Criminal Defense – Domestic Violence

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was made into law by the US Congress in 1994. It gave the federal government the power to fight domestic violence, a problem of pandemic proportions in the US and around the world.

Based on the definition of the U. S. Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), domestic violence is a “pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner”. This abusive behavior can befall “anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender”; it also takes different forms, including psychological, economic, emotional, verbal, sexual, and (the most common) physical abuse. (

Battering and abuses tend to worsen overtime, making the experience more traumatic and the effects, much longer lasting. Worst, even children suffer, by being directly harmed too and developing the attitude of tolerating violence or becoming violent as they become adults.

The legal remedies offered by the state and the federal government to battered individuals, however, have provided them hope, making them come to the open and break their silence. With the passing of the laws and making domestic violence (DV) a civil and/or criminal offense, many sexual assaults, stalking, dating violence, and domestic abuses have been prevented and perpetrators charged and convicted. Besides these, there have also been a 51% increase in domestic violence reports and 49.8% reduction in abuses and violent acts by intimate partners.

Criminal prosecution of those charged fall under assault and battery laws, menacing, harassment, or false imprisonment (a tort and a common-law felony due to the act of restraining a person in a restricted area without justification or consent).

Due to the severity of a domestic violence accusation, whether it is true or baseless, it will be wise for the accused to, first and foremost, obey any court order, including refraining from making any contacts with his/her accuser either directly or indirectly (through emails, texts, phone calls or a third party, such as a friend, relative or work colleague – violating this order can result to imprisonment and more difficulty in defending against the accusation). It is, therefore, safest for the accused to keep away from the accuser and to seek a competent lawyer immediately. An Austin criminal lawyer is one specific legal counsel who can help the accused fully understand his/her best options, as well as the nature of the litigation process. The litigation process can be long and complex, so having someone who knows what they’re doing on your side when you’re accused of a crime can be incredibly beneficial.

Option to act may either involve going to trial to fight the allegations (which can be costly, time consuming and which could result to an unmitigated sentence) or entering a no contest/guilty plea (which can mean more moderate punishments compared to the punishments after a conviction). While the accused is faced with not so favorable options, a criminal defense lawyer will be able to clarify everything and help him or her come up with the most favorable result.

Personal Injury Linked to Airbag Defects

This August 2014, Nissan North America is set to recall 226,326 more its cars (for a total of 664,628 vehicles) due to a defect in the cars’ air bag inflators. The inflators, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, were found to be at risk of rupturing when deployed during a crash. These can send metal fragments flying out and cause passengers serious injuries. Besides Nissan, other big car companies, such as Kia, Hyundai, Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chrysler and BMW, have also made recalls (in recent years) on certain lines of their cars due to the same problem – faulty air bags.

Years earlier, in 2004, more than 1.4 million recalls were recorded by the NHTSA. These were all due to wiring problems that can make airbags suddenly deploy for no reason at all. An airbag, otherwise known as Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 or FMVSS 208, is designed to provide cushion and protect the driver and occupants from hitting solid objects (like the dashboard, window or steering wheel) inside the car. Airbags, no doubt, are vital in car crashworthiness; but depending on how these have been manufactured and installed, these can either save thousands of lives or injure thousands instead. Three possible reasons for airbag-related injuries include: failure by the manufacturer to install the air bags inside the vehicle; the air bags do not deploy or deploy without cause; and, the airbags deploy despite a low-impact crash only, causing injury or death to the driver or passenger.

The most common cause of harm is due to airbags deploying despite low-impact crashes. This may be because of incorrect installation, the airbag itself was defective or there was no proper safety instruction. In this case, the victim and/or his/her family can file a claims lawsuit, especially if it can be proven that the product was really defective – a clear basis for a product liability lawsuit.

In the event of an injury, which can be linked to an airbag, it will be wise for the victim to immediately seek the assistance of an Appleton personal injury lawyer, who can help determine whether filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer is an action worth pursuing or not.

Personal Injury: Driving Distractions

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were about 6,800 fatal car crashes on US roads during the first quarter of 2014, a 4.9 percent decrease from the 7,150 fatalities recorded during the same time the previous year. Probably good news, but 6,800 is still definitely a very high number, considering the fact that car accidents can easily be prevented . . . if only all drivers will behave the way they should when driving.

A scenario of the possible consequences of a car crash: bruises and lacerations on different parts of the body; pain and soreness on the chest, neck, legs, arms and back; neck, head or spinal column injury; the need to undergo a surgical procedure to treat an injury; or, untimely death. The firm further explains that victims of negligent, at-fault, drivers may be able to receive compensation which will, somehow, help them go through the pains and the many damages resulting from the injuries.

The most common causes of road injuries and fatalities, based on NHTSA data, include driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), overspeeding, improper overtaking, tailgating, right-of-way violation (which is failure to recognize others’ right on the road), and texting or use of a handheld phone while driving.

Texting while driving is a form of distracted driving, another driving hazard which also includes other acts, like eating and/or drinking, applying makeup, fixing a tie, combing or styling the hair, reading as map for directions, reaching for something, adjusting the radio or any electronic device, and so forth.

Anything that will take one’s eyes or mind off the road, or will make one take his/her hand/s off of the steering wheel, is considered distracted driving. And while anyone can be guilty of committing this dangerous driving lapse, young drivers, aged between 18 and 25, are the ones identified to be the guiltiest, especially when it concerns texting or talking on a cell phone while driving.

A surprising research result very recently conducted by a private research firm shows, however, that majority of teen drivers who text or talk on their cell phone while driving have their parents, who are checking on them, at the other end of the line. Many are even left with no other choice but to answer their cell phone, which would not stop ringing until their parents hear their voice.

Regardless of the cause of the driving distraction, result will always entail property damage and/or harm to another individual (another motorist or a pedestrian). It is important that victims seek the help of Wisconsin personal injury lawyers to make sure that all things necessary for a personal injury case to prosper are acquired, that the case is filed properly and all evidences are in order. All these are to enable the victims to merit the compensation they legally deserve.

Employment Contract: An Important Consideration for Business Owners

After getting everything ready for your business to finally kick off or if your company has been around for some time, is doing good business and requires additional manpower, the basic question is always, “who to hire?”

With regard to hiring the right persons and landing them in the right position, this is no longer a worry to many firms, such as WorkSTEPS, Inc., a functional employment testing firm, which started in the early 1990s. WorkSTEPS, Inc. allows a business to focus on running its business for greater productivity; it also directs a firm’s focus on further developing the skills of its well-chosen employees instead of sorting through a bulk of application forms in the hope of finding someone who would be a perfect fit in the business.

It is the work of a functional employment testing firm to effectively identify an employee’s or applicant’s qualifications, strengths, skills, and physical and mental capabilities, to enable employers to match them with the right position. For companies that acquired the services of functional employment testing firms, what followed were substantial reduction in workplace injuries, group health costs, workers’ compensation premium and employee turnover, and a significant improvement in worker productivity and even workplace safety.

After identifying the right employee comes a business owner’s greater concern – the employment contract, which can be unique from one employee to another; this depends, of course on the specific type of work and the employee’s overall qualification or expertise.

While there is still the traditional written contract that an employee needs to sign, for formality and legality, there are also cases, like in smaller companies, when employers and employees simply agree orally with regard to the kind of work the employees will perform, the duration of the work, the amount of pay and the benefits that the employees will and can enjoy.

Preparing an employment contract is never an easy task, though, as it needs to ensure that no laws are violated and that both employer and employee will benefit from the terms of employment. While WorkSTEPS, Inc., with web address,, can take care of finding the right people that will satisfy employers’ requirements and standards, Cedar Rapids business lawyers can take care of the contents of the employment contract which employers are willing to provide and which the hired employees will find greatly interesting and inviting. These contents, besides the employment date, salary, and benefits, can also include vacation and sick leave, health benefits, grievance procedures, and employee behavior after the end employment, among others.

Cosmetic Procedures – Eyelid Surgery

“The eyes are the windows of the soul!” A wise saying, indeed, for the eyes cannot lie. But there is probably no better way of attesting to the truth of this famous adage than to have beautiful eyes.

Not everyone, however, is pleased with the way their eyes look. For some, have drooping eyelids, sagging eyebrows, puffy eyes, or bags under the eyes make them feel like they appear to be always tired and worn out. It could also be wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, or dark circles around the eyes that those affected would obviously want to remove.

The good news is, there is a cosmetic procedure that can treat anyone whatever his/her eye concern is. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is a surgical cosmetic procedure aimed at rejuvenating the area surrounding the eyes, treating functional problems due to the eyelids, or simply improving one’s appearance.

In 2012, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recorded about 204,000 eyelid surgeries in the US, a small fraction of the more than 12 million surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures performed by licensed or board-certified surgeons and dermatologists (not counting those performed by unlicensed dermatologists in Medspas).

Blepharoplasty is performed to specifically treat excess skin and/or fine wrinkles at the lower eyelid, drooping lower eyelids, bags under the eyes, fatty deposits that make the eyelids look puffy, and sagging or loose skin that affects the upper eyelid’s natural contour, which often causes vision impairment.

For really astonishing looks, cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists also recommend any of the Iowa cosmetic surgery processes, such as laser skin resurfacing, botox, microdermabrasion, permanent make-up or chemical peel, to go with the eyelid surgery. Besides beautiful eyes and years off from facial skin for a youthful and smoother face, the procedures (depends on which is undergone), can also remove or greatly reduce acne, freckles, acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines, black heads, enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation, and/or nasolabial folds or the creases that run from the corners of the nose down to the mouth.

And while going through any of the added treatments, there is another important factor that needs high consideration – having an equally beautiful smile. And the best way to have it is by having white, healthy teeth.

For a really great smile, leave the job to the expert. There are now various kinds of treatments offered by your Austin dentist, whether to provide you with oral care or to make your teeth perfectly clean and shiny – making a perfect match with your beautiful face. There are dental cosmetic procedures, like veneers, teeth whitening, crowns and bridges, tooth-colored fillings, dental bonding, sealants, full mouth rejuvenation, and so forth.

While it is true that the eyes are the windows of your soul, it is also true that a smile is the common language of all souls. So, what will stop you from being beautiful . . . inside and out?

Made beautiful by the experts at Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery.