys will save them money and make the process go faster so they can easily move on with their lives.
The majority of these couples are in for the troubling surprise, because DIY divorces typically create more hassle and greater expenses than if you seek legal guidance or let an attorney handle the process for you.
03 Sep / 2013
The domestic adoption process may be somewhat complex, but it is possible to complete an adoption much more swiftly than many people realize.
According to a survey completed by Adoptive Families in 2011, most of the survey participants were matched with a birthmother for a newborn adoption in less than three months, and 40% were matched less than one month before the child was born.
While this may be very encouraging to learn, before you move forward with your own domestic adoption, it is essential to understand what you can expect from the process and what preparation and steps are involved.
When you see that your marriage is coming to an end, it may be difficult and stressful to wrap your head around the many implications, but you must begin preparing for the difficult process which lies ahead as soon as possible to prevent further stress and dilemma. One area that often becomes the most complicated to deal with is the area of spousal support, also known as alimony.
Whether or not you realize it, your marriage is viewed as a form of legal agreement. You and your spouse agreed to form this partnership, and when the partnership ends, you have to come to a fair and just decision regarding how assets and income are going to be divided amongst the two of you. This includes ensuring that both spouses have sufficient income based on the standards established during the marriage, both after the divorce is filed and after it is finalized.
20 May / 2013
USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is run by the federal government. It is the agency that is given the responsibility of overseeing lawful immigration within the boundaries of the United States. The agency falls under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security.
USCIS provides specific services at a federal level. Many of these services include:
An Avenue to Citizenship
The USCIS provides the processes and procedures for lawful immigrants wishing to become a United States citizen. Through the naturalization process, an eligible applicant can submit an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (N-400). Once USCIS determines an applicant is prima facie eligible, he or she will have an ‘interveiw’ with an immigration officer at the local USCIS office to confirm the information in the application and administer the English and civics examination.
06 May / 2013
Since 2000, the United States has provided U Visas to noncitizen individuals who have been a victim of a crime. The visa provides the opportunity to allow the individual to legally remain within the boundaries of the United States and obtain work authorization in exchange for their agreement to assisting law enforcement authorities in the investigation, and possible prosecution, of crimes and their perpetrators. Only victims of certain crimes qualify for U Nonimmigrant Status, but it may be available to any non-citizen victim of crimes involving domestic violence or other violence related crimes, such as incest, rape, domestic violence, trafficking, sexual assault, torture, prostitution, slave trading, abduction, involuntary servitude, unlawful criminal restraint, extortion, murder, felonious assault, perjury, conspiracy, witness tampering and many others. U Nonimmigrant Status may be available not only to the crime victim, but also to the victim’s qualifying relatives as well.
The federal government has strict immigration inadmissibility grounds that must not be violated. If the principal applicant or his or her family members have violated any of the inadmissibility grounds, they may need to file a waiver asking that the specific violations be set aside or excused . Inadmissibility grounds are often the factors involved in an individual’s inability to receive specific benefits such as obtaining a green card or entering into the United States.
29 Apr / 2013
Many individuals abroad have considered working in the US, either in the short or long term. However, the United States government does not provide “a work permit” or “worker visa” to just anyone.
The only way a foreign national has the ability to work within the boundaries of the United States is to qualify for a specific visa that provides him or her with authorization to work in the United States. Not all of the 20 different types of non-immigrant visas comes with work authorization. And even those visas that do allow for work authorization come with strict limitations, and strict penalties for violating any subscribed limitations.
Working in the United States
For individuals wishing to work in the United States, there are two specific visas that may allow temporary migration to the United States. Through commercial treaties with numerous countries around the globe, the US provides both an E-1 and E- 2 visa, available specifically to those who are employed for a trading business who does trade between a treaty company and the United States or invests and manages such a company.
To be eligible for an E-visa, the employing business or investment must provide significant trade between the individual’s country of nationality and the US. A Treaty Trader E-1 Visa is available for those are employed in a high ranking position for a international trade company. The other option is a Treaty Investors E-2 Visa for individuals who will invest in a business in the United States and maintain control over the investment in the United States.
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A quick comparison of the two includes:
- Treaty Trader E-1 Visa – An individual holding this particular type of visa is required to hold a controlling position in a company that produces substantial trade between their own national country and the United States. However, there is no specific minimum requirement of investment by the invidual other than to produce adequate income to maintain the financial needs of the individual and his or her immediate family, also residing in the Untied States.
- Treaty Investor E-2 Visa – This type of visa is specifically founded on investments. Any individual that is investing a significant amount of financial capital can apply for a treaty investor visa. This may allow him or her to come to the United States to develop the specific operations necessary to create and manage the enterprise involved in the investment.
Both types of visas allow the individual to arrive and remain within the borders of the United States for an indeterminate amount of time. However, it must be their intention to depart the United States once the status of their E-1 or E-2 has terminated or expired.
An experienced employment visa attorney can assist foreign nationals who are seeking visas to work for treaty companies in a variety of capacities including as a supervisor, manager or executive. Additionally, a visa could also be obtained by foreign nationals that have specific qualifications that are crucial to the daily operation of an invested enterprise within the United States. The immigration laws also allow a spouse of an individual holding an E-1 or E-2 Investors/Treaty Visa to apply for permission to work within the United States.
There are also other types of employment visas available that include:
- H Visa – Issued to professional workers in temporary situations
- L Visa – Issued to transferees within a company
- O Visa – Issued to individuals that are recognized as having international or national acclaim
- P Visa – Issued to entertainers, artists and athletes
- R Visa – Issued to members of religious orders including ministers, religious workers and clergy
The employment visa laws within the United States are extremely complex. If you have questions or concerns about the processes and procedures listed here, please contact us today to setup an initial consultation.