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Stopping Crime Before it Starts

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

A novel idea, but is it really possible to deter crime before it even starts?  Well, its definitely worth a try.  Authorities in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania unveiled a new website that is designed to do just this on Monday.  The Lancaster County Crime Prevention Task force came up with a model after being inspired by a website in Wisconsin.

CrimeFreeLancaster.org is being seen as stock house for crime-prevention programs that range from the audiences of parents, teaches, those active in communities and even legal professionals such as a Pittsburgh attorney.  One can go here and find basic information in order to prevent crime as well as intervention and treatment information.

The site expands its borders past Lancaster County and even Pennsylvania with state and national programs.  They have also designed a kids page in order to target children.  This could be the beginning of a new age way of fighting and preventing crime.

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You’re under arrest under one count of being ‘Super Drunk’

November 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Statute adds criminal penalties if BAC is .17 or higher

This past Halloween weekend a more strict law in regards to drunk driving went into effect in Michigan.  Motor vehicle operators who are caught behind the wheel and have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17% will face stiffer penalties and fines.  T he current standard level of intoxication is a BAC of .08.  This new standard of .17 BAC is what is considered ‘Super Drunk’ or ‘High BAC’.  If arrested under this new law, a criminal penalty will be added.  The new law also will add a criminal penalty per 100 milliliters of blood, 210 liters of breath, or 67 milliliters of urine.
Senate Bill 1134 and House Bill 4289 which deals with this was signed into law on January 9, 2009 and took full affect on Sunday October, 31st in Michigan.  Along with the introduction of this new law, a change has been made so that local prosecutors will not be dealing with such cases.  They will be now handled by the Genesee County prosecutor.  According to Rick Aro, Fenton Police Chief, arrests will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis in order to determine if the new statute is appropriate to use. “Potentially, the county prosecutor could be inundated with these cases,” said Aro. “We’ll look at each case and decide whether to go to the prosecutor or charge as we have in the past.”


Other rules for the new law include that the High BAC statute will only be used on first offenses.  The penalties for an OWI(second offense) or OWI (third offense) is more severe than the penalties of the Super Drunk statute.  Other requirements of law include the following:

  • drivers license suspension
  • use of an ignition interlock device while driving on a restricted license
  • participation in an alcohol rehabilitative program
  • requires law enforcement officers to impound a vehicle not equipped with the proper ignition interlock device

Now more than before, it is going to be very crucial to engage and experienced Michigan criminal attorney as soon as possible when arrested for drunk driving in Michigan

Splitting up got a whole lot easier in NY

October 21, 2010 1 comment

On October 14th, irrevocable breakdown of the marriage which is New York’s version of the no-fault law went into effect.  In the little time that has gone by, local divorce attorneys have seen a rise in divorce already.  New York is the last state to install this law, so it will not have such an affect on the business for an Austin divorce lawyer for example.  The new law lets one file a divorce based upon irrevocable differences instead of having to blame the other person.  Previous to this, New York couples would have to prove the partner was responsible for acts such as cruelty, adultery or abandonment by going through a one year separation.

divorce
A lot of couples are now jumping on the opportunity to end their marriages that held off on it previously because they did not want to go through a contested-divorce process.  Some supporters of the law feel that this will make an emotionally draining event easier to handle while preserving families.  Critics on the other hand feel that it makes divorce too easy for married couples to through in the towel instead of working through difficult times.

Read more about divorce in the U.S.

Categories: attorneys

The D Word

October 14, 2010 1 comment

Did you know that 50-60% of newlyweds today get a divorce!  Madness, I know.  Why don’t people just date?  Till death do us part… that’s what people agree too on that day right?  At any rate, let’s check out some of the top reasons for these ridiculous percentages in divorce rates.

Top reasons for a divorce

  • Money
  • Infidelity
  • Lack/poor communication
  • Change in priorities
  • Problems in the bedroom (this one is really lame, and a cover up of something else gone wrong)
  • Addictions
  • Failed expectations ( let’s not get married in order to “be complete”)
  • Abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)

Before you sit down and say I do on that special day… way way way before doing so consider doing some of the below.

• Spend some time getting to know you and alone:  A of people are chronic relationship people that “don’t do well alone”.  Even more the reason to make sure you slow down in life and get comfortable being alone.  Marriage is a nice, no, amazing addition to who you are or your life… but its not something that is supposed to “complete” anyone.  You alone are complete, and until one realizes and feels that, you may want to do the stag dance.  Once this is a concrete, heart understanding of who you are, you would have diminished a lot of problems that most relationships and marriages are doomed to.

• Once the above is done have a general idea of deal breakers.  Stick to this.

• Personally make it a point to always be improving yourself and aware of who/where you are in live and where you want to be.  That way when you mix in another person, you will know if they fit into your life and who you want to be.
The list goes on and on but these are some great starting points.  Divorce (in most cases, there are some situations that this does not cover) isn’t some inevitable statistic.   It’s the end of some poor choices, not paying attention to all of the signals and forcing a square peg in a round hole.  Once you get a grip on yourself and loving who you are fully you will make room for a healthy relationship and take away the potential of so many relationship hardships.

Love

Love

Categories: attorneys

Alright, and Can I get you some divorce insurance with your health insurance?

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Dictionary.com defines insurance a  the act,  system,  or business of insuring property,  life, one’s person,  etc.,  against loss or harm arising in specified contingencies, as fire,  accident,  death,  disablement,  or thelike,  in consideration of a payment proportionate to the risk involved.”  Well apparently you can add divorce to the list.  What exactly does this encompass?  Well it seems that it serves as a payout for the policy holder after they are divorced.  If your like me, your asking yourself, seriously?  Yes, average costs for this are around $16 monthly for every $1,250 of coverage.  While being there if your marriage fails, they somehow built in a structure that will promote you to hold on to it… at least a little bit longer.  Divorce insurance adds a premium of $250 per unit for every year after 4.  For example, a policyholder who bought 10 units got divorced after 10 years, he or she would have handed over $19,188 and would receive a payout of $27,500.

Now this may be a little bit out there and loopy but I have an idea.  I’m no Arkansas divorce lawyer or marriage guru but here me out.  How about this, instead of investing in a backup plan such as divorce insurance, you invest on just making it work.  I don’t know say, spend time and what ever money you need to get to know yourself both as an individual and then a spouse.  Things of such nature.  It seems as time goes by there are too many safety nets and conventions built to support the idea of a failed marriage.  Imagine if people put as much energy into supporting the success of marriage as they did the possible failures. 

Texas DWI Penalties

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment
First Offense DWI (Class B Misdemeanor)
  • Fines:  Maximum of $2,000
  • Jail:  Minimum of 72 hours and a maximum of 6 months
  • Open Container of Alcohol:  If an open container is involved with the arrest then you will serve a minimum of 6 days in jail.
  • Community Service:  A minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 10
community service
A community supervision or probation is often granted for persons who commit a first DWI offense.  This can range from 1-2 years.  Outside of this, there are community supervisions that or typical.
  • Drug/Alcohol Evaluation:  Required submission for evaluation in order to prevent future DWI or disclose any potential issues with drug or alcohol abuse.  In the case that an issue is detected, additional terms are added through the Community Supervision Department.
  • DWI Education Class:  Must be attended and completed within 180 days of the conviction.  Completing this will help individuals of a legal drinking age  avoid the 1 year drivers license suspension.
  • Victim Impact Panel Attendance:  Attend the forum and learn from victims of drunk drivers about the dangers of driving while intoxicated.
  • Maintain Employment & Clean record:  Basically hold down a steady job while committing no other crimes while remaining at the same employment & residence.  This can be changed only with notification to ones community supervision officer.
  • Pay Supervisory Fee:  This is done on a monthly basis by performing hours of community or volunteer service.
Facing a DWI charge on your own can be complicated.  It is advised that you consult with an experienced Austin DWI lawyer when facing charges.  To read more about DWI penalties beyond a first offense visit this article by DWI.com

Texas County Plans for a Public Defender Office

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Final plans are in the making for Texas residents in Harris County who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.  A $4.1 million grant application has been submited to Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense in plans to develope a public defenders office for adults and juveniles.  If the grants come through, they will provide funding for the offices operations for a year.

How do Public Defender offices work?

The entire public defender system is overlooked by a chief public defender.  From their, the office is further segmented into divisions and headed by a chief and selected assistant pblic defenders, investigators and clerks.  Overseeing the office as a whole would be a coard who is responsible for evaulating the system.    According to Caprice Cosper who is the director at the Office of Criminal Justice Coordination stated that 4 divisiosn are within the plan.  The four hopeful divisions are Misdemeanor Mental Health, Appellate, Felony Trial and Juvenile Trial.

Harris CountySo what would this mean for the future?

This type of established Public Defenders Office will provide a judge the opportunity to appointa private attorney to an indigent (one who cannot afford an attorney) client.  Thusly, a new hybrid system will be born where judges have the choice to select a court-appointed attorney or qualified legal representation from the public defenders office.

So… is this a good idea after all?

Supporters of the public defender office say it will attract top lawyers, have more access to legal resources and be easy for the county to monitor.  Those in favor stand behind the idea that you can potentially higher quality attorneys and access to better investigators.  Some, Such as the 3rd Precinct Commissioner Steve Raddick supports it because it can help those who cannot afford legal representation in Harris County.

Those who appose a public defenders office worry that it could wind up being a similar situation as that found in public defender offices across the nation.  This is a system that easy to bread overworked and underfunded attorneys.  Former president of of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association feels similar stating that “in a perfect world, if you get a public defender system with enough money, it would be fine, but there is always going to be a shortage of money.

Other concerns are that of a power play in which the wealthy are able to hire high-powered attorneys to overpower government lawyers.

It would be interesting to get the take on the issue from Collin County criminal defense attorneys and lawyers from surrounding areas in Texas.