Our Practice Areas

 

Family Law

Family law is a legal practice area that focuses on issues involving family relationships, such as adoption, divorce, and child custody, among others. Some family law attorneys even specialize in adoption, paternity, emancipation, or other matters not usually related to divorce. Family law concerns the rights and obligations of spouses, children, and other domestic relations. City, state, and federal laws all can affect families in a variety of ways. According to the U.S. Census, the typical structure of American households has been changing. For instance, from 1970 to 2012, the percentage of households composed of married couples with children under 18 fell by half, from 40 percent to only 20 percent of all households.

Many of us are familiar with the work of criminal lawyers from movies and TV shows, where they go in front of a judge and present dramatic arguments for their clients. While the work of a family lawyer is not so dramatic, it is just as important. Almost everyone will need the services of a family lawyer at some point in their lives. We’ve been working with families for over (Insert Number) years and have been honored to help them through some of the most challenging and emotional moments of their lives. So what are the most common types of cases that a family law lawyer works on? Listed below are the four major areas of family law work we do here at Valerie Garrett Law Office.

Criminal Defense

A criminal defense lawyer is an attorney specializing in the defense of individuals and companies charged with criminal activity. Some criminal defense lawyers are privately retained, while others are employed by the various jurisdictions with criminal courts for appointment to represent indigent persons; the latter are generally called public defenders. The terminology is imprecise because each jurisdiction may have different practices with various levels of input from state and federal law. Some jurisdictions use a rotating system of appointments, with judges appointing a private practice attorney or firm for each case.

It is the job of criminal defense attorneys to represent those charged with crimes in court. Crimes can range in severity from a misdemeanor to a felony. Punishment can range from a minor fine or community service to years in prison or even death. Representation during criminal proceedings is critical for those charged with committing a crime. In fact, the United States Constitution promises that all citizens charged with a crime will be provided representation. If you have retained the services of a criminal law lawyer or are seeking to retain one, you should know what services your attorney may be able to perform. The attorneys here at Valerie Garrett Law Office can assist you with this process.

In the United States, criminal defense lawyers deal with the issues surrounding an arrest, a criminal investigation, criminal charges, sentencing, appeals, and post-trial issues. Often an attorney will specialize in a niche within criminal defense, such as drug defense or DUI defense. Criminal defense lawyers are typically defending people with misdemeanor or felony charges. A misdemeanor generally refers to criminal activity that is punishable by one year or less in the local jail. A felony typically refers to criminal activity that is punishable by more than one year in the prison system. Many states have “wobblers”, which refers to criminal activity that is charged as a felony, but has a possibility of being reduced to a misdemeanor. In matters involving a wobbler, many times a reputable lawyer can either have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor or in the alternative have the felony appear to be a misdemeanor so that the felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor at a later date, which may be good strategy since the typical felony cannot be expunged.

Personal Injury

A personal injury lawyer is a lawyer who provides legal services to those who claim to have been injured, physically or psychologically, as a result of the negligence of another person, company, government agency or any entity. Personal injury lawyers tend to practice primarily in the area of law known as tort law. The personal injury attorneys at (Insert Law Firm Name) will help you with your legal concerns and guide you to the best strategy during this stressful time in your life. You deserve every opportunity to be justly compensated for your physical, financial, and mental suffering. At (Insert Law Firm Name) we treat our clients like family and offer you solid legal counsel, open lines of communication, and support at all intervals from your first visit until after your case has been resolved.

Personal injury law (also known as tort law) allows an injured plaintiff to get compensation when someone else’s negligent or intentional act caused the plaintiff harm. There are a variety of different situations that can give rise to a personal injury case, although not every situation in which someone is injured is going to lead to liability. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common kinds of personal injury cases.

Car Accident Cases

Car accidents spur the most personal injury cases in the United States. When an accident happens, usually it’s because someone isn’t following the rules of the road, or driving as carefully as he or she should be. A careless driver can usually be held financially and responsible for injuries stemming from a car accident. Exceptions do exist in the dozen or so “no fault” states, where drivers have to collect from their own insurers except in cases of “serious” injury.

Defamation: Libel and Slander

Defamation of character in the form of libel or slander refers to the fact that a person can suffer an injury to his or her reputation as a result of untrue statements. The exact nature of what defamation plaintiff must prove will vary depending on who the plaintiff is, and the forum where the statement was made. The average person usually just needs to prove that an untrue negative statement was made and that actual harm (financial loss) came from it.

Assault, Battery and Other Intentional Torts

Unlike most other types of personal injury claims, intentional torts are not based on accidents caused by negligence or carelessness, but rather when one person harms or injures another with intent. These cases almost always involve the added aspect of a criminal case against the perpetrator. For example, when one person physically attacks another, he or she will probably face criminal charges. Additionally, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court and demand compensation for the injuries.

While there is no specific guideline or deadline as to when you have to hire a personal injury attorney, especially after a car accident injury, it is very important to engage the services of a personal injury lawyer shortly after the accident. You do not want to go without counsel during any part of the process and you can usually hire a lawyer on a contingency basis. The attorneys at Valerie Garrett Law Office are experienced and will advise during this entire undertaking.

Wills & Successions

Louisiana laws are very different from any other states. Louisiana has very strict laws that control where property goes after someone dies. If you have any questions about what may happen to your property, contact Valerie Garrett today.

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Valerie Garrett Law Office

Top rated practicing family law attorney in Lafayette, Louisiana. She was drawn to an area of the law where she could help individuals faced with a family crisis.