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.”