Who Pays Credit Card Debt In A Divorce? North Carolina Divorce Lawyers Educates

Who Pays Credit Card Debt In A Divorce? North Carolina Divorce Lawyers Educates

Raleigh, NC, 09/23/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

An experienced Raleigh divorce lawyer can help you explore your options says Raleigh Vitale Family Law, wWhether you have a little or a lot, you want to make sure you get a fair result. An experienced North Carolina divorce lawyer can help you explore your options.

Got Debt? You’re Not Alone

If you and your spouse have a lot of credit card debt, rest assured you are not alone. The average American household has over $15,000 in credit card debt.

When you’re facing a divorce, having a debt cloud looming over your head can make it seem like you will never be able to put your bills behind you. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure you’re not stuck paying your spouse’s credit card debts. There are also ways to reduce your overall financial obligations. If you and your spouse have significant debts, it’s important to work with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer, as even a small mistake during the divorce process can leave you saddled with debts you shouldn’t have to pay.

The first step in understanding how credit card debts are divided in divorce is knowing how North Carolina law treats debts in a marriage.

North Carolina Is an Equitable Distribution State

Like most states, North Carolina follows the equitable distribution rule when it comes to dividing debts in a divorce. This means that debts are divided equitably, but it does not always mean they are divided equally between the husband and wife. Under North Carolina law, courts consider a long list of factors to determine how the debts should be distributed. The courts use these same factors to divide the parties’ assets. Some of these factors include the length of the marriage, the spouses’ education levels, and whether either spouse did anything to devalue or “waste” the couple’s assets.

The law also distinguishes between “marital” and “separate”debt. Generally, assets or debts acquired by a spouse before the marriage took place are considered separate and not subject to distribution. Similarly, as a general rule, debts and assets acquired by one or both spouses while they were married are considered marital and are subject to distribution. In some cases, however, assets (or debts) acquired by one spouse are considered separate, even if the spouse acquired the property or debt while the parties were married. Common examples include inheritances and settlements in personal injury cases. Under certain circumstances, debts can also be considered the separate property of one spouse, particularly if the debt did not serve a marital purpose.

I Didn’t Know about the Debt. Do I Still Have to Pay?

In some cases, a husband or wife opens a credit card without telling the other person. Finding out your spouse has a secret credit card with a big balance can be a devastating financial blow.

If you suspect your spouse has a charge card you didn’t know about, it’s important to speak to a North Carolina divorce lawyer right away. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to prove that you had nothing to do with the debt. For example, you may be able to use financial records to establish that no marital purpose was served by the debt. For example, the court may decide you are not responsible for the debt if your spouse used a credit card to pay for gifts or outings with a third party, a divorce lawyer consultation, or to furnish an apartment in anticipation of ending the marriage.

Call a North Carolina Divorce Lawyer Today

Debt is a common issue in North Carolina divorce cases. Get the peace of mind by calling the divorce lawyers at Vitale Family Law. Discuss your case with an experienced and compassionate lawyer. Call us today. 919-841-5680.

Media Contact:

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lori@vitalefamilylaw.com

Raleigh Family Lawyers

Vitale Family Law

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Criminal Defense Lawyer Asks – Should Being Poor Mean You Have To Stay In Jail?

Criminal Defense Lawyer Asks - Should Being Poor Mean You Have To Stay In Jail?

Dallas, 09/23/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

No one should be punished for being poor says Texas criminal defense lawyers Broden & Mickelsen.

In many parts of the country, being too poor to make bail leaves criminal defendants with just one option: Sit in jail while their case is pending. It’s a scenario that happens over and over again. An individual gets arrested and charged with a crime – usually something relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. At their bail hearing, the judge sets bail, sometimes in the hundreds, sometimes in the thousands. When they can’t pay, they are stuck in jail until their case moves forward. In the meantime, their job, their children, and their other responsibilities exist in a sort of limbo.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, and reported by NBC News, it’s a practice that has gone on for far too long. Recently, the Justice Department claimed that incarcerating the indigent due to an inability to pay is unconstitutional.

If you have been charged with a crime and held in jail because you could not make bail, contact a Texas criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. You have important rights. If your rights have been violated, the criminal defense lawyers at Broden & Mickelsen can help you defend them.

A Texas-Sized Problem

They say everything is bigger in Texas. Unfortunately, it’s not always a good thing. In Harris County, reports have surfaced of individuals being incarcerated on minor charges, simply because they could not afford the bail set in their case.

According to several sources, many criminal defendants in Harris County have suffered harsh consequences due to a lack of funds. One 22-year-old woman nearly lost her job after she was kept in jail for two days for driving without a license. She could not afford the $2,500 bail set in her case. In another case, a young, pregnant mother with two older children, including a child with a disability, was told to come up with $5,000 bail money or remain in jail.

The jail in Harris County is the largest in Texas and the third-largest in the United States. One source claims that an overwhelming 77 percent of all inmates in the jail are there because they could not afford to pay bail. Out of 8,600 individuals processed into the jail in any given month, 6,800 are detained because they can’t pay.

Justice Department Says Enough Is Enough

The indigent bail problem extends far beyond Texas. The Justice Department set forth its opinion on the issue in a case pending in Georgia. In that case, Maurice Walker was incarcerated for six nights after he could not pay $160 bail for a misdemeanor offense of being a pedestrian under the influence of alcohol.

According to the Justice Department, Walker’s incarceration was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and reminiscent of the debtors’ prisons commonly described in Charles Dickens novels written in the Nineteenth Century.

The Justice Department also said there are other methods to guarantee a person’s appearance in court, especially when the individual has been charged with a minor, non-violent offense.

Jailed Because You Could Not Pay Bail? Call a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer

No one should be punished for being poor. It’s not a crime to struggle to make ends meet. At Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Broden & Mickelsen, we defend the rights of people who have suffered at the hands of a justice system that does not always treat everyone fairly. If you have been the victim of unjust bail practices, we can help. Contact us or call 214-720-9552 to discuss your case with a Texas criminal defense lawyer today.

source: http://www.brodenmickelsen.com/blog/dallas-criminal-defense-lawyer-asks-should-being-poor-mean-you-have-to-stay-in-jail/

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National Comic Book Day Celebrates A Favorite Pastime And Lucrative Industry

National Comic Book Day Celebrates A Favorite Pastime And Lucrative Industry

Dallas, 09/23/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

The Experts at Dallas Fan Days Talk Comics

Every year on Sept. 25, comic book readers, collectors, lovers and fans celebrate National Comic Book Day. Comic books – are they a hobby, a pastime, a casual form of entertainment? Try a billion dollar a year industry and a powerful consumer market. According to the latest estimate by ICV2 and Comichron, total comics and graphic novel sales in North America hit $1.03 billion in 2015, the first year for the industry to ever hit over a billion dollars in sales. Comic books are no longer just a cultural experience; they are an economic powerhouse.

At first thought, comic books may not be considered a largely sought-after product; however, the demand for their colorful pages and fascinating stories continues to climb. Sales in 2014 were up 8 percent from 2013, and 2015 sales were up 10 percent from 2014. As traditional fans of the comic book age and are now adults, the primary purchasers of comic books are adults between the ages of 25 and 44 according to ICV2 – individuals who have more disposable income to spend on a treasured form of entertainment. Their deep-seated love for comics is elevating the industry.

“Comic books have continued to become a cultural unifier,” says Andrew Moyes, show director of Dallas Fan Days™. “People all over the world can connect over their love and passion for comic books, and we see that at our conventions year after year.”

Whether it’s nostalgia or excitement over new superhero movies and TV shows, fans are showing their love for the comic book industry.

“At conventions across the country, we have seen an influx of new faces that have only been exposed to these comic characters through the movies, and the attendance has swelled to record numbers because of it. In stores, we have seen older customers who had stopped collecting or reading coming back in to catch up,” says Andy McMahon, owner of Duncanville Bookstore, a shop that offers a range of comic books, graphic novels, games, toys and action figures. “The DFW area has a large number of people still trying to collect every issue of a series. Because the DFW area is so diverse, our customers are willing to branch out and try new titles, which is nice to see because there are some great non-superhero titles being produced right now.”

Dallas Fan Days – one of the best comics, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming events in Texas and set to return Oct. 14-16, 2016, at the Irving Convention Center – will host comic guests such as: Neal Adams, Brandon Peterson, Jim Calafiore, Ty Templeton, Joe Eisma, Jeremy Clark, Sam de la Rosa, Ben Dunn, Steve Erwin, Scott Harben, Mike Krome, Andrew Mangum, Danita Mangum, Jason Metcalf, Ande Parks, Lawrence Reynolds, Marlin Snoop, K.T. Smith, Shaun Steven Struble and Jamie Tyndall.

For the full list of appearances and family-friendly activities, tickets and other information, please visit http://www.dallascomiccon.com. Stay connected with the show for announcements and updates by registering for their newsletter, and following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For vendor information, please click here. Those interested in volunteering can find more information here. Accredited media can request press passes by applying for accreditation at http://dallascomiccon.com/press/.

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972.247.1369

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Weird Truck Spills Throughout The U.S. Highlight Continuing Dangers Of Truck Accidents

Weird Truck Spills Throughout The U.S. Highlight Continuing Dangers Of Truck Accidents

Dallas, 09/23/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

Always consult with a truck accident lawyer, who can provide the information needed to determine if a lawsuit against the trucking company is warranted.

Commercial vehicles like freight and delivery trucks often cause more damage than small cars when they are involved in accidents because of their size, coupled with the danger of spilling whatever they are transporting.

Recent truck accidents in the U.S. have highlighted this fact, and serve as a warning to motorists in passenger vehicles to be aware of the potential threat posed by these behemoth trucks on the highways.   

Truck Accident Spills

Brazoria County, TX – Earlier this year, a tanker truck filled with chicken steroids rolled over and blocked the highway, according to a report filed by the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office.

The truck accident occurred at around 3 a.m. on FM 2917 near the FM 2004 marker. Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office deputies did not disclose the cause of the accident or who was at fault.

However, deputies did report that two people were taken to the hospital, though they did not reveal the extent of their injuries.

The chicken steroids that the truck was transporting were moved to another truck. Northbound and southbound lanes were blocked as crews cleaned up the accident site.

Eden Prairie, MN – In April, a tractor-trailer that was transporting a ton of meat, struck a median on Interstate 494 during the morning commute, according to a report filed by the Minnesota State Patrol.

The truck accident caused numerous packages of sausage to spill onto the opposite lane, blocking traffic for several hours.

State Patrol reported that the driver of the truck had suffered a health issue prior to the accident and that the driver lost consciousness, causing the truck to swerve into the median.

The driver was not injured, and there were no reports of car accidents caused by the spill, or of damage to other vehicles.

Dayton, OH – Another truck accident spill occurred in June 2015, when a truck carrying more than 800 live pigs overturned, killing as many as 500 pigs, and setting free as many as 400 pigs from the wreckage.

West, TX – In January 2015, an 18-wheeler that was transporting frozen French fries, rolled onto its side, spilling its load across Interstate 35.

Although no injuries were reported, the truck spill closed both lanes on the highway as crews worked to clean up the site.

Houston, TX – In another Texas truck-spill accident, an 18-wheeler crashed into a small vehicle on the westbound lanes of Katy Freeway, spilling cases of beer onto the road. The crash took place in September 2014, and there were no reports of injuries.

Summit, SD – The driver of a tractor-trailer fell asleep while driving in June 2014, and when his eyes opened, he yanked the steering wheel too hard, causing his truck to flip onto its side, spilling cases of Bud Light.

The truck accident occurred on Interstate 29, which is just north of Summit. Cleanup crews were dispatched to remove the beer. There were no reports of injuries.

Rocky Mount, NC – In January 2015, a truck transporting ramen noodles was involved in an accident on the I-95, according to ABC-affiliate WTVD-TV.

Larry Scholting, the driver of the truck, said he fell asleep while driving, and woke up just as his truck smashed into a guardrail. The truck veered off-road and struck a highway bridge, cutting open the cargo space, and spilling ramen noodle packages onto the road.

Although there were no injuries reported, the main lanes were closed as cleanup workers removed the ramen and diesel fuel from the road.

“I kind of drowsed off,” Scholting said in an interview with WTVD-TV, “and next thing I knew, I had taken out the guardrail.”

Lake Samish, WA –  A truck carrying porta-potties was involved in an accident with a small vehicle on the I-5, according to a local police report.

The truck accident happened on the southbound I-5 in the afternoon, though the exact details were not disclosed.

Because the porta-potties were full at the time of the accident, a Hazmat team was dispatched to the accident site to clean 20 gallons of human waste that had spilled onto the highway.

Traffic was stalled for five miles as the Hazmat team cleared the biological waste for the next two-and-a-half hours.

Truck Accident Statistics

From 2004 to 2009, fatal truck accidents decreased by 33 percent, according to a report issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). But fatal truck accidents increased by 20 percent from 2009 to 2013.

In addition, the FMCSA reported that from 2013 to 2014, there were 81,000 truck accidents that caused some type of property damage, an increase of 31 percent over that same period the year before.

The FMCSA reported that truck accident percentages as a total of all motor vehicle accidents were expected to remain steady or rise, because of the increase in commercial delivery vehicles on the road, as well as driver inattention, driver fatigue, and the lower margin of error associated with driving larger vehicles.

Truck Accident Spill Statistics

In 2014, there were nearly 47,000 barrels of hazardous liquids spilled, according to a reported issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), with nearly 50 percents of those spills, recovered.

That same year, there were more than 700 separate spill incidents of hazardous liquids, which caused 19 deaths, 96 injuries, and $310 million in property damage.

And as startling as those numbers are, that’s a drastic reduction from 2013, in which truck-related spill accidents accounted for $1.5 billion in property damage.

Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

The FMCSA undertook a major study several years ago to determine the most common causes of truck accidents, in an effort to lower the number of crashes.

The report identified the following causes:

  • Driver Error — The FMCA coded ‘driver error’ as any error related to lack of performance, lack of recognition, decision-making, and improper performance. Non-performance included incidents in which truck drivers fell asleep or suffered a medical impairment that compromised driving ability. Lack of recognition included incidents in which the driver was distracted or did not observe a posted road sign or road warning. Decision-making included incidents of excessive speed, or tailgating, and improper performance included incidents in which a driver over-corrected or experienced panic.
  • Vehicle — Equipment or mechanical failure were coded under this category, and were another prime cause of truck accidents. In addition, loading was also cited as a main cause of trucking accidents. Commercial vehicles that are not properly loaded can cause shifts in the cargo hold that imbalance a truck, and cause it to tilt to one side or the other during a sharp turn.
  • Environment — This included all weather-related factors, as well as the condition of roads and streets at the time of an accident. Poor weather included fog, rain, hail, snow, intense brightness due to sunlight, and excessive wind. Bad road conditions included slippery roads, roads with obstructions, roads with potholes, and roads that were not properly lit or marked for night driving.

Associated Causes of Truck Accidents

In addition to the most common main causes of truck accidents, the FMCSA also identified these associated causes:

  • Brake problems
  • Prescription drug use
  • Traffic congestion
  • Unfamiliar roads
  • Fatigue
  • Alcohol use

Motorist Safety Tips

Smaller cars are at a distinct disadvantage when driving on roads with large trucks and commercial delivery vehicles.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has developed a Share the Road campaign that includes some tips  that motorists in small passenger vehicles can follow to lower the risk of colliding with a truck:

  • Keep A Safe Distance — Motorists should avoid driving too close behind a truck or commercial vehicle. ATA recommends keeping 2o to 25 car lengths between a small vehicle and a truck, which gives the driver of the small vehicle enough time to avoid a collision.
  • Pass Safely — After changing lanes to pass a truck, drivers of smaller vehicles should glance into their rear view mirrors to ensure that they can see the truck’s headlights before switching back into the truck’s lane. Improper lane passing can lead to a collision with a truck, because trucks need a much longer time to come to a complete stop, than smaller vehicles.
  • Avoid Excessive Use of Technology — Drivers of smaller vehicles and truck drivers should limit their use of onboard technology as well as mobile devices while driving. Distracted driving is a major factor and also a contributing factor to many motor vehicle accidents, and includes talking on a mobile phone, using navigation devices, and using entertainment systems such as a built-in DVD player.

Legal Recourse

But despite all the precautions motorists may take, they may still be involved in a truck accident, caused by a spill, or by some other type of error on the part of the truck driver.

Drivers in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and in Houston who have have suffered an auto accident in which a truck driver was at fault, should consult with a truck accident lawyer, who can provide the information needed to determine if a lawsuit against the trucking company is warranted.

Whether the accident was caused by a  mechanical failure in the truck, driver distraction, or a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol, victims have the right to seek compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, and loss of income.

Media Contact

Lucy Tiseo

Eberstein & Witherite, LLP 1800 Truck Wreck

Phone: 800-878-2597

Email: lucy.tiseo@ewlawyers.com

www.1800truckwreck.com

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A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Dallas Explains Laws About Leaving Kids In Hot Cars

A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Dallas Explains Laws About Leaving Kids In Hot Cars

Dallas, TX, USA, 09/23/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

Every summer, we hear about tragedies involving the deaths of young children who are left in hot cars, says John Helms a criminal defense lawyer in Dallas. Texas is one of 19 states with laws specifically aimed at leaving children unattended in cars. Texas’ law applies regardless of whether the child is harmed and regardless of whether the car or the weather is hot.

Section 22.10 of the Texas Penal Code makes it a class C misdemeanor if a person intentionally or knowingly leaves a child younger than seven in a car for more than five minutes unattended by someone at least fourteen years old.  Again, it makes no difference whether the child was harmed in any way or whether the car or the weather was hot.

As hard as it may seem to believe, there are some situations in which parents or caregivers accidentally forget that their young child is in the car. If the parent or caregiver truly does not mean to leave the child and does so purely by accident, this is a defense to this statute, but not necessarily to others, as explained below.

If a child is “abandoned” (no specified time limit) in a car intentionally, and this exposes the child to an unreasonable risk of harm, the person abandoning the child can be charged with the felony offense of abandonment of a child under Texas Penal Code section 22.041(b).  Whether the risk of harm is “unreasonable” will depend on all of the circumstances, but a prosecutor could certainly argue that there is an unreasonable risk of harm based on high temperatures and the amount of time the child is left adds criminal lawyer Helms.

In situations involving an even higher degree of risk, a person can be charged if he or she intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence places a child in imminent danger of death or bodily injury.  This describes the felony offense of endangering a child under Texas Penal Code section 22.041(c). In cases involving leaving a child in a car, whether there is an imminent danger of death or bodily injury again depends on all of the circumstances, including the temperature, the child’s condition, and how long the child was left unattended.

The crimes described above apply even if the child was not actually injured. If a child is left in a car and suffers bodily injury or serious bodily injury as a result of actions that are intentional, knowing, reckless, or criminally negligent, the person leaving the child can be charged with the felony offense of injury to a child under Texas Penal Code section 22.04. The seriousness of the felony depends on the seriousness of the injury and how badly the person acted in leaving the child.

Prosecutors have a lot of discretion in deciding what crimes to charge when children are left in cars. The laws are complicated and full of terms that are vague as in “imminent danger” and “serious bodily injury.” Sometimes, prosecutors may be overly aggressive in bringing charges, and anyone accused of leaving a child in a car should consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In this type of case, a top criminal lawyer will investigate quickly to uncover all of the facts and circumstances that may be important for defending the case.

If you, a family member or someone you know has been charged with a crime or have been convicted and need help with an appeal in the Dallas area, contact John Helms a criminal defense lawyer in Dallas at (214) 666-8010 or fill out the online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and freedom.

Media Contact
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Dallas Criminal Lawyer Says You Need A Lawyer If You’re Only Being Investigated

Dallas Criminal Lawyer Says You Need A Lawyer If You’re Only Being Investigated

Dallas, TX, USA, 09/23/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

People ask Dallas criminal lawyer John Helms all the time if they need a lawyer if the police are investigating them, but no charges have been filed. Sometimes, people think that they can just go talk to a detective themselves and convince the detective that they are innocent.

The answer is that you should ALWAYS consult with a lawyer if you are being investigated, and you should NEVER talk to a detective without a criminal defense attorney if you are a suspect. Here is why:

First, a lawyer can evaluate your potential exposure and whether it is really in your interest to talk to the police at this point. Many people make the mistake of talking themselves into thinking that an investigation might just go away. A top criminal lawyer knows better.

One of the things I consider when meeting with a client is whether the police have already made up their minds. If they have, then talking to them will not help YOU, but it will help the police to find out what your explanation will be and possibly to pin down your story. That makes a prosecutor’s job much easier.

Another thing to consider is whether law enforcement will agree that they will not use anything you tell them against you. At the federal level, this is common. This kind of agreement is known as a “proffer” agreement. These agreements are complicated and can be negotiated.  You need a lawyer to help you navigate this.

Second, if you are going to meet with law enforcement, a lawyer can prepare you for it. If you are unfamiliar with police interrogations, you can easily get tripped up, say things that you may not mean, or say things that might sound evasive to the ears of a suspicious detective. I have seen it many times.

Third, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will know what kinds of facts and evidence are persuasive to law enforcement. A good lawyer should be able to do a much better job than you at assembling evidence and information and presenting it to law enforcement in the best possible light. This gives you the best chance of persuading the officer or agent that you really are not guilty.

One thing I have heard a lot of people say is, “Won’t they just assume I am guilty if I get a lawyer?” This thinking is very short sighted. Chances are, they already think you are guilty, so having a lawyer is not going to make them think differently. More importantly, though, the importance of having a lawyer FAR outweighs any possibility that a detective might become more suspicious. The key, though, is to hire a lawyer that law enforcement will respect. If you hire a lawyer they think is sleazy, they will assume the lawyer is just going to try to pull a fast one, and they will not believe anything the lawyer tells them.

One more thing: Some people think it is a good idea to try to get a lawyer to give them a “free consultation,” hoping that the lawyer will tell them everything they need to know for free, and then they will be able to handle everything themselves. Remember this: You get what you pay for. Before a criminal defense lawyer can give you good advice, the lawyer needs to spend the time to understand the facts and what the police think happened. That takes a lot more time and effort than what you are going to get with a “free consultation.” And if you think one consultation will give you the knowledge, experience, and judgment of the best criminal defense lawyers, then you need a consultation of another kind.

A criminal investigation is extremely serious. Don’t go looking for a cut-rate lawyer or trying to get something for free. Treat it like your freedom depends on it because it very well may.

If you, a family member or someone you know has been charged with a crime or have been convicted and need help with an appeal in the Dallas area, contact Dallas criminal lawyer John Helms at (214) 666-8010 or fill out the online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and freedom.

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Criminal Defense Attorney in Dallas Weighs In On The Other Federal Traffic Jam

Criminal Defense Attorney in Dallas Weighs In On The Other Federal Traffic Jam

Dallas, TX, USA, 09/21/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

This week, in a federal court in New Jersey, two former assistants to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are on trial on federal criminal charges for causing a traffic jam that shut down parts of the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey to New York City, reports John Helms a criminal defense attorney in Dallas.  The shutdown caused massive problems in Fort Lee, New Jersey, including delaying emergency responders and children in school buses. The defendants allegedly caused the traffic jam to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, who had refused to support Chris Christie’s campaign for governor of New Jersey.

A lot of juicy details are coming out about when Governor Christie knew about this, and the text and email messages between the defendants and others are damning. All of this obscures a very basic issue:  How is it a federal crime to cause a traffic jam, asks top criminal defense lawyer Helms?

According to the federal prosecutors, the answer begins with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (the “Port Authority”). The Port Authority is like a joint venture between New York and New Jersey. The Port Authority owns and operates the George Washington Bridge. And importantly, the Port Authority receives a lot of federal money to promote transportation between the two states.

In order to protect federal money spent on projects like this, Congress made it a federal crime to steal, embezzle, or misapply money or property from entities that receive at least $10,000 of federal funds annually. See 18 USC section 666(a). The Port Authority received far more than this amount.

So how does causing a traffic jam count as embezzling, stealing, or misapplying money or property from the Port Authority? First of all, Governor Christie had appointed loyalists to key positions in the Port Authority. They allegedly told Port Authority personnel to shut down traffic lanes and toll booths by telling them that this was part of a traffic study to see what would happen if the lanes and booths were suddenly shut down.

The prosecutors argue that the defendants wrongfully took and misapplied the services of Port Authority employees and Port Authority property, like the traffic lanes and tollbooths, in order to carry out a scheme for political retribution.

This is, to be sure, a broad application of the law. The trial judge has allowed the case to go forward, though. If the defendants are convicted at trial, we will have to see whether the United Stated Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upholds this use of the law.

One thing is clear, though: Federal prosecutors often use aggressive interpretations of federal criminal laws in ways that expand their reach into areas that people might not normally expect. Sometimes, aggressive interpretations of the law succeed, and sometimes they don’t. As a former federal prosecutor, I drafted a lot of federal criminal indictments, and I have a very good sense of when a prosecutor is stretching a charge. Anyone charged with a federal crime should consult with an experienced federal criminal lawyer quickly. Among other things, a good federal criminal defense lawyer should analyze whether there are good reasons to challenge the scope of an indictment before trial and how to preserve such a challenge for appeal.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a federal offense or are facing other criminal charges, contact John Helms criminal defense attorney in Dallas immediately. Call 214-666-8010.

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Regulators Propose Speed Caps For Large Trucks

Regulators Propose Speed Caps For Large Trucks

Dallas, 09/21/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

Could speed-limiting technology reduce the number of serious and deadly semi-truck crashes in Atlanta and elsewhere in the United States? That’s what federal regulators have proposed.

According to a proposed rule prepared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), any vehicle weighing more than 26,000 pounds would be required by law to be fitted with a speed-limited device in the event the proposed rule passes.

As Atlanta truck accident lawyers of 1800 Truck Wreck , we are always interested in new technology that could reduce truck crashes and save lives.

Setting a Limit on Semi Speed

According to the executive summary of the agencies’ proposed rule, studies show that semi-truck crashes that occur at high speeds are more serious than low-speed crashes. This may sound obvious, but it’s important to have the science to back up the reasoning behind rules like this, as the trucking industry often fights back against proposed safety regulations. As speed increases so does kinetic energy – something that is especially relevant in crashes involving heavy, massive tractor-trailers. Higher speeds also reduce the effectiveness of existing safety features, such as restraint devices, highway barriers, and guardrails.

As reported in Occupational Health & Safety magazine, the NHTSA and FMCSA have not indicated at what speed they will set the cap, but they have considered several different speed limits, including 60, 65, and 68 miles per hour. In addition to saving lives and reducing truck accidents, the agencies also say the use of speed caps would save $1 billion in fuel costs annually.

Currently, the proposed rule would not require semi-truck operators and carriers to retrofit their vehicles to include speed-limiting devices, as regulators have decided that the costs of doing so would be excessive. If passed as-is, the new rule would only mandate speed-limiting technology in newly manufactured tractor-trailers. However, the rule could change as it makes its way through the public comment and final approval process.

What You Can Do to Stay Safe around Semis

Any time you drive on the highway, you can expect to share the road with semi-trucks. Although you can’t control how truck operators drive, there are several things you can do to stay safer behind the wheel.

  • Stay out of a semi-truck’s blind spots
  • Obey speed limits and traffic rules
  • Don’t follow a semi too closely
  • If you are in front of a semi-truck, give yourself plenty of time to stop
  • Give semis plenty of room when passing them

You should also avoid any distractions, such as a cell phone, that take your eyes off the road.  

Call an Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer about Your Case

If you have been injured in a semi-truck crash, you need the help and guidance of an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer. The accidents lawyers at Eberstein & Witherite, LLP help clients in Atlanta and the surrounding communities get justice and compensation for their injuries. Call us today to receive a free case evaluation. 1-800-878-2597.

See our related posts:

Are Fatal Truck Wrecks Increasing?

Tips Truck Drivers Should Use to Safely Share the Road with Passenger Vehicles  

Media Contact
Lucy Tiseo

Eberstein & Witherite, LLP

Phone: 800-878-2597

Email: lucy.tiseo@ewlawyers.com

www.atlanta.1800truckwreck.com

Connect with Eberstein & Witherite on Facebook and Instagram

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One Dead, One Seriously Injured In Fatal Collision In Arlington, Texas

One Dead, One Seriously Injured In Fatal Collision In Arlington, Texas

Dallas, 09/21/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

One of the dangers of commercial trucks – including 18-wheelers, dump trucks, and tractor-trailers is that they are large, unwieldy vehicles that can cause devastating injuries and property damage if a driver loses control for even a second. In addition, truck drivers often have more blind spots in their rearview mirrors than small vehicles, which means commercial truck lane changes are far less safe and are one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the U.S.

Sadly, a recent truck accident in Arlington has once again proven the damage that these collisions can cause, as a tractor-trailer, dump truck, and garbage truck were all recently involved in a wreck that resulted in one fatality.

The accident occurred at the corner of Arlington’s North Collins and Mosier Valley road at around 11 a.m. when a Duncan Disposal garbage truck was headed south on Collins and about to turn right to go west on Mosier Valley Road.

As the garbage truck made its turn, it smashed into an 18-wheeler and a dump truck, which caused the garbage truck to tip over and skid onto its side.

Police said that the driver of the Duncan Disposal truck was pronounced dead at the scene and that the driver of the dump truck was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries. The driver of the 18-wheeler did not sustain any injuries.

Although police have not yet released details of their investigation, including which driver was at fault, the accident highlights the growing trend of accidents between commercial vehicles, and the injuries and property damage these types of accidents can cause.

Other Recent Accidents

Durham, NC – In June, the driver of a tractor-trailer was traveling westbound on Interstate 40 when he lost control of his vehicle. It then veered across three lanes and hit a dump truck, causing it to overturn and strike a 1-800-Got-Junk truck. An SUV and a blue sedan were also involved in the chain-reaction accident, which thankfully did not result in any serious injuries.

Police said the crash was triggered by a couch that fell off the back of a pickup truck – not involved in the collision – which caused the tractor-trailer driver to take evasive action to avoid the sofa.

Police cited the driver of the pickup truck for not securing his load and said that the driver of the tractor-trailer lost $20 million worth of insulin that he was carrying because the truck’s cooling system failed after the accident.

Vacaville, CA – In July, two tractor-trailers were involved in an accident in the westbound lanes of I-80.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the accident occurred about 4 a.m. when one of the big rigs, which was parked to the side of the freeway was hit by a second big rig. Both commercial trucks overturned upon impact, causing massive delays in morning traffic.

Sgt. Steven Lott of the CHP said, “No, they were not sleeping on the side of the road,” referring to the tractor-trailer that was parked off-road. “They stopped momentarily, for what reasons, they are still under investigation.”

He added that the drivers in both trucks suffered minor injuries and that it was only by luck that they were not killed in the accident.

Both tractor-trailers sustained severe damage, and the contents being carried by the second truck – scrap metal – spilled all over the freeway, which required a massive cleanup effort.

Lompoc, CA – In August, the driver of a box truck lost control of his vehicle, swerved across a highway and struck a semi-trailer – driven by Fred L. Williams – causing an accident that shut traffic down for hours.

CHP said the truck-on-truck accident occurred on Highway 1, and that the driver of the box truck – Juan M. Rivera – was driving northbound when his vehicle crossed the double yellow lines into the southbound lane.

The head-on collision caused injuries to Rivera, Williams, and William’s brother Anthony, all who were taken to a local hospital for varying injuries.

CHP is still investigating the accident, but a spokesperson said that drugs, nor alcohol, were a factor and that investigators were focused on possible driver error and/or driver inattention as the primary cause of the accident.

Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

With the number of truck accidents continuing to rise, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently published a major report about the most common causes of accidents involving trucks.

The FMCSA identified the following as major contributing factors in commercial truck accidents:

  • Driver Fatigue – Overworked drivers are often pressured to make delivery schedules, even if it violates the federally mandated 82-hour workweek.
  • Violating Hours of Service – The Hours of Service rule designates a certain number of consecutive hours a commercial truck driver can operate a vehicle. Frequent violations of this rule can directly lead to accidents.
  • Driver Distraction – This is a common cause of all accidents, but more dangerous in commercial vehicles because of their size. Mobile phone use and texting are the biggest distractions.
  • Lack of Vehicle Maintenance – Improper maintenance of a truck can cause breakdowns at the most inopportune time. Trucks that are not on a regular maintenance schedule are far more likely to experience a mechanical issue that can result in an accident.
  • Excessive Speed – Failure to maintain proper speed is an issue in all car accidents, but is more devastating with commercial trucks because of their sheer size and power.
  • Improper Lane Changes – This is another common factor in all accidents, but big trucks take up much more room than small vehicles, which means that an improper lane change in these types of vehicles can result in a fatal collision.
  • Improper Load – Commercial vehicles often carry heavy loads, and if those loads are not properly packed, they can become loose and fall off a moving truck.

FMCSA Recommendations

In its report, the FMCSA noted that by forcing owners to adhere to the prescribed Hours of Service for each of their drivers, the number of commercial truck accidents would be dramatically reduced.

“Fatigue is much more prevalent amongst commercial truck drivers because of the long hours they spend on the road, coupled with the intense pressure they face to ensure that they meet their delivery schedules,” said Amy Witherite, partner at Eberstein Witherite, LLP.  “This is dangerous for drivers, as well as other motorists on the road since even the smallest amount of overcorrection can result in a serious and sometimes even fatal accident.”

The existing Hours of Service differ depending on the weight of a commercial truck, but there are two main driving limits: 10 hours with 8 consecutive hours off duty, and 15 hours with 8 consecutive hours off duty.

“While the FMCSA can’t monitor every commercial truck owner 24/7 to ensure they are adhering to Hours of Service legislation, the organization is implementing new measures to curb the scary rise in commercial truck accidents, including requiring that new drivers complete more hours of training to obtain their commercial driver’s license, and that veteran drivers take continuing education classes to ensure their skills stay current,” Witherite added. “In addition, commercial truck drivers are also required to regularly maintain and inspect their vehicles, and submit repair confirmations to the FMCSA.”

What To Do If You’re Injured In a Commercial Truck Accident

While driver awareness and better legislation may help to lower the number of commercial truck accidents occurring across the country, they aren’t going to help too much if you are injured in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver. In these types of situations, you will need an experienced and compassionate advocate of victim’s rights to stand by your side throughout the entire legal process.

“The lawyers here at 1-800-Truck-Wreck have helped hundreds of Texas truck accident victims get back on their feet, and obtain compensation for medical bills, as well as pain and suffering,” Witherite concluded. “An accident can have long-term consequences, and the lawyers at 1-800-Truck-Wreck will do everything in their power to ensure your peace of mind as you heal both mentally and physically.”

Media Contact

Lucy Tiseo

Eberstein & Witherite, LLP

Phone: 800-878-2597

Email: lucy.tiseo@ewlawyers.com

www.1800truckwreck.com

source: http://www.1800truckwreck.com/one-dead-one-seriously-injured-fatal-collision-18-wheeler-trash-truck-dump-truck-arlington-texas.html

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1800 Truck Wreck Asks Could Sleep Apnea Screenings Reduce Truck Crashes?

1800 Truck Wreck Asks Could Sleep Apnea Screenings Reduce Truck Crashes?

Dallas, 09/21/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/

In an industry where truck operators are pressured to make deliveries on time or suffer the consequences, it’s important to take every step possible to keep over-tired drivers off the roads.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is moving slowly but surely toward requiring truck drivers to undergo mandatory sleep apnea screenings.

The agency’s medical review board is holding public hearings about a proposed rulemaking regarding the screenings August 22 and August 23, 2016. If the FMCSA decides to implement mandatory screenings, all commercial truck, and bus drivers, as well as railroad workers, will be required to pass regular screenings for obstructive sleep apnea. Currently, only airline pilots are required to undergo routine sleep apnea screenings.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the sleep disorder, which occurs when a person’s airway becomes blocked during sleep. People who suffer from the disorder don’t always know it’s happening, but they may suspect they have the condition if they consistently wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed.

When something happens to block the airway, the body’s defense mechanisms kick in, jerking the individual awake. This is why many sleep apnea sufferers are known to snore or suddenly jerk or snort in their sleep. Because sleep apnea cuts off the flow of oxygen to the brain, it can be quite dangerous. It can also cause heart arrhythmia and heart attack.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Sleepiness during the daytime
  • A sore throat in the morning
  • Headaches
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Snoring
  • Waking up with a feeling of choking or gasping
  • Bruxism (grinding the teeth)
  • Night sweats
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Irritability

Certain factors make a person more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea. For example, people who smoke or are obese have a higher risk of developing the disorder. Individuals with a thicker neck are also at an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea.

The good news is that obstructive sleep apnea is treatable. Treatment options include weight loss, certain nasal sprays, better sleep habits, and the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.

Drowsy Driving Is a Leading Cause of Truck Accidents

Despite pushback from lobbying groups representing the trucking industry, data shows diagnosing sleep apnea in truck drivers could make a difference in the number of truck crashes.

In 2014, for example, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report stating that 328,000 vehicle crashes were caused by drowsy driving.

In 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that a drowsy train driver caused a train derailment that claimed four lives and caused 60 people to suffer injuries.

Investigators also found that drowsy driving was the reason for the 2014 limo bus crash that killed one man and seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan. According to a CNN report, the driver responsible for the crash drove 800 miles to work before he even began his shift.

In an industry where truck operators are pressured to make deliveries on time or suffer the consequences, it’s important to take every step possible to keep overtired drivers off the roads.

Hurt in a Truck Accident? Call an Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a crash caused by a semi-truck driver, it’s important to contact a truck accident lawyer right away. These are complicated cases that require the skill and experience of truck crash attorneys. Our 1800 Truck Wreck Atlanta truck accident lawyers are available right now to speak to you. Schedule your free consultation today. Call 1-800-878-2597.

Media Contact
Lucy Tiseo

Eberstein & Witherite, LLP

Phone: 800-878-2597

Email: lucy.tiseo@ewlawyers.com

www.atlanta.1800truckwreck.com

Connect with Eberstein & Witherite on Facebook and Instagram

source: http://www.1800truckwreck.com/1800-truck-wreck-asks-sleep-apnea-screenings-reduce-truck-crashes.html

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