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Teenagers And Traffic Tickets: 3 Things Parents Need To Know

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Teenagers And Traffic Tickets: 3 Things Parents Need To Know

Teenagers are an interesting group of drivers. In some ways, they’re often the most knowledgeable about traffic laws, at least on paper – after all, a freshly licensed teenager has likely spent hours pouring over their state’s traffic laws, and most drivers who have been licensed for a few decades spend very little time reviewing the same material. On the other hand, they’re also the least experienced drivers, which makes them more likely to make a mistake or use poor judgment when driving. When a teenager gets a traffic ticket, what’s a parent to do? Will you even know about it? Should you pay it or fight it? Take a look at some things that parents of teen drivers need to know about teens and traffic tickets. Teenagers Are Under Additional Restrictions Teen drivers may be more likely to make a mistake than adult drivers, but it’s worth keeping in mind that in many states, there are more mistakes for teens to possibly make than there are for adult drivers. Teens are often subject to additional restrictions while driving that adults don’t have to worry about. For example, under the graduated license rules for teenagers in Minnesota, teens may not use a cell phone – even with a hands-free device – while the car is moving. Texting and driving is against the law for all drivers in Minnesota, but only teens (and commercial drivers) are restricted from using a handheld or hands-free phone. Teens in Minnesota are also prohibited from driving with more than one passenger under the age of 20 during the first six months of their provisional license and are subject to restrictions on driving after midnight and before 5am during that time. Many states have similar laws in place. That means that your teen could get a ticket for giving a lift to more than one friend or coming home too late at night—something that an adult would never get a ticket for. Teenagers’ Licenses Are Easier To Suspend Along with the additional restrictions, it’s also easier to suspend a teen’s license in many places than it is to suspend an adult’s license. When you get a traffic ticket, you are assessed a certain amount of points on your license. Too many points, and you lose the license temporarily. In Colorado, for instance, teens under the age of 18 can have their license suspended if they accumulate as little as 6 points in a year, or 7 points in 2 years. Adults over the age of 21 would not face suspension unless they accumulated 12 points in a year or 18 points in two years. So not only are teenagers under additional restrictions, but any violations will also result in a suspended license a lot faster. And traffic violations are not expunged at the age of 18 like many juvenile offenses are. Teenagers convicted of minor crimes are often given a clean slate when they turn 18, but if your teenager’s license is suspended for a year when they are 17, the suspension probably won’t be lifted on their 18th birthday, nor will the record be removed from their driving history. That means that traffic tickets and license suspensions can follow your child into adulthood, interfering with their ability to drive to work, get a job...

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Defenses A Drug Defense Attorney May Be Able To Raise On Your Behalf

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Defenses A Drug Defense Attorney May Be Able To Raise On Your Behalf

If you are charged with possessing drugs or intent to sell or distribute illegal drugs, you may be considering hiring a drug defense attorney. A drug defense attorney can be invaluable, as they can raise many defenses that you wouldn’t think or know to raise on your own. Some of these defenses can get the charges against you dismissed, some can get the charges reduced and others can keep you out of prison. Here are a few of the defenses that a drug defense attorney may attempt to raise in court if you are charged with a drug-related crime. Unlawful Search and Seizure The fourth amendment of the Constitution protects you against police unlawfully searching you, your car and your home. Any evidence that is obtained during an unlawful search cannot be used against you in court. As such, a criminal defense attorney may raise questions about where the drugs were found and if police had the right to search for them and seize them. If a proper warrant is not obtained, or if you are pulled over or questioned illegally, and that is when drugs are found, the charges against you may be dismissed. Generally speaking, police have to have reasonable suspicion to search for drugs. A police officer cannot pull over every person they wish and search their car for drugs. If a police officer sees what they believe to be a drug deal occurring, they have reasonable suspicion to pull you over and search your car. However, if you are simply in a known drug area, they can’t pull you over. If a police officer pulls you over for a traffic-related offense, and they smell drugs or believe you may be under the influence, they have reasonable suspicion to search your car. Reasonable suspicion can be a grey area, which is why hiring a drug defense attorney is invaluable. The Drugs Aren’t Yours In order to be convicted of a drug crime, the judge and jury have to believe that the drugs belong to you. However, most drugs are typically found in places where multiple people are present. If drugs are found in a home that you share with roommates, or in a car that you are driving but don’t own, an experienced drug defense attorney may be able to place reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge and jury as to who the drugs belong to. If they can’t tie the drugs back to you personally, they may find you not guilty of the crimes for which you are being tried. You Did Not Have the Intent to Sell the Drugs If you have drugs on your person, and you are legally stopped and searched by the police, it is going to be hard to use either of the above drug defenses. As such, in this type of case, it may be best for a drug defense attorney to try to plead guilty to possession and fight the intent to sell or distribute charges, rather than hope for a not guilty verdict or dismissal on all of your charges. Often times, when someone has a large amount of drugs on their person and/or the drugs are in individual packages, you will be charged with the intent to sell or distribute drugs. A police officer...

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Will A Drug Court Allow Methadone Treatment For Drug Users?

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Will A Drug Court Allow Methadone Treatment For Drug Users?

The American justice system now increasingly relies on drug courts to help offenders rehabilitate. With more than 2,600 drug courts in operation across the country, many offenders can now avoid prison, as long as they can meet strict legal conditions. Unfortunately, for some offenders, those conditions often include a ban on methadone treatment, even if medical evidence suggests this is potentially harmful. Learn more about drug courts’ policies towards methadone treatment, and find out what this could mean if you face prosecution. The benefits of drug courts Drug courts have been available to offenders in the United States for around 20 years. What’s more, evidence shows that this legal option can reduce drug abuse and drug-related crime, while saving the American taxpayer significant sums of money. A drug court program can include counseling, monitoring and group support activities. Seventy percent of seriously addicted offenders who volunteer to appear in one of these drug courts complete the recommended program, and 75 percent of these people do not re-offend. Nonetheless, experts estimate that drug courts in the United States only have the capacity to deal with 10 percent of the offenses that take place. What’s more, these courts will not always recommend an outcome that best supports an offender. How methadone treatment helps addicts It’s extremely difficult to beat an addiction to opioid drugs like heroin. For many addicts, methadone offers one of the few alternatives that can help them successfully kick the habit. Methadone is a synthetic medication that helps users cope with pain and can also treat addiction to opiates like heroin. Long-term addicts must continue to take opiates simply to avoid the terrible symptoms that occur during withdrawal. Ironically, heroin addicts don’t continue to take drugs to get high. The opiate simply keeps them alive. Methadone is an alternative to this dangerous lifestyle. It takes extensive support, self-control and determination to beat heroin addiction, and many addicts would fail without methadone treatment. Unfortunately, many drug courts don’t agree. How some drug courts view methadone treatment Judges in many drug courts do not accept medical evidence that shows the benefits of methadone treatment. In many cases, these judges believe that methadone is an easy way out and that the addict can only show remorse through complete abstinence. Despite these policies, scientific evidence shows that addicts generally relapse when forced to stop taking drugs abruptly. One of the biggest challenges that addicts face is the inconsistency in policy applied in each drug court. Research shows that some courts will allow methadone treatment, while others will only allow this type of therapy for fixed periods. Some judges may impose harsher restrictions on offenders who ask for methadone treatment, while others will simply outright refuse this treatment method. Curiously, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ policy statement supports methadone and buprenorphine maintenance programs as effective treatment options for addicts. Nonetheless, adherence to this policy varies between courts How an attorney can help A drug defense attorney can help you navigate the drug court process to make sure you get the best possible outcome. Your attorney can help you understand if you are eligible for drug court. For example, it’s important to remember that the drug court system is available to any offender with a proven substance abuse problem. As such, you...

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3 Reasons Your Lawyer May Have For Not Wanting You To Testify At Your Own Criminal Trial

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons Your Lawyer May Have For Not Wanting You To Testify At Your Own Criminal Trial

If you are charged with a crime and are preparing to go to trial for it, you may want to testify in court as a way of defending yourself. While many defendants want to do this at their own criminal trials, lawyers often persuade them not to. It is your choice, though, and you can choose to testify if you really want to. Before you make this decision, it’s important to understand the common reasons criminal defense attorneys may recommend not to do this. It Is Not Your Job To Prove Innocence Before examining the other reasons not to testify, you should realize how the court system is designed. When the police arrest you and charge you with a crime, it might seem like you are guilty until proven innocent, but this is not the case. You have the right to a fair trial, and the prosecution handling the case is obligated to prove your guilt. In other words, you are innocent until proven guilty. It is the job of the prosecutor to prove that you are guilty, and he or she will try to do this by presenting incriminating evidence and by calling witnesses to testify. If there is not enough evidence to prove your guilt in the crime, the court cannot legally prosecute you for the crime. Because of this, you must realize it is not your responsibility to prove you are innocent. Let your attorney handle this for you and let the evidence speak for itself. You Have The Legal Right Not To Testify Exercising your legal rights can often be beneficial for people accused of crimes, and one of these rights is that you do not have to testify at your own trial. If you decide to testify, you can also exercise your Fifth Amendment right. This amendment gives you the right to stay silent when asked a question, but only if your answer would be incriminating to yourself. Pleading the Fifth Amendment does not always look good in court. Because of this, your attorney may suggest not testifying at your trial in order to avoid any negative effects this may have. Criminal attorneys understand how prosecutors handle courtroom criminal cases. They can sometimes be belligerent with their questions, and this can cause a defendant to get stumped, angry, or nervous. The way you answer the questions and react to them can play a role in the jurors’ decision about the case. You Might Answer The Questions Wrong If you testify in court, you will have to take an oath to tell the truth. Even if you are completely innocent and are planning on telling the truth, the things you say might come out wrong. Prosecutors can often ask trick questions, and it is hard to prepare for all the potential trick questions he or she might ask during your trial. If you do not understand a question correctly or answer one with information that makes you look bad, it could cause harm to your case. Your nerves also are likely to kick in when you are on the stand, and this could leave your voice shaky. A shaky voice might lead jurors to believe you are lying, when really you are just nervous. Avoiding the stand during your own trial is often the best way...

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Your DUI Arrest: Is It More Than Just A Legal Problem?

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your DUI Arrest: Is It More Than Just A Legal Problem?

A DUI can be a life-changing event, but no matter how the case turns out in court, the incident should give you serious cause to reflect on your actions. If you’re not in control of your alcohol consumption, it’s in charge of you and that’s a dangerous, destructive and depressing way to live. Don’t simply figure out a way to beat the rap, get to the underlying problem and find a way to solve it. Can You Beat Your DUI Charge? A good lawyer may be able to help you beat a charge of driving under the influence, but other factors will influence your case and should be considered when you’re preparing your defense:  Taking medications that caused you to be impaired (without your foreknowledge)  A medical condition that suddenly affected your abilities to operate a vehicle  The probable cause for which you were pulled over  The validity of a field sobriety test These and other details surrounding your arrest can be presented to a court on your behalf, showing that either you were not actually intoxicated or that the law was not followed and you were somehow denied your rights. However, it’s best to let a lawyer lead the way with legal proceedings. How Much Alcohol Did You Consume? Had you not been arrested, you likely should not have been driving no matter how much you had to drink. The rule of thumb, for your own safety and that of others, should always be to avoid getting behind the wheel when you have alcohol in your system. If you’re frequently breaking that rule, your problem may extend beyond one DUI charge. Why Did You Decide To Drive? Sober, it’s easy to that someone else isn’t capable of driving after having a few drinks, but when you’re that person drinking, your judgement isn’t sound. You should always assume that even one drink is too many and be prepared to make your way home or elsewhere by some other means than driving yourself. Do You Drive After Drinking Regularly? The average person caught operating under the influence has already driven while impaired by alcohol 80 times. If this is something you’re doing as a habit, it’s a disaster waiting to happen both for you and everyone else on the road. Make a conscious decision to avoid driving if you even have just one drink. Facilitate this wise decision by putting a taxi app on your phone so there’s always a safe ride home or by turning your own back yard into a quarantined party zone. Designated drivers are also very helpful, as are devices you can buy that will tell you what your blood-alcohol level is. With so many options, there’s really no excuse to drive when you’ve been drinking. What A DUI Can Do To Your Life Even if your DUI did not result in loss of life or injury, you’re still facing a world of difficulty. While an attorney will help you navigate the rough legal waters, they can’t offset the following:  Loss of current employment  Loss of your driving privileges  Potential loss of future employment involving certain positions  Expensive court fines  Possible jail time  Exorbitant insurance rates  Shame and humiliation with family, friends and colleges  Court-ordered substance abuse counseling  Financial hardship The Other People Harmed By Drunk...

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