Family Law Attorney

Are Your Kids Safe on the School Bus?

Posted on

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to keep your kids safe from harm. Most parents are aware of dangers around the house, but it’s difficult to know about all the dangers lurking outside. If your kids ride the bus to school, you may want to know about some hidden dangers kids may face on the school bus.

School bus drivers are considered drivers of commercial vehicles by the law. However, since school buses don’t cross state lines, federal safety regulations that apply to commercial vehicle drivers do not apply to school bus drivers. As a result, many less qualified or less experienced drivers who do not qualify as drivers for commercial transportation and trucking companies find it easy to get a job driving a school bus full of children.

pict attributed by pixabay.com

Commercial vehicle drivers must have a certain type of driver’s license called a CDL license. Although some school bus drivers do get these licenses, other regulations like company screenings and background checks are rare. In many cases, background checks are not even required. Unfortunately, the lack of background checks, lack of qualifications, and relaxed safety regulations contributes to many school bus accidents and injuries seen by an accident attorney in Portland, Oregon. Children put on school buses with inexperienced drivers are at a much higher risk of harm.

School bus drivers are employed by school bus companies. Your child’s school does hire the school bus company, but they have nothing to do with hiring individual drivers. Since school bus companies are eager to get lucrative contracts with local school districts, many don’t do background checks that slow down the hiring process. As a result, many school bus companies hire inexperienced and unqualified drivers. Many school bus drivers even have criminal records for DUI offenses, physical and sexual assaults, and child pornography. Without a background check, arrests for criminal offenses and extensive vehicle accidents are never discovered.

There are 21 million children riding on school buses every day in the U.S. To protect your child from unnecessary school bus accidents and injuries often seen by an accident attorney in Portland, Oregon, investigate your child’s school district’s requirements for school bus drivers.

Criminal Law

On Vacation? How to Handle an Out-of-State DUI in California

Posted on

If you get caught driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more in California, you may be convicted for driving under the influence, or DUI. No matter where you live, you’re subject to the same laws as California residents.

The First DUI Conviction in California

The first DUI conviction can result in a number of consequences. First offenders usually have to pay a fine. Most people who are arrested for their first DUI aren’t incarcerated, but it’s possible to be sentenced to up to six months in jail.

Even if you don’t have to serve jail time, you will be on informal probation, which usually lasts one to three years. You won’t have to report to a probation officer, but you cannot be arrested for violating any law or caught driving with any amount of alcohol in your system during that time.

Your driving privileges in California will also be suspended, but your license won’t be taken away. The California DMV will notify your home state about the charges, and your license may be suspended there.

Will a Previous Out-of-State DUI Affect My California Charges?

If you have been arrested for driving with alcohol in your system in another state, it may count as a prior conviction in California. If it does, your penalty will be enhanced. The conviction has to be similar as the California one. For example, an arrest that involved a low blood alcohol content may not be equivalent enough to California’s first-offense DUI laws to count as a prior. Hiring an Alameda DUI lawyer can help you understand these complex scenarios and represent you in hearings or trials, especially if you have to return to your home state and cannot be present during proceedings.

Can Your Charges Be Reduced?

If you are over 21 and your blood alcohol level was more than 0.08 percent but less than 0.11 percent, a judge may be willing to reduce your charges to a lower offense, such as exhibition of speed or public intoxication. This is more likely to happen if it is your first offense or the authorities cannot prove that you were driving.

Divorce

How Men Can Take Care of Themselves During and After Divorce

Posted on

pict attributed by pixabay.com

While modern men aren’t known for being overly emotional, something as commonly devastating as divorce can send them into an emotional spiral. When that happens, men need to know how to cope and do so in a way that’s healthy and productive. There’s no denying men and women alike need to know how to take care of themselves during this time. There’s also no denying men can fumble in their attempts. Here are a few tips to help you maintain proper emotional footage.

Don’t Skip the Grieving Process

No matter if the marriage lasted for one year or one decade, it’s okay to grieve. In fact, grieving is necessary. Rather than throwing yourself back into your work or your regular routine, it’s healthier to reflect on your loss. When you grieve, you recognize and honor your emotions rather than wall them up inside. More importantly, you can’t really move on to a new chapter in your life until you’ve properly closed the last one. If you don’t, your grief will sit like a rancid, bulging trash bag stinking up your mental house. Take it out.

Respect Your Ex-Spouse’s Wishes

Maybe the split wasn’t mutual. There’s a chance you could want to try to work things out with your ex and give your relationship another chance. Unless the feeling is mutual, it’s best to respect your ex-spouse’s wishes. You don’t deserve to be in a one-sided relationship, and begging and pleading for a second chance keeps you from facing the truth that your marriage is over. It’s better that you examine what didn’t work in the relationship. Even if you feel (or know) the split wasn’t your fault, there’s still a lesson to be learned. Take that knowledge and use it to make your next relationship stronger.

Keep Your Health Up

Lawyers from firms like Cordell and Cordell can tell you that people going through a divorce often let their health slide to the wayside. Know this isn’t limited to physical health, such as packing on the pounds. A man’s mental health can be negatively impacted as well, such as experiencing anxiety or depression. Remember to take care of your body as well as your mind. Know that exercise is just as good for your mood as it is your body.

Reach Out to Friends and Family

Rather than bottle your emotions up or feel you have to work through them on your own, reach out to family and friends. Those closest to you are sure to be willing to help however they can. If you feel even your family and friends can’t provide you with the solace you deserve, consider talking with a therapist. Just as a law firm like Cordell Cordell can help with elder law in addition to divorce, they may also know of a therapist you can talk to. Know that it takes more strength to reach out for help when you need it rather than suffer in silence.

Maintain a Relationship With Your Kids

If you and your ex-spouse had children together, continue to spend time with them. Know that it’s possible for you to be granted joint or even full custody of your children after divorce. Regardless of what kind of custody you have, make an effort to spend as much time as you can with your kids. Call them up, attend extracurricular activities and check in with them emotionally to see how they’re handling everything.

Take Your Time

Don’t rush into a new relationship after your divorce. Instead, use this time to re-evaluate your life and your path now that you’re no longer married. Dating someone too soon can prove disastrous for the both of you. It’s understandable that you don’t want to be alone, but right now, you need to focus more on yourself than someone else.

Give yourself as much time as you need to get yourself together after your divorce. The process won’t be quick or easy, but the above tips can make it better.

Accident Lawyer

Preparing for an Auto Accident Lawsuit

Posted on

 

Being involved in an auto accident is traumatic, harrowing, and often expensive in most instances. Whether you were at fault for an automobile accident you were involved in or if you were seriously injured due to another driver’s negligence, seeking legal counsel is essential when you want to move forward with an auto accident lawsuit. Working together with a professional and experienced auto accident lawyer is one way to improve the odds of your case being ruled in your favor regardless of surrounding circumstances.

Gather Records

Obtain any and all records available that pertain to the automobile accident you were involved in. Contact your local police department to request a police report and seek out video recordings available (if any) near the scene of the accident. Some businesses may provide you with video recordings upon request, although it is not required for them to do so by law. If you are uncomfortable with requesting further recordings from nearby locations, confer with your lawyer to discuss alternative solutions.

Visit the local hospital and obtain records that are relevant to your auto accident. If you have received physical therapy or if you have had to visit additional doctors and specialists following up after your accident, request copies of the available records.

Photographic Evidence

Take photos of any damage done to your vehicle along with the injuries you have sustained as quickly as possible once you are removed from immediate danger. Photographic evidence is extremely beneficial when you are planning to file an auto accident lawsuit. Gather photographic and video evidence to share with prospective attorneys when meeting for consultations.

Contact Insurance Companies

It is important to contact the insurance companies of all parties involved with the auto accident you were involved in. Request any records and paperwork included with the auto accident from each individual insurance company that is representing those involved in the accident themselves.

Schedule a Legal Consultation

Once you have gathered records and all of the evidence that surrounds your auto accident, schedule a consultation with a trusted and experienced attorney. Seek out legal representation from a firm that is well-versed in automobile accidents along with injury lawsuits. Consultations provide you with the ability to ask questions and to learn more about all of the routes available for you to take with your case individually. Share evidence and records you have gathered with attorneys you are interested in using as your legal counsel.

When you are prepared for a consultation and ready to move forward with your case, consider obtaining representation from Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm, P.C. for professional and experienced auto accident attorneys. With the right legal representation, go forward with your case feeling comfortable and confident in any decisions you make.

Divorce

Top 5 Most Common Divorce Mistakes

Posted on

Divorce can be an incredibly overwhelming experience. Michigan’s a no-fault divorce state, but that doesn’t mean your divorce will be easy or trouble-free every step of the way. Couples are usually led by their emotions and those often overrule common sense in legal and financial issues. As a result, unnecessary fights, forgotten details, and extended divorce time and expenses often ensue. There may be no real way to avoid the emotional turmoil and distress associated with a failed marriage. But the following tips can help you avoid divorce mistakes and help with the transition into a happier and healthier future for both sides.

Don’t Lose Control of Yourself or Forget to Use Common Sense

It’s easy to lose control of yourself during a divorce and get caught up in the whirlwind of expectations and requirements. In fact, sometimes it may feel like you might as well just nod and sign anything put in front of you. Don’t you dare do it! Breathe, give your brain a rest, and then use common sense. Hire pros that will work for you, stay on a budget, and work smart. The rest will come together before you know it.

Avoid Acting Out of Anger

No-fault marriage is intended to ease the divorce process, but emotions are still often high. That’s no reason to attack your soon-to-be-ex, however. There are some serious issues worth fighting for such as custodial disputes when safety or welfare are concerns or joint business or property splits. But those should be done in private or with a mediator to avoid adding onto your divorce rates. Remember each minute you’re fighting with your estranged partner in front of your Michigan divorce attorney is costing you money. A fight or court battle won’t stick it to your ex. All it will do is extend your divorce time. So enlist a therapist if necessary to help you get everything out, but keep a cool head in court.

Don’t Make Decisions too Quickly

It’s common to want to get through the entire divorce ordeal quickly and as painlessly as possible. Bringing a friend who’s recently been through it all or just nodding or letting someone do everything for you may sound great at first. But you need to know all the options ahead of you and the implications of making the wrong choices. After all, these decisions really will impact the rest of your life.

Don’t Let Your Divorce Get Away From You

A Michigan divorce can take anywhere from 6 months to over a year, depending on the marital situation. But you need to stay in control of every aspect of the process. That doesn’t mean you need to understand every legal term or legality but make sure your lawyer is working for you, not against you. Stay in control and remember you are the client. If things spiral out of control, you’ll be the one paying for it in the end.

Don’t Even Think About Settling

The details and outcome of your divorce help pave the road to your future. There’s no reason to gouge your spouse, but there’s also no reason to settle. You need to consider and plan out what you’ll reasonably need to live a comfortable future without the extra financial security your ex helped provide when living together. Have some ideas going into your divorce and your Michigan divorce attorney can help ensure you won’t have to settle for too little or commit to too much.