Legal challenge questions reliability of police dogs

Interesting but not shocking….Legal challenge questions reliability of police dogs.

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Driving while Intexicated

ImageMany people today use text messaging over phone calls to communicate with one another. While texting can save you from small talk, awkward pauses in conversation and has the capability of getting straight to the point, texting can also cost you your life or the life of another. According to textinganddrivingsafety.com, in 2011, at least 23% of auto collisions involved cell phones. It is estimated that texting while driving makes an accident 23 more times likely! Due to the rising number of accidents resulting in part from texting and driving, many states have made it illegal to text and drive. Washington was the first state to pass a law banning texting and driving. Today, the majority of states have laws banning texting and driving.

Much of the media has put out the message that a text can wait and I can totally agree with that. Texting and driving is most common amongst young adults. Just recently, Socastee High School students took a pledge not to text and drive. You hear the stories and you may even witness an accident that resulted from texting and driving but can you imagine your child being the cause of the accident or the victim of the accident?

Texting is not the only distraction that a phone brings, many people surf the web while they are driving or post to their social media sites. The bottom line is, every driver owes a duty of care to act as a prudent careful driver. The law states you must use reasonable care in operating a motor vehicle. If you or your loved one was injured due to the carelessness of another driver, then contact Daniel Selwa today. Act quickly by contacting your local attorney so that the careless driver does not make the same mistake of texting and driving twice.

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Traffic Citations in Myrtle Beach

Make no mistake about it; police presence is still rampant along the Grand Strand area. The media along with police forces made their presence known during the recent bike week events. But, police vehicles can still be found every single day patrolling Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas.

Most traffic citations are infraction level offenses, which means they are less severe than misdemeanor or felony crimes. Traffic citations include: speeding, failing to use a blinker, following too closely, and driving without a valid license among others. But even though the penalties are often not as great, many people become distressed by receiving one of these traffic citations because it can affect their car insurance rates as well as their driving privileges.

Typically, a traffic citation requires that you pay a fine. But, some traffic citations can carry more severe penalties. For example, if you receive a traffic citation for driving on a suspended license, you can lose your license on a permanent basis. If your traffic citation involves injury to person or property, the penalties can become more severe as well.

Upon receiving your traffic citation, the officer will inform you about the specifics of the citation itself. You will be given the amount of the fee to be paid as well as a court date. You can choose to either send in a payment to the address indicated on the citation or you can choose to go to traffic court. If you choose to appear in traffic court, the judge will ask you whether you plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether it is worth fighting the charges given your particular circumstances. Often times, by just appearing before the judge, he will reduce the fine. However, it is harder to get the points reduced or removed completely from your record without an attorney.

Surely, the best advice Daniel Selwa can give you to avoid traffic citations is to drive safely and follow all traffic laws. But, sometimes it happens, after a long day at work or when you’re in a rush to make it to work, so the next best advice Daniel Selwa can give you is to consult an attorney regarding your traffic offense. Attorney Daniel Selwa has been to traffic court many times on behalf of his clients. He knows how to fight your traffic offense charges and will do everything in his power to help you with your traffic ticket.

Categories: Attorneys, Civil Litigation, Constitutional Rights, Personal Injury, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crackdown: New Synthetic Marijuana

syntheticThere has been a lot of talk lately about the crackdown on synthetic drugs. WMBF News released this news article that discusses a new synthetic drug, which has been dubbed “OMG, Kush, Magnolia Max, and/or Joker.” For more information on this new synthetic alternative, check out: here.

Buyers beware, just because you can find it on shelves in your local stores does not mean it is legal! About this time last year, the South Carolina governor signed a law making it illegal to sell and/or purchase synthetic marijuana. The punishment for possession of synthetic marijuana is equal to the punishment for marijuana. Many have changed the compounds in the synthetic marijuana in order to avoid the new law banning synthetic marijuana but the South Carolina lawmakers are working on ways to close the loopholes in the law. For more information on South Carolina’s plan on action regarding synthetic marijuana, take a look at: http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/22213747/solicitors-office-aims-to-crack-down-on-synthetic-marijuana.

The following penalties show the differentiation the law makes between possessing a small amount versus a large amount of marijuana. For simple possession of marijuana, (no more than 28 grams), or hashish, (no more than 10 grams), the penalty carries jail time of up to 30 days or a fine ranging between $100 and $200. A second or subsequent offense carries up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1000. If you are charged with carrying more than 28 grams of marijuana or more than 10 grams of hasish the penalties can reach up to 15 years of jail and/or up to $25,000.  If you are facing a subsequent charge for possession of more than 28 grams or more than 10 grams of hasish the penalties can include jail time of up to 30 years and up to $50,000.

If you are unsure if a product is synthetic marijuana, don’t buy it! Stores may be labeling it differently in order to avoid police suspicion. Not only can the store be criminally punished for selling it but also you can be punished as well for purchasing it. If you have any questions regarding the new laws concerning synthetic marijuana contact your local criminal attorney Daniel Selwa. If you are facing criminal charges for distribution or purchase of synthetic marijuana or natural marijuana, Daniel Selwa can help.  Call Daniel Selwa for a free consultation.

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Prescription Drug Fraud

ImagePrescription drug misuse is a significant and prevalent problem across the nation. In 2010, about one in four illicit-drug users reported that their initiation into illegal drug use began with prescription drugs. Prescription drug overdoses in 2008 exceeded those for heroin and cocaine combined. While licensed physicians prescribe some people medications, others may obtain prescription medications through illegal means. While certain crimes tend to fit a certain group of people, prescription drug fraud and misuse offenders spans a wide range of ethnic, social, educational and economic backgrounds.

Prescription drug fraud can take many forms; the most common forms are altering or forging a prescription, phoning in a fraudulent prescription posing as a doctor or office’s employee and theft of prescription pads. Some people like doctors and nurses, have easy access to prescription pads and thus, prescription drug fraud is often seen among hospital employees. But, as mentioned, there are other ways to obtain prescription drugs without stealing prescription pads.

Possession or distribution of blank prescription documents can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony charge. There are three definitions of this crime: first, knowing and intentional issuance by a registered practitioner or possession by someone other than the one who signed it of a prescription document signed in blank, second, knowing and intentional possession of a prescription not completed and signed by the practitioner whose named printed thereon by a person other than the registered practitioner and lastly, knowing and intentional withholding from a practitioner information that the defendant already obtaining controlled substances of like therapeutic use from another practitioner. Basically, if you are in the unlawful possession of a prescription drug, you can be charged with this crime

The penalty for this crime, as a first time offender, may include up to 2 years of prison time and/or up to a fine of $2,000. The second offense, is classified as a felony, and can carry a prison sentence of up to 5 years.

If you are facing criminal charges for your involvement with prescription fraud, contact local defense attorney Daniel Selwa. The penalties can be severe for your involvement with prescription fraud, and Daniel Selwa can provide the experienced criminal defense you need.

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How NOT to behave in Court

TJ Lane was facing life imprisonment for his felonious crimes. He killed three young teenagers and wounded others, leaving one paralyzed from the waist down. Perhaps the most shocking part of his crimes was his behavior in the courtroom. He showed no remorse as the families spoke of their loss and in fact, he was smiling the entire time. His defense attorney speaks out about his client’s behavior and notes just how appalling it was.

Skilled defense attorneys do everything they can to prepare a case for trial. But, it is hard to prepare for a situation like this. This young man not only bore a tee-shirt that said “killer” but he gave the middle finger to everyone in the courtroom during his sentencing.

There’s one particular thing to be said here and that is, if you are facing serious punishment for your crimes like the defendant in this case was, do not make it easier for the judge to rule against you. TJ Lane showed disrespect not only to the victims’ families but also to the Judge and Court. The legal system does not take this behavior lightly. As the presiding judge in this case remarked, “remorse was lacking.” It is against human nature for someone to feel sorry for you when you grin about committing such violent crimes. So, next time you go in front of a judge, be on your best behavior or be prepared to suffer the harshest punishment.

While a skilled defense attorney like Daniel Selwa can take you far in your case, you must also cooperate in a respectful manner. Hiring legal counsel is the best way to ensure your legal rights are protected but it is also up to you to ensure you act properly in front of the Court. For more information regarding this case, http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/21678477/life-in-prison-tj-lane-wears-killer-shirt-flips-middle-finger-to-courtroom-during-sentencing

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Automobile Accidents: How you can be compensated for your losses

ImageEvery ten seconds someone in the United States is involved in a car accident. Today, cars are made to crumble upon impact. Cars are designed this way so that the driver and passengers are better protected from personal injury. While cars have come a long way in safety, unfortunately, many car accidents still result in death and serious injury. In fact, automobile accidents give rise to the majority of personal injury claims in the United States.

The law of negligence typically governs the legal claims arising from automobile accidents. Negligence consists of: duty, causation (legal and proximate), breach and damages. In the automobile context, automobile drivers owe a duty to exercise reasonable care in operating their vehicle. The failure to exercise reasonable care results in a breach and thus, raises an inference of negligence. The Plaintiff bears the burden of proof in a negligence action which means he must prove the Defendant breached his duty of care and that his breach was the proximate cause of the accident and the actual cause of the Plaintiff’s injuries.

Courts look at several factors to determine whether a driver was acting negligently in the operation of their vehicle. Failure to exercise reasonable care may be found where the driver: disobeyed traffic laws or signals, failed to signal while turning, drove above the posted speed limit, and drove under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Negligence is not the only legal theory of recovery for your personal injuries resulting from an automobile accident but it is the typical avenue to pursue when trying to recover for your personal injury damages. Call Daniel Selwa today to discuss your case.  Attorney Selwa offers free consultations to determine if the other driver’s negligence will allow you to recover monetary damages. Don’t let your medical bills and property damage bills overwhelm you, instead pursue your case with Daniel Selwa so that the at fault driver has to compensate you for your damages.

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Arrested on St. Patrick’s Day?

ImageWMBF as well as other news sources broadcasted information on the Internet, television and radio regarding this past weekend’s festivities. Amongst the weekend’s events, the Grand Strand celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, a car show and a cheerleading competition. Since there was so much to look forward to over the weekend, local law enforcement wanted their presence to be known so that the fun did not get out of control. This WMBF news article issued a statement from local law enforcement that read, “If you are caught drinking and driving, you are going to jail.”

http://www.wmbfnewus.com/story/21660018/myrtle-beach-police-are-cracking-down-this-weekend. Were you arrested for a DUI this weekend? Perhaps you were instead arrested on public intoxication charges? Possibly, you were arrested for possession of marijuana? These are all events that can occur when you are out celebrating holidays like St. Patrick’s Day.

It is almost certain that local law enforcement dealt mostly with DUI related offenses this past weekend. DUI laws make it unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle if the driver’s ability to safely drive has been impaired by the effects of drugs or alcohol or the driver is intoxicated at a level above the established BAC (blood alcohol concentration). In South Carolina, if you have a BAC of .08 or higher, you are legally considered too drunk to drive and can be punished by law. The nature of the DUI charges against you depends on many factors including your prior convictions, the severity of the offense, and the level of intoxication and whether the offense caused injury or death.

Most of us have made the mistake of getting behind the wheel and driving after a few too many cocktails, unfortunately, it’s a common mistake. But, fortunately, the law offers ways to mitigate this mistake. Additionally, the law offers ways to mitigate the mistake of public intoxication and possession of marijuana. For example, in the case of a DUI related offense, your punishment for the crime could be mitigated because the law enforcement officer did not arrest you on probable cause, which is a required element of an arrest. Your punishment for a DUI related offense could also be mitigated because the law enforcement officer improperly conducted field sobriety tests on the scene.

If you have found yourself in a similar situation as one listed above, like being arrested for a DUI, contact your criminal defense attorney Daniel Selwa. If you choose not to contact an attorney, your punishment under the law will likely reach the maximum penalties which could include: imprisonment, excessive fines, suspension of driver’s license and court ordered alcohol/drug treatment or counseling.  Daniel Selwa is an experienced attorney who can help mitigate the punishment for your crime.

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Stricter DUI laws passes Senate

There has been a recent development on the stricter DUI laws I posted about earlier. The proposed stricter DUI laws just passed the SC senate which means the bill is one step closer to becoming a law in SC. The article can be found here: http://www.wbtw.com/story/21418554/sc-senate-passes-tougher-dui-bill. The new bill would significantly impact repeat DUI offenders. But, it would also have an impact on first time DUI offenders. First time offenders with a BAC of 0.12 or higher will have to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.

If you are facing DUI charges, whether it be your first time offense, second or third time offense, contact your local DUI attorney Daniel Selwa.

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Stricter DUI Laws in SC?

South Carolina ranks among the top of states for DUI related accidents. The number of DUIs in Myrtle Beach is particularly high which can be attributed to the tourist industry locally.

Emma Longstreet was killed last year on New Years Day in a drunk driving accident. Her parents are fighting today to get Emma’s law passed. The law would require a sobriety ignition test, if you blow above a .02, you won’t be able to start your car. The law also would include stricter penalties for repeat offenders. For more information on the tragic death of Emma Longstreet and Emma’s law, check out: http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/21290061/emmas-law-would-install-ignition-interlock-device-in-dui-offenders-cars.

Most people I have met admit that they have driven drunk at one point in their lives. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means, you made a bad mistake. Fortunately, the law recognizes this and your punishment for a DUI can be mitigated with counsel. If you go up against the law by yourself, you may face the worst case scenario penalties. However, if you contact Daniel Selwa, the opposite may result. Contact Daniel Selwa today for a free consultation regarding your case.

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