Armed Robbery Versus Robbery: What is the difference?

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

While television shows and movies about police and police procedurals seem to be on nearly every network (and the countless spinoffs and reboots seem to constantly overwhelm our screens), there is little in the way of actual facts in these shows. Instead, we are treated to dramatic readings of suspects’ Miranda Rights, but there is usually little payoff in the way of actual laws and legal procedures.

Perhaps people don’t want to know the difference between legal criminal statutes? Maybe I’m the only one who wants to know the difference between armed robbery and regular robbery? Living in Wisconsin, crimes in our area are not featured on TV as much as New York City or L.A., although we did get quite a boost by the Netflix show “Making a Murderer” if you can call that a “boost”. Attorneys in the state, like the firm Kohler & Hart, that help people with armed robbery defense in Milwaukee, definitely know the difference between the types of criminal statutes.

When it comes to the specific criminal statutes, you often are left to wonder, “what is the difference?” One specific crime that seems simple but is often not clearly explained is the difference between “armed robbery” and “robbery”. How does this work?

While it is true that armed robbery charges require the use or threat of use of a dangerous weapon, most of us assume that that weapon always has to be a gun, knife, or bat, or some other obviously threatening device. What many of us don’t know is that other items, like pepper spray, for example, might also be classified as a weapon and therefore warrant an armed robbery charge. The breaking point here is whether or not the victim in the crime felt that the article the “robber” used was used or displayed in a manner that the victim could reasonably have felt like they were in danger.

In order to constitute armed robbery, something has to have been stolen. The act of theft must play a part in the act somehow. Theft, by definition, is the taking of someone’s personal property with the intent to deprive them of it, which allows for borrowing to be legal, obviously. The next factor must be the use of force during the theft. Without force, it would simply be theft, but the physical act of touching another person or verbally threatening them constitutes robbery. Finally, the use or displaying of a weapon must be shown to raise the charges to armed robbery. Now, the important thing to note that was not discussed above, is the pretense of having a weapon (like implying that you have a gun) is also enough to warrant the armed robbery charge. Other items, like the pepper spray listed above, as well as pellet guns, bottles, broken glass, or other threatening items can also be considered weapons.

It is a shame that more information is not readily available to the public about the different types of criminal charges. For one, people would understand the false information they read or hear about through books, TV, and other medium, and if they are ever in trouble with the law (which hopefully won’t happen) they will be more familiar with the charges they may face.

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Statutory Rape and the “Close in Age Exemptions”

Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Statutory rape is a non-violent sexual activity between an adult (a person who is at least 18 years old) and a person below the legal age of consent (a person below 16 or 18 as states differ when it comes to age of consent). Though different from forcible rape which is non-consensual and which is usually accomplished through the use of force and/or weapon, statutory rape is still considered a serious crime in many jurisdictions in the U.S.

The crime of statutory rape can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the ages of the victim and the perpetrator. This offense carries very harsh punishments, including really large fines, years in jail and, in many states, a mandatory lifetime registration as a sex offender. While it is true that statutory rape statutes only aim to protect minors from sexual predators, it also cannot be denied that many of these statutes have unintended consequences due to their many legal gray areas. One example is charging with statutory rape two teenagers who engage in consensual sex simply because both are just 15 years old. Though underage, they can both be convicted and possibly be required to register as sex offenders for life.

To save many teenagers from statutory rape prosecution and conviction, many states have passed the “close in age exemptions,” a law that will not criminalize: (i) two individuals under the age of consent if they have sexual relationship with one another; or, (ii) an older individual who has a sexual relationship with a person who is under the age of consent. There is a limit in this “close in age exemption,” though.

a. In some states, where the age of consent is 18, for example, a person who is either 16 or 17 years old is still legally allowed to consent with an older partner, so long as this partner is under the age of 30.

According to the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, in the state of Texas, statutory rape is the charge issued against individuals accused of engaging in sexual activity with an individual under the age of 17 if that individual is more than three years older than the minor in question. Statutory rape is considered a 1st degree felony if the minor is under the age of 14, and a 2nd degree felony if the minor is under the age of 17. The 1st degree felony charge carries a potential prison sentence of 5 to 99 years, while the 2nd degree felony charge can result in 2 to 20 years in prison.

b. Marriage exemption. This allows a young individual to consent, but only to his or her spouse

c. Close in age exemption of four years. A person under the age of consent can have consensual sex with an older person who in no more than four years older than him or her. This means that minors below the age of 16 may consent to a partner who is no more than 4 years older; however, those under the age of 12 may not consent under any circumstances.

There are instances, however, when a person had reason to believe that the one who consents to him or her is over the age of consent when, in fact, he or she is not. This may be due to a fake I.D. or the person lied about his or her age. Whatever the case, anyone charged with statutory rape should understand that this is one serious offense that can ruin many years of his or her future if he or she is convicted. A conviction will require that his or her name, current address, and picture be displayed in the Internet, that is, registered into the national sex offender registry, for all to see.

The law firm Horst Law explains that simply being accused of a crime can change your life. The penalties of a conviction can haunt you for years after you’ve served your sentence and may affect what kinds of jobs you’re able to obtain and even where you’re allowed to live. However, it’s important to remember that an accusation is just that: an accusation. You still have a real chance to defend your rights and protect your future from the challenges that would come with a conviction. You still have a real chance to defend your rights and protect your future from the challenges that would come with a conviction, such as jail time, fines, or having to register as a sex offender.

 

 

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Tips for Healthy Teeth

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Dental Tips | 0 comments

Tips for Healthy Teeth

Having poor dental health results into not just dental problems such as tooth decay and bad breath, but also cosmetic problems such as unattractive smile and uneven teeth. So, you have no reason not to take care of your oral health, because it benefits you both on the inside and outside. Here are some tips to keep your teeth both healthy and beautiful.

Brush Twice a Day

The most basic thing you can do for your teeth is to keep it clean. Brush your teeth twice a day, usually once in the morning and once in the evening, preferably with intervals of about 8 to 12 hours. This is important because not brushing your teeth may result into plaque and food buildup, which can result into acids strong enough to cause dental problems, such as cavities and tooth decays.

Brush Properly

But brushing is not just enough, because you need to make sure that your brushing technique is appropriate. Brushing in the wrong manner can cause problems, like how brushing too hard can damage your teeth and irritate your gums and how brushing too light and fast cannot clean your teeth properly.

Gently brush in a 45-degree angle with an up-and-down or circular motion. Also make sure that the inside surfaces are brushed.

Use Floss and Mouthwash

To make your cleaning more effective, you can use flosses and mouthwashes. This is because there are spots that toothbrushes cannot properly reach and clean, so you should rely on thin objects such as flosses and fluids such as mouthwashes to get the job done.

Avoid Harmful Products

Cleaning your teeth is useless if you keep exposing them to harmful products anyway. The most destructive product for your teeth is tobacco, as it can result into oral problems and even cancers. But there are other dangers out there, such as food products with too much sugar and drinks with too much acidity.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Visiting your dentist on regular intervals is important, so you can be updated to the condition of your teeth and gums. Because you are not a professional, you will never know when a tooth already has a complication or a complication is about to arise. You better let dentists do the job for you.

Consequences

Not taking care of your teeth has a variety of consequences, and their severity may depend on how neglectful you have been. The consequences include teeth problems, such as cavities and tooth decays, gum problems, such as gingivitis, and overall oral problems like bad breath and oral cancer.

The website of Dental Expressions by Dr. Gary Bram enumerates various solutions, such as those that involve dentist implants and cosmetic dentistry procedures. It is good to know that dental research and technology has advanced enough to help individuals, but still, the best thing to do is to take care of your teeth to avoid dental problems.

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Criteria for a Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Wrongful Death | 0 comments

Criteria for a Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Thousands of medical malpractice lawsuits, where doctors, nurses, hospital personnel and or a hospital itself is named as defendant, are filed in courts all across the U.S. every year. Specific basis of lawsuits vary, but their common factor is gross negligence. To name a few of the specific basis of these lawsuits, there are:

  • Bypass on Wrong Artery;
  • Heart Surgery on Wrong Patient;
  • A Surgeon Drilling a Hole on the Wrong Side of a patient’s Head;
  • A seventeen year old girl dying after a heart and lung transplant due to incompatible blood type of donor;
  • A man remaining conscious during exploratory surgery;
  • A fertility clinic confusing DNA resulting to a woman being impregnated with the sperm not of her husband’s but of a complete stranger;
  • Misdiagnosis; and,
  • Wrongful death due to delayed treatment (a most frequent case in hospital emergency departments)

One well- known court case that intends to prove gross negligence and, thus, the liability of doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel is the case of Ms. Esmin Green, who died on an emergency room floor after being left unattended for about 24 hours. Despite hospital guards seeing Ms. Green lying (with her face down) on the floor after she collapsed, no one did anything to help her.

In the event of unexpected or wrongful death of a person due either to the willful misconduct or negligence of another., family members or dependents (legally called“real parties in interest”) of the deceased can pursue legal action against the liable party through the filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This special kind of personal injury lawsuit is for the benefit of the “real parties in interest”; it will enable them to seek compensation for whatever pecuniary, or financial, damages they may suffer, including loss of financial support due to the death of the victim, loss of the dead victim’s services, medical and funeral expenses, and lost prospect of inheritance.

While “real parties in interest,” would unquestionably point to the victim’s own family (husband/wife and children) or parents (if the victim is not yet married), some states also recognize certain individuals, who may be considered as among these “real parties in interest.” Recognized in some states include:

Financial dependents, like a life partner (who is financially dependent on the deceased) or a putative spouse (a person who, in all sincerity, believes that he/she and the deceased were married):

Distant family members, such as grandparents and siblings; and,

Any person who is financially affected and made to suffer because of the death of the victim; this is actually due to the loss of care or support resulting from the victim’s untimely death;

In its website, the Mokaram Law Firm says that, besides medical malpractice, wrongful death may also be due to automobile accidents, criminal behavior or workplace accidents. For a wrongful death claim to be filed, however, the following criteria will have to be met:

The death was the direct result of some other person’s negligent or criminal actions; and,
The surviving family has suffered monetary damage.

A wrongful death lawsuit can only be filed by the affected family’s personal representative. The damages that may be considered compensable, the requirements or conditions to be recognized as a qualified plaintiff, and the statutory limit for the filing of the suit, may differ from one state to another. Due to the differences in state requirements, plus the complexity of the tort law, it may be best for the “real parties in interest” to get in touch with a highly- qualified personal injury lawyer.

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An Overview Of The Balayage Styling Technique

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Balayage Hairstyle | 0 comments

Hair styles come and go but one technique that has stood the test of time is balayage. It has been around for a while but remains one of the most popular hair coloring techniques. Balayage is a French word which means “to sweep” or “to paint.” Developed in the 1970s, balayage is a free hand technique wherein color is applied by hand in place of the foiling or cap highlighting techniques.

A balayage expert will tell you that the popularity of this technique stems from the fact that it only requires low maintenance usually every 8-12 weeks thus saving you time and money. It offers versatility as it can be made soft or strong depending on your preference. With balayage, you can achieve different hair effects from something soft and natural to one that is strong and punky. This technique is ideal for those who do not have time to go to the salon every few weeks.

It is worth noting, however, that the balayage style is not for everyone. Although it is best for women with natural hair, there are many techniques that a stylist will use to create the balayage look. It will all depend on the hair type and your color history. Aside from being low maintenance, balayage gives you a more natural and modern style of hair. Balayage is safe for pregnant women and those who are allergiv to hair color.

Balayage is applied on the surface and not saturated through the section until the very tips. The color placed suits the tone of your skin which can help light up your feature. At the end of the day, it can make you look fashionable and confident about your appearance. The downside of a balayage that was not done correctly is a hair with excessive overlapping and damage.

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Are Young Drivers Liabilities on the Road?

Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 in Auto Accidents | 0 comments

Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records more than five million car crashes; more than 30,000 of these are fatal, while more than two million result either to minor or serious injuries. Besides fatality rate, the NHTSA-created Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also have records that show the following:

  1. Between 1899 and 2012 there were 3,551,332 fatal motor vehicle accidents;
  2. In 2010, about 5,419,000 crashes resulted to 32,999 deaths and 2,239,000 injuries;
  3. In 2011, motor vehicle accidents killed 32,479 individuals, the lowest number of fatal motor vehicle accidents since 1949;
  4. In 2012, fatal crashes involving distracted drivers killed 3,328 individuals (this was 32 less individuals compared to the 3,360 deaths in 2011. The number of injuries increased, though, from 387,000 in 2011 to 421,000 in 2012;
  5. In 2013, 10,076 individuals were killed in motor vehicle accidents due to alcohol-impaired driving; and,
  6. 90% of all road accidents are due to bad driving behavior, some of which are drunk-driving, reckless driving, speeding, especially while under the influence of alcohol, driving through a red light, changing lanes without signaling, and using a cellphone while driving.

The International Organization for Road Accident Prevention believes that road danger is nothing more than a man-made crisis and that it is a totally preventable occurrence resulting from negligence. One very sad and alarming fact, however, which records consistently show, is that offenders in road crashes, especially fatal ones, are mostly young drivers, those aged between 16 and 34 (teens aged 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be involved in fatal car crashes than those over the age of 20 though).

The inexperience and immaturity on the road of young drivers, as well as their inclination to take risks, are creating results that are far beyond what they presume. Acts of recklessness, which so many drivers have been guilty of, but which young drivers are so much more prone to commit include:

  1. Overspeeding;
  2. Driving too fast for conditions;
  3. Tailgating (which is actually a sign of aggressive driving behavior);
  4. Running a red light or a stop sign;
  5. Improper lane changing;
  6. Improper turning;
  7. Improper overtaking or unsafe passing (which can result to a vehicle running off the road, sideswiping another motorist, and head-on collision);
  8. Getting distracted while behind the wheel (this can be due to use of use electronic devices, especially a cell phone, adjusting the radio or turning its volume to full blast, looking at a map, eating, etc.);
  9. Conversing with a passenger; and,
  10. Driving while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or both (despite the federal’s and state’s zero tolerance laws, which strictly prohibit any level of alcohol in the blood of those under the age of 21, records from the NHTSA show that 33% of the teens who died in fatal collisions were actually intoxicated)

As explained by Wausau car accident lawyers, the aftermath of an auto accident can involve a range of frustrations, such as insurance paperwork, auto repairs, medical treatment, and lost time at work, besides physical trauma and suffering, which may even have life-changing effects. When an accident occurs, more so if it is due to the reckless actions of another party, the victim has the right to pursue financial compensation for all damages that will result from his/her injury. Getting assistance from an auto accident attorney, who is fully aware of the intricacies associated with this area of law, can be advantageous for the victim.

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Semi-Truck Drivers Getting Drunk on the Road

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Drunk Driving, Truck Accidents | 0 comments

Compared to a light pickup or any other form of vehicle, an 18-wheeler, also called semi-truck, big rig or tractor-trailer, that is running at 65 mph will require about 525 feet before coming to a full stop (that is 209 feet longer that the distance required by a light pick-up truck). Due to its size and weight, it will also require a different type of braking system and a different set of tires.

A semi-truck weighs about 80,000 lbs., making it 20-30 times heavier than a passenger car. While this weight can make this type of vehicle incredibly tough in road crashes, the same feature is source of great disadvantage where braking or coming to a full stop is the issue.

A semi-trailer’s length and weight make it necessary that it be operated only by a licensed commercial vehicle driver who, it is supposed, has received proper trainer, has developed the required skills and has passed the tests required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Despite qualification, though, once on the road, many semi-truck drivers lay aside the rules on safety driving in order to complete a job as fast as they can and get the chance to do another – all for a higher take home pay.

What this means, however, is longer time on the road, little time of rest between driving duties and, at times, taking drugs or drinking alcohol during stops. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for for truck drivers, by the way, 0.04% (lower than the 0.08% limit for drivers of passenger cars). Semi-truck drivers operating their truck despite a 0.04% BAC can result to DUI, while if caught with a 0.02%BAC, they can be suspended from operating their truck for a total of 24 hours.

As affirmed by the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., many truck drivers and trucking companies do everything they can to stay safe on the roadway. The sad reality, though, is that not everyone exercises this level of caution, putting unsuspecting motorists in harm’s way. Drivers forced to exceed the set hours of service restrictions, drivers who abuse alcohol and/or amphetamines while behind the wheel, or drivers / companies that fail to keep their trucks in good working order regularly expose everyone on the road to serious risks. Truck drivers and/or trucking companies that are at fault should be made to face the law for their reckless behavior. With this is their legal responsibility in compensating innocent victims who have suffered injuries because of their irresponsible acts.

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Cost Of Assisted Living Facilities

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Elder Issues | 0 comments

As the numbers of seniors increase each year, many adult children are looking into other options of caring from their parents without spending too much. In the United States the cost of elder care can be considerably expensive, so in order to ensure that you will be able to find a good assisted living facility without having to cost you an arm and a leg, there is a way that SeniorAdvice.com suggest you can look into.

Consider long-term care insurance or LTCI. This type of insurance is effective in covering for costs that are not included in a private insurance plan. This can significantly lessen the impact of health care needs, and since majority of companies refuse insurance to people with preexistent health issues it is ideal to purchase one before any health problems begin. One way that a senior can get a long-term insurance care is by converting their life insurance policy to a long term benefit plan before the insurance plan expires or is surrendered. Any active life insurance policy that have a death benefit amounting between US$ 50,000 and US$ 1,000,000 is convertible to a long-term benefit plan that would immediately be open to cover for any senior care needs.

This particular financial alternative is great for seniors because it offers a number of benefits, namely immediate payment for health care needs, zero cost for application and no limitations on care, no premium fees, no waiting period, and no obligations to be terminally ill since all health conditions are recognized. Those who have LTCI are legally allowed to switch their in-force insurance policy in order to enroll for the benefit plan and will be eligible to order tax-exempt payments to pay for their housing and health care expenses.

The majority of Americans are not aware that their Medicare is not a comprehensive health care insurance for seniors over 65 years old and it will not be covering for the cost of their long-term care. Alternatives such as mentioned above is just among the ways that seniors can pay for their health care costs, especially if they are considering moving into an assisted living facility.

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Drunk-driving: A Senseless and Cruel Act

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Drunk Driving | 0 comments

At about 2:30 a.m. of April 22, 2015, a 19-year old female driver in a Toyota Prius collided head-on with a pickup truck along Highway 50 near Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento. The female driver was on the fast lane of Highway 50, going eastbound in the westbound lane during the time of the crash, which killed her and the three passengers of the pickup truck. Prior to the collision, the young driver was said to have been driving in the wrong direction, swerving around other vehicles for several miles. Weeks of further investigation revealed that the female driver had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20% at the time of the fatal crash.

Drunk driving is a major traffic offense in all US states. Alcohol, as it has always been proven, impairs a person’s motor skills and mental capacity, as well as affects his/her coordination, reaction time, judgment, perception, and overall capability to keep his/her focus on the road. Lack or loss of control over any of these skills can easily result in a crash that may injure or kill not only the drunk driver himself/herself, but also his/her passengers, pedestrians and other motorists. It is due to the increased risk of harm that may befall innocent lives which makes drunk driving a major offense.

Though the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit for car drivers is 0.08 percent, studies have shown that even at 0.02 percent BAC level, a person’s driving ability and response time can already be affected. The possibility of figuring in a crash increases after 0.05 percent BAC, becoming even higher after 0.08 percent; thus, under all state laws, an individual is considered alcohol-impaired if he or she has a BAC level of 0.08% or higher and, if caught, will be charged with drinking under the influence (DUI) or drinking while intoxicated (DWI). However, to further reduce the risks brought about by drunk-driving, some states authorize traffic enforcers to charge a driver with impaired driving or DUI even if such driver’s blood alcohol concentration level is below 0.08 percent, so long as the arresting officer sees that the driver’s abilities are impaired.

In 2013, there were 1,171,935 DUI arrests in the US including in the District of Columbia. In 2010, based on records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of arrests went as high as 1.4 million. With these staggering figures some traffic authorities are even thankful that the number of fatal accidents (due to alcohol and/or illegal drugs impairment) does not go beyond 10,500 every year). Well, thanks to stricter laws, the zeal in enforcing these laws, the harsher penalties, and to the efforts of private groups, like the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) which, since 1980, has helped in the passing of new DUI laws, such as the Zero Tolerance law (which prohibits drivers below 21 from having in their blood system any measurable amount of alcohol) and the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) law (which authorizes an arresting officer to confiscate the license of drivers who refuse to take or fail a breath test.

Traffic authorities, however, know that despite all the efforts from government and private groups, people will continue to get behind the wheel of their vehicles even if intoxicated. Thus, the justice system will hold them liable for any damage they get to inflict on those that they injure or kill simply because drinking and driving is an irresponsible act that they willingly choose to do. An Indianapolis drunk driving accident lawyer might add that aside from the criminal charge and penalties, offenders often also face monetary liabilities or compensation which they will legally have to pay victims of their irresponsible behavior.

The families of those who were killed on the dawn of April 22, 2015, referred to the death of their loved ones as “senseless killing.” Though they know that the tragic event can no longer be undone, they are hopeful that they will receive the compensation that they legally deserve, and at the same time send a message to others not to make the same senseless and cruel act.

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Auto Defects

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Product Liability | 0 comments

So many of us rely on cars as our main means of transportation on a daily basis. It is often assumed that our cars are safe and provide a shield against many driving hazards. But when a car has some sort of defect, this safety can be compromised. Defects can put drivers at a higher risk of a dangerous car accident and lead to serious consequences.

One of the most common automobile defects is tire blowouts. Tire blowouts can be terrifying, leading to a sudden loss of vehicle control. What many people do not realize is that these blowouts are often a result of a defect with the car, such as a problem in the manufacturing of the vehicle. Another problem that can be caused by a manufacturing or design flaw of the vehicle is brake malfunction, such as the brakes suddenly failing to work as an individual is driving. These two instances can cause serious injury in the event of an accident, which are often unpreventable if these two defects take place.

Defects also affect safety precautions in a car. When airbags fail to properly deploy in a vehicle, accidents can become even more dangerous to an individual. Improperly installed airbags or defective airbags in a vehicle can cause an individual to be put an increased risk. Another defense against driving dangers, seat belts, may also be affected by auto defects. According to the website of Crowe and Mulvey, some common seatbelt defects include the locking apparatus failing to activate and the locking apparatus becoming unlatched upon impact. Airbags and seatbelt are two of the most important safety features a car possess. When these features, along with tires and brakes, are compromised, the results can be far worse than a normal accident.

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