Monthly Archives: September 2010

Massachusetts Lawyer Comments on ‘Melanie’s Law’ — Proposed Tougher Drunk Driving Laws

Braintree, MA (PRWEB) September 26, 2005

Massachusetts lawmakers are proposing a host of new changes to toughen the state’s drunk driving laws. “Melanie’s Law” will increase the penalty to for refusing to take a breath test from 180 days to 1 year for a 1st offense, and a lifetime suspension for refusing a breath test on a 2nd or subsequent offense. There is also a proposed license suspension of 1 year for refusing to take roadside field sobriety tests, as well as an increase in the penalty for driving on a suspended license after an OUI from a 60 day to 90 day mandatory jail sentence.

Commenting on the proposed changes, Attorney Russell Matson, a noted Massachusetts DUI Lawyer said “No one is against keeping dangerous drunk drivers off the road, but these laws will do virtually nothing to accomplish that goal, and will only serve to ensnare and penalize more innocent citizens of the Commonwealth.”

According to Attorney Russell Matson, “A breathalyzer or breath test device has always been scientifically suspect for accurately measuring blood alcohol content. They are calibrated to detect values that vary widely among different people, so they are inherently inaccurate. ” He added, “Additionally, there are countless other ways a breathalyzer can indicate a false positive, from taking mouthwash, breath mints, or eating certain breads, to a variety of common medical and stomach conditions that will trick the machine into indicating a high blood alcohol content where none may exist, or otherwise inflate a low, legal number.”

On the subject of the proposed license suspension for refusing a field sobriety tests, Attorney Matson said “These so-called tests often have very little correlation with intoxication. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administrations own studies, as many as one third of all people cannot pass these these tests under any circumstances! This is particularly true for anyone who may be overweight, over 65, have chronic back or leg problems, or other physical conditions.” He added, “For those reasons, it is absurd to penalize anyone for refusing to participate in these tests.”

For more information about Massachusetts OUI / DUI / Drunk Driving Laws in Massachusetts, License Suspension Rules, or Registry of Motor Vehicle Hearings, contact MA DUI Lawyer Russell Matson at (781)964-4898, or refer to his web site, http://www.madrunkdrivingdefense.com

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Best Practices For Criminal Records Screening

Best Practices For Criminal Records Screening

Introduction – Navicus is a trusted and leading, pre-employment background screening and drug testing firm. At the core of Navicus is its’ employees. Navicus employees have decades of experience in Human Capital, Legal Compliance, and Technology. Thousands of companies leverage Navicus core capabilities on a daily basis to assist in developing best-hiring practices. Navicus conducts an extensive audit of each client’s hiring practices at the outset of each relationship. The review often uncovers areas that need improvement to limit catastrophic hiring mistakes. Exposures to catastrophic hiring are rarely deliberate or done with scienter. These hazards exist because there is no universal best-practice screening explanation that can be applied to an entity that is dynamic, fluid, and ever-changing. One of the most dynamic aspects of a hiring process is the applicant. The applicant has a life history that you, the hiring manager, must authenticate. In particular, the applicant’s criminal history must be verified. Another dynamic aspect of a hiring process is the job position. Different job responsibilities require different skill sets. In turn, these skill sets can be screened with various types of background checks. Thus, the problem begins. The following document breaks down the who, what, where, when, and hows of criminal records.

Problem Statement – Several issues are presented when determining which criminal record search is the best for you to apply as a hiring manager. The first issue centers on the time to hire. This requires asking yourself whether the types of criminal searches requested are enabling you to receive information back in a time frame that affords the opportunity to hire an applicant before he or she goes to another employer. The second issue centers on the amount allocated to spend per applicant. We have yet to come across an HR department that was given unlimited access to funds. Even if an HR department is given carte blanche, spending more does not necessarily mean you are conducting the right type of search. The third issue centers on compliance. We frequently see hiring managers accessing criminal records that are ineligible for use with hiring decisions. For example, using arrest records, outdated, or simply discriminatory information, all present significant legal liability exposures. So how do you determine what is the best practice for your personnel? Before jumping into that question, you must have a general understanding of where criminal records come from. Yes, they come from people doing bad things in the eyes of the law.

Criminal Records Overview – When determining the best criminal search to screen applicants for hire, one must first have a general understanding of how the legal system works. Armed with that knowledge, one or many types of criminal searches should become evident to meet a best-practices criminal screening process. The following is the overview. Law enforcement is a function of the state, local officers and agencies. General police powers are reserved to the states. Federal offenses are crimes against the government and its employees, or that involve intrastate activities. Thus, there are 52 separate criminal jurisdictions in the United States: 1 for each state, 1 for the District of Columbia, and one for federal jurisdiction. While most are similar among the states, there are substantial differences in the penalties for like offenses. The easiest way to understand the criminal legal system is to walk through a crime scenario. The first step is the investigation of crimes and the arrest of persons suspected of a crime. The second step is the prosecution of those charged with a crime. The last step is the punishment or treatment of persons convicted of a crime.

State Department of Law Enforcement Records – The first step that we, as hiring managers, may be concerned with is the arrest. The arrest is the first step through the criminal legal system. The arrest is typically made by a sheriff’s office. After a person is arrested and charged with a crime they will be booked. The person will be finger printed. The name and the crime that the person is charged with will be entered into the official police record. Depending on the charge and the circumstances of the case, the person may be released and ordered to appear for a hearing in court. The person may be released on their own recognizance or may have to put up a certain amount of bail to secure release. In other instances, the person may remain in police custody until there is a court hearing on their release. The sheriff’s office maintains the arrest records in their local repositories. All the sheriff’s offices in the state are linked to a central State repository. The central repository is referred to as a State Department of Law Enforcement or “SDLE” search. Also, it may be called a Statewide Criminal search in the background screening industry. Each State’s SDLE is different and there are limitations and advantages to the search. The SDLE limitations are the quality of the records that are housed in the repository. The records in the SDLE are not wrong, however, they are not necessarily complete for the purposes a hiring manager needs to conduct a best-practice screening process. SDLE criminal records are coming from the arresting State agency. The SDLE records are primarily going to contain arrest records. Depending on what jurisdiction a company is located and where the actual arrest was made, the records may not be usable to make a hiring decision. Although not every state has specific employment laws as to the type of information being used to screen applicants, using arrest records may: 1) be illegal under some State Statutes and; 2) at the very least, discriminatory from a Federal and State perspective. For example, if the ultimate outcome of an arrest for murder is acquittal, then the applicant should not have the arrest record held against them, since they are not guilty of a crime. A survey published by BRB analyzed the quality of information contained in each States’ SDLE repository. (See State Criminal Records Survey, BRB Publications, 11/2004). The results were fairly shocking. The majority of State SDLE repositories do not contain final disposition information. Disposition information is essentially the final outcome from the court system. The court records are the second step where we would look to find criminal records. This will be discussed in detail in the County Court Search section below. For example, in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, DC, Indiana, and Kansas, just to name a few states, less than 50% of the SDLE records contain final dispositions. Furthermore, almost all State’s SDLE repositories do not contain a complete list of arrests made in the last 5 years. What does all this mean? All in all, you are dealing with a source of information that is extremely incomplete and unreliable. Not every State’s SDLE search is bad however. Several SDLE repositories do contain a high percentage of disposition information and records within the last seven years. For those states, the SDLE search may be a good alternative in putting together a best-practices screening program. The next issues that SDLE records present are turnaround times and cost. Some SDLE records require additional paperwork to be filled out in order to process the requests through the State’s repository system. Other SDLE’s may take several weeks or months to process the requests. Then there is the problem in a few states, like California, where the SDLE is not available to the public. Lastly, almost all SDLE’s charge a significant fee to process the records. In sum, SDLE records prove to be inconsistent when developing a best practices program. In developing a best practices screening program you want it to be uniformly applied across your company to all applicants. SDLE searches are inconsistent with respect to time, cost, and uniformity of records. In employment law terms and EEOC compliance, hiring managers are potentially creating a disparate practice if they only use the SDLE as a source for criminal records searches. If you have an applicant that has lived in a state that does not enable you to do a SDLE search, then you may have to defer to not doing the search or using another source of information not uniform to your screening program. The risk of liability for discrimination arising from systemic employment practices is perhaps one of the most significant HR compliance-related challenges facing large companies today. With both the OFCCP and the EEOC increasingly applying sophisticated statistical and analytical models to company data to look for statistical evidence of discrimination in company hiring, promoting, and discharging practices, using arrest records (SDLE) from one state you do business in and the final disposition (county criminal search) of records in another state you do business in, may lead you into trouble. Processing SDLE on some of your applicants, but not all because of availability, time restraints in getting records, or internal cost control measures, may also be creating a disparity on the type and quality of search you are performing throughout your overall criminal screening program.

County Courthouse Records – At this time you are probably asking “what source does a hiring manager use to keep a uniform criminal search program?” The answer is the next step in the criminal process example we started with. After being arrested, the person will be asked to enter a plea. The person can enter a plea of “not guilty”, “no contest”, or “guilty”. If the person enters a not guilty plea the judge will decide on the terms of their release or if they will be released pending their trial. If the person enters a plea of no contest or of guilty, there will not be a trial. In this situation, the person will either be sentenced immediately

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Q&A: drunk driving laws in other countries?

Question by Nick G: drunk driving laws in other countries?
i have a 10 minute presentation do for my criminal law class and my topic is drunk driving laws in other countries….any good websites that state laws in other countries?

Best answer:

Answer by DrinkingAndDriving.Org President
I can offer this much. .08 is considered the point of legal intoxication throughout both North and South American continents as well as much of Europe.

Add your own answer in the comments!

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Counter Force – Pre-Played

Counter Force – Pre-Played


Every single day, thousands of people perish at the hands of a ruthless alien race called ”Diadora.” Those who survive take refuge under the earth’s surface, attempting to escape the attack of the alien invaders. The remaining government council decides the best defense is an unstoppable offense, and orders immediate counterattack. The primary mission, codenamed ”Counter Force,” is to reclaim the surface of the earth using three prototype robots. Investigate the alien’s weaknesses as you experience the fast and frantic action. Load up with powerful weapons and upgrade your robot to face twelve different enemy types and five different bosses.
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Top Reasons Why You Need a Traffic Violations Attorney in Florida

traffic violation
by zen

Top Reasons Why You Need a Traffic Violations Attorney in Florida

Some people ask if they need a lawyer for traffic violations, speeding tickets, and license suspension.  Technically, you do not need one because you can simply pay the fines.  However, if you live in Florida and you do not want you car insurance premium to go up, then the services of a Florida ticket attorney is crucial.  You also need a traffic violations attorney if you are facing the prospect of losing your license and driving privileges.  So here are the reasons why you need a competent lawyer even for simple moving vehicle violations.

 

First of all, Florida laws and regulations on motor vehicles are quite restrictive.  Of course most states have strict regulations when it comes to motor vehicle and highway safety.  However, the state of Florida has some of the strictest rules across the United States.  If you incur the minimum number of moving vehicle violations as mandated by law, then you will be considered as a habitual traffic offender.  Once you get this notice, your driver’s license will be suspended for five long years.  This is the reason why you need excellent representation from the best Florida ticket attorney.  By getting the services of a competent traffic violations attorney, you will be able to effectively fight license suspension so that your driving privilege will not be revoked.

 

It is also a known fact that insurance products in the State of Florida are very expensive.  Like in most states across the United States, a traffic violation record or a history of a suspended license can significantly increase your car insurance premium.  You may experience extreme difficulty finding car insurance that will fit in your budget.  To avoid having trouble with your insurance premiums, you should avoid tainting your driving record and history.  The best way to do this is to fight suspensions and traffic violations charges.  Your best weapon therefore is a Florida ticket attorney.  A highly experienced and competent traffic violations attorney will be able to fight the charges and suspensions in order to keep your record clean.

 

Peace of mind is probably the biggest reason why you need to get a Florida ticket attorney.  You have to understand that settling a traffic violation case is not a simple procedure.  It takes time and effort to face the charges facing you.  These charges could cause undue stress and anxiety for most Florida drivers.  This is reason enough to get the service of a traffic violations attorney.  If you have a lawyer that can serve as your personal advocate, then all the paper work, appearances, and procedural matters will be taken care of in all non-criminal cases.  You will also have better peace of mind because you know that you have competent representation that will fight the suspension and violation charges.

 

So if you think that an attorney is not needed for traffic violations, you should think again.  A good lawyer can help you fight suspension so that you can have an unblemished driving history.  Your lawyer can also ensure that you will not pay exorbitant car insurance premium because he can fight all traffic violations cases that will taint your driving record.

 

Are you looking for competent Florida ticket attorney ? Visit our website today to get the services of the best traffic violations attorney in Florida.


Article from articlesbase.com

Defense Lawyer Gets DUI Case Dismissed Due to Officer Indiscretion


Defense Lawyers in Arizona – The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor


Tempe, AZ (Vocus) May 18, 2010

A Defense Lawyer from the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor was able to get a DUI case dismissed because police denied the defendant the right to speak to a lawyer.

According to court documents, in the case of State v. Anderson (Scottsdale City Court Case No. TR2009023619) Anderson was pulled over for an alleged DUI violation and was then taken down to the Scottsdale City Jail. While in police custody, he requested to speak to an attorney and reached for the phone book, which was in the officer’s hands. The officer threw Anderson to the floor, placed him in restraints and put him into a cell for six to seven hours and never allowed him to contact a defense lawyer.

A Motion for Denial of Right to Counsel was filed by the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor and was argued in front of a Scottsdale City Court judge recently. Evidence of the videotape was presented by a defense lawyer from the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor.

In that video, it showed that Anderson was merely reaching towards the officer, and he never made any physical contact. The officer testified that Anderson had “lunged at him”, and he was worried that he would take pens out of the officer’s pocket and use them as a weapon. The judge found this to be an overreaction on the officer’s part and dismissed the entire case.

“Because of the officer’s overreaction, this resulted in a DUI case involving a .210 blood alcohol content of being dismissed completely,” said Defense Lawyer David Michael Cantor. “We have gotten many cases dismissed due to a police officer’s overreactive imaginations combined with their high testosterone levels.”

Thee Law Offices of David Michael Cantor enjoy an excellent reputation as defense lawyers in Arizona, and throughout the Legal Community because of their aggressiveness, integrity, honesty, and professionalism. For more information about the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor visit defense lawyer az.

About the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor

The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor feature criminal defense attorneys in Arizona who are ready to represent you. As Arizona’s premier defense lawyer, David Michael Cantor defends DUI and DWI cases, vehicular crimes, homicide, drug and sex offenses, white collar and property crimes. David Michael Cantor is AV Rated – the highest rating possible – and was voted a Top 100 trial lawyer. David Michael Cantor has been interviewed and has appeared on Inside Edition, the CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, CNN Prime News, Hannitty and Combs, and every local news channel including Univision. In addition, his cases have been covered by CNN, MSNBC, and even Howard Stern.

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