A homicide charge is perhaps the most serious charge in criminal law. Depending on the circumstances, a conviction of homicide can lead all the way to the death penalty or life in prison. When someone is charged with homicide, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Because the allegations carry such serious implications, judges and juries must be presented with strong and believable evidence from the prosecutors that the defendant is guilty of the crime. For the defendant, it is up to them and their attorneys to maintain a reasonable doubt that they are guilty of murder. That is why it is so important for someone who is being charged to have an attorney who is focused on the case and willing to use their legal skills, resources, and knowledge to their best ability to defend their client. Defendants who are unable to maintain a skilled attorney are often a poor match for a well prepared and determined state prosecutor.
Types of Murder Charges
In general terms, the definition of homicide is the unlawful taking of another person’s life. There are, however, several different types of homicide charges. These charges depend on the circumstances of the crime, and they each carry a different range of sentencing options. The following are the different types of murder charges:
- Voluntary Manslaughter
- Involuntary Manslaughter
- 1st Degree Murder
- 2nd Degree Murder
- Criminally Negligent Homicide
When it comes to manslaughter, there is a vast difference between voluntary and involuntary charges. While voluntary charges imply that there was intent to kill or at least harm, involuntary implies that there was no intent to kill or harm a person. Drunk driving accidents that result in someone’s death are the most common types of involuntary manslaughter cases.
According to the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, if you are being accused of homicide or manslaughter, having a dedicated criminal defense lawyer is absolutely essential in making sure your right to a fair trial is protected. There are a lot of ways a person may want to defend him or herself in court, but they only get one chance at mounting said defense. This means that it is crucial that you find someone who can help you weigh the available defenses for your specific case and choose the most fitting one.Read More
Child molesters are perhaps one of the most reviled groups of people, and this is a sentiment shared by people of all persuasions, perhaps understandably. According to an article on the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. website, even the mere allegation of improper contact with a child is enough to ruin a person’s name and reputation, never mind that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The fact is, most people are paranoid about protecting children from harm, and will regard any person accused of such a crime with deep suspicion.
It is therefore no laughing matter to be accused of child molestation. A man in California suspected of molesting a 4-year-old child was shot dead by the fiancé of the child’s mother, and both the mother and fiancé are now facing murder charges. It turns out that the child had not been molested after all.
This kind of vigilante behavior is a reaction to incidents which brought about laws targeting child molesters such as Megan’s Law, named after a 7-year-old New Jersey girl named Megan Kanka who was the raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender. This law requires all convicted sexual offenders, including child molesters, to be included in a national registry. The information contained therein, which includes the name and address of the offender and updated regularly, is made available to the public so that people can find out if one is living in their neighborhood.
Inclusion in this registry effectively opens up an individual to public vilification and harassment, or worse. It is crucial that an individual falsely accused of child molestation retains effective legal representation to avoid a conviction. It is not unknown for a child to make accusations against a strict teacher, for example, or any adult against whom the child has a grudge. While it would be wrong to discount the testimony of a child, such a serious charge needs to be thoroughly investigated to confirm the facts. A good defense lawyer would make sure that all the relevant facts of the case are brought to light and contextualized to protect the rights of the client.Read More
Shoplifting is one of the things that most people think of as a small matter, something harmless; however, it can have a lot of impact and is a common element in the criminal history of drug addicts and countless inmates. It may seem like a victimless crime, but it is still considered stealing, and stealing entails a wide range of penalties. Although most shoplifters have various reasons why they do the act, the result is always negative. Because the general public takes lightly of it, shoplifting has become the most prevalent crime in the United States.
Shoplifting is theft or stealing, and is considered a criminal offence regardless of the item that has been stolen. However, state laws may vary on how to penalize the thief; generally, shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor and charged with petty theft or larceny if the amount of the stolen goods is between $200-$500, while those that exceed $500 can be counted as a felony and be charged with grand theft or grand larceny. Things such as past history records, proper identification, cooperation during arrest, value of the stolen merchandise, and other factors can affect the penalties that will be given, as determined by police and / or the prosecutor.
Shoplifting, or stealing from stores including employee and vendor theft, can cost retailers billions of dollars every year; statistics show that every year the loss is estimated to be $20 billion dollars. Many retails stores have gone out of business because of this problem. Shoplifting is a serious crime, and it can lead to serious juvenile crimes.Read More
Six of the most popular automobile manufacturers have issued a huge recall over dangerous airbags whose inflator mechanisms do not work properly. Rather than filling the bags with air, these defective components launch plastic and metal bits through the airbag compartment.
The recall affects more than 3 million vehicles that were manufactured between the years 2001 and 2003. These include cars made by Honda, Nissan, Toyota, BMW, GM, and Mazda. You may notice that most of these vehicles are from the more popular Japanese manufacturers because they all received the airbag components from the same supplier, Takata Corporation. Many manufacturers use the same parts because it simplifies the manufacturing process and additionally cuts the cost per unit.
Luckily, no one has been hurt as a result of this defect so far. Automakers are replacing the defective airbags free of charge.
According to the Department of Transportation, airbags have saved more than 25,000 lives between 1987 and 2008. However, if you’ve been hurt as a result of a defective airbag, you may be able to hold the automobile’s manufacturer accountable for your injuries.Read More
Because driving is a daily activity, most people forget that it is, in all actuality, incredibly dangerous. Underneath your car’s shiny, clean exterior is a confluence of high-powered machinery. This should be more than enough to warrant constant caution from drivers when they operate this heavy equipment, but sadly most people most people fail to pay appropriate attention when operating such potentially dangerous, heavy machinery, putting themselves and others at risk.
Many people allow simple distractions to take their attention away from the road while operating a vehicle and fail to realize that when they do this, they are putting their lives and the lives of other people on the road at risk. There are many ways that a driver can allow him or herself to become distracted, including:
- Looking at maps
- Talking to passengers
- Talking on a cell phone
- Adjusting the radio
The most frequent cause of distracted driving accidents is texting. Texting requires attention from both a driver’s hands and eyes. A driver’s focus on the road should have to never compete with sending or reading a text message. Drivers who are using handheld devices are 300% more likely to be injured in car accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s distracted driving page, 387,000 people sustained injuries in car accidents that involved distracted drivers. The most troublesome aspect of distracted driving accidents is that the majority of them could have been prevented had the driver been paying adequate attention to the road.
Because it has become such a widespread problem and is so easily preventable, distracted driving is an issue of national concern. The NHTSA urges drivers to spread the word and do everything they can to cut down on driving distractions.
According to DogsBite.org, every year, 1,000 people in the U.S. suffer dog bite injuries that are severe enough to require emergency medical treatment, costing an average of $18,000 per hospital stay. This is a significant amount of money and dog owners should be aware of the risk associated with keeping an animal in the house, especially if they have small children as well.
One way to help reduce this staggering amount of injuries is to understand common reasons dogs may feel the need to bite. Because it’s impossible for dogs to communicate with words, their owners have to be aware of their pets’ body language and social behaviors.
Sometimes, dogs bite because they’re protecting a possession, such as a toy. This can extend into its owner’s property too, which is a result of their loyalty. Other times, they bite because they feel their personal space has been invaded. Other reasons dogs may bite people include:
- Being too excited while playing
- A person has hurt it
- Its chase instinct was activated by someone running past
- It hasn’t figured out how and when to bite softly
- It was startled
Often, you can tell when a dog will bite beforehand by the way its behaving. Dogs who are about to bite may lick or bite themselves before biting someone else and sometimes unhappiness may even show in their expressions. Knowing the warning signs of when a dog is about to bite can help reduce the chances that you or someone in your family will be a victim of a bite. Remember, if a dog attacks you without your provocation, you can hold its owner liable for the medical costs you accrue as a result.Read More
Going into surgery can be frightening and can leave many wondering if they are safe. While most surgeries are performed by surgeons who are safe and careful, sometimes surgical errors do occur. Many surgical errors are due to accident, and are not maliciousness, but patients can still suffer terrible consequences as a result. Victims of surgical errors might be contending with huge medical costs because of the error, including emergency medical treatment, future surgeries, dependence on prescription medication, subsequent medical visits, and physical therapy costs. All of these costs can make daily living and paying bills difficult.
There are many ways that a surgery can go wrong, especially if a surgeon is not extremely careful in performing his or her duties. Some surgical errors, however, are seen more often than most. Five of the most common surgical errors are those that involve:
- Surgery on the incorrect site
- Surgery on the incorrect patient
- Anesthesia errors
- Leaving surgical tools in the body
- Failure to sterilize surgical equipment
All of these situations could have traumatic effects on an innocent patient, and should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, sometimes surgeons forget particular protocols, or neglect to give them the attention they deserve. Frequently, this inattention or negligence leads to serious surgical errors.
Facing the effects of surgical error can be scary and difficult, especially if youre dealing with costs of medical treatment after the error occurred. However, legal recourse is often available to those who suffer from medical malpractice, like surgical errors. If you or someone you care about has been victimized by a careless or negligent surgeon, you could qualify for legal compensation. Contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer today to discuss the specific situation in which you find yourself and options for pursuing legal action against the person who put you there.