Federal vs. State Crimes

The American criminal justice system is, in a word, confusing. One of the most confusing aspects of the system is whether a criminal gets tried through the state or federal courts. While the majority of crimes are tried through the state court, there are certain crimes that are usually prosecuted on the federal level.

Understanding which crime goes where can be a dizzying task. I decided to whip up this blog post to outline the differences between state and federal crimes. If you’re curious, keep reading!

When is it Federal Jurisdiction?

As previously stated, the majority of crimes are crimes under state law. Thus, these criminals will be prosecuted in the state courts and sent to state prisons if convicted of a crime. 

The state has the power to legislate pretty much any crime, as long as the law written is constitutional. The federal government, however, is more limited and can only pass laws around crimes that are related to some federal or national interest. National interest is broadly defined to include:

  • Crimes on federal land or involving a federal officer. For example, the murder of an FBI agent would be eligible to be tried in the federal courts.
  • A crime where the criminal crosses state borders. An example of this would be when a kidnapping victim being moved from Texas to Arizona by the defendant.
  • Violations of immigration and customs law. A common example of this is the importation of child pornography.
  • Criminal conduct in multiple states. If a serial killer killed multiple people in several different states, the federal government could have jurisdiction. 

Differences in Prosecution

There are several differences between federal and state prosecution. In federal prosecution, the crime is investigated by FBI officers or DEA agents, and they are tried by an Assistant United States Attorney — a federal prosecutor. The case goes before a federal judge, who is appointed to a life-term by the president.

State crimes are investigated by police departments, sheriff offices, and any applicable state agencies. The cases are then tried by assistant district attorneys or city attorneys. Cases are tried in front of a judge like in federal prosecution, but judges do not serve for a life term. Some states have judicial elections and others have other systems like appointments.


In federal court, judges have advisory sentencing guidelines that suggest how to sentence a criminal convicted of a crime, and judges usually follow these guidelines. For the most part, federal sentences are longer than state sentences for the same crime. This is in part due to harsh mandatory sentencing rules on the federal level, particularly for drug crimes. 

What to Do
Whether you are charged with a federal or state crime, it is imperative that you reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. It may seem tempting, but don’t attempt to save money on an attorney by representing yourself. A criminal defense attorney has the skills and experience necessary to help you avoid a harsh prison sentence and possible fines.

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The Risks to Property After the Media Stops Looking

We live in an era of increasingly common catastrophic disasters. Hurricanes belt Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Gulf and East Coast states every year. Volcanoes erupt in Hawaii and Washington. California is always on the cusp of a major earthquake. Tornadoes tear through the central states. Forest fires can damage property across the West and flooding can hit almost anywhere.

These disasters, when they happen, garner an almost infinite amount of media coverage, but once the actual disaster passes, the media moves on, leaving people with their own personal disasters and no one to tell them to.

These personal disasters can take on many different forms. Some people can become ill due to some result of the disaster and find it hard to get treatment. Others may find their job is missing along with the business they worked for. There are surely thousands and thousands of stories of missing pets and more than a few of missing people who are never found.

And then, theres property. For those who had no insurance, the story once they try to return after a disaster is often a tragic (but predictable) one. However, even those who have insurance can find that it lets them down at such a moment.

With so many recognizing the rising risks of living in certain parts of the country, these owners and renters purchase named-peril insurance to make sure they are covered in the riskiest events. This gives those owners and renters peace of mind, and yet, as Smith Kendall Attorneys at Law points out, that insurance often doesnt live up to expectations.

It is not at all uncommon for those returning to former homes and hoping to recovery property and start life again to find the insurance underpaying on a claim or refusing a claim outright.

After suffering so much already, these victims of catastrophe then have to take on massive insurance companies in an effort to get what they are entitled to. It shouldnt happen, and yet as lawyers like the Smith Kendall office show, it happens all the time.

More needs to be done by local and federal governments to ensure these secondary tragedies dont happen so often, and more needs to be done by the media to continue to shine light on such stories, even if the biggest narrative that wins the most viewers or clicks has moved on.

For those stuck in such situations, they have to find the energy to fight on multiple fronts. They need to contact lawyers that know how to fight these insurance companies, but they also need to make more effort to shout to the rest of us about what is happening.

Our world is going to see more and more of these catastrophes and more and more human tragedies over the coming years. Thats why its all the more important that we address these secondary issues now, so we have a better system in place for the next catastrophe.

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Medical malpractice suits in Wisconsin

In a recent study performed by Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical error is the third most common cause of death in the United States. Knowing that medical malpractice is common, you would think that there would be a lot of lawsuits in this category. However, in Wisconsin, filing a lawsuit due to medical malpractice is rare.  

Sarah and Peter Koskey know first hand how hard it is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Wisconsin. Their son, Chris, 31 years old, had just had back surgery at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. After Chris’s surgery, the doctor sent Chris home, stating he had no pneumonia. 4 a.m. following Chris’s 8 p.m. release from the hospital, Sarah went to check on her son, finding that she needed to rush him to the hospital. Chris had suffocated from pneumonia in his lungs and was declared brain dead.

After Chris’s tragic death, his parents requested an investigation, and the result was that there was no wrongdoing in his case. The tragedy continues as Chris’s parents attempt to take their case to court, but are denied that request. According to Wisconsin law, only a spouse or a minor child can sue for death due to medical practice. This law is 27 years old and clearly outdated as the Koskey family cannot gain compensation for the wrongful loss of their son.  

There are many types of medical malpractice cases, including birth injuries, wrongful death, misdiagnoses, nursing home neglect, and much more. These cases are all too common, and it is important to know that if you are eligible for filing a lawsuit, you can and should hire a lawyer.

Unfortunately, parents of an adult child and an adult child whose parent passes are not allowed to file a lawsuit in the state of Wisconsin. However, all spouses and minor children of deceased parents can file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit can help you get the compensation you deserve to attempt to soften the blow of losing a loved one. Lawsuits can be a complex process, and that is why the need for a lawyer is imperative.

If the loved one you lost, was the primary income facilitator for your family, a lawsuit might be the only way to stay afloat in this time of grieving and recovery. Compensation can help you pay for medical bills, pain, and suffering, and can keep your standard of living until other arrangements can be made.

For medical malpractice being the third leading cause of death in the United States, there are not enough medical malpractice lawsuits to match that statistic in Wisconsin. So until the law stating who is eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, only spouses and minor children get the opportunity to help the statistic. If you are able to file a lawsuit, it is in your best interest to a hire a lawyer, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

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Common Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are some of the most controversial issues in society. Bodies of law and courts are not very tolerant of sex offenders, as they face severe punishments. These consequences may differ depending on the state and jurisdiction, but they mostly have the same concepts. Fines, jail times, and damages to reputations resulting into limited housing and employment opportunities, are just some of them.

Rape is generally characterized by non-consensual sex. There may be other relevant factors, such as the threats of violence against victims, the victims’ inability to consent because of his or her lack of judgment that has resulted from alcohol or drugs, and the victims’ legal inability to consent because of age. These factors are not necessarily needed to determine if an act is rape, because non-consent is the most significant determining factor. These factors, however, can supplement and make the charges worse.

Possession of Child Pornography
The children are the heirs of society, and the last thing a civilized society wants is for these children to be involved in trafficking and other sexually related offenses. The possession of any material showing a minor getting involved in a sexual act is illegal. Such materials include pictures and computer data such as images and videos.

Sexual Abuse of a Child
Civilized societies really prioritize children, even when it comes to sexual abuse claims. Sexual abuse of a child does not just involve direct sexual relations, as behaviors such as looking at a child in a sexual way, showing a child sexual acts, and other behaviors that meet another person’s sexual interest can be considered sexual abuse.

Indecent Exposure
Indecent exposure refers to an individual’s intentional display of his or her private parts, with the motive of having sexual gratification to himself or herself, receiving a sexual response from another person or the public, or insulting another.

Consequences and Effects
Sex crimes can greatly alter the lives of both abuser and abused. In the case of the abuser, those who have been convicted of misdemeanors and felonies have the appropriate fines and jail times, ranging from months to even years depending on the gravity of the offense. But according to the website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC, these charges can be defended. It proves that the law hears the side of the accused as well, preventing unjustified and unwarranted penalties.
Abused have it bad as well. Aside from the physical injuries they may have sustained, they may be prone to emotional and psychological problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and social withdrawal. Physical injuries can at least heal through time, but these mental problems may require a different kind of treatment.

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Distracted Driving, A Major Hindrance to Efforts at Reducing Fatal Car Crashes

Assuming that the table posted in the Wikipedia website on “Motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. by year” is correct, then two things are affirmed: cars are bound to crash, as was presumed as early as 1925; and, yearly fatal car crashes (from 1899 – 2004) mostly increased as more cars populated the road.

Since 2005, though, the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC) have both recorded declines in fatal car crashes, from 43,510 in 2005 down to 32,675 in 2014.

Two non-profit research organizations, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute, identify improved structural design and the latest safety features in cars to be the major reasons for the decline. Some of these latest safety or crash avoidance features include: lane departure or lane-keep assist, blind spot alert, park assist, forward collision warning, adaptive headlights, tire pressure monitoring, traction control, electronic stability control, auto emergency braking (AEB), and active braking systems, which either warn drivers of impending collisions or which automatically assist drivers in preventing collisions.

It is quite alarming that, despite the fact that most cars are already equipped with some safety features, reports of increase in auto-related deaths for 2015 have been reported by the NHTSA and the NSC. From the 32,675 death toll in 2014, the NHTSA reports a 9.5% increase for the first three months of 2015, while the NSC reports a 14% increase for the first six months).

One reason for the higher fatal car crash rate is the dramatic increase in the number of cars on the road – the major effect of gas prices going down. With more cars, there were also more cases of alcohol-impaired driving, speeding and people failing to buckle up. However, the top reason for the increase in the death rate is being attributed to cell phone use: drivers texting or conversing with someone and taking selfies and posting these on social media – all of these while trying to keep an eye on the road.

The NHTSA and the NSC agree that, in spite of cars being made safer, text messaging and the increased use of cell phones are defeating all endeavors on getting car crash deaths to go down. Cell phone use is the worst form of distracted driving. Compared to drunk-driving, using a cell phone while driving is up to six times more dangerous.

“Crash” implies that someone has acted illegally or negligently and that this act has caused a collision that has resulted to someone getting either injured or killed. In the view of a the outcome of a driver’s mistake or bad decision while behind the wheel, even for just a few seconds, can then lead to irreversible tragic consequences not only the driver but also for other innocent victims. For these, the at-fault driver should be held totally responsible.

Learn more about car crashes at this website: https://www.shw-law.com/.

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What You Need To Know About Slip and Fall Accidents

Construction sites are one of the most dangerous workplaces. For this reason, we often see warning signs whenever we pass by these places. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg LLC, potential risks in construction sites can be mitigated by adhering to safety regulations and enforcing safe working practices. Unfortunately, most establishments fail on this aspect resulting to injuries or even deaths of their workers.

Figures from National Floor Safety Institute revealed that slip and falls account for more than 1 million emergency room visits or 12% of all total falls. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classify falls into elevated and same level. 6 out of 10 of all elevated falls are from a height of less than 10 feet and 65% of fall-related injuries are from same-level walking surfaces. According to the CDC and BLS, an estimated 20 – 30% of people involved in a slip and fall accident suffer moderate to severe injuries.

Slip and fall accidents can happen in commercial and residential establishments. Filing a claim is the best way to secure damages for any injuries after an accident. However, these cases will not always result to victories on your part. There are different legal factors that can affect the outcome of your claim. For this reason, you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney.

Burden of Proof

A slip and fall claim falls under civil tort case hence they are not governed by the common concept of “beyond reasonable doubt.” Being a civil tort case, slips and falls are judged according to a preponderance of evidence. Thus the burden of proof will be on the plaintiff to show that the defendant showed negligence in their responsibility to ensure safe working conditions hence resulting to the accident.

Comparative Negligence

Slip and fall accidents are also judged according to some percentage of fault. In such accidents, responsibility does not lie on one party alone. This is called “reasonable assumption of risk.” For this reason, the maximum damages that the plaintiff can get is adjusted downward based on their comparative negligence percentage.

Premise Liability 

The location alone of the accident is not an indication of negligence. It just serves as a reminder of where they have been negligent to some degree. If the accident happened in a state that adopts comparative negligence, then they can claim damages even if they were largely responsible for the accident.

Statutes of Limitations

When filing a claim, your case will be governed by the statutes of limitations. For you to be able to claim damages, you need to file the case within the specified time limit otherwise when that time expires, you can no longer receive damages. Thus, it is important that you secure evidences and file the case during that time frame.

Slip and fall accidents can result to lost wages, loss of productivity, or temporary or permanent disability. If you can prove negligence on the part of your employer, you can recover all these losses.

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Can Personal Injury Be Prevented?

Accidents happen. They’re an inevitability of life. Mostly, they’re little things that you tend to forget about. A fallen leaf from a tree lands on your face and you end up tripping over yourself. You forget the last step down a flight of stairs and you stumble towards the wall. You eat something that you hadn’t realized was way past its expiration date. These things are excusable and, more often than not, perfectly forgettable.

But then, there are the accidents that can ultimately alter the way that someone lives their lives… for the worse.

An accident could leave a person with permanent brain damage or turn them into a quadriplegic. An accident could mean months or years of being made unable to perform a professional that is necessary to keep them thriving in modern society. Can you imagine a ballerina losing her legs to an accident? Or, how about a surgeon whose hands were scarred and rendered useless due to a burn accident?

These circumstances are not new and, in fact, they happen often enough that personal injury became the legal terminology that fit this precise bill. However, as can be surmised from the examples, there are a lot of ways that a person can be injured due to negligence; and so, there are many subsets under personal injury. Some cases of personal injury are car accidents, nursing home abuse, premises liability, medical malpractice, et cetera. Each of these subsets has differing variables and the outcome of them can often depend where and when the accident occurred.

Personal injury is definitely preventable since the cause of it is the negligence of another party. It should have been prevented but it wasn’t due to lack of care. Therefore, should an instance of personal injury actually occur, legal measures must be considered in order to demand for recompense for the damages done.

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Car Accidents While Working

Worrying about a car wreck may be a continuous problem if your work requires you to be on the road. This mainly concerns industrial truck drivers, used to provide necessary services by means of moving goods (either raw or completed) over long distances. By driving heavy trucks for long periods of time, a truck driver is exposed to hazards and many hazards, and these can accumulate to cause vehicle or vehicle mishaps which may be crushing.

Based on the website of the LaMarca Law Group, P.C., there may be numerous blunders that may bring about possible truck injuries. Among the truck are diverted driving, failure to follow indicators and traffic signs, and inebriation. Nevertheless, among the most notable causes of vehicle accidents is drowsiness. Drowsiness is frequently compared to could likely cause injuries and serious damages, and being intoxicated.

On a current research conducted by the University of Minnesota, obstructive rest apnea (OSA) is really one of the causes of sleep-deprivation for truckers. Although federal legislation does state the very least amount of relaxation for truckers, those people suffering from OSA deficiency “restful” sleep and will suffer from decreased oxygen consumption, which in turn makes them feel tired and drowsy the next day. OSA along with shifting schedules of driving can be a dangerous mix that will end in disaster.

Due to the sheer weight and dimension of a commercial vehicle, injuries from truck accidents could be overpowering. Brain injuries that are serious can affect somebody’s life, and may impede their lifestyle. A head and brain injury not only cause physical and psychological trauma, the remedy that is life-long and might be financially hard to stay informed of. This situation may be made even harder if the car incident was not your fault, but cause by yet another individual’s negligence or carelessness.

Truckers, alongside every other motorist, should be aware of the perils of getting behind the wheel. Regardless of the strong advocacies about traffic enforcements that are aggressive and safe-driving, you can not control the manner other drivers’ automobiles are driven by they. The only real way to ensure safety while driving is practice defensive driving, and to remain healthy, attentive.

In the event, you are hurt because of a trucker’s negligence, contact a personal injury lawyer today. You should not have to suffer through this and an experienced truck accident attorney will have a way to guide you through the complexities of your situation.

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Information about Xarelto

Prescription drugs are classified as such because their consumption must be monitored by the appropriate specialist healthcare supplier, usually a doctor, as opposed to over the counter (OTC) medication like aspirin which can be purchased by anyone anytime in any quantity. This really is because prescription drugs most have undesirable interactions with other drugs, meals, and activities and can have side effects that are dangerous. Taking prescription medicines without a doctor’s supervision can lead to significant injury, even death.

Xarelto (rivaroxaban), an anticoagulant, is affected by a total of 322 medicines, in an important way by 158. That’s a lot of medicines that you will not want to take with Xarelto, so you need to give your doctor advice on including recreational drugs and prescription what you’re along with herbal supplements, or any dietary, nutritional.

Some of the materials that will not be obtained with Xarelto unless with the wisdom of your physician include:

  • Antifungal products including ketoconazole, fluconazole
  • Anti-seizure drugs for example Phenobarbital
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory)
  • Erythromycin and some antibiotics that are additional
  • HIV drug
  • Tirofiban along with amiodarone
  • Warfarin and additional blood thinners

This is information is important and your doctor needs to have it before prescribing you with Xarelto for situations such as atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, or after your leg or hip arthroplasty procedure. According to the website of the law offices of Williams Kherkher, individuals have experienced adverse side effects from utilizing Xarelto, and some may have been due to an oversight on the patient’s part. Tell your physician thus, if you are uncertain about what medicines you’re taking. It’s also important to tell your healthcare provident that you are on Xarelto before having any surgeries.

If you have exercised due care and followed the doctor’s directions to the letter but nevertheless from using Xarelto suffered significant harm, you might have a great case for injury damages. Contact a Xarelto attorney locally for guidance.

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Handling a Car Accident

A possible chance in America regardless of how cautious you are, a driver will be involved in an automobile accident at least once. Based on the website of Spiros Law, P.C., it could be nothing more severe than slight property damage, which is a trouble but not too hard to handle. On the other hand, in the event the accident is a result of neglect or carelessness of another motorist and results in serious harm, it is necessary to know how to proceed to allow it to be simpler to produce a personal injury claim and get compensation for car accidents.

The initial thing to do is always to prevent laying blame or expressing a viewpoint. Speculate on what occurred, although ask regarding the status of the other driver and any people and show concern by all means, but don’t acknowledge fault, participate in finger-pointing. Summon the police instantly, followed by with a phone to the automobile insurance carrier. Describe petition for medical help and what happened. A representative might be dispatched to manage the matter.

Start if the scene is physically possible while waiting for someone official to make it happen to take charge, documenting it. Shoot a video and as many photos as suitable of the positions and location of the autos, the make and model, the driver’s information, and whatever witnesses there may possibly be. When the other driver is speaking, capture that also.

These can be of importance when the moment comes that is major to confirm fault and to what diploma, which is typically the basis for just about any compensation given in a personal injury suit. By the moment the investigators arrive, the majority of the work would have been completed. Then it’s up to the insurance agencies.

You may need to contemplate employing the assistance should you’re severely injured in a neglect automobile accident. Insurance firms will simply seek to recover not exemplary damages and their losses.

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