Arrests & Evidence Can Be Challenged

If arrested for DUI, you’ll want an criminal defense attorney who will seek to uncover potential problems with the prosecution’s case. Previously, Mr. Spolter served as a prosecuting attorney in New York City in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. He incorporates into his legal work lessons learned and skills developed while working in the D.A.’s Grand Jury Bureau, Felony Investigations Bureau & Criminal Court Bureau. He knows that police officers can make mistakes. When suspecting that law enforcement officers violated procedural rules when arresting clients on DUI charges, he prepares legal motions which can cause judges to throw out key portions of prosecutors’ cases and to even dismiss entire criminal cases.

Was the breath test operator doing his or her job properly? Improper administration of breath tests can lead to artificially inflated alcohol readings. Police departments and prosecutors rarely voluntarily disclose when breath tests were conducted improperly or when DUI breath test machines are defective. That’s why Loring N. Spolter investigates the operational records of DUI breath test machines and analyzes events occurring during the arrest process. When uncovering improper police conduct or the use of faulty DUI breath test equipment, Mr. Spolter files legal pleadings asking judges to dismiss evidence or even whole cases pending against his clients.

Mr. Spolter battles to keep out of evidence the results of DUI urine tests. Because police-administered DUI urine tests can reveal findings which may be legally irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial, criminal defense attorneys frequently are able to convince judges to prevent these test results from being admitted into evidence at trial.

A number of factors can lead prosecutors plea down DUI charges to less serious offenses. Examples include when a judge orders that certain evidence not be admissible at trial or when a defense attorney discovers that a client has a health condition which mimics the symptoms of alcohol impairment, taking prescription medications and use of illegal drugs or the unavailability of police or civilian witnesses.

Before, During & After Being Pulled Over

The police officer in the car behind you has indicated that you should pull over to the side of the road. You do so. The officer asks you a series of questions. Wanting to be polite, you answer each and every one of them. In response, the officer states you are now being investigated for drunk driving. Surprise! It may have been something you said, and not the way you were driving that has now given the officer all the legal grounds necessary to suspect that you have been driving under the influence (DUI) and will need a Boulder DUI lawyer.

Wanting to appear cooperative and unworried, you agree to the police officer’s next request – that you exit the car and demonstrate sobriety by performing some physical tests. Surprise again! You have now voluntarily provided additional damaging evidence for the police officer to learn about you and to pass along to the prosecuting attorney to use against you.

Most people don’t know they don’t have to answer a police officer’s questions or agree to take DUI physical performance tests. The things people say and do around police officers enables prosecutors to enhance the strength of their cases. We all have constitutional rights and if we give them up in an attempt to appear friendly or agreeable, we do so at our own peril. Drivers can protect their legal rights by knowing what they can refuse to do and what they are obligated to comply with. The moment a police officer signals a car to pull over, he or she begins making observations about everything the driver says and does. A driver’s first words or actions can become detrimental evidence in the hands of a prosecutor. Motorists can reduce their risk of getting into trouble for DUI by knowing the following information:

If drinking, do so in moderation and only while eating or immediately afterward. Full meals afford more protection than snacks. Avoid taking the types of over-the-counter and prescription medications that interact with alcohol or can induce impairment. Don’t drive after taking a prescription medication for the first time. Be aware that prescription medications can cause unlawful impairment. Motorists can be prosecuted for being under the influence of lawfully prescribed medications, even if not using any alcohol or illegal drugs.

United States Government Sues BP for Oil Spill Disaster

April 20 is a date that people in the Gulf region will remember forever. When the Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer failed, we all suffered the consequences. Families lost loved ones. Workers lost their jobs. Fishermen, oil workers, restaurant owners … nearly everyone in Louisiana has felt the effects of the oil spill.
Yesterday, the United States federal government filed a milwaukee workers compensation lawsuit in federal court in New Orleans to try to recover some of the damages caused by this oil rig accident. The Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act were passed to hold companies accountable when their actions lead to major oil spills. The Justice Department is seeking damages from BP and eight other companies involved in the oil spill.
The basic goal of the government will be to prove that BP and other companies’ failure to follow safe drilling practices, use appropriate technology and maintain the equipment on the Deepwater Horizon led to the spill. Additionally, if the government can prove “gross negligence,” the financial costs to the companies could be even greater.
This is the first legal filing we have seen from the government regarding the BP oil spill. And even this was fairly bare-bones as far as legal filings go. The federal judge set yesterday as the deadline for civil filings regarding the spill, so the government likely felt pressured to file something. Officials have already indicated that additional companies may be added to the lawsuit and new complaints could surface.
If the government is successful, BP and other companies like Transocean could be required to pay between $1,100 and $4,300 for every barrel of spilled oil. Although there are disputes regarding the exact amount of oil that was spilled, many have estimated that close to five million barrels were spilled. By that estimate, these companies could be held responsible to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.
While this case does not directly benefit the individual victims of the oil spill, it does highlight the other hundreds of maritime accident lawsuits that have been filed by families, workers and business owners in Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states.

The balance of remembrance and roadside safety

As you drive down highways across the United States you often see memorials, remembrances or tributes to victims of car accidents. The memorials honor the spot where loved ones lost their lives too early and tragically. While the idea of a roadside memorial is a positive and honorable gesture, some roadside memorials present an encumbrance to public safety say public officials. That is why Florida’s neighbor to the north, Georgia is in the process of removing roadside memorials.

The Georgia Department of Transportation will begin taking down roadside memorials and will replace the privately constructed memorials with signs created by the state that bear the name of a deceased loved one and the words “Drive Safely, In Memory.” The signs issued by the Georgia Department of Transportation are 15 inches in size and oval. Family members who wish to replace their own signs will have to pay $100 for the replacement.

The spokesman for the Georgia DOT said that privately constructed signs are illegal under Georgia law. The spokesperson also said the private signs also inhibit highway safety because some signs are extensive and distracting to drivers on the road. Private signs can also impede upkeep of the shoulder area of the road.

The plan to remove private roadside memorials has not gone over well with those who have created remembrances for family members. One mother who lost her 21-year-old daughter to a car accident right before her marriage finds the new policy disrespectful. For three and one half years the mother has tended to the roadside memorial comprised of two crosses. She regularly trims weeds and replaces the wreaths on the memorial.

The mother says the memorial helps her grieve and is a reminder to the public to slow down. Other families and kalamazoo car accident lawyers who have created memorials believe the state’s version is impersonal. The DOT spokesperson says the state will be “sensitive to the losses people have experienced, but we’re going to be diligent in removing them.”



Alcohol, drinking and driving can ruin high school graduation celebrations

Every spring high school students across the United States and in Florida celebrate high school prom and high school graduation. While some believe that these steps towards adulthood should be celebrated with alcohol even if it is supervised, the addition of drinking can easily turn a celebratory social function into an event to mourn a lost friend.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the peak months for proms and graduation are also the peak months for car accidents caused by drinking and driving. The peak months for alcohol-related car accidents are April, May and June. To further demonstrate the dangers of underage drinking during graduation celebrations, the number one cause of teenage death is car accidents and nearly 40 percent of teenage car accidents are caused by drinking and driving.

Some people believe the dangers of underage drinking can be mitigated by parent supervision but alcohol consumption by teenagers can have long term health effects. The part of the brain that controls risky behavior is not completely formed until age 25 and according to the National Institutes of Health, heavy consumption of alcohol by teens can harm brain development. Further, teens who begin drinking at age 15 are four times more likely to develop a dependence on alcohol than individuals who wait to drink until age 21. Teenagers who begin drinking at age 15 are two and one half times more likely to abuse alcohol too.

It has been shown that regular and open communication between parents and teenagers has a positive influence on teenage decisions. Teenagers are more likely to meet their parents’ expectations and are less likely to engage in dangerous behavior if regular and open conversation exists, according to most lauderhill, fl car accident lawyers. To ensure that the celebration continues past graduation for everyone let us help the teenagers in our community make positive choices.



Commercial Services

Our firm handles a broad range of commercial transactions. The firm represents clients in structuring, documenting and negotiating complex commercial finance transactions, including asset-based inventory and receivables financing, loan participations, and lease financing.

Our firm provides its clients with specialized form documentation packages, such as construction loan, letter of credit, business loan, real estate loan, asset-based financing and loan participation agreements.

The firm also advises clients in connection with domestic and international standby and commercial letters of credit, as well as equipment and other personal property leasing, franchise agreements and the application for and transfer of liquor licenses.

Consumer Financial Services

Our firm has considerable expertise advising financial institutions regarding consumer financial services. The firm’s practice covers all aspects of compliance, new product development and product implementation. Areas of expertise include Truth in Lending, Community Reinvestment Act, RESPA, HMDA, flood insurance regulations and fair lending. The firm regularly assists in development of consumer loan program documentation packages, including home equity lines, ARMs and credit cards. Aldrich & Bonnefin also supports the “back room” compliance function as well, regularly reviewing advertisement copy, application forms and loan underwriting policies. In addition, the firm assists clients in responding to examination reports, including corrective action and restitution, and negotiating regulatory orders.

Our Naperville debt settlement firm also provides comprehensive support in connection with deposit-based consumer financial services. The firm regularly assists financial institutions in the establishment of ATM card programs, POS programs and Automated Clearing House credit and debit programs.

Distracted driving laws proven to work

Like the rest of the country, distracted driving is an issue in Florida, but some groups have argued against the passage of handheld phone and texting while driving bans. Those groups have said that distracted driving laws do not reduce car accidents caused by distraction, but instead increase the risk of such accidents. The results of two distracted driving pilot programs may help change those assertions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration two distracted driving programs entitled “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other” have greatly reduced texting and cellphone use while driving in Hartford, Connecticut and Syracuse, New York; the two locations where the pilot programs were initially tested. The pilot programs were conducted during four, one month time periods over the last two years.

After the completion of the program, handheld phone use dropped nearly 60 percent and texting while driving declined by 72 percent in Hartford. In Syracuse, handheld phone use and texting while driving declined by over one-third. The declines were measured by the observations of researchers and by surveys completed by the public.

The programs borrowed successful techniques used in national campaigns to raise awareness about seat belts and about the dangers of drunken driving. The programs employed a public education campaign and a highly-visible enforcement campaign to reduce distracted driving levels.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety previously released a report that showed handheld phone and texting bans do not reduce car accidents and may increase crashes.

The success of the pilot programs suggests otherwise and has led to the development of a future statewide project in an as of yet undetermined state, according to grand rapids car accident lawyers.

Pedestrian accident occurs on beach; beachgoer run over

Last week we wrote about a pedestrian accident on Miami Beach that involved a former police officer’s early morning ATV ride. Over the weekend another pedestrian accident occurred on the beach in Florida. This time the accident occurred in Orlando and involved a lifeguard operating a Beach Patrol pickup truck. According to police officers who investigated the accident, the lifeguard from Volusia County had not taken a required beach-driving safety course.

On Sunday morning a lifeguard with Volusia County was in charge of an area of beach and was informed of some broken glass near the Dunlawton Avenue beach ramp. The lifeguard was using a pickup truck to patrol the beach and turned around when he was informed of the glass.

As the lifeguard turned the pickup truck around, the right front tire of the truck ran over a 33-year-old, female beachgoer who was lying on her stomach outside of the beach-driving lanes. The beachgoer was taken to the hospital and is fortunately in good condition as of Monday. The lifeguard had been given a safety manual on beach driving but had not completed the 16-hour beach driving safety course.

The course goes through specific beach driving techniques like watching for sunbathers in the blind spots of the vehicle. The course is required of patrol officers but not of lifeguards; however, lifeguards do drive trucks to patrol the beach.

There are 16 miles of drivable beach in Volusia County. There have been almost 50 pedestrian accidents on the beach involving injury or fatality since 1995. Two four-year-old children were killed in separate Ohio pedestrian accidents on the beach last year. So far this year, five beachgoers have been injured.



International Practice Overview

As our clients’ activities have developed outside the United States, so have ours. Our qualified TCPA attorneys were founded in 1906 and currently has nine offices located across the United States. The firm has 700 attorneys and other professionals with a broad range of practice specialties of increasingly international dimensions. Additionally, Our qualified has established relationships with attorneys, accounting firms and consultants around the world, including as a member of Lex Mundi, the association of more than 150 independent law firms located in more than 100 countries. Such professional ties enhance our ability to serve our clients.

Our collective experience includes both matters in which Our qualified was counsel of record and matters in which current Our qualified lawyers provided advice prior to their joining us. An illustrative sampling of our diverse international practice follows.

Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances. In the establishment and operation of multinational joint ventures and strategic alliances, we have represented a U.S. chemical company in connection with a strategic alliance to manufacture and distribute chemicals in the United States and to develop and market new technology. In the information technology area, we were counsel to a leading information technology company in connection with a strategic alliance to outsource the global information technology operations of a U.S. corporation. We have represented a U.S. real estate development company in connection with its proposed joint venture with a developer of shopping center complexes in Argentina. We advised a U.K. telecommunications company exploring a joint venture with a U.S. competitor, as well as a European satellite manufacturer in connection with a joint venture to acquire a U.S. satellite company. We have represented a U.S. pre-packaged fresh food producer both in the sale of an interest in its Chilean subsidiary as well as in the establishment of a joint venture and related distribution and technology licensing arrangements in Chile. We also were counsel to a U.S. agricultural products marketing cooperative in a joint venture with a Japanese kirebatsu (trading company) for the production of rice bran oil and related products in the U.S. and the distribution of such products in the U.S. and Japan.

Acquisitions and Privatizations. Our lawyers have provided advice related to cross-border investments by clients in other enterprises, including those that were previously state-owned. We have represented a U.S. railroad company in connection with its acquisition and financing, as a member of an international consortium, of a portion of the Mexican national railway system. We were U.S. counsel to a U.K. temporary staffing company in its acquisition of 15 corporations comprising the light industrial and office staffing division of one of the largest general staffing organizations in the U.S., which involved advice on a related offering of debt and equity securities as well as negotiation of a credit facility. We counseled a U.S. financial services company in the acquisition of a U.K. fund manager and investment advisory company, and provided legal services to a Dutch bank holding company and its subsidiaries in connection with unrelated acquisitions of two multi-bank holding companies, an Illinois state bank, and a finance company subsidiary of an English bank. We also have represented a U.S. consumer products company in connection with the acquisition of the Costa Rican and Honduran operations. When a U.S. company acquired the Europe-based analytical instrument division of a Dutch electronics company, we advised them on that transaction as well as the related acquisition of assets and establishment of distribution channels through subsidiaries in Western Europe and New Zealand.