What Evidence is Used in a DWI Conviction

As a United States citizen, you are considered innocent until proven guilty. That means that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, not with the defense. If you have been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), then you should strongly consider getting legal counsel from a qualified criminal defense attorney in your area. Law firms like Alexander & Associates are specialized at handling these sensitive matters in court, and they can help you better understand and protect your rights. To get things started, here are two types of evidence that can be used against you in court:

Test Results

Officers have several tests at their disposal to determine if the operator of a vehicle is intoxicated. If you voluntarily submitted to a breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test, the prosecution will likely bring these results against you in court if they have them. During a field sobriety test, the arresting officer may determine your level of intoxication through a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, a walk-then-turn test, and ask you to balance on one leg. Their interpretation of your performance is valid evidence in court. However, the law protects citizens from being unfairly charged, and prosecutors can only bring charges against you in good faith. If you are being charged with DWI, you can safely assume that they have at least some evidence to support their accusation. Another way to determine a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is through a blood or urine test. This can be obtained by a judge through a warrant, and test results are considered conclusive.

Behavior

The way you conduct yourself while driving and after being pulled over is admissible evidence in court. If you were observed to be driving aggressively, speeding, swerving out of your lane, or hitting stationary objects, the arresting officer can testify that your driving seemed impaired. These are classic signs of intoxication, and police officers are trained to identify this type of behavior. After they pull you over, if you are rude, slur your speech, and otherwise act in a drunken manner, they can also share these observations with the court. The smell of alcohol is impossible to mask, and it can be one of the first clues an officer notices after they stop a driver who is suspected of driving while intoxicated. Once they suspect alcohol is involved, they will conduct a thorough investigation to gather more evidence against you. Eyewitness testimony is a powerful piece of evidence, such as another driver that was involved in an accident with the drunk driver.

The law does not tolerate dangerous drivers, and the penalties for driving while intoxicated are steep to discourage others from making the same poor decision. Of course, the best defense against this type of charge is to avoid getting behind the wheel if your BAC is above the legal limit. It’s always better to be safe than sorry because you never know when your choices will catch up to you.

Pet sitters are healthier than boarding

As an owner of two cats, I soon realized that it is very difficult to get them to go into their carrier. It didn’t matter that I bought the most spacious, swankiest carrier that I could find; they still hated going into that carrier no matter what I tried. So, having a pet sitter makes much more sense than trying to take them to the vet for boarding. Pet sitters are an excellent option if your pet does not like to travel or is more comfortable at home. Both of my cats tend to get stressed out if they are moved too much, which causes them to have more hairballs than they normally would.

As Walk ATX Pet Care explains, choosing a pet sitter can be healthier for a pet than a boarding or kennel option. Why is this the case? Staying in a pet’s usual environment eliminates stress from being in a new environment, helps maximize one-on-one attention, and helps maintain normalcy. From my own experience, I can see how much less stressed by cats are when they are in their own environment versus when they are boarded at the vet. Now that both are older, I make the conscious decision to keep them at home so that they are more comfortable because they are accustomed to the surroundings and can receive individualized attention.

Pet sitting seems like a pretty sweet gig. I started to wonder how I could get involved in pet sitting to make some extra money. According to Cathy Rosenthal, a columnist at the San Antonio Express, getting into pet sitting is a breeze since there is no official license needed to become a pet sitter. The job also does not require a lot of experience, although it’s best if you love animals and want to learn more about them.

You can sign up with a number of sites, including Pet Sitters International, to get started. There are also options to take a pet first aid class to prepare yourself for any emergency while pet sitting. Taking this class could help save a pets life.

With Pet Sitters International, you have the option of taking their online course to become a certified pet sitter. While the certification is not a requirement, you may learn quite a bit about pet behavior and health problems as well as the ins-and-outs of running your own pet sitting business.

When setting up your own business, you have to decide how much money you want to charge clients for your time. Walk ATX Pet Care charges between 15 and 18 dollars for a daytime visit and 45 dollars for overnight stays. This service also includes other activities like watering plants, rotating lights, feeding fish, taking out trash, and bringing in mail and/or newspapers daily.

You also need to decide where you want to pet sit. Since 60 percent of Americans own a pet, you might have a thriving business in your own neighborhood. If you want clients to come to you, try signing up with Rover.com or Dogvacay.com.

Overall, pet sitting is the best option for pets who are anxious and do not like kennels or other boarding establishments. Since so many people have pets, you might consider starting your own pet sitting business to make some extra income.

Questionable Moves by Long-term Disability Insurance Providers

Insurance companies are not charities. They are businesses. As such, they will do anything they can to put in as much money as possible and put out as little as possible. So, when you are claiming for a long-term insurance coverage, you should be wary of certain insurance company behaviors.
Some moves look like they will benefit you, but they will actually cause you more harm. There are moves where you don’t get what you rightfully deserve. This can be an ethical and legal dilemma, and it all boils down to money.

Making outrageous demands

If you are filing a long-term disability insurance claim, arguably the most important thing to have is medical evidence that you are truly disabled. This may include regular visits to a specific physician, medical records from this specific physician, and official opinions from, again, this specific physician.
But there are instances where insurance companies will make more demands, often unnecessary and outrageous, so you will be discouraged in pursuing your claim.

Delaying the claiming and granting process

Insurance companies really want to discourage you in pursuing your claim. Aside from making outrageous demands, they may also delay the entire process to achieve their goal. It may be understandable if the process is taking much time, but if there are suspiciously frequent delays, such as in terms of getting the proper documents and studying them, you should be suspicious.

Denying valid claims

Even legitimate long-term disability insurance claims can get denied. There are many reasons for this, like when the insurance company has overlooked some aspects of your claim, such as the severity of your medical condition, or when you have not provided enough medical evidence to make your claim stronger.
But there are times when even the claims that are properly written, timely submitted, and sufficiently backed by medical evidence can be denied, and that can be suspicious. But at least, according to the website of Fields Disability, those who have denied claims can make appeals.

Damages from Dog Bites

Dogs are the most popular pets. This also means that the animal attacks people are most vulnerable to are dog bites. Dog owners have the responsibility to make sure that their pets are properly restrained and are not easily accessible to prevent accidents such as dog biting.

According to the website of the Milwaukee dog bite lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, dog owners may be liable for any damages resulting from the injuries that the dog causes to the victim. The most common damages inflicted by dog bites are listed below.

Dog bite injuries
The most obvious damage that can be sustained from dog bite accidents is injury. If the bite is strong and deep enough, it may cause nerve damage, giving you limited mobility and pain even after the wound has healed. Deep wounds can also be prone to infections, because dogs tend to have dirty teeth from eating and licking unclean materials.

Hospital costs and other treatment expenses
Whether the injury sustained is serious or not, you need to consult a medical professional because of the risks of dirt, infections, and other complications such as rabies. Medical costs can reach up to thousands of dollars, and the typical family may not be able to afford it.

Loss of earning capacity
Getting injured because of a dog really has a financial toll. You have medical costs to cover, and at the same time, you may lose time at work because the injury has physically limited you. You can even lose your job if you miss too much time or if you fail to deliver your services adequately because of your injury. This can be problematic if the victim is the primary earner in the family.

Pain and suffering
Injuries are not just painful. They can also cause emotional and psychological problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. You may experience anxiety, depression, flashbacks and nightmares about the traumatic event, and extreme fear of dogs. This can greatly affect the quality of your life and how you enjoy it.

Permanent scarring or disfigurement
Dog bites, particularly those that are big and deep, can leave a permanent scar on you or disfigure the affected body part. The situation is even worse if the injury is in the face, as it can affect even your self-confidence.

Premises Liability – The Extent of a Property Owner’s Responsibility

One very common accident which can cause injure to any one is slip and fall. This accident can occur anywhere, in a public or a private place, and can cause injuries, which can be as simple as a minor bruise, or as serious as a fractured wrist or elbow or spinal column injury.

The National Safety Council (NSC) says that more than eight million slip and fall accidents occur in the United States every year. The most common causes of these accidents include: wet, oily, icy or slippery floors or surfaces: uneven, loose or broken floors, steps, sidewalks or stairs; a defective staircase; unsecured rugs or carpets; or hidden or tangled extension wires.

While one would ordinarily put the blame on those who slip and fall and say that the accident and their injuries are results of their not being careful, for personal injury lawyers or slip and fall accident lawyers, the blame could rather be imputed on the owner of the property.

Slip and fall accidents are filed as premises liability cases, with premises liability referring to a landowner’s accountability for injuries suffered by persons on his/her property due to a defective or unsafe condition. Injury resulting to slipping, tripping or falling, is not the only scope of a premises liability lawsuit, though; it also injuries caused by falling objects, electrocution, open excavations, broken chairs, and so forth.

The extent of a property owner’s responsibility and liability to injuries sustained depends of classification or those who enter his/her premise. These classification refers to the three classes or categories of visitors: invitee, licensee and trespasser.

An invitee may refer to a friend, a relative or a neighbor, who has the landowner’s expressed or implied permission to enter his/her property. A licensee refers to a person who has the landowner’s expressed or implied permission to enter the property. Examples of a licensee include a party guest, a family friend, or a person who enters a store to ask about something or to retrieve something. A trespasser is a person who has no authority, whatsoever, to be on someone else’s property. Thus, being on the property illegally, the owner owes him/her no responsibility if ever he/she gets injured (unless he/she is a child).

According to the Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, law firm, in some states, like in Chicago, for instance, property owners have a legal obligation to reasonably maintain the safety of their premises. A property owner who fails to do so and if the slip and fall accident victim will be able to prove that the property owner knew, or should have known, about the dangerous condition that caused his/her accident, then it would be wise to pursue compensation through a lawsuit.

Mortgage Modification

Mortgages last a long time and it is very common that unexpected life events happen that may change the ability for you to make your mortgage payments. That’s plenty fair, and many lenders understand that as well. Mortgage modification exists so that the uncertainty of life can be slightly accounted for. In order to enable an individual to continue to make payments, creditors can be willing to renegotiate your contract so that it is more accommodating for the debtor to complete. After all Some form of payment is better than none.

The 2008 Recession left in its wake The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), and with it applying to modify home loans became much easier. Created to help struggling home owners in the U.S., it allowed for loans to be modified by offering a reduced mortgages by fixing interest rates, extending payment terms, and reducing interest rates completely. However, mortgage modification is not to be confused with refinancing a home. With refinancing, a home owner seeks to replace the loan completely and is a permanent change of contract, often times through a new creditor. Mortgage modification is handled under the same lenders and is a temporary fixture before normal mortgage payments can be resumed. Mortgage modifications are typically sought if refinancing cannot be achieved but it is still a viable alternative to those with bad credit.

Mortgage modification is a great way to find temporary asylum from high mortgage rates, and with it homeowners can be saved from the risk of foreclosure. According to Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, mortgage modification can even reduce the principal amount owed or waive some of the accrued interest. There are a lot of financial tactics out there that exist to assist people who struggle financially, such as HAMP, and it would be simply foolish not to utilize them whenever the need arises.

Auto, Truck, & Motorcycle Accidents

Thirty-three-year-old Joseph Kirsch, who was on his motorcycle when the accident that claimed his life happened, was trying to swerve to avoid an imminent collision with a pickup truck backing out of a driveway in the 2700 block of Steck Avenue in North Austin, Texas at around 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2015.

Kirsch, however, was not successful in his endeavor. Even though he was wearing his helmet, it was not enough to save him when he put his motorcycle on the side to try to avoid colliding with the pickup truck, which contained a family getting ready to go out for a night of dinner outside in town.

The impact made him fall to the pavement. Kirsch’s death made it the 100th traffic fatality in Austin last year.
This accident is an example of how even though helmets are the most important pieces of motorcycle safety equipment because wearing them can actually lessen the chances of a person acquiring severe head injuries or trauma during collision, with the federal government stating that using a helmet can lessen the chances of death during an accident by around 37%, it is best if motorcycle accidents can be prevented in the first place.

According to the website of the attorneys of the Abel Law Firm, however, sometimes accidents cannot be helped, because from the word itself, an accident is an unexpected occurrence. The least that motorists can do is to be prepared in such an eventuality. They can do so by installing a secure antilock braking system, which prevents the wheels from locking up and thereby lessening the chances of the wheels skidding and the motorcycle falling. Federal regulators say ABS systems prevent crashes by as much as 31%.

It is also important to take note of the type of motorcycle one is riding. Sport motorcycles, which are less powerful and less lightweight than supersports motorcycles, are more prone to crashing. The safest among the three kinds of motorcycles are the standards or cruisers, which are four times as more likely to leave a motorcycle accident victim alive than the two types.

 

What is Distracted Driving?

Each year, thousands of people are injured and a lot more are killed due to car-related incidents involving a distracted driver. Distracted driving is increasingly becoming a major problem in the country. In fact, this problem is so biting that each day, 1,153 people are injured and 9 are killed in the U.S. because of it.

Attorneys at the Sampson Law Firm stated that a distracted driver behind the wheel is more prone to committing poor driving practices. These practices include speeding, failing to use signals when turning, not checking blind spots when merging or switching lanes, and not yielding the right-of-way to traffic on the intersecting road. These practices, unfortunately, may result in injurious, sometimes even fatal car crashes.

Distracted driving has three main types:

  • Visual distractions – Distractions that take the driver’s eyes off road. Sending texts and emails are examples of visual distractions. However, some visual distractions can be seen along the road. Attention-grabbing outdoor advertisements and road accidents are just some that could take your eyes off road.
  • Manual distractions – Manual distractions are those that take your hands off the wheel. Sending text messages and manually dialing a number on your mobile phone are examples of manual distractions. Because your hands are off the wheel, you are not able to respond quickly to traffic situations, making you at higher risk of accidents.
  • Cognitive distractions – These are distractions that take your mind off driving. When you compose an email or text message manually, you do not only take your eyes and your hands off driving; you are also disengaging your mind from the road.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that in 2011, almost one-fifth of car-related incidents in the U.S. were associated with distracted driving. This had prompted the Federal government to enact some measures to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to keep it from occurring. For instance, a 2011 ruling by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration banned the use of any hand-held mobile device among commercial drivers carrying hazardous materials.

Criminal Defense

When someone is convicted of a crime, it is pretty normal for us to assume that they were completely guilty of the crime and deserve the sentence they received. However, sadly, some individuals are wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn’t commit or receive a sentence that is unreasonable. This happens more than most of the American public is aware of and can become a real problem when you are accused of a crime.22

Facing a criminal charge of any sort is one of the scariest and most confusing processes one can go through. Still many choose to do this without the help of a proper lawyer leading to wrongful conviction. According to the website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC, having the support of a criminal defense lawyer when accused of a crime is not only essential, but is often the only way to ensure that an individual is fairly charged.

While the United States has one of the most advanced justice systems in the world, there is no way to ensure that every case is properly handled. A criminal defense lawyer can help an individual ensure the accused is receiving their full benefits and proper sentence. Sentences can be as severe as major jail time and a life-long reduction of the person’s freedom. Individuals can simply not risk this without taking all the proper measures when accused of a crime.

Restaurant Employment Law

Eating out is something we all love to do every once in a while. Whether it is our favorite restaurant or to try a new food, there is something about going to a sit-down restaurant and being served delicious food that appeals to Americans. It appeals so much that countless restaurants line the nation’s streets with new ones popping up by the week. What we often forget when we go to these restaurants is that our waitress or waiter are often not properly paid for their work.

Many people assume that servers make minimum wage with or without tips but this doesn’t hold true for every case. Tipping laws are complicated and, according to the Cary Kane website, certain employers are permitted to pay sub-minimum wage because tipping employees is customary. This means that some servers can end up making less than minimum wage.

Beyond this, servers often do not get to keep all of their tips. Some are required to tip out, or give away, as high as 20% of their tips to other restaurant employees such as bus boys and bartenders. So if a server makes $100 in tips on a Friday night, they will be required to tip out $20 at the end of their shift. Problems such as these can leave some servers being unlawfully paid by their employers. In some of these cases, it may be necessary to contact a professional if you are unsure if you are receiving fair wages.

The service industry is a hard and complicated one to be involved in without the added problem of not receiving the wages you are rightfully owed. Tipping laws are some of the most complicated employment laws to date and a professional is often the only way to determine if you are being paid properly.