Monday, April 30, 2012

Boise Idaho Attorneys - Divorce, Military Divorce, Criminal Law, Bankruptcy

As a Boise Attorney people often ask me "what will happen" or "why does the law seem inconsistent" or "why is the law unfair"?  Often the law can seem inconsistent or unfair or even unsure primarily because every case depends upon its own set of circumstances.  For example,  I may be able to explain what will happen in the course of a divorce, a criminal law case or a bankruptcy and I may be able to give you a good idea of the outcome, but no attorney can tell you exactly what will happen.  The law is often a guide to help a judge make a decision.  In order for the law to be fair, a judge has to look at each individual circumstance and apply the law to that.  That is why it is so important to have a lawyer who can present your case clearly and who can use the relevant facts to make your case.

Let's look at some examples of how this works in the law.  Take DUI, for example.  The law is very specific that a DUI is a crime and it occurs when you have a blood alcohol level of .08% or above.  The law further says that with a first time DUI you will completely have your license suspended for 30 days.  Beyond that, the law begins to give ranges.  Your license will be suspended for at least another 60 days after the absolute suspension but could be suspended for up to 150 days.  You might get jail time and your fine will be somewhere between $0.00 (unlikely) and $1,000.  The law isn't terribly specific on these things.  The resulting penalties are dependent upon the circumstances of your case.  Were you driving recklessly?  Have you had other alcohol related or driving related crimes?  Are you a contributing member of society?  All of these types of factors will be presented to the judge by your Boise Criminal Lawyer and will have a bearing upon what ultimately happens.

Let's also look at divorce. The same thing happens in divorce cases, with the exception of what ultimately happens is far less specific than DUI law.  Let's take community property as an example.  In general the law says that anything acquired during a marriage with community funds is community property.  Let's say that you decide to divorce and your soon-to-be ex-spouse acquired a bunch of "play" things, things he or she used for their sole benefit and which added no value to the community.  Technically under the law this property is community property because it was acquired with community funds during the marriage. It doesn't take a Boise Divorce Attorney to understand that that doesn't sound fair.  While there is no way to argue that it is separate property you certainly could ask for an unequal but equitable division of the community debt if you never benefited from the property.  Now, there isn't exactly a law that says that, but that is an example of using the particular facts of your case to argue your point.  Of course, you and your divorce attorney would have to be able to produce the evidence and show how it is relevant, but a judge may find that dividing the debt unequally would be fair in this circumstance.

Another example of how the law is applied differently in divorce is military divorce.  If the law were applied to active service people it could have a very unfair outcome.  For example, to require a member of the military to respond to a summons within 20 days while they are on active duty simply may not be practical.

Let's look at one more example in the area of bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy law says that student loan debt is not dischargeable.  Let's say that your monthly income is $1,000 and your monthly student loan payment is $700.  Again, it doesn't take a Boise Bankruptcy Attorney to tell you that you simply aren't going to make ends meet.  This is why there is a very narrow exception in bankruptcy law that allows you to show evidence of how being responsible for your student loans can cause extreme hardship.  This law allows the bankruptcy judge to discharge student loan debt on this basis.  If it weren't applied this way, the law wouldn't be fair.

There are too many variations in circumstances for the law to fit every case.  If the law were to fit every case then you would have some very unfair results.  If you have a legal issue and you need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, a Boise Criminal Attorney or a Boise Bankruptcy Attorney, give us a call, (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

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