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Our Drug Laws Need to be Reevaluated

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Drug Crimes | 0 comments

A quick look at the standard list of illegal drugs (like those outlined on the Horst Law website) shows that there are serious problems with how we classify and prosecute drugs and drug crimes:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • MDMA & Ecstasy
  • Methamphetamine
  • Heroin
  • Prescription Drugs

Are all of those the same? Is marijuana as bad as heroin? Is ecstasy is invasive a drug problem as prescription drugs or methamphetamine?

Simply looking at the list makes it clear that these substances shouldn’t be on the same list together. Some of them are extremely dangerous and addictive, while others are far less so, if at all.

There’s a question whether the use of any of these should be a crime punishable by time in prison. Since addiction can make it difficult to almost impossible to stop using a substance, it’s hard to know how much choice some individuals had in using (at least after that first time). A far more ethical punishment, in my mind, would be required counseling and rehabilitation programs. Only if people didn’t comply with those would prison be threatened.

However, that is not the rule of the land, nor is it likely to be anytime soon. But, even if we are all agreed that the use of drugs deserves a prison sentence, there needs to be far more thoughtful laws put in place to allow for the severity of the drug in question. And yet, most of the above are all considered Class 1 drugs and come with mandatory minimum sentences that can destroy lives that simply don’t deserve it.

The problem, as many are coming to find, is that mandatory minimums make it impossible for the justice system to be measured in its punishment. While there are different sentences for different types of drug crime (for instance, the manufacturing of drugs, the sale of drugs, or the use of drugs), all of them come with tough sentences that have done little or nothing to limit the spreading of the use of drugs in the first place.

This last point deserves to be highlighted. Tough sentences were put in place in an effort to limit use by the threat of severe punishment. This effort has failed. As the prescription drug crisis is proving, all communities are at risk of drug abuse issues, and those risks are not negated by the potential for serious jail time.

If severe sentences don’t keep drugs off the street, then the country ought to resort to another strategy by removing mandatory minimums and reclassifying drugs. Again, more treatment options would be an excellent addition to these changes, but at very least, recognition should be made that these drugs are not all the same, and they do not pose the same risks to individuals and communities.

Should the laws be more proportional to the crime, there might be more room for people to come forward for treatment with less risk of jail time. Since getting people off drugs and getting drugs off the street is the ultimate goal, this seems like a far better outcome than the status quo.

The Power of the Prenup

Posted by on Oct 28, 2017 in Marriage | 0 comments

The person you marry is not the person you divorce—my uncle learned that the hard way. He was a strapping young lad, and she, a fine young woman. Together, they were supposed to live happily ever after and had three children, a big house, and a strong financial future. My family would always visit them and have the time of our lives. We would go fishing, paintballing, ride four wheelers, and swim as much as we could before eating a delicious meal and falling asleep at the end of a long day. Then all of a sudden, it started to change. Smiles were not so natural, stresses began to grow, and eventually, the knot got loose and became untied. My cousins took it hard, and my uncle eventually got remarried.

People change, and that’s life. I don’t hold it against either one of them, but the courts seemed to side a little more in her favor. She got full custody of the boys, legally moved as far away as she could across the county, received the maximum amount of child support, in addition to alimony, and took half of my uncle’s retirement. Our family was shocked and disappointed, but we still keep her in the loop and treat her as the mother of my cousins.

What upset my uncle the most was only being allowed to see his kids every other weekend. During the week, he drives nearly two hours through traffic on Tuesdays and Thursdays to support them at sports practice and other extracurriculars, but I know he wishes he could be there more. He loves his kids with all of his heart, but the courts didn’t really care to take that into consideration. Since he didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement, as suggested by these Georgia Family Law Attorneys, they ended up siding with her. He worked for eight years as a military man, and went to work right afterwards in a strong professional career. He saved his money, living frugally, and invested heavily in his retirement so he could provide a financially secure and bright future for his family.

His story isn’t the only one I’ve heard of either. Across the country, nearly 40 percent of first-time marriages end in divorce. After that, second marriages have about a 60 percent chance, and third marriages increase to over a 70 percent chance of ending in divorce. The younger generations seem to be more reluctant to get married right away, and many are more inclined to pursue a common law marriage after living together for a while. A lot of my friends are taking it slow, and even though they’ve been together for years, there isn’t really a rush to seal the deal and get married.

My realtor and his “wife” are taking that approach, and they swear they will never get married because they claim the ceremony will bring bad luck. They’re as happy as can be and have been together nine years. They’re also easy going and fun people to be around, so maybe it’s all coincidence, but I appreciate their happiness and commitment to each other.

Long-Term Disability in Arkansas

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Disability | 0 comments

Being on long-term disability is an ordeal. There are many hoops to jump through and criteria to meet, and you’re put under the microscope by your insurance company to determine what benefits you qualify for and which they don’t have to provide. All of this, on top of dealing with a debilitating injury or disability, can be exhausting. It’s important to know what your rights and responsibilities in Arkansas to make sure that your disability is safe and secure for as long as you need it.

If you sustain a serious injury that requires long-term disability benefits or are on long-term disability, there are many reasons that an insurance company can deny your claim. In order to prevent this from happening, it’s very important to keep records documenting your disability and needs. This makes it a lot harder for insurers to deny claims and makes it a lot easier if you need to hire legal help to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.

Insurers deny claims for a whole host of reasons, the most common being disputed on whether disability payouts are necessary. If you don’t have extensive medical records documenting your disability, your insurer can deny your claim on the grounds of inadequate evidence. A claim could also be denied on a technicality if your disability doesn’t match up with the language describing covered ailments. Insurers can even deny claims based on social media history if a post shows you doing a physical activity that they decide is impossible for someone with your disability.

Of course, an insurance company whose only motivation is profit will be looking to take advantage of any of these opportunities to deny coverage and save themselves money. With this in mind, Arkansans must be very vigilant to protect their disability benefits. This means making meticulous records of your disability and staying wary of your insurer is a must. If it looks like your insurer is going to deny your claim, be sure to explore legal options to make sure that you can fight for your payment and get the compensation that you deserve.

The Driving Epidemic

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

Driving under the influence of alcohol is an obviously possible dangerous scenario. In a tragic case in San Antonio, an uncle who was suspected of drinking and driving when his car wrecked with him and his 23-year-old nephew. The car managed to roll and throw the two passengers from the vehicle. Drunk driving continues to be a plague on our society.The State released data that claims in a single year there are, “987 people killed in DUI crashes” as of 2016. Accidents like this have the potential to ruin many lives involved directly and indirectly.

Auto accidents are tragic things, but what is most unfortunate about them is that they are most times entirely avoidable. As the comfort level inside cars begins to get cozier perhaps it is leaving drivers nonchalant about their driving surroundings. Additionally, passing a driving test is fairly simple, and most people do not struggle with earning a license. In a document titled, Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts, the Texas Department of Transportation reported, “1 person was killed every 2 hours 27 minutes”.  Clearly, the roads are not as safe as most people would assume them to be. Driving is an excellent place to survey Murphy’s Law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong, but when things go wrong and alcohol is a factor this leaves the victim and their family in additional pain. On the roads today there is, “1 reportable crash occurred every 60 seconds”. In the event of these auto accidents, usually, the people involved suffer from physical injury and then go into financial hardships. In the accident that took place in San Antonio, alcohol use turned a family upside down when an uncle drunkenly wrecked his truck, killing his young nephew. Why should these tragedies continue? The misery of drivers in their drunkenness only creates more misery for the people whose lives they can ruin. Drunk drivers and sober drivers alike should be responsible for their actions. It is unacceptable to normalize statistics like, “there were no deathless days on Texas roadways in 2015.” It would be of great service to every driver and passenger on the road to call for competent drivers education programs and a new, effective approach to ending drunk driving.

Based on the evidence, it seems that efforts to prevent drunk driving still have more to do. The statistics show that death or injury in a typical roadway accident is more common than most people care to admit. Still, with the addition of drunken driving or alcohol related accidents, it seems that traffic commissions can improve their prevention efforts.

To summarize, auto accidents are extremely common. So common, in fact, that every minute that passes there is at least one reportable incident. This rate of occurrence is staggeringly high considering it takes eight hours, at least, to drive across the large state of Texas. In that time, at least 480 reportable accidents occurred. This rate of accidents is avoidable through better prevention efforts. Such efforts begin very locally and are meant to promote the betterment of the entire community.

Possible Defenses to Drug Possession Charges

Posted by on Jun 16, 2017 in Drug Crimes | 0 comments

Drug crimes may not be on the same level as murder and rape, but they are some of the most controversial crimes in existence. This is especially true for drug trafficking, because other people are already involved, while a simple possession for personal use can have less severe consequences.

But whatever kind of drug crime you do, it doesn’t change the fact that you will have to face the consequences. It is tragic, particularly on cases that are just exaggerated and misunderstood. You can still be wrongfully charged, convicted, and suffer the unwarranted consequences. It is a good thing that, according to the website of these Nashville drug crimes lawyers, drug crimes can be defended.

Trafficking may be more complicated, but possession for personal use may be a lot easier to defend. Below are some of the most common defenses for drug possession charges.

Viability of Search and Seizure

The searching and founding of the drug should be lawful and with consent, like when the victim has allowed police officers to search his car, or when the drug is in plain sight during a legal stop. If the search and seizure is unlawful, all evidence found during this act may be unusable in court.

Drug Ownership

It can also be argued that the drug found by the authorities does not belong to the alleged suspect. So, even if the search and seizure is lawful and the authorities have found drugs, it is not a guarantee that the drugs belong to the alleged suspect, especially if there are other people in the search and seizure area.

Drug Legitimacy

It is called drug possession. The possession part has been covered by the previous entry, so the drug part should also be addressed. The drug found in the lawful search and seizure should also be proven to be legitimate, because even though a product looks like a drug, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it truly is. A proper lab analysis should be done. Improper procedures can also cast doubt on results.

 

Accidents Resulting into Wrongful Death

Posted by on Mar 12, 2017 in Wrongful Death | 0 comments

Losing someone you love is already overwhelming on its own, but it can be more unbearable if it is the fault of somebody else. According to the website of the Amerio Law Firm, a negligent act or misconduct of another individual, company, or product, resulting into the death of another may be grounds for a wrongful death case.

Car Accidents
Car accidents can happen because of a lot of reasons, such as legitimate driver errors. But they can also occur because of the negligence on the part of the driver, designer of the vehicle, manufacturer of the vehicle’s parts, the maintenance provider of the vehicle or the road, or any other party. These kinds of accidents can involve enough force to inflict significant injuries and even deaths.

Dangerous Products
Designers and manufacturers may also be held liable for dangerous and defective products that have infiltrated the market, causing injury or death on unsuspecting customers. Some examples of such products include those that have toxic materials, sharp parts, and electricity or powering problems. Expired food, illegal materials, and age-inappropriate products may also be considered dangerous and defective.

Medical Errors
Health is a complicated matter, and any error on the side of health professionals may result into death. Of course, the worst deaths are those that involve the incompetence and negligence of these professionals. These tendencies of incompetence and negligence may come in the form of misdiagnosis, emergency room errors, anesthesia errors, surgical errors, and defective implants. Sometimes, these mistakes don’t directly cause the death, but they create unnecessary complications that may lead to it.

Premises Liability Cases
Owners and managers of properties should make sure that their premises are safe, especially if the premises are available to other people, such as customers and employees. Customers of swimming pools and resorts, amusement parks, retail spaces, and apartment rentals, are at risk of defective equipment and lack of safety procedures. Employees are also at risk of malfunctioning escalators, elevators, and other building equipment that may malfunction because of the lack of maintenance.

More than 8 million Slip and Fall Accidents Occur in the U.S. Each Year

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Injury | 0 comments

Slips, falls and trips are very common accidents in the United States. These accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone, however, the ones most prone to these are older adults and seniors – people aged at least 55 years old.

Records from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that more than 8 million slip and fall accidents occur in the U.S. each year. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include: wet, oily, or icy floors and surfaces; unreliable staircases; uneven, loose and broken floors, sidewalks, steps, and stairs; unsecured carpets and rugs; and, hidden or tangled extension wires, lack or missing guardrails, and lack of warning signs, among others..

When a person slips and falls, everyone else and sometimes even the victim would think that the one to blame for the accident is no other than himself/herself. The law, however, sees the whole situation differently and, instead of putting the blame on the one who slipped and fell, liability may rather be imputed on the owner of the property where the accident happened. This law is called premises liability.

Legally speaking, premises liability refers to a landowner’s answer-ability for certain types of injuries suffered by anyone on his/her property where an unsafe condition exists. Besides injuries due to slips, trips or falls, premises liability also includes in its scope any type of injury that may result due to falling objects, electrocution, open excavations, broken benches or chairs, and so forth.

Property owners, especially those who own or manage public places, such as malls, supermarkets, restaurants, food courts, playgrounds, swimming pools, hospitals, government offices, churches, etc., have the responsibility of keeping their premises free from risks of accident at all times, lest they face legal complaints or a premises liability lawsuit from someone who gets injured while inside their premise. For the legal right to seek compensation from the property owner, however, it is necessary for the victim to prove that the property owner was negligent in making sure that his/her property is kept from risks of accidents.

Understanding The Different Levels of Brain Injury

Posted by on Oct 22, 2016 in Injury | 0 comments

A traumatic brain injury stems from bumps, blows, jolts, or other head injuries that can damage the brain. Each year, millions of Americans suffer brain injuries. According to csinjury.com, accidents can often result to brain injuries. Even if they survive, the effects of the injury could affect them for the Depending on the extent of the accident, brain injuries could be of different levels based on their severity.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury include the following:

  • Brief loss of consciousness that could last for a few seconds or minutes
  • The testing or scan of the brain may appear normal
  • Mild traumatic injury is diagnosed only when there is a change in the mental status of the person at the time of injury. They may be dazed or confused and may lose consciousness. The change in mental status indicates an altered brain functioning.

Moderate Brain Injury

  • The loss of consciousness in moderate traumatic brain injury may last from a few minutes to a few hours
  • Confusion lasts from days to weeks
  • There is physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral impairments that could last for months or become permanent

Severe Brain Injury

Severe head injuries are the result of crushing blows or penetrating wounds to the head. They can crush, rip, or shear delicate brain tissues.

Traumatic brain injuries can lead to a wide range of functional short or long term changes that can impact thinking, sensation, language, or emotions. They can also bring about various conditions including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s, and other brain related injuries that shows up with age.

To assess traumatic brain injury, health care professionals use neurological exam and imaging tests. Serious brain injuries may require emergency treatment, which is dependent on the severity of the injury. The patient may require rehabilitation.

Common Examples of Legal Malpractice

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Like those who are in the medical profession, lawyers and other legal workers adhere to the highest professional and ethical standards. Malpractice in the law profession happens when a lawyer fails to use the ordinary skill and care that other lawyers will use in handling a similar case under similar circumstances. According to the website of the Bruner Law Firm, legal malpractice happens when an attorney negligently or carelessly fails to meet the highest standards.

When is an attorney doing a bad job that it can be considered malpractice? Here are some common examples coming from clients themselves.

The lawyer stops working on a case. Lawyers should be professional enough to handle a case until the end. If they can no longer do that, the lawyer should at least wait until there is a replacement lawyer who will handle the case.

Case was dismissed due to the lawyer not working on it. The difficulty lies not only in showing that your lawyer mishandled the case but also that if handled properly, there was a chance you could have won and gotten judgment. This way, your lawyer could have received whatever money was won had they done their work.

Lawyer settles for a far less money than what was the perceived value of the case. This is not malpractice. The lawyer may have given a lower value to your case so that you will hire them. You can always get a second opinion from another lawyer. If they think that the value of the case was indeed too low, you can replace your lawyer.

Lawyer settles without your authorization. A lawyer cannot agree to a settlement without the consent of their client. To succeed with your malpractice claim, you have to prove that the settlement your lawyer agreed to was below the real worth of the case.

You suspect that your lawyer used your money as a retainer. It is the duty of the lawyer to use client’s fund only for the case. You can raise your suspicion to your attorney’s regulatory agency.

Lawyers are hired to defend people but if they will be the ones to shortchange their clients, you have the right to sue them .

Holding trucking companies liable in tire-related accidents

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in Tire-Related Accidents | 0 comments

At some point, truck companies can be held liable in truck accidents even investigations showed that it was caused by a tire problem. Holding negligent parties in truck accidents for victims to possibly get financial assistance they need for recovery.

According to the website of lawyers at Ausband & Dumont, defective truck tire is one of the causes of deadly truck accidents. Due to great number of tires, commercial truck tires are at high-risk of malfunctioning. Truck tires also easily deteriorate due to the truck’s heavy load. Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration used to determine in a recall if a certain truck tire is defective, some truck owners or operators are negligent in addressing the problem. Truck tires are basically created and designed to be more durable compared to ordinary vehicle tires to withstand the immense size and weight of commercial trucks. Recalled truck tires may fail even if it is brand new.

Semi-trucks are at high risk of losing control and involved in rollover accidents if one or several of its tires suddenly burst due to defective sidewalls or defective tire tread. If truck owners or operators fail to address a tire recall, they can be held liable when their trucks are involved in accidents. Moreover, truck owners or companies can be held liable if they are reluctant or deliberately decide not to replace worn out tires. Truckers at some point over maximize the tires before replacing it as truck tires are often expensive. Some truckers opt to use tires that are designed to be regenerated or retreaded as they may think maintaining tires is less expensive than buying new tires. Though retreaded truck tires are durable like brand new tires, there are some situations that it may also malfunction. Retreaded truck tires are at high-risk of blowouts during operations if truck operators overlook potential tire problems like improper tire retreading.