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How to Handle Criminal Allegations

Posted by on 1:39 am in Criminal Law | 0 comments

Having criminal allegations raised against you can be one of the most terrifying experiences. In many cases, an accident or ignorance can lead to criminal charges which will make anyone worried. The most important thing to remember when dealing with a criminal case, however, is to remain calm at all times, and never say anything without your lawyer present. In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty, so it’s crucial to have faith in your innocence despite the charges against you.

Criminal defense attorneys know better than anyone else how to deal with criminal charges of all varieties, ranging from DUI/DWIs, to conspiracy charges, to possession with and without intent, and sex offenses. The number of criminal charges is enormous and can be specific to the state you reside in. In any case, an attorney is best equipped to handle your situation and secure justice for you or anyone else who is facing criminal charges. Although each case is different, it’s important to know how basic proceedings are performed for general cases.

For a DUI or DWI, it’s important to know that your license will be suspended if you are convicted. For a first time offense, the suspension can last up to a year. For second time offenders, the suspension can range between 6-10 years.

For drug possession crimes, there are two different types. Possession and possession with intent are treated differently. Possession is simply when one is charged with the possession of illegal substances, most often with the intent of using. Possession with intent involves conscious intent to distribute, sell, or manufacture illicit substances. Drug charges are usually dealt with at the state level, unless you were arrested by a federal agent, or had more severe charges than simple possession.

For bail, most of the time it’s set the same day the arrest occurred, however, police can defer setting the bail amount to a judge, which extends the timeframe to approximately five days. Bail can be paid by cash, check or using property as collateral. Bail bonds can also be used, and are often only about 10% of the set bail. Bail is merely a tool used to make sure people appear in court. Once the person appears in court, bail is refunded back to them.

As noted previously, criminal charges and procedures can be scary, especially for those who try to live good, honest lives and wound up in the wrong place at the wrong time. The most important thing anyone can do under these circumstances is to remain calm and quiet and contact an attorney who can help protect you and your individual rights.

The Stress of a Divorce Weighing You Down? Try Adding Kids and the Military!

Posted by on 11:34 pm in Family Law | 0 comments

Divorce is a difficult decision, but it becomes even more complex when children are involved. Furthermore, the custody of a child with a parent in the military becomes even more complicated because, like the lawyers at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. explain, there is the possibility that the parent in the military will have a deployment or base reassignment. What is entailed in a military custody decision? It is important that you know your rights if you are a parent in the military going through a divorce.

Factors to Consider

As with civilian divorce, there are a number of factors to consider when deciding who will have custody of a child, including the wishes of the child, the mental and physical health of the parents, the need for continuation of stable home environment, evidence of parental drug, alcohol or sex abuse, and more. These “best interest” factors help determine what type of custody parents will have of their children.

It is important to take possible deployment or reassignment into consideration when drawing up a custody agreement since moving a child to another state usually would violate the custody order or child relocation laws. Since military parents are aware of the possibility of deployment or reassignment, they can include custody or visitation provisions in the event that they are deployed or reassigned. It is important to discuss your options with your family lawyer in order to know the best way to proceed.  

While having a parent in the military should not negatively impact custody arrangements, some military members and lawmakers fear the possibility of deployment or reassignment renders military parents inherently unstable in the eyes of the court since both deployment and reassignment can be disruptive to children.  

The Family Care Plan

If both parents are in the military or if there is a single parent in the military, the parent or parents must make a family care plan that is reviewed by the service member’s commanding officer and updated annually. This plan outlines what will happen to any children or dependants in case of deployment or reassignment and must include a short-term caretaker, a long-term caretaker, and care provision details. Neither the short-term nor long-term caretakers may be part of the military, and the short-term caretaker must be local. The care provision details include information about how to care for the child, including bank account numbers and passwords, medical procedures necessary for the child’s care, and more.

Family care plans can be required for a number of reasons, including when a member of the military becomes a single parent through death or divorce or when a spouse becomes unable to care for children for any reason. Some lawyers recommend including a family care plan in the custody order so that you avoid unnecessary issues.

It is important that the family care plan does not conflict with other legal documents, including the service member’s estate plan, divorce decree, or custody order. Contact a military lawyer today to review your documents.

Why You Need Extra Space for Your Things

Posted by on 4:23 pm in Self-storage | 0 comments

The nature of the self-storage or mini-storage is to provide individuals, families and business firms the extra space they need for whatever needs to be stored safely. There are more than 50,000 self-storage facilities in the U.S., most of these are located in the Sun Belt states, which include  Florida, California and Texas.

The self-storage industry began in the 1960s, when most of the houses in the Sun Belt area were built without an attic, a basement, or both. Even when American houses have become bigger beginning in 2004, increasing in space, from 1,660 square feet to 2,400 square feet, there was still not enough room to house everything that people purchased.

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, though there was an increase in size, many newly-built American homes did not have the spaces provided by the basement or the attic where they can store old furniture or their grandparents’ most treasured things.

Obviously, consumerism in America is on an upsurge, resulting to one in every ten families having to rent a space, particularly a self-storage, where old things, furniture and appliances can go to give room for newly bought ones.

While the idea of renting a self-storage may be a very remote idea to others, those who are currently leasing one know that having a self-storage space can really be beneficial, especially if you:

  • Want to enjoy the freedom of being able to rotate your furnishings regularly;
  • Want or need to reduce some of your furnishings for more excellent showing;
  • Lack space for old things, like old toys or mom’s and pop’s favorites, but just cannot throw these out; and,
  • Intend to move to a new residence;

Self-storage facilities give assurance that your belongings will be safe and accessible to you 24/7, not all facilities can guarantee that your belongings will be kept safe from moist or that you can have convenient access to the space you have rented. This is because not all facilities have climate controlled and drive-up units.

A self-storage come in different sizes; there is one only big enough if all you need to store are boxed and other “not-so-big” items and there are units big enough for you to store furnishings from an entire home.

Most self-storage facilities lease spaces on a month-to-month basis which, of course, is renewable. Besides being affordable, payment can also be cash, with a personal check or through a credit card.


Top Causes of Cruise Ship Accidents

Posted by on 9:13 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A cruise ship holiday vacation is always a perfect treat, whether for individuals, families or groups of friends. Besides a truly amazing time on board a modern cruise liner, the spectacular views and the lowered cost of travel plus all the discounts and perks make cruising a totally worthwhile experience. Americans, most of all, are among those who love to travel on sea; thus, they comprise more than half of the 20 million passengers who make cruise reservations annually.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the global maritime safety treaty, called the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), make sure that the safety of all passengers is always the top priority of all cruise companies. Thus, besides requiring all cruise liners to be equipped with medical facilities and equipment that will enable their medical personnel to address all medical concerns of passengers, the CLIA and SOLAS have also required all their member companies to have their ships equipped with the necessary life-saving equipment to enable these to bring all passengers back to port safely, especially after an accident. In addition to all these, the maritime or admiralty law and the cruise ship industry also require that everything on board will have to be managed and operated by a highly trained and responsible crew.

There is no telling what emergency situation may suddenly happen while a ship is out to sea, however, according to the CLIA, four of the most common forms of disasters that can injure passengers are rouge waves, bad weather, fire (which may be due to mechanical failure) and collision with another ship or an object, such as an iceberg, an underwater rock or reef, which can result to a wide gash on a ship that will cause it to sink or capsize. There have been times also when, because of fire, a cruise ship has lost power, resulting to a series of problems on board, including being stranded in the sea or sanitation problems which leads to viral diseases. These are some types of situations that can turn a great holiday escapade into a nightmare for passengers.

According to the Louis A. Vucci, PA, being injured on a cruise ship gives the victim the legal right to seek compensation from the cruise line owner. The maritime law, however, is complex, that having a well experienced admiralty lawyer to defend the victim may be a necessity. This is because filing claims for damages which, besides being subjected to a statutory period, can also be done only in a specific court that is indicated on the back of a cruise ship passenger ticket.

The Lowdown on Single Vehicle Car Accidents

Posted by on 3:22 pm in Truck and Auto Accidents | 0 comments

Any car accident, regardless of the number of parties involved, can lead to serious injuries. According to a Chicago car accident attorney, the consequences of a collision can quickly become overwhelming. You could end up with a pile of expenses and may miss a huge time from your work. When it comes to car accidents, fault always comes to the picture especially in filing claims. But what if the accident involves a single vehicle?

As the name implies, single vehicle accidents involves only one vehicle. These types of crashes includes running off the road, colliding with rocks, running over debris, to name just a few. In single vehicle accidents, factors such as road conditions, hidden obstacles, and weather conditions can play a huge role in the driver’s ability to control a vehicle. In these types of accidents, only the driver and any of the passengers are injured.

Since the accident involves only one vehicle, the driver is in the best position to avoid the accident. Single vehicle accidents in this case may be due to excessive speed, driver fatigue, and alcohol use. Factors such as environmental and roadway factors such as inclement weather, narrow lanes, and shoulders can also play a huge factor in the accident.

While injuries in a single vehicle accident may be a question of negligence on the part of the driver, the liability may be shifted to a third party such as the manufacturer of the vehicle due to defective parts. Just like accidents involving multiple vehicles, the plaintiff needs to prove that there was a duty to prevent an injury, that the defendant breached that duty, and that such breach was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

In single vehicle accidents, the driver could still face criminal charges. The charges may be related to driving under the influence, wanton recklessness, and others. Seek the help of an attorney for possible legal remedies and consequences.

DUI Felony

Posted by on 1:43 pm in Drunk Driving | 0 comments

Drunk-driving or impaired driving due to alcohol is the cause of at least 10,000 fatal car crashes in the U.S. which number to more than 32,000 every year. In 2010, the US Department of Transportation‘s Bureau of Transportation Statistics registered 13,365 fatal car accidents, while the number of those arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs or both, reached 1.4 million.

In all U.S. states, driving with a 0.08% (or higher) blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is considered a crime. Though a first offense DUI is usually treated as only a misdemeanor (a more serious offense, though, if the alcohol-impaired driver injures or kills someone, of if his or her BAC level is higher than the 0.08% limit), a Nashville criminal defense attorneys of Horst Law explains how it still can change your life, as it can result to the suspension of your license which, in turn, can lead to many other inconveniences for you, plus the fact that your driving history is marred with a traffic offense.

Many federal and state authorities are determined and zealous in catching violators of the anti-drunk driving law, thus, they are sharp and focused on observing any signs of drunk-driving, such as braking erratically, driving too slowly, swerving, stopping for no apparent reason or zig-zagging across the road. For the same end, they set up sobriety checkpoints to check on alcohol-impaired drivers as well as measure their BAC level.

A DUI felony is punished with costly fines and at least one year jail time. In some states, a felony leads to other heavy sentences, such as:

Mandatory installation of an Ignition interlock, which is a device that will prevent a vehicle from starting if it detects in the driver a BAC level that is higher than what is considered a safe level (about 0.02%);

Administrative license suspension (ALS), a law that gives law enforcers the authority to confiscate a driver’s license if the driver fails a chemical test. This can last for 90 days – 180 days, during which driving privileges may be limited to/from work;

Open container law. This law, which is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the he National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), requires states to prohibit the possession of open alcohol beverage containers, as well as the consumption of an alcoholic beverage, in the passenger area of a motor vehicle on public highways.

Understand just how serious a DUI charge is should make a person think twice before sitting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. However, there are just instances when impairment gets the better of a driver. It will require a seasoned felony DUI attorney if you get charged with a
DUI offense, more so if the charge is a felony.

The Lowdown on Car Insurance for Bad Credit

Posted by on 5:59 pm in Car Insurance | 0 comments

Just because you have a bad credit score does not mean you cannot apply for car insurance. According to the website of Wausau, WI car accident attorneys, people with bad record can still qualify for car insurance by simply researching their options. When getting a credit card, leasing a car, or obtaining a home loan, you very well know that the credit score can have a huge impact on your chances of getting approved. As far as credit companies and car insurance providers are concerned, they use different methods in computing car insurance scores.

Car insurance companies use credit-based insurance scores and not credit scores. Credit-based insurance scores does not have a huge impact on your job, income history or other personal information. The data is used by car insurance companies to help determine the possibility of a future insurance claim.

Credit scores, on the other hand, are determined from information from the credit report and are used by lending firms to determine the capability of a borrower or lender to promptly repay a loan. For auto insurance providers, credit-based insurance scores are used for determining the eligibility of payment plans as well as insurance rates. They then combine this with the borrower’s driving record. This means that even if you scored high on the credit score but with an atrocious driving record, it is still possible for you to be considered a risky borrower.

So why do car insurance companies used credit-based insurance scores than credit scores? A 2003 study conducted by The University of Texas revealed that people with lower credit scores had the tendency to incur more car insurance losses and higher claims payout thus making them more riskier to auto insurance companies.

In another study this time conducted by the Federal Trade Commission, it was revealed that credit-based scores proved to be more effective predictors of risks. Since it was more sensible to use credit-based insurance scores, car insurance companies opted to use this method for determining risks and insurance premiums.

Have You Been Hurt by a Drunk Driver?

Posted by on 1:13 am in Drunk Driving | 0 comments

Unexpected injuries that happen are not easy to encounter, no matter what, evermore difficult is what they cost the victims along the way. However, according to the site of the Hankey Law Office, P.C., it is a lot more painful when the accident could have been avoided such is the situation against an allegation of drinking and driving.

In the U.S., any individual below the age of 21 who’s driving with any amount of alcohol inside their program will be found guilty of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Anyone over age 21, however, will probably be pushed with Driving While Impaired (DWI) charges when they’re found driving with a blood alcohol level that exceeds the legally allowable percentage (.08). Should you or your loved ones have endured any harm or material damage as a result of some other party’s selfish recklessness, as is the case of those who drive while drunk, then you’re justified to pursue lawful options to be able to receive compensation that is a result of you.

In the event that you are the victim of an accident via drunk driving, you then could receive settlement financially, for the damage completed, in addition to protection for doctor’s bills that result in the accident. Lost wages that result in the event also can be accounted for by the culprit. If the accident has triggered the worst method that is possible, the accused will also be prone to be in charge of wrongful-death. There can be relaxation discovered in the justice that comes from seeking legal aid though there is nothing that might actually soften the blow of this type of loss and even calm the injury sustained from such a scenario.

There are penalties that people who perform such reckless, heinous acts that jeopardize other people should spend. You have the possibility to push charges and get compensation, in case you are the victim.

Safety First: Why Car Insurance is Important for All Motorists

Posted by on 1:51 pm in Truck and Auto Accidents | 0 comments

In America, the risk of facing a car accident continues to be a disturbing part of a motorist’s reality. According to the United States Census Bureau, the period from 2005 to 2009 saw an average of 10.54 million traffic crashes every year. While most of these reported accidents resulted in only minor collisions, it’s still important to note that some of these accidents also resulted in serious injuries and fatalities that could have otherwise been easily prevented. Motorists should keep in mind that they face certain risks. Taking measures to ensure that these risks are mitigated and addressed is a necessary step for all drivers.

These safety nets are crucial because of the long-term consequences that car accidents can leave in its wake. In the aftermath, car accident victims can expect to deal with costly medical treatments, as well as some significant damage to their property. For more serious collisions, victims will also need to take time off from their jobs in order to focus on their recovery. This can cause an already expensive situation to become even more troubling, as they will have to deal with losing their primary source of income as well. This is where car insurance comes in. Setting up safety nets such as a reliable car insurance policy can do a lot to help victims regain some semblance of stability as they deal with the aftermath of their accident.

Across the nation, most states require motorists to have some form of car insurance policy before being awarded driving privileges. The law mandates such a requirement because having car insurance or liability coverage is important to traffic safety. Should an accident occur and the worst happens, an insurance policy ensures that the individuals involved in the incident will receive the financial assistance they need to cover injuries and damages they incur. Victims can rest assured they will have the compensation they need, while the party at fault will be able to cover these expenses without much worry.

The secret to setting up the most reliable safety net for such accidents is to find the best type of car insurance policy that works for your given situation. Car insurance is typically covered through monthly payments called premiums. Depending on your current needs and budget, you may opt for policies with higher premiums that give you more flexibility in case an accident does occur. According to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, it’s best to consult with a reputable insurance company to know which exact policies would work best for your needs.

Toxic Molds often Product of Building Neglect

Posted by on 10:39 am in Injury Law | 0 comments

Many renters or tenants worry about a lot of things regarding their homes, and among the newest and growing concern is mold infestation. Toxic molds have lead to a rising number of personal injury claims across the United States, and despite the many misconceptions of the definitions of mold and their risks, if you believe that you have a toxic mold infestation you have the responsibility of contacting the property owner to schedule a mold remediation.

Molds are naturally occurring inside or outside a damp, humid, and wet environment. Although there are just a minute number of molds that are considered “toxic”, if molds are at a high concentration in a certain space, they can cause serious health risks and should be removed immediately. Among the health risks that people can get from molds are rashes, asthma, chronic fatigue, cognitive loss, and hemorrhages. The property owner has the responsibility of ensuring the safety of his or her tenants, and if they choose to neglect this duty they can be held liable for their actions (or inactions).

Information about molds and the hazards that they can give are practically everywhere, but a lot of misconceptions are also being shared. This is the reason why many people fear any type of mold in their house or property is a health risk. Molds are very common in places with high humidity, such as California, Texas and southern states, but this does not mean other places are mold-free.

It can be tricky to determine whether molds that are growing in your property are a health hazard or not, and only an expert can help you ascertain it. Although there is still considerable debate on which molds pose serious threats to human safety and what specific situation can make these molds dangerous. Nevertheless, the serious health complications that these toxic molds cause are not questionable, and when these preventable health risks are caused by neglect of duty from the property owner, the tenant has every right for compensation.