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May 12, 2011

How To Find Out If Someone Is Married

by @ 10:47 am. Filed under Background Checks

Use the same databases that the law enforcement agencies use

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Finding the right partner nowadays is a difficult enough task at the best of times but how do you know that your new love is being honest with you? Whether you just met or you’ve known him or her for years they could have skeletons in their cupboard that they don’t want to you to know about. Some of these skeletons could be very important to you so it’s worth doing a little digging. For instance, make sure that you know how to find out if someone is married.

Ask them if they are married

The obvious first step is to simply ask them whether they are married or have been in the past. If they are honest they will tell you the truth and the skeletons can be left behind. But how do you know that they are being honest with you?

Pay careful attention to what they say and look for discrepancies. It’s very difficult to keep up a complicated lie and mistakes can easily creep into the story. Do the dates in his story make sense? Does he go away on mysterious business trips etc? You only need to find one thing that you absolutely know is a lie to cast a cloak of doubt on everything else they’ve told you. If this happens then confront them immediately and walk away if you don’t get a satisfactory reply.

Do some undercover work

If you have an idea where someone might have been married then you can write to the local offices in that area and ask for marriage records. But what if you don’t know where they came from? Even if you do there’s no guarantee that that’s where they got married so how do you find out if someone is married when you don’t have any idea where they might have done it?

Find out if someone is married the easy way

Until very recently the means to search for information such as whether you are married or not was reserved solely for the law enforcement agencies. Through the power of the Internet these same databases are now available to everyone and made easily accessible through very affordable software. Not only can you find out whether they are married but whether they have a criminal record or have been arrested, when and where they were born, whether they have been declared bankrupt and many, many other background checks. A small investment to gain access to all this information can save you from making a big mistake.

Do your own investigations using professional online services: How To Find Out If Someone Is Married

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Author: Steve Gee

How To Find Out If Someone Is Married

May 8, 2011

AAA Attorney referral service discusses your Rights if arrested

by @ 1:03 pm. Filed under Arrest Warrants

Author: lisa

If You Are Arrested in Fort lauderdale or any place in Florida

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The information below is not legal advice. Be sure to contact a local criminal defense attorney or attorney referral service to be referred to a croiminal defense attorney in your area.

If you are a law-abiding citizen, your chances of being arrested are slight. It is important, though, that you know “Your Rights If Arrested.” An informed and alert individual is the best guarantee that your rights will be upheld during a criminal or DUI arrest.

The basic rights of a citizen under arrest are stated in the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments of the “Bill of Rights” of the United States Constitution.

– “No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law . . .” (Fifth Amendment).

– “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury . . . and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” (Sixth Amendment).

– “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted.” (Eighth Amendment).

Since the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, the states have also had to guarantee these rights. This amendment provides: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States . . .”

Many of the provisions found in the “Bill of Rights” of the U.S. Constitution also appear in the “Bill of Rights” of the Illinois Constitution. The following discussion is based upon both constitutions and upon other laws governing the citizens of this state.


Any law enforcement officer such as a policeman, sheriff, deputy sheriff or state trooper can make a lawful arrest. The arrest may be made with a warrant or, under certain circumstances, without a warrant.

A warrant is an order describing the person to be arrested and the charge made; it is issued by a magistrate or judge upon the complaint of someone. It directs all law enforcement officers of the state or, in some cases, authorizes a private person by name to arrest the person named in the complaint. The arrested person is to be brought before the Court issuing the warrant or, if that is not possible, before the most accessible Court in the same county.

A law enforcement officer must have a warrant for your arrest unless one of the following circumstances exists:

* The law enforcement officer has reasonable ground to believe that a warrant for your arrest has been issued in this state or in another jurisdiction.
* You committed or attempted to commit a crime in the presence of the officer.
* The officer has reasonable ground to believe both that a crime has been committed and that you are the person who committed it.


A private citizen may make an arrest under certain circumstances. The law permits a citizen to detain, or place under arrest a person who commits or attempts to commit a criminal offense in his presence other than an ordinance violation. All the person making the arrest has to do is prevent the accused from leaving. He may take the person by the arm and say something like, “Stop. I’m holding you for the police.”


Do not resist a law enforcement officer who attempts to arrest you - even if you are innocent. The fact that you are innocent will not make the arrest illegal if the officer’s action conformed to the requirements of a legal arrest as stated above.

If the arrest is legal and you resist, you may be guilty of the crime of resisting lawful arrest. If the arrest is illegal, you are entitled to bring an action against the law enforcement officer for false arrest.

It is best not to resist a citizen’s arrest, although you can’t be prosecuted for resisting arrest. You may be found guilty of assault and battery.

The person making a citizen’s arrest cannot be liable for damages for false arrest if he had reasonable ground for believing a crime had taken place and you are the person who committed it.

Do not resist a law officer’s attempt to search or “frisk” you. It is legal for an arresting officer to search your person and the area in your immediate presence.

Even if he does not arrest you, an officer - after identifying himself - may stop you in any public place if he has reason to believe that you have committed, are committing or are about to commit a crime. He may demand your name and address and an explanation of your actions. If he reasonably suspects that he or another is in danger of being attacked, he may search you for weapons.


The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that as soon as you are taken into custody you must be informed of the following:

1. You have a Constitutional right to remain silent.
2. Anything you say can be held against you.
3. You have the right to legal counsel and that if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you.
4. If you choose, you may have a lawyer present during interrogation.

In addition to advising you of your rights, the arresting authorities must respect your rights. For example, you cannot legally be required or forced by a police officer or any one else to talk, to answer questions, or sign any papers. If by threats, by persistent questioning or other means of coercion, you are forced to give incriminating information, you can prevent its use against you in court.

Within a reasonable time after you have been taken into custody, you have a right to make a reasonable number of telephone calls or otherwise communicate with an attorney of your choice and a member of your family. If you are transferred to a new place of custody, this right of communication is renewed. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must be informed without delay of your right to contact your local consulate or embassy. Consular officials may visit you, help you arrange for legal representation, and contact your family.

You have a right to an itemized receipt for all money and property taken from your person after you are taken into custody.

You have a right to be “booked” within a reasonable period of time. “Booking” is the entry of a charge against you in a record called the “arrest book” or “police blotter.”

Should your detention go beyond a reasonable period of time without booking (more than several hours or perhaps overnight), your attorney may go to a judge and obtain a writ of habeas corpus. This is a Court order instructing the police to bring you before the Court so that a judge may decide whether you are being held lawfully.


You have a right to apply for and post bail as a means of obtaining your release from custody. The Court will normally set bail, even with a charge of murder or other serious crimes, unless the proof is evident or the presumption is great that the person is guilty of the crime.

Bail is the money or other security you deposit with the Court as an assurance that you will appear for trial. The Court will accept property (real estate) as bail provided certain detailed conditions are fulfilled.


If there is a warrant for your arrest, the amount of bail will be stated on the warrant. For certain minor offenses the amount of bail is fixed by a judge and you have a right to be brought before a judge for that purpose at the next regular Court session. Or, you may be released on your own recognizance - that is, your own word that you will keep your date in Court.


You have a right to a reasonable time to prepare a defense before being tried in Court. Whether or not you declined your right to be represented by counsel during police interrogation, you have the right to be represented by counsel in Court. You are entitled to a reasonable time to obtain a lawyer of your own choosing. If you want a lawyer and cannot afford one, the Court must appoint one to defend you.

You are entitled to know the charge against you and to have, without cost, a copy of the formal paper that contains the charge.


You are entitled to plead “not guilty.” If you do so you will be tried by an impartial jury unless you specifically waive your right to a jury trial.

You are not required to testify if you do not wish to do so. If you do not testify, neither the judge nor the jury can consider your silence as evidence of guilt. In the eyes of the law you are innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by the evidence presented in Court.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, the judge must inform you, before accepting a guilty plea, that a criminal conviction could result in immigration consequences, including immigration detention (custody) and deportation from the United States.

How you plead and whether you testify are vitally important questions and you should have the advice of a criminal defense attorney/ lawyer. An attorney referral service can be a good source for helpin you loocate a criminal defense attorney quickly.

If you have questions about the application of the law in a particular case, consult a criminal defense lawyer. The law is constantly changing.

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About the Author

Lisa Spitzer, CSW, MSW, CRC, is the energy behind AAA Attorney Referral Service. Lisa is a graduate of NYU School of Social Work and consulted at psychiatric, geriatric and physically disabled facilities for 10 years. She also did an undergraduate internship at a facility for the criminally insane and family court in downtown Brooklyn. Lisa Spitzer worked as a director of a geriatric facility for 3 years. Ms. Spitzer understands the frustrations of crisis situations. Life has become so complex that virtually everyone needs to consult with a lawyer at some time. In short, a well-chosen lawyer can be one of your greatest assets. Ms Spitzer is the owner of aaa attorney referral service.

May 6, 2011

Whether Crime Prevention Should Be A Priority In The Criminal Justice System

by @ 9:49 am. Filed under Background Checks

Author: Carolyn Smith


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The criminal justice system is evolving with time. Gone are the days when it simply focused on long prison sentences as the only way to deal with crime. Public opinion is changing and so should the criminal justice system. There is more emphasis on attacking underlying causes and not just surface issues. More and more experts agree that crime prevention is the way to go in this situation. They assert that prison sentences, especially for non-violent offenders, only deal with the problem temporarily. They also believe that crime prevention should be the centrepiece of the criminal justice system. (Pfeiffer, p 55, 2003)

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Crime prevention should be the focus of the criminal justice system because it has overwhelming public support

A Research conducted by the Heart Research Associates Inc. on the perception of the public on crime prevention found that majority of the people believed in a more pro-active rather than reactive approach. This research was conducted in the year 2002. But ten years ago, when the public was asked about what they thought about crime prevention, 42% said the criminal justice system should focus on punitive action while 48% supported crime prevention. These statistics have changed drastically with time. In 2002, when a similar research was conducted by the same research company, it was found that 65% of the public believe in dealing with root causes while 32% wanted more severe measures to take precedence in the criminal justice system. The survey also indicated the following preferences.













Source; Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc (2002): Changing Public Attitudes toward

the Criminal Justice System; Journal for Open Society Institute

Crime prevention deals with root causes

It should be noted that most of the time, there are cases in which people break the law because they have no where else to turn to. Such people normally come from deteriorating neighbourhoods. They feel that there is not much that can be done about their situation and they opt to choose crime as their only means for survival. Most of these criminals normally have very low educational backgrounds. Consequently, their options in the formal employment sector are quite limited. They need to earn a source of livelihood and still have to meet their daily needs. However, the public only offers them temporary jobs that do not pay as much. Some individuals may feel the need to deal with this lack of necessities through crime. Overly, the underlying problem is education, if the government was to invest in education of such criminals then there would be no need to commit crimes and all the other issues will fall into place. (Maguire, p 207-265, 2000)

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Most criminals commit their crimes because their neighbourhoods make it easy for them to do so. In most Cities, there are certain localities that have been ignored by the governing authorities of the day to such an extent that their buildings and other infrastructural facilities are simply deplorable. It is therefore easier for criminals to break into such systems and take what they would want without to much struggle. If some investments had been made into those neighbourhoods, then there would be better facilities and better security for its residents thus discouraging crime.

Certain criminals do not have a sense of moral values. Their environment has served a fertile ground for moral deterioration. They see no benefit in caring about what other people around them may feel as a result of their actions. Consequently, most of these criminals end up committing their crimes because they do not know what is expected from them from society. Crime prevention as a strategy for crime prevention could deal with this by targeting youth offenders. Most of them could be placed in community prevention centres where they could get taught a number of societal norms. (Kenney, p23, 1998)

Many of the neighbourhoods that some of these youth come from are usually associated with low levels of family support. Some offenders may be tempted to commit crimes because they feel that they have nothing to loose. They do not feel loved and cared for and consequently have low self esteem. According to them, crime is a way of letting out some of their pent up anger and frustrations. It should be possible to prevent crimes of this nature if youth were targeted. The reason why it is useful to target the youth is because they are not yet that far gone; they are still at a point when they can be moulded and transformed. At their age, they have not hardened already. Such youth can be taught fundamental truths in and their psychological problems can be addressed adequately in community centres.

Since the issue of employment contributes to many criminal cases, crime prevention strategies can deal with that issue and eliminate the need to commit crimes due to that reason. This can be achieved through the process of instilling potential offenders with job skills. Consequently, such people will have no need to resort to crime as a means of earning a living since they have other alternatives available

Failure in past approaches

Crime prevention should take precedence within the criminal justice system because the punitive approach has failed. Most psychologists argue that when criminals are simply arrested and taken into prisons for a certain period of time, they may not feel the need to reform. They actually claim that this serves to reinforce certain criminal activities. This is because they get to interact with fellow criminal and even learn more tricks to the trade and by the time they leave their prison cells, they are worse off than when they came in. What this means is that the criminal justice system is just going around in circles; criminals commit crimes, stay in prison, then go back to where they started from. When criminals go back to their neighbourhood, the very reason why they committed their crimes in the first place still exists. They will still be faced with family problems, lack of employment and other social evils. These circumstances will propel them into crime and they will end up going back to prison. This is the reason why drug related cases still continue. Psychologists believe that criminals perform criminal behaviour because of these social pressures and they need to be addressed if the criminal justice system hopes to be effective in the future. The ultimate solution would therefore be crime prevention. (Austin, p 34, 2001)

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Crime prevention would be quite favourable in drug related cases instead of punitive actions. For example, those caught should be placed in mandatory drug treatment centres. They could also be subjected to community service instead of locking them up in prison cells. There was some sort of disparity in the way the criminal justice system has been handling perpetrators. A person who has committed a burglary and another who has been caught using drugs are given more or less the same treatment through prison sentencing. This is not a fair or effective way of going about the crime problem.

It should also be noted that there may be certain individuals who lack the ability to move on with their lives because the way the criminal justice system has been in the past is that it condemns and segregates offenders. For expel, when one has been convicted to serve a prison term and they complete their term, they are not allowed to drive a car even if they have a driving licence. Besides this, they are not allowed to own houses or get certain jobs. What this does is that it frustrates them the more. Such individuals have no room to have fresh start because most of them lack public goodwill. What this does is that it encourages them to continue with a life of crime because they feel that society is already biased towards them. One can therefore conclude that the criminal justice system has not been very effective in the process of dealing with future crime incidences. Crime prevention is the only alternative to this endless cycle of crime. (Oxford Handbook of Criminology, p13, 2003)

Nipping crime at the bud

Many experts have argued that crime prevention will be more successful since most hard core criminals started out as youthful vandals who were shown the right direction. Some people have argued that the countries that have implemented crime prevention strategies have been very effective in crime stoppage. A case in point is the battle against alcohol and drug abuse in Sweden. The campaign was started by psychologist and criminologist Nils Bejerot. He believed that the drug control system used in Sweden before his reforms was quite inadequate. He asserted that if the new carriers of the drug taking habit were dealt with before hand, then there would be chances of preventing them from becoming ambassadors for the drug taking problem. He conducted an experiment in the year 1965 at Stockholm.

This psychiatrist suggested that those who had been caught by police using small amounts of drugs should be placed in treatment program that is mandatory in nature. This would go a long way in ensuring that all the future cases of drug dealing were taken care of. In line with the program, local authorities should conduct follow ups to ensure that those particular candidates stay committed to the prevention program. This has gone a long way in eliminating drug abuse cases in Sweden. Statistics testify to the effectiveness of this strategy. In Sweden only one in 1,400 may be imprisoned for possession of illegal drugs. This is such an achievement given the fact that other countries like the United States arrest about one in very 136 people for the possession of illegal drugs. It was also found that due to crime prevention in Sweden, there are much fewer chances of getting students with drugs in comparison to the seventies. Statistics have also shown that in Sweden there are less chances of drug abuse than in the entire continent of Europe. This also applies to cases of drug abuse recently and five years ago. Their crime prevention strategy has received more enforcement from the criminal justice system over the past years ago and this corresponds to less cases. Sweden does not apply its drug policy to new offenders only, it also has a follow up program for convicted offenders.

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Accidents that occur due to alcohol abuse or drunk driving are quite common in countries that have not implemented certain crime prevention strategies. Local authorities should go out of their way to ensure that crimes resulting from alcohol intake are eliminated. This can be achieved by introduction of breath-testers. Drivers who exceed allowable limits should be prevented from driving by placing them into rehabilitation centres. Such a proactive approach will ensure that there will be limited cases in the future. (Cox & Wade, p 105, 1998)

Gang violence can also be prevented through the use of the overall community. The police can work hand in hand with local residents to monitor the activities of these gangs and these collaborative efforts will help police during the prevention of such kinds of offences.

There should be more emphasis on the youth in order to ensure that future crimes are not committed. Crime prevention efforts need to be directed to the youth because they account for about twenty percent of all the cases reported to the police. It was also found that those who happened to be caught once were less likely to get caught again. However, there are cases of persistent offenders that would be arrested more than once. A research conducted among these repeat offenders found that there were certain characteristics common to most of these offenders. They are as follows;

The research also identified the fact that these behavioural traits could be prevented by a strategy called early intervention. Most of these youth had potential o become worse but with the right approach more could be done to ensure that this did not continue again. Crime prevention among the youth can be made in such a way that there are coordinated efforts towards dealing with youth offenders. First of all, there can be creation of bodies to coordinate work done towards these efforts. On top of this, there should be greater involvement of other stakeholders. The police should cooperate with the departments of children and youth affairs.

Early intervention needs to be conducted in cases where families seem particularly vulnerable to future crimes. Such families are normally characterised by the traits that were listed above. These are efforts that can be conducted by the policing unit in conjunction with other local authorities. However, there may be instances when some youth are at higher risks than others. Those at higher risks need to be placed under closer and more severe programs.

Prevention of crime needs to be done through the involvement of families too. In case youth offenders have been caught, their family members need to be consulted on what they feel could be the best methods to use when tackling their child. This can be achieved through the conduction of conferences that involve law enforcement officers, social workers and the parents. This will help in unveiling some of the underlying problems and will also help in the customisation of solutions to suite specific cases. (Sherman, p 54, 1997)


Crime prevention should take the greatest precedence in the criminal justice system because it has overwhelming public support. A survey asking people what the law enforcement authorities need to prioritise indicated that there was a need to place more emphasis on crime prevention rather than other strategies. The second reason why crime prevention should take up priority in the criminal justice system is the fact that most crimes are committed as a result of certain social problems. Crime prevention identifies those problems and deals with them thereby eliminating future cases of crime. It should also be noted that past systems have not been effective in the criminal justice system. They have only enforced criminal behaviour; crime prevention is a better approach because it tackles the problem from the inside out. Lastly, countries that have prioritised crime prevention have shown statistically, that this is an effective method; their crime rates have reduced. With all this backing, crime prevention should be made top priority.

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Austin, J. (2001): Sentencing Guidelines: A State Perspective; Ph.D., Executive Vice-President, journal for the National Council on Crime & Delinquency, Vol. 3, No. 8, p 34

Cox, S. & Wade, J. (1998): The Criminal Justice Network: An Introduction; New York: McGraw-Hill, p 105

Kenney, D. (1998): Crime in the Schools: A Problem-Solving Approach. Police Executive

Research Forum Journal, Vol. 8, No. 13, pp. 23

Maguire, E. (2000): Have Changes in Policing Reduced Violent Crime? Cambridge University Press, New York, 2000. pp. 207-265

Oxford Handbook of Criminology (2003); Oxford University Press, p 13

Pfeiffer, C. (2003): Trends in Juvenile Violence in European Countries; McMillan Publishers, p. 55

Sherman, L. et al (1997): Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn’t, What’s Promising; Routledge Publishers, p 54

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