One of the most common cases that a personal injury lawyer will deal with is a dog bite case, mostly because of the many ways in which he or she can help you protect yourself and your dog. This is vital as you can be subjected to a massive lawsuit or have to put your dog down if he or she has bitten someone and you do not have a proper defense. Listed below are three ways that a lawyer can help you with a dog bite case.
The Individual Was Trespassing
One of the main ways that a lawyer can help you avoid having to put your dog down is by attempting to show that the person who was bitten was actually trespassing on your property. This can apply if the person was jumping over your fence, crossing your property uninvited, or was breaking into your home. The key point to remember here is that this defense only works if trespassing was indeed occurring and that you did not invite the individual onto your property.
The Individual Was Provoking The Dog
Another defense that a lawyer can use to protect you and your dog is to show that the person who was bitten was tormenting the dog in some way. For example, if an individual was constantly teasing, harming, or annoying your dog, then a court may decide that the dog reacted normally in order to get the torment to stop when he or she lashed out. Other types of provocation can include accidental provocation, such as stepping on the dog while he or she was asleep and startling him or her awake or surprising the dog with a loud noise nearby.
The Individual Ignored Warnings
Finally, one of the most common defenses when your dog has bitten someone is to show that the bitten person ignored multiple warnings to leave the dog alone. This can apply if you were out walking your dog and told an approaching individual not to pet the dog, but he or she approached anyway and got bitten. However, this approach will only work if you had your dog properly leashed.
Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your dog has bitten someone in order to discuss the strength of your case and the options that are available to you. A personal injury lawyer can help by attempting to show that the bitten individual was trespassing, provoking the dog, or ignored warnings to stay away from the dog. Check out a law firm like Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland LLP to consult with a lawyer.Learn More
If you are being asked to be a guarantor for a bail bond so a friend or relative can get out of jail, do not feel pressured into making a decision before first learning as much as you can about the situation. If this person doesn’t show up for their court date, you will have to pay the bail amount if you sign as the guarantor. Here are a few important things you should consider before agreeing to be a guarantor.
Does the person have a stable home address?
He or she will receive a notice in the mail as to the exact date and time they will need to appear in court. It is crucial that they have a stable home address so they can receive mail and have papers served to them. This address should match the address they have on their government-issued ID. If this person moves around a lot, is a vagrant, or is homeless, he or she may not receive notification of the court date. Of course, this would mean that you would have to pay up.
Fortunately, the bail bondsman also gets a notification of court dates of all the clients they handle. It’s a good idea to ask the bail bondsman to contact you when he or she receives notification of the court date for your friend or family member.
Are you able to reach this person at any day or time?
Can you trust this person to answer your calls and reply to your messages as quickly as possible? Or does it usually take him or her several days to get back with you? By listing yourself as a guarantor, the bail bondsman will contact you for assistance if your friend or family member fails to appear for their scheduled meetings with the bail bondsman during the wait for the court date. The bail bondsman will also contact you if they are unable to get a hold of this person.
Does the person have reliable transportation to get to the courthouse?
You and this person you are helping may do everything right but still get thwarted by something like a vehicle breaking down while on the way to the courthouse for the hearing. If he or she does not have reliable transportation, consider giving them a ride to the courthouse or sending a taxi service to them so they can be on their way without any hitches. Visit http://www.abailnowbailbonds.com for more information.Learn More
Those facing a criminal conviction aren’t limited to the options of pleading either “guilty” or “not guilty”. There are also often certain plea deals available that can minimize the penalties a criminal defendant will face as a result of charges. One such plea deal is a deferred adjudication.
The following are five things defendants should know about deferred adjudication if they’re attempting to fight a criminal conviction:
Deferred adjudication is a way to enjoy a lesser sentence while pleading guilty.
With deferred adjudication, a defendant will agree with the court to accept certain requirements for a given period of time before a formal decision is made on the defendant’s sentence.
Deferred adjudication is not necessarily available in every case.
It’s important that criminal defendants are aware of the fact that deferred adjudication may not be available in every jurisdiction. However, if deferred adjudication is not available in a certain jurisdiction, that jurisdiction might offer a similar plea deal agreement like a diversion program.
Also, some states use a different term for deferred adjudication. For example, deferred adjudication is known as “probation before judgment” in the state of Maryland.
If a defendant pleads “guilty” through deferred adjudication, it’s possible that no criminal conviction will go on his or her record.
One of the biggest advantages deferred adjudication offers to criminal defendants is that it can prevent a criminal conviction from going on the defendant’s record.
For example, in the state of Texas a deferred adjudication will not result in a criminal conviction on the defendant’s criminal record. Instead, the case will be dismissed once the defendant successfully fulfills the terms of the agreement.
Deferred adjudication may require community service, probation, and restitution.
A variety of different requirements can be included in a deferred adjudication agreement. These requirements will be determined by the court.
Of course, the defendant’s lawyer can assist in negotiating these terms and in giving the defendant advice on whether or not the terms being offered are reasonable.
Defendants should always discuss deferred adjudication with a lawyer before seeking such an agreement with the court.
Criminal defendants who are fairly certain that they will be found guilty in court almost always stand to benefit from negotiating a deferred adjudication agreement. However, such an agreement may not be in the best interests of a defendant who can be reasonably confident of being found not guilty.
It’s important that defendants discuss the deferred adjudication with their lawyers before pursuing such an agreement with the court. To learn more, contact a law firm like Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices.Learn More
Lane splitting happens when a person who is riding a motorcycle drives down the middle of the lanes in the road — between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped cars — to bypass traffic. If an accident occurs when a motorcycle driver is splitting lanes, it might be difficult to determine which driver is actually liable for the accident because there are several different factors that need to be considered.
Your State’s Lane Splitting Laws
California is the only US state that has deemed lane splitting legal, and it’s only legal for motorcyclists to split lanes if it’s done safely — which is determined by the police investigating the accident and the court. Even though California is the only state that has ruled lane splitting legal, many states don’t have laws that specifically prohibit it. Because of this, it’s typically a good idea to discuss your options with a motorcycle accident attorney if you’re involved in an accident that involved lane splitting, especially if someone was injured.
Because lane splitting isn’t seen as a legal maneuver in most states, the motorcyclist is often considered liable for accidents that involve lane splitting. This means if you were driving a motorcycle between lanes of traffic and an accident occurred, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to recover costs for damages. However, if you can prove that the other driver played a role in the accident, there is a chance that you may be able to recover all or some of the costs incurred by the accident. Your lawyer will have a better chance at winning your case if you can prove that you’re an experienced motorcyclist with a good driving record, you weren’t speeding or weaving between lanes at the time of the accident, and the other driver did something dangerous that caused the accident — like changing lanes abruptly without signaling.
What to Do if You’re in a Motorcycle Accident That Involved Lane Splitting
If you’re involved in an accident that occurred while you were driving between two lanes of vehicles, you need to make sure you don’t do or say anything that could be considered an admission of fault. After all, chances are, the deck is already stacked against you — you don’t want to make the situation worse. So when you speak to the police, stick to stating the facts. While it’s important to make sure the passengers in the other vehicle are okay and to exchange insurance information, you should avoid apologizing or saying anything else that could imply that you’re at fault in case you need to file a personal injury claim later.
Even though it may be difficult to win a personal injury claim for an accident that happened while you were driving a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic, it isn’t impossible. So if you’re involved in an accident, you should talk to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.Learn More
Do you believe in unicorns? If not, you’re in good company—many investors and employees of so-called unicorn companies (start-ups valued at over $1 billion, like Uber and Snapchat) are questioning the actual value of their company shares. Many of them meet with some understandable resistance because the unicorn companies aren’t eager to divulge their financial information, partially for fear that the values might not hold up to inspection. If you own shares of a private start-up that seems to be almost mythically lucrative, what can you do to force them to disclose information?
Small investors should look to state laws for relief.
Since companies typically only reveal their financial information to major investors, those with minority stakes often get left in the dark. Most states have laws to remedy this. In Pennsylvania, for example, there are at least two laws designed to protect minority shareholders from oppression by closely-held companies.
If the company is incorporated in Delaware (which many are, due to the state’s notoriously lax regulations and aggressive marketing as a corporate-friendly place), the law does give you the right to inspect the company’s financial records if
If the company ignores your request or denies it, you can then file a lawsuit to force the issue. You may consider reaching out to other shareholders who are in a similar position, in order to split the costs of any legal fees associated with the action.
Employee investors should ask if the company meets the federal threshold for disclosure.
What if you’re an employee of one of these unicorn companies, who has traded a slightly more lucrative position or some other benefits for shares in the company itself? It isn’t uncommon for start-ups to offer shares to employees both as a way to foster a feeling of joint-entrepreneurship or to simply take advantage of certain tax breaks. Unfortunately, the feeling of entrepreneurial camaraderie may not extend to giving those same employees access to the financials they need in order to really determine what their shares are actually worth.
Rule 701 of the Federal Securities Act may force the company to open the records a little wider. If the company sells $5 million or more of its securities in a 12-month period (which isn’t hard to do if you’re a company valued at $1 billion or more), rule 701 goes into effect. Employees can ask the company to voluntarily comply with the rule and seek relief through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if they won’t.
If you’re a minority shareholder in a unicorn start-up company, don’t assume that you can’t get access to the information that you need to really place a value on your shares. If you’re struggling with a company that is less-than-willing to be forthright about your shares, talk to an corporate lawyer.Learn More
In a personal injury lawsuit, there are many different ways of uncovering information that could be important to the case. One of those is the witness deposition. If you’ve been named as a witness in a lawsuit, this is what you need to know.
What is a deposition and why is it done?
A deposition is a formal part of the process of discovery in a legal action. It’s done long before a trial, and it serves several different purposes:
Depositions are usually held in conference rooms and they can be videotaped. A court reporter is usually on hand in order to create a transcript of what is said during the deposition and you’re required to take an oath to testify truthfully before you begin. If you lie you can be subject to prosecution for perjury.
What happens if you don’t want to give a deposition?
Many people would prefer not to be involved in a lawsuit at all—especially if they have information that could be damaging to the case of a friend or relative. For example, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner recently faced a deposition in the civil case for sexual battery against his longtime friend, comedian Bill Cosby. Unfortunately, you rarely have any sort of option to refuse.
If you try to ignore the deposition request or use some other delaying tactic, the opposing party can go to the court for a motion to compel. The court can also grant a motion to compel if you refuse to answer specific questions or try to give an evasive or incomplete answer. If you continue to refuse, you can be prosecuted (and even jailed) for contempt of court.
There are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule. If your testimony could possibly implicate you in something illegal, you may be able to assert your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in order to avoid giving testimony. The spouses of defendants are also able to avoid giving testimony due to marital privilege laws. For example, Bill Cosby’s wife, Camille, was able to refuse to answer certain questions about private communications between herself and the comedian.
For more information on depositions and personal injury claims, talk to a personal injury attorney in your area today.Learn More
Being charged for driving under the influence can be detrimental. Not only do you face losing your license, you also face possible fines and jail time. This can interfere with your daily life, including your ability to keep your job. Fortunately, you can fight these charges against you. All you need is a skilled lawyer and the right tactics.
So what tactics can you use to fight the charge? Here are four:
1. Witness Testimony
If you had another person that witnessed your arrest, you might be able to use their testimony to fight back. Perhaps the witness knows that you only had one drink. Maybe the witness knows you ran the stop sign because you were distracted by conversation. Whatever the reason, a witness can be a key tool for fighting your charges.
2. No Reason To Be Pulled Over
Another method for fighting your charges is proving that there was no probable cause to pull you over. If the police officer pulled you over for no apparent reason, you might be able to get the charges thrown out. This might include reasons such as ethnicity. However, this tactic can also sometimes work for random stops.
3. You Weren’t Driving
If you weren’t actually driving your vehicle, you might be able to get the charges dismissed. This is because the vehicle actually has to be in motion to count as driving under the influence. If you were sitting in your parked car, but the police charged you anyways, the chances are good for getting the case dismissed.
4. You Weren’t Drinking
Finally, you might also be able to fight the charges if you weren’t actually drinking. The tests that the police use are very sensitive and will often pick up on alcohol in foods, such as cooking sherry. Other items, such as mouthwash, can also cause a false positive reading. So if you hadn’t had anything to drink, but were still charged, you can probably get the case dismissed. However, you will have to have evidence that you weren’t drinking.
As you can see, there are many methods for fighting these cases. So if you feel that you were wrongly charged, talk to an attorney about what tactics might work for your case. Just make sure that you have the evidence to back it up, as these charges are often very serious and require evidence in order to convict or dismiss.
For more information, contact a local firm like Eaby Firm LLC.Learn More