Denver Legal Malpractice Blog

How to fight a shoplifting charge

While shoplifting isn't the most serious criminal charge, a conviction can result in a variety of consequences. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to fight a shoplifting charge, possibly allowing you to escape your legal troubles without penalty.

Here are some of the many things to consider:

  • Challenge the act: For example, you can argue that you had no intention of stealing the item from the store. If you didn't take the item out of the store, you were never given the opportunity to pay for it.
  • Challenge witness accounts: There are times when a shoplifting case is based largely on video evidence. There are also times when witness observations come into play, such as information provided by store employees. You can challenge these accounts, such as by proving that the person wasn't able to clearly see what you were doing.
  • Claim of ownership: This works when you were arrested for shoplifting, despite the fact that you already paid for the item.

Why do truck accidents happen? How can you protect yourself?

The majority of commercial truck drivers are familiar with what they should and shouldn't do when they're behind the wheel. However, this doesn't mean they'll never make a mistake that causes an accident.

There are many causes of car-truck accidents, including the following:

  • Inadequate training: If a trucking company doesn't properly train a driver, they're more likely to cause an accident. Training should focus on things such as defensive driving and driving technique.
  • Unrealistic schedule: Trucking companies often get into the habit of setting deadlines they can't meet. This forces truckers to exceed the speed limit, while also spending too many consecutive hours behind the wheel without rest.
  • Drunk driving: Alcohol, prescription medication and illegal drugs all have the potential to alter a trucker's ability to make sound decisions.
  • Distracted driving: After spending so many hours on the road, it's natural for boredom to set in. This can result in a trucker turning their attention to texting, talking on the phone, eating or drinking.
  • Reckless driving: This takes on many forms, with excessive speeding at the top of the list. Other examples include illegal passing and failure to use turn signals.

Were you struck by a car? Take these key steps

As a pedestrian or cyclist, you understand that you have to share the road with motor vehicles. Unfortunately, you also understand that some drivers don't care about your health and well-being. They only do what's best for them.

Even though you do your best to avoid trouble, a car could strike you at some point. If this happens, here are the steps you want to take:

  • Move to safety: If at all possible, move to a safe place, such as a sidewalk. You don't want to remain in traffic, as this increases the likelihood of another accident.
  • Call 911: If you're unable to do so yourself, ask a bystander to make the call. It's critical for police and an ambulance to arrive as quickly as possible.
  • Collect evidence: Depending on your injuries, this may not be possible. However, if you're able to collect evidence, do so. This can include pictures of the scene, pictures of your injuries and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Contact your insurance company: Once you receive medical treatment, contact your insurance company to better understand what is and isn't covered.

Take these steps to fire your attorney

When you hire an attorney, you do so with the idea that this person, along with their team, will assist you with all aspects of your case. By putting the appropriate amount of time and energy into the search process, you can feel confident in your ability to hire the right person for the job.

Unfortunately, there may come a time when you realize that you need to fire your attorney. There are many reasons for this, such as if they continually miss deadlines or are using deceptive billing practices to scam you.

Important school bus safety tips for students, parents

Every day throughout the state, thousands of students head to the bus stop. While this is a safe trip for most of them, there are a variety of safety risks that can turn it into a nightmare.

Here are three school bus safety tips for students and parents to keep in mind:

  • Stay away from traffic: When waiting at the bus stop, it's critical to stand as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Wait for the bus to stop: Don't approach the school bus until it comes to a complete stop and puts out its stop sign. Doing so any sooner can result in an accident, as the driver may not see you.
  • Never walk in front of or behind a school bus: This is good advice for both for parents and students. If you walk too close to the front of a bus, for example, the driver may lose sight of you. The same holds true when walking close to the back.

Texting and driving: 3 things to think about

If you have a driver's license, you probably understand the dangers of texting and driving. Even so, it's likely that you're tempted to break the law and do this every now and again.

While there's a lot you need to know about texting and driving, here are three points to keep in mind:

  • Texting and driving kills: Every year, thousands of people are killed as a result of texting and driving. This doesn't take into consideration the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer an injury as the result of this behavior.
  • Teens and adults text and drive: It's a common myth that teens are the only ones who text and drive. Older adults, such as those in their 30's and 40's, are just as likely to do so.
  • It's against the law: Texting and driving is against the law in the state of Colorado, and police are on the lookout for drivers who are in violation. If you're caught texting and driving, it can result in serious consequences such as a fine and license suspension.

Signs to help you spot a drunk driver

Even though it's against the law, there will always be people who drink and drive. Unfortunately, a drunk driver has the potential to cause an accident that injures or kills an innocent person (or people).

When you're driving, keep your eyes open for anyone who appears to be under the influence. Here are some of the most common signs that a driver is intoxicated:

  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way street
  • Illegal turning
  • Failure to use headlights at night
  • Erratic braking
  • Striking or nearly striking objects and motor vehicles
  • Inability to stay in their lane of travel
  • Swerving and weaving
  • Wide turns
  • Pushing their face against the windshield
  • Slow response at traffic signals
  • Consuming alcohol in a moving vehicle

Deceptive billing practices and legal malpractice

Before you hire an attorney, it's critical to discuss their compensation. Not only should you talk about this important detail, but it should also be part of the contract you sign.

Even if you have everything in order up front, there may be some gray area that allows your lawyer to charge excessive fees. It's important to understand when this can come into play, as it will allow you to best protect your legal rights.

3 ways to help your teen become a safer driver

There's nothing more worrisome as a parent than your child hitting the open road without your supervision. You'll worry about everything from drinking and driving to accidents to breaking down.

There are many tips you can share to help your teen become a safer driver, including the following:

  • Sign them up for a safe driving course: In addition to the tips you share, you can sign your teen up to partake in a course that teaches them how to drive safely. Not only will this give you peace of mind and them experience, but it can help reduce your insurance premium as well.
  • Implement your own rules: For example, you may restrict nighttime driving and highway driving. Anything that you think is unsafe is something you should consider restricting until your teen gains more experience.
  • Be a good example: When your teen is driving with you, show them what it means to be safe. Don't text and drive. Don't drive without your seat belt. Don't drive recklessly. If your teen sees you doing these things, they may assume it's okay for them to follow suit.

How to report a distracted driver

Even if you understand the importance of driver safety, it doesn't mean everyone else takes the same level of caution. While driving, it's possible that you'll come across a number of distracted drivers, all of which have the ability to cause an accident.

While you don't have to report every distracted driver to the police, there are times when this is necessary. For example, if you feel that the person is a risk to others, you don't want to wait to take action.

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Denver Legal Malpractice Blog | The Viorst Law Offices, P.C.