Menu
X

Category Archives: Crimes

image
8 months ago Crimes , Criminal Defense , Criminal Law , Fraud , Laws

Criminal Defense Attorney Tips: Healing From A Sexual Assault

Surviving a sexual assault is quite an ordeal; the kind that will likely leave you with post-traumatic stress in one form or another. For what it’s worth, do know that you are not at fault for what you’ve been through, and there is light in the times ahead of you. Although it may take a considerable amount of time to process this, with the right frame of mind and the necessary support, you will once again rebuild your sense of self-worth and attain emotional balance, coming out of it stronger than ever before. In no particular order of significance, there’s a whole lot you can do to put all of this behind you:

  1. Find someone you can trust

Going through recovery alone means you’re only going to be making everything needlessly harder on yourself. Instead, it’s better to find someone you can trust and open yourself up to what happened. Remain communicative. Sure enough, there’s stigma all around, but that’s all the more reason to open up to the people you trust; those who’ll be keeping it a secret. But whatever you do, don’t keep telling yourself that it never happened; denying the truth will only serve to reinforce the image of being a victim in your mind. If you need to feel vulnerable for a bit and seek solitude while you heal, that’s completely understandable. Just don’t completely isolate yourself for a prolonged period of time – socializing will help you heal.

  1. Don’t feel guilty about what happened

It’s important to realize that what happened to you has absolutely nothing to do with your values or personality. By no means did you bring this upon yourself. Many sexual assault victims are harsh on themselves, thinking they should have done more to stop the attack. However, when you’re experiencing physical trauma, your body gets frozen and you’re often completely unable to move. Thinking clearly becomes quite a challenge, and in the end, you end up doing nothing about it. And if someone you know did this to you, don’t blame yourself for trusting that person; there was probably no way to anticipate it. If you were intoxicated at the time, don’t blame yourself for it – the only one who is to blame is the attacker, no one else.

  1. Stay strong

As you’re recovering, flashbacks may gradually keep coming back, reminding you of the events that transpired. It’s not uncommon for the victims to develop a post-traumatic stress disorder. If you find yourself on the edge all the time, experiencing nightmares, and being overly vigilant even when the threat has passed, it might be time to seek out professional help. This is especially true if these feelings linger on for an extended period of time. Do you get irritated by certain places or smells but can’t find a reason for it? Are you experiencing shortness of breath and a lingering sense of panic even when no immediate danger is in sight? These are all signs of PTSD – if you notice these, try to calm down any way you can. On a positive note, there are specifically-designed techniques for this that can help you.

  1. Learn how to deal with flashbacks

No matter how strong you are, you will likely experience some flashbacks at some point, making you feel as if the attack is happening all over again. By realizing this, you will be much better equipped to take control of the situation and realize it’s, in fact, a flashback, not reality. You’re not a victim – you’re a survivor. Remember that, always, especially when times get tough and flashbacks keep reappearing. When you’re in the middle of a flashback, it also helps to ground yourself in the present reality to prevent your mind from escaping to dark places. For instance, you can describe the room that you are in. Is it the same one as the one in which the attack happened? If not, this is a convincing argument that you’re in the present, not the past. Go over this every time a flashback occurs, and you will ground yourself in the present reality.

  1. Connect yourself to your feelings once again

You may think that staying forever numb will shield yours from emotional trauma. While this may be true, you are also robbing yourself of positive feelings of excitement and enjoy; a compromise that is rarely worth taking. A life without feelings is existing, not living. There are many things you can try to establish the connection to your body and feel more confident again. Have you tried meditation? If you’re the sporty type, martial arts are another thing you can try. Plus, they have the self-defence element to them that will make you a powerful force to be reckoned with and re-establish your confidence. In general, any kind of rhythmic movement will help. Some may prefer dancing, others may like to artistically express themselves by playing an instrument. But no matter which path you take, just get moving – it will get better!

  1. Fight back

Now that you’ve somehow managed to rebuild at least a part of your self-esteem, it’s time to fight back and press charges against the perpetrators. Keep your chin up, lawyer up, and gather the evidence necessary so they will pay for their misdeeds. Do your due diligence and learn more about what’s needed to prevail in court, then push it with full speed ahead. The only alternative is staying silent, but you don’t want that, do you? Punishing whoever did this to you is the only way to make sure the same thing won’t happen to another unfortunate individual. As a matter of fact, people who do such ill-conceived things count on your fear of them as well as your embarrassment in hopes that they won’t get punished. Standing up for yourself may not be the easiest thing on your plate, but it’s the only right one to do.

Conclusion

The road to overcoming this will be long and riddled with obstacles, but by seeing the light in front of you, you’ll be able to pull yourself together and live your life once again. After all, many sexual assault survivors have successfully done so in the past, so keep your chin up and follow in their footsteps.

image
8 months ago Crimes , Fraud , Laws

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and What to Look for When Selecting an Attorney

The sad truth is that nursing home abuse has become really common in the last couple of years. This is specifically why a new niche has been created, as many lawyers focus exclusively on solving this sort of cases.

So, how would we characterize nursing home abuse? How do you determine if one of your loved ones is a victim in this case? Most importantly, though, what should you do in this respect?

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

First of all, we’ll define nursing home abuse. Expressly, there are specific categories of nursing home abuse, such as sexual or physical abuse, emotional abuse, healthcare fraud, financial exploitation, abandonment, neglect, and so on and so forth.

Considering that the areal of nursing home abuse is quite broad, it is essential to comprehend and address the warning signs.

Statistically speaking, a high percentage of all the nursing homes in the United States have been cited for violations of elder abuse rights and laws. Because nursing home residents are commonly not well-suited to protect their own rights, it is incumbent on family members to monitor, observe, and actively supervise the care of your family member in the nursing home. If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, an qualified nursing home attorney will help you review the circumstances. This is pointed out by a nursing home abuse law firm in Tampa.

With that in mind, the warning signs of physical abuse, for instance, are sudden injuries or unexpected physical conditions that cannot be explained: sprained joints, broken bones, burns, and bruises, so on and so forth. Meanwhile, signs of emotional abuse include the withdrawal from social activities, an unprecedented change in behavior, isolation, and the presence of caregivers that are aggressive.

In the case of neglect or abandonment, then the living space would be dirty, the bedding spoilt, the patient’s personal hygiene is deteriorating, so on and so forth. These are all warning signs that require your immediate action.

What to Look for When Selecting an Attorney?

You’ve decided that your beloved one is a victim of nursing home abuse. What do you do from this point onward? Categorically, the next step is to look for the assistance of a professional that you can trust – namely an experienced attorney.

Evidently, each state has different laws and regulations concerning nursing home abuse, and you should get your facts straight before proceeding with a lawsuit. Essentially, the attorney you choose should be knowledgeable regarding the procedures in the state in which you live. You should ask him/her a range of questions, and, depending on the answers, you should be able to make a sensible decision.

To conclude, note that a nursing home lawyer usually does the following: he gathers critical information for building up a case, starts the legal action, prepares for the trial, negotiates the settlement, commences the trial and resolves the lawsuit. Additionally, lawyers expect ultimate transparency from their clients, which is why you should be honest and disclose all the information you have at your disposal.

image
8 months ago Crimes , Criminal Law , Fraud , Laws

Types of Prison Sentences in the UK

The UK government has different types of prison sentences, that are given out to both adults and young people in court. Learn about all of them, in this post.

When the law is broken, and a person is sentenced for a crime, there are varying degrees of prison sentences given. In the UK, our criminal justice system encompasses different types of prison sentences, for those found guilty in a court of law. As each crime is different, some less serious than others, there must be different forms of prison sentencing in place.
We’ve spoken to THB Legal, leading solicitors in Chelmsford serving Essex and East Anglia, about the different kinds of prison sentences there are in the UK. In this post, we will examine what each of these sentences entails, including length and conviction. Learn all about the prison sentencing process, right here.

1. Concurrent and Consecutive Sentences

In cases of criminal law, where the person is convicted of committing more than a single crime, these prison sentences are called concurrent and consecutive sentences. The difference between them is that concurrent sentences are sentences served in conjunction with one and another, where us consecutive sentences are served one after the other. So, if a judge or magistrate sentences the person to a concurrent sentence of one crime equalling 2 years and another crime with a sentencing of 4 years, they will be imprisoned for 4 years in total (as the sentences are served at the same time). As for consecutive sentencing, if the same person has committed one crime and been sentenced for 2 years, with another crime committed where the sentencing is 4 years, they will serve a total of 6 years in prison.

2. Suspended Prison Sentences

Suspended sentences are when the person deemed guilty, serves their sentencing outside of prison – in the community. This comes with conditions of service, including having to refrain from going near a specific place or individual or doing unpaid work for the community (known as community payback). In suspended prison sentencing cases, if the person sentenced breaks the conditions of their sentencing, they can be put into prison. Those on suspended sentencing must adhere to certain requirements, including activity, unpaid, curfew and residence requirements among others (specified by the judge or magistrate on sentencing). Suspended prison sentences are usually for less severe criminal charges.

3. Determinate Prison Sentences

This type of prison sentencing specifies a set, fixed length of time. Determinate sentencing is given by a judge or magistrate where the person convicted serves for a fixed length of time. There are some exceptions, but usually a determinate prison sentence must be served in full. However, for sentences of over 12months, the first half of the sentence is carried out in prison. Then, the second half of the sentencing is carried out in the community. Similar to suspended sentencing, there are some criteria that must be met. If the person convicted breaks the conditions of their second half community sentencing, they can be placed back into prison. Similarly, for cases where the determinate sentence is under 12months, the prisoner is usually released half way through their sentence.

4. Indeterminate Prison Sentences

Contrasting determinate prison sentences, indeterminate sentences do not have a fixed period of time for sentencing. For those incarcerated, this means that they will not have a date that they are released from prison. The judge will provide a set amount of years that are the minimum that must be served, also known as a tariff. Once the tariff has been served, they will be considered for release. A Parole Board will decide if the individual is allowed to be released, after their tariff has been served. A collection of individuals will determine whether a prisoner can be released on parole, taking into consideration the safety of the public should this person be released. They must assess if they are going to be able to re-enter this person into society without any negative impact on the public.

5. Life Sentences

For the most severe of cases, courts must give life sentences. A life sentence is given in cases of murder but can also be given for other severe cases included bank robbery and rape charges. Life sentences usually are served for the remaining duration of the individual’s life. Should they be considered for release, if they commit another crime whilst out of prison, they can be returned into prison at any given time. If the court gives a whole life sentence, the convicted person is not considered for release, under any circumstances. There is no minimum term and no chance for release. If the judge deems the case serious enough to grant a whole life sentence, the convicted will serve the rest of their life in prison (without chance of release).

6. Sentences for Young People

All of the sentences above are for adults (those over the age of 18). Those ages 17 and under receive different sentences for crimes. Firstly, there is detention and training order, given to those aged between 12-17. The sentence ranges from 4months – 2 years. The first half of the detention and training order is served in custody, then the second half will be served whilst they’re in the community. However, for crimes more severe, like violent and sexual crimes, young people will receive an extended sentence. Young people given an extended sentence may spend a long time in custody. When they are released, they will be placed under supervision. This supervisory period lasts, again, for a long time. They are usually tagged in this period to be monitored.

Finally, for cases of murder where the person is young, courts will set a minimum amount of time for the young person to spend in custody. They will be unable to apply for parole until this minimum sentence has been served. Should they be released, they will be under supervision for the remainder of their lives. For other serious crimes, young people can be given the same sentence as an adult, including life sentences.

These are the different kinds of prison sentences for those convicted in the UK.

image

3 Mind Blowing Benefits Of Hiring The Right Criminal Attorney

Every country has laws. These laws are tailored to suit the needs of that particular country. Even within the country, the laws are customized to each locality. The laws are there to protect the citizens of the country and make sure that everyone is treated equally. For those people who have been accused of breaking the law, they need to have proper counsel to see them through their court proceedings. That is where lawyers come in. There are numerous lawyers depending on which genre of law they have studied. The type of lawyer that you hire should depend on the issue that you have, among other factors. For example, if you have real estate issues, you can get a property lawyer. According to wikipedia.org, you can also hire a criminal lawyer to represent you or your company in the event you are charged with a criminal activity. Choosing the right criminal lawyer for your case can make all the difference in the world for your case. This is because these criminal attorneys provide you with all the benefits that you can think of. Some of the benefits of hiring a qualified lawyer from Nashville’s Criminal Defense Attorneys include:

  • Protection

In order to build a strong case against you, the people prosecuting you need to have a lot of foolproof evidence to prove that you did the crime. The collection of this evidence usually takes place, in part, during interrogation at the police station. The police are usually trained with skills on how to get information out of people. They can convince you that you are doing it to save yourself but you are incriminating yourself. These statements can be used in court. However, in the presence of a criminal attorney, the police won’t pressure you as much. Furthermore, the lawyer will tell you which questions are safe to answer.

  • Comfort

Sometimes, during the court proceedings and investigations, you may begin to feel hopeless and downcast. This is because you may start feeling as though you might lose the case. During this time, you need comfort from somebody who understands what you are going through. The criminal defense lawyer that you have hired will do just that. They will be able to comfort you and give you counsel based on facts and experience. Furthermore, they can foresee certain outcomes and prepare you in advance.

  • Strategy

In order to solve any problem, you need a plan of action on how to attack it. Without a plan or strategy, you won’t be able to sort out the problem effectively. The same thing applies to any criminal proceedings that you might be undergoing. You need a plan. Considering you don’t have full knowledge of the law, you may not be the best person to do that. However, the criminal attorney can sort this out. Based on the experience and interaction with numerous judges, your lawyer will be able to come up with the best strategies to help you win your case.

image

10 Examples of Police Misconduct to Refer to for Your Case

Police misconduct is any action done by a police officer that is illegal, inappropriate, or against police policies. This is a broad concept that can range from using excessive force, performing illegal searches, selective law enforcement, racial profiling, and even sexual assault.

Because many of these actions and concepts are broad and non-specific, it can be hard to delve into exactly what problems these cases involve.

We’re going to go over 10 examples of police misconduct cases so you can see exactly what police misconduct is, and how it plays out in court.

1. Philando Castile Case

The Philando Castile case is one of the most famous police brutality cases to come up since Rodney King’s assault in 1992. So what happened?

Philando Castile was driving in a car with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s daughter. He was then pulled over by Officer Jeronimo Yanez. Mr. Castile immediately reported to the officer that he had a legal gun in his possession.

The events that happened next are the example of police misconduct: Yanez tells Castile not to reach for his gun. Castile replies that he is not going to reach for his gun and that he is going to reach for his ID. His girlfriend, and police body footage, corroborate this story.

However, Yanez does not listen and fires 7 shots into the car, killing Castile. This is considered excessive use of force, especially considering that there was an unarmed person and child in the car when Yanez fired 7 shots at close range.

Yanez was charged with manslaughter and acquitted. However, he was removed from his position as a police officer and Castile’s girlfriend received over 800,000 dollars in settlements from the city.

2. Lying to Investigators

When police officers make an arrest, they’re required to tell the investigators that often take over the case all of the details and information they can. Lying to investigators about anything involving the arrest or the case is an example of police misconduct. This can be considered an obstruction of justice as well as going against police rules and regulations.

After the Mike Brown case in Ferguson, there was a huge Department of Justice probe into the racial profiling and misconduct performed by the Ferguson Police Department.

One thing they found in this report is that officers consistently lied to investigators about arrests, events, and interactions. One example given was that an officer lied about an altercation over the police loudspeaker.

This is a serious police misconduct offense, but the officer was only suspended for 12 hours (which, in fact, is another example of police misconduct, since that punishment doesn’t follow police regulations).

3. Ferguson Racial Profiling

That same report showed multiple examples of racial profiling within the FPD as well. Racial profiling occurs when officers and law enforcement officials use race or skin color as the basis for suspecting a crime.

This occurred a lot in Ferguson and is a prime example of police misconduct. The report showed that officers would target men of color, hold them, and then search whether there was a warrant out for their arrest (which is another example of police misconduct).

4. Planted Evidence

Officers planting evidence in order to make an arrest is a gross misuse of power and an example of police misconduct. A current case involving the premise of planting evidence involves Officer Richard Pinheiro of the Baltimore Police Department.

This case showed via body cam footage that Officer Pinheiro planted fake drug evidence in order to arrest a man on drug charges, which led to this man being held in jail for multiple months (all because of fake evidence).

This might be a problem within the Baltimore Police Department, seeing as another example of planted evidence was unearthed also because of body cam footage at a 2016 traffic stop.

5. Walter Scott Case

The Walter Scott case involves both the issue of planted evidence and police brutality. Attorneys involved in this case had to be both experts on police brutality, civil rights issues, and planted evidence in order to get a conviction.

If you want to learn more about or find lawyers that specialize in police brutality, check out these attorneys.

And get a conviction they did: the officer involved was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his involvement in the case. But what happened?

A cell phone video captured the events: Officer Michael Slager pulled over Walter Scott for an allegedly broken taillight. Scott and Slager apparently fought, and Scott fled the scene as Slager fired multiple shots at him (he was unarmed).

Slager is also seen to be placing his taser next to the body of Walter Scott, essentially planting evidence to make it seem like Scott was armed and using a weapon against him.

It was eventually ruled that Slager used excessive force and that Scott’s shooting death should be considered second-degree murder.

6. Sexual Assault and Rape

Some officers use their power to assault and rape alleged suspects. One example detailed how two New York City police officers arrested a young teenage woman for possession of marijuana. They loaded her into their unmarked police van and forced her to perform oral sex on them; they eventually raped her.

They threatened to charge her with crimes if she didn’t follow their orders. They’ve since been charged with multiple crimes including official police misconduct, sexual assault, kidnapping, and coercion.

7. Witness Tampering

Witness tampering is a type of police misconduct where police officers attempt to change or alter witness testimony by bribes, threats, or other coercive measures. An example case of this occurred recently in Maui, Hawai’i.

Now former police officer Anthony Maldonado pulled over a vehicle in a routine traffic stop. During this stop, Maldonado noticed a large amount of cash in the car, so he stole it.

This in itself is an act of police misconduct referred to as theft under the law. That’s not where the misconduct ends, though. Once the man realized his money was stolen, he reported it to the police department.

Maldonado and four others tried to bribe the man to drop the charges and withdraw the complaint. This is considered witness tampering and is a serious example of police misconduct.

Maldonado is no longer on the force, and he faces years in prison for these actions.

8. Drunk Police Officer

Drinking or using drugs on duty is a huge violation of police rules and regulations, which makes it an example of police misconduct. A recent example: a former Georgia police officer was fired after his supervisor discovered him drunk while filing paperwork.

While this might seem relatively innocuous, image what could happen if a police officer was drunk on duty and got into their police vehicle. Or made an arrest while high. Or shot someone in a drunken rage. Or even made a huge error in paperwork that allowed a murderer to walk free.

Even the smallest example of police misconduct is a serious problem.

9. Rachelle Jackson

Rachelle Jackson of Chicago witnessed a horrific car accident involving Chicago police officers. She bravely ran to the car and pulled one of the officers out fearing that the vehicle was going to explode.

When other officers arrived, Jackson was immediately detained and was questioned about stealing the officer’s weapon and disarming a peace officer. She then went to jail for 10 months awaiting trial after she was threatened and essentially forced to sign a statement that officers made for her.

The case was dismissed by a judge and Jackson turned around and sued the officers involved and the city for a false arrest, coercive questioning, and malicious prosecution (all examples of police misconduct).

10. Eric Garner

The Eric Garner case is another example of police brutality as a form of police misconduct. He was allegedly selling illegal cigarettes on the street of Staten Island. He wasn’t threatening or being violent towards the officers.

The officers attempted to make an arrest and wrestled Garner to the ground. They then put him in a chokehold (an illegal maneuver for police officers to perform) when Garner said repeatedly that he couldn’t breathe.

“I can’t breathe” has become one of the rallying cries of the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement that focuses on the unfair and biased police brutality that mostly black men (but also any person of color) face.

Officers continued to press his head into the ground and kept him in a chokehold. He suffered neck injuries and died because of those compressions.

This case was considered to show police officers using illegal maneuvers and using excessive force. However, neither of the officers involved were charged with a crime.

The officer who put Garner in a chokehold was stripped of both his badge and his gun. His supervisor was also charged with failure to supervise and also stripped of her badge and gun.

10 Examples of Police Misconduct Cases: Wrapping Up

Police misconduct is a scary thought: police offers are supposed to be the people we trust to keep us safe. But, as these examples of police misconduct show, when police break the law or go against regulations, they can harm people’s lives forever.

If you need a lawyer to help with a potential police misconduct case, contact us. We can help find the best lawyer for your case.

image
11 months ago Crimes , Laws , Safety , Weird Laws

What Are The Regulatory Requirements for Cleaning Crime Scenes?

Crime scene cleanup is an essential part of the process of restoring a crime scene environment and making it safe for habitation. The cleaning of crime scenes is not officially a regulated industry, yet there are regulations, restrictions and guidelines for crime scene cleanup staff to follow that ensure that rigid public safety standards are met. There are several agencies that are responsible for overseeing the protocols, namely, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Any company that offers crime cleanup services would be recognized by the above organisations as being capable of carrying our necessary cleaning at crime scenes, while the company itself would have a rigorous training program to ensure that all their employees meet the very high standards that this type of work demands.

Crime Scene Cleanup

Crime Cleanup Companies

In the US, there are certain crime cleanup companies who operate across the country and their staff are specifically trained for this type of work. Crime cleanup technicians undergo special training and encounter horrific scenes that might arise from the following scenarios:

  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Unattended Death
  • Disease

The crime scene cleanup company would also be called in to eliminate risks from a tear gas infected area and render the environment safe for habitation and that means removing all traces of the harmful chemicals.

Crime Scene Cleanup Regulations

Special Skillsets

This type of work does not suit everyone, due to the traumatic scenes that one is likely to encounter, not to mention dealing with the people who are directly affected by the incident, the owners or occupants of the property. The cleanup company do sanitize the entire room where a trauma has occurred, yet they do not clean carpets, which are disposed of in a safe way. Items such as bedsheets, blankets and items of clothing are also disposed of, while the floors and walls are cleaned using special chemicals that break down the blood pathogen. The cleanup process is very thorough and the technicians wear special protective clothing while at work and due to the nature of such incidents, the company would have mobile teams who provide a round-the-clock service 365 days a year.

Bloodborne Pathogens

When cleaning up blood or human waste, the technician is always aware of the potential danger from bloodborne pathogens and is required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), the technician would be competent in the use of many different products used to sanitize a trauma scene. Bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted from person to person, such as hepatitis and HIV, therefore great care must be taken when cleaning up blood or other bodily fluids.

Second Responders

Crime scene cleanup technicians are what is known as second responders and would be called in when the police have finished collecting the required evidence and in many cases, they have to comfort family members before and after the cleanup process. If, for example, a person took their own life at the family home, the crime scene cleanup technicians would be called in as soon as possible and in such situations, family members are still in a state of shock and a high level of compassion is required when entering the affected premises and carrying out the cleaning.

Safe Removal of Biohazardous Materials

This is the primary role of a crime scene cleanup technician, who would thoroughly disinfect the area to ensure that all biohazardous materials are safely removed, Certain items would not be cleaned, rather they would be bagged up and incinerated and it is a time consuming task to completely clean the trauma scene, while great care must be taken by the technician to ensure they have completely removed all biohazardous materials and the property has been thoroughly sanitized.

Should you ever require the services of a crime scene cleanup company, an online search would be the best place to start and by dealing with an established company that is accredited and recognized by regulatory bodies, you can be sure the cleanup will be carried out promptly and effectively, allowing you to safely occupy the property. Typically, the cleanup company would have a network of branches and would cover several states or perhaps a region of the US.

Newsletter
Location

© Copyright 2019 Halt Law Directory | Connecting Attorneys with Clients in Need. All rights reserved.