With all the recent changes in drug policy the United States has seen in recent years, it can be tricky to know what’s legal and what’s still illegal. If you get caught with a drug that has yet to be legalized, you can wind up in hot water. There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding the severity of your punishment, such as:
Type and amount of drug
Certain drugs carry heavier charges than others. For example, getting caught with a gram of marijuana is likely to carry as heavy of a charge as a gram of heroin or cocaine. Knowing this, you can be sure to take the proper steps to be caught with the wrong drug.
On top of this, the amount of the drug can tip the scales in a different direction. A small amount of marijuana might not result in as much as a high volume. In fact, past a certain weight, the charges may even change from “possession” to “possession with intent to distribute.” The latter will result in longer incarceration or a steeper fine, depending on the situation.
Paraphernalia can also fit into this category; drugs aren’t the only thing that can get you in trouble when you’re caught in possession. It’s risky to carry around large amounts of paraphernalia as this can also result in legal recourse.
Getting caught in your parents’ basement is completely different from getting caught on a public playground. Certain areas are “drug-free zones,” meaning the punishment for getting caught with drugs in these areas results in a more severe punishment than other areas.
Areas that are commonly considered drug-free zones are schools, arcades, youth centers, or playgrounds. Even when school is out for winter or summer break, it is still classified as a drug-free zone. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether or not these areas are aimed at children. If they are, try to avoid carrying drugs or related paraphernalia around these areas whenever possible. It’s not worth being caught and arrested.
What to Do If You’re In Trouble for Drug-Related Charges
If you end up being arrested for drug-related charges, the best thing to do is to get in contact with a lawyer well-versed in the laws surrounding drug use, such as the ones at Lassiter Criminal Defense. A sub-par lawyer won’t be able to reduce your charges, but a skilled lawyer will know the ins and outs around this type of situation. After all, you’re going to want the best of the best on your side.
Getting arrested for drug possession isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Having said that, this doesn’t mean you should not fight for a fair settlement. The laws regarding drugs are changing every single day, especially the laws for marijuana. If you end up getting in legal trouble because you weren’t too sure what is legal and what isn’t, a lawyer is your best bet for reducing your charges and ensuring that this doesn’t happen again.
When I was a little boy, I used to love jumping around. Common places to jump included my bed, the trampoline in my backyard, and the top of the family couch. As you can imagine, my favorite activity was really annoying to my mom. Not only did she clean up the mess I would make, but she was also concerned with me falling and landing wrong. Her greatest fear was that I would fall and break my neck.
No wonder why she was so concerned. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized the importance and sensitivity of the neck, head, and spine. Head trauma is facing increased publicity due to increased discussion of injuries that can be sustained through contact sports like football. But the painful effects faced by those with spinal cord injuries are not as discussed as they should be.
I wanted to know more about the effects of spinal cord injuries on a person’s health and lifestyle, so I did some research. The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee website discusses the impact on a person’s health by describing how the 33 vertebrae in the spine are divided into five regions when assessing spinal cord injuries.
According to that site, there is a lot of variation in the impacts of a spinal cord injury. In one region, the cervical vertebrae, the result of an injury can include loss of the ability to walk, speak, as well as paralysis. In just another region, the sacral vertebrae, there can be a loss of bladder control but otherwise, a person may end up being completely healthy otherwise.
Injuries not only vary in location but also in type; most spine injuries are a result of being compressed but spraining parts of your spinal cord also affects the body. Either way, no doctor will recommend an activity that even potentially endangers your spine since it is such an important part of your body.
Situations in which a spine can become sprained or compressed include workplace accidents, especially involving heights — and a fall. Another common scenario in which a person can become paralyzed or injured is a car accident. Car accidents are so unpredictable, but there is an increased likelihood of a vehicle crumpling or shifting so that the position of a spine is in danger.
While it is known that spinal injuries are brutal and that they can potentially happen to anyone, those who incur spinal cord injuries often must fight insurance companies for adequate and fair compensation. It’s unfair, but insurance companies care more about money than they do about making sure you have the money you need to pay for medical care or re-adjusting your life if you are now in a wheelchair.
Thankfully, there are solutions. Attorneys like those that work at The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee seem way more qualified to deal with insurance companies and settlement negotiation over someone like me, with no legal experience. I know that if my spine is ever injured, I am going to call them to see how I can receive the money needed to recover from such a painful and impactful injury.
Running a business involves managing a lot of risks and concerns every single day. You’re working with lots of people, including clients, investors, and employees. No matter what your business does, you need money to be available when it’s supposed to be, employees to do the job they’ve signed up for, and merchandise or products for your business to show up on time and work properly.
And that’s just the beginning of it. With so much to consider, it’s easy to allow something to slip. Perhaps you figured that you could handle your contracts yourself and save some money and time by avoiding lawyers. It seems reasonable at first. You’re busy, and so long as everyone does their job and everything runs on time, you’re sure to be congratulating yourself and feeling good about that choice.
What happens when someone doesn’t live up to their contract, though? Contracts exist for a reason. They are meant to compel people to act in a certain way, with certain consequences when they fail to live up to those demands. If your contracts aren’t legally valid because you didn’t go to a lawyer, you may soon find that your whole business is at risk.
Depending on which contracts are found invalid, you may find that you are extremely exposed to lawsuits or that you face new and expensive financial obligations. You may also find that you’ve signed a contract that puts unexpected demands on you.
There is a way to avoid all this: working with contract reviewers. These are lawyers that will review your contracts for you to make sure they are legally valid and don’t include any unforeseen obligations.
According to the contract reviewers at Smith & Kendell Attorneys & Counselors, they can help you with all manner of legal agreements, including:
- Employment contracts when you hire your employees
- Non-disclosure agreements that put certain limitations on what you can discuss about a business
- Articles of organization for the founding of your business
- Corporate mergers when your business joins with another
- General services
Without the help of contract reviewers, the extremely complex and costly legal agreements you negotiate may not be valid. Imagine a merger failing to go through because a lawyer never looked over the contract properly. Imagine being held to extreme non-disclosure demands because you didn’t understand the contract.
You don’t want to go through that experience. Many of us have grown used to the modern habit of simply clicking “yes” for terms of service agreements and other online contracts. They’re long, difficult to understand, and full of small print. When we run a business, though, we have a higher obligation to ourselves, our investors, and our employees to make sure every contract says exactly what it is supposed to say and is completely legally valid.
Don’t put your business at risk. The investment in lawyers for all your contracts might seem like a big expense, but it’s one you must be sure to make.
For most of us who are not in the military, military operations are shrouded in secrecy. Since the military is such an important facet of American life, it seems worthwhile to try to explore the armed services more thoroughly and shed some light on them for those who are otherwise removed from that kind of life.
To make a beginning, in this post. I would like to open with this interesting question: what happens if a service member is arrested by the police?
Most people know there’s such a think as MPs, or military police, and what happens if it isn’t the MPs who arrest a soldier but the normal, everyday police?
The simple answer is, at least to some extent, the same things happen to a soldier (or sailor or marine, etc.) that happen to the rest of us. They spend the night in jail, and they get charged.
Let’s say a soldier drinks too much and gets in a fight and then tries to drive off drunk. When the police catch him, he can be charged with the same crimes as anybody else, namely assault, fleeing the scene of a crime, driving while intoxicated, etc.
What makes the case of this soldier different is what happens next. Either the soldier himself or the police contacts the military barracks the soldier is assigned to. Then, the soldier’s superior officer decides what to do with him. It may be they simply ask the soldier be released and allowed to return to the barracks on his own. Or, they may ask the police to hold the soldier until MPs are able to come and get him. This may take a day or two.
Once back at the barracks, the soldier is still charged in the civilian courts. He is still expected to show up for court dates, and he will still have to face the same punishments the rest of us do. If he would like, he can get a lawyer, ideally one that has a specialization in military matters.
His troubles do not end there, however, because our soldier will also have to face disciplinary action from the military. This can include any number of punishments depending on the nature of the crime and whether the crime was a first time or repeat offense. Punishments can include being discharged.
Our soldier in the story, then, may have to pay fines or do community service for his crimes, thanks to the civil court. He would then also have to comply with whatever the military decided was a worthy punishment.
As can be seen by this story, soldiers do not have any get out of jail free cards. If anything, they have a much more difficult burden should they be caught breaking the law.
And while the military does punish soldiers for breaking the law, they defer to the civil courts for the primary judgment and means of punishment.
Thank you for reading, and please, check back in to read more next time.
Driving under the influence of alcohol, also known as DUI, is illegal for a reason. Alcohol can compromise the driving skills of a person, putting him or her at risk of traffic accidents. But because DUI is illegal anywhere, it is often exaggerated and misunderstood, resulting into undeserved arrests, charges, and penalties.
The good news is, according to the website of Horst Law, there is a way to defend DUI charges, to minimize the penalties or dismiss the case entirely. Below are some of the most common defenses.
Validity of Stop
One of the most common ways to counter a DUI charge is to question the stop and arrest itself. If the driver has been ordered to pull over with no probable cause, all evidence that can be gathered during that period may be nullified.
Doubt on Officer’s Observation
The arresting officer’s observations can also be put into question, especially if these judgments have resulted into the arrest. Below are some examples:
- Officer believes that the driver is drunk, but in fact the driver is just sleepy
- Officer wrongly pulls over the driver because he appears to be driving erratically, even though he is not
Validity of Tests
There are various ways to test if a person is intoxicated, including breathalyzers, field sobriety tests, and chemical tests. But these tests can only be valid if the arrest is lawful and the officers have given warnings and proper information regarding them. If any of these factors are not met, the tests may be considered invalid, and therefore their results may not be considered viable evidence.
Accuracy of Tests Results
The tests are not always accurate, and this fact can be used as a defense in court, with the idea that the results are not truthful or just outright doubtful. Below are some of the instances where test results can be put into question:
- Administering authorities did improper procedures that may influence results
- Equipment, tools, and machines used in the test are defective
- Procedures were confusing, so driver was not able to properly do the tests
Drunk-driving is listed with reckless driving, over-speeding and driver error as the top causes of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Car accidents in the U.S. have always numbered to more than five million annually, injuring more than two million and killing no less than 30,000 every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the usual offenders of the law against drunk-driving, are adolescents; those aged between 17 and 24.
The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit set by the U.S. government is 0.08% (the limit is lower for commercial truck drivers and individuals below the age of 21). Offenders caught with a 0.08% or higher BAC level will be charged with drinking under the influence (DUI) or with the more serious offense, drinking while impaired/intoxicated (DWI) (some states, however, DUI and DWI interchangeably).
DUI or DWI is a serious crime. Penalties for the offense vary, depending on the severity of the offense and the number of times it has been committed. Under the law, the basic sentences for offenders include:
- 1 to 30 days imprisonment;
- $200 fine;
- revocation or suspension of driver’s license; and,
- installation of an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) in the vehicle of the offender. An IID is a device like the breath analyzer. It measures the level of BAC in the driver. If the BAC level detected by the IID is higher than its programmed limit (usually as low as 0.02%), it will automatically render the vehicle incapable of starting.
Drunk-driving accidents usually happen on weekends and on holidays. This is because, despite drinking, many simply refuse to believe that the alcohol they consumed will impair them. People will have to realize that BAC reading is based on the level of alcohol that is detectable in their blood, despite them still being sober.
According to the firm Horst Law, “Even a single DUI conviction could change your life. For starters, your license will be revoked for a full year after your conviction, at which time you will have to work through the complex process of getting your license reinstated. Until it is eventually reinstated, you will have to figure out a way to get to and from work, assuming that you do not lose your job. By the time everything is said and done, the state estimates that the overall cost of a first-offense DUI could be just under $5,000. Aside from the long-term consequences that a conviction is likely to have on both your livelihood and lifestyle, you will have to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 48 hours in jail.” Thus, if charged, a really good criminal defense attorney can be your best ticket to an acquittal.