Phyllis Law - January 2020

Help Your Kids Achieve More This Year

With Simple, Actionable Goals

With every newyear comes an opportunity to reinvent ourselves or start down a new path toward self-improvement. Making resolutions is a big part of many families’ NewYear’s traditions, and parents often have a desire for their kids to take part in that tradition when they’re old enough. Following through on resolutions is tough, especially for young children, but with your help, they can achieve their goals. Practicewhat you preach. You are your children’s role model for almost everything, including following through on New Year’s resolutions. So, ask yourself if you follow through on your own resolutions. When you proclaim that you will read more books or finally get a gym membership, do you actually try to do it? Your kids will assign as much importance to NewYear’s resolutions as you do, so by sticking to your own commitments, you can help them stay on track too.

I hear this question a lot, especially in my role as a judge, but it’s a very good question. Anyone accused of wrongdoing enjoys the presumption of innocence. The court presumes that the accused is not guilty, unless and until the prosecutor proves the case beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a high burden of proof for the government — just the way our forefathers wanted it. As a society, we are more comfortable allowing guilty people to go free than convicting innocent people. That is why we have the greatest criminal justice system in the world. Defense attorneys ensure we uphold the protections afforded in the Constitution. Sometimes, even if someone is guilty, the prosecutor has problems with the evidence. Certain types of evidence will not be admissible at trial. It’s the attorney’s job to identify that evidence. That lack of admissible evidence can be used to negotiate a favorable plea agreement. Prosecutors are usually willing to reduce charges to less serious offenses if they realize they may struggle to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. their first attempts will probably be very broad. Statements like “I want to be more kind” or “I will try to help more around the house” incorporate good values but don’t include any actionable steps. Help your kids think of tangible ways to act on those goals. For example, if theywant to be tidier, a good resolution might be for them to clean their room once a week or take responsibility for one household chore every day. Don’t do all thework for them. While it’s important for you to help your kids formulate their goals, be sure that you aren’t taking over. If they’re ultimately responsible for their resolutions, they’ll feel more compelled Keep things simple and achievable. When your kids are forming their resolutions,

In addition, there may be special programs available such as diversion, drug court, DUI court, etc. These programs give accused people an opportunity for dismissal of charges after completing community service, treatment, restitution, etc. Usually, these programs are only available to people who are represented by counsel. Finally, defense counsel is there to tell the story of the accused. The prosecutor only sees what is within the four corners of the paper: the police report, criminal history, written statements/videos/audios, etc. It is the job of defense counsel to tell the prosecutor and the court who the accused is, where they work, who their family is, what their community contributions are, what their education is, and anything else that shows the value of giving them a second chance. If you or someone you know has been accused of committing a crime, at least seek a free consultation with a lawyer. Tell them what your goals are. Ask them if it’s possible to achieve those goals. You can always make the decision to not retain them. Better to be safe than sorry. We are happy to provide a free hour consultation to anyone in need. to keep them. Instead, suggest different goal areas they could improve, such as home, school, or sports, and let them elaborate. When it comes to creating habits, nobody is perfect, so even if your kids falter on their goals in the middle of February, don’t worry. The important thing is that you continue to encourage them every step of the way.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer if I’mNot Guilty?

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