How to Handle a Dog Bite Incident

Dog bite cases, like other incidents of animal attacks, often involve complicated issues such as the application of local and state laws, liability, owner negligence and behavioral history of the dog. Added to this, one must understand the underlying facts to better evaluate the case and secure vital evidence for litigation.To improve one’s chances in making a claim in dog bite cases, one needs to consider the following methods for his investigation and assessment:o Evaluate the behavior dog as soon as possible – It is critical to observe the dog as soon as possible after the incident to evaluate its behavior. To do this, you need an expert whose opinion must be based on actual seeing and testing the dog in similar circumstances. This is equally important for both the plaintiff and the defense.o A photograph or a video of the dog going through specially designed tests should be included in a dog’s behavioral history for thorough evaluation. Your dog bite attorney should get permission from the owner to do this.o Ask and talk to the neighbors – Neighbors know about the typical behavior of the dogs on their block, hence they are good sources of information about prior incidents.o Interview the dog’s veterinarian – Medical records from the veterinarian can sometimes show that the dog has had problems with aggressive or fearful behavior or that it was physically difficult or impossible for the dog to have done what is being claimed.o Check with animal control – This is another good source of information about the dog’s behavior – whether or not the dog was a problem in the neighborhood and if the dog was ever picked up by officers previously.o Investigate the scene – You can look for signs, clues, and evidence in the scene of the incident that will aid you in the investigation.o Other signs – Tracks along a fence facing the street may show that the dog paced or raced back and forth barking and growling at people or dogs that passed by. Bite marks on the top or sides of a wooden fence suggest the dog released its aggression on the fence rather than elsewhere.o Determine whether the owner was negligent or not – Proving in court that the owner of the dog in question was not a responsible owner can help persuade a jury that the dog was dangerous.Some of the responsibilities of the dog’s owner include the annual licensing of the dog, required shots for the dog, a regular veterinarian check-up, etc. If the dog was trained, interview the trainer about the dog’s behavior.o Ask a pet-behavior expert to support your claim. Bring the expert opinion into the case as soon as possible. Besides educating yourself about aggressive behavior in dogs and reading any books or articles written by the opposing expert, the expert can make sure that all necessary questions about the dog’s behavior are asked.o Be aware of new attitudes concerning dogs and pets in general. Some people treat dogs and pets like a family member. This new attitude can also affect the resolution of a case. As a result of this shift in focus, jurors’ attitudes have changed as well.Building a solid foundation of testimony to support your case begins early, and it is important to understand how aggressive behavior works so that your questions can bring out any relevant information. Because a dog bite case is no easy matter, you need the assistance of a dog bite attorney who specializes in this type of cases to help you recover suitable damages for your injuries.Our personal injury defenders offer expert legal advice and representation for victims of dog attacks. Just log on to our website and have the chance to consult our competent dog bite attorneys, free of any charges.

How to Answer Deposition Questions Like a Politician in California

Any California trial litigation attorney can tell you, whether he or she practices in Indian Wells, Palm Springs or Palm Desert, San Diego, California, Orange County, CA, La Jolla, Del Mar, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana, Irvine, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, Riverside, San Bernardino, the Coachella Valley, CA, La Quinta, Indio, Yucca Valley, or Joshua Tree, depositions can make or break your case. A good defense attorney can make even the calmest deponent nervous. And then there are some deponents who can drive a litigation lawyer nuts.Many times, clients want to know how to answer deposition questions. First of all, I tell my clients to answer truthfully. Then I advise clients not to watch how politicians answer questions. This is what can happen if a client ignores that advice.”You said to the policeman investigating the scene of the accident that you weren’t wearing a seat belt yet today you state that you were wearing one,” the defense attorney stated to my client.My client smiled sweetly at the news commentator, just like Sarah Palin did to Charles Gibson in her first television interview.”Would you care to explain this discrepancy?” the attorney asked. The attorney had introduced himself as Charles Johnson.”Well, Charlie, I believe everyone should wear seat belts when they are in a car.”Okay, but can you explain why you told the police officer at the scene that you weren’t wearing a seat belt?”My client smiled sweetly again, giving the attorney her best impression of a political candidate.”Charles, I believe in a woman’s choice, however I feel even more strongly about the sanctity of life.””You’re not going to answer the question, is that what you’re saying?” the attorney asked, looking over his own eyeglasses.”Well, I really think that there are much bigger issues to discuss,” the client answered, putting the attorney on the defensive.”Don’t you think it’s important for us to know if what you say now is different from what you said earlier?”My client looked directly at the attorney. “Charlie, I believe what is important here is that your client ran a red light.””Lets move on to the fact that you claim you never had a back injury before this accident.. How do you reconcile that with your treatment for back pain prior to this accident?””Charlie, as you know, you can have a visit to a doctor without it being for an injury. I have to say this type of questioning borders on being sexist.””Did you or didn’t you have treatment for a back condition prior to this accident?” the attorney said, raising his voice.”It’s not what you go to for a doctor, it’s what the doctor does for you, Charles, and when you realize that women are different from men, you’ll learn that women doctors do things differently than male doctors.””You’re refusing to answer my questions.””I’ve answered all of your questions,” my client said.”No,” the attorney said. “All you’ve done is give me stock answers to the questions you want me to give and not answer the questions I’m asking.” The opposing attorney turned to me and realized I hadn’t made a single objection.”Please, ask me your question, and I’ll be as honest as I can.””Is it true that this has been your third accident this year and that each time you’ve been rear ended.”My client smiled and the attorney asking the questions knew he would not be getting an answer to this one that he could use.”I believe that God has a plan for each of us and sometimes he tests our resolve.””That’s your answer?” the attorney asked. “You might as well be speaking in tongues right now.””God has a plan for all of us, Charles, even for you,” my client said.”If it’s to drive us nuts, it’s working,” the attorney said. “I’ll give you one last chance to answer a question. Did you cause this accident?””Charles, what may be interpreted as a cause could sometimes be otherwise viewed as simply trying to avoid the, you know, impossibly difficult or, trying to prevent that kind of thing, then again, even when you are driving carefully, these accidents…and this could be viewed as one of those situations. Does that answer your question?”Two hours later when the deposition had ended, the attorney was looking frazzled.”How did I do?” my client asked me after the deposition was over.I smiled sweetly like any good politician. “It’s not how well you did,” I said. “It’s how many psychiatric treatments that attorney is going to need before he is able to attempt another deposition.”Note – In California, refusing to answer questions can lead to having a motion filed against the party who refuses to answer deposition questions, and an imposition of a fine against the deponent or attorney who abuses the discovery process. Sadly, many deponents and attorneys in California abuse the deposition process when they think the other party’s attorney won’t take the time to file a motion to compel. An attempt to evade questions as a politician often does, or answering with stock answers instead of providing answers responsive to the questions is clearly improper. And politicians who answer questions in this manner are not setting a good example. On the other hand, some of Sarah Palin’s answers to questions put to her by Katie Couric, similar to this deponent’s last answer, were so incomprehensible it is hard to know how a judge might view answers such as hers.

California DUI Penalties

The number of live DUI accidents is increasing with alarming rate in the state of California. To prevent such crimes, strict DUI laws were made with much stricter DUI penalties. DUI penalties are getting tougher, especially for the repeat offenders, in order to hold back some dangerous drivers from getting back on the roads too easily. Even for the first time offenders DUI penalties are tough. Last year the number of DUI related accidents decreased, which shows the progress of laws and its penalties. Therefore, lawmakers now concentrate on more expensive and less merciful penalties to prevent the intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel.Strict DUI penalties are more serious and aimed at forcing people to think more carefully before driving. Since DUI accidents is a criminal offense its penalties should be accordingly. It is true that DUI laws vary from state to state but the penalties are much alike. Jail time newly added to improved DUI laws in the state to keep offenders locked up in jail for long period to prevent the risk of damage. Harsh penalties can only curb the number of DUI accidents. Harshness of penalties largely depends upon the damages the accident had done. California DUI penalties are based on a non-enhanced DUI conviction. DUI penalties and punishments significantly increased when some aggravating factors involved in the accidents. Like child in the car, high speed, without license driving, high blood alcohol content level and so on.California DUI laws are complex and strict, as are the penalties. Some of the serious penalties are vehicle impoundment, high fines, house arrest, long jail term, local incarceration, suspension or cancellation of driving license, and so on. If you are involved in any DUI case then be ready to face severe DUI penalties. Consulting an experienced DUI attorney is an immediate option. They know the technicalities of DUI laws and the rights of the citizen, so they can easily minimize the DUI penalties.

In New Jersey, Breathalyzer Has Competition

In 2003, the state of New Jersey developed its own device for calculating alcohol content that was rumored to be more efficient than the standard breathalyzer. The Alcohol 7110 is being used in 17 of the states’ 21 counties to measure BAC, pioneered by DWI defense attorney Evan Levow. The device uses infrared absorption technology and cell analysis to measure the amount of ethanol in a breath sample. The instrument will give off a light sensor upon detection of alcohol on a person’s breath or clothes. There must be a total of 128 readings to indicate the presence of alcohol, and this is accomplished by measuring the amount of alveolar air, and how much of it appears to be intoxicating the individual. Upon evaluation, the 7110 prints a copy of the control test to ensure that the breath tests were correct when administered. It also includes the ambient air check, the flow rate of each breath sample, and the breath alcohol result which in order to not be charged with a serious DUI, must be the lowest of 4 readings, two IR and two IC.5 years later however, the negative affects of the 7110 are coming to light, including high breath temperatures that can distort blood alchol content measurements, thus resulting in inaccurate charges, and violation of the accused driver’s rights. Yet the state continues to rely on the 7110 as the breathalyzers become more outdated, and the demand for their spare parts has declined steadily since 2003. In contrast, certification for the Alcohol 7110 devices went into affect that year, and legal disputes were resolved in January 2006.The case has mad its way to the Supreme Court on more than one occasion, and the Supreme Court finally rules that the breath test evidence gathered from the 7110 test is admissable in court. On the other hands, police and other figures of authority are obligated by various safeguards, especially since drunk driving cases in New Jesey are reported to judges instead of juries, and there remains a prominent reliance on breath est results.

The Facts Concerning Violent Crimes Committed Against US Tourists in Mexico

A recently published article seems to indicate 651 non natural deaths occurred in Mexico last year, however, when the reader digs deeper into the article he finds that the data was obtained over a three year period from 2006 through 2008, resulting in about 220 non natural US deaths per year in Mexico. Of the 220 non natural deaths per year, approximately 50 are homicides, the balance being auto accidents, drownings, suicides, etc. per the US Department of State.Next, the reader needs to understand that approximately 20 million Americans visit Mexico each year, far more than any other country in the world per the US Dept Commerce. Therefore, we know that about 50 individuals out of every 20 million US visitors to Mexico are murdered during a violent crime every year while in Mexico.Okay, let’s take it a step further; let’s determine where in Mexico these violent crimes take place. When reviewing the data presented by the US Department of State, you’ll see that the majority of these violent crimes occur in the border towns such as Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana. Therefore, the next time you plan your winter vacation you might want to avoid these areas; they’re probably about as dangerous as Chicago, Detroit, or Los Angeles! Instead of vacationing in beautiful downtown Juarez, you might want to consider a resort destination such as Cancun, Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, Huatulco, or Puerto Vallarta.As 13 year residents of Puerto Vallarta, we can attest to the safety of this magnificent resort destination south of the border where the possession of hand guns is prohibited and violent crime is virtually nonexistent. For proof of this claim, we’ll first determine the number of US citizens that visit PV annually and then get the facts related to violent crime in the area.There are in excess of 200 cruise ships that visit PV from the US every year with an average of more than 2,000 passengers each; i.e. approximately 400,000 passengers arriving annually. During the six month “high season”, PV receives more than 50 international flights daily. Let’s assume that 40 are from the US carrying an average of 100 passengers on each plane; that’s more than 700,000 passengers arriving by air during the six winter months. Next, let’s assume that 30 planes arrive daily in PV during the six summer months of which 20 are from the US; that’s another 350,000 passengers arriving by air during the “low season”. Finally, we’ll assume that another 50,000 people drive to PV every year. Totaling these conservative numbers, we find that at least 1.5 million tourists from the US visit Vallarta annually. A number of websites such as travels.com/destinations/mexico/puerta-vallarta-information put the total number of visitors at 2 million, others such as puertovallarta.net/fast_facts/where_is_puerto_vallarta peg it at 2.2 million and assuming at least 75% are from the US, our estimate of 1.5 million US visitors to PV per year is quite accurate.Now, let’s return to the data from the US Department of State. You will notice that during 2008, there were merely five non natural deaths of US visitors in Puerto Vallarta and only one was a homicide. (Chances are that he was doing something or involved with something that he shouldn’t have been!). That’s one violent death out of 1.5 million visitors for the year or less than 0.7 per million.According to US government provided data, the US has 6.2 violent deaths annually per 100,000 residents. This information is readily available at the US Bureau of Justice and on other websites such as cdc.gov/nchs/FASTATS/homicide. In other words, we have 62 homicides or violent crimes resulting in death per million residents in the US, or 93 homicides per 1.5 million; i.e., 93 times as many as in Puerto Vallarta!There have been plenty of knowledgeable folks that have read preposterous articles such as the one addressed above and they too, are voicing their opinions and commenting on websites such as TheTruthAboutMexico.com. For the most part, these are people with intimate knowledge of Mexico and if it were dangerous for Americans in Mexico, they probably wouldn’t be living or vacationing there on a routine basis. (Yes, I am biased and yes, I have an axe to grind [representing real estate buyers in Puerto Vallarta]; but more importantly, I feel it imperative for someone to set the record straight and not allow misleading propaganda to be published on the Internet without being challenged)Finally, the above data tends to indicate that living in Mexican resort areas such as Puerto Vallarta is nearly 100 times safer than living in the US, however this is really not the case since the data is skewed by the element of time. The millions of Americans living in the US are permanent residents spending 52 weeks per year at home whereas the Americans visiting PV are only temporary. In order to adjust for this time differential, the following assumptions must be made: Those 400,000 cruise boat passengers spend only one day in town, those 1,050,000 passengers arriving by air spend an average of 10 days in town, and half of the remaining 50,000 that consider themselves to be American expats live in PV only during the “high season” while the other half live here year round resulting in an average for this group of 40 weeks per year in Vallarta. The following calculations show that this is equivalent to 68,200 Americans living full time in Puerto Vallarta.400,000 cruise x 1day/yr + 1,050,000 air x 10 days/yr + 50,000 expats x 280 days/yr400,000 days/yr + 10,500,000 days/yr + 14,000,000 days/yr = 24,900,000 days/yr24,900,000 days/yr x year /365 days = 68,200 full time expats in PVOne American homicide per year in PV per 68,200 American expats equates to 14.6 per million or les than 1/4 as many as in the US.In summarizing, the next time someone insinuates that traveling to or vacationing in Mexico is dangerous for Americans, you can present the facts to them. Hopefully, after reviewing this analytical approach with the documented facts and figures provided by the US government, you’ll feel much more comfortable and inclined to visit our beautiful Paradise south of the border, where you have four times better odds of surviving than in the good old US of A!(Please refer to links for all data provided herein)

Child Predators – The Secrets of Mind Control

In 1992 while living in Los Angeles, actor and magician Steve Valentine invited me to be his guest at the world famous Hollywood Magic Castle. The Castle is a private club dedicated to the promotion of magic as an art form and hobby. Club members perform their illusions up-close, chair-side, right under your nose. Afterward, our group ended up at my apartment where Steve was gracious enough to show us more magic. Amazed at how easy it was to fool us, I asked him point blank, “Why can’t we figure it out?”His answer has stuck in my mind for almost 20 years. “Magicians can get away with it,” he said, “because we know how you think.” Having a degree in communication and psychology, I was riveted by the idea that the majority of humans (myself included) process the world through a homogenous lens that others can easily manipulate to fool us into seeing exactly what they want us to. And what’s truly discouraging, as anyone who has ever been privy to the workings of a magic trick can attest, is how mindlessly simple the bending of reality needs to be to completely fool everyone. I had always believed the wonder of magic rested within the skill of the magician. Come to find out, it’s more accurately rooted in the ignorant conformity of the audience.What I learned that night has proven instrumental in my understanding of how child predators actually get away with their crimes.Thus far society has no pragmatic solution to stop child molesters from acting upon their criminal desires. The best we can do is:1. Discourage them through lengthy prison terms2. Thwart their attempts by edifying and monitoring our children3. Catch them and lock them awayAlthough there have been great advances in mandatory sentencing laws (eg. Jessica’s Law) the legal process is still very much out of the average parent’s control. Lengthy prison terms should not be our top priority because in order to have any effect, the offender must first be reported, arrested, and convicted. Our first priority should be to prepare our children against an enemy who hasn’t yet been captured. We will save countless more children through proactive education than we can ever hope through sentencing the few who get caught.My books remind parents that Predators only reveal themselves to other Predators and children. In other words, our children are the entire frontline of defense and fortunately they are completely capable of both thwarting an attack and turning the offender into the police. However, statistics show they are poorly prepared to do either. Our frontline is failing miserably.Consider the following:
Child molestation is one of the most underreported crimes: only 1-10% are ever disclosed. (1)
Only 12% of all cases of child abuse are reported. (2)
An average serial child molester has between 360-380 victims in his lifetime. (3)For a moment, let’s forget about the thwarting and simply question the reason why children are not reporting the attacks. Obviously something isn’t working. Even in the watered down sex abuse prevention programs taught in our schools, children are encouraged to tell a trusted adult.Is it reasonable to assume the child doesn’t realize they’re being molested, or is it safe to believe a sexually abused child knows very well they are a victim? The related problems-social reclusion or acting out, fallen grades, lack of focus, and depression, to name a few-that befall an abused child all clearly indicate the psyche of the child is completely aware of the evil happening upon them. Why then? Why are they not reporting it?The answer is simple; like a magician, predators get away with it because they know how children think, and as a result they’re able to convince adult eyes to see exactly what they want us to see; an ILLUSION that nothing is wrong.The mind control – the trick – the reason victims are not reporting the crime, is simply this: Fear. Predators use the most powerful human motivator-Fear-to trick our children into silence.How Molesters Bend Reality Right Under Our NosesDue to the child’s ability to identify them, a Grooming Predator must exercise control over the child and in all cases seal that incriminating secret with fear.Top Fears Preventing Children From Reporting Abuse1. GUILT – fear that others will not forgive them for their role leading up to the attack.A female friend once confided in me that the pedophile who ingratiated himself into her family and continually raped her over many years started by gaining her complicit affection. He would treat her to gifts and candy and then in private collect kisses for these presents. These affectionate gestures were later translated by him into the claim they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Being in early elementary school and having no boyfriend, she was flattered by this notion along with his kind embraces and generous attention. As he carried it farther and farther, he always built upon her previous compliance and made her feel as though she was equally responsible. She could not tell her parents due to the guilt she felt for her role in the abuse.Yet another woman shared the following with me in an email, “Another problem with telling about sexual abuse…is that some people believe that if someone is sexually abused, they must have done something to lead the predator on. That was a problem I faced when I told my mom about the attack on me. Despite having been sexually assaulted herself when she was little (by a baby-sitter), she still accused me of having lead (the janitor) on. Looking back, I have to question that thinking. I was only 8 years old. How would I even have known how to lead a man on?”2. TROUBLE – fear the predator will reveal some other secret that will get them in trouble.Groomers often build up ammunition against a child to counter the potential reporting. Simply put, it’s an “If you tell on me, I’m going to tell on you” threat. Groomers encourage and allow children to indulge in pleasures parents would forbid, such as unhealthy foods, certain music, alcohol, drugs, and pornography. With the Predator aggressively supplying the opportunity, the child will partake of these off-limit items and later fear punishment if they rat out the attacker.3. CREDIBILITY – fear that others will not believe them.Actually, there is no direct negative effect in not being believed. A child’s fear that they won’t be believed is usually just the upper crust of a deeper fear. For instance, will they be ridiculed for sounding crazy, or reprimanded for making up stories about “dirty things.” Perhaps the attacker threatened that if they do tell and are not believed then the child will suffer at the attacker’s hands? Their real fear is WHAT will happen because they are not taken seriously, or what will happen if no one actually does believe them. These are the bedrock fears and can actually be more appropriately categorized by one of the following4. EMBARRASSMENT – fear of extreme embarrassment, others finding out, ridicule.Shame is a crippling emotion. For a child, the question becomes-Is it better to suffer the secret shame, or have everyone know what has happened to me? Predators know the power of this and use it liberally.- Think of everyone in church knowing you actually did this? God hates you.- You wouldn’t want me to put those pictures on the internet and have everyone in your school see you naked would you?- If you tell on me, I may get in trouble, but I’m going to let everyone know exactly whatwe did together, and let them know that you liked it and asked me to do it.5. PHYSICAL HARM – fear that they, or someone they love, or something they love (pet) will be harmed.Shawn Hornbeck made national attention a few years back when discovered in the apartment of his captor four years after his abduction. The nation was elated the boy was found alive but stunned by reports that the boy, who was often left alone in the apartment and had even been seen playing with neighborhood kids, had never tried to escape. Shawn’s stepfather offered the only possible explanation, “You got to remember that Shawn was 11 years old when he was taken. So he was much more vulnerable…and obviously something was done to keep him there. You know you can be bound mentally as well as physically. You can be so terrified and so afraid that it can control your life, which obviously it did.”Aren’t Sadism and Sexual Abuse two sides of the same coin? Sadistic Predators have no reservations about threatening the child’s life, or threatening to kill family members or dismember pets. The heightened violence of their rhetoric is something children have never encountered and have no idea the tactic may be empty threats. A terrifying adult who has already proven they’re capable and willing to attack isn’t something a child can easily second guess. Is it any wonder they choose to remain silent?Learn The Trick, Destroy The IllusionMy mission is to help parents teach their children the tricks Predators will attempt to pull and the spells of fear they will attempt to cast so that children are finally able to see outside the illusion.Like a cliche pick-up line that identifies a creep in a singles bar, cliche tactics help identify creepy adults to children. The only way something becomes cliche however, is by one’s over-exposure to the content. Children cannot learn this by themselves. As parents we must edify and empower our children to recognize patterns and ploys that will be used against them.Teach your children that any secret sealed in fear is one that can further destroy their lives and the lives of others. Let them know there are others who will say absolutely anything to scare them into not telling the “secret.” Explain that threats of violence and physical harm are the main lies bad people will use to keep them quiet.The result of this education will be an increased thwarting of attacks as well as more reporting to authorities. Our frontline of defense will be able to see through the Predators’ cheap parlor tricks and turn the tables.It is not the skilled mastery of the Predator that allows them to molest and rape our children and get away with it; rather it is the conformed ignorance of our children. We must therefore make every effort to arm our children with pragmatic information to help them to fight back and destroy the monsters who would hurt them.Learn the tricks. Destroy the illusion.1 Source: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin2 Source: Hanson, R.F., Resnick, H.S., Saunders, B.E., Kilpatrick, D.G., & Best, C. (1999). Factors relating to the Reporting of Childhood Sexual Assault. Child Abuse and Neglect, (23) 559-569.3 Source: South Carolina Forcible Sex Crimes (1999). Summary, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Columbia, SC.

Orange County DUI Lawyers

Orange County is in the state of California. It has a population of about 3 million. Driving Under Influence (DUI), as is known in California, is a crime under California DUI laws. The influence can be under alcohol and/or drug such that the mental and physical faculties are impaired and driving in that condition could result in damages to property, injuries to others and also deaths. The aim of DUI laws is to reduce auto accidents due to drinking and also the number of victims.As DUI is a crime, the cases related to DUI are dealt by lawyers specialized in DUI laws. When some one is arrested for DUI, the defendant will be brought to trial. The trial is itself such a complex process to establish drunk driving. The prosecutor’s examination, the officer’s proof are bound to cause confusion and fear in the defendant. Even though the defendant need not employ a lawyer, it makes things less complicated so that the defendant knows what to do during and before the trial.It is not expected that a common citizen knows about the consequences of certain of his or her actions. For instance, in California, one can’t contact a lawyer before taking breath or blood analysis. A lawyer would help in analyzing the case, form strategies to defend against the charges of prosecutor, help reduce the charges.A good lawyer can be obtained by contacting the officials in the court, by referral and through websites. An important credential is the membership of the National College for DUI Defense. However care should be exercised in referrals because the referring lawyer may split the fee between them.The cost of hiring will vary from place to place and the complexity of the case. A lawyer in a small community may charge $500-$1500 and the top ones may earn $15,000 per case.

Strategies to Avoid Suspension of a Driver’s License Due to Child Support Arrears in New York

In New York, as in all other states, the failure of an obligor to pay child support may lead to the suspension of his or her license to operate a motor vehicle. Not surprisingly, many parents who have disregarded their child support obligations find themselves in a state of panic when they receive notice that within a matter of mere days, their nonpayment could cost them their ability to legally drive.The rules governing the suspension of drivers’ licenses as a result of child support arrears are set forth in Section 510 of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law. The law requires that the Department of Social Services notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of persons who are in arrears as to their child support obligations and/or combined child support and spousal support obligations.In general, under New York law, drivers’ licenses can be suspended if the amount of past-due child support is greater than four (4) months of the current obligation, and the obligor is not paying support via an income execution.Child Support obligors who receive notice of a pending suspension due to child support arrearages have several options. First, they may request that they be given a restricted license. Typically, the issuance of a restricted license is done so that the payor/obligor may continue to work. The conditional license may provide that the obligor is permitted to drive to and from work, as well as during their work if the employment requires driving.Alternatively, he or she may request a “hardship exemption.” Such exemptions are discretionary, and a request would entail a personal appearance at the Support Collection Unit (SCU).In order to most effectively determine which of the above options is most appropriate, and the best strategy for avoiding a suspension or other enforcement action, it is advisable to consider retaining an experienced New York child support lawyer. Because New York’s Support Collection Unit strictly evaluates requests for hardship exemptions, it is essential that individuals facing the possibility of having their licenses suspended for support arrears consult with a NY divorce lawyer with experience in support issues.

DUI – DWI – What You Should Know?

Driving under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most serious driving offenses in the United States of America. Although there are several driving offenses, the charge of DUI/DWI results in serious consequences and is likely to have grave implications on your future. Driving with a blood alcohol level of or above 0.08 % is a crime and your driver’s license can be revoked or suspended if you are found guilty. It can also make life costly and difficult through increased insurance costs and hefty fines.The United States takes the DUI/DWI offense very seriously. Drink Driving in states like California are set forth by a statute and California DUI Law can be incredibly complex. The consequences vary with different circumstances and in different states. But the basic punishment under the DUI law tends to remain almost the same.Besides the above mentioned, there are other circumstances that will make your punishment even harsher – if you are speeding while driving under the influence, if you have a child in the car, refusing to comply with the tests when asked, damage, injury, accident and loss of life. The greater the alcohol content, the greater the penalty under the DUI Law. If you are under age and have prior convictions for the same offense can also lead to immense problems.If you are a first-time offender, you may end up with a fine, possible jail time or community service with a suspension of your license under the DUI Law. You may be asked to attend, compulsorily an alcohol education program to avoid further such occurrences. In the event that you are a repeat offender, hefty fines and jail time is ensured. Your participation in the alcohol abuse program will also be longer and mandatory; moreover your license will be suspended or revoked and vehicle impounded.To determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol, law enforcement officers conduct various field tests, like the Horizontal Gaze, Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand tests which are a part of the standardize procedures under the DUI Law. These tests help to verify the driver’s ability to follow instructions as well as demonstrate balance and coordination. Additionally, they also conduct a chemical test or the Breath Analyzer test which records the alcohol level in your blood stream. If reading shows you to be over the required limit, then you are presumed to be driving under the influence and will be charged with drunk driving. You will then have to appear in court to defend the charges.Once charged with the DUI/DWI offense, under the DUI Law, there inevitably will follow a long drawn out process of legal involvement. The first step is the Preliminary Hearing at the district justice level. It will allow the judge to decide whether there is enough evidence against you. The next step is your arraignment that helps you to know what you are being charged with and whether you understand those charges. You will also be required here to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. First time offenders may get away with a fine, community service and alcohol awareness programs.If you are deemed ineligible for the above programs or believe that you are not guilty, you can request for a trial by jury. In such a case, ensure that you have a good lawyer, as there is much legality that you may be completely unaware of. At the end of the case, the jury will find you guilty or innocent and will have to prepare yourself for sentencing.There are many lawyers and attorneys in the United States, but there are only a few that are well experienced in DUI or DWI law cases. Ensure that you choose a good and experienced lawyer for your defense. These lawyers know every aspect of defense to get an acquittal or at best a reduced sentence. The attorney needs to be well informed of the different tactics that can be used to make a client’s case have a good outcome. Good and honest communication is necessary between the lawyer and the client to ensure a comprehensive knowledge of the events that have occurred. He needs to go over each item that can be used in their client’s defense. When the police stop drivers, the drivers automatically feel guilty if they have had just one drink. Sometimes they are dealt with unfairly and this is what a good lawyer will pick up on. The defense that the lawyer will use relate to matters such as:
Whether your constitutional rights have been breached
Whether the officer concerned followed the correct procedures
Whether you were read your rights when the officer made the DUI/DWI arrest
Whether the blood and alcohol level tests were properly carried out
Whether the equipment used to monitor blood alcohol levels was
maintained and in good working order
The charge for drunk driving is an extremely serious offense. The consequences not only affect you for that moment but the charges will remain on your record permanently. It is thus important that you choose your lawyer wisely to fight your DUI/DWI case as it can affect your entire life and lifestyle forever. Many cases of DUI/DWI get dismissed by experienced DWI lawyers on simple technicalities. An experienced legal expert in this field of DUI Law will know exactly what to look out for, and will be aware of the various loopholes that can mean the difference between a successful charge or dismissal of charges.

A Personal Injury Settlement Amount Is Impossible To Determine

When a person is involved in any type of accident, auto, work or any other and they seek an attorney to represent them much of the settlement amount will depend on how their case it built by the attorney and on the insurance company and insurance adjuster. Some insurance companies, will ow ball your lawyer and leave him no choice but to sue. The jury who will hear the evidence and make their decision how much of a verdict should be awarded to the plaintiff, and often the defense attorney can gauge whether the case should settle on the court house steps.Choosing the right attorney in Irvine, Cypress or Dana Point who will investigate your accident and has experts who will testify in court will help the amount of the settlement in many cases. However, the end result is what the witnesses, insurance adjustor’s, and if unable to settle, the jury has heard, and comprehends about your accident. While this may sound easy, each accident is unique and has elements that need to be explained to the jury in a manner that they will fully understand.The attorney that you have chosen also needs to present himself in a manner that the jury will listen to with their full attention, one that has experience in the type of accident you have suffered and has a skilled staff and experts at their disposal.This alone can help the amount of your court house steps settlement, a well presented case will have more effect on the jury than a poorly presented case, this is also the reason why a personal injury settlement amount is impossible to determine and is almost always an educated guess. This is because the amount of your settlement ultimately lies in the hands of the attorneys, insurance company and if unable to settle, the jury, and what they understand about the injuries that you have wrongly suffered. When a jury is confident they understand a case and the injuries involved they will also feel confident in awarding the proper amount of verdict to the injury victim.It is wise to understand this because as each accident and injury are unique so is each person and it takes experience to tell a story to twelve unique individuals, giving them the proper information to all come to the same decision at the same time and with the same information. For this reason this is why a personal injury settlement amount is impossible to determine, and if it is unreasonable, it will be the decision of twelve unique individuals as a damages verdict.