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

Our Drug Laws Need to be Reevaluated

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.

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

The Power of the Prenup

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.

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

Long-Term Disability in Arkansas

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.

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

The Driving Epidemic

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.

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

Possible Defenses to Drug Possession Charges

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.

 

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