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Albany personal injury and criminal defense law blog

One injured and another dead in fatal three car crash

With holiday season upon us, it is no wonder that more people are seen out and about on the streets. People are rushing to complete their holiday shopping, gather supplies for their parties or just trying to get home before it gets dark. With more cars on the slippery roadways, it is easy to forget traffic rules that need to be followed in order to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

In a tragic car accident in New York recently, one person died and another suffered injuries. According to the authorities, three vehicles were involved in the crash, and one of them was completely obliterated as a result. The crash happened during morning traffic hours and police suspect the head-on collision was between a car and a truck, with a third vehicle also becoming involved at some point. Debris was splashed across the road, with only a heap of metal left in place of one of the vehicles. Authorities are investigating the accident.

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Even though New York residents, like their counterparts across the country, are supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, this is not always the case. As soon as someone is arrested, he or she is presumed guilty by most people. If the arrest is made in a public place or splashed across newspapers or social media, it can have the potential to damage someone's personal and professional relationships. If criminal charges follow, then the potential fallout can wreak even more havoc on someone's life.

As one's life is turned upside down after an arrest, it is easy to forget that the accused has certain rights that are guaranteed to them by the American constitution. People can end up saying something or doing something that might affect their case down the line, even if they do not realize it. On the other hand, they can also end up giving law enforcement officials permission to search or collect items that they do not have to.

Diversion plans offer treatment instead of jail time to addicts

Many New York residents may not realize that there are diversion programs for people facing drug charges. This means that instead of criminal charges, options include recognizing the challenges that come with addiction and tackling them. The Overdose Addiction and Recovery in the state aims to do that, by allowing people to get treatment without first pleading guilty to a crime that stays on their record, regardless of their efforts to turn their life around.

The program follows a pre-plea model. Participants can get help without copping to committing a crime. However, the program is voluntary-the defendants need to want to be a part of it. Many district attorneys then have wide discretion to work with judges to either knock down or dismiss charges if the participant completes the program.

3 actions parents can take if a dog bites their child

No parent wants to their child to get hurt. However, children can be prone to injuries. Sometimes the best thing a parent can do is prepare to handle as many situations as possible.

Unfortunately, dog bites are common injuries. Almost 5 million dog bites happen in the United States each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children have the highest risk of dog bites, and when dogs bite kids, the injuries are usually more severe. With these statistics in mind, it can be good to familiarize yourself with the actions you should take in the event a dog ever bites your child.

What is the three strikes law?

Many New York residents are unaware of the 'three strikes law' and how it can affect their liberty. This is why it is important to have a strong criminal defense and not overlook this process. People facing criminal charges, whether felonies or misdemeanors, may benefit from having skilled professionals advising them of their rights, fighting on their behalf from the onset.

The three strikes law refers to provisions in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that provide for mandatory life sentences for a certain category of convicted felons. In order to fall into this category, the convicted felon must have been convicted in federal court for a serious felony and have two or more previous convictions in either state or federal courts, one of which at least must have been a serious one.

Do I have to take a Breathalyzer test?

When New York residents first get their driving licenses, they are not likely to know that driving is considered a privilege, not a right. That means these privileges can be revoked and fines can be levied. Additionally, driving privileges can be suspended if a driver refuses to take a Breathalyzer test. This is because drivers have impliedly consented to this test in exchange to drive.

A Breathalyzer is used to determine the blood alcohol content of a suspected drunk driver. If a police officer stops a driver he or she believes has been driving while intoxicated and asks the driver to take a Breathalyzer test, refusal could have serious repercussions. For example, the driver's license could be suspended for a number of months and even jail time could be given. Consequences vary depending on whether the suspected drunk driver has past DUI convictions or not.

What are the elements of a negligence case?

The effects of an accident can be significant. Most personal injury cases hinge on whether the person who caused the plaintiff's personal injuries was exercising reasonable care. When a New York resident fails to behave with the standard of care that an ordinary person would have exercised in similar circumstances, it can be said that he or she was negligent.

When considering if someone was negligent, courts look at the foreseeable likelihood that the person's actions or omissions will result in harm, the probable severity of any harm that might result, and the burden of taking steps to reduce or eliminate the risk of harm. If it can be shown that the person in question was negligent, he or she may be required by law to compensate the accident victim for the injuries caused by their actions or omissions.

Are millennials more likely to use their phone behind the wheel?

Millennials find themselves blamed by many Baby Boomers for many things, including being attached to their phones at all times. They are also accused of being on their phone while driving, but a recent survey indicates they are not the only ones who are engaging in this risky behavior. Gen X and Baby Boomers are also guilty of using their phone while driving.

While New York residents may not be surprised to hear that 86% of Millennials admitted to using their phone behind the wheel, 49% of Baby Boomers also admitted to it. Gen X was second, with 72% admitting to using their phones while driving. However, Baby Boomers are less likely than their Millennial counterparts to ask someone else to check their phone for them while driving.

Avoiding accidents while driving through construction zones

As the summer comes to a close, many construction projects are ramping up to finish before the weather turns bad. Albany certainly faces this on a yearly basis due to the often-violent change of seasons. Drivers must be aware of the high volume of road construction projects as well as construction vehicles leaving a job site and entering the road.

What is an improper police stop?

With Labor Day and the end of summer approaching, many Albany residents are likely to be heading out on the weekend to celebrate. The last thing drivers want to see after a night of relaxing with friends and having a couple of drinks is police lights in one's rear-view mirror. While many drivers may panic and think of going faster to avoid them, they should never do this. If an officer indicates that he or she wants a driver to pull over, that is exactly what they should do.

Additionally, stopping a vehicle at a roadblock and asking questions is legal, as long as the police is using a neutral and non-inconveniencing policy to stop cars. However, as with every situation, it is also important to remember drivers have constitutional rights that need to be upheld.

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