Answers To Your DUI Questions

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Getting a DUI is stressful even if it is your first, since this is a criminal charge that can carry severe consequences. The days after your arrest are important since you will need to start planning for your defense at your approaching court date. The following can help answer some of your questions on what to expect during your first DUI. Will your license be suspended immediately? This depends upon the state. Some states suspend a license as soon as the charges are brought against you unless you file for a stay against the suspension. In this case, you may need to show the motor vehicle department that you need your license for work or vital personal reasons. Is a DUI a felony? The type of charge depends on the state and the conditions of your DUI. A first time offense is a felony in some states and a misdemeanor in others. In other states, your blood alcohol level may determine whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor. The circumstances around the arrest also impact the charges. For example, driving at excessive speeds or being involved in an accident may elevate the crime to felony status. Is there mandatory jail time? Some states have mandatory jail sentences, even for first time offenders. This can be for as little as 24 hours, and often the time served during the arrest counts toward this sentence. You may also be sentenced to additional time during sentencing. Community service or treatment may also be required in lieu of time served. Can you get a DUI for prescription medications? Yes, especially if you knowingly drove despite knowledge of the side effects. Being prescribed a medication doesn’t relieve you of the responsibility of not getting behind the wheel while impaired. If you were unaware that the medication could affect your driving and can prove that you were not told to avoid being behind the wheel, you may be able to defend yourself against the DUI. Should you enter a treatment program? Your attorney may recommend that you begin a treatment program immediately, before your court date. This can help show the court that you are being responsible and addressing any problems, which can help lower your sentence or aid in avoiding additional jail time. Entering treatment is not usually seen as an admission of guilt. For more help with addressing your DUI, contact a DUI defense attorney in your...

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How Your Medication Can Affect Your Ability to Collect Social-Security Disability Benefits

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A disabled woman in Knoxville, Tennessee, is dealing with a frustrating situation common to those receiving social-security benefits: she has recently been told that her benefits will stop because her medical condition is now controlled by medication. While she feels that she’s in a somewhat impossible situation, since her disability benefits include the medical coverage she uses to obtain the medications, it’s important to understand the rules that social-security benefits follow in order to anticipate any similar problems with your own claim, whether you are just now filing or have been receiving benefits for a while. When Your Condition Is Controlled by Medication Simply having a medical condition that requires you to take medication doesn’t qualify you for social-security disability benefits—there are many people who are working full-time jobs despite their medical problems. For example, many of the 29.1 million diabetics in the U.S. are still able to work despite their condition.  Instead, the Social Security Administration evaluates your overall capacity to function and hold down a job despite your impairment and any medications you may take. If your medications are able to effectively control your medical condition, you won’t qualify for benefits. Similarly, if you began receiving benefits at a time when medications weren’t able to control your condition but new medication becomes available that does control it, your benefits will eventually be stopped once the SSA conducts a medical review of your case. (You can generally expect your case to have a medical review every three or seven years, depending on the severity of your condition and the likelihood that you’ll improve.) When You Don’t Take Medication That Could Control Your Condition The woman in Tennessee’s situation is understandably frustrating because she relies on Medicare, the medical benefit she’s entitled to as a result of being on social-security disability, to pay for her medication. Unfortunately, from the government’s perspective, that doesn’t mean she’s still entitled to disability benefits. Essentially, the government’s position is that she should return to the workforce and obtain health insurance through other means in order to afford her medication since the medication has restored her capacity to work. Similarly, you may have a hard time getting approved for benefits in the first place if you’ve never tried medication for your condition, aren’t taking medication that’s prescribed to you that could control your condition, or don’t have the money to pay for your medication. The SSA will sometimes find the inability to afford your medication compelling, but only if you can show that you’ve exhausted all the possibilities for financial and medical assistance available, including Medicaid and medical subsidy programs. When Your Medications Actually Contribute to Your Impairment In some cases, the medication  you...

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3 Ways You Can Avoid Paying Alimony Permanently

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Not everyone ends up paying alimony after a divorce, but your chances of having to make payments to your ex increase if you were responsible for the majority of their financial support during your marriage. If you’re ordered to pay alimony, however, that doesn’t mean that you will make payments indefinitely. Many orders are only good until your ex gets on their feet financially. Furthermore, there are steps you can take to avoid paying alimony permanently. Following are a few ways you can avoid making payments for life. Lump Sum Payment If you owe alimony, you may be able to make a lump sum payment at the time of the divorce to avoid making any future payments. The lump sum payment is usually equal to what the court thinks you would pay over the course of an alimony agreement. However, there is room for negotiation. If both of you and the court agree with the settlement amount, you may be able to pay off your alimony debt as part of the divorce settlement. Rehabilitative Alimony Clause You can petition the court to make your alimony rehabilitative. What this means is that your payments will only continue for a set amount of time, usually enough time for your ex to go back to school, find a job, or otherwise improve their financial situation. In rehabilitative agreements, the payment end date is stipulated in the divorce decree. This type of alimony is not meant to be permanent support. It is merely a cushion or starting point for your ex to build their own financial future. Alimony Modification and Termination If you’re ordered to make traditional alimony payments, meaning there is no end date to your obligation, you can still shorten your obligation through a modification or termination. A modification or termination usually occurs when your ex has a change that affects their finances. For example, if your ex were to get remarried, they would benefit from the income of their new spouse, which would get you off the hook for alimony. Similarly, pay raises, promotions, inheritances, etc. are often grounds for modification or termination.  If you suspect that you will have to pay alimony, you can take steps to litigate your payment agreement during your divorce. If you have to pay, you can also take steps after the fact to shorten your obligation as well. More and more today, alimony is becoming a temporary arrangement rather than a permanent one. For more inforamtion about the process, contact a company like Law Office of Jared T....

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2 FAQs About Personal Injury Cases

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you were on the receiving end of an injury – one that is usually born out of recklessness or a lack of care, rather than any sort of malicious intent – you can often sue the party responsible under the category of a personal injury suit. However, you may not wish to go to court. You lawyer may advise you that settling out of court is a preferable experience. If you are thinking of settling out of court, you have doubtlessly have questions about the experience. Read on and discover a few commonly asked questions about settling out of court for a personal injury suit. Is There A Statute Of Limitations On A Personal Injury Case? For whatever reason, settling out of court maybe did not work well for you. Perhaps the potential plaintiff did not agree to pay the damages requested, or perhaps the plaintiff genuinely believes that he or she is innocent. Regardless, you should be aware that there is a time limit on how long you can sue the potential plaintiff from the time that the accident took place. However, determining how long the statute of limitations is depends on the state in which the accident took place. Consult with your attorney or ask the court directly about the statute of limitations that are in place for personal injury suits before you begin working on a settlement. What Should You Do After You Have Been Injured And Wish To File A Personal Injury Claim? It should be noted that if you wish to file a claim, do not wait around. Begin working on filing a claim as soon as you can. Make sure you take robust notes and write down descriptions of the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. If there is documentation of the accident, be it video or still photos, try to find these pieces of media. In the world of omnipresent mobile phones, it is becoming easier and easier to collect such documents. You must also notify individuals with whom you are filing the claim against. Finally, talk to people who may have witnessed the accident and see if these individuals will testify on your behalf. If you have suffered an injury due to an accident and someone is at fault, the person in question may be held liable for damages. Speak to a personal injury attorney (like those at Dunnigan & Messier P.C.) for more robust details regarding the...

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Can You Be Held Liable For Smashing A Window To Save A Child From A Hot Car?

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Seeing a child trapped in a hot car is distressing. You know how hot it can be in there and the danger that imposes on the child’s life. The first thing you want to do is smash a window and get the child out. Is that something you can legally do? Here’s a look at the law. Call the Police First Smashing a window may not be needed. Contact the police first and see if you can spot the owner of the vehicle. Explain to the dispatcher how long this child has been trapped, and the actions of the child. It is possible for the dispatcher to tell you to smash the window if there is a risk to the child’s health. The Law Will Depend on the State There are new laws being introduced around the country. Too many children are dying in cars, and passers-by are too afraid to get in trouble to help. Tennessee has signed in a law to protect those who smash the window to get the child out. A person can now take action, but they must still contact the police first. This helps to alert the police that there is a potential felony situation, and protects the passer-by from a vandalism charge. Ohio has also approved a law to state that people can smash windows to get children out of cars. Like Tennessee, you will need to call the police first. You will also need to leave a note on the car and remain with the child until the authorities arrive. Charges May Be Dropped If you are in a state where there is no current law, should that stop you saving the child? In Georgia, a military veteran decided to take his chances and was arrested by police. In the end, all charges against the veteran were dropped. The view for some authorities and judges is that a jury wouldn’t convict them anyway. There was a strong defense for the actions taken. It is possible that updates will be made to Good Samaritan Bill to protect people like the veteran. Other states may also drop charges and make changes in the future. People aren’t protected against prosecution in all cases if they smash a window to save a child, but they do have a good defense. The important thing is to call the police first. Dispatchers can then recommend steps to take, and you make it clear that you are not doing this to cause criminal damage but to save a life. If you do find yourself being prosecuted for vandalism after breaking someone’s window to help a child, consult with an attorney to find out what your options...

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Procuring Medical Records For A Personal Injury Case: A Primer

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you find yourself as the plaintiff in a personal injury case, in most cases, you will find that you will have to present your medical records in order to be compensated for the damages for which you are suing. You might also find that you must procure these documents for others if you are their guardian, custodian, or simply trying to help out a friend or family member. This guide will serve as a primer for procuring your medical records in the event that you need them for a personal injury suit. You May Procure Your Own Records There are no occasions when you should be denied access to your own medical records. Under the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), there are provisions made so that, under no possible circumstance, can you be denied access to your own medical records, either through a public institution like a hospital or a private provider. You May Have Access to Records Of The Deceased Although you cannot always have access to a deceased individual’s medical records, there are certain occasions where such records can be made available to you. If you have been appointed the representative of a person’s estate, either through will designation or appointed by a court of law, then you can have complete access to that person’s medical records. You can also have access to a deceased person’s medical records if you are related to the deceased and there is a bit of information in the medical file that corresponds or relates to your own health. You May Have Access to Others’ Medical Records Again, in most cases, you cannot have access to others’ medical records. However, one particular provision of HIPAA allows you to gain access to the records of other living individuals. The person or people in question must give you express permission in writing to have access to their medical records. This will essentially give you the ability to act as a representative on behalf of the living to access these medical records. You May Have Access To Your Children’s Medical Records If you have children, you will have access to their medical records. There are a few provisions that can prevent you access, however. If the parent agrees to the decision that the child and physician or provider have a confidential relationship or, if there is an occasion where a child has consented to medical care in which consent on behalf of the parent is not required by law, a parent will not have access to his or her child’s medical records. Visit to learn...

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