Posts by James

Change U.S. Drug Policy

Posted by on Oct 14, 2017 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

This country needs to reexamine its drug policies. In light of recent events in this country and abroad (which I’ll discuss in a moment), we need an across the board redefinition of what constitutes an illegal drug, what constitutes possession, and what constitutes a sale.

A number of major changes have taken place in the recent past (and continue to today) which should make us all reconsider how we look at drugs.

In the first place, several US states have taken the massive step to legalize marijuana. This change follows successful efforts in countries like the Netherlands, which decriminalized some time ago and has seen few if any adverse affects.

We need to have a law in the country that makes a definitive choice about whether marijuana should be illegal or not. Most Americans support legalization, and the positives of legalization in states like Colorado (where there’s been a great deal of job growth and tax revenue due to new marijuana-based businesses) with the limited downsides (no explosion in new users), suggest the obvious answer is legalization.

The second significant change in American culture has been the prescription drug epidemic. This is different from previous drug problems in the country for multiple reasons. First, the drugs are legal in many instances, at least when first prescribed, which makes the entire transaction harder to place in an immediate illegal category (versus the use and selling of, say, heroin, which is illegal at every step of the process). Second, the addiction is hitting new communities. Rural whites are now experiencing higher numbers of addiction than in recent decades. The old dynamic of drug addiction is a city problem, and one often associated with racial issues in this country is quickly dying.

A final point here is that the prescription drug addiction problem highlights a general hypocrisy in the way we view drugs. Drugs more powerful than heroin are handed out by doctors for routine injuries, but this is not considered illegal. Drugs more powerful than heroin are flooding our streets, but there has not been a similar crackdown as there was during, say, the crack epidemic.

What this suggests is America is perhaps ready for a more ethical, straightforward, and compassionate drug policy, one in which use is decriminalized and treatment is offered judgment-free (or as close as possible).

The successful implementation of legalized marijuana laws in Colorado and other states, and the long-term and ongoing success in countries like the Netherlands, suggests there is a road forward in which the legal consequences of use are removed, the money earned from drugs is taxed, and the use is more easily regulated in the light of day.

 

While a debate should be had over which drugs belong within the legalization category, it’s crucial for America to begin this discussion now with this ultimate goal in mind. Far too many people suffer from drug addiction without help, far too many go to jail for nonviolent crimes, and there’s far too much inconsistency in the system at the moment. Things need to change.

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Majority of Fatal Truck Accidents are Due to Sleepy, Tired or Impaired Truck Drivers

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

Many truck drivers are paid based on the number of miles they cover during their hours of service. Thus, to earn more, they should cover as many miles as they can. The “hours of service” law passed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allows drivers to drive up to 11 hours maximum every day, though.

In order to stay longer on the road, therefore, as there is money only if their truck’s wheels are moving, many drivers push themselves to the limit, denying themselves of rest, choosing either to drive rather than pull over for short rest periods, or shorten the mandated 10-hour off time between shifts to be able to start on the road early. They do this despite feeling sleepy and/or fatigued, and despite knowing that this condition compromises the safety of all other motorists. As a result, so many truck accidents occur and, in so many of these accidents, involved truck drivers recall that they had their eyes closed, due to sleepiness, prior to impact.

A study conducted by the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that trucks drivers, rather than drivers of smaller vehicles, are the ones liable in majority of truck accidents, which injure more than 100,00 and kill close to 4,000 others every year.

Truck driver errors include: fatigue; alcohol-impairment; impairment due to illegal, prescription or over-the-counter-drug; driving too fast for road conditions; overspeeding; lack of the skills required in the safe operation of a truck; unfamiliarity with the road; driving distractions; lack of focus on the road; failure to check blind spots or “no-zone” areas; improper attachment of trailer; and failure to make sure that the brakes are in good working condition before hitting the road.

As explained by the law firm Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, “Truck accidents can have life-altering consequences. The injuries sustained in such accidents and their resulting medical bills can leave a person unfairly dealing with the mistakes made by a negligent truck driver, company, or manufacturer on a permanent basis. Losing a loved one is much more unbearable. And though it is normal to not think about legal action at first, as time goes on and the wound begins to heal, seeking justice against the party responsible for the loss of your loved one might become more important to you. Realize that it is possible to hold the person or persons accountable for your injuries (to receive damages for your treatment costs and lost wages) or for your loved one’s death.

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Negligence and Car Damage

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel over 37,000 individuals are killed in road crashes each year. A significant portion of the population is well versed on the contributions of alcohol and other mind-altering substances to these statistics; however, negligence, a lesser-known influencer of fatal accidents, often goes unmentioned.

According to Mazin & Associates, PC, car accidents occur every single day. Most damages to motor vehicles are caused by an individual’s intentional or unintentional negligence. In inclement weathers for instance, an individual’s lack of knowledge during these extenuating circumstance can be the difference between life and death. A person born and raised in the California may be ill prepared for the snow and black ice of Michigan. In such adverse conditions, a car is prone to sliding on ice. The individual may not possess the adequate driving knowledge or experience to know how to react to such a condition. Alternatively, a driver who is educated on such harsh environmental conditions may also get into a car accident. Someone who is overly confidence of his or her driving skills in harsh weathers may develop a false sense of security, which can induce reckless behaviors such as speeding in a storm.

Shopping carts are another example of how negligence can cause car damages. An individual in a hurry may forget to put a cart away; or alternatively, a particularly lazy individual may intentionally leave a cart unattended. In the event of a strong wind, these seemingly harmless instruments can cause a significant amount of damage onto an individual’s vehicle. Indeed, there is a large amount of queries regarding runaway carts and the liabilities involved.

Tailgating, the intentional act of driving unbearably close to another vehicle causes a significant number of vehicle accidents. A driver with a disregard for safety may tail another car in order to inform the individual in front to move faster or switch lanes. This kind of activity can lead to rear-end collisions.

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Escalator Accidents: Could It Happen To Me?

Posted by on Oct 1, 2016 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

It’s not unusual to hear news of people getting seriously injured in escalator accidents. It’s a news item that pops up from time to time in websites and TV programs. Watching these accidents unfold through the grainy footage of security cameras, we might often think that such accidents aren’t likely to happen during our weekend trips to the mall. Escalator accidents can often seem bizarre and distant—something that only happens to strangers on TV. However, as one study from the University of Bern has noted, about 10,000 escalator-related accidents occur all over the country every year.

The Clawson and Staubes, LLC: Injury Group emphasizes that escalator accidents are more common that most people assume. They report that the common causes of escalator accidents include errors made during installation, insufficient maintenance, as well as inaccuracy in design. All of these issues can increase the risk of accidents that lead to serious injuries, leaving people vulnerable to possibility of disability.

Considering the prevalence of escalator accidents, it’s important that the public become aware of ways that such incidents can be prevented. Most of the responsibility lies on property owners, as they are expected to make sure that everything in their premises live up to safety standards imposed by the law. They are responsible for regular inspection and upkeep to ensure that anyone who visits their establishment is safe from any danger.

It’s important for people to remain aware of the risks that are present in machines like escalators that are typically available in establishments frequented by the public. Escalator accidents can lead to grave injuries, and such injuries can have devastating effects on one’s life. Should you or anyone you know become seriously hurt due to an escalator accident, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney to learn what steps you should take next.

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Investing in the U.S. by Creating a New Commercial Enterprise or through a Regional Center: Which is the Better Way?

Posted by on Jun 18, 2016 in Finances | 0 comments

In 1990, the U.S. Congress created the EB-5 Program, also known as the employment fifth preference visa, with the intention of impacting the U.S. economy through capital investment and job creation by foreign investors. Two years later, the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program, was also created.

Through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, certain foreign nationals are given the opportunity to obtain a U.S. Green Card by investing in the U.S. Investment of $1 million is required if the EB-5 visa applicant wishes to create a new commercial enterprise in the U.S.; the required amount is $500,000 if the investment is to be made in a Regional Center, an organization that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has pre-approved for the purpose helping EB-5 investors meet the program’s requirement. Regardless of where the investment is made, the goal remains the same: to preserve or create 10 full-time jobs for qualified American workers.

Foreign investors who wish to invest their $1 million in a new commercial enterprise must make sure that such enterprise was:

• Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or
• Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, and that it will be purchased and restructured to form it into a new commercial enterprise, and expand it so that its employees or net worth would increase 40% more than its original (size of employees or net worth).

Compared to investing in a Regional Center, many more investors prefer this second form of investment due to the following reasons:

• Cost of investment in an EB-5 Regional Center is only $500,000;
• Meeting the “create 10 jobs” requirement becomes the responsibility of the EB-5 Regional Center; success of meeting this requirement is also higher if investment is made with a Regional Center that is more stable and well; and,
• With the Regional Center responsible in meeting the “create 10 jobs” requirement, the investor can busy himself or herself with other things, like attend a university or practice his or her real profession.

Compared to other employment-based visa programs, the EB-5 visa requirements are definitely the easiest to satisfy; processing time is also guaranteed much faster. However, this program is not without risk, the greatest of which is the probability of failing to meet the “create 10 jobs” requirement. This makes it very important for the foreign national to really consider if investing in the U.S. is the best way he or she can obtain a Green Card for himself or herself and his or her family. An EB-5 visa attorney will be the right person to turn to regarding this important matter.

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