• Why Seatbelts Still Matter in the Backseat

    A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye and seatbelts are an essential safety device that can save lives. Unfortunately, it’s often thought that accident injuries are less likely to affect passengers in the backseat. The data show that when a car accident occurs in Glen Burnie or Severn, unbuckled passengers are just as likely to sustain injuries or be killed in the backseat as they are in the front seat.

    Watch this video to get the facts on accident injury prevention. It discusses a study that evaluated car crash deaths during 2013. The study found that over half of all backseat passengers who were killed in these crashes were not wearing their seatbelts. About one-fifth of passengers resist buckling up-a figure that grows even worse among taxi passengers.

  • Tips for Preparing for Your Consultation with Your DUI Attorney

    Your initial meeting with your DUI attorney in Glen Burnie or Severn may take place while you are in custody or after you have been released. Since DUI cases are time-sensitive, it’s important to meet with your attorney as soon as possible. However, you should take a few minutes to prepare so that your attorney can thoroughly evaluate your case. Justice - System

    Create a Concise Summary

    The stress of the arrest can make it difficult to think clearly and you may quickly begin to forget important details. It’s important to write down your side of the story promptly. Be completely honest in your summary of the events; being less than truthful with your lawyer can compromise the outcome of your case. Your attorney will need to know the key facts of the case, such as the reason the police officer pulled you over, the way you interacted with the officer, and the responses you gave to the officer’s questions.

    Write Down Your Questions

    The criminal justice system can be confusing for defendants. You may have questions about the potential penalties if you are convicted and you may be wondering about the next steps in the legal process. You might also be curious to know exactly how your lawyer plans to approach your case and what your chances are of securing a favorable outcome. Write down all of your questions in order of priority.

    Make a List of Witnesses

    Write down the full names and contact information of all parties involved with your case. This includes anyone else who was in the car with you and anyone you may have seen prior to getting in the car.

    Consider Your Goals

    You might think that the goal of a defendant in a DUI case would be obvious, but there are more outcomes to consider than the possibility of an acquittal. Many cases involve plea deals. A plea bargain would allow you to avoid a trial; you would agree to plead guilty in the hopes of having the charges reduced and getting a lesser sentence.

  • What Happens When You Fail a Sobriety Test?

    It’s often thought that field sobriety tests and blood alcohol tests are the same thing. Actually, they’re completely different. If an officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence in Severn or Glen Burnie, he or she may ask you to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line, stand on one foot while counting, or perform similar tasks. These are field sobriety tests and it’s widely known that people who are entirely sober often fail these tests. The purpose of field sobriety tests is to gather additional evidence that may be used against you during DUI proceedings. Unlike blood alcohol tests, such as the Breathalyzer, drivers can refuse to take field sobriety tests without fear of additional legal penalties or other consequences.

    Because field sobriety tests are easy to fail even when a person is sober and because there is no legal mandate that drivers consent to them, DUI lawyers typically advise their clients against taking these tests. If you do consent to a field sobriety test and fail it, then this will only serve as further evidence against you in court.

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  • Understanding Catastrophic Injuries and Car Accident Lawsuits

    Moving forward from a car accident is always difficult. The car accident survivor’s health is the top priority, but other obstacles include the damage inflicted on the car and the lost wages the survivor is likely to suffer. When a survivor’s injuries are catastrophic, recovering from a wreck is particularly challenging. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with catastrophic injuries, you should consult a car accident lawyer in Glen Burnie or Severn immediately for legal guidance. car - accident - lawsuit

    Defining Catastrophic Injuries

    All car accident injuries are undesirable, but catastrophic injuries are on a different level. They are broadly defined as severe injuries that inflict long-term or permanent bodily impairment or disfigurement. Catastrophic injuries will typically involve a lengthy period of recovery and extensive medical treatment, such as multiple surgeries. Some people with catastrophic injuries require a lifetime of medical and personal care. Some examples of catastrophic injuries that a car accident may inflict include traumatic amputations, permanent loss of vision, severe and extensive scarring, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries in particular can be devastating because they often involve a degree of paralysis, which is irreversible.

    Identifying Damages

    Before filing a personal injury lawsuit, the attorney must identify and calculate the plaintiff’s damages or losses. These calculations will inform the amount of money that the lawsuit specifies. It may not be possible to develop an accurate estimate of a plaintiff’s damages right after the accident. The plaintiff may first undergo extensive medical treatment and try to recover to the maximum extent that is possible. Then, the attorney can add up all of the plaintiff’s economic damages, which include medical bills, medication costs, and similar expenses. The attorney will also develop an estimate of the medical costs the plaintiff can expect to incur over his or her lifetime. Then, the attorney can calculate the plaintiff’s non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

    Proving Damages

    In any personal injury lawsuit, it’s necessary for the attorney to gather evidence and argue the plaintiff’s case in court. In a catastrophic injury case, the attorney must not only prove that the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, but also prove the extent of the injuries. It may be necessary to have an expert witness testify as to the future medical and personal needs of the plaintiff.

  • What to Expect in an MVA Hearing

    If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Maryland, you face the loss of your driving privileges. To fight back against a suspension of your driver’s license, a DUI lawyer located in Glen Burnie or Severn might advise you to request a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) hearing . If so, your MVA hearing will be scheduled about four to six weeks after your request date.

    An MVA hearing is different from a typical court proceeding. It is held at an MVA facility before an administrative law judge. Although MVA hearings are less formal than criminal court proceedings, they do share similar characteristics. Each party will have the opportunity to present exhibits and his or her arguments. At the conclusion of the hearing, the administrative law judge will decide whether to suspend your driver’s license. If your license is suspended, your lawyer can file an appeal within 30 days of the hearing date.

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  • How DUI Charges Affect CDL Holders

    Drunk driving is a serious criminal offense that is punishable by harsh penalties upon conviction, with good reason. Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) causes thousands of deaths and injuries each year in the U.S. Certain drivers may be subject to additional penalties if they are charged with drunk driving, including those who hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). If you’re a commercial driver and you were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, it’s imperative that you contact a DUI lawyer in Glen Burnie or Severn right away. A DUI lawyer can protect your legal rights and work toward improving the outcome of your case. DUI - charge

    CDL Suspension

    The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) can suspend or disqualify your CDL for a number of reasons. It can be disqualified after a conviction of DUI charges. It may also be disqualified prior to conviction if the law enforcement officer allegedly determines that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was very high. You should be aware that your CDL can be disqualified if you refuse to submit to a chemical test of your BAC. When your CDL is suspended, you will receive a notice of disqualification. You must surrender your CDL to the MVA by the indicated date or you will risk having your period of suspension extended. Before you surrender your license, you should consult a DUI lawyer. He or she might recommend that you request an administrative hearing to fight the suspension.

    CDL Revocation

    Maryland criminal law allows for the revocation of a driver’s CDL for life under certain circumstances, including a second conviction of DUI. This can be devastating for individuals who rely on their ability to drive commercially in order to support their families. If you are facing DUI charges for the second time, you should contact a DUI lawyer immediately for legal guidance.

    Criminal Penalties

    In addition to the suspension or revocation of your CDL, you will face criminal penalties if you are convicted of DUI. For a first offense, you could face up to one year in jail or up to two years in jail for a second conviction. A first-time DUI conviction can result in fines of up to $1,000 or up to $2,000 for a second conviction.

  • What Is a Separation Agreement?

    If you and your spouse are considering splitting up, you may have considered meeting with divorce lawyers in Severn and Glen Burnie to discuss a legal separation . While a separation agreement is often a precursor to divorce, you may still decide to reconcile after you separate.

    As your divorce lawyers will explain, a separation agreement does not dissolve a marriage. However, it is a legally binding document in family law. When your family law attorney draws up a separation agreement, that document outlines legal results and responsibilities of living separately from your spouse. Separation agreements may include child custody and child support arrangements. Some legal separations will also divide marital property. Once signed, a separation agreement is legal and binding. However, child support and child custody issues may be adjusted by a court later on. Once you and your former spouse have been legally separated for 12 months, you may either seek a no fault divorce or elect to remain married. If you and your spouse are not sure of your options when it comes to legal separation, divorce, and family law, you should meet separately with divorce lawyers.

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  • Negligence in Car Accident Cases

    Have you been hurt in a car accident that was not your fault? If so, contact a car accident lawyer in Glen Burnie and Severn right away. Only car accident lawyers are familiar with state negligence law and understand how the system works. Personal injury law mandates that all drivers on the road exercise a certain standard of care. When drivers are negligent—and that negligence results in personal injury—they are liable for any damages that result. Keep reading to learn more about the elements of negligence in car accident cases, including a breached duty of care, direct causation, and demonstrable damages. car - accident - cases

    Breached Duty

    As your car accident lawyer will explain, the first element of negligence involves a duty of care and the breach of that duty. In short, if you are hurt, car accident lawyers need to prove that another driver was obligated to be reasonably careful and failed to act carefully. All drivers are legally required to drive carefully, so that element is easily satisfied. A breach of the duty occurs when a driver unreasonably fails to stop at a red light, watch for crossing pedestrians, or follow at a safe distance.

    Direct Causation

    Car accident attorneys also need to show the court that the other driver’s failure to drive carefully directly caused your injury. Even if another driver does not stop at a stop sign, rear ends your vehicle, and you suffer an injury, the driver is only liable if his failure to stop directly caused your injury. For example, if you suffer a back injury but have had longtime back problems, your car accident lawyer will need to show that your recent injury is directly attributable to the other driver.

    Demonstrable Damages

    The final step in proving negligence is showing damages. Damages are injuries for which you may be compensated. Common examples of car accident damages include lost wages, diminished employment opportunities, medical bills, and pain and suffering. If you suffer a minor injury that requires no medical care or time off work, you will not have a car accident claim.

  • Talking to the Police After an Arrest

    After being arrested, your first step should be to contact a DUI lawyer near Glen Burnie and Severn who also handles DUI and other criminal cases . Only DUI attorneys can help you fight a DUI or more serious criminal charge.

    As your car accident lawyer will explain, you should never speak to the police without having your car accident lawyers present. When you are arrested, the police are obligated to advise you of your Miranda rights. You have the right to remain silent and to know that anything you say can and will be held against you in court. You also have the right to have your criminal and auto accident lawyer present. If the police fail to apprise you of your legal rights, your attorney may be able to have the case thrown out.

  • Dealing with Pet Custody During a Divorce

    Divorce lawyers near Glen Burnie and Severn also regularly counsel clients who want to retain ownership of a family pet during a divorce. Pet custody issues can be complicated and require the attention of an experienced divorce lawyer.

    Deciding to divorce is difficult under any circumstances, which is why you need a divorce lawyer who is experienced handling a wide range of family law issues. While custody of children is determined using the best interests of the child standard, pet custody is a property issue. To get custody of your pet, you and your divorce lawyers will need to show that you either owned the pet or provided the majority of care. Your divorce lawyer can also prove that you are better able to care for your pet.