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Criminal Defense Law
Criminal defense law employs both defensive and offensive tactics. A defendant will often contest the accuracy of the allegations made against him or her in a criminal indictment, which is a factual denial. This is a defensive action. An offensive action would be the use of an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense (such as duress or self-defense) argues that even if the allegations against the defendant are true, the defendant is entitled to prevail for some other reason, often because it places the actions of the accused beyond the individual’s volition or control.
DUI & DWI Law
A driver may be charged with some form of drunk driving if he is caught driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while his/her blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit set by state law, which all states have now set no higher than .08. This is a criminal violation throughout all of the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., as well as in most countries worldwide. Although most people associate DUI/DWI solely with drinking and driving, if a driver uses a combination of any controlled substance or chemical with alcohol, the consumption of which results in impaired mental faculties, this too can lead to DUI/DWI charges.
Controlled substances are drugs which are regulated by federal and state law. The production, possession, importation, and distribution of these drugs is strictly regulated or outlawed, although many may be dispensed by prescription. The substances are listed in five categories, or schedules, according to their characteristics, and the type and degree of regulation is determined by the category the particular substance is in. The basis for the regulation is to control the danger of addiction, abuse, physical and mental harm, the trafficking by illegal means, and the dangers from actions of those who have used these substances.
Personal Injury Law
With personal injury law, liability is a key factor. Liability is determined by showing that the individual who caused the harm did so because of a failure to exercise reasonable care. Further, it must be shown that it was foreseeable that this failure could result in the injury or harm that did occur to the other party. A finding of reckless or negligent action may result in a judgment of liability. There are various defenses to a claim of liability. For example, if the injured party knew that the activity in which he was engaged when he was injured was dangerous, the other party may assert assumption of the risk, claiming that the injured party bears all the responsibility for his injury. Other defenses are pre-existing condition and intervening causes.
Family law is ruled largely by statute, but common law precedent plays an important role, as well, and these rules and laws vary from state to state. Although family court is the most well know judiciary body for this area of law, other courts and administrative bodies share jurisdiction as well. Many of the courts offer access to self-help services and legal forms for individuals to proceed without an attorney, but complications can easily arise and retaining an attorney is most often the wiser decision.
Most divorces are obtained by agreement between both parties to the marriage, allowing the couple to progress through the court system fairly quickly and easily, some with and some without legal representation. There is a small percentage, however, that cannot come to a satisfactory agreement regarding termination of their marriage, nor the related issues.
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