January 2019

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Legal Dangers of Texting and Driving

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DUI Defense Attorney

While many states have made texting and driving a civil infraction, punishable by only a fine, there are often far more legal risks to engaging in texting and driving than a fine or points on your driver’s license.

While the act of texting and driving in and of itself may not have criminal penalties, if something bad happens while you are in the act of texting and driving, or even near the time that you were texting and driving, you may be subject to severe criminal penalties. For example, if you are texting and driving and then are in an automobile accident that results in the serious injury or the death of another person, you could be charged with a range of serious crimes, like involuntary or voluntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, murder, moving violation causing death or serious injury, reckless driving, negligent driving, and more.

The criminal penalties for causing the death or serious injury of another person can range from probation and community service to serious prison time.

The police who investigate a crash involving a death or serious injury are likely to obtain a warrant to seize your cell phone, and a forensic examination of your cell phone will likely reveal if your phone was in use and in what way it was in use at the time of the crash. If it is discovered that you were using your phone at the time of a crash that resulted in injury or death, the likelihood that you will be criminally charged is great.

In addition to the potential criminal penalties that might result from such an accident, there are also legal concerns about potential civil litigation. If you are in an automobile accident where you were texting and driving, and it results in injury or death to another driver or passenger, you could be sued by that person for their damages. Depending on the injury, the amount of damages can be incredibly high. While many people’s car insurance will defend and pay such a claim, you could be responsible for any amount that exceeds your insurance coverage, and will be subject to the stress and other financial costs of being involved in such litigation.

While the legal dangers of texting and driving should be enough to prevent you from using your phone while behind the wheel of a car, the potential legal consequences are not the only reason to refrain from texting and driving.

Texting and driving is dangerous. You risk injury to yourself, your passengers, and those in vehicles around you. The risk of death or serious injury so that you can send or receive a message is far too great. Further, texting and driving in front of your kids will only encourage them to use their phones while driving when they someday get behind the wheel of a car. Take whatever steps you need to prevent yourself from giving in to the temptation to pick up the phone while you are driving. A criminal law lawyer Grand Rapids, MI offers suggests avoiding both the legal and human consequences of texting and driving.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Blanchard Law for their insight into criminal defense cases and texting while driving.

Self-Defense

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Decatur Criminal Lawyer

Imagine you are hanging out with your loved ones and having a very good time. As you are leaving a venue, a gentleman approaches you complimenting your dress. You thank them, but they move in closer in an attempt to place their hands on you in an inappropriate and sexual manner. You move their hand away before it makes contact and they immediately strike you, “in their defense”. Now, imagine being a friend in this person’s presence, and deciding to step in “in their defense”. Let’s go an extra step and imagine you are the gentleman that gave the initial compliment and moved the other party’s hand away, “in your defense”. Who committed a criminal act here?

Just as law enforcement has a duty to protect and serve the community, it is expected that individuals have a right to protect themselves as well. However, not every defense is reasonable, so it is important to understand what constitutes self-defense or the defense of others, and what does not.

There is a fine line between a premeditated action and reactions to an imminent threat. In a criminal case, in order to use self-defense as a defense there must be an imminent threat. This means there must have been an instant threat that required an immediate reaction. Revenge, or retaliation cannot be a factor in this example, as it is not immediate if it is a deliberate act.

There must also be a sense of natural and actual fear for your or another persons life or safety; this is considered reasonable fear. No matter if there was no direct or specific threat made to you, if you are afraid and respond in defense, the courts may consider this to be self-defense as well. Much like the previous example, when approached by a gentleman, the victim pushed the suspect away when they figured the accused were coming to strike them. While the accused may have never placed hands on the victim, she believed he would, and she defended herself. This is not always the easiest to prove, so while reasonable fear can contribute to a self-defense defense, you are likely to have charges lessened if not dropped totally.

There are several loopholes on both a prosecution, and a defense’s end when discussing self-defense. Rather than figure it out on your own, speak with a Decatur criminal lawyer. If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime and feel you acted in self-defense, be sure to speak to a skilled criminal defense attorney so that a strong defense can be built for you in the courtroom.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and self-defense cases.

Process of Sentencing

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Criminal Defense Attorney Atlanta, GA

Life tends to happen very fast and if you are not careful, trouble may find you. Sometimes, we find trouble intentionally. Regardless of if you committed a crime deliberately or by accident, or not at all, if you happen to be convicted of a crime or plead guilty to any charges, a judge will sentence you. There are several ways your sentencing may go, in some cases the worse may be community service, and in others there is jail time and even worse, the death penalty. However, there are a few factors that a judge uses to deliberate how your sentencing would go, shall you be found guilty.

It is not too long after a conviction is made, or you decide to plead guilty. Depending on the extent of the case, the judge will use all facts and arguments brought forth by accuser, the defendant and state laws that express the worst that can happen. Below is a list of more specific elements a judge uses to make their final decision:

• Any previous offenses (repeat offenses especially).

• What lead to the commission of the crime in question

• If the crime put any one else in harms way

• If the person in question showed any shame

There are several options a judge can choose from such as:

• Jail time

• Prison time

• Fines

• Community service

• Probation

• Suspended licenses, etc.

Some sentences can be combined. You may receive a shorter jail sentence in exchange for probation for the duration of your original sentence. Judges do have free-range in most cases, however some charges require mandatory sentences, this would mean judges are required to impose these sentences on you for that time.

Laws vary from state to state when regarding sentencing, so if you or someone you know has been convicted or has plead guilty to any criminal charges it is best to speak with a knowledgeable attorney in your area that will be able to review the details of your case and weigh out your sentencing options in the event of a plea deal or an appeal.  The earlier you speak with a criminal defense attorney Atlanta, GA relies on the better, because a skilled attorney may even be able to have your sentence reduced before you are convicted at all.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and the process of sentencing.