Defense against Murder Charges

According to the Wall Street Journal, about 165,068 murders were committed in 49 US states (not including Florida) between 2000 and 2010, while in 2012, the reported cases numbered 12,765. Intentional homicide, otherwise referred to as murder or manslaughter, is the second most serious criminal offense (the first is treason). Though the terms homicide and murder are often used interchangeably, homicide has a wider scope than murder as it refers to acts that are either criminal or non-criminal (a non-criminal homicide signifies a justifiable act of killing, such as lawful self-defense, lawful defense of someone else, or mistake of fact).

Each murder case is characterized by its own circumstances and evidences and, more often than not, evidences that will point to the doer of the crime (and which will shed light on the crime itself) are made obscure by a lot of different factors. Thus, saving oneself from being convicted of murder will definitely require the help of nothing less than an exceptional lawyer, whose knowledge on criminal law and whose experience on criminal proceedings top many others.

Such are just the initial requirements, by the way, as more are necessary for a good and strong defense against a murder charge. A number of these include new evidences that authorities at the scene of the crime failed to discover or uncover, new witnesses, opinion and analysis of experts (such as a pathologist, a psychiatrist or psychologist, a DNA expert, a false confession expert, a mental health expert, a ballistics expert, a fingerprint expert, and others who can help clear the case.

Besides the contents of the defendant’s lawyer’s trial bag, how strong the defense is will also depend on how strong and convincing the arguments of the Westchester criminal defense lawyer are, and how well he/she will be able to counter arguments and depose witnesses from the opposing side.

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Issues with SR-22

It is unfortunate when circumstances require a driver to get an SR-22 in order to legally operate any vehicle in Illinois. It means that the drive has been deemed safety irresponsible, possibly for being caught driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drug, driving without insurance, or have an unacceptably high number of serious traffic violations on a driving record. For any of these situations, a driver’s license may be suspended or revoked, and can make it very difficult to get standard car insurance.

The state requires an SR-22 or a certificate of financial responsibility to motivate drivers to become more responsible operators of a vehicle. It is difficult and more expensive to obtain than regular car insurance, so drivers who do not want to go through this will be more conscientious about how they drive. However, as mentioned on the website of Insure on the Spot, even careful drivers may find themselves in a situation where an error in judgment can land them in trouble, but they don’t have suffer the consequences forever.

The state requires an SR-22 for 3 years in most cases. In that time, it is important for drivers to abide with the conditions of an SR-22 to avoid extending this. An SR-22 should be renewed 45 days in advance of its expiration every year to circumvent additional complications. This is because the issuing insurance company has the right to send an SR-26 Cancellation Certificate to the Safety and Financial Responsibility Section of the office of the Secretary of State to notify them about the failure to renew 15 days prior to the certificate’s expiry. This can result in a suspension imposed on the individual’s driving record until such time as the SR-22 is reinstated. Which can mean a wait of another 30 days as the reinstatement is processed.

Any serious violation within the period that the SR-22 is in effect may also result in its cancellation, effectively requiring the driver to go through the process all over again. That is, presuming that the insurance company is willing. If not, the driver will have to find an alternative issuer or deposit a $55,000 cash or securities bond with the Illinois State Treasurer or equivalent real estate bond approved by the court.

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How To Know If You’ve Found A Good Lawyer

Lawyers put in a lot of hours to earn a degree, but that’s not an automatic pass to being able to assist you in your specific problem. This article will help you find the right lawyer for your individual situation. You will not regret that you did.

Always get a lawyer’s history prior to signing up with their practice. Licensing doesn’t mean they’re good at what they do. Be sure that you go over his past carefully so that you’re able to determine how well he does his job. Many lawyers like the ones at Abel Law Firm offer their histories and some biographical information online.

Find out all that you can about lawyers that you are interested in. What sorts of legal organizations do they belong to, for example? Bar organizations often help to keep their members informed of the very lastest in legal news. You want a lawyer who stays abreast of current legal trends!

A great tip if you’re thinking about hiring a lawyer is to make sure the lawyer you select answers all of the questions that you have. You don’t want to pick a lawyer who can’t give you a straight answer because you’ll be left in the dark and won’t know what’s going on.

Ask your friends and family for referrals if you are looking for a great lawyer. Others that have had legal issues know how critical a good lawyer can be and will be best able to lead you in the right direction. Get a few recommendations and then do your own research from there.

Never hesitate to ask your lawyer about any part of the fees you do not understand. There are many people that have issues with the fees they are charged by an attorney, but many of them do not say anything. There is a chance that you can do some of the work yourself and save a little, so make sure to ask about that.

As mentioned earlier in this article, not every lawyer will fit every person’s specific legal needs. However, it will be easier to find a lawyer for the specific problem you have when you know about each lawyer’s specialty. Consider the advice found in this piece, and go forward confidently!

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Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The brain is probably the most important and at the same time the most delicate structure of the body. As such, it is especially important to ensure that it is protected at all times. Unfortunately, car accidents and similar events can result in traumatic brain injuries that may have long-lasting and life-changing effects. There are different types of traumatic brain injuries that may happen in an accident.

Traumatic brain injuries are characterized by damage to brain tissue due to some type of physical force or violent motion. They can manifest as a short or long period of unconsciousness, memory loss, headaches or disorientation. There are three basic types of traumatic brain injuries: closed, open and acquired.

Closed traumatic brain injuries

When there is a sudden deceleration of enough force, the brain may “bounce” around the inside of the skull, stretching or twisting the brain tissue and injuring or tearing nerve endings. There is no apparent injury on the outside, but the effects can be debilitating. Damage is not usually confined to one area but is diffuse, so it is not easy to predict the outcome of such injuries.

Open traumatic brain injuries

When a foreign object penetrates through the skull into the brain, this is called an open injury. An example would be a gunshot wound to the head where the bullet lodges in the brain. The damage is often localized, and because of this, it is easier to predict the effects of the injury.

Acquired brain injury (ABI)

This type of injury often results when the brain bleeds, swells or experiences cell death due to lack of oxygen. The physical force is not the actual cause of ABI, but rather as the secondary effect of the impact. For example, in an accident where the car goes into the water and the driver drowns but is resuscitated, the lack of oxygen to the brain prior to resuscitation can result in permanent disability due to ABI.

Traumatic brain injuries can change a life forever. If you or someone you know sustains traumatic brain injuries because of the negligence of others, you may be able to get compensation for the victim. Consult with a Champaign accident attorney to help you accomplish this successfully.

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The Strict Liability of Dog Owners in the Event of Dog Bites

It is quite surprising to know that the number of dog bite cases in the US every year reaches 800,000 and that those who are usually bitten are children. Majority of dob bite victims are boys aged five to nine; some children, aged four or younger also suffer bites which often lead to trauma as these bites are commonly on the neck or head. Child are very trusting, so dogs don’t seem that dangerous to them. On the other hand

Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend; these are loving creatures with which owners easily develop a special bond. There are some breeds of dogs, however, which are naturally more hostile compared to others, thus, these become easily threatened even before the people who own them.

Some dog bites may only be minor; but there certainly are serious ones which can inflict severe harm, whether physically, psychologically or both. A few of the severe consequences of dog bites include lacerations, nerve damage, disfigurement and paralysis, broken bones and infections; some bites would even require reconstructive surgery as treatment.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has never ceased in its information drive that would inform owners of their great responsibility in making sure that their dogs never get to bite or attack anyone. Everyone has to realize that a dog bite or attack, even if the injury it causes is just minor, can still result to unexpected medical cost and absence from work, which means loss of income.

To emphasize CDC’s campaign, the Leash law has been imposed all across the US. All states also hold all dog owners fully liable for any injury or harm caused by their dog. However, in instances wherein a dog bites or attacks anyone due to illegal entry into one’s property or because the dog was incited, liability is lifted from the owner of the dog.

Letting your dog roam freely because it is totally domesticated can never be accepted as an excuse if it ends up biting or attacking anyone. And since it would be hard to predict the extent of harm a dog’s bite may inflict, the safest thing to do, at all times, is to observe CDC’s stipulations and make sure that your dog is restricted from harming anyone.

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Grain Explosion Accidents

Concerns over workplace safety continue to arise after an explosion last month at Union Mills Co-op in Indiana killed one person and injured two others. Although Indiana’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the possible causes of the explosion, records indicate the OSHA had never inspected the facility before the accident.

67-year-old employee James Swank was working on top of a tower when a large quantity of grain dust exploded and caused him to fall 175 feet to the ground. Grain dust is an incredibly volatile material, especially when sealed in a concrete silo, and can react to even a small spark according to Purdue University farm safety expert Steve Wettschurack.

The June 24 explosion occurred just days after a man in Veedersburg, Indiana suffocated in a grain bin. According to a recent report from Purdue University, suffocation is the most common cause of death at grain storage areas; 21 people died in 2010 after being sucked under the unstable grain. Explosions have also caused untold injury and death. In the past 35 years, OSHA reports more than 180 people have died and 675 have been injured in grain bin explosions.

Funds have dried up for OSHA, forcing a reduction in the number of inspections at grain facilities around the country to one every 99 years. The number has dropped for other workplaces as well–in 2010, there were 4,500 preventable workplace deaths. According to the website of the Woodson Law Firm, the U.S. legal system states that any party or person that is responsible for the explosion may be due to pay compensation to cover any medical bills, lost wages, or other relevant costs. If you live in East Texas, your best option would be to contact a Fort Worth Personal Injury Attorney today to learn more about your options.

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Colorado Passes Dog Protection Law

After more than 40 pets were killed in Colorado over the past five years by police officers responding to disturbances, the Senate and House have passed a law to cut down on such incidents. The Dog Protection Act, which has already been signed into law by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, is the first of its kind across the U.S.

Animal activists have been lobbying lawmakers since April to pass a bill that would require law enforcement officers to undergo a training program on how to treat dogs while on duty. The proposed training consists of three hours of online classes and would teach officers how to recognize aggressive dog behavior and how to use non-lethal force to protect themselves from dangerous dogs.

A task force comprised of dog owners, veterinarians, and police officers met on Wednesday to discuss how and when to begin implementation of officer training programs.

Republican Senator David Balmer, who originally sponsored the bill, said its goal is to aid officers when they are forced to make quick decisions in the field. Although the training emphasizes non-lethal ways to control animals, officers will still have discretion when responding to violent incidents.

An officer still has flexibility to make the gut-wrenching decisions that they make on a daily basis,” Balmer said.

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The Risk of Longshoreman Injuries

A longshoreman is often confused with a stevedore, but they are actually different. A longshoreman is primarily a dockworker who loads and unloads cargo. The term “longshoreman” comes from the colonial times phrase “men along the shore” or “alongshoremen.” A stevedore supervises dockworkers, and may be an individual or a company. The term is derived from the Spanish “estibador” which means someone who stuffs. But the terms are used interchangeably, although when it comes to occupational hazards, they are called longshoreman injuries.

Aside from loading and unloading cargo, longshoremen also do ship repair, bridge building and other duties. Because of the multitude of tasks they perform and the hazards they face, they are paid a premium rate. An experienced, unionized longshoreman may be paid as much as $20 an hour. However, longshore work and related maritime industry occupations are considered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be among the most hazardous occupations in the US. An average of 350 workers in this industry suffers serious work-related injuries every year. The most common longshoreman injuries are accidents involving equipment and machines, drowning, and slips and falls.

Some of the common injuries occur because of unsafe work environments. Working close to the water means the work surface is slippery. Defective equipment and inadequate safety procedures and gear also add to the risk of longshoreman injuries. In response, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration came up with regulations in 2011 to promote a safer working environment including lighting standards, first-aid training, hazardous materials training and safe motor vehicle operation. According to the website of these personal injury lawyers in Chicago, employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their workers as much as possible, and should use these regulations to accomplish this.

However, some employers fail to follow these regulations and expose their workers to the risk of longshoreman injuries unnecessarily. Workers who suffer from this negligence can avail of federal and civil solutions to get compensation for these injuries. People shouldn’t have to fear being injured at work due to overly dangerous job conditions beyond those which are reasonable for the job at hand.

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Identifying the Risk for Elder Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Everybody will get old, which is why it is of paramount concern that there is a disturbing amount of elder sexual abuse in nursing homes. For many aging Americans, nursing homes are the practical option, especially when aging is accompanied by conditions that may require constant supervision. It is projected that by 2050, 6.6 million Americans will be nursing home residents. Every year, up to 2 million elder abuse cases is thought to occur, the most heinous of which is sexual abuse. Identifying the risk for elder sexual abuse in nursing homes will help prevent this from happening to someone you know.

Elder sexual abuse in the nursing home is the least reported of elder mistreatment. According to the website of Danville-based law firm Spiros Law, P.C., this is primarily because the victim is often unwilling or unable to report it, and when they do, they are often disbelieved or ignored unless serious injury or death occurs. In many cases, the staff is aware of these incidents but do not have the training or knowledge to properly handle the situation.

Elder sexual abuse is defined by the National Center on Elder Abuse as any sexual contact with any person which is unwanted, or to which the elder person is unable to consent to. It includes physical contact of any kind, enforced nudity, rape, sexual assault, sodomy and taking of sexually explicit photographs or videos.

Persons at risk for elder sexual abuse in nursing homes are of both sexes, although there are a smaller proportion of male victims. Nursing homes with a large resident population with dementia coupled with a low resident-to-staff ratio are more likely to have incidents of elder sexual abuse. Studies show that unmarried women aged 60 and older with no relatives in the immediate with functional and cognitive problems such as the inability to ambulate without assistance or confused about time and place are the most likely victims of sexual abuse from staff and other residents. The lower the mental capacity of the victim, the more invasive is the sexual abuse.

Nursing homes are facilities of care, and as such have a duty to protect the residents from harm. The failure to prevent foreseeable elder sexual abuse or to report it to the proper authorities may render the facility liable for personal injury claims as well as criminal charges. Consult with an experienced elder abuse lawyer if you suspect a relative or friend is a victim of nursing home abuse.

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Road Crashes a Significant Factor in Oilfield Accidents

There is a growing body of evidence that indicates road travel off shift may be more hazardous than working in an oil field. Between 2003 and 2009, there were 716 work-related oil and gas extraction industry deaths, a fatality rate of 27.5 for every 100,000 workers. This is seven times the fatality rate for all US workers. Curiously, the incidence rate of oilfield accidents with nonfatal injuries for the same period is 1.2 for every 100 full time workers, about one-third of the rate for all US workers at 3.5 injuries per 100 full time workers.

Of the fatalities, 208 were due to motor vehicle crashes. Other common causes include being hit by a tool or equipment (143), explosions (58), crushed by moving equipment (50) and falls (43). As the number of active oil fields increase, so do the number of fatalities and serious accidents, and are likely to get worse as the high demand for workers, especially in Texas, means less experienced workers are getting hired and working longer hours. Oil field workers have an increased rate of workplace injury and death due to employer negligence.

The finding that highway accidents are the biggest contributor to oil field accidents is perhaps not really surprising. The combined effect of fatigue and highway safety rules exemptions for oil field workers has been a major factor in these fatalities. Oil field workers work an average of 20 hours per shift, and then are expected to drive after their shift. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, oilfield workers and related fields are 8.5 times more at risk of dying in a vehicle crash than those in other industries.

If you or someone close to you sustained injury or death because of employer pressure to work longer than is safe, you may have an actionable case. Contact personal injury lawyers experienced in handling cases involving oil field accidents to find out your options. Work-related injuries due to companies pushing their employees too hard for too long are inexcusable. While the overtime pay may be attractive, workers are often unaware of the effects exhaustion may have in their ability to continue working safely. Employers, however, should be aware of these kinds of dangers and would be negligent not to.

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