Posts Tagged With: myrtle beach

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.

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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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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.

Categories: Insurance Companies, Personal Injury, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 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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Reckless Driving

The winter weather swept the coast recently, snow accumulations ranged from 1.5 inches to 2 inches of snow in the Grand Strand and the Pee Dee areas. I am not at all familiar with snow and I realized last night just how difficult it is to drive while it is snowing.  The forecast shows the cold temperatures are to continue this week and there is a chance of snowfall as well. The conditions on the road will be wet and visibility may be impaired due to the weather as well. Along with the chilly conditions, the tourist season is quickly approaching and law enforcement is letting their presence be known along the Grand Strand and surrounding areas.

Your cautious driving may alert law enforcement and you could be pulled over. The police might mistakenly charge you with reckless driving. Most states carry reckless driving charges that prohibit a driver from operating a vehicle in a manner that shows a reckless disregard for the safety of others. The South Carolina statute specifically provides, that “any person who drives a vehicle in such a manner as to indicate a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” Examples of reckless driving may include: swerving on the roadways, traveling over the posted speed limit, and crossing a double yellow line to pass another vehicle.

The offense of reckless driving requires the conscious failure to exercise due care. The burden is on the state to prove you possessed the requisite intent to be convicted of this traffic offense. Consider, where a motorist passes a school bus without stopping but he does so ignorantly or unthinkingly. The motorist does in fact drive slowly while looking out for school children. In this example, the motorist could not be charged with reckless driving. Consider, instead, a motorist who continues to drive consciously disregarding the fact that is sleepy and cannot keep his eyes open while driving. This motorist has shown a reckless disregard for the safety of others and therefore, can be guilty of reckless driving.

If you find yourself facing reckless driving charges, contact your local attorney Daniel Selwa today. You could be innocent of the charges if the police officer was mistaken or there may be another legal defense that justifies your conduct.

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Assault and Battery

Were you involved in a fight and subsequently charged with assault or battery? Perhaps you were fighting in self-defense or fighting in order to protect another from harm.  For example, perhaps a stranger approached you, started shouting obscenities at you and threatening to use force against you while shaking his fists. You were cornered and in your escape, you hit the stranger in order to get by him. In this example, you were acting in self-defense. On the other hand, perhaps you were walking out of a bar and saw your friend in a struggle with a stranger. The fight was quickly escalating and when you saw the stranger pull out a knife, you lunged at the stranger and made physical contact in order to pull the knife away from the stranger. In this example, you were acting in the defense of another.

Assault and battery are perhaps two of the most recognized criminal offenses and often the two are linked together. Assaults and batteries frequently take place in bars or nightclubs. But, there is a key difference between assault and battery: assault involves the apprehension of an immediate physical contact while battery involves the actual physical contact. Generally, assault is defined as the creation of an immediate apprehension in the mind of another by a wrongdoer.  Battery is generally defined as the unlawful application of force to another.

Punishment for the criminal offenses of assault and battery can carry fines and/or imprisonment. You may also have to pay damages to the other party if you are found guilty of assault or battery. The penalties for such crimes depend upon the severity of the act, the person injured, the criminal record of the offender, and whether a weapon was involved.

In a crowded nightclub, one could easily become involved in a bar fight. But the criminal offenses of assault and battery can occur anywhere. You could find yourself in a situation involving assault or battery while you are walking home from work or even where you are sitting on a park bench waiting for a ride. No matter where you are, just remember Daniel Selwa. Daniel Selwa is a local criminal defense attorney who has a lot of experience fighting assault and battery charges and successfully winning those cases.  Contact him today for a consultation.

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What to do if you are involved in an automobile accident

One week before the South Carolina Bar Exam, my friend was struck by another car driven by a drunk driver. At the time of the accident, the roads were very wet due to the steady flow of rain. She told me how the impact of the hit and the slippery roads caused her car to slide several feet. A sense of panic and fear overwhelmed her as her car slid closer and closer to oncoming traffic. The sense of relief was even greater when finally; her car came to a halt. Soon after, she pulled over and so did the other car that struck her. The woman driving the car that hit my friend stumbled out of her vehicle.  Unsteady and shaky, my friend went on to tell me that she dialed the police immediately. The woman proceeded to plead with her to let her pay and leave. Quickly, my friend became aware that there was a strong possibility the woman might flee the scene of the accident. As she was talking to the police on the phone, she had the forsight to take down her tag number and noted the make and model of her car. So what was the outcome? Long story short, she didn’t flee, the police showed up, wrote a police report, searched her vehicle and arrested her.

Based on my experience and the law, I want to give you some advice regarding what you should do if you are involved in a car accident. First and foremost, don’t leave the scene of the accident. You can face criminal punishment for leaving the scene of an accident, particularly where injury is involved. Note, however, if you are involved in a car accident and you are in a remote area, proceed cautiously. It may be best to drive to the closest police station or public area to call the police.

Next, make sure to check on all the drivers and passengers. If someone is injured or trapped in a vehicle, you want to call for medical attention immediately. If everyone is okay, call the police.  It is important to obtain a police report of the accident so that if you have to be appear in Court, you have proofof the accident. It would also be wise to exchange information from the other driver and passengers involved in the accident. But, when conversing with the driver and passengers, be sure not to say too much. You don’t want to apologize for anything, if you do, that information could be used against in a Court of law.

Pictures, pictures, pictures! If you are able, take pictures of the damage at the scene of the accident. These pictures can serve as significant proof of who was at fault in the accident and how the injured party should be compensated.

When a police report is filed, insurance companies are usually contacted immediately. If you are the at fault driver, consult an attorney before you contact your insurance company or provide statements to any other insurance company.  Likewise, if you are not the at-fault driver, it would be advisable to contact an attorney to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of.  Remember one thing, whether your interest in this information is for criminal defense purposes or for personal injury purposes: Insurance companies are in business to make money, not help people.  Money is priority number one.

If you are injured in the automobile accident, it is extremely important to keep track of your medical treatment. You should keep a diary containing notes of all your doctors’ visits and referrals. You should also keep an itemized list of all the medical expenses you have incurred.

Lastly, don’t give up. Law enforcement and insurance companies alike may give you a hard time in pursuing your case. But, remember, you do have a case, if your property or person was injured at the hands of another or if you are being charged with a criminal driving offense, Daniel Selwa will work hard to help you.

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Intoxication Manslaughter: Dallas Cowboys

There are almost 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving every day.  Every day in ImageAmerica, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. Interestingly enough, in those fatal drunk-driving accidents, the driver often survives while accompanying passengers do not. But still, there are circumstances in which people do survive these horrific accidents but they survive with life altering injuries sustained from the accident. If the driver survives, he has to live with the guilt and pain caused by his actions of getting behind the wheel after drinking. In addition, the driver has to face the criminal law system for his actions, his actions could lead to suspension of his driver’s license, probation, community service, and worst of all, significant jail time.  The drunk driver who causes death to another will most likely face involuntary manslaughter charges and all of the above criminal law penalties could result if he is convicted

The most common charge for death resulting from a drunk driving accident is felony DUI, however sometimes jurisdictions at the behest of that jurisdiction’s prosecutor can charge involuntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter is defined as the unlawful killing of another without malice aforethought. Malice aforethought means the actor did not intentionally cause harm to another but the harm resulted from his recklessness or negligence. The state of South Carolina may charge you with the equivalent of involuntary manslaughter and that is reckless homicide.  The elements of the crime are basically the same; it is defined as the driving of a vehicle in reckless disregard of the safety of others that results in the death of the victim. This is a felony and penalties could reach up to 10 years of jail time, fines of up to $5,000 as well as a revocation of one’s driver’s license for 5 years.

You might remember the Nick Hogan case; Nick Hogan was 20 years old when he was involved in a drunk driving accident that nearly killed his best friend John Graziano. He was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident and his best friend was riding without his seatbelt as a passenger in Nick’s car. Subsequently, Nick was charged with reckless driving involving serious bodily injury amongst other charges. After serving just under six months in jail for his crime, Nick was released early for good behavior. But, Nick must still serve out his 5 years of probation and 500 community service hours. The accident left John Graziano, a war veteran, in a semi conscious state. John Graziano will require around the clock care for the rest of his life. Perhaps equally as sad, Nick Hogan must live with the pain and guilt for the rest of his life. In an interview, following his release from prison, Nick tells Good Morning America that “some mornings it is hard for him to wake up” and “it’s hard to be positive every day when there’s something so horribly devastating.”

Today, America mourns the loss of Jerry Brown, a Dallas Cowboys practice squad linebacker. He was tragically killed on Saturday morning around 2:00am when the vehicle he was riding in hit a curb and flipped at least once. Teammate Josh Brent was driving the vehicle when the accident occurred.  Josh Brent was intoxicated at the time of the accident and this wasn’t his first run in with the law involving drunk driving. Josh Brent is being charged with intoxication manslaughter. Josh Brent recently released a statement saying, “I am devastated and filled with grief.” He further commented by saying, “I will live with this horrific and tragic loss every day for the rest of my life.”

It seems apparent that both Nick Hogan and Josh Brent did not mean to cause any harm to their friends that were injured or killed in these accidents. Both of these drivers undoubtedly could have afforded a cab ride or even a limo ride. But, both of these drivers made the unfortunate and heartbreaking mistake to get behind the wheel and drive while intoxicated. Sadly, it happens all too often, and plenty of Americans are guilty of making this mistake at one point in their lives. It’s not to say it makes you a bad person, but that decision to drive while intoxicated could change your life. If you have made the same mistake, as did Nick Hogan and Josh Brent, you need a compassionate lawyer who will understand the unfortunate result of the accident. Daniel Selwa is an experienced criminal law attorney who is not only compassionate but also well equipped to handle your DUI case involving serious bodily injury to another. Contact Daniel Selwa today for your free consultation.

Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI, Wrongful Death | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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