Dividing the Debt: How Alabama Courts Divide Debts in a Divorce

Just as division of material assets is often a contentious issue during a divorce, so is distribution of marital debt. To understand how marital debt is generally handled in Alabama, you must understand that Alabama is an equitable-distribution state. Essentially, this means that judges in divorce cases are not under any statutory burden to divide marital property evenly (50/50) as is the case with community-property Read More

Understanding Entrapment in Alabama

Entrapment is not a criminal charge, but rather a defense that can be used by defendants during a criminal trial against the government prosecution. Commonly associated with entrapment are sting operations and undercover officers. In these situations, police officers and government agents are allowed to provide individuals with opportunities to commit a crime, but not induce them to commit a crime.  Federal Read More

3 Signs of Domestic Violence That Are Not Physical

There are countless sobering statistics that illustrate the rampant problem of domestic violence. Every nine seconds a woman is physically beaten. One in four women will experience domestic violence sometime during their life. Around half of men who commit domestic violence against their partner also abuse children. Whereas a woman with visible bruises will get some worried glances, there are many other signs of Read More

Understanding the Difference Between an Accomplice and an Accessory

Sometimes a crime may only involve one perpetrator. However, in many serious crimes, there will be multiple parties that contribute to pulling off the offense. A principal in a crime is the one who pulls the trigger in a murder, brandishes a knife during a bank robbery, or commits the actual criminal act.  Two other common designations for people involved in crimes are accomplices and accessories. Sometimes, Read More

Separate vs Community Property in a Divorce: What’s the Difference?

One of the most important and often contentious aspects of a divorce is dividing up assets. Alabama is an equitable distribution state, which means that the courts will attempt to split assets up based on what they believe to be fair. Before they can begin this process, however, they will need to determine what assets are community property, and what is separate property. Understanding the difference between these Read More

Understanding Search Warrants

Understanding Search Warrants One of the fundamental rights of those living in Alabama, or anywhere in the United States, is that of private property. Nobody has the right to search through your property without your permission. Even the police are generally prohibited from this type of action unless they get a search warrant first. Understanding what a search warrant is and when they are required will help you Read More

Personal Injury 101: Negligence Explained

If you have been injured in some type of accident, you likely want to know if you will have a strong personal injury lawsuit on your hands. There are many factors that will go into determining the validity of a case, but in many cases, none are more important than determining if the other party involved was negligent in their actions. Understanding what negligence is, and how it can apply to your case, will help to Read More

Criminal Law Basics: Arraignment Explained

Criminal arraignment is the initial court appearance that takes place after a person has been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime.  When will the arraignment take place? It is possible that the arraignment may not occur for several months or over a year in some jurisdictions (especially if the defendant is out of custody), even though the case has been accused or indicted. Bond is also not set at Read More

Another Victory!

Part of a two-attorney defense team, John Totten successfully defended Andrew Haweis Goldsmith IV.  Mr. Goldsmith was facing two counts of attempted murder and two counts of capital murder while facing a minimum sentence of life in prison.  To read more about this case, see the al.com article by clicking HERE. Read More

Alabama Criminal Law: Hate Crimes

Violating the law and getting charged with a crime is always a serious situation, and the specific type of charges can have a huge impact on the potential penalties. One of the most significant factors that can make a crime more serious is the motivation behind the event. When a crime is motivated by hate or bias, it is classified as a “hate crime,” which can come with elevated penalties. Alabama is one of 45 states Read More