DUI: A Perennial Major Traffic Problem in all US States

Posted by on Jul 18, 2015 in Crimes | 0 comments

For millions of Americans, driving while under the influence of narcotics or alcohol is illegal and totally unacceptable because of the big risk it puts other motorists and pedestrians into. Even long before actually getting to sit behind the wheel of their own car, these drivers, while still children, have already learned that drinking and driving is a very dangerous combination.

Barron H. Lerner, MD, PhD, who practices internal medicine, teaches medical ethics, is a historian and an acclaimed author, is the writer of One for the Road, a book that takes a look at the grassroots of drunk driving in the US. According to him, love of drinking and love of driving of Americans are both implanted in the nation’s culture. This explains why, despite stricter laws, harsher punishments and heavier fines, so many Americans still drive while under the influence.

In 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported about 10,322 individuals killed in motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol- impaired drivers. Two years prior to this, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested after they were found intoxicated either by alcohol or illegal drugs.

The present blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers in all US states is 0.08%, while for drivers below the age of 21, a No Tolerance policy, which mandates that no traces of alcohol should be found in their blood system while they are driving, is in effect (the leading cause of death among teens is traffic accident, with about a third of it being due to alcohol or drug intoxication). Punishment for violators can mean costly fines, jail term of loss of license.

Though a 0.08% BAC limit is already low, Lerner, while writing his book, endeavored to understand more the meaning of blood alcohol level. To arrive at the same conclusions reached by traffic enforcers, he bought a Breathalyzer and tested his BAC after consuming three shots of vodka (on an empty stomach) within an hour. Though his BAC only read 0.05%, he felt intoxicated and his speech was garbled. He knew that had he hit the road, he would not be able to drive safely, especially in the event of an unexpected road obstacle.

The law considers drunk driving as a grave act of negligence, much more so if someone gets injured or killed. Drivers who will be found intoxicated will be charged with DUI, or driving under the influence, a serious crime in all US states. Depending on the BAC level or if anyone is hurt in the accident, the punishments become heavier and the fines, more expensive; there are also the possibility of the court ordering that an ignition interlock be installed inside the driver’s vehicle and the acquisition of an SR-22.

DUI is a serious matter that no American would want to be charged with. However, one has to understand that by taking the wheel even when intoxicated will remain to be an illegal and totally unacceptable driving behavior.

Read More

Product Liability: The Responsibility of Manufacturers

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Product Defects | 0 comments

This is a day and age of remarkable innovation. Where new comforts used to take decades of work, the latest convenience is rendered obsolete in only a few months. New things are constantly being made and better technological advancements are slowly making their way up to necessity in a daily life. It is a life of consumerism and creation in this modern age to which we have all been born into – but there is a responsibility that is put upon manufacturers that demands that they make sure their products are safe for mass distribution and consumption.

Should there be any faults or defects with the product that they ship out, there could be very extreme consequences on both parties to which the manufacturers must be made liable to.

Sometimes, some manufacturers take it upon themselves that they are somewhat higher than what the law dictates. Indeed, a lot of big named corporations can be intimidating to face in a court of law. However, it is the legal right of a victim to file a case of personal injury against the manufacturer if they have been injured due to a fault in their product.

Why would you file for a lawsuit against the manufacturers? Well, if the injury you sustained was substantial enough to have caused debilitating physical, emotional, or mental trauma – then it would be recommended to file legal action against the manufacturer in order to be given compensation for the damage that has been done unto you. This damage may have required medical expenses in order to treat and the injury could have possibly made you unable to work, thereby resulting to the right to demand for recompense on those lost wages.

There are many reasons as to why it is recommended that you fight for your rights in order to get what you are due and what you deserve after suffering such an unfortunate ordeal.

Read More

Medical Malpractice, the Most Prominent Cause of Cerebral Palsy

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in Courts | 0 comments

Often, despite a mother’s worry and complaints about her child’s seeming delayed development, many pediatricians rather decide to take on the “wait and see” attitude, which has become very common among medical health providers. The problem is, this attitude has also been the cause of many serious health complications – results of untreated, or delayed treatment of, severe conditions, one of which is cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is the most common neurodevelopmental motor impairment among children. It is the result of an abnormally developed brain or injury to the brain due to lack of oxygen supply before, during, or after birth. There are various causes to this incurable, chronic disorder that affects a child’s motor skills, posture, speech and, sometimes, cognition or mental capabilities; many of these causes, however, are traceable to one and the same thing – negligence resulting to medical malpractice.

As soon as a doctor or any health care expert accepts a patient under his/her care, he/she becomes fully responsible over the total care and safety of such patient. In the case of a pregnant woman, care for the unborn child is added to his/her responsibility.

This care starts during pregnancy, goes on through labor and delivery and extends up to a period known as puerperium, which is about six weeks after delivery. Though many doctors do their best to provide the necessary and required quality care, some are found wanting of such care, putting the child in a condition prone to risks of birth injury, especially, to cerebral palsy.

Mistakes that may lead to cerebral palsy include failure of the doctor to:

  • Detect and/or treat maternal infections during pregnancy
  • Keep the unborn child healthy
  • Treat severe cases of jaundice
  • Recognize and treat fetal distress
  • Plan and schedule a C-section procedure if the child is too big to pass safely through the birth canal
  • Perform a timely C-section procedure during an emergency situation
  • Use forceps or vacuum properly to deliver the child
  • Discover a prolapsed umbilical cord
  • Provide the correct medication or correct dosage of medication during delivery

It would really be challenging, however, to prove that the cerebral palsy that the child has been made to suffer is a result of medical malpractice. Though no one wants a child to suffer from the dreaded disorder called cerebral palsy, if its development was due to a mistake committed by someone, then that person will just have to face the consequences of his/her mistakes.

Read More

The Inevitability of Legal Complexities Upon Death

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Wrongful Death | 0 comments

The thing about death is that it is as inevitable as taxes – and just as much of the worst of humanity that the latter can inspire, the same can be said to that of the former. Where some family members may be grieving the death of a loved one, there might be some present who might find now to be the most opportune moment to get away with the worldly possessions left behind by the recently deceased.

Financially speaking, families everywhere can be deeply affected by a death and require whatever is left behind in order to get back to some semblance of normalcy. And because greed and avarice are things that exist in this world, these are often the cause for cases of theft, improper withdrawals, and management.

A circumstance such as this is often up to the brim with stress and highly-strung individuals as this kind of situation often provokes emotionally charged arguments and accusations. According to the website of the legal team with Peck Ritchey, LLC, this can be increasingly complex and difficult to deal with without professional help. Every case is different and the path ahead, should litigation take place or should anyone contest the will on any grounds, is hardly ever straightforward.

Some people might take advantage of the chaos or even add wood to the fire, as it were, and individuals who are not as informed of the legal proceedings can be easily hoodwinked. It can be more than difficult to deal with this on your own, especially if you can’t make heads or tails of the situation as there are so many factors to consider. That is why it is advisable for you to acquire the professional services of someone who knows what they’re doing.

A stressful and unfortunate reality, the only thing that you need to worry about is trying to get your life back together despite the loss of a beloved family member – and allow for the legal team you acquire to help you, advise you, and be with you every step of the way.

Read More

Buyers Beware: Receiving Stolen Goods is a Crime in Texas

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Crimes | 3 comments

Did you know that if you bought something that you believe it stolen, you can be held just as criminally liable as the one who stole the item? When an individual knowingly receives stolen property, this is considered theft under the laws of Texas. You don’t have to be the one to directly take the property from the owner to be liable under circumstances when you know or should have known that the property was stolen.

For example, if you are in the automobile buy-and-sell business and someone tries to sell you a car at a ridiculously low price but could not present you with a pink slip (certificate of title), claiming that it had been lost. At that point, you must have known or suspected that the car was stolen. The proper thing to do is to verify whether this is true or not by checking if the car has been reported stolen. Even if there are not alerts on the vehicle, you will still not be covered when the police comes calling because the owner may not have known that the car had been stolen. As a business owner who is aware of the importance of the pink slip, you should not buy the car at all because you won’t be able to sell it without the pink slip and you will have to report the purchase to the county tax assessor within 20 days. Failure to do so is an admission of guilt.

A key element in proving theft via receiving stolen goods is knowledge that the goods had been stolen or “hot.” In the above example, the knowledge is assumed considering the nature of the defendant’s business. In other circumstances, however, it may not be immediately apparent as an Austin criminal defense lawyer will point out.

If you are charged with receiving stolen goods, you need to prove that you had no knowledge that the item was stolen at the time of the purchase. This is not at all easy but it can be done with the right strategy. The item will still be confiscated (presuming ownership can be proven) and you will not get your money back, but at least you will avoid a conviction with the help of competent legal representation.

Read More

The Truth about White Collar Crimes in Texas

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Courts | 0 comments

The absconding clerk, the insider trader, the nerdy hacker…these are representations of a type of criminal that specializes in activities that either breaches security or trust to ultimately benefit in some way, most often than not financially. These are considered white collar crimes because they are perpetrated by people with control or authority, and seldom involve any physical contact or violence. Nonetheless, such criminals are just as likely to ruin lives as a gun-toting bank robber, which is why the punishments are often quite severe. To be convicted for a white collar crime can have profound consequences.

This is especially true for a job that requires the employer and clients have a certain degree of confidence and trust in the person doing it, i.e. bank teller. According to the website of Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, in a lot of cases white collar crime is some form of fraud: wire, tax, healthcare, securities, business, accounting, bank or investment. New kids on the block are computer crimes and identity theft, which are already crimes but may also be used as a means to commit other crimes i.e. hacking databases to obtain credit card information.

White collar crimes are dangerous because they are carried out in secret, so the damage is extensive before it is found out. This is also why it can be difficult to trace the crime back to the perpetrator, especially now and for computer-related crimes, and once traced, difficult to prove. It also happens that mistakes are made that can lead to the wrong person being charged with a crime and, if the case is not handled properly, convicted.

If you are charged with a white collar crime, the worst thing you can do is to try to explain. Say nothing and find a skilled criminal defense attorney to sort things out for you.

Read More

Court Reporters

Posted by on Aug 20, 2014 in Courts | 2 comments

There are instances, in a court proceeding, when a particular person is called upon to read back a part of what had been said during the earlier part of an ongoing case or the exact words used during a deposition, or for other purposes vital to the case. This person is called a court reporter – one of the very important roles in a litigation case as he/she is the one responsible in recording everything that is said during the trial and in making an official written transcript of all that transpires, in perfect accuracy. To earn a license and so become a Certified Court Reporter (CCR), one has to undergo rigorous training, pass a series of tests and participate in continuing education courses.

A court reporter is required to be able to transcribe at least 225 words per minute on a stenotype, a machine that resembles a typewriter and is used to record speech in syllables or phonetic codes. There are three types of court reporters: the stenographer, who uses a stenotype machine; the voice writers, who speak into a mask that is equipped with a recorder and voice silencer; and, the electronic reporter, who makes use audio recording tools while simultaneously taking notes. Regardless of the type, though, one major thing is required – the skill to transcribe all things correctly and exactly as they happen in court, for even a single mistake can possibly alter the whole course of the case. It is the job of a court reporter to transcribe everything said in a court hearing, a deposition, a conference held inside a judges’ chamber and in other official proceedings.

Many private law firms have also seen the importance of hiring and maintaining the services of court reporters to record their own cases, as well as organize valuable documents related to all the cases the firms have handled. Besides transcribing and record organization, a professional court reporter also provides video services, records retrieval, process service and investigations and many other concerns that will make records keeping, retrieval and sharing so much easier, faster and orderly.

Read More