DUI Defense of No Actual Physical Control

The following is a guest post post and may not reflect the opinions of legalhelpinhouston.com.

DUI laws across the United States have gotten really strict over the past few decades. In fact, up until recently, you could be charged with a DUI even if you were not driving the vehicle. Before 1995, the DUI laws stated that sitting in a vehicle while intoxicated with the keys in the ignition was considered actual physical control of the car. Fortunately, that law is no longer in effect thanks to attorneys who took the case to the Supreme Court and argued that the law was unfair.

After that law was struck down, whether a person has actual physical control of the car is determined by examining the totality of the circumstances. When a person is booked for DUI, the court will look all of the important factors in the situation, such as what the person was doing during the time he or she pulled over and why this person was stopped. For example, someone who a person pulls over to the side of the road to turn off the air conditioner or sleep off a intoxication would not be in actual physical control of their car. This can be a very powerful defense.

Every case is different and has unique circumstances and facts. However, a qualified criminal defense lawyer could be able to use the lack of physical control as a defense. Below are some examples of circumstances that demonstrate a lack of physical control of the vehicle:

  • The vehicle was in neutral.
  • The engine was turned off.
  • The vehicle was in a parking lot, outside of a drive-through or not on a main travel road.
  • The vehicle was turned on to run the heater or air conditioner.

These circumstances could prove that the driver was not endangering anyone’s life. If the car is not running, then the driver does not have actual physical control over it. However, a driver who is passing out while crossing a median or moving in traffic does constitute actual physical control of the vehicle.

If you are facing DUI charges, then it is best to contact a reputable attorney to handle your case. They may be able to help you get your charges dropped by proving a lack of actual physical control. There are also other defenses that can be used in order to drop or reduce your DUI charges.

Author: Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney, David Michael Cantor

David Michael Cantor has provided exceptional criminal defense for his clients for over 25 years. David’s office is in Phoenix and he’s still known as one of the top DUI Attorneys in Chandler, AZ due to his work with clients in that Phoenix suburb.

What is Habeas Corpus?

Habeas Corpus is a court order or writ that requires a person being held as a prisoner be brought before a judge and charged for their crime. Habeas Corpus is a Latin term that translates into “present the body,” and is one of the most important rights in the legal system.

Habeas Corpus prevents unlawful detainment of any individual. This writ demands that anyone holding a person must prove to the court that they have the authority to hold that person. Freedom from unlawful detainment is guaranteed in the Constitution. However, this writ does not help or aid in the protections of any other Constitutional rights such as the right to a speedy trial.

Habeas Corpus can be traced back to English law in the 12th Century. While the Habeas Corpus Act was not officially codified in England until 1640, the King of England demanded that he be entitled to know why any of his subjects were being detained and that any detainment without sufficient cause would be against the law of the land.

Why Is Habeas Corpus So Important To Our Freedom?

The right of Habeas Corpus is granted in Article I, Section 9, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which states, “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

Habeas Corpus demands that those places in authority positions be held accountable for their actions. For instance, when an arrest has been made, the policing authority that made the arrest cannot simply take the accused to jail and leave them there without any further action. They must present to the court why the arrest was made and why they have the authority to keep the person imprisoned.

Without this writ, authority figures could simply arrest someone, lock them away, and that person would never be heard from again.

There have only been two times in United States history where Habeas Corpus was suspended. Abraham Lincoln and George W. Bush have both suspended Habeas Corpus during times of war. Both presidents did so to severe criticism by the Congress and the people. Lincoln’s suspension was lifted at the end of the war. The suspension of Habeas Corpus made in 2006 for the War on Terror still remains in effect today. This law applies to enemy combatants of the United States. However, the law broadly gives the U.S. government permission to determine who is an enemy combatant without specifying it in the law. This law continues to generate much controversy due to its impact on American freedom.

 

David Michael Cantor is the named partner of the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor in Phoenix, AZ. David Michael Cantor is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information, see their DUI website: http://cantorcriminallawyers.com/arizona-dui-laws/

Advice for Immigrants

Immigration is one of the most central aspects of the American spirit. We are a nation founded and built by immigrants and, as such, the institution of immigration is still a respected tradition. However, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the issue of immigration in recent years. For the most part, this is due to the problem of illegal immigration which is primarily focused on the southern border of the United States.

One of the ways to help the problem of illegal immigration is to increase education about legal immigration facts. The following are some key points that are important to know about the immigration process.

Plan an Extended Time Period

Because America is such a popular destination for immigrants, the bureaucratic and governmental organizations that oversee the immigration process are constantly overbooked. If someone is planning to apply for an immigration permit, they should begin this process well ahead of the time they plan to make the move. In some instances, the application process can take months or even years. Because of this, applying well ahead of schedule will help the entire process to flow smoothly and reduce the chance of problems along the way.

Keep All Papers and Belongings in Order

The American border security system has grown extremely strict and efficient as a result of tragic terrorist attacks and smuggling. When attempting to cross the border into the United States, it is crucial to not appear suspicious. Anyone crossing the border should be well-groomed and dressed as cleanly and nicely as possible.

They should carry a minimum amount of baggage and make absolutely certain that they have no items that could possibly be considered contraband. All clothing and items should be double-checked for any weapons, large sums of cash or jewelry, or electronic devices.

 Never, Ever Break any Rules

Violating even one small, seemingly insignificant immigration rule or regulation can result in termination of immigration proceedings, immediate deportation and possible future denial of entry. Immigration forms and checklists should be studied repeatedly until all pertinent information is committed to memory. It cannot be stressed highly enough how vital it is to abide by all immigration rules and regulations in order to complete a successful immigration.

There are many more tips and information to know about the immigration process, but a firm grasp of these core principles will form the basis of a successful immigration application process. Immigration attorneys, U.S. Congressmen and state officials can all provide valuable insights into the immigration process as well.

Roland is a frequent writer of articles on immigration laws. He is a San Antonio immigration lawyer who helps people file all the required paperwork to obtain a visa. Contact him for more information at http://www.gutierrezfirm.com

How to Expunge a Juvenile Record

Hiatt type 2010 handcuffs. Circa 1990s

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Under United States law, people under the age of 18 enjoy a special legal status. Minors can’t sign binding contracts, they can’t vote, and when they commit crimes, they’re generally not sent to normal jails or prisons. This legal exception also extends to the sealing of juvenile convictions.

When a juvenile criminal record is sealed, it can legally be hidden from future lenders, landlords, employers and screening agencies. Adult ex-convicts who want to advance their careers usually try to have their records expunged for this reason, but expungement is not always guaranteed. State law generally makes it easier for a juvenile offender to have his record sealed out of consideration for his youth at the time of his offense.

Steps to take before having a juvenile record sealed

Before attempting to have a juvenile conviction sealed, make sure that your record qualifies for sealing under your state’s laws.

  • Many states require that a juvenile conviction be at least five years old before it can be sealed.
  • People who have been subsequently convicted as adults are usually ineligible to have their juvenile convictions sealed.
  • Some states do not allow serious, felony-equivalent juvenile offenses to be sealed.
  • In most states, you have to be above the age of 18 before you can legally have your juvenile convictions sealed.

These are only general guidelines, however. Every state has different requirements that the offender must meet before his record can be sealed.

The Sealing Process

In some states, juvenile records are automatically sealed once the offender has come of age. Most states, however, will require you to file a petition for sealing along with an application fee. If your state doesn’t have an automatic mechanism for sealing juvenile records, you should be able to obtain a petition for sealing at your local courthouse or law enforcement office.

The Benefits of Sealing Your Juvenile Record

Unless it’s been sealed, a juvenile conviction can follow you into adulthood. Once you’ve had your juvenile record sealed, you can legally conceal your conviction from potential employers, landlords, lenders and college admissions boards.

Keep in mind that sealing a juvenile conviction doesn’t mean erasing it from your record. Under normal circumstances, the conviction will be hidden, but police and screening agencies will be able to pull up your sealed record if you’ve applied for a job with law enforcement. Your sealed conviction can also be taken into account in court if you are later charged as an adult.

People who have been charged and convicted for juvenile offenses generally have an easier time concealing their criminal records than do adults. If you’re being haunted by a juvenile criminal record, study your state’s laws and find out whether you can have your record sealed. For more information contact Billy Skinner, a juvenile record sealing attorney.

What to Do if Pulled Over by the Police

Everyone that drives will probably get pulled over by the police at some point or another. If you’ve never been pulled over before you may be wondering what to expect. Here is some great advice on what to do if an officer

Tamil Nadu police officer

Police officer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

does pull you over.

Pull Over Safely

First of all you must pull over in a safe spot as soon as you possibly can. Don’t just stop in the middle of the road or try to get away. Find somewhere like a parking lot, a side street or maybe a wide shoulder if you’re on the highway. This is so that both you and the officer will be safe when he or she approaches your car.

Remain Calm

It is important to remain calm when the officer is approaching your car. You should never start reaching for anything until they tell you to. Keep your hands on the wheel and wait for instructions from the police officer. They will probably ask you to roll your window down if you haven’t already. Try not to make any sudden movements that might make the officer nervous. If it’s dark you may want to turn on an interior light so the officer can see what you are doing.

Be Polite

Let the officer talk to you first. If you start talking first, explaining what you did wrong, you’re admitting to something they may not even be stopping you for. Answer whatever questions they ask of you. If you don’t comply with instructions you can get in a lot more trouble than if you just listen. Also, if you have anything illegal in plain sight, the officer can use this as an excuse to search your car. Never argue about the ticket or anything else that the officer accuses you of. If you are polite and respectful they are less likely to give you a hard time.

Remember that getting pulled over is a very common and happens to almost everybody. If you believe that you were ticketed unfairly, you can take the ticket to court to contest it. There’s not a guarantee you’ll win the case but it’s worth a shot if you think you’re innocent.

Felony Conviction Consequences

Consequences of felony charges are serious if you are legally convicted of them. A felony is treated harshly by the law because of the nature of the act that was committed. There are several classes of felonies one could be charged with. How severely they are treated depends on the crime committed.

Português: Uma cela moderna em Brecksville Pol...

Jail Cell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You will most likely spend time in jail and pay the costly fees for attorneys and bail while waiting for your court date. Once convicted of a felony your life is going to change drastically. There is the possibility of jail time and probation which can last for years. Other restrictions will be imposed on you after a felony conviction as well. You will not be able to own or possess a firearm of any sort which includes obtaining a hunting license. Your voting rights will also be taken away and it may be difficult to find a place to live.

The biggest hurdle is just being able to find a job once you have been convicted of a felony. You will be asked this question on most job applications and must answer it truthfully. If they find out that you lied on your application you can be fired without notice. If they hire you even though you have the felony, it may hurt your starting rate of pay. They will want to see how you perform before paying you the salary you would earn without the felony conviction. Any professional licenses or certificates could be revoked as well, especially in the teaching or medical fields.

A felony can bring you many problems for your family, friends and co-workers. Our personal records are the most valuable assets that we have to live out our lives. It can tarnish the lives and the future of families by posing financial instability or embarrassment. The consequences of such crimes are usually long and harsh and are not worth the risk that anyone should take.

Brett enjoys writing about current legal issues.  If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney, visit Brett A. Podolsky, Attorney at Law online today.

 

How to Dismiss a Speeding Ticket

Drivers hate being stopped by the police and ticketed for speeding. This is especially true in this day and age when fines are higher than ever. The worst part is having your driving record accumulate negative points and having to

Speed Limit what?

Speed Limit (Photo credit: mahiskali)

pay higher insurance rates.

Speed limits are set for drivers’ safety but the fact remains that people will always exceed that limit. If you are pulled over for speeding, you may still be able to get out of the ticket by being polite and remembering some of the tips below.

1) Have a nice and cooperative attitude toward the police officer.  Having a defensive or hostile attitude toward a police officer can negatively impact you when facing the judge.

2) Feign ignorance over the charge – admit nothing except an innocence of wrongdoing. An admission of guilt affects a judge’s decision. Radar guns and other means of tracking the speed of your vehicle are often not calibrated correctly and give incorrect results.

3) Observe details – always remember the details of the scene such as placement and/or existence of speed limit signs, traffic lights, other vehicles, intersections or bystanders. Take photos and write down as many relevant specifics as possible while they are mentally fresh.

4) Have a nice and cooperative attitude toward the judge.  Always be on time, well-groomed and properly attired when appearing in court.  If the officer isn’t present for the hearing, the judge usually drops the charge and the ticket is expunged. If the officer is present, plead ‘not guilty’. Offer a detailed analysis of the situation, along with any evidence that can help prove your innocence.

5) Follow the judge’s orders – Make sure you complete any sentence for community service, a fine or attendance in a driving course. This will eliminate speeding points and prevent suspension of a driver’s license.

6) Follow Up  –If you successfully get your ticket expunged, check back with your insurance to make sure the ticket is not on your record.

Prepare Your Defense With an ALR Hearing

An ALR is an Administrative License Revocation hearing in the State of Texas. Texas allows for anyone who has had their license suspended to request an ALR hearing no matter the reason the license was suspended.

Headquarters of the Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco...

Headquarters of the Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco And Firearms (Photo credit: paul_houle)

Once you have received your notice that states your license is being suspended because of a DWI you need to contact the ALR hearing office. You only have 15 days to apply for an ALR hearing from the date of the suspension notice if you intend to fight your DWI charges.

A request for an ALR meeting is asking for an informal mini-trial so a decision can be made as to why the license was suspended. Lawyers or defendants can request an ALR hearing to find out what the legal reasons are against the defendant.

An Administrative License Revocation hearing is extremely helpful in cases where defendants are charged with DWI felonies. At the hearing all the information that the state has against you will be brought out in the open. You will then know exactly what evidence they have against you and how strong of a case they have.

You will have the right to know the names of all experts and police officers that the state is calling in to give evidence against you. You will also be allowed to subpoena all these witnesses against you and hear all the testimonies that they are going to give in court.

This type of information is extremely important and gives you a heads up on how you should build your DWI charge defense. Being charged with a DWI will change your life drastically so you need the best defense possible. Finding out exactly what the state has against you is something that is not usually done before your DWI trial.

DWI criminal charges are not the only charges that a defendant can request an ALR hearing for in order to discover the information against them. Drivers who have received a suspension notice against their license for unpaid traffic tickets, violations against traffic laws, causing an accident or other criminal offenses may request an Administrative License Revocation hearing for their defense.

Gary Miller provides his readers with free legal advice. If you have questions regarding a how to expunge a criminal record, you can read more here.

News Letter Tips for Law Firms

Writing a law firm newsletter is not as difficult as one may think but it does take time, effort and planning. One of the most important factors to consider is to make sure that your writing is

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 30:  A stack of news...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

clear, professional and interesting. It is especially important to keep the writing clear and easily understandable when writing about legal issues and concerns. The law firm newsletter should be easy to read and straightforward.

Another tip that will help when writing a law firm newsletter is to be consistent when sending it out. For instance, if you choose to send it out on a weekly basis, do the best you can to make sure it goes out each week. Don’t change from a weekly schedule to a monthly schedule because it could confuse and disappoint your readers. People like consistency; especially when it comes to reading something important and necessary.

When writing any newsletter, especially a law firm newsletter, follow the 3Cs of writing. The 3Cs, consistency, conservation, and contract, have been used for years and they are helpful when drawing up a newsletter. Most importantly, as you write the newsletter keep your news useful, informative, accurate and brief. For example, you could ask several questions that would be helpful to your clients and then answer those questions in your newsletter. A Question and Answer Forum works really well for a law firm because people are always looking for free legal advice. If your readers are ever in need of a lawyer, they will remember how helpful your newsletter was in the past.

In addition, those who read your law firm newsletter will want to know about issues that affect their lives or the lives of those they love. A law firm newsletter should also have information that make people want to read and share it with others. Most people shy away from sales pitches but they gravitate more to articles that educate, uplift and inform them. As you conclude your newsletter, you want to add an invitation to your readers to contact your firm. The contact information given at the end should be clearly visible and presented in an organized manner.

Advantages of Hiring a Local Attorney

If you are thinking of hiring a Houston attorney to represent you in a criminal case, there are several things to take into account.  One major aspect of consideration is if the attorney is a local attorney.  Here are some very important reasons why hiring a local attorney is very important in almost every case that goes before a judge.

Local Knowledge and Accountability

With a local attorney you can easily find out about the reputation of the attorney and the firm he works for. Checking online and asking other lawyers for their opinions can get you a clear view of the attitude of the local attorney and his firm.

It is All About Networking

It is a huge benefit to hire a local who has a good relationship with local judges and prosecutors. This makes it easier for your attorney to communicate at key moments, both in court and out of court, on your behalf. Attorneys build networks of fellow attorneys and judges. If you bring in someone from outside, you may be at a disadvantage from the very beginning.

Drive Time is Money

A local attorney is a short drive or walk from the courthouse. Most likely they don’t even consider the time from the office or home to the court. For the attorney that drives in from out of town, you are paying per hour from the moment they get in the car and until they get back to the office in the other town.  This time will start adding up very quickly especially if your case goes to trial.

These are just some of the reasons to choose a local attorney. Make sure you think long and hard before hiring an attorney that has not already stood before the judge or other attorneys in the district your court case will be heard.

 

Rand Mintzer has extensive knowledge in personal injury cases.  If you have been involved in an accident and are looking for information on a Houston personal injury attorney, visit his website today.