Archive for August, 2019

Is Excessive Speeding an Automatic Felony?

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Is Excessive Speeding an Automatic Felony?

If you are caught driving at excessive rates of speed, does that mean you’ll be charged with a felony? It’s true that high rates of speed are often a factor in felony traffic-related convictions. However, speeding won’t necessarily land you a felony. There are many factors that go into a felony conviction. It’s important to remember that only a qualified legal professional in your state with experience in traffic cases can help you determine the specifics of your case. However, here are some general considerations that could play a factor in whether or not your excessive speeding charge will result in a felony conviction.

How Fast Were You Going?

How fast were you speeding? If you were going 90 miles an hour down the highway, you might not be charged with a felony. In some states, rates of 100 miles per hour and above are automatically considered a felony. In others, your rate of speed is taken into consideration with the other factors in your case.

Was Alcohol Involved?

Was alcohol involved in your case? Any time alcohol is involved the possibility of a felony greatly increases. If you’re driving 90 miles per hour down the highway, it’s possible that you could get away with a misdemeanor. But if you’re driving 90 miles an hour and you’re also under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you’re in felony territory. Again, it depends on your specific situation and the state in which you’re driving, but usually when speed and alcohol are combined it’s a felony.

Were There Passengers in the Car?

Whether or not there are passengers in the car can also play a factor in whether or not you get charged with a felony. if you’re speeding down a relatively empty road, you are the only person you’re endangering. Therefore, you might get off with just a misdemeanor charge. However, any time there are passengers in your car or is it never get number of vehicles around you the chance that you’ll be convicted of or at least charged with a felony and goes up. Putting others in danger is always a more serious crime than simply putting yourself in danger.

Were You In a School Zone?

You might get away with driving 95 miles an hour on a lonely highway somewhere in the middle of nowhere. But the second you speed in a school zone, it’s very likely that you’re in felony territory. School zones are school zones even if it’s night time. They are school zones 24 hours a day. Sure, you have to be even more diligent when children are present during school hours. However, any time you speed excessively in a school zone you are essentially staring down the barrel of a felony charge.

Did You Endanger Minors?

If you were endangering minors with your actions, you could also be looking at a felony. For instance if you were speeding excessively and your children were in the car or somebody else’s children were in the car with you, that could easily be a felony. Again, any time you put somebody else in danger it’s a more serious situation as far as the legal system is concerned. Add kids into the mix and it’s an even more serious situation for you.

Do You Have Previous Convictions?

Finally, consider whether or not you have any previous convictions. If this is the first time you’ve ever done something like this and you got caught speeding in a relatively unpopulated area and just had too much fun one night, you might get away with a misdemeanor. But if you have shown a pattern of irresponsible driving behavior or speeding, then you could be looking at a felony charge.

Any time you’re facing a charge it’s important to have an attorney by your side. This is particularly true if you’re being charged with excessive speeding. It’s hard to predict how the courts will charge you, so it’s very important that you have competent legal representation. Only a traffic attorney in your state with experience in the type of case you have can adequately advocate for you in a court of law. Get a consultation today and take your first step down the road of protecting your freedom and your future.

6 Signs of Wrongful Termination

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

6 Signs of Wrongful Termination

If you’ve ever been fired and wondered whether or not it was wrongful termination, you probably had a hard time finding information that could help you. There’s a good reason for that. Wrongful termination is one of the most difficult charges to prosecute because it’s so hard to prove. Even if you were the subject of discrimination, your employer probably used the “at will” clause in your contract to terminate your employment so as not to make incriminating statements that would make it obvious you were wrongfully terminated. So what can you do? While it’s difficult to prove that you were wrongfully terminated, these cases do have several things in common. Here are six situations that often indicate a wrongful termination suit is in order.

You Confronted Your Employer or Blew the Whistle

There are whistleblowing laws in place for a reason. Your boss can’t fire you for blowing the whistle on their inappropriate or illegal behavior. If you confronted or outed a higher up in your company and were fired shortly thereafter, you could have a wrongful termination case on your hands. Additionally, you’re never required to do something illegal or unethical just because your boss asks you to. Within the realm of whistleblower laws are laws that protect employees who refused to do something wrong. Even if you didn’t blow the whistle but you refused to follow an instruction because doing so would have been illegal or unethical, you could still have a workers compensation claim.

You Were the Subject of Defamation

If you were fired after being the victim of defamation, you could have a wrongful termination case. Defamation means that factually untrue information that was damaging to you or your reputation was being spread about you. In order for it to be defamation, at least in the legal sense, a third party had to have witnessed the defamation. This could be as simple as a coworker of yours who was standing in the break room when two people were spreading false rumors about you. Because of how difficult it is for employees who were fired because of defamation to get new work, laws are in place to protect employee from being fired due to untrue statements. Again, this is hard to prove, but if you have a third party and you can prove the allegations aren’t true, you could have a solid case on your hands.

You Had to Miss Work for a Legally Protected Reason

If you missed work on election day and were fired for your absence, that’s wrongful termination. Similarly, if you were fired because you missed work due to military service or jury duty, that’s also wrongful termination. While it’s perfectly reasonable for an employer to want their employees to show up on time and be there consistently, there are federally protected reasons for people to miss work. Military service, voting, serving jury duty, and other civic responsibilities are all protected reasons to miss work, and you can’t be fired based on absences for these reasons.

You Became Pregnant

If your boss fired you after you became pregnant and there wasn’t a decent explanation given, or “good cause”, to explain why, you might have been the victim of discrimination. If you were fired for another reason that was considered a good cause, you might not have been the subject of discrimination. But if you can’t find another reason as to why you were fired, or even if you were expressly told that your pregnancy prevented you from doing your job, you probably have a wrongful termination case. It is against the law to discriminate against someone for a variety of things, including pregnancy.

You Were Fired Because of Your Age, Race, or Sexual Orientation

Of course, being pregnant isn’t the only thing you can be discriminated against for. If you reached a certain age and were suddenly fired and there was no other reason you should have been terminated, you might have a wrongful termination case based on age discrimination. Furthermore, if you had your job for a while and you were in good standing and then you were fired after your sexual orientation was revealed, that could also be a wrongful termination case. Also, if you were discriminated against based on race, that’s a clear violation of the law, and you could have a wrongful termination case.

You Were Fired Before Your Contract Expired

Sometimes, when you’re hired for a job the contract specifies how long you can expect to be employed. If your employer decides to end your employment without good cause — in other words there wasn’t a good reason for doing so — that’s a breach of contract and could be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. That being said, if you were caught stealing or there are other verifiable facts that would point to your being fired for good cause, you likely won’t have a case.

Regardless of your situation, it never hurts to contact a workers compensation attorney to find out whether or not you’ve been wrongfully terminated. Even if you have a slight suspicion that you have been, it’s within your rights to consult an attorney about it and get some answer. If your workers compensation attorney thinks you’ve been wrongfully terminated, it’s your right to fight that termination in court and defend yourself. Contact a personal injury attorney today and see if you might have a wrongful termination case.

What to Do if Your SSD Claim is Denied

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

What to Do if Your SSD Claim is Denied

If you earn a living and receive a paycheck, part of your check is withheld for taxes and other purposes. One of those purposes is to pay into the Social Security program that helps to provide funding for people in a variety of situations, including long-term disability. Most people think that because they’ve paid into the system for so long, if they find themselves in need of Social Security Disability funds, they’ll just apply and receive them. However, statistics show that nearly 70 percent of applications are denied. There are multiple reasons that denials can happen, but if you get the disappointing news that your claim was denied, your first question is probably going to be “What do I do now?”

File an Appeal

The first thing you want to do is file an appeal. This is not the same thing as simply redoing your initial application. Some people make the mistake of either giving up at this stage or thinking they have to start the entire process over. However, what you should do is file an appeal. When you file an appeal, you’re asking another SSA worker to take a look at your claim. You might choose to add new information or additional documents that you think will help you, but what you’re really doing is submitting the same information again. However, that’s not the same as starting the process over. Make sure you’re going through the appeals process.

If you’re lucky, your appeal will be approved and you’ll be on your way to getting the benefits you need and deserve. However, most people will have to continue on through the process and prepare for a disability hearing.

The Hearing

If you have to go to a hearing, you’ll be explaining why you need and deserve Social Security Disability benefits to an administrative judge. This judge will look over your case and consider all of the information you provide. There are several things you can do to help yourself during a hearing. For one thing, you can bring witnesses. You should speak to your representative to find out which witnesses to bring or if you should bring any at all.

The hearing will also include medical experts who might ask you questions and advise the judge as to whether or not you need the benefits that you say you need. If any changes in your condition have occurred between your initial filing and the hearing, you can bring documentation to support that and submit it as evidence.

Once the hearing is over, the judge will go away and decide whether or not to award you Social Security Disability benefits. If your appeal is denied, your case will be sent to what’s called an Appeals Council where it will be viewed by people who have never seen your case. They can’t accept new evidence, but they will make sure that the judge who denied your case followed all the proper principles. The Appeals Council has three options: uphold the decision and deny you your benefits, overturn the decision and award you your benefits, or send the case back to the judge telling her to reconsider.

If, however, your case was approved you’ll be notified of the approval and your SSD benefits will begin thereafter.

The Importance of Hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney

Any time you’re considering hiring an attorney, it can seem scary. However, lawyers are there to help you and fight for your rights, and when it comes to something as serious as obtaining the benefits you need and deserve, you can’t take chances. Only a qualified Social Security Disability attorney can help you fight your case successfully. They can bring up facts that you might not have even considered. Alternatively, they might find sources of information or experts that you don’t have access to. There are many benefits to hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer to help you with your case, and it’s advisable that you do so.

It’s clear that filing for and obtaining Social Security Disability benefits is more complicated than most people think. Not only are a large majority of claims denied, but there’s a lengthy process involved in obtaining the benefits you deserve once a claim denial happens. Navigating the legal waters of the Social Security Disability system alone is not a good idea and can lead to the loss of benefits you need and deserve. Be sure to hire a qualified Social Security Disability attorney in your area so you can have the best shot of winning your appeal and obtaining your much-needed benefits.

What Are the Penalties For a DUI in Washington?

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

What Are the Penalties For a DUI in Washington?

Getting a DUI is never a trivial thing, no matter what state you live in. The penalties for a DUI in Washington range from fines to serious jail time, fines, and other penalties added on. Every state is different, and you should hire a DUI attorney in Washington to make sure you’re presenting your best defense based on the circumstances of your cars. However, here are some penalties you could be facing.

Fines

These fines can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. How much you pay largely depends on how severe the DUI was and what kinds of circumstances surrounded the DUI, including whether or not injuries occurred and how much alcohol was in your system. Felony DUIs are more expensive than misdemeanors. Your record comes into play, too, since repeat offenders often pay higher fines than first-time offenders.

Jail Time

Usually, you’ll be spending your jail time in county jail. Typically, state prison is reserved for felony DUIs. If injuries are involved, though, a misdemeanor could send you to state prison but you’ll usually just obtain a longer sentence. You could be there for several days or several years. Your Washington DUI attorney will be able to tell you what specific penalties you’re facing.

License Suspension

License suspension is another commonly used penalty for those who drink and drive in Washington. You could be facing a license suspension of a couple of months or several years. You might be able to obtain a restricted license that allows you to drive to certain places, like work and school, but sometimes you have to serve a certain amount of your suspension before you can apply for a restricted license. Ask your attorney if you’re eligible for a restricted license as opposed to a full license suspension. You might have to agree to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in order to be granted a restricted license, but it would be worth it to have some of your driving privileges back.

Restitution

Any time injuries are involved in a DUI you’ll likely be asked to pay restitution. In other words, it’s up to you to pay for damages that your actions caused others. Sometimes partial restitution is accepted, but it’s more common for the courts to ask you to pay full restitution. There may be some exceptions to this based on the specifics of your case, so be sure to consult with your Washington DUI attorney for the most accurate information.

It’s never worth it to try to best the legal system on your own. The legal system is intentionally complex and confusing to the average person. That’s why law school exists. Instead of fighting it on your own, consult with an experienced and qualified Washington DUI attorney so you have professional legal representation on your side as you go to fight for your rights. Get a consultation today and take the first step down the road of protecting your freedom and your future.

4 Pieces of Information Every Car Accident Report Should Include

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

4 Pieces of Information Every Car Accident Report Should Include

Car accidents can be upsetting — even traumatizing — events. It’s understandable to feel anxiety or fear after an accident, but it’s worth it to stay calm and be observant. Doing so can help you be a good source of information for both your personal injury attorney and the police officers at the scene. Photographs, witness statements, and other data could be different between winning a case or suffering the financial and other costs an accident can bring. Here are four pieces of information that every car accident report should include. It’s good to gather as much information as you can on these subjects.

The Accident Itself

What were you doing just before the accident happened? Where had you come from, and where were you going? Who was with you? What time was it? Was it cloudy or sunny? These might seem like mundane details, but they’re all contributory facts and can go a long way to paint the picture of what happened. Creating the narrative with as many sensory, environmental, and chronological details as you can is essential, so jot down everything you can see or remember. This will help your personal injury attorney craft the best possible case for you.

Injuries

Immediate pains and injuries should be written down. If there were passengers involved, make sure they write down their injuries and ailments, as well. However, don’t just take notes on the immediately obvious injuries; take notes for at least a week after the fact. The adrenaline that courses through your body after an accident or traumatic event can mask a lot of internal pain, and bruises don’t usually show up for a day or so. Track your symptoms and injuries, and make sure you take those notes to your doctor, too. The more specific your medical notes, the more accurate your diagnosis, and that diagnosis can be used as evidence to support your personal injury case in court.

Financial and Economic Losses and Expenses

Keep track of your losses and expenses immediately following the accident. For instance, if you couldn’t return to work because of injuries or the lack of a vehicle, figure out how much you lost in wages. What did you lose in property value? How much did you pay for repairs or medical care? What did it cost you to rent a car while your vehicle was worked on? Did you have to pay to replace your vehicle or property that was in the car, such as a laptop? All of these expenses need to be tracked because your personal injury attorney can use that information to help you obtain the most beneficial outcome in court.

Dialogue, Conversations, and Behavior

Conversations are evidence, too, and statements often make up a large part of a personal injury attorney’s case. Make note of who you talked to, what they said, and the information of as many people as you can obtain. Get witness statements and their contact information. Make note of any officers you spoke to, their names and badge numbers if you can get that information, and anything they said regarding the case. Don’t forget to document your discussions with other passengers and with the driver of the other vehicle, as well. Particularly, write down any strange or unusual behavior that the other driver exhibited. That kind of information can be used to establish things like drug or alcohol use of the other driver at the time of the accident.

Make sure to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney any time you’ve been involved in an accident. There’s no reason to go it alone or suffer the financial and physical losses associated with a car accident without obtaining the compensation you deserve. The legal system is complex and confusing, but personal injury lawyers have spent years learning the system so they can help drivers like you. The notes you take and the information you gather can help your attorney craft a factual and convincing case, which can help them obtain more compensation for you in the long run.