Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why It Might Be a Good Idea to Convert Your Criminal Law Firm to a Paperless Practice

Let's say that you have a successful criminal practice. You're a solo practitioner, you make a good living, and you have lots of clients. All the makings of something great. So why would you ever change what you're doing. One word simplicity.

In today's day and age of computers, iPads, Tablets, and other electronic gadgets. One of the best ways to utilize these tools, simplify your practice, and help the environment we all live in is to go paperless. Hey I can be eco-friendly and maintain a criminal practice at the same time.

What do I mean by going paperless. Well if you have a successful criminal practice then you probably have lot's of client files. Typically in such a practice these client files contain your notes on the case, the police report, witness statements, and other discovery received from the Prosecutor. Many criminal cases do not have the volume of discovery that occurs in a civil practice. That is why all discovery will usually fit in a folder of some kind.

By keeping a client folder containing all of this stuff, you're just keeping a bunch of clutter around. I don't know about other attorneys, but I used to have an entire storage unit where I placed old client files after their case was completed. Additionally every time I would walk into court, I would carry a client file filled with paperwork, notes, and discovery.

Then came an epiphany. What if I didn't have to carry all this stuff. Since I already carry a laptop, or an iPad, what if I put everything I needed there. Then instead of carrying paper, and producing waste for the environment everything is stored electronically. By doing this you can essentially carry every client file in your notebook or iPad.

Imagine being able to locate a certain word or term in a 100 page police report quickly and efficiently. Imagine carrying everything you need to know about a case in your pocket. By taking advantage of all of these innovative new tools at our disposal you essentially would be simplifying your practice. And isn't that what all attorney want. A more simple life and practice.

Additionally say goodbye to the storage unit of old client files. Everything would be stored electronically thus saving physical space, and some cash in your pocket that would normally be going to storage costs. Thanks to many apps, scanning discovery and creating these electronic files is easier than ever. I'm willing to bet that any attorneys that try this new approach will not be disappointed.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sex Offenders vs Drunk Drivers

I think I could talk for hours about the topic of 'sex offenders.' It's a hot topic around many kitchen tables and one that primarily focuses on concerns about whether a sex offender should be required to "register" for the public to see.

The whole concept might sound good for those of us that come with a protective instinct, but there are many items to consider and become educated on - for example, even knowing the whereabouts of a known sex offender does not prevent them from reoffending.

Sex offender recidivism rates are largely unknown by the public and honestly, not something that people really care about. What they care about is safety - keeping loved ones protected. Ironically, that's where statistics and common sense fly in the face of the arguments supporting sex offender laws.

Consider this - sex crimes have the LOWEST recidivism rates (... outside of murder) when compared to drug offenses, DUI offenses, domestic violence, theft and assault. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006) These are the facts, yet the public just doesn't buy into them. They want to see sex offenders required to register but care little about other crimes.

A DUI is the perfect example. First, does anyone care to know how many DUI offenses you have to have until it's considered a felony? But don't stop there - how many DUI offenses until you go to prison or until you can't remove/expunge it from your criminal record?

Would you let your loved ones be driven around by someone with a DUI conviction? Would you allow that person to pick your son up from a Boy Scouts meeting? Before you answer, consider that someone else may have a loved one that was hit by this exact person, perhaps handicapped for life.

Why pick on sex offenders? Why not place all DUI convictions on a special public list, color their license plate green or stamp there license "offender"?

The courts will allow someone convicted of a DUI to take 'diversion' - otherwise known as a 'pass'. It's a "3 strikes until we decide to do something" policy.

It's not that way with sex offenders. One strike... you're out... and out in a big way.

I can honestly say that when I was convicted, the atmosphere was tense because of the registration. Serving time and/or being on probation/parole was nothing compared to being red-flagged on a public 'shame' list.

I think about all the good men and women that simply did something dumb. (... I know, that's a blanket statement, but hang with me.) Should they be restricted as to where they can live? Should they be restricted as to where they can work? That's what the sex offender registration does.

I realize that my thinking may fly in the face of most logic and I also realize that there are extreme cases that warrant stiff punishments. But it just makes me upset because when I'm told that I can't attend a school 'carnival' or a Boy Scout 'pine wood derby' event because I'm on 'the list' - it's just flat out hazing. Nothing makes these events (... events more crowed with adults than children) more safe with me staying at home.

In fact, think of all the other adults at these events that have done something bad or dumb but simply don't have to 'register' publicly. I bet no one would want their kids at these events if they knew the truth!

Yes, someday I'd like to see the sex offenders law changed. Not that I think they need to be more lenient - I'm all for punishment - just more balanced and reflective of what purpose they need to serve. In a nutshell, I believe that public registration is wrong. It's gotten way out of hand, creates hysteria and is just flat out being used as a false sense of public security.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Alcohol Analyzer - Helping People To Save Lives!

Consuming alcoholic beverages has always been a serious issue and habit of many people because it causes a lot of troubles and problems in life. To evade mishaps and problems, Alcohol Analyzer has always been the ultimate solution since many years. In short, this small handy gadget is helping millions of people to stay sober and alert. One of the major issues among alcoholics is driving under the influence (DUI). It is very important to realize the importance of life and the best way to escape death and harmful accidents is hiring a cab rather than getting behind the wheel on your own.

Using an Alcohol Analyzer:

Alcohol analyzer has been designed in a way that anyone can use this gadget without any confusion. All you need is to use this device at right time and it is exactly after getting drunk. Usually, people drink until they are out of their senses and starts driving but the outcomes are very painful and drastic. On the other hand, using BacTrack breathalyzer helps people to know their BAC limit. The standard BAC allowed in many states is 0.08. Exceeding this range will end up in arrest and maybe death.

So, your life is in your hands and reading this article will make you realize the importance of buying a BacTrack breathalyzer.

A lot of people are using this small gadget and to be more precise, this device has helped people in managing their alcohol consumption habits. This device has been made precisely to be used by anyone either by Organizations, Police Departments or by common civilians. There are as such no restrictions of its use and any civilian can use it to keep a track on his BAC.

You don't have to qualify any tests to buy and use this gadget. All you need is to buy a breathalyzer from a reliable online breathalyzer shop. Hundreds of websites are providing this facility and following the links below will direct you to the most authentic source of information regarding buying quality alcohol detecting devices at affordable rates.

Using a BacTrack Breathalyzer:

It is very simple and easy to use this gadget. All you need is to blow in the mouthpiece that is available with the device. Rest is up to the device because the chemical inductors in it will automatically detect amount of blood in your breath and display your BAC in a precise way. By far, this is the most authentic and reliable way of knowing your limit. Feel free to try this at home, office or in bars because life is the most precious gift and you can't lose it by being ignorant. Be open to buy an alcohol analyzer and also suggest your friends and loved ones to have one.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Alcohol Analyzer - FAQS

With the increasing use of alcohol and alcoholic beverages in pubs and clubs, the need of an alcohol breathalyzer has become a basic necessity of a common man. It is observed that a lot of people especially teenagers use to drive after drinking which eventually results in risky and hazardous incidents.

Alcohol analyzer is the device which helps in minimizing the risk of any bad incidents by alarming you whether to drive by yourself or not. It indicates the quantity of Blood Alcohol Content in the human body and for getting the precise readings of your BAC you need to get a good quality alcohol breathalyzer. It might be a difficult task for you. Therefore, I am going to discuss some key points which will ensure that you are getting a best quality product.

· How does alcohol analyzer works?

This device has a sensor which is activated as soon as you blow your breath in breathalyzer. Alcohol analyzer measures the quantity of BAC within seconds and displays the readings on the screen.

· Do you need alcohol analyzer?

If you are the one who loves to attend the late night parties or you are habitual of drinking a lot and you have to drive late at night then you must need to get this device. Alcohol breathalyzer is not only a life savior tool which prevents from severe road accidents but it also informs about the BAC when you think you are able enough to drive by yourself.

· How accurate are the results of alcohol analyzer?

To get the accurate results, you need to buy a professional breathalyzer which is considered more precise in providing the exact readings of BAC. Actually, the accuracy is depending on the type of sensor which is being used in the device.

· Is the Professional Alcohol Breathalyzer is different from Personal Alcohol Breathalyzer?

Yes a professional breathalyzer is a bit costly and needs proper maintenance and recalibration over time. However, its results are considered more accurate and that is the reason that it is also preferred by law enforcing agencies.

Does alcohol analyzer need to be calibrated?

Yes. It might be possible that with the passage of time the alcohol breathalyzer is unable to provide the accurate readings of BAC. The reason could be that small residues or dust particles can disturb the working of the sensor which eventually results in inaccurate readings. Mostly, re-calibration is required after 6-8 months of usage of the device. However, newly bought devices are pre-calibrated by the manufacturer.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Filing a Protective Order in Utah

Called a "restraining order" in some other states, a protective order can be filed by someone who gives reasonable evidence of actual harm or threat of harm. What can this order do? It can forbid the respondent from harming the petitioner and anyone else who lives with the petitioner. It can also order the respondent from coming within a certain distance of the petitioner. In many cases, the petitioner is filing a protective order against a spouse, former spouse or former significant other.

No physical violence is actually necessary to petition for a restraining order, but there must at least have been threatened violence. There is also an importance of definitions at this point. "Harm" can mean any hitting, pushing, kicking or other types of physical attacks. Physical attacks can include deadly weapons as well. Harm can also take on a non-violent form such as stalking or threatening and harassing. Even outbursts such as throwing objects can constitute "harm."

The initial protective order will not be permanent, but only temporary. According to Utah State Courts, petitioners are to take the completed form to the district court in the county where both parties reside. For example, the 1st judicial district courts are located in Box Elder County, Cache County and Rich County. This protective order goes into full effect, but it is considered temporary until the respondent can actually respond and the case can be heard in court.

Unfortunately, this can leave the respondents with restrictions even though their case has not yet been heard by a judge. Protective orders can be contested, and they are contested at the hearing for the final protective order. Although the petition can be revoked at any time during the process with the judge's approval, this typically does not happen. A protective order can be both revoked and modified if this gets approved.

Protective order procedures will vary from state to state. For example, in Utah a respondent will have to wait 20 days after the request for a hearing is filed. Respondents should be careful to pay attention to any dates and times listed on the order, as this will indicate when they must show up in court. The case will be considered invalid if the respondent was not properly served their temporary order before the date of the actual hearing.

Again using Utah as an example, granting a temporary order also means that the respondent's information gets submitted to the statewide "Domestic Violence Network." This information is then evaluated by law enforcement officials. Again, even before a trial, information about the alleged violence or threatened violence is submitted to law enforcement. While many petitions for these orders are valid, others are based on false claims.

While it is not necessary to procure legal representation after receiving a protective order, it may be a good idea. An attorney can evaluate a case from all angles, procuring the necessary evidence to combat allegations. A finalized Utah protective order can forbid an individual from seeing or coming near loved ones, and a violation of this order can be legally enforced and even constitute an arrest. To learn more about obtaining defense, be sure to contact a criminal defense lawyer near you.