According to Law Offices of Richard A. Portale, P.C., drug charges involving controlled substances come with life-changing consequences. We understand how overwhelming a drug charge my feel after you’ve been accused, especially, in Westchester. Fortunately, we’re familiar with the tactics a prosecution team may use against you, and we are prepared to defend you at the highest level so you leave this situation as unscathed as possible.

Sad to say, but one life-changing consequence of a drug charge is difficulty in landing in a good job or in any kind of job, for that matter. Actually, during the past two decades, one thing that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has witnessed is job applicants getting questioned by their prospect employers if they have been charged or convicted in the past. These employers also often do a background check for a possible criminal record and, if an applicant does have a record, this would be used to reject his/her application.

Though this may be a clear form of discrimination, the EEOC cannot hold an employer liable for violating the law unless it is clearly proven that the use of an applicant’s past criminal record is the real basis of the rejection. One actual example on this involves a case wherein an employer rejected the job application of an African American due to his criminal record, and then hired a White applicant whose skills were comparable to the former.

Workplace discrimination is one ill human behavior that has affected the work environment for so long. It has caused deep emotional injuries in so many victims, as well as ruined their lives, simply because they have been perceived as, or believed to be, different, weaker, (sometimes) dangerous, or just not preferable or likeable due to their race, color, language, accent, style of dressing, ideology, physical appearance, religion, behavior, and so forth.

The EEOC, an agency formed by the US Congress in 1964 for the enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, aims to create an equal society by prohibiting any form of discriminatory practice and behavior in the workplace; it encompasses all employment-related decisions from employment screening, to hiring and retention, and covers all firms, whether educational institutions, state and local governments, or private companies, that have 15 or more employees.

To avoid discrimination, as well as to avoid ending up hiring someone who poses an unacceptable risk, the EEOC formulated a three-part test that employers can use whenever considering an applicant with a past criminal record:

  • the gravity and nature of the conduct or criminal offense;
  • how long ago was the crime or the conviction; and,
  • what is the actual nature of the work the applicant is applying into, where is the work to be performed, the amount of supervision the applicant, once accepted, will receive, how much interaction with others is required by the job, and so forth.

As explained by Cary Kane LLP, inquiring about arrests or conviction during a job application and interview can only be done by employers in government agencies, the Port Authority or enforcement agencies. Those in private companies definitely are prohibited by the law from making inquiries regarding criminal records, much more from using these as ground to deny one’s application. In the event of an infraction of the Civil Rights Act by an employer an applicant or an employee can file a discrimination case, the sooner the better.

 


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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.


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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.”


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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.

Faulty Wiring

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.

Design Defects

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.

Poor Maintenance

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.


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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.


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