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4 Important Actions To Take After A Car Accident

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Uncategorized |

A car accident can be both a frightening and frustrating experience. In fact, these kinds of accidents cause more than 37,000 deaths per year in the United States. Because a car accident is so serious, it is important to know what you should do immediately after one happens to you. After the initial impact, you may have experienced a mixture of different emotions, including shock, panic, and worry. However, it is important to focus on staying calm and handling the situation in the best possible way. 1. Stay in Your Locked Vehicle Until Police Arrive If possible, stay in your vehicle while waiting for the police to arrive to evaluate the situation. Although some people may be considerate of what just happened, others may act out and try to blame you for causing the accident. There are some people who are too confrontational. If someone confronts you and starts screaming, it could ultimately lead to a fight. If you want to avoid the drama, staying in the car is the best option. You can always roll down your window if the person wants to talk to you, but never apologize to them. If you start to apologize, the other person may see that as an admission of guilt, and it could be used against you in the future. 2. Tell the Police Everything You Can Remember Even though you may be dealing with a bit of shock during the aftermath of the accident, try your best to talk to the police about everything that happened from start to finish. You should tell the police the direction you were heading as well as anything you can remember happening directly before the other car crashed right into you. They may have been speeding, and it is even possible that the other driver went directly through a red light when you had the right of way because the light was green for you at that moment. As soon as the police are present, you may want to get out of the car and start snapping photos using your phone or digital camera. The photos taken may be used as evidence in the future. 3. Take a Trip to the Hospital Whether you have serious injuries or not, a trip to the hospital should still be on your to-do list. Some people get into accidents and do not realize they have injured a specific area of their body until much later. For example, there are people who suffer from chronic back pain as a result of getting into an accident. It is better to undergo an evaluation and have a few X-rays taken to determine if you have sprained or broken anything. If anyone else was riding with you in the vehicle, they should be treated at the hospital as well because there is a chance they have been injured. 4. Get in Touch With a Car Accident Attorney You may think the crash was not a big deal, but it becomes a problem when the other driver refuses to accept responsibility despite being in the wrong during this accident. He or she may be trying to accuse you of causing the accident. The whole situation can easily become far too complicated, which is why it is better to have a car accident...

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What You Need To Know Before Holding A Wine Fundraiser

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re planning on holding a charity event and wish to serve or sell wine as part of the fundraiser, you’ll need to get a special liquor license. There are currently several kinds available, and they come with special rules that need to be planned out months in advance. Here’s what you should know, from what kind of license you need to where you’re allowed to hold the event, so that your fundraiser is a success. Auction License vs. Pouring License The difference between the two is fairly straightforward. If you wish to raise money by auctioning off bottles of wine, you’ll need to get a Charity Wine Auction License (CWAL). If you’re simply holding a fundraiser in which you’d like to sell individual glasses of wine and use the proceeds for charity, you should apply for a Charity Wine Pouring License (CWPL). Eligible Organizations Eligibility for obtaining these types of liquor licenses is determined by how your charity is set up. According to Massachusetts law, it has to be a non-profit that’s “organized under chapter 180 of the General Laws and registered with the public charities division of the office of the attorney general.” If you fail to meet these requirements, you won’t be able to get your application approved. Where to Get the Wine Part of your event preparation will include figuring out where to get the wine that will be sold or auctioned. This is where good planning and strong connections come in handy because purchasing the wine is restricted. All alcohol that’s sold at the fundraiser must have come from donations. You’ll also need to keep track of who donated so they can be named on the application. If this is new territory for you, a little research can help when trying to find donors. For instance, some wine stores offer charitable donations when the fundraiser is held in-store. You can also get creative when it comes to encouraging companies, wineries, or individuals to give. For example, you could offer to distribute brochures or flyers that provide information about the winery or company that made the donation–a little quid pro quo. Keep in mind, though, that some organizations may try to encourage a small amount of compensation for their donation. Make sure they know that’s against licensing rules. Partnering with another Licensee If you wish to partner up, you can get a Charity Partner Wine Pouring License (CPWPL) with another company or establishment that already holds a license. In these situations, the companies that donated the wine are allowed use their own employees to pour the wine at the event, without compensation. This can be highly beneficial for the charity since it will alleviate the burden of finding volunteers willing to pour. Another benefit to having a CPWPL is in how the proceeds can be used, which is discussed below. A Few Words about Proceeds With both the CWAL and CWPL, the money that’s raised can only be used for charitable purposes. In other words, you can’t pocket any of the funds or use it for personal reasons, like buying gifts for volunteers and putting gas for your car. But with a CPWPL, the rules are a little different. The existing license holder can use a small percentage of the proceeds for non-charity purposes. If you do...

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Self-Driving Trucks: Lifesaver Or Liability?

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Self-driving cars are being considered the next big leap in transportation, with Apple and Google spearheading efforts to bring the technology onto the roads. The idea of the self-driving car also extends to tractor-trailers and other large trucks, with the idea being that self-driving trucks can not only cut down on labor, but on vehicular accidents, as well. The Idea Behind Self-Driving Trucks The basic idea of the self-driving vehicle is pretty simple — it’s a fully automated vehicle that’s capable of taking people to their destination with little to no human input. These vehicles are fitted with a wide variety of sensors and other equipment to help them not only visualize the road and its various obstacles, but also make critical split-second decisions to safely and efficiently avoid obstacles and other potentially dangerous scenarios. The same applies to self-driving trucks, except that these trucks will be able to transport goods without the need of a human operator to be present. Without the need of a human operator who has to stop for food and sleep, a self-driving truck can travel on to its destination without stopping.   Potential Consequences It’s no secret that humans make mistakes. Behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, however, a mistake could result in fatal consequences. A massive shift to self-driven trucking could help eliminate many of the dangers that often lead to fatal crashes. According to recent data, truckers logged more than 279 billion miles during 2014, with the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled standing at 1.40. Switching manned drivers with autonomous vehicles can dramatically decrease fatality rates by eliminating human errors caused by distracted driving, fatigue and impairment. Some may argue that it’s not yet showtime for the self-driving car. However, Google’s self-driving car has already traveled 1.7 million miles in combined manual and autonomous driving during a 6-year period, with over 10,000 self-driven miles logged per week. During that time, the self-driving vehicle was involved in 11 minor accidents with only minor damage and zero injuries — all caused by the actions of other drivers and not the self-driving vehicle itself. According to recent figures from the American Trucking Association, there are 3 million people currently employed as truck drivers throughout the U.S. The advent of the self-driving truck could have major consequences for the average trucker, especially as self-driving trucks replace live human drivers in trucking fleets. Who Assumes Liability? When it comes to self-driving vehicles, the question of liability is one that has yet to be fully worked out among lawmakers and regulators, let alone insurance companies. In a typical accident involving manned vehicles, there’s a driver who could be held responsible unless there’s a mechanical defect and a subsequent, unavoidable loss of control involved. In an accident involving a self-driving truck, it could be argued that the truck itself is a defective product and that the liability falls on the manufacturer. It’s also important to consider the sheer number of components that help control a typical self-driving vehicle. Many of these components may be manufactured and/or installed by a subcontractor or third-party manufacturer. A defect in the automation system built by a third party, for instance, could make multiple entities liable for an accident caused by the defective component, and–like many auto accident  cases–will probably...

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Social Media And Personal Injury Claims: A Plaintiff’s Guide For Responsible Use

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are plaintiff seeking damages for a personal injury, you need to know how to best win your case. Usually, this mean compiling evidence that helps to support the fact that your injury has created expense and inconvenience. Your lawyer will compile medical records, evidence for loss of income, insurance information, and at-fault liability evidence. However, all this work could be for nothing if you aren’t responsible when it comes to social media use. Whatever is published on these public websites can be used in court, and some of the content can also be used as grounds for subpoenas for further information that might not have come to light otherwise.  Here are some basic social media use guidelines for you to follow as your case progresses. 1. Don’t post photos of the accident.  No matter what caused your injury, its best to avoid taking photos of the scene and posting them to Instagram. If you slipped on grapes at the supermarket, don’t upload a post-accident photo of the incident with a caption that reads, “this is what happens when you let 3-year-olds carry the grapes. #butterfingers.” This simple post may seem innocent, but if you later discover your toddler wasn’t the one who spilled grapes all over the produce section, and it was in fact the grocery store who failed to clean them up properly, this simple caption could take all the wind out of your case’s sales. The same rule applies to slick walkways, car accident photos, personal pictures of the injury, or personal videos. Just don’t post them. 2. Refrain from posting photos after your accident.  Typical social media posts include pictures with friends at wedding receptions, pictures of personal accomplishments, or recaps of a great or busy day. Consider these typical photo-based posts and how they could ruin your case: a victory photo at the top of a hike. If you have a serious injury, you might load up on pain pills and join your buddies on a hike, but posting your celebratory victory shot will ultimately lead to failure. A judge can easily decide that if you can complete a strenuous hike, your injury is not serious or even real. a photo of a newly painted room or recovered piece of furniture. DIY feats are worth celebrating, but they will leave you high and dry in the courtroom. Labor-intensive tasks like painting, building, or even mowing your own lawn can reduce the power of other evidence, like accounts of the accident and doctor’s reports.  enjoying an evening in the bar with friends. A photo of yourself enjoying your life the same as usual paints an different picture than one of living in constant pain because of your injury.  If possible, go back and remove old photos that could influence your case as well. Old injuries, bruises, and doctor visits should definitely be deleted.  3. Word your posts carefully.  Words mean everything, especially in a personal injury case. Social media sharing with thoughtlessly worded posts can weaken your case. Consider these examples: “Been on my feet all day chasing my toddler. Can’t wait for bedtime. #exhausted.” Even though this post may not even be fully accurate — you probably weren’t on your feet every minute of every day — the defense could easily use it to...

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Race Discrimination In Education: Tips For Teachers For Avoiding Prejudice

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

One of the first anti-discrimination laws in the United States was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Because any violation of this law can result in civil action against your school and district, it’s important that, as a teacher, you leave any preconceived notions at the door of your classroom and treat all your students equally. While most modern teachers would never dream of considering themselves to harbor prejudices against racial minorities, racial trouble still exists. According to one study, there are 149 suspensions for a group of 100 black students, while only 32 for the same amount of white students. Here are some areas where race still affects the classroom and what you can do to avoid it.  1. Low expectations.  Some teachers believe they are being fair or understanding by lowering their expectations for minority students. For example, teachers may not offer extra credit to black or hispanic students, or they may convey that they expect these students to perform poorly on tests. Teachers may offer less help or less vigorous assignments, ultimately lowering the quality of education that minority students receive. As a teacher, you should offer the same opportunities for advancement to all students, and if minority students in poverty are not performing well, this doesn’t mean that teachers should lower their expectations for minority students across the board, or even for the struggling student. White students are more likely to get the benefit of the doubt from teachers, and are allowed to excel despite setbacks at home. Strive to give all students the “benefit” treatment by offering alternative assignments and keeping your expectations for their success and excellence high.  2. Making assumptions. Hollywood and other media depictions of race can be damaging for educators. Even movies that show benevolent teachers getting into urban, low-income schools and lifting self-depreciating students out of poverty and into college can be damaging. Teachers in these situations should not see themselves as saviors who can help their students break the cycle of poverty. Making assumptions that all minority students in your class struggle financially and domestically leads to unequal treatment in the classroom. Other common assumptions include that all Black, Latino, or Asian students share a common culture or background.  If you keep your mind open and build your classroom community by carefully getting to know the background of each student, you will discover that not all students come from broken homes; many have parents with good jobs and steady relationships. Many have family members who are college educated. Not all students will be familiar with street language, drugs, or gangs. It’s also your job to help your diverse students understand their peers. Spend several weeks at the beginning of the school year on introductions, break the ice games, and team building exercises. Have students write essays on their favorite things or about their neighborhood. You’ll get a better idea of the unique background of each student, regardless of race. 3. Harsher punishment. Unfortunately, Black and Latino students still face harsher punishments more frequently in the classroom. These students are still viewed as trouble makers and teachers have a lower threshold for unacceptable behavior when it comes to these minority groups. You cannot let yourself become one of these people. The best way to avoid it is to have...

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2 Ways Marijuana Use Can Result in Denial of Disability Benefits

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Although the tide has turned in favor of legalizing possession and use of marijuana (it is currently legal in 25 states and Washington D.C.) that does not mean people who smoke cannabis won’t experience any consequences from consuming this drug. In fact, if you’re seeking Social Security disability benefits, marijuana use can have a negative impact on your case. Here are two ways smoking cannabis can result in denial of benefits. The Drug Contributes to the Disability The Social Security Administration (SSA) won’t automatically deny your application if you admit to using marijuana. However, the agency will evaluate your case to see how much affect it has on your disability. The SSA’s policy regarding drug and alcohol use is to determine whether the substance contributes to your disability in a material way. If it does, then your request for disability may be denied. When making its determination, the SSA will evaluate whether you would still be disabled if you stopped using marijuana; so your specific disability will have some influence on the administration’s findings. For instance, if you’re paralyzed from the waist down, your marijuana use will likely be considered irrelevant, since you would still be paralyzed even if you stopped using the drug. Because marijuana primarily affects the brain and lungs, people with mental illnesses, brain disorders, and lung diseases may face greater scrutiny than those who are disabled in other ways. For instance, high doses of THC—the active ingredient in cannabis—appears to worsen some mental illnesses, such as depression. So if you are claiming disability based on severe depression, the SSA may feel your marijuana use is contributing to the problem. They may deny your claim based on this or you may be required to submit evidence showing the drug has a minimal impact on your condition. You’re Not Following the Doctor’s Orders The Social Security Administration expects applicants to follow the treatments prescribed for their disabilities by their healthcare providers. This is likely because the agency expects people to do what they can to increase their chances of returning to or obtaining employment as soon as possible, particularly in cases where the disability is temporary. You may be denied disability benefits if marijuana use is prohibited by the doctor or it worsens your condition in some way. If you have COPD, for example, your claim may be rejected if you smoke marijuana, since smoking this substance can worsen lung function. Another issue is the SSA requires treatments to be effective enough to restore a person’s ability to work in cases where a person’s condition can be improved that much. The agency may not accept a prescribed cannabis treatment if there is no reliable evidence it is effective for the condition it’s supposed to help. For instance, some people use marijuana to help alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis. However, the evidence supporting the efficacy of this drug on MS symptoms is mixed. Additionally, the side effects of using cannabis (e.g. reduced mental acuity) may negatively impact a person’s ability to obtain or maintain employment, which the SSA may find undesirable. If the SSA challenges your application for benefits based on this issue, you will need to provide proof that either the drug is not having a negative impact on your condition or the benefits of using it...

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Medical Marijuana And Workers Compensation May Not Mix

Posted by on May 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have been injured on the job, it is not unusual to be sent for a drug screen following your injury. What is found during this drug screen can have a direct impact on whether or not your worker’s compensation claim may be approved. But what happens when the drug in your system is marijuana that has been approved by your doctor for your use to address a medical condition that you have? Even if it is legal in your state, your employer may still have a right to deny your claim, and may even have grounds to dismiss you from your job for having a positive drug screen. Here are a few points you may want to consider prior to lighting up. If It Is Legal In My State, Why Can I Get In Trouble At Work? Over the last few years the legalization of medical marijuana has been front and center in the news and on voting ballots in many states. Currently, 24 states and Washington, DC, have approved this plant for medical purposes. This legalization varies from state to state, but most laws allow you to grow, purchase, possess, and smoke marijuana for a wide variety of medical conditions and concerns.  Unfortunately, medical marijuana has not been approved on the federal level. Marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule I drug, but the federal Department of Justice has given states some leeway in enforcing drug laws as they see fit, and have allowed them to create state laws surrounding its use. Because it is illegal on a federal level, this has a direct impact on your company’s worker’s compensation policies, as well as on their insurer’s approvals. If I Just Use Marijuana On The Weekends When I Am Off How Long Will It Remain In My System? Even if you only use marijuana on the weekends, it does not mean that it has completely left your system by the time you report to work on Monday morning. That is because the THC, or the molecules that are being tested for, are lipolphilic or fat soluble and are stored in your body fat. Because it is stored this way, it is harder to flush from your system and remains longer than other types of recreational drugs. How long it remains in your system is dependent on several things. Some of these include: How often you use it The period of time you use it over Percentage of your body fat Your exercise patterns Stress levels Your diet and more Your occasional weekend use can usually be detected by regular drug screens that measure the carboxy-THC, or the breakdown of the marijuana, anywhere from 3 to 10 days after use. If you are a heavy user, testing may show the drug in your system for up to 10 months, even after you have ceased to use it. The levels in your system may even increase or peak on your body for days following your use. Why Is My Employer Concerned About My Occasional Use? Everyone who uses marijuana is affected differently. These differences are due to the amount, as well as how the drug is ingested, the person’s size and body composition.    The drug can impact some or all of the following: Short-term memory Balance and coordination Concentration Alertness Sensory perception Ability to perform complex...

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Should You Consider A Lawsuit Loan?

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Between medical bills, car repairs, and lost wages, the aftermath of a car accident is an expensive time. Unfortunately, lawsuit settlements don’t always come quickly. It can take months or sometimes even years to reach a settlement or receive a judgement in your favor, even if you have a good case and a great lawyer. But your bills don’t stop piling up while you’re waiting. To address this need, there are companies that make lawsuit loans to plaintiffs – money that you can use now that will be paid back upon receipt of your settlement. But are these loans a good idea? Take a look at a few things that you need to know about lawsuit loans. How the Loans Work Lawsuit loans are fairly easy to get, if you have a good case. The loan company doesn’t check your credit the way a traditional lender would. Instead, the lender will talk to your attorney and look over documents from your court case to decide how likely you are to win your lawsuit. If they determine that you’re a good risk, you’ll get the loan. Because this process bypasses the usual credit checks, you can get your money fairly quickly. You most likely won’t be allowed to borrow the full amount of your potential settlement. Instead, you and your lawyer will negotiate an amount, along with the interest and fees that will need to be paid back. Then, if you win your lawsuit, that amount goes to your lender. If you happen to lose your lawsuit, you won’t be required to repay the loan – this is a risk the lender takes, and it’s one of the reasons why the fees tend to be high. If you win, but get less than expected, you and your attorney may be able to negotiate lower fees or a payment plan. Lawsuit Loans and Attorney/Client Privilege You can’t get a lawsuit loan without your attorney’s involvement. Partly because the lender needs to verify that you’re likely to win your case and partly because they need to make sure that you’re not promising to pay back more money than you can afford once attorney’s fees and other expenses are taken into account. The chances are very good that your attorney will try to dissuade you from taking out a lawsuit loan. In fact, some personal injury attorney refuse to work with lawsuit lenders at all. Why? Partly because lawsuit loans are a bit like payday loans – they have high fees and interest and are rarely a good financial decision. But another problem is that lawsuit loans may damage your attorney/client privilege. You already know that any details of your case discussed between you can your attorney are confidential. Neither you nor your attorney can be compelled to disclose that information. What you may not know is that there are circumstances that can break attorney client privilege, and one of those circumstances is involving a third party in confidential discussions or discussing confidential information with a third party after the fact. Many attorneys worry that sharing information with lawsuit lenders breaks privilege, making formerly privileged information admissible in court. In most cases, the lenders do not need confidential information. And in some cases, privilege may be extended to communications shared with a lender....

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Sports Stadium Injuries: 5 Factors That May Impact Your Case

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Attending a sports game at a stadium is thrilling and exciting, but it also has dangers associated with it. Whether you’re attending a baseball game, football game, or even a large pro-wrestling event, you should not be held responsible for injuries that occur to you while attending a stadium. If you have been injured at a stadium, it’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer and determine your options for seeking a settlement. As the case is built, there are five factors that may impact the case. Each of the factors focuses on different stadium elements that may have caused the injury when it could have been prevented in the first place. Walking Conditions With thousands of people coming to and from their seats, one of the more common incidents in a stadium is a slip and fall accident. Hundreds of beverages, food items, and other debris can easily lead to a fall down stadium steps or in various aisles. If you have fallen in a stadium, your lawyer can try to prove neglect on the stadium for not providing proper walkways. Evidence will be collected to showcase what caused the accident, approximately how long the debris was there, and the job function of cleaning crews hired by the stadium. All of these factors can help with your settlement case and seeking proper compensation for injuries. Crowds Stadiums love to fill to capacity to make the most profits and create an exciting live environment. Overcrowding is another way that injuries can occur. People can get trampled, bumped, or shoved to the ground. If this is the case, not only can the person who caused the accident be liable, but the stadium could be liable too for overcrowding. A personal injury lawyer can look into the fire code for the stadium and maximum occupancy. If that occupancy was overfilled, then the stadium could be held liable for the injury that occurred. Proper crowd control is important, too. Improper lines or barriers inside the stadium can easily create chaos and cause injuries to occur. Sound Systems & Crowd Noise The stadium environment is a place that encourages sound and loud noises. High crowd noises and stadium sound systems could lead to hearing issues, especially if you are exposed to them for prolonged periods of time. To help encourage fans, many stadiums use gongs, horns, and large speakers to blast noise through the stands. If you leave a stadium with ringing ears, you could be diagnosed with tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing ear condition that could become permanent. An attorney can look into these noise levels and ways that stadiums encouraged them throughout the event. The stadium could be held liable for your hearing damage, and the noise factors could become an important factor in your case. Fireworks & Pyrotechnics Player entrances, touchdown celebrations, and the National Anthem are just a few occasions where fireworks and other pyrotechnics are used during a stadium event. While they can create a nice visual spectacle, the use of them could be related to possible injuries. The flames and blasts from fireworks could be a cause of an injury. The fireworks go off course, they could burn parts of your skin and lead to additional injuries. Heavy use of fireworks could also lead to smoke...

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Will Marijuana Legalization Provide Post-Conviction Relief to Defendants?

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

About 23 states have enacted laws legalizing some form of marijuana use and/or possession. While this lets many people use the drug without fear of being arrested, those convicted of marijuana-related crimes may wonder if the change in the law means an early release from jail for them or at least an expungement of charges from their criminal records. Unfortunately, the laws in the United States may not permit this type of post-conviction relief. Here’s more information about this issue. Retroactive Ameliorative Relief is not Guaranteed The United States is one of 22 countries where retroactive ameliorative relief from conviction of crimes that have since been legalized is not a guaranteed right. As it stands now, some prisoners are trapped in time. They must continue to live out the criminal consequences of using or possessing marijuana when it was illegal, even though they may live in a state where it has since been legalized. This is particularly true of people who were convicted of crimes at the federal level. Even though marijuana may be legal in certain states, use, possession, and distribution of the drug continues to be prohibited by federal law. So even if all 50 states legalized marijuana, people in federal prisons would still be required to finish out their sentences if federal laws remain the same. While the country may not have retroactive ameliorative relief laws in place at the federal level, however, some individual states do. This means that people who live in states where changes in the law are able to be retroactively applied can petition the court to overturn their sentences and possibly be set free early from jail. For instance, in March 2014, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a woman who requested to have her conviction for marijuana possession overturned because the state had legalized the drug. The judges unanimously agreed that Colorado’s Amendment 64, which was passed in 2012, should be applied retroactively to people who were convicted under previous laws prohibiting use and possession. Therefore Coloradoans serving time may be able to affect an early release or get the charges taken off their criminal records by appealing their convictions in court. Caveats It’s important to note that only those whose convictions match the changes in the law are eligible for retroactive ameliorative relief. For instance, Colorado allows people 21 and over to possess one ounce of marijuana at a time, so only people who were convicted of possession of one ounce or less of marijuana would be eligible to appeal their convictions under retroactive ameliorative relief laws. If you had more than an ounce of marijuana, were under 21, or were convicted of other crimes in addition to the possession charge, then you may not be able to use the law to overturn your conviction. Alternative to Retroactive Ameliorative Relief Even though a state may not have retroactive ameliorative relief laws in place, it may still be possible to get out of jail early by submitting a request for a pardon or commuted sentence based on the legalization of marijuana. While pardons and commuted sentences don’t remove the crime from your record or change your plea from guilty to innocent, it is one way to get out of jail. Be aware, though, that pardons and commuted...

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Shoplifting Crimes: 5 Ways Technology Can Impact Your Case

Posted by on Jan 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Getting caught shoplifting can potentially lead to jail time. Every case is different, especially in the world of shoplifting. Different factors in a shoplifting case include the time you were caught, the value of the items, and any other past crimes that you are on your record. Along with these details in the case, technology could have a big impact. This is why consulting with and hiring a criminal law attorney is essential for breaking your case down and getting the best defense possible. Browse through five different ways that technology can impact a shoplifting charge and see how they can possibly help your case. Digital Video Surveillance The world of digital surveillance has greatly changed as VHS tapes and DVDs got replaced by hard drives that could hold months and years of footage. The quality of the footage has also improved, making it easier to spot shoplifting cases. One of the biggest keys in your case is the statue of limitations on the theft crimes. As loss prevention specialists browse through hours of footage, they may come across your theft and try to charge you with the crime. A criminal law attorney can look into these limitations and see if they are even valid for your case. Every state has different limitations and they can vary based on the value of the theft. Your criminal law attorney will investigate the statues, past cases, and various ways this can impact your case. If the footage is not seen soon enough, your entire case could be thrown out. Facial Recognition Software Newer technology gives stores the ability to run automatic scans through surveillance footage using facial recognition software. Once you have been charged with a crime, the software may be run to look for your face and see if you have shoplifted any other times. If more footage is found, this can become a key part of your case. Your defense attorney can get this footage and examine the accuracy of the facial recognition. For example, someone that looks similar to you may have shopped at the store and come up in the software. Your lawyer can challenge the evidence and try to get it thrown out against your case. Prior Crimes If video footage technology is used as evidence against you, then that same evidence can be used to increase your charges and possibly transition from a misdemeanor to a felony. Your criminal lawyer will try to keep the charges are low as possible. By trying to lessen the charges, you may be able to avoid jail time. If the charges are increased to a felony, you may be at risk for jail time. If these prior crimes are a large factor in your case, you may need to consider plea deals to avoid possible jail times or felony charges. Petit Theft In some cases, the digital technology may work in favor for your case. For example, if you are caught in the act, but didn’t actually leave the store because they suspected you in through security monitors, then you will likely get charged with petit theft or petty theft. This intention of theft may be harder to prove than if you actually left the store. By working with a defense attorney, there may be explanations to the reason...

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