Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This area of our website is designed to offer you straightforward answers to some of your most common questions related to legal matters. Getting basic information can help you begin to make the right choices about your case, whether it involves a minor legal matter or a potentially life-changing issue. In addition to reviewing the frequently asked questions here, we welcome you to visit our Information Center to find out more about the different types of practice areas the Christian attorneys listed in our directory can handle.

Do I need an attorney?

Determining whether you should hire an attorney is a personal choice that should be made based upon your particular situation. Depending on your needs and the specific type of legal matter you are dealing with, you may or may not require legal counsel at this point in time. The best way we can recommend of determining whether to hire an attorney is to schedule a confidential consultation with one. By talking to a local attorney about your case and concerns, you can get the information you need to make your own decision of whether you need legal counsel.

How do I know if I have grounds for a personal injury claim?

A personal injury lawsuit may be filed against an individual or company that has acted in such a way as to cause you physical and/or emotional injury. You will need to have grounds to file a lawsuit. This is typically based on negligence, which is a failure to act with proper caution or care in the circumstances, but you may also have grounds based upon intentional conduct. A lawyer can review your case and the cause of your injuries to determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

All criminal offenses are separated into different categories depending on the penalties that may be imposed if a defendant is convicted. Each state will have its own implementation of specific penalties for felonies versus misdemeanors, but the key difference is usually whether the defendant will face imprisonment in county jail or state prison. A felony is the more serious of the two, and penalties may range from 6 months to life in state prison, depending on the state. Some felonies are even punishable by death. A misdemeanor is generally punishable by up to 1 year in county jail, though this too may vary depending on the jurisdiction.

What are some of the penalties associated with DUI/DWI?

DUI, or driving under the influence, may be punishable by imprisonment and fines, community service, probation, license suspension and alcohol or drug rehabilitation. The specific penalties that a defendant will face will vary primarily depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstance surrounding the alleged offense, such as a first time DUI as opposed to causing a fatal auto accident while driving under the influence.

Can bankruptcy eliminate all of my debt?

Bankruptcy has the power to reorganize and eliminate debt. Generally speaking, it will only eliminate unsecured debt such as credit card bills, personal loans, medical bills, dental bills, utility bills and other debt that is not secured by collateral. Bankruptcy usually does not eliminate student loans, child support, spousal support and certain taxes. It is important to talk to an attorney about your particular financial situation to see how your debt may be affected by bankruptcy.

How is child custody determined?

Though every state is different, child custody is typically determined based upon what is in the "best interests of the child" – the scenario that will most contribute to the child's physical and emotional well-being. If parents cannot reach their own agreement pertaining to custody and visitation (referred to as time sharing in some states) then the court may intervene, making a ruling based on what it considers to be in the child's best interests.

How can a lawyer help me apply for a visa or green card?

Applying to become a legal permanent resident or seeking to live in the U.S. on a temporary or permanent basis will require that you apply for a green card or visa. With complex laws and notoriously strict application requirements, U.S. immigration matters of all kinds are best addressed with skilled legal representation. An attorney can ensure full compliance in applying for a visa or green card and can assist you in addressing any issue that may arise, serving to expedite the process and help you avoid a mistake that could cost you your eligibility.

I believe I was passed up for a promotion because of my religious beliefs. Do I have grounds for a discrimination lawsuit?

Employers throughout the U.S. are prohibited from discriminating against a job applicant or employee based upon his or her gender, age, disability, race, nationality, religious beliefs, political beliefs or sexual orientation. If you believe you were passed up for a promotion or otherwise discriminated against for any of these reasons, you may have a case. It will be important for an attorney to thoroughly review the matter to determine what can be done to hold your employer responsible.

You can find out the answers to your specific questions by contacting any of the attorneys listed in our nationwide directory. Click here to find a Christian lawyer near you.

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