All You Need To Know About Gun And Weapon Possession

Jan 03

The United States has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world. In fact, according to American Gun Facts, the US is the leading country in terms of gun ownership rates at 88.8 per 100 residents. The same survey revealed that there are around 270 million firearms in the United States. Americans use guns 80x more often for protection than to take one. Since concealed carry laws were implemented, the FBI crime statistics showed a drop in murders, rapes, aggravated assaults, and robberies.

However, possessing firearms entails a lot of responsibilities on the part of the owner. According to the website of the Law Offices of Richard A Portale, P.C., criminal possession of a firearm or weapon can have heavy repercussions. In most states, possession of guns is restricted in a variety of contexts. Restrictions are applicable to minors, people convicted of felonies or certain other crimes, people with certain mental health adjudications. Under the 2nd Amendment to the Federal Constitution, individuals have the right to own firearms. However, that right is not unlimited and still subject to certain gun control laws.

Under the Armed Career Criminal Act, possession of a gun or ammunition is subject to a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence for committing a violent felony or drug trafficking. This law also applies to individuals who have three prior convictions for the same crimes. The penalties for illegal possession of firearms vary widely across states. Convicted felons are prohibited to carry guns in almost all states. However, in some states the prohibition applies only to certain kinds of felons.

Allowing someone to carry firearms can provide an assurance of public safety. However, when the firearms get into the wrong hands, the opposite is likely to happen. Responsible ownership of guns should always be practiced to avoid endangering the life of people.

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The Harrowing Reality of Rape and Sexual Assault in the US Prison System

Nov 04

The rights of a person do not become void simply because he or she is in prison. Just like any other American citizen, a prisoner has every right to be protected from dangerous situations caused by another party’s willful or negligent actions. Prisoners are entitled to medical treatment and protection against physical abuse while they serve their sentence. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. As Evans Moore, LLC puts it, the prison population is uniquely and vulnerably positioned to misconduct from prison officials and wardens.

One of the growing concerns in prisons across the US is the prevalence of rape and sexual assault from prison officials or other unmonitored inmates. According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a total of 8,763 sexual abuse allegations have been made in prisons and jails across America during the year 2011. This was noted as a significant statistical increase compared to the number of reports filed in previous years. 44 percent all reported allegations were committed by unmonitored inmates, while more than 54 percent of the complaints were said to have been committed by prison staff.

Considering these staggering figures, it’s clear that much should be done in order to protect prisoners from even more instances of sexual abuse. While the federal government has made significant strides in ensuring the safety of prisoners through the Prison Rape Elimination Act or PREA, inmates in state-run prison facilities aren’t able to benefit from the safety standards articulated in this law.

Many inmates victimized by sexual violence believe that they will continue being trapped in their current situation. This, however, isn’t true. Like any other individual in the US, inmates are provided with several legal avenues where they can pursue appropriate action against those responsible for their suffering. Those that experienced sexual abuse inside the prison system are encouraged to consult with a lawyer for more information.

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Speeding: An Irresponsible Road Behavior

Aug 06

Regarding mobility, a car that travels faster will take lesser time in reaching its destination; with regard safety, however, the faster a vehicle goes, the higher its risk to getting involved in an accident.

Speed greatly affects mobility and safety. In certain occasions, doing things fast have positive results, like more jobs getting accomplished; the results, however, are not the same when speed is applied in operating a vehicle.

Speeding, according to the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is the third major reason behind fatal car accidents. Records from the NHTSA show about 13,000 lives being lost annually due to speeding which refers not only to driving above a determined speed limit, but also to driving too fast on certain road conditions.

People who have been guilty of driving too fast have given different reason as to why they have driven at inappropriate and illegal speeds. Some of these reasons include: trying to be on time for work or for an appointment; needing to stick to schedule; not being aware of what the speed limit is; keeping up with slower drivers (those who actually observe the speed limit) causes pressure; feeling that they are still driving at safe speed even when driving over the speed limit; and, thinking that they will not be caught anyway and, even if they are caught, any damage they may cause will be taken care of by their insurance provider.

Besides increasing chances of car accidents, speeding, also significantly affects the consequences of car accidents. Other than the possibility of causing major damage to properties, too much speed can also result to more serious injuries or death.

As explained in the website of the law firm Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, speeding, in many cases, can lead to other dangerous roadway conditions that inevitably cause automobile accidents. These dangerous conditions can include inability to stop suddenly, inability to react to sudden changes in road conditions, erratic overcorrection, decreased visibility, inability to make sharp turns, and increased nervousness of other drivers.

Many states are now using various means to be able to apprehend those in the habit of speeding. Besides the fines and jail time that await offenders, they will also be held liable for whatever damages and losses their victims will suffer from.

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Typical Injuries Motorcyclists May Sustain In Accidents

Apr 14

Due to numerous advantages some individuals have considered traveling by riding a motorcycle. However, unlike ordinary four-wheeled vehicles, motorcycle riders are at high risk of sustaining injuries when they got involved in road accidents. In 2012 alone, there were 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in road accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Compared to automobiles or any four-wheeled vehicles, motorcycles are undoubtedly efficient giving people extra miles in every gallons of gas. Some people say riding a motorcycle develops camaraderie among motorcycle groups. Motorcyclists unfortunately are at high risk of suffering serious injuries even many states like Louisiana require safety helmet use during rides mainly because their protection is very limited unlike automobiles. Aside from reduced stability, motorcycles does not have airbags, seat belts, door beams, and roof to protect its rider and passenger from accidents. Motorcyclists should heavily rely on wearing a helmet, leather clothing, eye protection, road awareness, and motorcycle skills, to possibly lessen injury impact in crashes. However, factors like distracted driving, malfunctions, drunken driving, and road defects are also blamed in motorcycle accidents, the lawyers of Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm said on their internet site. Motorcyclists and their families are often left with great financial loss due to expensive treatments needed for them to possibly recover from injuries. Motorcyclists who are protected by a helmet may likely sustain broken arms or legs if the sudden impact throw them away from their motorcycle. Some individuals who have been involved in motorcycle accidents are unable to return to their jobs after their injuries permanently disabled their lower limbs or put them into a coma.

Motorcyclists and their families should note that there are options available for them if they got involved in accidents.

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What Counts for Personal Injury?

Nov 03

Thanks to the rise in representation of legal issues in many forms of media, the word is getting around that there are some things that you need not just let be bygones. There are some situations wherein you can fight for your right for recompense – and circumstances regarding personal injury are only some of them.

First of all, what exactly is personal injury? According to the website of the lawyers with Law Offices of Yvonne M. Fraser, personal injury has to do with an injury that a person has suffered (be it physical, emotional, mental, or any combination involving the three) due to the negligence of another party. This negligence may be either willfully done or a result of carelessness – it is regardless of intent. Now, given that definition, it could be pretty simple to assume on whether or not your own given situation counts for a personal injury lawsuit.

Since the term itself is quite encompassing of several different kinds of situations, there are several subsets beneath the umbrella term such as medical malpractice, car accidents, premises liability, et cetera. And each of these subsets can come with different sets of variables to consider for every kind of case. So, yes, it can be difficult to ascertain as to what does and doesn’t count for a personal injury case.

Most of the time, it’s simple. If the injury is too great that it requires a prolonged time of medical treatment and recovery then legal action is more than advised, it is recommended beyond reasonable doubt. If the injury is somewhat more subtle in nature (e.g. mental illness such as debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD that renders a person incapable of doing their jobs properly), then that can be more difficult to argue in court. It is, however, perfectly plausible – it all depends on the specifics of the case itself.

If you or someone you know is debating on whether or not a situation calls for a personal injury lawsuit, it is advisable to first consult your case with an experienced legal professional such as a Oceanside Medical Malpractice Lawyer immediately.

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Preventing Motorcycle Accidents

Jul 06

Motorcycles are regarded by many as dangerous to ride, especially with other negligent, unobservant drivers on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely per mile traveled to experience a fatal crash. Obviously the very best way to avoid accidents and injuries is to wear protective safety gear and observe the rules of the road, but accidents do happen.

Motorcycle accidents are likely to happen in a variety of situations. Passenger cars can be particularly dangerous to motorcyclists, because of their blind spots or even inattention to motorcycles on the road. Many accidents are caused by abrupt left turns by cars, sudden lane changes, or even fender benders. The best, most effective way for motorcyclists to avoid these is to anticipate blind spots of cars and trucks and leave enough room to brake and change lanes.

However, there are common behaviors of motorcyclists that can lead to crashes. Rounding corners too quickly and failing to anticipate road conditions can be particularly hazardous to motorcycle riders.

Factors like not wearing a helmet, speeding and alcohol use also make these crashes all the more dangerous. Measures to avoid these kinds of situations are available and typically effective, however.

Visibility should be a prime safety goal. Due to their size, motorcycles can often go overlooked by passenger car drivers. Motorcycle drivers can increase their visibility by wearing bright colored gear and always using headlights.

Motorcyclists should also take protective measures to decrease the chance of injuries in a crash, like wearing helmets, protective clothing and eye wear, such as gloves, long sleeves and long pants.

Unfortunately, all the protective gear and defensive driving measures in the world cannot always protect from other reckless and negligent drivers on the road. To learn more about liability in motorcycle accidents, visit this website.

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Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Florida

Apr 08

Florida is a state well known for its temperate weather and beautiful beaches. It offers plenty of opportunities for people to experience the sun and open sea. One way both tourists and locals enjoy their surroundings is by riding boats out into the water.

Boating and other similar activities are obviously popular and widespread in Florida. A 2013 report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (MyFWC) noted that there were a total of 896,632 registered water vessels in Florida, making it the state with the most boat registrations in America. As one would expect, the notable number of registered boats indicates that boating accidents are a common occurrence in Florida. The same report found that there were 736 cases of boating accidents in the year 2013. Out of all these accidents, 420 incidents led to serious injuries and 62 led to fatalities.

The website of West Palm Beach law firm Schuler Halvorson Weisser Zoeller Overbeck lists the following as common causes of boating accidents in the area:

Boating Under the Influence. As it is with driving in roadways, alcohol impairment can seriously affect a person’s ability to properly operate a boat.

Speeding. Speeding is another common cause for boating accidents. A boat running at too high a speed could cause passengers to fall overboard.

Reckless Boat Operation. A reckless or distracted boat operator could end up committing oversights that could lead to crucial mistakes. Most of the time, recklessness can cause a boat to capsize or turn over in the water.

Improper Safety Equipment. Larger boats and vessels meant for the public can become liable for accidents and injuries if the operator fails to provide proper safety equipment. Plenty of victims end up drowning after a boating accident, so it’s important that all passengers are equipped with life jackets.

Failure to Follow Safety Regulations. The most crucial way operators can avoid accidents is by making sure to adhere to safety regulations and precautions. Failure to do so can end in catastrophic accidents.

Boating accidents does not have to be part of the norm in Florida. There are ways operators can ensure that such catastrophic events will no longer continue on in the future. Aside from adhering to specific laws and policies, reckless operators should also be held accountable for their actions. Anyone who has been a victim of a boating accident should not hesitate to seek out proper legal counsel.

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How to Treat People that Have Experienced Loss

Feb 09

Losing a loved one is often a devastating battle that never truly ceases. Those that do go through highs and lows that become less drastic over time, but to an extent are always present. Loss changes people, and sometimes it is hard to get a gauge on what people that have experienced loss are thinking or feeling. Here are a few rules of thumb for being there for those who have lost a loved one.

If they are constantly in contact with you, take that as a sign that they need you to comfort them on occasion. Loss makes people want to be alone more than usual, so if they are still reaching out to you they see you as a comfort zone. Be aware of what types of conversations they are starting. If they want to have interesting small talk, do not try to make the conversation and therapy session, but if they are talking about their feelings, let them vent and let them know you care about their well being. Do not try to give advice, especially if you have never been in their situation. In a time of loss, no one wants to be told how they should and should not feel.

If they are not constantly keeping up with you, send an occasional text or phone call their way asking how they are doing. Most people who are experiencing a recent loss are usually always feeling upset to some extent, but do not want to depress those around them, so they tend not to bring their true feelings up. They will appreciate that you are worried about their well being and will feel less insecure venting.

The website of Crowe and Mulvey says that few things in life can be as difficult as dealing with the unexpected loss of a loved one. Respect the space of those that are going through a serious time, but also be aware of when they are sending out a cry for help.

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The Petersen Presumption in Child Custody

Dec 30

Child custody is one of the trickier aspects of divorce, mostly because as stated on the website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC it has an enormous impact on the children. Under normal circumstances where the couple is the natural or biological parents of the child, North Carolina divorce courts would grant custody to the parent who has the capacity to serve the best interests of the child.

However, there are circumstances that are not normal. For example, there may be cases where only one parent has biological ties to the child, but the non-parent is the primary caregiver. If both parties are seeking custody of the child, how will to court decide to which parent it will be granted?

The primary concern of any court in the US is the best interest of the child, but this is interpreted in different ways depending on the state. In North Carolina, for example, they rely on what is called the Petersen Principle in which the courts ruled that the constitutional right of a biological parent to the care and custody of their children under the Fourteenth Amendment supersedes all other considerations that may make a non-biological parent a better candidate except where the biological parent proves to be unfit.

It is not at all easy to prove a parent is unfit, however. If you are in the midst of a divorce and you believe that the children of your future ex-spouse would suffer from being in his or her sole custody, as a non-biological parent you will have to prove that your ex-spouse is an unfit mother or father before the court in North Carolina will consider your petition. You can accomplish this much more effectively if you consult with an experienced divorce lawyer in your area that will have the resources and knowledge to build a case against your ex-spouse.

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Personal Injury Laws

Sep 29

Personal injury laws can be different from one state to the other. When you have been injured because of another person’s recklessness or negligence, it would be advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer to make sure that your case is covered by the law in your state. Tennessee personal injury lawyers are trained in the laws and regulations in Tennessee, while the same is true for lawyers in other states.

The state of Tennessee follows the same statute of limitations as other states, which is two years after the date of the accident. You should be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the defendant, otherwise the court will not entertain your case after the statute of limitations has expired. This would mean that you will have no legal right for compensation for the damages caused by the accident. In cases where the victim of the accident is a minor, the statute of limitations will not expire until he or she has reached the age of 19.

The contributory negligence rule means you, as the plaintiff, may be affected if you have a share of responsibility for the accident. If the judge or jury has determined that you have contributed to the accident and the resulting injuries, you may have no legal right to ask for compensation for your damages, no matter how small your contribution to the accident may be. Talking with a personal injury attorney regarding the possibility of having the defendant use the comparative negligence rule may save you the trouble of wasting money and effort going to court. Additionally, it is important to discuss this possibility because it can help you decide whether you would choose to go to court of settle outside of court with the insurance adjuster.

There are limitations set on punitive damages, since these are meant to punish and prevent future similar actions from the defendant as well as others. Punitive damages are only given when there is clear evidence that the defendant acted with malice or strong intent above negligence.

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