Archive for legal

Traveling with Little Ones: Ensuring a Safer Ride

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For most people in their late teen and early adult years, taking their first car out on a road trip brought with it a feeling of freedom that not many things can match up to. After hitting adulthood and having children, however, traveling takes on a whole new meaning. During these trips, parents are often more focused on keeping their children happy, but even in this quest, it’s essential to not forget about the child’s safety while in the vehicle. There are a variety of dangers that children can face while in the car with their parents, but luckily, a few proactive steps can easily mitigate these risks. 

Accident Statistics Involving Children

The chances of a parent and their child being involved in an accident increases with the amount of time spent on the road, so when traveling on even short vacations or road trips, a child faces an increased danger not usually experienced by those who are simply riding along on errand runs. This is important to note once a parent realizes that, in 2011 alone, over 650 children under the age of 12 died in auto accidents; and even more alarming is the fact that 148,000 children in this age range were injured in accidents.

It’s an unfortunate truth that these incidents are often linked to parents’ neglectfulness. A study actually found that around 40 percent of children riding with parents who didn’t use seat belts were also not seated in proper child safety seats. Unfortunately, children are also sometimes put at risk when their parents think they’re doing everything right.

Safety Seat Importance

The importance of child safety seats cannot be overstated. The use of car seats lessens the risk of an infant dying in an accident by 71 percent.  For toddlers, this number is 54 percent. Even the use of booster seats, as opposed to regular seat belts alone, reduces a young child’s chances of experiencing a serious injury by a full 45 percent.

Sadly, the use of these seats doesn’t guarantee safety. This because around 72 percent of all child safety seats aren’t properly installed. A recent tragic example shows just how important proper safety seat installation is. An accident in Missouri ended in the deaths of all passengers except an infant who was seated in a properly installed safety seat. The proper installation of this seat is likely what saved the child’s life.

In the disheartening example listed above, the surviving family members will likely be able to recover financial compensation due to wrongful death, and their chances of doing this increases if they have an experienced car wreck attorney. As Cofman Townsley, car wreck attorneys in Independence MO, state “A car accident can happen so fast, there is no time to think. It can leave you traumatized and devastated over personal loss.”

Thankfully, this will not be due to any serious harm to the young infant, and for those who are worried that their child’s safety seat may not be properly installed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides a search engine for car seat inspection centers around the country.

Other Tips on Keeping Children Safe

There are also other safety steps besides proper safety seat installation that can keep children safe on the road. One safety tip, still related to car seats, is to replace a seat that’s been involved in a moderate to serious accident. They begin to lose their effectiveness after this. Additionally, it’s smart to place one’s purse or other vital belonging in the back seat’s floorboard. This will ensure that, after a long journey that may have been mind numbing, a parent will not mistakenly forget their child in the back seat.

Another safety tip, though it may cost a few extra dollars, is to invest in a portable DVD player. This will keep children preoccupied, and since this will reduce the likelihood of them misbehaving and demanding a parent’s attention, it will also reduce the chances of an accident occurring due to distraction.

The numbers related to childhood injuries and deaths on America’s streets are undoubtedly disheartening, but these statistics also tell the story of children who could’ve survived had a few protective measures been taken. Sadly, with negligent drivers on America’s highways, not even the safest of parents can ensure that their children won’t be involved in an accident. Fortunately, the appropriate safety measures followed up by the right legal help can ensure that a child remains safe while not breaking the parent’s bank. 

As a mother to 4 Lisa Coleman understands the importance of proper car seat installation and safety, especially when an accident occurs. She recently viewed online how Cofman Townsley, car wreck attorneys in Independence MO, can legally help a client who has been a victim in a car accident due to negligent driving.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennycu/5586184417/

Car Damaged By Construction Debris? A to Z Guide

The construction industry has one of the highest rates of accidents of any field in America, and unfortunately, a person doesn’t even have to be involved in that line of work to be affected by it. Many car lovers have parked their vehicle to run a few errands or even head in for the night only to come out and discover that falling debris or other accidents on construction sites have damaged their vehicle. This can undoubtedly be a difficult time for those who treat their vehicle like their best friend, but luckily, there are a few steps they can take to keep their car and wallet healthy after the fact.

Contact Police Immediately

One of the most important things to do after having a vehicle damaged by falling construction debris is to contact local police. Unless some physical injury was sustained, it’s not necessary to tie up the local 9-1-1 line, so contacting the Sheriff’s Department directly will be enough.

The website http://www.construction-accident-attorney.net/ makes mention that, “most construction site accidents are caused by negligence, carelessness, or lack of adherence to established safety practices.” Having the police come out is a vital step because there’s a good chance that a police report will be the only legal record of the accident having actually taken place. While the following steps will undoubtedly lend credence to the unfolding of events, having a police report on file can make or break the entire situation.

Take Pictures of Damage

While waiting for police, a person should take pictures of all of the damage that occurred to their vehicle. In addition, pictures should be taken of the debris or equipment that fell and caused the accident, the damaged or improperly maintained area that led to this material falling and anything else that may help insurers and courts decipher exactly how and why the incident took place.

Get Witness Information

One of the most important steps to take after having one’s vehicle damaged due to falling construction material is getting witness information. Regardless of what a construction site manager, onsite employees or the property owner claims, third-party witness testimony will go extremely far in proving fault. In fact, if there is eyewitness testimony to the event, a person’s construction site attorney will have little trouble securing a fair settlement from the insurance company.

Get Professional Counsel Before Filing Claim

The final step that a person should take is filing their claim. It’s imperative, however, to speak with an attorney before this point. This is for a few reasons. First off, an experienced legal professional will be able to pinpoint all responsible parties. Was it just worker negligence that caused the accident or did a piece of faulty equipment contribute? This could make the difference between suing one company and suing several.

Additionally, a legal professional will have a much better chance at securing a fair compensatory package than the typical person will on their own. This is because insurers will often offer those without representation low settlements in the hopes that they don’t know what a fair settlement is. After having one’s attorney file the necessary papers, it’s imperative to refer all phone calls from the construction company’s insurer to one’s lawyer from that point on.

Thanks should be given in instances where falling construction debris causes property damage instead of bodily injury. If an injury is suffered however, the law ensures that the site owner, whether private or state-funded, will be held liable for their negligence. Whenever a car lover’s vehicle experiences any type of damage, the unfolding aftermath can be rather disheartening but the settlement and follow-on repairs will be able to get Old Betsy up and running again in no time.

Content specialist Teresa Stewart frequently researches auto property damage and covered benefits. She shares her findings which encourages victims to consult with legal experts before signing away any insurance rights.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Kill Joy…What Happens When A Joy Ride Becomes Vehicular Homicide

There’s not much that can come between car lovers and their vehicles, and this is showcased in the fact that many simply enjoy riding around town to show off their prized possession. Unfortunately, joyriding, or even a seemingly quiet night out on the town, can quickly turn tragic if a collision occurs. Auto collisions, even those that lead to deaths, can hardly ever be looked at as anything more than an accident. Even with this being the case, however, it’s still possible for a person to face serious charges if they’re involved in a fatal accident.

Criminal Charges

Just about any type of vehicular collision can be at least partially attributable to someone’s negligence. In traditional fender benders, it’s often as simple as looking at who violated a traffic law to decide who is at fault. This usually only results in financial obligations which are often covered by insurance. When a death occurs due to an accident, however, the repercussions can be far more serious. If it can be proven that a person’s negligence led to a fatal accident, they could actually face vehicular homicide charges.

There are certain negligent actions, such as drunk driving, that seem to make sense when having the vehicular homicide label applied. Other neglectful behaviors, though, such as texting, speeding, failure to yield and even teens having too many passengers in the vehicle, can also lead to this charge. In reality, any unlawful or negligent behavior that isn’t considered a felony can quickly lead to vehicular homicide charges if they result in the death of another person.

Potential Penalties

The penalties related to vehicular homicide, just like most other crimes on the books in America, will vary from state-to-state. In fact, all states have their own definitions of the crime. In some areas of America, for instance, the negligent act that causes an accident must be driving under the influence for a vehicular homicide charge to stick.

Some states allow for prison sentences up to 30 years for vehicular homicide charges, but sadly, these penalties aren’t always just. One study actually found that a person is more likely to get a harsh punishment if the victim of the accident is white or female. Sadly, even the race of the person being charged can play a role in the length of their sentence.

Staying Safe

The best way for a person to avoid the serious penalties related to this negligent homicide subcategory is to avoid the negligent behaviors that result in the charges. There are various mobile apps, for instance, that allow a person to safely receive text messages while on the road. Additionally, it’s important for a parent to ensure that their teen understands the law as it applies to teen driving and isn’t driving around in a vehicle loaded with their friends. This is viewed as negligent, and sometimes illegal, in many states.

Any death suffered during an auto accident is tragic, but the harsh reality faced by those left behind, even those who caused the accident, are traumatic. Unfortunately, even the safest drivers can sometimes end up in these situations. Anyone facing a vehicular homicide charge should immediately seek out an attorney. These charges are very serious in nature, but a skilled lawyer may be able to have the charges reduced or even thrown out due to a lack of evidence. There are various defenses and ways to go about presenting these defenses, but a person who chooses to go it alone will likely be left to the mercy of the courts. 

Writer Lisa Becker knows that no one ever means to cause a death in an auto accident, but those who do could still end up facing jail time usually reserved for hardened criminals and murderers. According to her research at www.devorelawoffice.com, “If you or a member of your family has been charged with vehicular homicide / vehicular manslaughter / vehicular operation, you must engage the services of an experienced and committed (Minnesota) criminal defense attorney to best protect yourself in this matter” to make sure you have the best possible chance at a successful defense.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Save Your License: Cleaning Up a Messy Driving Record

Driving is an activity that most of us take for granted. The only way we realize that driving is a privilege and not an entitlement is when we run the risk of losing our driver’s license. 

It’s easy to become a careless driver, especially when we’ve been driving for decades. Getting a ticket for speeding or running a red light only makes some drivers angry rather than rethinking their driving habits. Even hearing about tragic accidents, like the one in November in Houston, does not make those drivers want to change. The Houston Chronicle reported a gruesome accident in which a driver was killed. The Harris County constable’s office told the Chronicle that the driver was speeding past an accident on a Houston tollway when he was decapitated by a sharp object from a pickup truck parked in the shoulder of the road.

Losing your driver’s license

Drivers can ruin their record and get their license suspended in a variety of ways. Among them are:
driver's license
1. Failing to pay for traffic tickets.

2. Failing to pay child support or alimony.

3. Accumulating too many points on one’s driving record.

4. Driving without insurance and vehicle registration.

5. Being convicted of a drug charge.

6. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test when police suspect a driver of being drunk.

How to restore your license

Drivers facing suspension of their licenses or who had their licenses suspended are given a second chance to redeem themselves under most state laws. Here are a few ways drivers are allowed to get their licenses reinstated or get a few points shaved off of their driving record: 
1. Go to traffic school. Defensive driving courses review traffic laws, safe driving techniques and show individuals the risks they are taking by being a careless driver. The state of New York offers a “Point & Insurance Reduction Program” for drivers with suspended licenses. Drivers who successfully complete the course receive a reduction of 4 points on their driving record and a minimum 10 percent reduction in the base rate of their auto liability and collision insurance premiums for three years.

2. Obtain a SR-22 form. Drivers convicted of drunk driving might be required by the Department of Motor Vehicles to file a proof of insurance form called, SR-22. Having to file the SR-22 form means that you’re a high-risk driver and have to pay a higher rate for auto insurance.

3. Plead no contest to a misdemeanor driving offense. Rather than admitting guilt to the offense, drivers are advised not to contest the citation or state their innocence. Pleading no contest may help avoid an insurance rate hike.

Special conditions for drunk driving

Drivers’ licenses are automatically suspended for individuals arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). In these situations, drivers stand a better chance of getting their licenses reinstated, and possibly avoiding jail time, if they hire representation, whether this means a DUI Attorney in Houston or a criminal defense firm in Seattle. Drunk driving is a serious offense that drivers should not handle on their own.

Cleaning up a driving record first starts with a decision to follow traffic laws. Not only will this reduce points and restore a license, it may save the driver’s life and another person’s life as well.

Molly Pearce is a freelance author and concerned motorist who often centers her work around the topics of law and human rights. She gets most of her information from reliable online sources and for this post she referred to the legal site of a DUI Attorney in Houston to complete her research.

Photo credit- http://flic.kr/p/dcujSo

Exhilaration: Drive Fast, But Drive Careful

Most car enthusiasts fully understand the “need for speed,” and the exhilaration of hitting those top numbers on the speedometer can’t be denied. However, with the recent death of Fast and Furious actor, Paul Walker, the dangers of driving too fast are once again in the spotlight. Driving under the influence, texting or talking on cell phones, and allowing too many distractions in the car are often the focus of articles written about factors in automobile accidents, however, the perils of speeding cannot be understated.

Peddle to the Metal: What You Need To Know

If you find yourself hitting and exceeding the speed limit on a regular basis, you’re putting yourself, your passengers and other drivers at risk of accident, injury and even death. While it may seem like harmless fun, driving too fast is undeniably dangerous, even on empty roads. For example, the cause of the accident that took Paul Walker’s life was determined to be “speed, and speed alone.” Given that fact, what’s a speed freak to do?

Get Educated

If you or a loved one regularly cruises at speeds above and beyond the limit, taking a defensive driving course is a good way to learn the benefits of slowing down. These courses educate on how to handle a car in certain situations, as well as dealing with traffic issues and road safety. By learning a bit more about the risks, you’re more likely to ease off the gas a bit.

Find An Outlet  

Speeding can be addictive. Indulging that addiction on public roads is not responsible behavior. Drivers who love to take it to the extreme might be able to find an outlet by visiting a local motor speedway. Oftentimes, they will allow spectators to drive a few laps and provide tips on safety behind the wheel. It may be expensive, but getting it out of your system safely is worth the cost.

Understand The Other Risks 

In addition to the danger of speeding, there’s also the legal risks that a driver can encounter. Speeding tickets can be issued for any level over the posted limit, though some law enforcement officers will not cite drivers who only exceed the limit by a few miles per hour. There are, however, some states that mandate more serious charges be filed at certain levels of speed over the posted limit. Reckless driving and endangerment charges can be brought, which will send insurance rates through the roof.

Know What To Do

Drivers should be prepared and know what to do when pulled over by a law enforcement officer. First and foremost, always be honest because being dishonest will only make the situation worse. If you’re involved in an accident, be sure to get a full accident and injury report. This will help you should you need to contact an accident attorney. According to the Michigan firm of Strobel Law, “Even a minor car accident can end up disrupting your life.” You will be introduced to a whole new world of questions that you need an experienced legal professional to answer in order for you to navigate through the difficult process of insurance claims, medical expenses, and legal citations.

Putting the peddle to the metal can be a huge rush, as many drivers and auto enthusiasts know. However, there are huge risks involved to your safety, as well as your criminal record and finances. The easiest solution is to curb your need for speed when out on the roads. 

Lisa Becker reminds readers that “staying alive” is everyone’s goal for 2014, and that slowing down and being attentive to road conditions are the best ways to meet that goal. However, accidents do happen, and according to her research with Stroble Law, the most important thing to do is to contact an attorney who can explain the law, what to expect, and how to navigate through a difficult situation.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Trolley Tripping: How to Ride Safely

5920163098_781993862b_n(1)Trolley Tripping: How to Ride Safely

Whether you’re out on vacation or a regular user, trolleys are a easy and fun way to get around a city. Hopping on and off allows you to be able to jump off when spot something interesting, and can even ensure you arrive even closer to your destination.
Though a great mode of transportation, trolleys also have their problems. From tripping while boarding or departing to even falling out of your seat, it’s important to keep safety top of mind while using them.

Be A Trolley Dolly: Staying Safe

Trolleys have been used as a method of getting around cities such as Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina for generations. Energy efficient and full of charm, both tourists and natives use them regularly as an efficient way to get around. However, even the most seasoned users can forget basic safety when riding the trolleys. Here’s some top tips to staying safe.

1) Be Careful When Hopping On and Off – Trolleys evoke a sense of whimsy and fun, so it’s easy to forget to watch where you’re going. Hold on to the rails provided when boarding or exiting, and be sure to watch where you’re going. Though some might be in a rush, don’t be afraid to take your time. A twisted ankle or broken leg will take more time out of your day than taking the time to be careful.

2) Wait Until the Trolley Stops - If you’re looking to either board or exit a trolley, your safest bet is to wait until it has come to a complete stop before you do. Though it’s tempting to hop on or off wherever you like, and people often do, this can be dangerous. It’s better to be patient and wait.

3) Watch Out for Other Traffic – Trolleys share the road with cars, tourist buses and even horse-drawn buggies in some tourist spots. While the conductor will do everything to ensure you have a safe exit, it’s important you look both ways before exiting to ensure you’re not putting yourself in harm’s way. Be especially vigilant in heavy tourist areas, where distractions can be high.

4) Hang On While Riding – Though trolleys are a fairly reliable and safe mode of transportation, accidents still happen. A trolley crash in Asheville, NC resulted when the brakes failed. As there were only six people riding at the time, no one was injured. In a situation such as this, failure to hold on could easily result in a fall.

What Do if the Worst Happens

Injuries on trolleys aren’t terribly common, but they do happen. If you find yourself hurt after a trolley ride from falls or an accident, it’s important to know what to do. Firstly, get a copy of your injury report from the hospital or your doctor. You will need this for any insurance claims, as well as if you wish to visit an accident attorney to discuss possible legal action.Write down your experience in full detail in a narrative style as well, so you don’t forget any important details. Additionally, be sure you make a note of any ongoing pain or suffering you may be experiencing.

Should you wish to consult an injury attorney, going local is a smart move, particularly if you’re a tourist. While you may have your own attorney at home, a local injury lawyer will be able to advise on recent cases in the city, and will also have a better knowledge of the laws. Try to find an attorney that specializes in your type of injury. For instance, in the aforementioned accident in Asheville NC, the trolley riders might have contacted a personal injury attorney Raleigh or Greenville law professional to ensure the case is handled accordingly.

Taking the trolley is something many people look forward to while on vacation, and many locals enjoy using daily. However, like any mode of transportation, there are always risks involved. By educating yourself before you even hop on, you’re going to be in for a fun – and safe – ride.

 
Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and avid traveler. She enjoys visiting North Carolina and is happy to know that if a Personal Injury Attorney Raleigh firm is needed while she is vacationing, she can be well prepared to resolve the issue as effectively as possible.

Photo credit: http://flic.kr/p/a29oey

Minimum Requirements For A Road Legal Vehicle

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If you want to keep your vehicle road legal, there are several things that you must take care of. It is absolutely essential that you maintain the general health of your car – this includes things like basic maintenance, simple repairs and general ‘housekeeping’ duties.

Amongst these duties are the windshield wipers, the car headlamps, the tyres and the vehicle’s coolant levels. All of these things must be monitored, checked and maintained on a regular basis. The fact is that it’s not all that difficult to keep your car road legal, say officers from the Norfolk Constabulary. In fact, there are few things as simple. This means that there’s no real excuse for failing – here’s a guide that you can use to help keep your car on the road.

Full & Frank MOT

In recent years, the police have stepped up the number of vehicle spot checks that they perform. A lot of these checks are a result of random selection, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get in any bother for invalid, out of date or missing documents. If a police car pulls you over and you don’t have a valid MOT certificate in your car, you could be in trouble. A vehicle that is over three years old and doesn’t have an MOT certificate should not be on the road. Don’t forget that it is your job to make these things happen, it is your job to put your car in for its yearly MOT examination.

Caring For Tyres

According to the experts at NFU Mutual, a lot of car legality issues are to do with the health of a vehicle’s tyres. This is understandable – they are in constant contact with the road, after all. If your tyres aren’t fit and healthy, your car can’t be all that safe. All tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, in order to be road legal. For safety reasons,manufacturers recommend that you replace tyres as soon as they reach 3mm. Do be aware of the fact that fitting both radial and cross ply tyres on the same axle is actually an illegal act. Once again, if you are stopped by a police car and an officer finds that your tyres are damaged – you could be in line for a for hefty punishment. It might sound a little unfair, but the rules are there to keep passengers and drivers safe.

Stay Topped Up

You must keep your engine oil, coolant and windscreen wiper fluid reserves regularly topped up to recommended levels. Too few drivers are aware that it is actually illegal to drive without windscreen wiper fluid in the store, says experts at Citizens Advice. If you don’t have it, now is the time to sort it out. You cannot drive safely, if you can’t see out of a wet or a dirty window. A car that is not topped up to the proper levels, or that is not insured with a company like Balgores Motors can be liable for a hefty fine.

Display Your Tax Disc

It doesn’t matter how new or healthy your vehicle happens to be, an invalid tax disc will still land you in some very serious legal trouble. All road legal vehicles must be fully taxed every single year and a tax disc must be clearly displayed inside the windscreen. Driving without a tax disc is a very serious offence and could land you a whopping £1,000 fine. It is important to note that the police have very sophisticated systems in place to catch tax and insurance cheats – you will not get away with it for very long, that’s for sure.

 

Author Bio: Mohammed Singh writes for an automotive website. He recommends Balgores Motors for information and advice on keeping your car road legal. He can usually be found blogging vehicle maintenance tips, or answering questions from concerned drivers.

Making the Best out of DUI School: What to Expect

It’s foolhardy to believe that there are any drivers out there who don’t realize that driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime. Even with this being the case, however, there are still around 1.4 million arrests for the crime every single year. There are a wealth of consequences that a person can face if convicted of the crime, and this includes DUI school. When many people hear of a “DUI school,” they don’t think it sounds so bad; but in reality, it can be one of the costliest consequences related to a conviction. 

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What is DUI School?

According to DUI defense attorney, Kevin Wilson, potential DUI consequences, in any state, include, “alcohol education treatment as a mandatory requirement or negotiation tactic.” DUI schools are educational programs often related to both drugs and alcohol. Many individuals wonder why they have to learn about drug awareness if they were arrested for drinking and driving, but it’s important to remember that it’s possible to get a DUI while under the influence of drugs as well. These classes are meant to educate a person on the dangers of driving under the influence. In the end, they hope to prevent repeat offenses.

Of course, most individuals wouldn’t willingly choose to take these classes, and this is why courts often use DUI school as a penalty for a DUI conviction. In many cases, a person convicted of the crime will take a “clinical assessment” to gauge their need for the school, but in reality, these assessments almost always end with the conclusion that a person could benefit from the classes.

What to Expect

There are various things to expect from a DUI course, and these expectations can vary depending upon which state a person is convicted in. In most cases, however, those sentenced to these schools can expect to attend DUI classes from anywhere from three months to nine months. These classes are often weekly and a few hours in length. At several of these schools, a negative drug test is required for graduation since some offenders are their for driving under the influence of drugs.

In addition, those attending DUI school can expect to come off of a substantial amount of money for the classes. These courses are usually offered by private companies which have been licensed by the specific state. This means that their charges can vary wildly. Many areas charge around $500 for a full course, but in some instances, the cost of these classes can exceed $1,000.

Avoiding DUI School Penalties

DUI school is often overkill as a punishment since the other consequences of a DUI, such as license suspension and huge fines, are often enough to put people back on the right path. The only way for a person to ensure that they don’t have to take these classes is to have the DUI charges dropped or beat them. In most cases, hiring a DUI attorney can considerably assist a person in this endeavor.

It’s important to note that attorneys can present a variety of DUI defenses that most individuals don’t even know exist. Certain diets, for instance, can cause Breathalyzer devices to give off false positives. Even in cases where a DUI can’t be beat, however, an attorney can often negotiate a deal which will require a person to attend DUI classes far less than they otherwise would’ve.

DUI school is definitely no walk in the park, and those who are sentenced to it are expected to abide by all of the rules and fully complete the course. Unfortunately, this can put a serious dent in a person’s wallet, and for an individual who made a simple one-time mistake, this repercussion can sometimes be on the unfair side. When it comes down to it, DUI school may be a necessity after a DUI conviction, so it’s important for a person to avoid a conviction at all costs.

Author Molly Pearce shares this post to give those faced with a DUI charge an idea of what to expect for Alcohol and Drug Awareness treatment or DUI school and what can help them get through it. She got a lot of helpful info from online research on the site of Kevin Wilson, DUI defense attorney.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jinkazamah/2340242190/

“My Speedometer Is Broken” and Other Excuses that Traffic Cops Don’t Believe

Everyone has been there at least once in their life, nervously watching the police officer marching towards them after getting pulled over for speeding.

While the urge might be strong to try and bluff your way out, it’s far better to stay alert and keep an eye on small details of what’s happening. That isn’t to say that drivers are incapable of coming up with some interesting excuses to try and pull over on police officers. In fact, there are quite a few that have become popular through the years, regardless of their effectiveness.

 

Here are the top 10 excuses, in no particular order, along with some followup details you might use if your case goes to court. But keep in mind, the offer has heard all of these before and it’s probably best to either pay your ticket or consult an attorney to fight it.

  • “I was running late.” – The oldest trick in the book.

Unless you were running late for something monumentally important that the police are willing to overlook how fast you were going, this one simply won’t work. A legitimate emergency that requires urgent speeding is likely the only way to make this excuse worthwhile.

  • “My speedometer is broken.”

The typical excuse and one that still has no shot of working on a police officer. After all, it’s your job to keep your car properly maintained. Another similar excuse is that the car you’re driving is a rental and you were unfamiliar with it, but this won’t earn you any sympathy either.

A better idea might be to persuade the traffic official that the device was working fine till yesterday and it is only now that you realized that it’s broken and not working. Be assertive but at the same time, keep your tone soft.

  • “He pulled me over because he saw my license plate was from out of state.”

Screaming prejudice isn’t going to work in court unless you have a very strong case to prove it. Always remember that facts are more valuable than theories when trying to come up with a defense. If you think that officer has been treating you unfairly, write down everything that they say during the stop and consult an attorney. Every detail counts, so be sure to note other things they say even if they aren’t directed at you.

  • “I’m just trying to stay in line with traffic.”

While this might work for those going slightly above the limit, there’s no doubt that it won’t for the upper levels of speeding (i.e going nearly twice the limit). If you think that you’ve been unfairly targeted, a wiser move would be to ask the police officer to see the radar unit that was used to stop you. Focus on the manufacturer and model number, as these things can later be used in your defense.

  • “I’m lost.”

While it might seem like this will pull on the heartstrings of the police officer, the true fact is that it doesn’t make much sense. If you ever find yourself in a new area and have no idea where you’re going, you should be driving slower, not faster. Instead of getting into an argument with the officer, one should remain silent unless asked a specific question.

  • “You can’t accuse me of speeding when you were hiding like that. It’s not fair.”

The courts understand that people change their habits when they think the police are watching them, so accusing them of being unfair when you thought you weren’t being watched likely won’t earn you any favors.

  • “Oh, I was going that fast? I had no idea.”

A good driver must remain alert at all times, so admitting that you weren’t paying attention isn’t going to make the cop less inclined to give you a ticket. Either way, this is an admission of guilt. To horribly paraphrase “Horton Hears a Who,” speeding is still speeding, no matter how small.

Even if you pretend that you were unaware and that the speed limit must have changed when you weren’t paying attention, this one also implies that you’re not devoting your mental energy to what’s going on ahead of you. Instead of trying to argue you with the police officer, focus more on silently collecting information to help build your future defense. This is especially true once the officer has begun to write the ticket, at which point they are legally unable to void it.

  • “My car doesn’t even go that fast.”

If a manufacturer can confirm it, this might provide a little leeway for extreme cases of speeding violations, but in general all cars are more than capable of moving at ninety miles per hour, which is the usual upper limit of speeding violations.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore the type of car the police officer was driving though. Keep an eye on the police officer’s car: its make, model, license plate, and unit number. These are all vital details that can later be used in your defense.

  • “Everybody else was doing it.”

This is another excuse that just doesn’t make any sense. If everyone else robbed a bank, would it make it okay for you to? Didn’t think so. Also, the officer’s response might be something like “I can’t pull everyone over at once, so I get people one at a time – and today’s your day”. You won’t win with this excuse.

  • “I was just trying to pass someone.”

Don’t give the police officer anything to tie you to the violation. Claiming to be in a hurry will severely hurt your defense should you try to fight it, as you’re essentially admitting your guilt.

While some cops might be more lenient during cases of emergency, it’s still much more valuable to focus on your future defense.  The rules of the road don’t change based on how much of a hurry you’re in.

 

How to Handle a Ticket

Okay, so those humorous examples may be obvious ways to not deal with a speeding ticket, but what are some good ways?

First and foremost, it’s always a good idea to collect as much information as possible. Who knows what will be important if the case goes to trial, so it’s better to be safe now than sorry later.

Some of the more common things to take note of include

 

  • The make, model, license plate number and unit number of the police officer’s car who’s issuing the ticket.

  • While it can be useful to ask to see the radar unit the officer used to catch you, you should try to say as little as possible that might cause problems in the future.

  • Remember that your goal is to gather information, not to make yourself a memorable nuisance to the police officer issuing the ticket.

As long as you can build your case and avoid these common, but ineffective, speeding excuses, your experience with speeding violations should be much less painful.

Consult an attorney to determine how to best move forward, as this post is not meant to be legal advice. And, as always, please remember to practice safe driving and avoid the temptation to go above the speed limit.

5 Tips That Can Help After Getting A DUI

Getting charged with driving under the influence can most certainly be a life-altering experience. Many motorists instantly start to envision the worst-case scenario as soon as they are being placed in police custody. However, it is important to remember that you still have the right to defend your case in the court of law. Here are five tips that can help you after getting a DUI.

Always take a DUI very seriously

Unlike being stopped for a seat belt violation, being accused of driving while intoxicated is a very serious offense. Not only could it result in the loss of your driving privileges, but it could also put your freedom in jeopardy. If you live in an area that does not have access to public transportation, then it is likely that you will have to rely on others to provide you with a ride.

Remember that you do not have to plead guilty

Some people make the mistake of pleading guilty during their first court appearance. Due to the fact that most DUI cases are not cut and dry, it is not advisable to simply give up too soon. The truth of the matter is that there could be a few facts that have yet to be brought to your attention.

Do not fail to hire a reputable lawyer

A DUI case is surely not the time to be without the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer. Hiring an experienced and highly-trained lawyer can definitely help you to gain a victory in court. An attorney Indianapolis that is well-versed in DUI laws is an indispensable commodity when it comes to defending your case.

Never drive while your license is suspended

If your license has been suspension because of an alleged DUI, then do not even attempt to drive your vehicle. Unless you have been granted a temporary permit, you will just have to bite the bullet until the trial is over. Failing to comply could get you into to some unnecessary trouble.

Attend all court hearings

Even if you know the potential outcome of a court hearing, you are still required to be present. The last thing that you want is to make a stressful situation even worse. A responsible lawyer will notify you well in advance.

Hopefully these tips will help you to tackle your DUI case with confidence. Whether you win or lose, it is essential that you give it your best effort.