Legal Insight. Business Instinct.

Month: November 2020

General Article

What Are My Rights Part 1

What Are My Rights Part 1

Many people do not know precisely what their rights are when it comes to encounters with law enforcement. What should you do if you are approached on the street? What if it’s in your car? What happens if you are arrested? In this first article we will discuss the first scenario, being approached on the street, and what you are required to do, and what law enforcement officers are allowed to do.

If you are stopped on the street you do not have to answer any questions. You can simply say, I do not want to talk to you, and can walk away. If you do not feel comfortable saying this, ask if you can leave. If the officers say that you cannot, but that you are not under arrest, this means that you are being detained. An officer can pat down the outside of your clothing only if he has reasonable suspicion that you are armed and dangerous. If the officer tries searching any more than this, state clearly that you do not consent to the search, but under no circumstances should you resist an officer or try to flee. Once you have been detained they may ask for your name. In some states refusing to give your name is an offense you can be arrested for.

Knowing your rights is important so that you do not divulge more information than you are required or allow law enforcement officers to overstep their bounds. In the third article in this series we will discuss what to do if you are placed under arrest and we will then discuss the Miranda warning, and the case from which it came, the 1966 case of Miranda vs. Arizona. Then the reason for exercising the constitutional rights that protect you from saying more than you must will become clear.…

General Article

Different Types of Attorneys

Different Types of Attorneys

There are many different types of lawyers and attorneys in the world today. For the most part they can be separated into different types of lawyers. There are two main categories civil and criminal. For the most part we will be talking about civil but we will mention criminal as well.

The first thing that we do before anything else is going to be to define the difference between a civil lawyer and a criminal lawyer. A civil attorney deals only with cases that deal with people or companies wanting damages paid to them from an at fault party who has caused them harm or property damage. A criminal attorney handles cases that deal with the enforced law of the government. A criminal case lawyer is needed if you or a person is suspected of breaking the laws set forth by a governing body and face being sentenced by a court of law. The main difference is that criminal laws are enforced by the government and civil laws are enforced by private parties.

Now that we have that cleared up its time to take a quick moment and look at some of the types of criminal law attorneys. There are a lot of criminal attorneys out there but the main two groups are defense lawyers or prosecuting attorneys or prosecutors. Within these main groups there are sub groups such as public defenders, and district attorneys.

Now on to the civil case attorneys, there are two main categories much the same as the criminal case attorneys. The two major categories are the attorneys who deal with divorces, trusts, property disputes and wills. This civil attorney spends little time in the courtroom and more time doing paperwork. The reason that this happens is because most times the two parties involved come to an agreement long before the problem goes to court. This type of attorney also hands contract and employee disputes.

The next type of civil case lawyer is the one who handles cases that have to deal with personal injury cases. Personal injury attorneys are attorneys that deal with cases that have to deal with someone getting hurt or killed due to the negligence or abuse of another company or individual. Personal injury attorneys make up most of the attorneys out there.

This concludes our discussion on the major types of lawyers. This has just been a brief overview of different types out there. There are more than a hundred different sub categories of lawyers out there in the world today.…

General Article

Aggravated Assault – What is It?

Aggravated Assault – What is It?

Although there have been a decrease in the numbers, violent crimes still prove to be one of the major problems haunting the general population here in the US. Violent crimes include battery, assault, mayhem, false imprisonment, kidnapping, homicide, murder, rape, robbery and extortion, burglary, arson, and manslaughter, among others. Of all these crimes, aggravated assault is said to be the most common.

Aggravated assault, also known as felonious assault, is a modified form of ordinary assault. The difference between the two lies in how much resulting injury is involved. The application of force against another person that does not result in any bodily harm is considered to be an ordinary assault. For it to be considered an aggravated assault, the injury should be one which maims or disfigures the aggrieved party or endangers his or her life regardless of the use of a deadly weapon. Too many times, the only thing that sets murder and homicide different from aggravated assault is that the victim did not die.

Because of the simplicity and trifle nature of an ordinary assault, it rarely leads to jail time. This is in exact opposite of aggravated assault cases where the criminal has to serve several years of jail time depending on the nature and gravity of the assault.

In 2005, a total of more than 850,000 aggravated assault cases have been reported, a 1.8% increase in the total number of reported cases from the previous year. Twenty five percent of these cases involved the use of hands, fists and feet. On the other hand, 21% of the total cases involved the use of firearms and other deadly weapons. These statistics, however, already includes cases where only a threat was made. This is because, had the threat pushed through, it could result to an aggravated assault charge.

Country-wide, California ranks as the state with the most numbers of assault cases of this type. This is followed by Florida, Texas, and New York. On the other hand, Maine, Vermont and North Dakota have proven to have the lowest number of cases with no more than 800 cases each per year.

Penalties for this type of assault differ from one state to the next. However, penalties usually include jail time, electronic monitoring, loss of the rights to own or possess firearms and weapons, mandatory anger management classes, restitution, and fines and court costs. In the state of Arizona, for example, probation usually lasts for nine years with fines of up to US$ 250.00. On the other hand, the state of Wisconsin fines aggravated assault criminals to as much as US$ 100,000.00 with jail time of up to 25 years. The Judge can also order counseling as well as community service as part of the sentence.…

General Article

What is Considered Domestic Violence?

What is Considered Domestic Violence?

A domestic violence is filed against an individual by another individual who is related to them by marriage or lives in the same house as the accused. In Arizona, the statutory definition of domestic violence applies not only in crimes against spouses, although it is the most common, but also to crimes done against partners, former partners, individuals who are currently dating and the elderly. The charge of domestic violence has varying levels and forms, from simple assault to murder. It is also in the coverage of the domestic violence law such acts concerning violation of the order of protection, like a restraining order. The restraining order does not necessarily require physical presence; even a late phone call to a child or to the ex-spouse is considered a violation when a restraining order is still in effect.

Because of the alarming number of violence within a household being reported, the state of Arizona focused on strengthening its laws. The law enforcement department is now developing new policies while the court system is actively implementing the changes. In some cases, the prosecutors are filing charges even if the victim refuses to participate due to fear.

The Arizona Revised Statute 13-3601 lists the affected relationships involved in a domestic violence. It can be between two married individuals, currently or in the past. It can also be between unmarried individuals residing in the same house, same gender cohabitation is included. If both parties are not married or are not living together, it is still considered as domestic violence if they have one common child together or the woman is currently pregnant by the concerned party.

The two other relationship definitions are quite broad. The crime done is considered as domestic violence when the victim is related to the defendant or the spouse of the defendant by blood or court order. This includes grandparents, parent-in-law, stepchild and the like. The other one is when the victim is a child who is currently residing or resided in the same house as the defendant and should be related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or any person who is residing or resided in the same household.

Domestic violence is not taken lightly in Arizona. The punishment, depending on the level of crime, is severe. The conviction can result to limitation in child visitation rights, loss of privilege to own a gun, mandatory counseling and prison sentence in more serious cases. When the domestic violence involves the use of deadly weapon and injury, then the crime is often prosecuted as a felony.…

General Article

Tampa Crime Rate Down, Still Dangerously High

Tampa Crime Rate Down, Still Dangerously High

In 2008, there were reports of over 37,000 crimes committed in Tampa or about three per household. Tampa, as well as other major cities in Florida, is known for its high crime rate.

The ratio of Tampa crime compared to New York City crime is a surprising discovery when keeping in mind that New York City is one of the nation’s most densely populated cities. Tampa has a higher ratio of nearly all major crimes including triple the counts of rape and nearly quadruple the counts of burglary.

The only positive statistics coming from Tampa’s crime rate is the consistent annual drop in crime. In the past ten years the average crime rate in Tampa has decreased by more than half. Counts of burglary, murder, aggravated assault, and robbery have all dropped, and should continue to do so.

The crimes committed vary in severity and when individuals are prosecuted can be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. The punishment for a felony can range from a year in prison to life or possibly even the death penalty. Misdemeanors are typically of a less severe nature and can range from a simple fine to up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine.

Misdemeanors can also come with sanctions such as suspension of a driver’s license, use of crimes against oneself in future trials, risk or deportation, or house arrest. Though misdemeanors are seen as lesser crimes they can still hurt an individual if he or she continues to disobey the law, and can possibly prevent certain types of employment.…

General Article

Drug Offense Penalties

Drug Offense Penalties

There are few areas of legal prosecution that are enforced as seriously as drug offenses. Most states are generally consistent about classification, though some states use differing policies based on local situations arising from different types of drug use. Though the types of drug use are usually similar, different regions of the country can experience distinct problems within the area based on logistics.

Most controlled substances are classified as felonies within the law. Drug trafficking charges can be enhanced particularly easy based on the quantity and the nature of the substance. There are also many prescription drugs that are legal when carried in the proper container by the authorized individual and charges over improper container can often be reduced, but rarely dismissed, especially with a valid arrest report.

The current drug that is considered most aggravating is manufacturing methamphetamine. Depending on amount, this can be either a Class D or C felony charge and the level of aggravating circumstances can carry more charges, such as wanton endangerment in the event of an explosion. The problem is the activity associated with the use. In the event of a plea bargain some charges may be adjusted, but the drug offenses rarely are.

In most states, based on uniform sentencing guidelines, a Class D felony carries a punishment of at least one to five years of incarceration and varying fines of considerable amount. This is often based on the level of trafficking and potential income and value. Values can be estimated, which can affect enhancement. In most states there is a probation process, but normally availability is only on the first charge of that type. Multiple offenders can count on some jail time.

Class C felonies are assessed at five to 10 years of incarceration. Class B carries 10 to 20 years in most states. Differing states have differing rules on how much time constitutes a year and allowance for reduced penalties through legislative actions, like “Governor’s Good Time.” Model prisoners usually get recognized for good behavior, but don’t count on it. Class A felonies are normally associated with violence and begin at 20 years incarceration in most states. Use of a firearm is also an enhancer, especially if used in commission of a crime.

Another issue with drug offenses is the level of government that has filed the charge. Federal penalties also fall within Supreme Court sentencing guidelines, but the availability of federal parole can be a more restrictive. It does require a documented reason for parole denial by the U.S. Federal Parole Commission, which is appointed by the President.

Prosecutors accept charging drug offenders as one of their most serious duties. The guidelines are in place to protect the defendant from excessive punishment from systems that use tough uniform policies. But the guidelines are also tough. And the prosecutors are not afraid to follow them to the limit, in certain cases.…


Things to Know About the Defense Base Act

We can all agree that working overseas comes with a wide array of benefits. At the same time, it comes with some potential issues that may happen.

However, you can rest assured because the Defense Base Act protects most Federal Workers, a statute that will provide you both medical benefits and wage loss if you are injured on the job.

Of course, you have to work for the Department of State or the Department of Defense to comply with this particular act. Keep in mind that it is one of the best ways to protect civilians injured overseas, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, among other areas.

In particular, this act will cover overseas contractors that are injured within the state during the preparation and training to go abroad.

Let us start from the beginning.

Who Is Eligible For Defense Base Act?

Keep in mind that this particular act covers most civilian contractors supporting US military services from security forces to food service employees.

It is also a protection for individuals operating under public works, repairs, and construction in the US and abroad, depending on specific factors.

Keep in mind that it covers people working for the Peace Corps and other humanitarians that are handling recovery efforts worldwide.

Therefore, if you are an employee working for the Department of Defense or Department of State, you should know that you would be eligible for it wherever you are.

 Generally, it is a worldwide statute, which means that you will get appropriate compensation depending on numerous factors.

However, in most cases, it is used for civilian employees injured in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, Qatar, Kuwait, Antarctica, and South America, among other areas.

You should click here to learn more about this particular act in general.

Compensation Benefits

It would be best to remember that this particular act functions similarly to Harbor Workers’ and Longshore compensation act. Therefore, you will be able to get four different classes of benefits depending on numerous factors.

For instance, everything depends on the contractor’s medical status, his ability to earn in the future, and many more. The issues can be divided into these four statuses:

  • Temporary total disability – We are talking about benefits that the contractor will get throughout the healing process, especially since he/she is unable to continue with the work.
  • Temporary partial disability – If the medical condition is still in the phase of healing and the contractor can work, he/she will get this particular type of compensation.
  • Permanent Total Disability – If the contractor’s health has reached the medical improvement, but he/she will not be able to work anymore due to the severity of injuries, they are entitled to this particular type of compensation.
  • Permanent partial disability – Finally, a contractor will get benefits if the medical condition has improved over time, which means that he/she can work with ease.

It is vital to understand the overall classification of all the advantages and benefits you may obtain after a claim. In case you classify it inappropriately, you will be able to lose money that you should be based on the act.

That is the main reason why you should talk with an attorney to make sure that you understand your current classification and to get compensation based on all relevant information.

What about Medical Mileage and Benefits?

Keep in mind that this particular act is the extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which means that you should check out the requirements and other factors by reading both of them.

The most important consideration is that the insurance carrier or employer of a particular contractor should pay benefits depending on the injury and other factors.

Check out this link: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/owcp/dlhwc/lsdba to visit the Department of Labor’s official website.

When it comes to medical expenses, you should know that they include much more than office visitations, prescriptions, and potential surgeries. Contractors can also request additional reimbursement for the mileage he drove to reach a particular medical expert.

Apart from necessary and reasonable care, an employer or carrier has to provide doctors’ free choice, which means that you will be able to choose based on your preferences.

That is not something that you will get with regular insurance, which makes it better in the long run.…