How do I seal my DUI conviction?

So, you've received DUI charges, and the prospects of beating the rap don't look good. Do you build a strong defense, or do you try to mitigate the damages of the conviction? Many drivers face DUI charges that have very few grounds for a strong defense and may believe that all they can do is simply accept the charges and try to cushion the blow. The good news is that are still options for those who do not have strong grounds for a defense, but these should never be the first option considered.

Before you begin pursuing aggressive options like sealing or expunging records of a DUI conviction, be sure that you consult an experienced attorney who truly understands the intricacies of the laws at play and the local justice system. You may have stronger defenses available than you think that you do, and simply need a professional, creative defense. In general, fighting charges is preferable to attempting to obscure them.

Mother sues her child's father for wrongful death

A child's death is always a tragedy, but sometimes it is also the beginning of a legal battle for justice, like in the case of a mother from Macon who's child drowned in a lake in 2015. Not only does the mother believe that her child's death resulted from another person's negligence, she believes the person responsible is the child's own father.

According to the mother, the father was by the lake with the child and another friend after drinking a significant amount of alcohol at a nearby restaurant. The father was out on a dock on Lake Tobesofkee when the child likely slipped off and into the water without the father noticing. The body was recovered about 11 hours later.

Can I get a DUI on a bicycle?

Most people understand from a young age that it is both dangerous and illegal to drink and drive an automobile. Not only does drinking and driving pose significant dangers to individuals who drink and drive, it also results in criminal charges quite regularly. What many people do not understand is that DUI charges are not necessarily restricted to automobiles. In some cases, an individual can receive criminal charges for riding a bicycle if they are impaired.

Different states deal with their drinking laws in a variety of ways, so a person living in a state that does not consider cycling while drunk a crime will probably not receive a DUI ticket for this behavior. However, it is still possible that an officer may cite such a person for public drunkenness.

Be careful what you say in a DUI stop

Drinking and driving is never a good idea, but individuals still choose to get behind the wheel after drinking each and every day. Should you find yourself pulled over by police after drinking, you must be careful in what you say and do. Police officers have a great responsibility to protect the community, just as you have a responsibility to protect your own rights. So, how should you respond when the officer begins asking questions?

As soon as an officer pulls you over, and possibly before, he or she is already gathering evidence that may be used to convict you of a crime, whether you're truly guilty of any crime or not. In general, it is wise to remain calm and comply with the officer — but say as little as possible. You do not have to answer any questions beyond giving an officer your name. This is not to say that you should be rude (don't be rude!), but you may simply refuse to answer questions and ask for an attorney to protect your rights and advise you.

Restrictions on gun ownership

Owning guns in America is a complicated issue, and one that many people feel very strongly about. Depending on the state in which you live, gun laws may be more strict or more lax, but some requirements or restrictions exist at the federal level, too. Certain types of firearms and firearm accessories or devices require passing background checks and registry with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Failure to comply with the law may lead to serious consequences and even jail time.

You may not qualify to own a gun for a number of reasons under a federal act known as Brady Handgun Violence Act. The scope of this law may surprise you. Under Brady, individuals can be denied gun ownership if

  • A court rules them mentally defective
  • They are addicted to a controlled substance or use controlled substances illegally
  • They are subject to a dishonorable discharge from the military
  • They are illegal aliens
  • They officially renounce citizenship in the United States
  • They suffer a conviction for a crime resulting in more than one year of incarceration
  • They carry a restraining order from an intimate partner or that partner's child
  • Many individuals are quite surprised to learn the narrow qualifications that may keep them from owning guns. Violating the Brady Handgun Violence Act may result in fairly hefty punishment.

What if I open someone else's mail?

We often take the postal service for granted, or even view it with annoyance for filling our mailboxes with loads of advertisements that we'll never read. However, the postal service is still an important institution, one with a surprising amount of power as a federal entity. To this end, crimes involving the postal service are generally federal offenses. Only in some certain circumstances is opening someone else's mail acceptable.

One such instance might be if you are staying in someone else's home and have their expressed permission to open their mail. In this instance, even though you are technically opening the mail of another person willfully, it is probably not a prosecutable offense. It is very important to make sure that you have the permission of the rightful owner of the mail.

When is drunk driving not drunk driving?

Drunk driving charges are difficult to face, and in some cases, may come as a complete surprise. While most of us think of drunk driving as occurring when someone is physically operating a vehicle in motion while the driver is intoxicated, not all of these elements must necessarily be present in all cases. Depending on the details of the circumstances, an officer may give out drunk driving charges to someone who is not necessarily "driving" in the sense we think of it from day to day.

Sometimes, an officer may issue drunk driving charges to a person who is not actually driving the vehicle from one place to another. In these instances, the officer may claim that, while not technically in motion, the persona receiving the charges was instead in control of the vehicle. There are a number of ways to object to these charges, depending on the facts of the case.

When a personal injury becomes a wrongful death

If a person suffers an injury in an accident, then he or she may choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. However, things can get complicated if that person passes away before he or she actually brings the suit. Should a person pass away before he or she initiates a personal injury suit, the survivors of the individual may have several options, depending on the nature of the case itself and the cause of death.

If a person plans to pursue a personal injury suit, but then passes away because of those same injuries, that person's heirs may choose to convert the personal injury suit into a wrongful death suit. This takes a good deal of preparation, and should not be attempted without significant due diligence. It is always wise to have an objective counselor guide a person's family and loved ones through such a difficult season.

Filing your own accident report without police

If you experience a car accident where another driver strikes you, you probably know that you should wait at the scene of the accident for a police officer to arrive and create an accident report. Accident reports are very useful any time you have to file a claim, whether it is with your own insurer or against another driver.

However, in some cases, police officers may not be able to come to the scene of the accident and create a report. Fortunately, if you collect documentation at the scene, you can create your own accident report and submit it to the police yourself.

Is drunk driving justified if I'm in danger?

Drunk driving charges are never something you want to face, but, in some cases, driving while intoxicated is either beyond your control or the best of several bad options. While they are not very common, some defenses of drunk driving don't attempt to discount the charges themselves, but rather choose to justify the choice to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Depending on your circumstances, an affirmative DUI defense may be your best choice.

If a person drinks and then chooses to drive because of some great need or great threat that outweighs the danger of drinking and driving, then they may successfully defend against DUI charges. This might occur if two friends are drinking while doing some leisure activity and one of them suffers an injury. In this case, the other friend might rightfully choose to drive his or her injured friend to a hospital, despite intoxication.

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