Posted by Dexter on Apr 26, 2017 in Criminal Charges | 0 comments
In the blockbuster film Gone Girl (2014), the main character Amy Elliot-Dunne staged her own fake murder in order to have her husband convicted and sentenced to death after she finds out that he was cheating on her. In the movie, she says, “To fake a convincing murder, you have to have discipline.”
It then begs the question – is it still really a crime if there was no actual crime committed?
This tends to me the question that most people seem to ask. Since Amy’s character staged the whole thing, is what she did still illegal? There are many underlying tones in that film and novel that point out some of the flaws in the way some mysterious crimes are investigated. One such crime that involves no actual “crime” being committed is that of conspiracy.
According to the website of the lawyers with Kohler Hart Powell, SC, conspiracy to commit a crime is still a federal offense in and of itself. Conspiracy to commit fraudulence or an assassination, for example, is something that takes considerable amount of discipline in order to plan.
However, what a lot of people don’t know is that sometimes, there is no basis for the charges being brought against you if you are being charged with conspiracy. Chances are that agents have been monitoring you, suspecting conspiracy, and they are particularly skilled with years of experience at the art of asking subtle and seemingly innocuous questions with potentially incriminating answers if you don’t know how the law works. There have been cases wherein a person unknowingly gave a testimony that was detrimental for their own situation, thereby giving them a harder time in the long run.
If you are being questioned or suspected by federal agents for conspiracy, it is recommended that you exercise your right to remain silent and to first contact an attorney before you make any sort of statement in order to give you your best chance at a fair and smooth case.
Boating may be seen by many as one recreational activity where risk is minor – with all the waters surrounding the vessel, the only danger that anyone could possibly face is if he/she cannot swim and falls overboard. On the contrary, like any other motor vehicle, if a boat operator or passengers fail to observe safety procedures, then they may likely find themselves victims of a serious accident.
The U.S. Coast Guard‘s record for all reported boating accidents in the U.S. shows 651 fatalities and 3,000 injuries under recreational boating for the year 2012. Though these figures have been the lowest since 2004, these can still be significantly reduced since majority of these accidents are due to acts of carelessness or recklessness by the boat operator and/or passengers.
The top causes of boating accidents include excessive speed, machinery failure, improper lookout, operator’s lack of experience, man overboard and capsizing; accidents that have occurred due to these causes, as well as those accidents due to other causes, the ones at fault or those involved were usually drunk boat operators or drunken boat passengers.
Capsizing is this leading cause of fatality in boating accidents. This usually occurs during nightfall, when both intoxication and the darkness begin to cause a boat operator to make poor judgments, especially while anchoring, maneuvering, or docking.
Drinking alcohol while on sea can affect a boat operator’s balance, coordination, vision and judgment much faster than when it is consumed on land. This is due to the overall marine environment, where a boat’s operator and passengers experience the sun, wind, sea water mist or spray, engine noise, vibration and motion. Thus, due to alcohol, capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling overboard have been common cause-of-death reports.
In a website found at www.thebentonlawfirm.com/brownsville/, it is said that “Any accident in which there is an injury is a traumatic experience that can leave its victims in degraded financial, emotional, and physical states. Personal injuries are bodily or emotional harm that occurs as the result of the misconduct of someone else, whether the harm was intentionally inflicted or not. Such injuries have a considerable impact on victims’ lives and should be handled with the care and attention they deserve. Victims often face a variety of setbacks after their injury, including painful recovery periods, expensive treatments, lost time at work, and emotional distress. Financial compensation, though it cannot undo the injury or its lasting effects, can take a considerable burden off the victim and ensure that the party responsible for the injury is held legally and financially responsible.”
There are product liability laws that protect consumers from the dangers of defective products, as these defective products can result into injury or death. Still, there are a lot of product liability lawsuits out there that prove that the fangs of these laws are not scaring manufacturers and sellers enough. Products still do not undergo proper safety testing, putting consumers in danger.
According to the website of a Tucson personal injury attorney, common product liability lawsuits involve pharmaceuticals, toxic food containers, dangerous childcare products and toys, design and manufacturing defects, and vehicle defects.
Dangerous products are so spread out in the United States that they even include defective household appliances, so even those who are just at home are at risk.
Defective household appliances can result into harmful chemical spills, fire, electrocution, and other dangers that make innocent people who are just at home become prone to burns, lacerations, and other injuries.
Common malfunctions involve faulty wirings. Once a household appliance with a faulty wiring is plugged in, the person handling the appliance may be subject to electrocution. It is also known that faulty wirings are one of the leading causes of residential fires, may it be because of improper installations or the use of old components.
There are also built-in defects that may put the designer or manufacturer at fault. If the unintelligent design of a product causes it to malfunction and hurt a person, we may be looking at a product liability lawsuit because of a defective household appliance. The most common built-in defects involve kitchen appliances, like microwaves and garbage disposals.
Lack of Safety Measures
Appliances, especially those that are inherently dangerous, need to have warning labels and proper use instructions. But there are known instances where the labels, warnings, and instructions are not clear enough or entirely absent. This puts unsuspecting consumers at risk.
Other important notes that regard to safety should also be visible in the product, like if a particular appliance should be on top of a wooden support to prevent conduction or be away from water sources.
Some appliances have a higher risk of malfunction if they are not well-maintained. For example, if you are renting a home with clothes dryer that is full of lint, the clothes dryer have the higher tendency to malfunction. The owner of the rented home may be liable for the damages because of his negligence.
Whether you own or rent a home, it is important to know the dangers of defective household products. Take into consideration the age of the house, the appliances you plug into the outlets of your house and their safety measures. Being diligent might be the very thing that saves you from the dangers of defective products.
Posted by Dexter on Jul 11, 2016 in Criminal Charges | 0 comments
In 2012, an estimated 29.1 million admitted to being under the influence of alcohol when they operated their vehicle. The year after, 1,171,935 drivers were arrested due to alcohol-impaired driving or driving under the influence (DUI): these information are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Alcohol-impaired driving remains to be a major concern for authorities; this is in spite of the continuous educational programs, ads and warnings on drivers from the federal, state and local government agencies and various private concerned groups, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Despite the very high number of those guilty of drunk-driving, it is a good thing that fatal accidents due to alcohol-impairment only totaled to 10,076 and 9,967 in 2013 and 2014, respectively.;these figures are based on cases of fatal accidents reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA).
Many different studies have shown and proven that alcohol weakens the mental capacity and motor skills of people who drink. It specifically affects an individual’s perception, judgment, coordination, reaction time, and overall ability in keeping his or her focus. In all U.S. states, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for car drivers is 0.08%, this may be reached after 4 alcoholic drinks within an hour, according to the CDC. Studies have also shown, though, that even at 0.02% BAC (about 2 alcoholic drinks), a person’s ability to perform two tasks at the same time may already be reduced; other effects include decline in visual functions and some loss of judgment. Now, if a 0.02% BAC level already has an impact in a person which may affect his or her driving, how much more will a 0.08% BAC affect his or her capability in operating a vehicle safely? With weakened or impaired control over his or her skills, risks of accident and injury increase; this is basically the reason why drunk driving is considered a major traffic offense.
The millions of arrests and thousands of fatal accidents every year only show how reckless or careless so many drivers are. Drunk-driving not only results to statistical data; it destroys lives of victims and of victims’ families. According to The Benton Law Firm, filing a civil lawsuit against at-fault drunk-drivers to seek compensation is not enough. A criminal suit which will punish the at-fault driver, if only to keep him or her from repeating the very wrong thing he or she has committed is probably necessary.
Posted by Dexter on Mar 12, 2016 in Wrongful Death | 0 comments
Car accidents kill as much as 2.35 million people in the United States each year, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel. With this, the legal team at Pohl & Berk, LLP says that there are families who are devastated and left with different expenses associated with the passing of their loved ones. This is where a wrongful death lawsuit comes in.
Like in almost all states, according to Nolo, a wrongful death in Tennessee is when an individual is killed due to the injuries sustained from another person’s wrongdoing. It is also defined as the “the wrongful act, omission, or killing by another,” Nolo states. In Tennessee, wrongful death is categorized under personal injury, insofar that the said person is not capable of presenting his/her own case anymore. This gives the immediate family or any designated person to file the claim for the victim.
Additionally, according to Nolo, the claim of wrongful death may still be filed even when there is already an existing criminal homicide charge for the suspect, although they are distinct from each other. They are different in terms of the type of claim, with the wrongful death being a civil claim and is filed by the family of the victim. The criminal claim, on the other hand, is usually filed by the prosecuting attorney.
Lastly, the aim of a wrongful death lawsuit is mainly the monetary compensation that should cover for the damages and the death of the victim. It is in contrast with the premise of filing a criminal charge, which, on the other hand, is solely focused on the consequences that the suspect could face, such as imprisonment and related punishments.
Posted by Dexter on Jun 16, 2015 in Criminal Charges | 0 comments
Some people are fond of saying murder is murder, but the fact is not all murders are the same. There are circumstances in which a person charged with murder may warrant a conviction for lesser included offenses, or homicide of a lesser degree.
In a criminal case, the prosecutor has the option to instruct the jury to consider a conviction for a less serious charge if they believe the primary charge is not warranted. The jury can thus convict the defendant on a lesser charge in lieu of the primary charge. In a murder case where the death penalty is on the table, however, the court is required to give instructions to the jury regarding lesser included offenses such as voluntary manslaughter. This is to provide the jurors a middle ground when they believe the defendant is culpable, but there not culpable enough to warrant the extreme punishment.
According to the Kohler Hart Powell, SC website, it is the role of a skilled criminal defense lawyer to get the charges dismissed, an acquittal, or failing either, conviction for a lesser offense. In most cases, a lesser included offense is easier to prove than the greater offense. For example, murder in the first degree requires the prosecutor to prove premeditation prior to the killing act. For voluntary manslaughter, there is no need to prove the intent to kill, only that the defendant was the one that performed the act of killing. A qualified lawyer can help determine which case it is and can help with the defense.
The jury is typically asked to consider the more serious charge first in their deliberations. If the jury finds that there is reasonable doubt about the commission of the charged offense, or that they cannot unanimously degree that it was committed, they may be asked to move on to the lesser included offenses.
Murder is intentional homicide. A lesser offense would be second degree intentional homicide, in which circumstances i.e. provocation mitigated the act of killing. If the prosecutor is unable to prove intent, then the jury might be instructed to consider reckless homicide (there was no intent to cause death or bodily harm, but created a situation that led to one or both) in the first and second degree.
If you have been charged with murder, you have no time to waste.
Posted by Dexter on Apr 7, 2015 in Family | 0 comments
Going through a divorce is already complicated in itself, but the process can become even more stressful a child is involved. With the help of the state, divorcing parents will need to determine a suitable custody agreement that is beneficial for their child.
In the eyes of the law, the child’s best interest is the most important consideration in child custody cases. As such, most courts award custody to the parent who is deemed more capable of encouraging a loving and healthy relationship between the child and the parent who lives somewhere else. This is due to the belief that, regardless of divorce or separation, a child should be aware of the love and influence of both parents growing up.
Based on specific considerations, the law can award a joint custody arrangement for divorcing parents. As emphasized by Marshall & Taylor PLLC, this arrangement is the most amiable solution for a situation that is undoubtedly difficult for children. This will mean that both parents can play an active part in their child’s growth and development, and could result in any of the following scenarios:
- Joint physical custody: Both parents are considered custodial parents, and get to spend an equal amount of time with their child. This is particularly ideal for parents who do not live too far away from each other, making travelling more convenient for the child involved.
- Joint legal custody: Only one parent gets physical custody of the child, but the other parent continues to be involved in making important legal decisions for the child in matters such as healthcare and education.
However, before any kind of joint custody is awarded by the court, the presiding judge will have to take into consideration a few important factors. These factors will help determine which decision will be the most beneficial for the child. Among the things the court might take into account are the following:
- Employment and income of both parents
- Stability of both homes
- The proximity of the parents’ houses
- The child’s educational opportunities
- How the child’s basic needs could be affected by the decision
- If both parents show their willingness to show custody
Determining a custody arrangement can be a stressful situation, divorcing parents can rest assured that the interest of their child is always the top priority. You can seek out legal counsel and talk to qualified lawyers to learn which options are best for your family.
According to the UN Road Safety Collaboration, each year sees more than 270,000 pedestrians are killed in road accidents all over the world. This constitutes to 22% of global traffic fatalities. In the United States, the Department of Transportation found 4,743 cases of pedestrian death and 76,000 pedestrian injuries in the year 2012 alone. Following these numbers, we can observe a trend that a pedestrian is killed every 2 hours and injured every 7 minutes when road accidents occur.
Looking at these statistics, it’s clear that pedestrian safety should become top priority. Even though technological advancements have greatly improved care safety features for drivers, the roads remain a dangerous place for pedestrians. Unfortunately, these accidents and injuries will only continue to occur until significant action is taken.
As emphasized by the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., such personal injury incidents are commonly caused by carelessness and reckless behavior. We can curb these negative attitudes by raising enough awareness about this pressing issue.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), majority of pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas. This is because cities are heavily populated, with high concentrations of pedestrian activity. It is also important to note that rural areas see elevated numbers of severe injury and death due to higher impact speeds.
In the same report from IIHS, we learn that pedestrian accidents commonly happen between 6 PM and midnight. The darkness makes it more possible for pedestrians to be struck by vehicles head-on. During such accidents, the severity of the injury will depend on the kind of vehicle involved in the accident. Bigger models like trucks or SUVs could throw a pedestrian’s body forward, leaving them to the possibility of getting run over. With cars, the bumper is expected to hit an adult near the area of the knees and a child at waist or thigh level. The damage on the body will depend on how strong the impact is.
We can make sure that our roads are safe for both drivers and pedestrians, and it does not have to be a difficult task. Anyone who is out on the road should be aware that even a brief careless moment can lead to catastrophic outcomes. Just like drivers, pedestrians have the right to use the road without risk to their safety. If you or anyone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the website of the lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. says it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel and pursue just compensation.
Posted by Dexter on Apr 2, 2015 in Employment Law | 0 comments
In an ideal world, every person would be given equal opportunity to succeed. Reality, however, is taking time to catch up. As you may have observed from recent discussions, including the memorable acceptance speech delivered by Patricia Arquette during the Oscars, it seems that we still have a long way to go.
In the U.S., the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is in charge of making significant strides toward this goal. First established in the year 1964, the agency is responsible for upholding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Overall, the EEOC aims to make sure that cases of workplace discrimination based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, or sexuality are significantly diminished.
Based on Title VII and amendments made in the passing years, any instance of discrimination across all areas of employment is categorically illegal. This means that every single employee is expected to receive fair and equal treatment, whether it’s in the wages they receive or the career advancement opportunities they are awarded. It also protects employees from getting terminated based on factors discriminatory factors. The same is true even before a person is employed, as it is equally important that all applicants are considered during the hiring process.
It’s unfortunate that this has not been true for some individuals. As noted on the website of The Melton Law Firm, a significant number of employees are all too often denied their basic freedoms. Just in 2013, the EEOC received almost 93,727 cases of job discrimination with the following breakdown:
- 38, 539 cases involved discrimination charges with retaliation;
- 33,068 cases involved race and ethnicity;
- 27,687 cases involved discrimination based on gender and sexuality;
- 25,957 cases involved discrimination against persons with disabilities (PWD).
If you feel that your Title VII protection has been violated by your employer, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel to find just compensation. A workplace should be conducive to helping individuals meet their full potential. Cases of discrimination and harassment based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, or sexuality should not be tolerated.
You can never account for accidents that might lead to devastating outcomes. Sometimes, these accidents might even take place when you’re at work. This is especially true if you’re working in an industry that involves high risks, such as construction work, manufacturing, and transportation. What do you do when occupational hazards result in injuries? What happens when such injuries are life-threatening and require long periods of medical attention?
As listed by the US Department of Labor, workplaces accidents and injuries are commonly due to the following reasons:
- Slipping or tripping
- Falling from heights
- Getting hit or struck by objects
- Accidents involving machines and heavy equipment
- Overexertion from lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying of heavy objects
- Repetitive or rigid motion, particularly in the cases of carpal tunnel syndrome
- Road accidents, particularly for the type of work that involves driving and traveling
- Acts of violence and harassment
They were also able gather data that shows that there were about 2.9 million reported cases of private industry workplace injuries back in 2013. This alarming number only follows the trend that, as noted by the website of Spiros Law, P.C., sees 1 in 5 American workers meeting accidents that keep them from their jobs for a year or more.
If you are part of these statistics and find yourself trapped in a difficult situation, your workers’ compensation package should help cover medical care and other important expenses. Unfortunately, receiving your workers’ compensation could take a long time. The process can easily become frustrating and difficult to deal, especially since you’re already burdened by the consequences of severe injury. Thankfully, you can speed up the process by seeking legal counsel. Mitigate the damages from workplace accidents by speaking to a qualified law professional, such as a Champaign accident attorney.