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How Felony Cases are Progressing during the Pandemic

A 2020 mass incarceration report indicates that out of 631,000 people held in the United States jails every day, 74% are usually not yet convicted. Many people are typically held because they cannot post bail, which averages out to a median of $15,000 for felony cases in state courts. And when you consider how the current pandemic can indefinitely delay those cases, it creates a lot of problems for lawyers and their clients.

Since the pandemic started, the justice system also had to figure out how to operate during tough times. The courtrooms shut down, and delays left many criminal cases in limbo as courts could only offer essential services like bail hearings and arraignments.

Source:martinandkent.com

Changes in Speedy Trial Requirements

Some jurisdictions decided to lower overcrowding in jails by releasing vulnerable inmates and not arresting nonviolent offenders; however, the decisions still leave many pre-trial detainees. Although the 6th amendment gives defendants the right to a speedy trial, it does not specify a time frame, and many have had to set their parameters to set the length for various cases.

In California, felony cases must be tried within 60 days; failure to do so may lead to dismissal unless the defendant abdicates the requirement; states like Texas have no fixed period. The closure of state courts due to the pandemic has compelled the states to modify their laws. Therefore, without specified deadlines, detainees may sit in jails until the courts reopen.

Some attorneys and judges conveyed doubts about the resumption time of in-person court proceedings. Public defenders understand the need for the suspension of speedy trial but wonder when it will end. As the reopening of states continues, Virginia, Nevada, Kentucky, and others have made plans to return in-person court services; many planned to resume physical jury hearings in June or July. However, systemic limitations and the need for states to undertake careful planning and adhere to public safety measures mean a continued increase of backlogs.

Attorney-client Communication

Source:onlinecitizenasia.com

Prisons and jails have become hotbeds for the Covid-19 transmission. For example, in April, out of about 2500 inmates in an Ohio prison, 73% tested positive while an Indiana facility had 92% positive tests out of 137 inmates. Additionally, a legal aid society report indicates that New York City jails had more infections than the rest of the population.

The health concerns have led to lockdown in correctional facilities, which restricts lawyers from seeing their clients. Defence attorneys typically discuss sensitive matters with their clients face-to-face because of phone calls’ susceptibility to monitoring. Due to the restrictions of movement, the situation has made it impossible for them to handle certain portions of their work.

Defence attorneys have turned to work remotely, which has become the new normal for various sectors. Although working from home keeps you safe, it comes with some challenges. Law practice requires confidentiality, so lawyers like Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP have had to find secure communication methods with clients and colleagues.

Proper communication and collaboration between colleagues, law firm management, and clients streamline the work of a lawyer. With the absence of one-on-one meetings due to the pandemic, lawyers rely on emails and phone calls to communicate with their clients. Technology has been an invaluable resource helping attorneys do their job remotely. Law firms have cloud-based platforms so employees can securely access data and files from home to help prepare for their cases. They can also communicate with their clients through video conferencing.

Remote criminal proceedings

Source:firstlegal.com

While defence attorneys push for the release of inmates and prosecutors work to lower populations in jails across the country, some districts are keeping cases going remotely. For example, Judge Scott Schlegel of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, oversaw the implementation of digitized records, video conferencing, and shared online scheduling and many more technologies to increase his court’s efficiency.

Although several courts are looking into remote jury trials, many experts have doubts about the efficiency of conducting criminal jury cases through remote technology and the constitutionality of remote proceedings. Jury trials usually involve monitoring jurors, attorneys, and clients for distractions like the internet and texts. The decision made by jurors affects one’s liberty and freedom, so they have to focus and pay attention to the proceedings and endeavor that is difficult to achieve through video conferencing.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act passed by the Congress in March 2020, allowed the United States judicial conference to expand the Federal judges’ authority to use remote proceedings in more matters. Courts can now use video and telephonic hearings to conduct felony cases sentencing and pleas if the judge determines that delay could impair justice, and in-person proceedings compromise public safety and health.

Effects on Plea Bargains

Several critical cases in the United States are settled through plea bargains. By pleading guilty, a defendant can get a lesser sentence, the number of charges reduced, receive a lighter punishment, or other concessions placed by the prosecutor. The COVID-19 gives prosecutors and defendants a significant incentive to strike a plea bargain.

Plea bargains may help a defendant stay out of jail and allow prosecutors to coherently reduce the backlogs and settle cases. However, defendants should be wary about pleading guilty because a criminal record may affect your chances of getting employed, particularly during the adverse economic conditions brought by the pandemic.

Fees and Fines Payment

Source:aecf.org

A defendant incurs a certain amount of court fees, fines, and restitution to the victim of the crime as part of a sentence. These charges can accumulate quickly and make an already stressful situation worse. The closure of courts does not waiver the fines and fees payments, failure to make the payments without a convincing reason can cause a judge to compel you to appear in court or put out a bench warrant.

The pandemic has forced people to make changes in how they operate daily activities at home and work. Adapting to the uncertain times ensures that we remain productive while also taking care of your health.

Bad credit loans can do a lot of good for people with poor credit score

A good credit score is a prerequisite for availing loans easily because lenders consider it as in index of the reliability of borrowers.  People with high scores have a good track record in managing them and hence more dependable to lenders while those with a poor score are risky borrowers about whom lenders have strong reservations.

Different lenders have different methods of considering what constitutes good score, but generally, a score above 700 is good, and anything below it up to 599 is the average score. Going down further can strictly debar people from availing it as lenders consider it high risk to lend them any sum of money no matter how small it might be. 

According to creditninja personal loans are mostly unsecured in nature, the score assumes the highest importance in gauging the reliability of borrowers. Low scores can not only limit borrowing options but can even result in denial. However, all is not lost for people with the poor score because many lending companies provide a lifeline to them by providing bad credit loans. It is the same personal payment but with some special consideration. 

Bad credits are alternative to traditional loans

source: goodfinanceservices.com

They are an alternative to traditional loans because banks and credit unions have strict requirements of good score to approve it of any kind. When someone with poor scores faces any financial emergencies like making payments for medical bills or need cash for meeting the high cost of car repair they would simply not qualify for it from the traditional lenders who use score a yardstick to determine its eligibility.  Instead, some other companies that specialize in the personal loan would be willing to give it to them despite bad credit and name it like bad credit loan. The approach is similar to repacking a product to make it look different, whereas all the characteristics of them are the same as any other. 

What is good or bad credit score?

Scores reflect the dependability of borrowers to lenders and the good or bad about it depends on the way lenders analyze the score to assess the risk of borrowers.  The score that some lending companies consider as a risk for their businesses might not be as much risk to some other companies. However, there are some guidelines to understand the broad distinction between good, fair, and poor score. The score scale ranges from 300 to 850 scores between 700 and 759 is good, and from 760-850 is excellent. The mid-range from 600-699 is fair, and anything below this range can be bad for borrowers as it diminishes the chances of availing it greatly.

Giving a lifeline to borrowers

source: iproperty.com

People with poor credit score must work hard to get it because the closer they are to the 600 marks, there is still some chance of getting it, but the interest rate will be much higher. They must pay the cost of higher interest in case they manage to get any of it approved. The high-interest rate helps to cover the risks perceived by lenders, and it can even be a lesson for borrowers who would be careful to ensure that they improve their score for better borrowing options next time. In fact, bad credit loans give borrowers an opportunity to correct their score and build a positive image that paves the way for better borrowing rates in the future.

Impact of bad credit score on borrowing

Shopping becomes extremely difficult for people with a bad score, but the silver lining is that still, they can hope to get it if they are willing to bear high interest. The options are, of course, much less because only a few companies would be willing to provide bad credit loans, but still, there is some hope that it would be available. Some lending companies offer both secured and unsecured loans to people with bad credit, but unsecured of it is more costly as it carries very high interest.  Yet, some types of it can come in handy when people are in dire need of money that should be available quickly.

Types of bad credit loans

source: fool.com.au

 Secured and unsecured are the two broad categories of it that have some sub-categories like Bad credit installment, PayDay, Cash advances, and title 

Bad credit installment loans As the name implies, its payment comprises of fixed monthly installments, which is a great relief for borrowers as they do not have to pay it at one go nor immediately. It is a great opportunity to rebuild your score. Since the payment spreads over a long period, you can include it as a part of other monthly bills you pay. Making timely payments can qualify you for rewards too.  

Payday loans – When you are in urgent need of cash, it can save your day. The application process of it is simple and fast as the money reaches your bank within 24 hours. However, you must pay back it as soon as you receive the next paycheck. The APR on it is usually about 400%, and you need to plan well before taking it or else it can become difficult to manage.

Cash advances – This is a variant of a payday payment, and consists of issuing a check to the lender for its amount together with lenders fee and interest (annual APR is 400%) and the lender will take the full amount as soon as you receive the next paycheck.   

Title loans – You can avail it online or at storefronts, but it is a secured loan with an annual APR of 300%, and you must furnish collaterals. You must pay it back in a few weeks.  

While the opportunity of getting it’s despite poor credit is good news, be careful to evaluate the offers with a focus on the payment terms and interest rates so that you can manage it smartly.

How can your business benefit from WeChat?

WeChat is a messaging, social media and mobile payment app released in 2011. Due to its wide spectrum of functions, it is called “app for everything”. Not only do people use this app for messaging and social media, but also they often use it for work-related communication. Since the app wasn’t built for professional use, the team of designers came up with a similar app called WeChat Work. In this text, we are going to give you some basic information about WeChat and tell you how it can help your business.

When creating an account, you have to choose between a service and a subscription one. If you want to learn more about the features of both of these accounts, click here, but in a nutshell, the former one allows you four updates per month, while the latter one offers only one. If you opt for a service account you will be able to build a mini mobile site and use the app for payments, while subscription profile does not offer such features.

Furthermore, the WeChat app allows you to build your own online store and to sell your products. If you are tech-savvy, you can build it with HTML 5 pages in order to access all the features available. This also means that you will have to create it from scratch – deal with the design, coding, and so on. Moreover, you can use WeChat Mini Program that comes with many benefits.

source: medium.com

First of all, it is not as expensive as a real website is. Secondly, it is extremely easy to navigate which makes it user-friendly. Also, users don’t have to download the app in order to see your store. This is very convenient especially if you are a new company that is trying to enter the market. Lastly, when it comes to selling items online, you can use an already established e-commerce platform.

Even though you cannot do much about the design and the features of this platform, for a reasonable amount of money, you will get a developed store with millions of visitors. Depending on the type of your product you can choose between Youzan and Jingdong platforms.

In addition, the app offers numerous features that will help you connect with your customers and spread awareness of your brand. You can use Auto Replay Tool to create messages that will be sent to potential clients automatically. Also, you can set up a welcome message every time someone visits your web store. Additionally, third-party features are available to you such as Grouping and Tagging which allows you to categorize your customers in different groups based on their age, gender, location, and so on.

source: robbiedwards.wixsite.com

Lastly, don’t forget to advertise your business. Design a QR code and put it on all marketing material such as brochures, flyers, etc. Use push notification to inform new visitors about your company and products, and use CRM functionalities and ask your customers to link their accounts with your loyalty program. Create interesting content to attract new customers, communicate with them regularly, offer them coupons and discounts, and so on.

To conclude, these are some main features of WeChat app you can use to develop your company. This app has 1 billion active monthly users which makes it a perfect place for you to start advertising your business on the Chinese market.

7 Remarkable Benefits of Bitcoin

Bitcoin is not something which only a handful of people use anymore but many businesses have shifted to using bitcoin for transactions.

Bitcoin offers you many benefits which makes it an extremely tempting transaction option to explore. We have listed a few of its benefits below;

Benefits of Bitcoins

1. Lower Risk of Fraud:

source: evensi.us

Bitcoin transaction makes it much safer to make payments as you do not require sharing your sensitive information such as credit cards or bank accounts hence this is one digital cash which cannot get hacked. To find out how to earn more than you invested check btc-loophole.com. Another benefit is that your identity is very well concealed which makes you a difficult target to scam.

2. Safer Transactions:

We all are aware that online transactions are not completely safe as hackers can easily steal your card details through it. Credit card getting hacked and unauthorized transactions being made by hackers is not uncommon.

During each bitcoin transaction, an authentic digital signature is used to sign it before being sent to the blockchain hence it is the safest method to exchange and store cryptocurrencies.

3. Reduced Transaction Fees:

source: bitcoinist.com

The transaction fee involved while making payments through bitcoin is much lower than the transaction fee you need to pay extra for the credit card or debit card purchases.

Hence transaction through bitcoin if you own small business is beneficial as you will save a lot

4. No Inflation Risks:

source: oukas.info

If a Government issues more money in a financial year, it leads to a decrease in the purchasing power of the general public which causes inflation. Uncertainty about inflation makes it really tricky to make any investment.

Bitcoin system was generated with the purpose that the number be finite which is speculated to be 21 million hence there is no possibility of inflation. This benefits both, seller and buyer.

5. Quick Payments:

source: financialsurvivalnetwork.com

If you have made a transaction through a credit card and have a change of mind hence apply for a refund, it may be days before the amount is credited back on your card. The same thing happens with debit cards.

When you transact through Bitcoins and initiate a refund, the settlement usually happens much faster when compared to credit cards.

6. Easy to Internationally Transfer:

source: engadget.com

If you need to transfer your currency to use in a different country, you will have to go through currency exchanges and banks to get it done which may be a long process.

International transportation of Bitcoin is really easy. You need a memory stick to do it just like you transfer any other audio or video file.

7. No Third-Party Involvement:

source: bitedge.com

Bitcoin transaction happens peer-to-peer and no third party is involved hence there is no risk of frozen accounts or tax claim on the amount. The Bitcoins cannot be seized by the government which is a big benefit.

If you need more information about Bitcoin transactions and wish to trade in it, visit Bitcoins Profit to get all the details.

Bitcoin is an emerging technology which is grasping the market as it is beneficial for both buyer and seller. Switching to Bitcoins for transaction especially by small businesses is a smart move.

Payday Loans – What are they and how to get one

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Sometimes you really need quick money but you don’t want to ask any of your relatives or friends. Or simply nobody around you is able to help. This is where Payday Loans can save the day.

For those of you who don’t know what they are, payday loans are a quick way to get some money with the agreement to return it upon receiving your next payment. The thing is, not every company of this kind will always approve you for a loan. You have to search for the right one. Here’s what you need to know about Payday Loans and companies that offer them.

source: malaysiascout.org

Look at your options

When looking for a loan, you will almost always have more than one option. Companies like these are not really rare and there are most likely a couple of them in your area. You need to look at what they offer, what they want in return and all the other pros and cons. Selecting the right company is really important. Some require a bigger return rate, some don’t. Choose wisely.

Don’t take more than you can return

Most companies will check out your employment history and financial incomes before making the judgment of giving you money. Also, they will make some calculations and only land you what they know you can return. However, some companies may also land you a bigger sum if the return payment period is really short. Our advice is to never take more than you can return since the interest will only get bigger and you might even find yourself in a bad situation if you can’t return the money on time. You don’t want any legal trouble.

source: thebalance.com

Trying an online service

If you’re really busy or in a messy situation but you still need money, many companies offer online applications that you can fill and get the loan in less than a day. If you’re from Ohio, you can check one of the best online payday loans in Ohio. The benefit of using an online form instead of visiting a physical branch is the speed at which you get the money. The approval process is much faster and the loan will be in your account in less than a few hours.

Payday loans versus credits

In order to make the best decision of borrowing money, you need to know the advantages and drawbacks of both methods. Credits are usually what someone would describe as the “safer” way to go, but they do take a lot of time and you might also get rejected due to the ChexSystems. However, the advantage is that you have a pretty long time period to pay everything back. On the other hand, Payday Loans can get you out of “sticky” financial situations when you really need some money, quickly. Their drawback is that the payback time period is really short in most cases, depending on the sum of course, and sometimes the rate of interest can be a bit high as well. But if it does save you from an awkward situation, it’s definitely worth it.

source: consumerreports.org