A Guide To Understanding Texas Zero Tolerance Law

A Guide To Understanding Texas Zero Tolerance Law

Texas, like many states, has severe penalties for individuals who drive while intoxicated (DWI) and for a good reason. Nearly half of all DWI crashes in Texas involved an injury to either the driver or another person. Over a thousand people in Texas died in DWI crashes in 2017 alone.

When it comes to minors, Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence. Again, this is for a good reason.

Despite being a lower proportion of the population, individuals who were under 21 at the time of the accident made up a total of 64 out of the 944 deaths in 2017. As such, underage drivers can face up to 10 years in prison for repeated violations of the state’s zero-tolerance laws.

The Zero Tolerance Law

Texas has specific alcohol-related laws for minors. Under state law, it is illegal for any individual under the age of 21 to possess, purchase, or consume an alcoholic beverage.

For non-driving offenses, violation of this law is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by fines, community service, alcohol education, and driver’s license suspension.

However, when people talk about Texas’s zero tolerance law, they are usually referring to DUI charges involving a minor.

It is illegal for any individual under the age of 21 to drive a car or other motor vehicle on a public street while there is any detectable level of alcohol. Also, Texas punishes minors under its zero-tolerance law for piloting watercraft under the influence of alcohol. 

Detecting Violations

While drivers over the age of 21 must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.08%, that limit does not apply to minors. Instead, the standard for individuals under 21 is the mere presence of any detectable level of alcohol.

This means any alcohol detected by any means (including a breathalyzer or blood test) may result in a DUI charge for a minor. Additionally, according to Randall Isenberg, founding partner of the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, “An officer may arrest a minor under the zero-tolerance law in Texas if he or she smells any alcohol on the driver or in the vehicle.”

Police officers in Texas have the right to stop any vehicle where there is either reasonable suspicion or probable cause that the driver is committing a driving offense.

If the officer then makes an arrest, state law requires minors under its implied consent laws to submit to either a breath or blood test, which is determined by the officer.

A failure to comply with a chemical test can result in jail time and a license suspension of 180 days for the first offense and two years for any additional violations.

Penalties for Violating the Zero Tolerance Law

Penalties for minors found violating Texas’ zero tolerance law vary based on the age of the individual at the time of the incident.

Drivers between the ages of 16 and 17 face penalties based on driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Between the ages of 17 and 21, drivers may instead face charges based on driving while driving intoxicated (DWI) at the discretion of the police officer or be charged with a DUI.

DUI by a Minor

The penalties for an individual between the ages of 16 and 21 vary based on how many times the person has been charged for the offense. The penalties include:

First offense:
This is a Class C Misdemeanor, requiring between 20 and 40 hours’ worth of community service, a fine of up to $500, and a license suspension between 60 and 180 days. The minor and their parents at the judge’s discretion must also attend an Alcohol Awareness course.

Second offense:
A second offense remains a Class C Misdemeanor, but some of the penalties increase. The community service range rises to 40 to 60 hours. The license suspension may now range from 120 days to two years.

Third or subsequent offense:
After the second offense, a violation of the DUI by a minor statute becomes Delinquent Conduct by Minor for 16 –21years of age offense. On top of the penalties for a second offense, third and subsequent violations of the DUI by a minor law can result in probation or being committed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

DWI by a Minor

For drivers between the ages of 17 and 21, the penalties can be more severe, and at the discretion of the police officer, they may decide to increase the charge to DWI instead of DUI.

First offense:
This is a Class B Misdemeanor, which may result in a fine of up to $2,000 and a jail sentence between three and 180 days.  Drivers also face a one-year license suspension but may have it reduced to 90 days with community supervision and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Judges do not have the discretion to waive the jail sentence or license suspension. However, if your first offense DWI has a blood or breath score higher than 0.15, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor with potential jail time.

Second offense:
A second offense is increased to a Class A Misdemeanor. The fine may now be up to $4,000. The required jail sentence is increased to between 30 days and one year, while the license suspension is now between 180 days and 18 months.

Third and subsequent offenses:
a third DWI by a minor is a Felony of the Third Degree. The potential fine for this offense could reach $10,000.

Drivers convicted of a third DWI by a minor will spend between two and ten years behind bars at a Texas state prison. Their driver’s license will also be suspended for a period between 180 days and two years. 

Charging Minors as Adults

To strengthen its laws and dissuade underage drinking and driving, Texas state law also allows minors to be tried as adults for DWI offenses.

This may be used in cases where considerable harm is done to another person, such as when a minor driver causes a car crash. In the case of a DWI crash causing the death of another person, Texas may choose to try a juvenile as an adult for intoxication manslaughter, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

7 Steps To Choosing The Criminal Defense Attorney

7 Steps To Choosing The Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are being accused of committing a criminal offense, you should not panic. These things tend to happen in our day to day lives and it is important to keep your cool.

Even those who cannot afford to hire a criminal defense lawyer, they are not limited to seeking legal advice from a defense attorney.

If you are in the Houston area, choose the best Houston Criminal defense attorney to represent you in your case.

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer can be overwhelming if you have no idea about what to look for in an attorney. 

Here are the 7 steps on Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney

1.  Draft a list of Criminal Lawyers

The first step is to draft a list of criminal defense attorneys in your locality. You can make this process simple by going through online attorney listings, checking lawyer referral services, inquiring from friends who hired a defense attorney before.

Once you have a long list of lawyers, you can reduce to a small number like ten. If you are unable to find attorneys in your hometown, you can opt to search in other areas that are not far away from you.

2. Shortlist a Few Criminal Defense Attorneys

Once the shortlisting of few candidates is done, you can look at other factors such as experience, area of specialization, reputation, the number of cases the attorney has won in the past.

Good defense attorneys always post this information on their website. It is always good to gather some information about a particular attorney or firm prior to approaching them.

Doing this will help you to hire an attorney who has specialized in handling criminal matters and not any other lawyer.

3. Use of search engine

You can use the search engine to browse the legal information and court records relating to a particular lawyer or firm you are planning to hire.

Once you are through with this deep research you will be in a position to shortlist the top three lawyers you feel they are trustworthy, have an appealing track record, and are highly experienced in the field of criminal law.

4. Consult the state bar association

You can visit the state bar association website to find out the lawyers who have good court track records in your native town.

5. Establish Good Communication with your Attorney

Once you have reached a conclusion on the specific criminal defense attorney you are going to hire, it is very important to establish good communication with him or her.

That’s why you should ensure the attorney you settle on is not new to the language you are comfortable in.

6. Be aware of fees

Attorneys charges fees for the services they offer and these prices are influenced by a number of factors.

Experienced lawyers tend to charge an additional fee when compared to attorneys who have just graduated from law school. The manner in which they charge fees tends to differ from one attorney to the other.

For instance, there are those who charge hourly fees and others a flat fee that remains the fixed irrespective of the number of hours your case will take to be concluded.

7. Find out who’s working for you

This is usually the case with firms that have numerous staff. There is a likelihood that the attorney you meet first will not be the one representing you in court.

It’s important to be well-informed about the attorney who will be handling your case and how to reach out to him. It’s important to keep in touch with your case and learn of every progress made.

 

 

What to Do When You Get Your First Speeding Ticket

What to Do When You Get Your First Speeding Ticket

Getting pulled over and receiving your first speeding ticket can take an emotional toll.

From the flashing lights in your rearview mirror to the paper ticket in your hand, the entire process can be overwhelming.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be.

Knowing what to expect for your first speeding ticket comes can help alleviate many of the butterflies and the apprehension that often accompanies first-timers.

Stay Calm

If a law enforcement officer pulls you over, it is crucial to remain calm. Once you have safely pulled off to the side of the road, roll your window down and turn off the vehicle’s engine. When speaking to the officer, keep your tone even and your language respectful.

Don’t Argue

It is essential to communicate with the law enforcement officer in a respectful manner. Answer their questions as accurately as possible. If you do not agree with the officer, refrain from arguing. It is okay to ask for clarification and to politely disagree, however, do not allow the conversation or yourself to escalate.

Comply

If the law enforcement officer asks you to do something, do it. If they have decided to give you a speeding ticket, they may ask you to sign a paper copy. Even if you disagree with their decision or what they have written on the ticket, it is in your best interest to sign it and follow up with your disagreement at a later time.

Signing the ticket does not mean that you agree with the information, only an acknowledgment that you were pulled over and received it.

Review Your Ticket

Your copy of the speeding ticket should contain the following information:

    • Your name and address
    • Information about the vehicle you were driving
    • The location of the alleged offense
    • The law enforcement officer’s name
    • The posted speed limit where the alleged offense occurred
    • The speed you were going when the officer pulled you over
    • A preliminary court date or fine amount for the alleged offense
    • Instructions on what to do in response to the ticket

Don’t Ignore It

Ignoring a speeding ticket is never a good idea. Not responding in the specified amount of time could result in increased consequences. These addition consequences could include additional points to your license, increased fines, suspension of your license, or a warrant for your arrest.

Understand the Potential Consequences

Receiving your first speeding ticket is not the end of your driving career. However, it does carry some consequences. It will be on your driving record, which is made available to potential employers, insurance companies, and credit agencies. It will likely cost you money in fines and possible court fees or legal representation, and it can raise your car insurance.

The most serious potential consequence of speeding is the danger it presents to both you and others within your sphere of influence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, approximately 27% of traffic fatalities involved a speeding driver.

Understand Your Options

When you receive a speeding ticket, you have several options on how to respond. These options will vary depending on the state in which the ticket was administered and your particular driving record.

Pay the Fine

If there is not a mandatory court appearance on the ticket, you should be able to pay the fine. Most states allow payments to be made online, by mail, or in person. Typically you will have 30 to 90 days to pay the ticket.

If you choose not to pay for the ticket, you will need to fight it in court. Going to court can be expensive and time-consuming. If you aren’t confident that you can win your case, you may want to consider simply paying the ticket.

Fight the Ticket in Court

You can fight the ticket in court if you choose to attend your scheduled court appearance, where you have the chance to argue your case before a judge. The opposing party will need to prove that you were speeding to enforce the ticket. Once both sides have had the opportunity to present their case, the judge will make a final decision.

If you are facing a significant increase in car insurance rates, potential points on your driver’s license, or other serious consequences as a result of the speeding ticket, fighting the ticket in court could be worth the time and expense it would cost.

While it is not necessary to have legal representation to fight a speeding ticket in court, it could be beneficial. Legal representation, especially legal representation that specializes in traffic law, can assist in gathering evidence to prove your case, as well as help alleviate the stress of appearing in court.

Go to Traffic School

Some states provide the option for recipients of speeding tickets to attend traffic school to reduce or eliminate a fine. Typically the schooling must be completed within a specified time frame, and be completed by an approved school. If you are interested in this option, contact your courthouse for options.

Check Your Car Insurance

Once your first speeding ticket goes on your driving record, your car insurance rates could increase. This typically does not happen immediately, and most insurance companies do not issue drastic rate increases for one ticket. However, if you have other things on your driving record, such as an accident, your rates could increase.

Even one speeding ticket could prevent you from being eligible to receive special discounts through your insurance company. Check your particular insurance policy if you are unsure about your specific guidelines.

A month or two after you have received the speeding ticket, consider checking your policy rates to see if they have increased. Some insurance companies may wait until you renew your policy before they raise your rates. Of course, you can always call your insurance company and explain the situation to get the most accurate and up-to-date information on your particular policy.

Practice Prevention

Unlike many other circumstances that can occur on the road, speeding tickets are entirely avoidable.

Consider adopting the following practices in your daily driving routine:

  • Pay attention to posted speed limits
  • Don’t exceed speed limits, even if other drivers do
  • Slow down!
  • Regularly monitor your rate of speed
  • Practice safe driving habits
  • Pass other drivers only when it is safe and legal

Learn from Your Mistake

Although receiving your first speeding ticket is never pleasant, using it as a learning opportunity is the best way to approach the whole experience. If you were speeding as the law enforcement officer alleged, learn from it and use the process to improve your future driving habits and add to your overall knowledge of the legal system.

Everything You Need to Know About Prescription & Over-the-Counter Medication DUIs

Everything You Need to Know About Prescription & Over-the-Counter Medication DUIs

Alcohol isn’t the only substance that can affect your driving and get you in trouble with the police. A DUI, for most people, refers to a charge of drunk driving. In reality, however, you can be charged with a DUI for driving under the influence of any drug or chemical that negatively impacts your driving. It doesn’t have to be illegal drugs or chemicals, either.

Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking alcohol and driving, but many people might not think twice before taking medicine and getting on the road. A DUI for driving after taking prescription or over-the-counter medication is still a DUI, and it will have a lasting and negative effect on your future.  Consult with a prescription medication DUI attorney to see how you may be able to defend yourself against these charges. You don’t want this on your record.

Even if you can avoid a conviction, however, the fact that you were arrested and charged with a DUI will be with you forever if you don’t get it removed from your record. Potential employers might not care that it was an accidental DUI because you were taking cold medicine. A DUI is a DUI.

Per Se and Impairment DUIs

Specific laws on DUIs vary from state to state, but generally speaking, all states make a distinction between a “per se” DUI charge and an “impairment” DUI charge. When people think about DUIs, they often think about per se DUIs first.

A per se charge means there is evidence that the driver was beyond the legally-allowed level of intoxication. You can be convicted if you were shown to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more.

An impairment DUI is not based on an actual measurement of the drugs in your system but on the observed effects that the drugs or alcohol have on your driving. This is generally where prescription drug and OTC medicine DUIs come in.

A law enforcement officer must observe that a drug or medication has a substantial impairing effect on your driving to qualify for an impairment DUI.

Finding Probable Cause

Because of the more ambiguous and subjective nature of impairment DUIs, it comes down to the police officer’s perception of your behavior. Regardless of what medications you do or don’t have in your system, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime or infraction to be able to pull you over.

They may see you driving erratically, weaving, or jerking back-and-forth, and they’ll decide to pull you over. While officers can assess alcohol levels on the spot with a breathalyzer, that’s not the case for other drugs and medications.

To arrest and charge you, they must find probable cause to think that you are under the influence of drugs. They can see the probable cause through your behavior, your words, or by the presence of the medications or anything else in your car.

Even if you get a zero on the breathalyzer, you may fail other sobriety tests, and those will be used as evidence against you.

If they arrest you on suspicion of impairment, they will likely follow up with a test of your urine or blood to try to establish the presence of an impairing substance. All states have an “implied consent” law that states that drivers have consented to potential testing by getting a license and driving on the roads.

You can refuse to be tested, but you will face other legal consequences as a result, and they may end up securing a warrant to be able to test you against your will.

Criminal Penalties

The excellent news about medicine-related DUIs, as opposed to alcohol-related DUIs, is that there’s less of a chance that your license will be suspended or that you will suffer other directly driving-related consequences through the DMV.

On the criminal side of things, you will still face the same possible legal consequences from the judge, however. If this is your first DUI, you will probably have to pay a fine of between $200 and $2,000, and you might spend up to a year in jail, depending on the circumstances of the case and your judge. Check the specific laws in your state to see how penalties may vary.

By far the most significant penalty for a drug-related DUI is probably the mark on your record. After you’ve paid the fines and done any jail time or community service, you will still have to carry that criminal history with you.

If you’re a repeat offender or you brought harm to a lot of people with your driving, your DUI might be escalated to a felony, which is a very serious criminal charge. In that case, a conviction will be more detrimental to your future career prospects and even your ability to vote in some states.

Defending Yourself

When the stakes are so high like this, it’s always worth it to explore your options and speak with an attorney to see what defense you might have against a conviction. If you took medicine without knowing it, or if there were no way you could have been aware of the effects the drugs would have on you, you might be able to contest the charge.

A drug-related DUI charge also relies on the evidence. If there is no concrete evidence of specific medication-use or you otherwise have no record of wrongdoing, you might be able to fight back against the charge or at least have it reduced from a DUI to a charge of reckless driving. The lesser charge includes less severe criminal penalties and doesn’t carry the same stigma as a DUI.

Educate Yourself

It’s not worth going through this solely for convenience or to give yourself some relief from your allergies. Before you take any medication, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, check the side effects, and consider if you’re going to need to drive — many medications advise not to operate a vehicle while taking the medication.

It may impair your driving if the possible side effects include nausea, blurred vision, drowsiness, lack of focus, dizziness or fainting, even if it doesn’t specifically mention that you should not operate heavy machinery.

Although a medication’s side effects may not include anything that affects your driving, it may interact unpredictably with other drugs you take. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines that you take and discuss your driving obligations.

They can tell you what is or isn’t safe. With their help, you can make a plan by either changing your driving habits or adjusting your medication schedule to ensure you drive safely and avoid breaking the law.

Divorce Process: Pros and Cons

Divorce Process: Pros and Cons

Everything looks fine when a couple starts dating. They sincerely care about each other, value the opinion of their partner, respect their preferences and personal space. If everything goes well, the couple gets married.

Not in all cases, but it happens that soon after marriage, disagreements start to arise between the husband and wife. Due to frequent quarrel, they ultimately file for divorce. It may sound astonishing, but it’s 100% true. These days, the number of divorces is growing at an incredible progression. More than 50% of all registered marriages in Russia fall apart.

Country Divorce Rate
Luxemburg 87%
Spain 65%
France 55%
Russia 51%
America 46%
Germany 44%
England 42%
New Zealand 42%
Australia 38%
Canada 38%
Iran 22%
Turkey 22%
Brazil 21%
Egypt 17%
South Africa 17%
Kenya 15%
Mexico 15%
Colombia 9%
Chile 3%
India 1%

In society, divorce is perceived as a forbidden, tragic and shameful. Still, married couples break the relationship. Is divorce really helpful? Let’s consider its pros and cons now.

Pros:

  • Waiting for Mental Peace & Happiness
    After a divorce, emotional breakdown, depression, and feelings of loneliness occur most often. But all these are temporary. Always keep in mind that time heals everything. Soon people begin to feel happier and more comfortable than ever.It doesn’t matter what type of pain you suffered in your marriage, a divorce may be a point of relief and start the healing process sooner or later. The real happiness after a divorce takes some time to come by.
  • Good for Your Health
    Being a married couple, you always think about family, kids, relatives and their well-being at all times.Divorce is a great opportunity to think about yourself, take care of your health and have proper rest. A carefree life saves you from nervous stress and unnecessary experiences.
  • Good for Kids
    All those spouses who live together for the sake of children do not understand how unhealthy relationships between both of them can negatively affect their children. Even if the outside relationship seems beautiful, children are smart enough to understand everything. Living in a troubled family will not make the child happy in any way.Children of divorced parents are more pleased and prosperous despite the fact that parents do not live together. Divorce is a great opportunity to pay more attention to your child and take care of his/her needs very well.If in a family, a person has to divide his attention between a spouse and children and is very difficult to strike a healthy balance.
  • More Possibilities for Personal Growth
    As divorced people become independent, they can easily deal with the pressures of everyday life. After a divorce, people can develop personal skills that can help them to improve the quality of life for themselves and their children sooner or later.Always keep in mind that marriage is associated with multiple responsibilities. So, you don’t spend enough time on yourself. After a divorce, you have lots of time for yourself. You can take a rest and revitalise yourself for a new life.
  • Freedom
    When was the last time you went out to have a drink with friends/relatives/co-workers or visit the spa? Even if you thought about it, you did not do it to save money or simply the lack of free time. Divorce gives you complete freedom unnecessary responsibilities
    No one is going to restrict your movement. You can do whether you want, like going to a gym, meeting friends, touring a foreign country, etc.
    Sometimes you could not always afford to meet with friends and due to that not able to share your problems. Even, your text messages considered of a set of banal phrases. So, with regards to regain your identity and open your heart to communicate, you need freedom.

Cons:

  • Financial Problems
    Financial problems are one of the most negative consequences of divorce. As per rules, you have to pay a fixed monthly compensation amount to females. Plus, she can ask for a ½ share in each and every shared valuables and property.
    This can make your financial condition fragile and affect your savings greatly if you live on a fixed monthly paycheck and you have lots of responsibilities to shoulder.
  • Physiological problems for Teenagers
    Parental divorce has a negative effect on both pre-schoolers and teenagers. Sooner or later after the divorce, they start to feel its impact. Due to the absence of a father or mother, the baby can often change his/her mood and become obstinate.
    The worst thing for children after divorce is mom and dad can’t make contact with each. They can’t compromise between two quarrelling parties.

    Many fathers would like to meet their children once a week and maybe even more often, but there are quite a few mothers who allow this. Some mothers consider such meetings undesirable and counterproductive. Needless to say, such parental behaviour can have a bad effect on the personal and mental development of kids.
    Children from an incomplete family are often under moral and psychological pressure from children from complete families and this often leads to the development of their feelings of self-doubt and even bitterness and aggressiveness.

Final Words

Divorce is difficult and unpleasant under whatever circumstances it happens. These are some pros and cons of divorce. You do not need to ruin your life after a divorce. Start your life afresh and rush towards new goals. Happy Life!

 

Author Bio:
Alyssa Smith is a lawyer in Clarkson working for Frost And Associates – One of the best law firms. She is a part of the law team for handling all the family-related cases. In her free time, she loves to share her experiences about legal bits of advice & services.

Just What Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Do Exactly?

Just What Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Do Exactly?

The function of criminal defense attorneys and lawyers is the representation of anyone charged in court with a crime.

These crimes can range in their severity from misdemeanors up to felonies. Punishments also vary in their severity from community service and cash fines up to years spent in prison or even being sentenced to death.

It’s crucial that anyone charged with having committed a crime have representation during their criminal proceedings. As a matter of fact, the United States Constitution holds within it the promise that every citizen who is charged with a crime is to be provided representation. If you’re looking to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney or you already have, then you should know what kinds of services they might be able to perform on your behalf.

Expert Examples

Once a criminal defense attorney like Marriett Legal has had a chance to meet their client personally, then they need to try and get just as many details regarding the case as they possibly can. They can learn the case’s strengths and weaknesses by asking specific questions. This interview with the defendant needs to be both careful and thorough, as the answers and information provided will lead to potential defenses.

On top of asking pointed and direct questions to the criminal defendant regarding their case, the defense attorney needs to also investigate the case further in order to find any other potential means of getting their defendant acquitted. That often means questioning the police involved in the case about any procedures they used as related to the investigation they did. It might even include talking to any witnesses that have information regarding the case and even collecting their own information. All of this is added up to hopefully build a robust defense. If an expert witness is going to be used for this case, the criminal defense lawyer might conduct an interview with them regarding the testimony they might provide regarding the evidence that gets presented in the case.

Case Review

Criminal defense attorneys have the right to do a review of the prosecution’s case before it gets submitted to the assigned jury. That lets them find or poke holes in the prosecution’s case, as well as try to find any evidence that might refute the case of the prosecution, like hiring independent experts or labs in order to test the case evidence.

A defense attorney will need to study the theories and facts of the case carefully in order to properly analyze any evidence presented against the criminal defendant. They might choose to have evidence tested independently. Also, they might examine evidence to see if there happen to be legal theories working against a potential conviction of their client.

Defense attorneys need to stay in continual contact with their clients in order to explain developments to the case that arise or just keep them informed. The lawyer needs to ensure that all conversations with their client are kept confidential. Lawyers need to not only make sure that they are communicating case information to their clients but are doing so in a way that their clients understand the potential consequences and ramifications.

Jury Selection

Defense lawyers in criminal trials also handle the jury selection process. They might try to have certain jurors removed for cause if there is a belief they could have a bias against a defendant or even when they might just have a bad feeling about any potential juror.

Criminal defense attorneys have the responsibility about talking with their client and even the prosecutor about the status of the case at any given time. Negotiations with the prosecutor can happen in regards to a certain plea bargain. Criminal defense lawyers can sometimes help their clients secure deals that are more favorable because they would result in reduced charges or even less potential punishment.

Having said that, defense attorneys fight for their clients during an actual trial. Plea bargains might forego a trial, but they can also happen during a trial based on how each side is doing. A defense lawyer examines witnesses, handles cross-examination of the witnesses of the state, and attempts to convince the jury of the fact that the prosecution didn’t meet their burden of proof.

Plea Bargains

If any criminal defendant winds up getting sentenced for their crime, it’s either because they took a plea bargain agreement, or they were convicted by the jury or judge. In either case, the criminal defense attorney can still represent their defendant during the actual sentencing phase. The lawyer might discuss various factors which help the jury or judge to be convinced to put a limit on how much time the defendant will have to serve. They might even discuss potential alternatives to having to go through incarceration.

These aren’t all the functions or roles that criminal defense lawyers and attorneys provide their clients, but it covers most of them.

Legal Rights & Resources for Veterans

Legal Rights & Resources for Veterans

As a veteran, you are proud to let the whole world know that you served your country. Unfortunately, the effects of your service can sometimes take their toll on you.

Old war injuries can linger and make it difficult for you. Of course, there are many legal rights and resources you have that you may not be aware of.

First of all, it is important to note that our veteran disability advocate professionals are going to work to help you to receive some potential benefits possibly.

These would include such possibilities as Total Disability Individual Unemployability (TDIU).

As a disability advocate lawyer, we realize there is nothing more critical to the status of your claim than obtaining an evaluation that is favorable to your case.

Unfortunately, the VA has some physicians at their disposal, and to say they are biased against veterans and that they play favorites for the government would be an understatement. We have seen many reasonable veteran claims for benefits denied.

However, as VA disability lawyers, we are experienced in “leveling the playing field” and have won countless appeals for the veterans we represent.

For a veteran, it is essential to understand the ramifications of a favorable determination of eligibility for this benefit.

This means that he or she is entitled to 100% of the TDIU benefit if they can conclusively determine their disability was service-connected and prevents them from obtaining and maintaining substantially gainful employment.

This often means $3,000 per month or even more if the veteran has dependent children.

VA disability lawyers also exist to help veterans clear up any misconceptions they might have about obtaining benefits.

For example, many veterans believe that they must meet a certain disability percent threshold of 60% before they are eligible to receive benefits. This is not the case.

There is also a misconception that exists among veterans that if they are currently working, they are not eligible.

Again, this isn’t necessarily the case. It all depends on whether their employment meets the VA threshold of “substantial gainful employment.” If the veteran’s job does not rise above the federal poverty line, then more often than not he or she is still eligible.

Moreover, there are even some cases where a veteran could be working above the poverty and still be eligible as long as they are in “sheltered” employment.

This is a job where the veteran works for a business, is self-employed or is in a position where they cannot be fired.

Of course, the best way to sum it up is that if the veteran has a disability incurred from their service and it prevents them from getting or keeping a job, then chances are they are entitled to the TDIU benefit.

As you can tell, the VA does not make it easy for veterans to get this benefit. This is why we as VA advocates exist. We love the privilege of fighting for our veterans to have a better life. And Learn more about nursing home abuse and your right here: https://www.nursinghomelawcenter.org/nursing-home-in-america.html

Call us today for a consultation on your case!

How to Estimate an Injury Settlement

How to Estimate an Injury Settlement

In our previous article we covered factors that determine burden of proof during an auto accident injury suit. In this article we would like to pick up from right where we stopped and this primarily entails how settlements are determined in such suits.

We are therefore going to look at 5 factors that will be considered when estimating the dollar amount in an injury settlement.

1 Costs spent by the claimant on medical bills

This is a rather straight forward calculation because the claimant will be expected to furnish the court with documents such as receipts or invoices showing how much they spent on medical expenses following the accident.

2 The cost of future medical bills

In the event the claimant suffered from injuries that will require them to undergo medical care for an extended period of time, the cost of this medical care is calculated and a dollar amount determined.

3 Damages incurred to property

Following the auto accident, the claimant will need to furnish the court with invoices from either their insurer or a registered mechanic indicating how much damage their vehicle sustained and what it will cost or what it cost to repair these damages.

4 The loss of income

If the claimant was injured to a point that they were not in a position to work for a couple of days, weeks or months they will be required to tabulate and come up with a dollar amount for this lost income and present it to the court.

5 The loss of future income

In the event the claimant suffers injuries that will render it impossible for them to resume the work they were doing even after they are fully recovered then they have the option of making a claim for loss of future income. Just as in the loss of income scenario, a dollar value will be determined for this loss.

Once all this has been tabulated and calculated, should the claimant be successful in proving their case, they will be awarded their claim and the accused ordered to pay up in addition to other punitive measures such as jail time.

What You Must Prove in an Auto Accident Injury Suit

What You Must Prove in an Auto Accident Injury Suit

When you have been involved in an auto accident and sustained significant injuries, from a legal stand point, it’s the person who caused the accident who will be held responsible and they are required to compensate you for any damages to your body as well as your car.

It’s however noteworthy that these suits are usually not open and shut cases because the burden of proof will mostly fall on the victim. This essentially means that it’s upon you to prove that the other driver was negligent and caused the accident as a result.

We are therefore going to briefly look at what you must prove in an auto accident injury suit.

You must prove that it was the driver’s duty to be cautious

Reason dictates that once you are behind the wheel, it becomes your responsibility to ensure that you don’t endanger other road users be they motorists or pedestrians. Legally speaking however, it must be demonstrated in a court of law that the person behind the wheel actually had the responsibility of safeguarding other motorists.

You must demonstrate negligence

Once you have been able to convince the court that the responsibility to be cautious indeed fell on the driver, you must now prove that it was through their negligence that they caused the accident. This will require providing evidence such as pictures, video or witness statements showing the driver ignoring traffic lights, a stop sign, a speed limit sign and so on.

You must demonstrate that your injuries were a direct result of the accident

The court will not just take your word that the injuries you sustained were a direct result of the accident, you must produce evidence to demonstrate this. Such evidence will include photos or video from the scene as well as the doctor’s statement.

Once you have been able to prove all these in front of court the next step will be for you to demonstrate to the court the monetary value of these injuries so that it can be determined what you are actually owed.

Law – 4 Ways to Protect Your Claim When in an Auto Accident

Law – 4 Ways to Protect Your Claim When in an Auto Accident

Anytime you are involved in an auto accident that was the result of negligence by another motorist and the accident results in either injuries or damage to your property, you must act very fast to ensure that you protect your claim. This is because the defendant will do everything within their power not to pay up.

There is a couple of ways you can protect your claim and in this article, we are going to look at 4 ways you can do it.

1. Ensure that the police is involved

It’s advisable that if ever you are involved in an auto accident ensure that you immediately call the police to the scene. This is mainly for documentation purposes because the police will record and even investigate the incident and this becomes evidence you can produce in court.

2. Document the accident scene

If you are fortunate enough not to suffer very serious injuries, you must ensure that you document the accident scene through taking photos, videos and even contact info of potential witnesses. If you are not in a position to do this on your own, you can request the people at the scene to do it for you and ensure you have their contact info.

3. Seek the services of a personal injuries lawyer

Personal injuries lawyers are lawyers who have specialized in injury claims and they will therefore guide you through the process of filing your suite and arguing your case on your behalf in court. They are very experienced in such matters therefore you should always follow their advice.

Find out more info on personal injury lawyers specializing in car accidents here: https://www.rosenfeldinjurylawyers.com/car-accidents.html

4. Your claims must be reasonable

It’s unwise for you to try and make exaggerated claims because they will make you come off as disingenuous and this may negatively affect your entire case. Restrict yourself to making claims for damages and injuries that you actually incurred and that you can prove.

If you take all these measures diligently, you will have taken great strides towards positioning yourself for a successful legal battle.