Monday, December 3, 2012

Young Man Says Local Attorney Saved His Life


A twenty-five-year-old young family man and manager of a local fast food restaurant was charged with a felony non-violent crime.  He did not have a lot of money to hire a private attorney and therefore was appointed a public defender.  He eventually had two public defenders on his case who negotiated what he thought was a good deal for him. 

This young man is a lawful permanent resident of the United States and he repeatedly asked if he would be deported to El Salvador, a place he had not been to since he was a young child.  One of his friends was recently deported to El Salvador and was promptly killed by the MS-13 gang there.

The public defenders said that he may be deported but they were not sure and that he would have to consult with an immigration attorney.  They suggested he take the plea deal because it meant that he would not get any prison time, even though it would be a felony conviction.  He took the deal and was returned to his family and his job.

Three months later, immigration officials arrested him and put him in lock-up for deportation to El Salvador.  This young man knew no one in El Salvador and faced the prospect of being killed or joining a vicious gang to survive.  Likely, he would never see his newborn child again.

While he was in lock-up, his family looked for an attorney to help him and found my friend attorney David Jacks.  David tried many procedures and filed documents with both federal immigration court and criminal court in Las Vegas.  His task was daunting and many criminal defense attorneys he turned to for guidance, including me, were skeptical that he could get results.  Over the next three months David optimistically worked every week on the case until he was able to get the Nevada criminal court in Las Vegas to reopen the case and overturn the conviction.  This post-conviction relief is a very difficult criminal procedure in Nevada and rarely is accomplished. 

To David’s credit, owing to hard and persistent work on the case, he succeeded in getting the conviction overturned and the crime reduced to a non-deportable offense -- a misdemeanor.  Once Las Vegas, or the State of Nevada, reduced the charge, the federal immigration court had no choice but to release the young man.  

After three months being locked up and facing almost certain deportation to a country where death or horror awaited, David Jacks’ work returned the young man to his waiting family.  Moreover, because the conviction was reversed, this young man can pursue US Citizenship, after which he will never face deportation again.

Later, the young man gave David a big hug and said, "You saved my life." 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Should I pay my traffic citation?


Residents and tourists alike are charged with traffic offenses such as speeding or failing to yield each year in, and around, the Las Vegas Valley, however few realize the problems associated with a traffic charge conviction.

When a person handed a traffic citation by the police pleads guilty to the traffic violation, pays a fine, and attends traffic school, that person probably has not considered the following results associated with pleading guilty to a traffic citation:

•          Every conviction for a moving violation likely will raise your insurance rates.
•          Multiple convictions for traffic violations will likely result in a driver’s license suspension or license revocation. In Nevada, if you are convicted of driving with a suspended license, you may 
be restricted from acquiring a new license for a full year.
•          If you were involved in an automobile accident, received a moving citation, and are being sued civilly, the conviction may be used in the civil lawsuit to show that you were per se negligent.
•          If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you may lose your license and the ability to earn a living. 
•          If you handle the traffic ticket by yourself, you will probably take at least 1 day off from work to go to court to resolve the ticket, and it is not a pleasant experience. 
As a result of convictions for moving violations, like simple speeding tickets, you will likely pay fines, court administrative fees, increased insurance costs, and attend traffic school. Further, you could suffer possible suspension or revocation of you driver’s license. If your Nevada license is suspended, you will not be able to obtain a license in any other State until the Nevada suspension is completed. On top of this, you will need to miss a whole day’s pay, just to go to court!

So, how can you likely prevent the headaches associated with the above for some minor traffic infraction? 

You hire a criminal defense attorney with experience negotiating thousands of citations.  Attorney Anthony Wright has negotiated plea deals for misdemeanor traffic citations for many years and will bring his knowledge to the court for your matter and you will likely have to do little more than pay his fee, give him a copy of the citation, and then pay the fine to the court upon a negotiated deal.

Read more of our articles on Las Vegas criminal law.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Loneliness


Each one of us is like many others yet each one is unique. We belong to a group and yet are individuals, alone in the perspectives our minds and experiences create. Some of us are more able to understand the perspectives of others and can empathize; some of us are too caught up in ourselves to give much thought to others.


No matter which, we are susceptible to loneliness--extreme, excruciating introspection such that we feel isolated from all others.

Then is when we contemplate the ultimate question--WHY?

It is the question that religions and philosophies have grappled to no ultimate answer. Are we the playthings of a God or gods, or merely organized space dust? Why are we here? Why bother to continue living? What more is there? What difference do I make?



Some think they have it figured out and may be happy in their delusions. Often these folks belong to a collective that all think they have it figured out and thus are less likely to fall into the grave despair of loneliness. 



Others know that they do not know and can spiral into the deepest darkness as they either give up caring for themselves or indulge themselves to excess in an attempt to quiet that evil question, "Why?"



In the philosophy and practice of law we learn that this is a dangerous question. "Why?" leaves open too many potential answers. It is a question we do not always know how a witness will answer while testifying and the response could destroy our case.

So, we tend to ask “who?”, “what?”, “when?”, and “where?” in order to try and get the jury to figure out the "why?" in a way that benefits our side. We can suggest the motive, but if the witness blurts out the motive, the jury need not grapple with it.

 

If we all knew the answer to the ultimate question of life, we would not need to endure life. We would realize that the answer is reached and would stop striving to reach it. Our journey is not unlike a deliberating jury attempting to figure out a winner and a loser.

If we give up on our pursuit of the answer we are giving up on all our potential. We will stop growing as a species. We will not explore, not wonder, not care. We will not win and we will not lose. We will only stagnate.



Lawyers are very susceptible to loneliness. We are problem solvers and despise unanswerable questions. In our lonely search for the truth we can alienate others and even alienate ourselves from ourselves. We start to feel powerless and fearful. We start to wonder whether it is worth going on, waking up, fighting another day. We dread the tasks at hand and wonder whether it is all worthwhile.



Some lawyers let the stress get to them and give in and give up--on the profession, on their health, and even on life. Victories become hollow and losses unbearable. Nothing quenches that desire for truth and for a sense of wanting to belong. Too many victories cause us to wonder what more there is and too many losses cause us to wonder, "what's the point?"



If we all knew the ultimate answer, would we have so much diversity? Would we have an exciting world? I doubt it. We would be much more alike because we would all know one single truth. We would then lose individualism. We would be so crowded and bored that life would be useless. 



I theorize that individualism and unsolved puzzles are far more interesting and suspenseful than collective boredom. Earth, with its great diversity, is far more desirable than eternal sameness.

Mortality is far more rewarding than immortality. Mortality gives us art and beauty. Death gives us rebirth. Eternity gives us nothing but cyclical boredom.



So, I say, find joy in your individualism and your particular daily struggle. Keep pondering "why?" but do not let it consume you. Quit worrying about belonging and start thinking about adding value to your life and those of others. Once you stop thinking about loneliness you stop being lonely. Once you stop worrying you stop worrying.

Fear is your friend, not your enemy. If you allow fear of the unknowable to eat you, you shall miss out on much. If you allow fear of the unknowable to deepen and broaden your perspective, you shall delight in the mystery and fear will transform from fear for self to fear for all.

As you expand your perspective, you shall stop feeling tiny and start feeling useful, self-actualized. "Why?" is not evil, it IS your reason for living. You are the protagonist of your story. You are the jury that determines your success. You can fail. Survival after failure provides far more interesting stories and insights than succumbing to failure. Winning teaches less than losing. Adversity teaches more than ease. Harshness builds more character than indulgence.



I started by saying that we are all alone in our individual perspectives. I challenge you to perceive life henceforth as an amusing mystery filled with beauty and awe that you can contribute to and enjoy. Erase the perceptions of oppressive loneliness and realize we are all alone and all wonderful and all complex and all worth knowing and all worth helping and all worth learning from.

The diversity is exciting and belonging erases more potential than recognizing individualism. Group think produces less than individual thought. Collaboration is great so long as it is comprised of individuals--not clones and sycophants.



Again, I challenge you to embrace your uniqueness and channel it towards production and exploration instead of into introspective, lonely, despair.
Las Vegas attorney Anthony M. Wright can be reached at (702) 809-6904. You may also reach your Las Vegas lawyer by Emailing me.