The Insanity Plea in a Criminal Defense Case

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in Criminal Laws, Criminal Lawyer | 0 comments

Imagine being a mother who returns home to find her child stabbed and dead in the master bedroom. Imagine being the child stripped of innocence and losing your life to a horrible act of violence. These unfortunate scenarios are a real-life horror story for a Naperville mother who killed her son and the girl she was taking care of at the time. She is currently pleading insanity in the case. According to interviews, the devil told her to do this and wanted to get revenge on her husband.

Chicago Tribune states a trial is set to begin for this Naperville woman who was accused of stabbing two young children to death, her son, and another young girl that she was taking care of. The courtroom proceeding will rely on dissenting opinions of her mental health during the incident. She will be charged with first-degree murder. Her criminal defense attorney will defend her with an insanity plea. The defense attorney refused to comment the day before trial, knowing it was important for the insanity plea to work. The mother has been held in custody since 2012.

The evening of the murder, the girl’s mother returned home from work and could not get in her home. She called the police and discovered a scene out of a horror movie. The detectives found the bodies of the two children in the master bedroom. They were stabbed multiple times and their throats were slashed. Robert Marshall, Chief Officer, commented that it was the bloodiest scene he had seen in his entire career. After the children died, the defendant was found at a Naperville home where she was staying with her other son. In the interview with the police, the mother took the children to church before returning home with them, where they would die. The children were in the master bedroom jumping up and down on the bed when she entered the room and told them to get on their knees and pray. She started stabbing the children as they were praying. She told the police she was hearing voices from the devil. The devil told her to save their souls by killing them. The woman also fought with her husband frequently and felt that she had to kill her son to get revenge on her him. Defense attorneys Resnick, the evaluator, and psychiatrist, is supposed to testify on her mental state during the trial.

While I validate the idea of an insanity plea, it is important to take care of each other and yourselves. The kids did not have a chance to protect themselves, so this incident is truly sad and unfortunate for all of those close to the situation.

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Will a Criminal Conviction Affect Your Divorce?

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 in Criminal Laws, Family Laws | 0 comments

In itself, divorce is already legally complicated. According to the website of the BB Law Group PLLC, there are a variety of issues that may arise, such as those that involve alimony, child custody and visitation, child support, and property division.

But sadly, it can be more complicated, especially when a criminal conviction is involved. To answer the title of the article quickly – yes, a criminal conviction does affect the divorce. However, it is important to note that there are a lot of factors to consider, to determine how big a part this criminal conviction can play in the divorce process.

Financial Support

Alimony and child support are the main financial and domestic responsibilities associated with divorce. They are also aspects that can be influenced by criminal convictions. For example, if a spouse has a criminal conviction that is severe enough, he may have a hard time looking for a stable job, so he may not be able to give proper alimony and child support.

Generally, simple offenses like drunk driving don’t really matter, but that is not always the case. The website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter has enumerated the consequences for drunk driving – fines, jail times, and license suspensions. The license suspension is particularly problematic if the spouse’s job focuses on driving. So, in this sense, even a simple offense can greatly affect alimony, child support, and divorce overall.

Custody and Visitation

In child custody, the court will always look into the best interest of the child. A person who has a criminal conviction may not look very appealing for the court, especially if the criminal conviction shows that the parent is not in a good mental state to be with his child. This can make a parent with a criminal record lose out on child custody. There are even instances where visitation is strictly controlled or even entirely prohibited, especially on instances where the conviction involves the child directly, like on the instances of child abuse, domestic violence, and child endangerment.

Property Division

Usually, criminal convictions don’t affect property division. But there is always an exception. If a spouse has a history of fraud or any similar offense, there may be grounds for the court to investigate for assets that the spouse may be hiding, so they won’t be included in the division of property. But as said earlier, this isn’t really a big deal, when compared to how convictions affect financial support, custody, and visitation.

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Different Kinds of Road Defects

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Many car accidents happen because of the driver’s fault. The cause may be understandable errors, such as failing to negotiate a turn, or completely unacceptable ones, such as intentionally driving while drunk. But there are also instances where car accidents occur because of third parties.
Some of these instances involve road defects, and the parties that can be at fault are construction companies who are responsible for the design and construction of the road or jurisdictions who are responsible for the maintenance of the roads in their areas. According to the website www.mazininjurylawyers.com, those who have been injured because of road defects may get compensation from the responsible parties.
Of course, preventing accidents is still the more attractive choice compared to getting compensation for the damages. To prevent accidents, the first step is to know the possible road defects that can cause them.

Design Defects

Design defects are design issues that make the road more dangerous than what it should be. Below are some of the most common road design defects:

  • Absence of road and warning signs
  • Absence of traffic lights
  • Dangerously sharp curves and turns, especially on elevated roads
  • Little to no road shoulder
  • Overly narrow lanes
  • Ungraded curves and turns

Construction Defects

Even if the road has good design, it may still be dangerous because of poor construction techniques, such as the use of inadequate materials.

  • Poor drainage system, resulting into water buildup
  • Poor pavement, resulting into roads that can easily sustain cracks and potholes
  • Structural problems on bridges, freeways, ramps, and other connectors

Maintenance Defects

Roads should be maintained so they are always in great condition. Failing to maintain roads may result into defects that may put motorists at risk.

  • Debris on the road
  • Defective traffic lights
  • Faded white and yellow lines
  • Foliage buildup
  • Poor lighting
  • Unreadable road and warning signs
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Types of Mail Fraud

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in White Collar Crime | 0 comments

The use of the U.S. Mail system to deceive another person for personal gain is known as mail fraud. As with any white collar crime, mail fraud is a serious charge. According to Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, if charges of mail fraud are brought against a person, then there is a good chance that this person has already been under investigation for a pretty significant period of time. The U.S. Postal Inspectors are in charge of investigating any crime in which the U.S. Mail system is used. This organization, sometimes with the assistance of other government agencies, is in charge of seeking legal action against the accused. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service writes that “Postal Inspectors may seek prospective or administrative action against the violator,” meaning that charges of mail fraud can be a serious accusation.

The U.S. Postal Service can itself be incorporated into the scam. This instance of mail fraud involves falsely posting a job offer to work for the postal service by putting a notification in the mail, a newspaper, or another public place. Once contacted, the person issuing the false advertisement will often ask for a fee in order for you to receive information about the position. Another common fraud is a fake service offering training in order to help you pass a required Postal Service examination that must be taken before employment. Additionally, these advertisements can promise that applicants will be placed on a special list from which new hires are selected.

Another type of mail fraud originates from a commercial enterprise. The guidelines detailed in the Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act outline the specifics of this type of mail fraud. Mailings that offer some form of sweepstakes must clearly display the rules of the contest. Additionally, the mailing must inform the entrant that no purchase is necessary to enter the contest and that a purchase doesn’t improve the chance of winning the contest. An important part of the sweepstakes posting is the inclusion of a contact for the mailer. The posting must include an address for the principal place of business of the mailer or some other way of contacting the mailer. If these requirements are not met, then the sweepstakes offer is considered mail fraud.

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How to Find the Right Nursing Home Facility

Posted by on Dec 29, 2016 in Elder Issues | 0 comments

There are close to 1.5 million elders, accident victims needing rehabilitation and therapy, and mentally disabled young adults residing in about 16,000 nursing home facilities in the whole of the United States. Every day, these residents require not only minor medical attention, but also the care and assistance of registered/licensed nurses, nurse aides and staff in performing even the most basic daily routine of bathing, eating and others.

Thousands of nursing homes, however, do not have enough personnel to provide quality care to all residents. Thus, instead of genuine care and physical/emotional comfort from their supposed-to-be caretakers many, rather, suffer physical, emotional, sexual (and even financial) abuses from over-worked and stressed-out aides and/or staff.

Among the types of abuses, sexual is considered to be the most wicked; however, due to shame, threats and difficulty on the part of the abused in explaining his/her unpleasant experience (for fear of being suspected of simply suffering from dementia), this abuse becomes the least reported and it is not easy to detect either.

Fondling, forced nudity, display of pornographic materials, forcing another resident to touch or kiss the victim and forced penetrative acts are just some of the ways through this type of abuse is committed. Some probable ways of detecting sexual abuse is by observing the patient for any sudden change in his/her attitude or behavior, over-sensitivity to touch, fear and unexplained scars.

Often, the defense mechanism of sexual victims, to make it appear, as well as convince themselves, that nothing is really happening is by warding-off any thoughts about the abuse and casting an appearance of calmness and composure.

Nursing home abuse is a crime and, in many states, those who commit it are convicted of felony if proven guilty. This move is to help minimize the number of abuses committed against nursing home residents each year.

There are also moves to help families find a really good nursing home for their elderly loved ones. In fact a list of the Best Nursing Homes is available in federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The government has already identified at least 3,000 good nursing home facilities all across the U.S. The determining factors considered by the government in identifying whether one home is good or not are quality care, number of staffing (licensed nurses and nurse aides) and health inspections.

According to nursing home abuse lawyers from the law firm Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, perpetrators of sexual abuse in nursing homes are often the very people tasked with taking care of the residents. In some cases, perpetrators may even be other residents. Regardless, nursing homes must always be vigilant and look for all forms of sexual abuse from staff and residents alike.

Families, on their part, must also guard about manifestations of sexual abuse, though these could really be hard to detect. Even the slightest feeling of suspicion that his/her loved one may be experiencing sexual abuse, an attorney may be able to help prove it and hold the responsible party accountable.

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A Look At Some of the Famous Product Liability Claims

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in Product Liability | 0 comments

Product liability cases have been making the headlines over the last decade. Manufacturers need to maintain the highest standard of safety when designing products. When they are sold in the market, consumers always assume that the product had already been tested safe. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, defective products that are sold in the market result to serious injuries.

In recent years, numerous product liability claims have been field against some of the most popular companies. In this article, we shall take a look at some of them.

1. The case of the hot coffee

In 1994, 79-year old Stella Liebeck filed a case against world renowned food chain McDonald’s. Her claim had something to do with the restaurant serving coffee at 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit as compare to the 140 degrees of other restaurants. The case stemmed from Liebeck suffering 3rd degree burns. She was hospitalized for eight days, underwent skin grafting and then two years of medical treatment. In the end, Liebeck received $2.7 million in punitive damages and $160,000 for medical expenses.

2. Faulty gas tank

General Motors, the leading American car manufacturer, has frequently been a target of product liability cases. In 1999, the company paid $4.9 billion in punitive damages in connection with a faulty gas tank on its 1979 Chevrolet Malibu which killed six individuals after the gas tank exploded.

3. Failure to warn

Cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris was sued by a woman who had lung cancer. She alleged that her addiction to tobacco was due to the company’s failure to inform her of the risks of smoking. In 2002, the company was ordered to pay $28 billion worth of punitive damages and $850,000 in compensatory damages. Philip Morris appealed the case and in 2011, the amount was reduced to $28 million.

These are just some examples of product liability cases that have made the headlines for their defective products.

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Identifying The Major Hazards In The Construction Site

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

The construction site is one of the most dangerous places for a worker to be in. While they account for only 6 percent of the American workforce, the industry accounts for more than 20 percent of all job-related fatalities. As the website of this Houston Personal Injury Lawyer reveals, it is important for construction sites to be excellently managed to keep dangerous conditions from arising. Here are the top four hazards in the construction site:

Fall Hazards

According to statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Occupational Safety & Health Administration, fall hazards account for 36% of construction worker deaths in 2012. They include scaffoldings, ladders, and roofs. Employers should put in place fall protection policies and should have the necessary equipment that will keep workers from falling. The employees should also be trained on evaluating and identifying fall hazards.

Struck-by Hazards

Struck-by hazards account for 10% of construction worker deaths. Most of the fatalities involve heavy equipment and 1-in-4 struck-by vehicle deaths involve construction workers. To prevent fatalities, employers should set-up barricades and warning signs as well as assign spotters and flaggers when working in roadways and there is continuous traffic.

Electrical Hazards

The data compiled by BLS and OSHA revealed that 9% of construction worker deaths in 2012 were from electrocution. Power lines, live circuits, power cords, and power tools can expose workers to injuries and even death. Employers should put in place precautionary measures in order to prevent electrical hazards from injuring construction workers.

Caught-in Between Hazards

Two percent of fatalities in the construction site were due to being caught between objects. Caught-in between hazards may include excavations and trenches. These hazards can collapse and trap workers who are working in these sites. It is important for workers to comply with safety standards and use protective gear.

Known as the “Fatal Four,” these construction site hazards claim lives of workers on a yearly basis. By eliminating these hazards, 435 construction workers can be saved every year.

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Scanning for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Health | 0 comments

A new brain scan, which is conducted via a new generation of radioactive pharmaceuticals, is considered a one-step forward by researchers when it comes to diagnosing and categorizing a brain illness that has tormented many American football players for many years now.

This brain scan, which is recently done by researchers at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine in New York City, shows that a 39-year-old living former National Football League football player is suffering from psychiatric symptoms consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, an illness that has also been the bane of late football players Michael Lewis “Mike” Webster and Tiaina Baul “Junior” Seau, Jr.

Said 39-year-old former football player has had suffered from a number of concussions during his playing years, researchers, who include Samuel Gandy and Dara Dickstein of Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine in New York City, said. These researchers use cutting-edge ligands, or substances that bind to receptors and are able to be seen via brain imaging, to examine the brains of living athletes at risk of incurring CTE, who include NFL and National Hockey League players.

In line with the Mount Sinai researchers’ goals, Robert Stern of Boston University, who also want to speed up the process of diagnosing CTE in living people, said he, along with the Mount Sinai researchers, is using a new ligand called T807, which is not yet approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and has been used in human testing only in 2014.

Stern, who says the primary goal is to diagnose the CTE in an athlete before the illness can spread all throughout the person’s brain and therefore prevent the illness from escalating to an early death for the player, is being funded by grants from the Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health.

The website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP says that mild traumatic brain injuries can cause temporary disfunctioning in brain cells, whereas major traumatic brain injuries, such as CTE can cause torn tissues and bleeding in the brain that when not addressed promptly can cause conditions that may lead to death.

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The Dangers of Toxic Tort

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Dangerous Products | 0 comments

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a toxic tort is really a legal expression for chronic or active contact with dangerous matter including chemicals, pesticides, gasses, or medications, although it seems like an evil cake. Injury or any injuries resulting from this exposure can lead to a toxic tort lawsuit.

There are numerous ways that individuals or a person can be subjected to materials that are hazardous. These include:

  • Work-Related Exposure – when the work site is overwhelmed by hazardous-materials as a matter of program i.e. coal dust in coal mining or the occupation involves management hazardous-materials i.e. transportation of substance
  • Dangerous Medications – when a drug has unwanted effects that are unintended or continues to be infected with harmful substances, for example, fungi or bacteria
  • House-Related Publicity – this may range from the continual vulnerability to black mold, asbestos-based insulation, and lead-paint that’s exposed in the residence
  • Commercial Products – this type of coverage is for the public, when the use of certain products can trigger injuries, like pesticides that’s consumed by crops or which poison groundwater that individuals ultimately ingest, make-up that have toxic ingredients, or food products that use harmful preservatives, coloring agents, or artificial flavoring

In the USA, when a serious injury happens from some of the above forms of coverage, the effects can be crushing. In some of these cases, the effects of the exposure attest years after, including what happened to employees in asbestos-containing materials, where cases of asbestosis and mesothelioma arrived 40 to 50 years afterward.

But the most frequent possibly are dangerous drugs which affect people from many walks of life are medications. Based on the site of Habush Habush & Rottier, the side effects of the medications often introduce larger health issues in relation to the ailment they are supposed to treat.

Whatever the origin of the toxicity, such cases represent a sizable part of individual injuries cases, which should be handled by experienced attorneys for outcomes that are desired. When you endured serious because of the negligence of a third party and have already been exposed to a substance that is noxious, perhaps you are qualified to get damages.

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Cruise Ship Excursions: Common Types of Excursion Accidents and Injuries

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Many people find the idea of vacationing on a cruise ship as the most ideal way to travel. Going on a cruise promises luxurious accommodations and state of the art facilities while being transported from one amazing destination to the next. Who wouldn’t dream of such a convenient and relaxing way to travel? Many cruise lines also offer their passengers the option to take part in various activities once they reach their intended destinations. These cruise ship excursions allow passengers to immerse themselves in the locales in their itinerary through activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, horseback riding, as well as walking and eco-cultural tours. Other popular in-land activities also include ATV riding and dog sledding.

While enjoyable, many of these activities pose a certain amount of risk if the cruise line isn’t careful with their facilitation and operation. According to this website , accidents during cruise ship excursions are a common cause for concern. Many of these potential dangers can cause serious injuries, eclipsing the fact that passengers should be enjoying their time while on their dream vacation.

Dock accidents are among the most common accidents that passengers should be aware of. These incidents take place when a cruise ship fails to properly dock at the assigned port, causing sudden lurching movements and instability that can lead to passengers accidentally falling or slipping. Dock accidents can lead to physical injuries such as broken bones, knee injuries, spinal cord injuries, and head trauma.

Another type of accident common to cruise ship excursions are tender accidents. When passengers are transported from the ship to the shore, they will have to ride smaller vessels called tenders. Tenders can easily become unstable, especially if the vessel is being operated by a negligent operator. There’s also the danger of an accident during boarding and disembarkation.

Cruise ship passengers can also suffer from vehicular accidents as they are being transported from one venue to another while completing their in-land itinerary. Accidents are also sure to occur if there are defects in the equipment used by passengers during the excursion activities offered by the cruise line.

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