Avoiding a Conviction with Diversionary Proceedings

Oct 31

In courtroom dramas on television, all criminals are punished and sent to jail. In real life, however, there are jail alternatives for first-time offenders involving misdemeanors such as traffic offenses and public nuisance. In California, for example, Chapter 2.7 of the Penal Code outlines the pretrial diversion program for people charged with a misdemeanor.

A diversion program is generally run by the court, police department or the district attorney’s office. It is designed to minimize the incarceration of individuals whose offenses are not serious and for whom incarceration may not be the best option. It is typically the lawyer of the defendant to apply for this option on behalf of the client, and convince the judge that it is an appropriate measure for the crime. As pointed out in an article on the website of the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C., it gives the defendant a chance to avoid prosecution and the attendant hardships of bring in jail, such as loss of employment and personal freedoms. At the same time, such a program saves the state the costs associated with a trial and subsequent prison time in the event of a conviction.

In California, an individual who qualifies for a pretrial diversion program is not required to admit guilt, but who has to complete the program requirements to the satisfaction of the governing authority. The defendant’s lawyer and district attorney will determine the elements of the program which will still constitute as punishment. Failure to complete the requirements will cause the charges to be in force once again and the individual will go through the regular process of prosecution and risk of doing the original prison time appropriate to the crime.

A diversion program is not a free pass. It counts against the offender if and when the crime is again committed after completion of the program and the charges has been dropped, unless the defendant is a juvenile. A second charge for criminal behavior will disqualify that individual from availing of the diversion program.

A diversion program may include participation in a seminar designed to prevent a repetition of the offense, avoiding circumstances that may lead to the commission of the same offense, restitution to the victim of the crime, and/or community service.

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Suffering from a Long-Term Disability Prior to Retirement

Oct 04

As the US economy is getting back from a recession, lots and lots of people are seeking employment in order to keep ends meet. With so many people vying for limited positions, it may understandable why people who get injured while working in their jobs are easily replaced. This is the reason why it is important for every worker to understand how they can get compensation, and most importantly disability claims, so that they can have some money while recuperating from sickness or injury.

Long-term disability is one of the things that can be one of the most important things that every workers needs to know – particularly since 30 percent of 20 year old workers end up with some form of a disabling injury before their retirement. Long-term disability is an insurance benefit that helps cover a portion of a worker’s salary during long periods of time where they can’t return to work. This benefit usually takes over once the short-term disability benefit runs out.

When you have been denied to claim any benefits by the long-term disability insurance company, they won’t be able to provide you any benefits, not until you have filed for an appeal or a lawsuit. If the disability company seems to be dragging their feet when it comes to paying the worker (90 days without paid disability while claiming to evaluate your claims) would call for a lawyer to help. It is essential to have a lawyer with proper knowledge of the matter to help in dealing with these insurance companies.

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Probates after Re-marriage

May 28

The death of a spouse is a very traumatic and saddening life event. Unfortunately, it also leaves the widower with many legal procedures to go through. This distressing process can add to the confusion if the deceased spouse has remarried.

When a married couple buys a property together, both own 50% of the property unless otherwise stated. Thus, even if the couple gets divorced, they both still own the property.

In Texas, both formal and informal marriages are recognized. The legal elements of a common law marriage include the following: a man and woman agree to marry, live together and tell others they are married. These elements are confirmed through tax returns and witnesses to the marriage.

Unfortunately, the deceased spouse has explicitly re-written his or her will, their first spouse will receive the property. It is very important to rewrite one’s will if he or she has remarried after the divorce or death of a spouse.

If your spouse has passed away or you wish to revise your current will, the services of an estate lawyer can help make the process more manageable.

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Tooth Care for Babies

Apr 19

Having a baby is a new and exciting adventure. One of the obstacles in caring for your child is learning how to care for his or her teeth. According to Bridgeview Dental, poor tooth care can result in many problems including cavities and gum disease, so good dental hygiene should be practiced from an early age.

In order to properly clean your child’s gums, use a wet cloth or piece of gauze to wipe her gums. Make sure to clean the gums at least twice a day, especially after meals and before bedtime.

When your child begins to grow her teeth, begin brushing with a toothbrush. Choose a brush that is soft, has a small head, and a large handle. Be wary of tooth decay in your child’s teeth. If you see irregular brown or white spots, contact your child’s dentist as soon as possible.

To avoid cavities, avoid giving your child sugary drinks such as juices and sodas. Sugar encourages bacteria to grow within your child’s mouth so it is beneficial to avoid these kinds of drinks.

Setting good oral hygiene habits early on is important as it will establish them in your child as she grows.

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Elements of Valid Informed Consent

Mar 12

Between complex medical terms and high co-pay costs, having a medical procedure can be an intimidating and sometimes confusing process. This is why doctors are required to ask for informed consent from their patients before conducting a treatment or procedure. In order for a patient to give valid informed consent, the three elements of disclosure, capacity and voluntariness must be present.

Disclosure makes it necessary for the doctor to provide a patient with the information necessary to make an educated decision. This includes disclosure of potential risks and alternative procedures. These facts must be presented to the patient in layman’s terms, such that the doctor assesses that the information has been effectively communicated.

Capacity is a term used to describe the patient’s ability to form a reasonable judgment. For example, there is no valid informed consent if the patient is in a coma or mentally disabled.

Voluntariness is the patient’s right to freely choose without outside pressures. The patient’s rejection of the treatment or procedure should not result in any penalty.

If you or a loved one feels that your doctor failed to thoroughly inform you about your options before pursuing a course of treatment, a medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you hold him or her accountable.

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“Gang of Eight” Proposes INVEST Visas for Non-immigrants

Feb 26

Lately, the US immigration process has been undergoing many revisions. The “Gang of Eight,” a bipartisan group of US senators, has proposed an employment based immigration program called the INVEST visa program. This merit-based program has two different types of visas, a non-immigrant INVEST visa and an immigrant INVEST visa.

In order to obtain a non-immigrant, renewable 3-year INVEST visa, the applicant must have a business that has created 3 or more jobs and has generated at least $250,000 in annual revenue in the US two years prior to filing for the visa. In addition, the applicant must show that there has been at least a $100,000 investment in his or her business within the last 3 years.

The INVEST immigrant visa is an entrepreneurial green card and calls for the applicant have: considerable ownership in a US business, be employed as a senior executive in a US business, have a significant role in the founding of the business, have lived in the US for 2 or more years under a legal status, have received at least $500,000 in investments and created at least 5 jobs in 3 years prior to filing or have generated at least $750,000 in annual revenue 2 years prior to filing and created at least 5 jobs.

Obtaining visas is a long process full of legal issues and pitfalls that may force the applicant to start over again. An immigration attorney can help you obtain a visa while avoiding time-consuming and costly mistakes. Contact an attorney from William Jang, PLLC, today to learn more about your options.

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Publishing in the Sciences

Feb 03

Publishing in the Sciences

Scientific publishing provides one of the most important ways in which professionals and researchers in a variety of fields can share ideas and new research with one another and is an incredibly important part of the scientific process. Academics from a variety of institutions frequently collaborate on articles and other works for publications, building on previous research and expanding the field in the process.

There are a number of different types of scientific publications, the most prominent and well-known being journal articles. There are an incredible number of academic journals tailored specifically to subjects in both the natural and social sciences, most of which can be accessed through well-known scientific databases like MEDLINE, BioOne, and Nature.

However, journal articles are not the only mode of collaboration and publication for those in the science field. Many professionals, especially in the natural sciences, hold patents together for things specialized for their scientific fields, like chemical and biological patents.

Additionally, numerous researchers are assigned tasks by government bodies, like the Office of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy, looking for research on a given issue or problem. The published reports of these studies comprise a considerable amount of the overall scientific publishing that takes place in the U.S.

Many researchers publish books, either on their own or collaboratively, on a number of topics in the sciences. Often, these books are comprised of individual articles or studies that people have published separately and decide to join together to create a more cohesive picture of a given topic or problem. Additionally, this collaborative approach is also found in textbook publishing for the sciences, as educators and researchers with specialization in a given field tend to contribute just one chapter of an overall text, with other chapters being written by experts in those respective fields or sub-fields.

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What is Accessible Publishing?

Feb 02

What is Accessible Publishing?

In year’s past, there was very little variety in the ways in which readers could interact with published materials. Most materials came printed standard, and possibly, in large print format or in braille. Fortunately, with technological advances and innovations in the publishing industry, a wide number of options have been made available to individuals who want or need to interact with printed material in a format different than standard print. This is widely known as accessible publishing.

With current accessible publishing options, readers can connect with written texts in a number of ways depending on what their needs and preferences happen to be. While large print text and braille printing are not new additions to publishing, modern technology has made it easier than ever to produce braille works on demand, and release print and digital versions of works with varying degrees of larger text. Additionally, many e-readers, like Amazon’s Kindle, come standard with the ability to change the size of the text display, allowing multiple readers utilizing the same device to adjust the text size to their preference.

Digitization advances have also made it possible for works to be quickly and easily converted into digital documents that are compatible with audio readers – devices that scan text and read it out loud to individuals who have difficulty reading or seeing text. In years past, individuals who wanted to utilize an audio version of a published document would have to wait for an audiobook publisher to make a title available in their library.

While larger titles would often get added, this was little help to individuals who wanted access to lesser-known works or journals and articles from smaller publishing houses.However, with the right equipment, individuals can now take any published documents, scan them, and have them ready by computer software that will make them readable by audio reader programs.

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Publishing and Public Domain Works

Jan 21

Publishing and Public Domain Works

When an author publishes a work, he or she immediately becomes the copyright holder for that work and for all intents and purposes, “owns” that work. This means that it cannot be reproduced / used / sold without their permission, and that any money made off the sales of this work will have to be shared with the copyright holder.

However, copyrights do not last forever, and once a party’s copyright for a given work expires, the work falls into what is known as the “public domain.” Once a work enters the public domain, it no longer has an owner, meaning that publishing companies, script writers, and other entities can use the work without having to pay royalties on it, or obtain royalties through a business lawyer.

However, determining when a work falls into the public domain can be a complicated undertaking, as a number of different laws have affected when a copyright expires and the work becomes available for free use. In years past, an easy rule of thumb was that a copyright lasted for 75 years, at which point a work would become part of the public domain.

The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), however, passed during the Clinton administration, added an additional 20 years to the length of a copyright holder’s ownership of their work, meaning that with the exception of certain publications, such as supreme court rulings and some other government documents, most published works will be protected under copyright laws for 95 years. CTEA was challenged publicly in 2003, but the U.S. Supreme Court rejected this challenge.

As is, all works published before 1923 are currently in the public domain, and because of the changes implemented by the CTEA, no new works will enter the public domain in the United States until 2019. Publishers and other parties need to pay close attention to issues like public domain and copyrights in order to avoid taking action that violates a party’s copyrights, opening them up to potential legal action from the copyright holder.

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Recent Advances in Publishing

Nov 02

Recent Advances in Publishing

Publishing is an industry that has changed considerably over the years. However, recent advances in technology have made certain changes possible in the publishing field that many could not have predicted even just a few decades ago.

While there are any number of advances have been instrumental in moving the publishing industry forward, some of the most notable in recent years have been the rise in prominence of e-books, print on demand services, self publishing, accessible publishing, and green publishing.

E-Books

The rise of e-book popularity in recent years has been staggering, with 99.5 million e-books sold in January of 2012 alone. Whether reading on Amazon’s Kindle, the Nook, or an iPad, e-books have become incredibly popular, especially among younger readers.

Print on Demand

In years past, publishers would have to estimate popularity for a given book or other document and print, in advance, the number of copies they thought they would need. Now, because of greater efficiencies in printing and the speed with which even large-scale projects can be completed on demand, publishers can complete orders on a need-to-print basis, eliminating wasted resources.

Self Publishing

Aspiring writers used to have few options for getting their work published if they couldn’t find a publisher willing to publish their work. However, now there are numerous print and digital self publishing options available to individuals who are willing to pay a reasonably small fee. As an editor at Alea Publishing, I’ve been pushing my friend, a manager at a custom home builder, to publish a book of the amazing homes that his company has put together. I’ve always thought it would make for a good coffee table book…we’ll see if he ever takes my advice.

Accessible Publishing

With the ability to easily digitize a document and convert a file into XML, documents can be manipulated and made available to individuals with a number of reading needs, including those looking for text with larger print, or text that is compatible with audio readers.

Green Publishing

Green publishing is a newer term given to describe the environmentally-friendly practices that have arisen recently in the publishing industry, primarily the result of increased electronic / digital publishing, as well as print on demand publishing.

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