Everything You Should Know About Criminal Sentence Enhancement

There are many times in our legal system that first-time criminal offenders are offered reduced sentences based on their lack of a prior criminal record. However, citizens who are convicted of a crime and already have a criminal record will likely face more severe punishments based on their history.

If you are convicted of a crime as a second- or third-time offender, you should expect to be subject to sentence enhancement. Sentence enhancement is the process of making a punishment larger and more intense due to a prior conviction or significant detail relating to your crime.

More About Sentence Enhancement
The majority of crimes charged in Florida carry a range of potential punishments upon conviction. A basic misdemeanor crime, for example, can carry a prison sentence as long as one year and fines as high as $1,000. It is the judge’s responsibility in each case to determine the proper punishment for the crime.

Sentence enhancements are “aggravating factors” that allow or even require the judge to prescribe a punishment or sentence that goes beyond the normal range. Prior criminal history is one of the most common “aggravating factors” that defendants face.

Examples of Enhancements

One of the most common factors leading to sentence enhancement is a history of prior convictions. This is especially true in Tampa DWI lawyer cases that add five or ten years of imprisonment to sentences for defendants with past DUI violations. In nearly any situation, if you are charged and convicted with the same crime multiple times, it is very likely that your sentence will be enhanced due to your record. In fact, according to Florida law, you can be classified as a habitual felony offender if you have been previously convicted of two or more felonies within a specific time frame.

Another factor that leads to sentence enhancement is the use of weapons during a crime. The same can be said for hate crimes and gang crimes, both of which have specific laws in place to prescribe harsher sentences.

It is very important to have an experienced and reliable criminal defense attorney tampa by your side as you receive your conviction and understand any sentence enhancements involved. The better that you understand the legal justification behind your sentencing, the better you can respond to it moving forward.


3 Tips To Help You Win Your Personal Injury Case

When somebody else’s mistake turns your life upside down and causes immense physical, emotional, and financial hardship, you don’t need to suffer alone. You are a personal injury victim, and you deserve compensation from the insurance company in question. Unfortunately, insurance companies put a great deal of effort into paying the least amount possible per claim, so you need to pay careful attention to the entire process and work with a St. Louis personal injury attorney you can trust.

Take Pictures

Pictures are undeniable and concrete evidence of the damage done during an accident. Whether you were involved in a car accident, a slip and fall incident, or anything else brought on by another person’s negligence, it is critical that you photograph every detail of the scene to support your assertions of injury and damage in the future. Remember to capture things like cuts, scrapes, bruises, the dangerous conditions that caused the injury, the car accident results, or anything else relevant.

Obtain Medical Proof

Much like pictures prove the situation, medical treatment proves the exact extent of your physical and/or emotional damage. You need to seek treatment quickly, not just for your own health and safety, but also to gather indisputable proof of your injuries. Insurance companies get suspicious when victims delay their treatment. It’s also vital that you discuss every problem or potential issue with your doctor. Something that seems minor at the time, like a clicking when you bend your elbow, could prove very serious over time.

Communicate With the Right People

Careful communication can make all the difference in your ability to be awarded compensation. You need to gather the information of the person who caused the accident, such as the other driver at the scene of an accident. Auto accident attorneys st. louis understand the traffic law and can help. Depending on the situation, you will also want to contact the police from the scene so that you have formal proof of the situation of the incident. Additionally, your insurance company needs to be notified immediately, and it’s a wise idea to talk to an experienced attorney if you have trouble working with the insurance company responsible for compensating you.

What Can Florida Probate Do For You?

Florida ProbateProbate is something that most people don’t even realize they don’t understand until suddenly they are thrown into a world of estate plans and assets due to the death of a family member. This quick guide to the Florida probate can help keep you informed so that the probate isn’t such an overwhelming mystery down the road.

Defining Probate
Many people create wills and estate plans to ensure that their belongings are passed down to the people of their choosing. These same people often have living trusts, assets with specific beneficiaries, and other very precise plans to guarantee that their homes, savings, and other assets are provided to the right family members and friends.

However, if a person dies without a valid will to direct his assets to the proper beneficiaries, or if assets exist that cannot be given directly to the beneficiaries, the probate must step in. A Lakeland probate attorney is a court-supervised process meant to gather the deceased person’s assets, pay his debts and probate fees, and then distribute the remaining assets to any beneficiaries.

The Types of Probate
Florida probate can occur in formal administration and summary administration. Under formal administration, also known as ‘regular probate’, any existing will is first deemed acceptable or unacceptable for use in probate. If the will does not exist or does not specify an executor, the circuit court approves an interested party, usually a family member or friend, as the personal representative. The probate proceedings take place in the county of residence at the time of the death, and any potential heirs and beneficiaries are given enough notice to object to the probate.

Summary administration, on the other hand, can occur if the death occurred more than two years ago or if the value of all probate assets value less than $75,000. In this case, the estate is released to the people who rightfully inherit it.

What Qualifies as a Probate Asset?
Probate assets are specifically assets owned at the time of death that do not qualify for automatic succession to a beneficiary at the time of death. These assets often include bank accounts or investments solely in the name of the deceased, life insurance policies, real estate only in the name of the deceased.

Probate is a complicated matter that always requires the guidance of a Brandon probate attorney to ensure every step is done properly.

Be Prepared for Vacation Injuries, Even in Paradise      

You’ve had your cruise booked for eight months, you’ve anticipated endless food buffets and sandy beaches since February, and once you finally arrive… you break your leg in a nasty fall. Unfortunately, injuries don’t always take a vacation when you want to. The good news is that a vacation-based injury is often subject to compensation if it occurs under certain conditions.

If your vacation destination, like a theme park, resort, or cruise ship is guilty of neglect that led to your injury, follow these steps to ensure you receive the justice and reimbursement you deserve.

Record the Details in Full

Precisely document the accident down to every single small detail. The location responsible should also complete an accident report for their own records, but it could be biased and shouldn’t be fully relied upon for an accurate portrayal of the events. It is vital that your own records portray the true details for future use. Take pictures of the accident location and be sure to capture any elements that led to the injury, like faulty lighting, loose carpeting, jagged glass, or broken machinery.

Talk to Witnesses

If any other vacationers witnessed your accident, exchange contact information and ensure that they are willing to verify your side of the story if needed. It always helps to have other parties supporting your claims.

Contact Insurance Immediately

Don’t wait until you’re home to begin the insurance process. After you’ve received medical attention, call your insurance provider to ensure medical bills are covered and all injuries are properly documented for use as proof down the road. Evaluations, X-rays, and other tests are all valuable information to prove the authenticity of your injury.

Contact an Attorney

Personal injury attorneys make their living protecting injury victims against large entities like vacation spots. Your attorney will know how to handle everything once you’ve collected evidence and gathered eye-witness contacts.

Most vacation injuries involve unique complications like multi-state jurisdiction, signed contracts with fine print, and stubborn corporate insurance companies. Your attorney should be experienced enough to handle these complexities without breaking a sweat.  Use the professionals at your disposal to insure that you receive the compensation deserved in your situation.


What are the penalties for drinking under influence?

dui chargesJust like with any other criminal allegation, a person accused of driving under the influence is considered innocent unless proven otherwise. If, by any chance, the allegations are confirmed, the respective punishment is normally dependent upon the laws of the particular state. Other aggravating situations such as the presence of a bottle of alcohol can also be used to determine the appropriate punishment. Did the defendant collaborate effectively with the police? This is something else that comes into play.

At times, drivers and motorists escape a DUI incident without hurting anyone or even themselves. Regardless of this fortunate incidence, the person involved in the DUI incident must go through the actual process of the court. More often than not, one or more of the various DUI penalties are administered. The high number of deaths arising from drunken driving each year has led to the formulation and implementation of stricter penalties. The primary objective is to help curb these incidences and consequently safeguard lives as much as possible.

If you are convicted of DUI and related offenses, one of the various things could happen. First time DUI offenders may be required to serve a jail term of around six months- or even more, depending on the state under consideration. Again this will differ from one state to another. If you are convicted of the crime multiple times, you risk losing your driving license. Your license could be suspended for a given time period, depending on whether you are the first time or subsequent DUI offender. Another possible DUI penalty is a massive fine which is determined by the court of law. Heavy fines might accompany a jail term or the loss of driving license forms of punishment.

If you are a minor, you needn’t think that you are exempted from these penalties. Just like any other person, driving under the influence could land you into problems. For starters, the legal age for drinking is around 21 years in the majority of states. This means that drinking while still a minor is a separate crime from DUI. Adult penalties could be administered on minors as well. What is more, your license could be suspended for a whole one year.

When all is said and done, every state has it way of assigning appropriate penalties. It is advisable that you educate yourself about the state laws surrounding driving under the influence to receive accurate information on the same.

Posted in DUI

Workers Compensation Cases Explained

Workers compensation law was put into place at both a state and federal level and was enacted as a way to eliminate the need for lawsuits involving work-related injuries. It requires employers to have a type of insurance that will cover an employee in the event that they are injured while at work. The Tampa wokers comp law varies somewhat state to state, and the federal law only applies to federal employees and individuals who are involved in interstate commerce on a regular basis. The law offers protection for both employers and employees.

Employees are protected in the event they are injured while performing worked related duties. They are eligible for compensation for wages lost as a result of time away from work due to the injury, medical treatment, and rehabilitation costs. Pre-existing conditions may be covered if a station at work makes them worse. In most cases, employees are also covered if they receive an injury while on break. Employees are not covered if they were intoxicated at the time the injury took place.

Employers also benefit because they will be protected regardless of who is at fault for the injury. They will be covered even if their negligence is what resulted in the employee being injured. However, if an employee successfully files a claim the employer may have to pay a higher insurance rate and there are some exceptions that allow an employee to file a lawsuit

The first step an employee must take to be eligible for benefits is to report the incident to their employer. Next the employee needs to file a claim. The form should be submitted as soon as possible to receive benefits in a timely fashion. In some cases, an employer may dispute the claim. If this happens, it is recommended to seek out a consultation with an experienced workman compensation lawyer.

Social Security Disability Lawyers

Social-Security-Disability-Law1If you have been injured while working on the job, or if you have a disability that makes you unable to work, a Social Security Disability Lawyer is going to be incredibly important to you. Disability is getting harder and harder to qualify for, especially since the economic recession. Disability companies and the federal government are cutting down on the number of people that are approved for disability. A Social Security disability lawyer at Catania and Catania can go to court on your behalf and represent you, to explain why you are entitled to the disability that you are asking for and why you deserve it. These lawyers have experience in dealing with the federal government and they do not back down, no matter who the opposing side is. If you deserve Social Security disability benefits, they can help you get it.

If you have been trying to get Social Security disability but it’s just not working, a lawyer can help you finally get the disability benefits that you deserve. They will fight to protect your rights and show the judge exactly why you deserve these benefits and why you are unable to work. If you have a legitimate reason for being on disability, chances are, your lawyer will be able to make your case successful. They help argue your side and explain to the judge why you need Social Security disability. Lawyers and attorneys like this have a very significant background with Social Security and they will make sure that your court cases are successful and that you get everything that you are looking for.

Of course, the benefit to Social Security disability is that you can live financially comfortable, without having to work a job. Sounds great, but if you are not disabled, you do not deserve the benefits. Remember that Social Security disability is something that is offered by the federal government as a service to the people. You pay your hard-earned tax dollars in order to support the Social Security program. This is partly why if you are truly disabled, you also deserve your piece to the pie and should be able to receive disability when you need it.

Personal Injury Law – Meaning and Its Components

There are many types of situations and incidents in life that make it necessary for you to understand the tenets of personal injury law. An understanding of its basic terms and situations will help you in case of an injury or accident to your and your loved ones.

A personal injury can be defined as a harm or damage caused by an accident or situation which was further caused by some other individual which may be intentional or not. Such injuries can be the legal responsibility of the person who was responsible for the negligence.

The personal injury legal disputes can range from a simple settlement with other party’s insurance company to a legal proceeding through a civil court. It is quite common to have personal injury lawsuit resolved through a mutual settlement before the case is actually filed with the court. However, it is quite important to consult your personal injury attorney in all such matters.

In more precise terms, if you or your loved one have been injured by someone (an individual, business, corporation or a government agency) either intentionally or unintentionally, you may need to file a complaint which is known as filing a lawsuit and which can be best handled by a personal injury attorney.

Any personal injury case requires a certain level of understanding of the facts along with the process and the law. It will be in your best interest to consult an experienced attorney to help you in filing a lawsuit because he has enough training and experience to guide you through complex and sometimes extremely frightening maze that make up personal injury law. He will advise you, negotiate on your behalf and fight for your best interests.

In order to judge the viability of your personal injury lawsuit case, the attorney will study all the details of your case and review the police and accidental reports. Your case might also require some professional investigation, research and consultation. Only after doing that, you will be able to plan the best course for your case.