Your Rights when Dealing with Law Enforcement

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Criminal Laws | 0 comments

There may be quite a few ideas rattling around in your head when you think about what your rights are when dealing with a police office, most of which came from all the cop shows you watch when there is nothing else more interesting. Some may be right, but some may be wrong. You can get into a whole lot of trouble if you don’t know the difference. According to the Kohler Hart Powell, SC website, you need to be very careful about what you do and say, as it can be used against you. While this might sound as common sense, it is easy to forget about it when the situation occurs. Here are some of your basic rights when dealing with the police.

You don’t have to answer their questions

It is true. If you have done nothing wrong (or at least the police officer does not appear to suspect you of anything), you do not have to answer their questions or let them do a search of your clothing, cars, or bags. You can, of course, if you want to, but in general, it would be better to find out what they want first before consenting to anything. They may find something that you do not want them to, and the fact that you consented to it means whatever incriminating evidence they find can be used against you. They will not need a warrant if you waive your right against search-and-seizure.

You do have to show identification

While you do not have to answer their questions, you generally do need to show identification, especially when you are stopped by police for a traffic violation or if they have probable cause i.e. reckless driving. This is based on a stop-and-identify statute that many states have. In Wisconsin, however, the police can ask for ID, but you don’t have to give them one, although you must give your name.

You can get in trouble for talking too much

If you are stopped, but not arrested or compelled to stay, then you do not need to have your Miranda rights read to you. However, anything you say at this point may still be used against you, so it would be best to say nothing until they tell you what you need to know. If they refuse to tell you, you can simply walk away. If they take you into custody, then they have to read you your Miranda rights. At this point, you will probably want a lawyer.

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Helpful Tips for Hiring Private Car Services

Posted by on Apr 10, 2015 in Limousines | 0 comments

There are plenty of reasons why people are starting to hire private car services more often. For one, such services provide a lot of ease and convenience. Individuals who are looking for a luxurious way to travel will also prefer the comfort that private car services offer, particularly during special events.

If you are looking to hire private car services anytime soon, the wide-range of choices before you can make the decision daunting. A lot of limousine and private car companies tend to cut corners in the service they provide. How can you make sure that you’re getting the best deal for what you pay?

The most important thing you should take into account is the reputation of the private car services company that you’re considering. With so many companies out there, you might fall into the trap of hiring first one you come across. It’s important that you make sure that the private car service you hire can ensure your safety and offer top notch service. Make sure that the companies you’re considering hire well-trained and experienced drivers to ensure a safe trip. One way you can concretely check for this is directly asking the company for information about certifications and insurance policies.

Something else you should consider is the quality of service that such companies provide. Aside from the aforementioned safety concerns, you should also watch out for any clues that might point to a bad experience. Spend some time doing research and reading reviews online. If you read anything that raises red flags, such as comments about reckless driving or sloppy car interiors, you should try to find another recommendation.

Hopefully, these tips can help you make an informed decision when you’re looking to hire private car services. By gathering enough information, you can easily find the best deal possible.

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Medical Malpractice: What Happens in Cases of Wrongful Death

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Patients come to medical professionals to receive the best treatment and care possible. They put their trust on the hands of doctors, nurses, and other hospital personnel know that they can return home feeling better than they arrived. Unfortunately, these expectations aren’t always met in reality.

In the U.S., reported cases of medical malpractice are on the rise. A lot of these cases have led to the wrongful death of patients. According to data from the Civil Justice Resource Group, an estimated 25,000 to 120,000 cases of medical malpractice will lead to patient’s death every year. Why do such tragic outcomes happen?

Wrongful death is caused by neglectful errors committed by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. It’s wrong to assume that such errors are due to malicious intent. Most of the time, wrongful death and other medical malpractice cases happen when hospitals and medical professionals fail to meet the high standards imposed in their field. According to the website of Crowe & Mulvey LLP, most cases of wrongful death stem from the following causes:

  • Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis
  • Mistakes in diagnosis
  • Lost or delayed test results
  • Errors in administering prescription medical
  • Errors made during surgery
  • Errors in administering anesthesia
  • Failure to provide proper post-surgical care

When patients seek out treatment, they expect to receive the best quality care that medical professionals can provide. As such, it’s important for the community to hold health care providers at a high standard. Instances of wrongful death and other cases of medical malpractice need to be brought to light. This is the only way that medical institutions and professionals are held accountable for their actions. If you’ve lost a loved one due to preventable medical errors, know that you have plenty of legal options to consider. Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn more.

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Responsible Pet Ownership: Doing Your Part to Prevent Dog Bites

Posted by on Apr 5, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Plenty of Americans identify as dog lovers and have opened their homes to man’s best friend. According to data from the American Veterinary Medical Association, out of over 43 million pet-owning households in the country, 36.5 percent are home to dogs. Among the most popular are Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Yorkshire Terriers, Poodles, Bulldogs, and Boxers.

While dogs mostly have lovely dispositions, there are moments when their temperaments can be hard to read. You’ll never know when your dog might suddenly feel startled or threatened and start to attack. This is especially true for particular dog breeds, such as the more aggressive Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. Unfortunately, according to a special report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most dog bite victims are children who aren’t aware of how to perceive the dog’s reaction. As pet owners, we have the responsibility to make sure our beloved pets don’t pose a threat to those around us.

According to the website of the The Seegmiller Law Firm, most dog bites and animal attacks are preventable if pet owners remain aware of their responsibility and accountability. As such, dog owners should always show appropriate concern for the actions of their pet, working to make sure that unwanted accidents are prevented. Aside from appropriate restraints, your dog should receive proper training to help curb aggressive behavior.

Here are just a few suggestions from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

  • Start socializing your dog at an early age. One of the reasons dog bite and attack is because they feel scared or threatened. You can keep them assured by allowing them to become familiar with their surroundings. This will be harder to do with older dogs. Let your puppy socialize with people and other pets as soon as possible.
  • You can also take your dog to a reward-based training class. Through proper training, you can easily communicate appropriate behavior to your dog. Training classes can also provide a venue for meeting and socializing with other dogs.
  • Always supervise children when they play with dogs. Because dogs can be unpredictable and children are naturally curious, you’ll never know how a dog might react to interactions with a child. Dogs can easily be startled to some of the ways that they are held and handled by kids.
  • Have your dog spay or neutered as soon as possible. This helps curb territorial behaviors in dogs, which can be another source of aggression. If your puppy is healthy, you can have the minor operation done as early as eight weeks of age.

Dog bites can cause devastating complications to victims, particularly children. A Greenfield, Wisconsin personal injury attorney, will probably tell you that dog bites can lead to serious physical injuries such as scarring, broken bones, and disfigurement. Thankfully, pet owners can do their part to prevent such outcomes from occurring.

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Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy the Best Option for You?

Posted by on Apr 4, 2015 in Financial Management | 0 comments

Due to the instability in today’s market, more and more Americans are finding themselves drowning in debt and other financial difficulties. Paying off student loans, mortgages, and other financial obligations can become really stressful, especially for individuals already struggling to make ends meet. The stress can even double when you have to deal with constant calls and emails from creditors. The U.S. is facing $11.4 trillion in consumer debt. Such a startling amount only proves how wide-spread the problem is. If you are struggling in a similar situation, one of the options you have is to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

According to the website of Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, Chapter 7 or a liquidation bankruptcy is commonly sought by individuals or families looking for financial relief. It primarily allows debtors to liquidate or sell assets that they can use to pay off their credit. It is particularly advantageous because it can help you discharge or even eliminate existing debts. It can also help mitigate cases of creditor harassment, protecting you from the stress of constant phone calls or the possibility of having their property repossessed. More than that, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can also speed up the debt relief process and exempt specific assets from getting included in the liquidation.

There are certain situations that make some individuals ineligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This will depend from case to case, but eligibility is primarily determined by

Because of a certain criteria, not all individuals are eligible to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your eligibility will primarily be determined by your personal income. The means test will help determine if your income falls within the assigned bracket for financial support through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Through the means test, the court makes sure that only debtors with the most pressing financial needs can benefit from such support. A set median income, which differs from state to state, helps determine where a debtor’s income falls in the scale. Aside from your income, the court will also check if you have any disposable income and how much typical expenses are. If you do not meet the requirements of the means test, it might be best to file for another form of bankruptcy.

Financial issues can be a huge source of stress for families and individuals. Thankfully, there are several options you can take to ease the heavy burden caused by mounting debts and other financial obligations. If you feel like Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the best option for you, don’t hesitate to seek out legal counsel and consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer immediately.

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The Process of Expunction: Getting Past Criminal Records Sealed

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 in Criminal Laws | 0 comments

After receiving a criminal charge, starting over can be a real challenge. A criminal record can have significant effects on different aspects of your life, especially your employment status. Criminal charges can do a lot to a person’s reputation. Even if you were never formally convicted, bouncing back from established perceptions will take a lot of effort. One way you can mitigate these devastating effects is through the process of expunction.

Expunction is an option available for individuals looking to start over after a criminal charge. Through this legal process, an individual can ask the court to have past criminal records sealed from access of the general public. In some states, the court may even decide to allow certain individuals to answer no to questions regarding previous arrests or conviction that are typically asked during job interviews and other formal applications.

Circumstances that qualify for expunction vary from state to state. Most of the time, expunction is only granted to individuals who were charged or convicted of misdemeanors. However, based on specific circumstances, some states do seal criminal records that involve more serious charges. However, crimes such as murder, rape, and sexual battery are typically not eligible for the process. In some cases, certain states also require individuals to fulfill a specific waiting period before they can file an expunction case. Generally, as pointed out on the website of Ian Inglis: Attorney At Law, expunction is granted to individuals whose situations fall under the following conditions:

  • Acquittals
  • Arrests without conviction
  • Pardoned convictions
  • Juvenile offenses

Depending on the circumstances of your criminal charge, a few other factors might also need to be considered before you can file for an expunction. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is the only way to ensure that expunction is the right option for you.

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Bouncing Back from a Workplace Injury

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Employment, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Certain occupations are considered more risky than most. Those involved in industries such as construction work, transportation, mining, and manufacturing are constantly confronted by the possibility of accidents. These occupational hazards can lead to serious injuries that might leave a worker facing long-term effects. What options are available in cases of workplace injuries? How can workers bounce back from devastating outcomes that could very well affect their livelihood?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were about 2.9 million cases of private industry injuries reported in 2013. Most of these injuries were caused by the following accidents common in workplaces across the country:

  • Slipping, tripping, or falling
  • Getting hit or struck by hazards such as objects, machines, or heavy equipment
  • Overexertion from carrying, lifting, pulling, or pushing heavy objects
  • Repetitive or rigid motion
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Road accidents, particularly for occupations that involve travel and driving

These accidents can be avoided if employers make it a priority to create a safe working environment. This is especially true for those in high-risk industries such as construction and transportation. As it says on the website of Robert Wilson & Associates, employers should always be prepared to support workers that have been injured while on the job. Considering the risks involved, these employees should be entitled to workers’ compensation coverage adequate enough to cover their needs.

If you have been injured in a hazardous workplace, do not hesitate to seek out the help you need. Pursuing workers’ compensation can be long and difficult, but appropriate legal counsel can help speed up the process. Find a qualified law professional in workers’ compensation to learn which options you have. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can alleviate the damages and suffering you’ve experienced due to an accident in your workplace.

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Information on Overtime Wages for New York Employees

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Employment | 0 comments

Employees working across the state of New York are entitled to fair and equal compensation. Under both state and federal laws, employees are expected to receive at least a minimum wage for the work and services they render. In certain cases, employees are also allowed to receive extra compensation after working past their regular working hours. Unfortunately, as New York City law firm Cary Kane pointed out on its website, these additional wages aren’t always properly rewarded and cases of unpaid overtime wages remain rampant.

According to the New York Department of Labor, overtime requirements are delineated in the New York State Minimum Wage Orders and the federally mandated Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Based on these regulations, most New York employees should be able to “receive overtime pay at the rate of 1.5 times more than their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.” This means that an individual earning the current minimum $8.75 per hour should be paid $13.125 for each hour worked over her regular working hours. If she works an extra 5 hours during the workweek, she should be able to receive an additional $65.63 on top of her regular pay.

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to this rule. In particular, individuals working in the following occupations are exempt from overtime pay provision mandated by law. These include executive employees, administrative employees, professional employees, federal/state/municipal employees, farm laborers, and those working as volunteers, interns and apprentices. You can learn more about these exemptions by reading this overtime fact sheet prepared by the New York Department of Labor.

Wage theft happens when employees aren’t properly compensated for the work they do. In most cases, this occurs when overtime pay required by law is withheld or improperly given. Unfortunately, filing complaints in this regard can be hard for most individuals. If you are in a similar situation, it would be best to seek legal counsel to learn your options. If your co-workers are facing the same issues, a lawyer experienced with labor laws can gather everyone’s complaint and bring forward a class action.

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Common Accidents during Cruise Ship Excursions

Posted by on Mar 28, 2015 in Cruise Ships, Personal Injury | 0 comments

A cruise vacation is undoubtedly one of the most pleasurable traveling experiences out there. Plenty of cruise lines offer agreeable services and facilities that tourists of all ages can enjoy. While on the open sea, passengers can enjoy their time on the ship by eating good food, watching live acts, or relaxing on the deck. A lot of cruise lines also have outdoor facilities like water parks and pools that children can enjoy.

Aside from these onboard activities, passengers also have shore excursions and in-land activities to look forward to. After the ship docks, they can look forward to enjoying the best of exotic locales through a variety of activities. Passengers have the option to take part in water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and kayaking. Some cruise lines also offer the opportunity to go on eco tours or explore the terrain through hiking, sight-seeing, and even horseback riding.

Given these exciting options, it’s easy to see why cruise vacations can be so satisfying. Unfortunately, an enjoyable vacation can be cut short when the unexpected happens. According to the website of The Vucci Law Offices, there are several instances when cruise ship excursions are abruptly interrupted by serious accidents and injuries. The following are just some of the most common accidents that could happen during a cruise. It’s best for passengers to be aware to learn how such situations can be prevented.

  • Dock Accidents: One of the common cruise accidents happens when the ship fails to dock properly at the port. This causes the ship to be unstable, which is can be really dangerous for the passengers alighting for their excursions. The sudden lurching or movement of the ship can cause slips and falls that might lead to injuries like broken bones, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries.
  • Tender Accidents: Larger ships won’t be able to dock too close to the port, so small boats called tenders are used to transport passengers to shore for their excursions. While these boats are generally safe, accidents can still happen sometimes. Passengers could slip and fall while boarding or disembarking from the tender. If driven at excessive speed, passengers can also be thrown overboard from the boat.
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: As they enjoy in-land activities, passengers will be transported from one venue to the next through vehicles arranged by the cruise line. Sometimes, negligent or reckless driving could lead to car accidents that might cause to serious injuries.
  • Defective Equipment Accidents: Sometimes, the equipment used during the excursions isn’t properly maintained. If any of the equipment or vehicles meant for excursions is defective or malfunctioning, passengers could definitely be facing serious risks.

It’s difficult to accept that such dream-worthy vacations might end in tragic outcomes. Passengers can take extra care to protect themselves from possible injuries, but cruise lines should also remain accountable for creating a safe and enjoyable environment. With appropriate legal counsel, aggrieved passengers can pursue just compensation in case the worst happens during their cruise experience.

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