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Newport Legal Issues Blog

Can you face penalties for overstaying a visa?

You've been living in the United States on a visa, and you met someone you like a lot. You know your visa is running out, and you haven't found a way to stay in the country. What happens if you decide to overstay your visa to be with the person you want a relationship with?

Once the end date of validity passes, you'll be recognized as an unlawful party in the United States. As someone who is unlawfully present, you are exposed to a risk of deportation and other penalties. Before you decide to overstay your visa, keep in mind that it's easier to get back into the country if you leave legally and reenter legally. Overstaying could impact your ability to return to the United States in the future.

Motorist faces charges for taking out weapon after car crash

People make mistakes, and it's not unusual for the police to pull someone over or to arrest an individual who has been drinking and driving. The thing to remember is that it's easy to make an already bad situation worse if you're not cooperative. This story is a good example of how not to react if you're involved in a crash and come into contact with the police.

This is a slightly unusual story about a man who is facing a DUI charge for wielding a hatchet in Rhode Island. According to the news report, the man, a motorist, had gotten into an argument with a driver after he hit the vehicle in Stonington.

Am I impacted by the Jones Act?

Newport residents may have recently heard something about the Jones Act in connection with hurricane response efforts for Puerto Rico and the continental United States. Although the breadth and scope of the act are large, there are certain parts of it that could definitely have an effect on Rhode Island residents.

For instance, do you know that under the terms of the Jones Act, passengers on cruise ships may not disembark from "foreign vessels...between ports or places in the United States?" In cases of emergency, e.g., a family member back in the United States is hurt or ill, under the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886, cruise passengers who get off the ship between domestic ports are subject to penalties of $300 "for each passenger so transported and landed."

What can you do after falling overboard?

When you go out on your boat, you are there to enjoy friends and the freedom of the open water. One of the last things you or other Rhode Island boaters would expect is to fall overboard. Unfortunately, many people fall off boats or ships each year, resulting in one of the commonest and deadliest types of maritime accidents in the country. Knowing what to do if you find yourself in the water can mean the difference between life and death.

What might cause you to go in the water? Those who regularly work in the maritime industry report several factors that commonly result in a man overboard situation. Choppy waves or poor weather could make the deck unsteady or slippery, in turn causing you to topple over the rail. You might find yourself unexpectedly seasick, and a sudden swell could make you lose your balance as you are leaning over the rail. Alcohol is another common factor for unsafe behavior and horseplay resulting in a fall from the boat. It is less common, but it does happen, for a boater to become the victim of foul play or to deliberately jump overboard.

Fiances may be entitled to come to the U.S. as a resident

It wasn't ever your intention to fall in love out of the country, but now that you have, there's a problem you need to overcome. You want to go to the United States to be married, but there are regulations that require you to obtain a visa first.

If you can obtain this visa, you'll be able to live as a resident for a period of time before you can file for permanent resident status.

These causes of boating accidents can lead to death or injury

You love going out on the water, and since winter is approaching, you're spending as much time on the water as possible. With the changing season, weather conditions are more unpredictable, and you want to do what you can to avoid a crash.

Boat accidents take place for many reasons, the weather included. A few common causes of crashes include speeding, alcohol use and equipment failure. There are steps you can take to avoid accidents influenced by these factors.

Paternity: You have a right to know your child

When your child was born, it was the best moment of your life. That was until you found out that you hadn't been assumed to be the child's father. You weren't married to the mother, and now you're concerned you won't get the rights you deserve or get to take part in raising your child due to the mother's wishes.

How can you voluntarily assume paternity?

What to do if USCIS schedules a marriage fraud interview

If you begin the process of applying for a green card based on marriage to a United States citizen, you will have to complete several important steps. These typically include submitting your application, compiling comprehensive evidence of your relationship and attending an interview.

In some cases, USCIS may single out a specific application and demand an additional interview with the goal of determining whether the marriage is real or fraudulent. Proper preparation can help you get through this often nerve-wracking process successfully.

Expunction gives you a new chance in life

If you've been convicted of a crime in the past, one of the things you might be interested in is expunction. Expunction is a process in which your arrest or criminal conviction is sealed from the public. Once that expunction occurs, employers, landlords and others will not be able to access your past criminal record.

Why is that important? If you have a criminal record, you may have noticed that it's harder to get a job, more difficult to rent a property or difficult to get into school. Having an expungement literally hides away the conviction, making it possible for you to have a fresh start.

Stay safe when boating with these tips

Boating can be safe at any time of the year if you make sure to look ahead and plan for the worst. When you're boating, it's important to know about potential unsafe weather conditions on the water and to travel with another person. If you plan to head out for long, have a good safety plan in place, and let the marina know where you're headed.

Each of these tips can help you avoid a tragedy and injury on the water. With the ocean nearby, these tips are vital to staying safe and enjoying water-based activities.

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