Possible Additional Punishments Awaiting Those Who would be Charged with Felony DUI

By on 5-03-2015 in Hazards

Drunk-driving or alcohol-impaired driving is the cause of at least 10,000 fatal car crashes in the U.S. (total yearly fatal crashes number to more than 32,000). Records from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics show 1.4 million individuals arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or both.

In all U.S. states, driving with a 0.08% (or higher) blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is a crime. A first offense DUI is usually treated as only a misdemeanor; it is considered a more serious offense if the alcohol-impaired driver injures or kills someone, or if his/her BAC level is higher than the 0.08% limit.

Many federal and state authorities are determined and overzealous in catching violators of the anti-drunk driving law, thus, they are sharp and focused on observing any signs of drunk-driving, such as braking erratically, driving too slowly, swerving, stopping for no apparent reason or zig-zagging across the road. For the same end, they set up sobriety checkpoints to check on alcohol-impaired drivers, as well as measure their BAC level.

A DUI felony is punished with costly fines and at least one year jail time. In some states, a felony leads to other heavy sentences, such as:

  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition interlock, which is a device that will prevent a vehicle from starting if it detects in the driver a BAC level that is higher than what is considered a safe level (about 0.02%);
  • Administrative license suspension (ALS), a law that gives law enforcers the authority to confiscate a driver’s license if the driver fails a chemical test. This can last for 90 days – 180 days, during which driving privileges may be limited to/from work;
  • Open container law. This law, which is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the he National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), requires states to prohibit the possession of open alcohol beverage containers, as well as the consumption of an alcoholic beverage, in the passenger area of a motor vehicle on public highways.

Understanding how serious a DUI charge is should make a person think twice before sitting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. However, there are just instances when impairment gets the better of a driver. It will require a seasoned Columbia DUI defense attorney if you get charged with a DUI offense, more so if the charge is a felony.

Child Custody: Basic Information on Joint Custody Agreements

By on 5-03-2015 in Hazards

Child custody is among the most contested issues that are tackled during divorce proceedings. This is why, in most cases, child custody agreements are often left in the hands of the court. Parents in the middle of a highly emotional and contested divorce might not always be in the best position to make decisions regarding their children. As such, the court steps in and enables a judge to decide on behalf of the parents.

The law is clear in prioritizing the best interest of all children involved in a child custody case. Ideally, the court will decide on a child custody agreement that allows both parent to have equal opportunity in caring for and influencing their children. If the couple’s separate living arrangements will allow it, the court will typically decide on a joint custody agreement that allows the children to live with and spend equal time with both their parents. Should this not be possible, the court might look into a joint legal custody agreement. In this scenario, one parent will be named the children’s primary caregiver or custodial parent, while the other parent will be allowed full legal capacity to take part in their children’s lives.

Of course, any of these two arrangements are awarded by the court following certain factors and considerations. Based on specific considerations, the law can award a joint custody arrangement for divorcing parents. According to Marshall & Taylor, P.C., these considerations typical included the employment and income opportunities of both parents, the stability of both parents’ homes and their proximity to each other, the children’s educational prospects, and if both parents show enthusiasm and willingness over sharing custody.

Overall, even if it could end up in either of these ideal custody arrangements, determining an agreement that both you and your former partner can settle with can be a difficult process. If you need help navigating a child custody dispute, do not hesitate to contact an experienced family law attorney for appropriate counseling.

Driving without Insurance is More Costly

By on 5-03-2015 in Hazards

If an accident occurs, seeking compensation should not be a worry to injured innocent victims because the at-fault driver has auto liability insurance coverage – this is what is expected and this is what should be. By carrying auto liability insurance, an at-fault driver will also be saved from worrying about the source of money with which he or she will be paying compensatory damages. This is because payment will be made by his or her insurance provider.

Carrying auto liability insurance is actually one way of proving financial responsibility in the event of an accident; another way is by complying with any of the means that a state has approved. Financial responsibility is actually the law that requires drivers in the U.S. to demonstrate their financial capability to pay for damages resulting from an accident wherein they are at fault. While this law mandates showing proof of one’s capability to pay compensatory damages, it does not specifically say that this capability be shown by carrying of auto insurance. Thus, in New Hampshire, the only state that does not mandate the carrying of auto liability insurance, drivers can either carry an SR-22 filing or depositing securities or money with the state treasurer.

Carrying auto liability insurance is a mandate in the United States. Despite being a mandate, though, 1 in every 8 drivers or more than 29 million drivers continue to drive freely on US roads and highways without insurance. According to the Insurance Research Council, the top five states for uninsured drivers are California, with 4.1 million uninsured drivers; Florida, with 3.2 million; Texas, with 1.6 million; Ohio, with 1.3 million; and, Tennessee, with 1.2 million.

Insurance coverage is expensive – this is the number one reason why so many drivers are uninsured. It can still be more expensive for those who are below 25 years old, have had traffic violations in the past, have only a few years of driving experience, are driving a high-powered sports car, have high annual mileage and have been required by the court to file an SR-22. Expensive of not, however, one will still need to be insured if he or she wants to drive legally in U.S.

Being insured, according to independent car insurance firms, need not be expensive. By offering free insurance quotes online, these firms, according to Abel Law Firm, are able to help drivers and car owners find the best, yet cheapest, insurance deal fast, easy and without any hassle.

What Can You Do About Wrongful Death?

By on 5-03-2015 in Hazards

In the entirety of human history on this planet, there is not a single person who has survived life. Everyone dies in the end due to one cause or another. Sometimes, it’s because of a sickness or medical condition that could not be helped. Sometimes, it’s because the person has aged significantly and it was simply time for them to take their last breath and rest, after a long and fulfilled life. Other times, it’s because of the rage or recklessness of other people. And it’s because of that last reason that has the surviving kin in the most distress.

See, the thing about death and people dying is that it’s more than a one-person ordeal. The dead leave the grieving behind and with the grieving comes the process of trying to live without the now-recently deceased. This is actually more literal than the emotional duress as, for example, what if the deceased was a family’s prime income earner and they are now in a state of panic and disarray as well as grief because of the loss of financial security?

It can be difficult to work with and, sometimes, there are even people or parties that capitalize upon the emotional state of the grieving for their own avarice.

According to the website of the lawyers with Williams Kherkher, a lot of people who have just lost a loved one tend to have a lot of stress on their shoulders—from the emotions of having to prepare funerals, last will and testaments, and then dealing with the repercussions that a death can give to survivors – that then makes them easily susceptible to deals that would not be beneficial for them in the long run.

Some insurance companies can take advantage of this time of your being in a state of distress to offer an initial deal that you might be tempted to take, especially if you don’t have legal representation to offer you advice and guide you through the costs of what you’re most likely owed. More often than not, you are owed better than the initial offer and though it can be tempting to take something that looks good at first, it would be ideal to have someone with a more objective stance to advise you on what to do next.

Asking for help is not something shameful and sometimes, it’s the only chance people have left.

Choosing Between Direct Investment or Regional Center

By on 5-03-2015 in Hazards

If you are an EB5 visa applicant, you will have to either choose to directly invest your money in a business or find a regional center to accommodate your investment. Each of them has their own set of benefits and advantages, and choosing one over the other really depends on your personal and business circumstances.

Direct investment

Foreign investors wanting to hold a green card and at the same time manage their investment in a more direct way can choose to either create a new business or take over an existing business. Under the United States Immigrant Investor Program, investors need to invest $1 million in capital to create a new enterprise or salvage a troubled business, or a business that is running for at least two years and has experienced a 20% loss of net worth.

The program requires the investor to generate at least 10 direct, full-time jobs if they choose to create their own business. On the other hand, investors who opt in to take over a troubled business are required to maintain the existing number of employment for at least two years. When investors fail in meeting these requirements, chances are the EB5 visa will be revoked.

Regional Center investment

Regional centers are economic organizations designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which aim to create direct and indirect jobs, and increase domestic capital and productivity with the help of foreign investors. Unlike direct investment, investing in regional center does not require you to assume active role in managing your investment. This makes it a perfect choice for those who are less concerned about directly managing their investment and are much more concerned about getting a green card.

Apart from less business involvement, some immigrant program involving regional centers only require investors to invest $500,000, as opposed to the standard $1 million for investing in a troubled business or creating a new one.