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 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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In the US, the prosecution of drug law violations has been consistently aggressive in recent years. According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the year 2007 saw more than 1.8 million arrests for drug abuse violations. Anyone facing charges should expect to meet serious penalties. Depending on the circumstances of your offense, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in fines. You might also end up serving several years in prison.

Although the debate on the dangers of marijuana has been going on for several years, marijuana possession is among these violations that are met with harsh punishment. Despite the controversy around it, millions of Americans are found to use it every year. According to the website of Wisconsin criminal defense lawyers Kohler & Hart, SC, the exact number is over 25 million.

While there are select states that have decriminalized its medicinal and recreational use, and even few that have legalized it completely, you could still be charged of a crime in majority of the country. If you have been charged with marijuana possession in a state where it remains illegal, you need to be aware of the heavy penalties you could be facing.

In most cases, first offense possession is classified as a misdemeanor and may result in a $1000 fine, as well as up to 1 year of jail time. At second offense, the penalty might climb to a $2500 fine and 15 days to 2 years in prison. Subsequent offenses will be classified as a felony, where you might have to pay a $5000 fine and serve up to 30 years in prison.

As you can see, a marijuana possession charge is something that you can’t take lightly. Even if you’re among the majority of Americans who believe that the drug should be legalized soon, the law is taking a while to catch up. As emphasized by the website of the Flaherty Defense Firm, facing a marijuana possession conviction can lead to devastating consequences. Don’t hesitate to consult with a criminal defense lawyer to learn what options you have.

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There’s no denying that riding a motorcycle is one of the most efficient ways to travel. Because of its size, a motorcycle rider can easily navigate and maneuver through tight spots and successfully avoid heavy traffic. It is also pretty cost efficient when it comes to gas. According to some research, the motorcycles from the recent year use 28 percent less fuel than a car made around the same time.

Despite these obvious advantages, it can’t be denied that riding motorcycles is also extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, there is a flipside to the relative ease that riders enjoy during their commute.

Motorcycles are incredibly risky for the same reason that they’re incredibly efficient. Because their vehicle is so lithe and small compared to other vehicles, riders can be easily missed by other drivers sharing the road. Also, as noted by Delaware personal injury lawyers, motorcycles aren’t equipped with the same protective mechanisms that cars have. Unlike a driver, someone riding a motorcycle won’t be protected by seat belts, air bags, and huge metal frame. This means that even the smallest collision between a motorcycle and a large car can lead to devastating results for the rider. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, these conditions lead to 30 times more motorcycle deaths as compared to fatalities in cars.

To avoid motorcycle accidents, riders must learn to be more careful and take necessary precautions. It is important that they are aware of these risks and do their part to avoid tragic outcomes.

One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents and injuries are head-on collisions. It’s easy for larger vehicles to miss motorcycles due to blind spots, so riders must make sure to follow safety precautions when taking turns and merging into traffic. Other types of collisions that may cause devastating accidents include sudden stop collisions and collisions with an open door. In such cases, motorcycle riders must follow prescribed traffic rules to avoid disaster. A rear-end accident can be avoided by making sure there’s a safe distance between the motorcycle and the vehicle in front. On the other hand, riders can avoid colliding with open car doors by taking extra care when in a busy street.

Taking necessary precautions can do a lot to mitigate risks involved in riding motorcycles. However, it is in the nature of accidents to come fast and unexpected. Because of this, there is no full proof way to avoid motorcycle accidents. The best that riders can do is to remain aware of their surroundings. In case the worst happens, a rider can pursue legal action to receive financial compensation from those responsible. However, as the website of the Pete Leehey Law Firm, P.C. puts it, this can lead to a long legal battle that can be extremely frustrating and stressful. Consult with lawyers that have sufficient experience in personal injury to ensure a speedy process that won’t prolong your road to recovery.

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