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You may be able to help catch a criminal and qualify for a U Visa

When you came to Nebraska to escape violence and poverty in your country of origin, you never expected to become a victim of a crime in the United States. Quite the opposite, you likely dreamed that this nation held all the opportunities you needed to make all your hopes and dreams come true of providing a safe and healthy atmosphere for your family to thrive.

When someone assaulted you, you may have been afraid to reach out for help, knowing that at some point your undocumented legal status may be revealed. However, even though you may not possess proper documentation to live and work in the United States, it doesn't give people license to harm you.

Changing marijuana views and nebraska law

Whether it is because of the country's gradual shift in attitudes or the fact that legalization is occurring in states across the map, marijuana has been under the spotlight in recent years. There is certainly no shortage of discussion on the matter, as the drug has sparked both support and criticism nationwide. Most states that have legalized marijuana are in the western region of the country, yet many predict that this trend will spread in the near future. Nebraska's laws may be strict, but will those laws last? 

The Ohama World-Herald reports on the recent increase in marijuana arrests in the state, and provides a number of explanations for this increase. One of the most apparent reasons could be that Nebraska's neighboring state, Colorado, has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. According to the World-Herald, many of the arrests took place in western Nebraska -- right along the Colorado border. Researchers also point toward stricter law enforcement, especially along Interstate 80 and in western Nebraska. Yet these two factors could be linked, as the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Nebraska Center for Justice Research plans to dig deeper into the state's background and overall attitudes regarding the drug. 

New studies support shared parenting time

Many couples in Nebraska deciding to divorce have a concern first and foremost for their children. Trying to support the kids while going through a difficult time personally, it is easy for many parents to believe that they would be best suited to have the children, but new studies show that children who have shared custody between both parents come out on top.

Although it is not possible in cases of violence or abuse, the Boston Herald reports that a new study has found that joint custody produces the best outcomes for children whenever it is safe. The study looked into more than 40 previously published studies looking at the effects of divorce conflict on children. It found that although traditionally judges are working to put children through the least amount of conflict, the relationship with their parents matters more than any other factor in a divorce. Children who were able to maintain close bonds with both parents fared best. The research found that although 80 percent of mothers are still awarded primary custody, policies should focus on strengthening a child's bond with both parents, "rather than assuming that joint physical custody is not an option."

When you need a QDRO

If you are facing an impending divorce in Nebraska, you no doubt have many questions about how this major life event may impact you financially. For many people the emotional side of letting go of many special belongings is made worse when the reality of the financial losses starts to set in. However, it is important for you to learn about the ways in which you may be able to preserve some of your savings.

If you and your spouse are going to divide your 401K account, care should be taken in this process lest you be left paying unnecessary penalties and taxes as well as handing over some of your hard-earned savings. As explained by the United States Department of Labor, a qualified domestic relations order will allow you to name your to-be former spouse as an alternate payee on your 401K account. This means money can be paid directly to them leaving any tax responsibility to them and not to you. 

Meth involved in recent drug sentencing

For people who may have serious drug addictions in Nebraska, a first drug arrest may sadly not be the last. This can be related to the lack of people getting proper help and treatment for their drug problems and instead having the focus be on penalizing what is seen as unwanted behavior. Such an approach can be controversial among those who advocate instead for better support for defendants.

Today, a man who is only 25 years old is faced with the prospect of spending up to four years in a state correctional facility. This will not be his first time in jail as he was reportedly out of jail for one drug conviction when he was arrested again earlier this year. The most recent arrest took place in mid-February at a gas station when police were responding to a call indicating some disturbance was occurring.

Controlled substance classification impacts trafficking charges

Facing any type of felony charge could cause you to potentially face severe outcomes if a conviction takes place. Drug trafficking charges typically fall into the felony category, but various details regarding your situation could impact the severity of allegations and potential outcomes. One factor that could affect your case relates to the type of drug allegedly involved.

Drugs of all types fall into different categories. Controlled substances often cause the most legal concern. These substances have various classifications that fall into schedule categories depending on potential uses for medical purposes as well as potential for abuse. You may wish to consider the following information to determine what category associates with the type of drug you have been accused of allegedly trafficking.

Argument between parents brings police to orthodontist's office

The end of a marriage does not necessarily signal the end of a couple's association in Lincoln, especially if they have children together. It also may not translate to a cessation in any hostilty they may hold towards each other surrounding the end of their marriage. This can make continuing to raise their kids together difficult, as the well-being of the children often conflicts with the negative emotions one may feel towards the other parent. The hope is that they will eventually be able to to get over their differences or, if disputes do happen, they remain private.

Unfortunately, that it not always the case. Recently, police had to be called to an orthodontist's office in Pennsylvania after an argument broke out between two divorced parents. The couple at one point held some notoriety for being reality television stars who later went through a bitter divorce. The dispute arose over who would take their daughter home from a scheduled appointment. Law enforcement officers were eventually able to help settle the argument without having to make any arrests. While it was not reported who brought the girl to her appointment, she eventually went home with her father. 

What is a plea bargain?

After a felony charge in Nebraska, you could be expecting a prolonged courtroom battle that keeps you from returning to your life for months, or even years, if you are convicted. The American Bar Association explains that depending on your circumstances, a plea bargain may be an option that allows you to skip the trial and negotiate a potentially better outcome with the prosecution.

You do not necessarily have to plead guilty to the charges against you. Instead, your guilty plea may be to a charge that is not as serious as the original one you were facing. Or, if you are facing several charges, you may plead guilty to only one of them. Sometimes, even if you plead guilty to the charges, you may be able to get a more lenient sentence. 

Nebraska's hidden opioid epidemic

The opiod epidemic has been in full swing in America for over half a decade, as the uses of prescription and non-prescription drugs are currently climbing to an all-time high. Painkillers such as oxycodone, fentanyl and hydrocodone have plagued the country, and accidental overdoses are now the leading cause of death of Americans under 50 years of age. Unfortunately, Nebraska is not exempt from these alarming stastics. 

Although Nebraska does not have the level of opioid problems as states such as West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky do, the state nevertheless has experienced a climb in opioid-related deaths in recent years. Many citizens fear that the opioid trend currently sweeping through the southeast region of the United States will eventually affect Nebraska, as officials have already warned the public of the spike in heroin use in the state, as well.

Should immigrants worry about workplace discrimination?

In recent months, there are a number of reasons why some people are worried about the prevalence of national origin discrimination. Some employees may fear that current events and controversies increase the likelihood of them experiencing national origin discrimination, such as those who have immigrated to the United States for work. As a result, it may be helpful for immigrants In Nebraska with these concerns to go over statistics on this form of discrimination.

On their website, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides a breakdown of statistical information related to national origin discrimination receipts filed with the agency. According to the EEOC, there were far more national origin charges filed in fiscal year 2016 (9,840) when compared to fiscal year 1997 (6,712). The number of national origin discrimination receipts received by the EEOC declined slightly in comparison to fiscal year 2011, when there were more than 11,800 receipts. However, the number remains unacceptably high. It is also important to point out that these statistics do not count charges that were filed at the local or state level, so the actual number of national origin discrimination charges is even higher.

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Monzón, Guerra & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Lincoln, NE 68508

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