Waiting Period Expunction in Texas

Sep 18

Chapter 55 of the Code of Criminal Procedure contains statutes concerned with expunction eligibility and procedures. According to the website of Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, if a person is charged but not convicted of a crime (acquittal), the record may be expunged at the petition of the record holder. It follows that those arrested but not even charged with the crime may be automatically eligible for expunction, but it is not as simple as that.

All arrests made by law enforcement become part of the official record, so a person who is arrested is said to have an arrest record. Under normal circumstances, if a person is arrested but not charged, the record of the arrest can be expunged when the case is over or the statute of limitations runs out. is However, there are cases that take years to be closed, if ever, and some offenses have no statute of limitations, such as murder.

Prior to the 2011 reform, individuals that have been arrested but not charged in the latter situation may not receive an expunction order, which can really put a crimp in one’s day. The 82nd Legislature made some significant changes in Chapter 55 back in 2011 which may provide some relief for those arrested but never charged with a crime.

The lawmakers came up with what is referred to as “waiting period” expunctions (Article 55.01(a)(2)(A)). This provision kicks in when after a certain length of time has passed between an arrest and a charge, the arrest record can be petitioned for expunction. For Class C misdemeanors, for example, the waiting period is 180 days up to three years for felonies. The petitioner should be able to prove that the case against him or her is no longer pending, meaning that there is no active investigation directed toward the petitioner.

If you have been arrested but never charged for an ongoing case and want to have the record erased, you should contact an expunction lawyer in your area to determine your eligibility. Petitioning for an expunction can be a complicated matter so it would be better to let the professional handle it.

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Xarelto Studies Designed to Expand Market

Sep 04

Despite thrice being rejected by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Johnson & Johnson and Bayer AG are pushing through with clinical trials to make a renewed bid to get approval for its anticoagulant product Xarelto (rivaroxaban) for acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The drug is already approved for ACS treatment in 40 countries outside the US, but the FDA is proceeding with caution with this one.

Perhaps this is because there is a rising tide of discontent against the drug with American patients; the first lawsuits have already been filed claiming that it posed unacceptable levels of danger to patients for its approved uses, primarily for management of atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, and clot prevention following hip or knee replacement surgery. According to the website of law firm Williams Kherkher, however, the exclusion of ACS as an approved condition for prescription is not limited to Xarelto but for all drugs in the same class, namely direct factor Xa inhibitors or xabans. This could partly be due to the fact that there is no approved reversal agent for this class of drug in case of serious adverse effects, such as uncontrollable bleeding.

The latest attempt by J&J and Bayer to get approval for ACS in March 2014 ran into trouble when the clinical trials presented to the FDA contained inconsistencies in the data that failed to clarify the extent of the benefits and risks of the drug, and the application was denied. Undaunted, J&J and Bayer came up with a different clinical trial design using one antiplatelet drug in conjunction with Xarelto instead of two which is thought will reduce the risk of blooding and will hopefully pass muster in the future. Aside from ACS, the two companies are also hoping to get approval for Xarelto for stroke and peripheral artery disease.

If the FDA issues approval for all pending applications for Xarelto, this would bring the total of all approved conditions for prescription for the drug to 12. That is a potentially huge market; Xarelto is already outpacing its competition for its approved uses. Whether it gets approved for more conditions, Xarelto is already taking a significant slice of the market. Not surprisingly, there are also a growing number of lawsuits being filed against the two companies because of the serious harm the drug has inflicted on some patients. If you have been seriously harmed from using Xarelto, consult with a Xarelto lawyer at once to find out what can be done to compensate you for your medical expenses and losses.

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How To Choose The Best Personal Injury Lawyer

Aug 25

It is important that you know many things when getting ready to take a personal injury case to court. You might feel at a loss and overwhelmed at the moment. However, this article is going to provide you with some helpful advice concerning personal injury law, and you need to keep reading.

Getting along with your lawyer is key, but there is something more you have to look for. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, you should choose an attorney who truly listens to what you say. If they ever appear to not be listening, don’t choose that lawyer. While they may think they know it all, typically people with that belief are those who know the least.

If you end up disliking your lawyer, remember you can fire him or her at any time! You should never feel stuck with a lawyer. If the job isn’t getting done, simply look for a replacement and move on. Your peace of mind is well worth the hassle of looking for a new one.

Hire a lawyer located where the court your personal injury trial will be playing out is located. This ensures they can easily get to the court for your dates, plus they know the local laws and understand them to a “T”. They may also be familiar with the judges and their personalities, which can benefit your case.

One reason why getting to your trial quickly is beneficial to your case is that you will be able to get the money to pay your medical bills as they come due. Obviously, you can’t be in court if you’re still laid up in the hospital, but as soon as you can get there, you should get it over with.

You will now have a much better chance of making your case for a win with these tips. Remember what has been discussed, and think about those things as you meet with lawyers to determine your choice and win your case. It is time to get started now so you’re prepared.

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From the Frying Pan to the Fire: E-liquid toxicity causes concern

Apr 09

People are now much more health conscious, and are actively seeking ways to improve their quality of life. The trend is for eating organic food and food products, exercising regularly, having regular detoxification sessions, minimizing alcohol intake, and of course, quitting smoking. But just like saccharine for sugar, and soy milk for cow’s milk, sometimes the substitutes turn out to be more harmful than what had been replaced. In the case of cigarettes, the solution to minimizing withdrawal symptoms is through electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are basically plastic tubes that dispense small amounts of nicotine by atomizing a liquid which contains the chemical as well as flavoring and artificial coloring, the so-called e-liquid. This is not a regulated industry, and anyone can legally make the e-liquid and sell it by the vial, bottle, or gallon.

But possible contamination is not really the problem. The real problem lies in the fact that nicotine is a poison, and in liquid form, it is more deadly than what you find in a standard cigarettes because it is more easily absorbed by the body.

E-cigarettes are touted as a smoking cessation tool, and e-liquid contains nicotine because this is what most smokers are addicted to which makes it difficult to quit smoking. With the nicotine hit in place, the smoker can gradually reduce the amount of nicotine in the e-liquid until finally, the symptoms subside and you are cured of the habit.

It sounds plausible, but it is more akin to jumping from the frying pan to the fire than the road to redemption. While no one has actually died from the prescribed or accidental intake of e-liquid, studies indicate that it is just a matter of time. There is already a trend emerging where out of the number of people being rushed to the emergency room after being poisoned from exposure to nicotine, a significant number are children between 1 and 4 years old. Toxicologists are all up in arms about the product, and it is claimed that e-liquids may be more hazardous to your health than tobacco.

Sometimes, it is better to stick with the evil you know.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Selling Your Mineral Rights

Mar 09

The discovery of new shale gas regions over the past decade at various US locations plus the advancement in drilling technologies have led the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to confidently state that the decline in the volume of natural gas produced from existing shale regions can, and will be, offset by new ones. Even the International Energy Agency (IEA) was candid enough to say that the increase in natural gas production may end US’s reliance on foreign oil over the next twenty years.

Shale gas pertains to natural gas trapped within fine-grained sedimentary rocks or shale formations. These sedimentary rocks are abundant sources of natural gas and petroleum. According to the EIA, the top six regions in the US that produce all of the nation’s domestic natural gas needs, as well as about 90% more growth in oil production are the:

  • Eagle Ford shale in Southern Texas
  • Bakken shale region, which extends from North Dakota and Montana
  • Niobrara, which stretches across parts Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and South Dakota
  • Haynesville in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas
  • Permian in Western Texas
  • Marcellus, one of the most extensive shale regions in the US and probably the second largest in the world. This shale area across Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.

Private individuals, whose properties will most likely be affected by the still widening drilling activities in the top six regions, are all frequently confronted by the same question: Will they be willing to sell their property, sell/lease their mineral rights, or would they just probably hold onto these? On its website, The Mineral Auction speaks about its connection with some of the best and highly respected business firms, which are willing to offer the best price for a property or, mineral rights – an amount more than enough to allow them to just sit back and relax for many, many years to come.

An offer to can go up to $12 million (maybe even higher, depending on where the property is located) for just one private owner – such an offer has already been made in the past. And when an offer is made, this means cash up front, which you can use to purchase another property, pay off your loans and, so, save you from applying for bankruptcy, or save for your children’s education or for your retirement.

A property owner may, otherwise, choose to sell his/her mineral rights but not his/her property (this is allowed in states where separate ownership of real estate and mineral rights is recognized). Whatever the case, whether it is to sell or just lease, there are advantages and disadvantages connected to each:

Selling mineral rights:

  • Advantages: cash up front; probable income stream in the future, that is, if the land yields natural gas or oil; and, the chance to bequeath the mineral right to heirs, by including this in the owner’s will.
  • Disadvantages: the need to pay sizeable amounts of taxes from mineral production income (which may vary annually due to differences in production level); and, the need to keep records of royalty plus reporting earnings for tax processing; and, loss of further benefits (such as royalties) even if the land proves to be rich in gas or oil.

Leasing mineral rights:

  • Advantages: since lease contracts expire, selling at a higher price after the lease can be done to the firm with the highest offer, that is, if the land is productive; and, payment of royalties, which can eventually exceed the amount to be paid in a sale, can be negotiated with the lessee, as separate from the lease payment.
  • Disadvantages: lease payment is much lower than payment on a sale and there may not even be up-front cash; if the land is not really productive, amount of lease will be reduced upon renewal of the contract; a lease contract will never be renewed, however, if the land does not produce anything at all.
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The Car / Truck Accidents: Disasters on the Road

Mar 06

Being caught in a major road accident can result to life-changing injuries, such as a permanent disability, or even death. In the US, millions of individuals are injured in car accidents every year, while a thousand others lose their lives.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified drunk-driving, over speeding, reckless driving and driver distractions, as the four major causes of car accidents all across the US. Speed, especially, has a great effect on the extent of damage to property, as well as severity of the injury. However, though a driver may follow the speed limit and drive with care, if it is an 18-wheeler that will ram his/her vehicle, then the effects will surely be more devastating.

A 70-foot long truck that weighs, at least, 40 tons can easily crush smaller vehicles along its path. In fact, its size alone already makes its presence a threat to other motorists, as well as pedestrians, on the road. This is why the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which governs the commercial trucking industry, continues to strictly enforce laws that will make the motor carrier transportation system much safer.

Besides the quality standards on truck parts, like brakes and tires, the FMCSA has also designed programs, tests and training for applicants of commercial vehicle license which should be implemented by each state’s commercial licensing agency plus guidelines on the hours of service (HOS), which determine the maximum number of hours a truck driver may be allowed to drive.

One firm, Spiros Law, P.C., clearly explains in an article posted in its website, how a car accident, much more a truck accident, can render innocent victims feeling hopeless as they end up facing long term and costly medical bills, time off from work and the possibility of becoming disabled. It also mentions, however, that with the help of a highly qualified car/truck accident attorney, you may just be able to receive a substantial amount of compensation from the party responsible for the accident, which caused your injury – an amount enough to keep you on the path to recovery and which will help keep your family from sinking into financial burden.

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An Effective Way of Addressing Employers’ Concerns and Employees’ Interests

Mar 04

Unfair wage practice has the highest number of lawsuits in the US, exceeding any form of harassment complaints in the workplace. Despite the federal and state laws that are supposed to save employees from employment issues such as wage disputes, many employers are still able find ways to short-change workers and deny them of the daily wage they legally deserve for a hard day’s work.

Wage disputes may be due to a violation of anti- discrimination laws, concerning equal pay, or the wage and hour law, based on minimum wage, non-payment of overtime pay or misclassifying an employee as not eligible to render overtime work. The Equal Pay Act (EPA), which was passed into in 1963 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, are the specific laws that address equal pay and wage and hour issues.

Wiser employers, however, resort to other cost-effective means of running their business, saving millions of dollars in the process, but without compromising employees’ safety in the workplace, as well as their take home pay.

These employers are able to find ways to significantly reduce group health costs, workplace injuries, workers’ compensation premium, occasions of fraud and abuse, employee turnover and other expense-generating things, while increasing worker productivity, through the help of functional employment testing firms, such as WorkSTEPS.

Functional employment testing firms grew in popularity during the 90s due to their capability, both in creating a much safer and healthier working environment and effectively identifying employees’ or applicants’ physical and mental capabilities, strengths and skills to help employers land them in the right job.

WorkSTEPS, Inc., in particular, knows that a safe workplace and contented workers are essential to company growth. Thus, the services it offers are patterned on matters that will specifically address what employers actually need and what employees legally deserve.

One example of service the firm offers is post-employment physical agility testing, a non-medical test which will help make sure that existing employees are still able to meet their physical criteria of the job assigned to them.

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Consequences of Hospital Negligence

Mar 03

Once an individual is taken under hospital care, he/she should be assured of quality care through correct and timely medical procedures, and accurate diagnosis. People should know, however, that not all hospitals are the same when it comes to provision of quality service – some hospitals simply perform better than many others.

According to the Chris Mayo law firm, a serious illness is one type of disability that requires timely and correct treatment. Problem is, many of those who are seriously ill suffer additional damaging health conditions due to medical mistakes: products of negligence or carelessness by medical professionals and other health care providers. This can seriously worsen a patient’s condition and even lead to long term or permanent disabilities.

According to the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, serious medical complications can occur when hospitals fail to observe the necessary procedures when providing patient care and treatment. If you are experiencing a case of hospital negligence, it is best to seek the legal advice of a Massachusetts medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer.

In emergency departments alone, thousands of medical errors, which lead to serious harm or even patient death, are reported annually. Like other cases of medical mistakes, errors committed in emergency departments are usually due to overworked doctors and/or nurses, who are often required to render extra hours of duty, poor communication or lack of collaboration between nurses and physicians, giving patients the wrong medicine, injecting into patients the wrong solution, poor recordkeeping, accidentally hitting a patient with a medical equipment or tool, failure to properly sterilize medical tools, and so forth.

Hospital negligence and medical mistakes do not only lead to additional health damages in patients; these also result to added costly medical treatment and, often, prolonged disability that will keep the patient unable to work, resulting to loss of wages. These effects, of course, legally oblige the hospital to compensate the patient for whatever additional present and future suffering he/she is/will be subjected to.

Since sickness is a natural occurrence in life, it would be good if you would know which hospitals around your area are recognized for their quality care, so that, in the event of an emergency, you will know where to go or where to take your loved one.

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Criminal Defense against Minors in Possession of Alcohol

Mar 01

A serious criminal offense, such as a drug-related crime or driving under the influence (DUI), requires a tough lawyer and a pretty good defense. The fact is any type of criminal accusation, even a simple misdemeanor, calls for a good defense lawyer.

Legal professionals from Truslow & Truslow know that living with a criminal record, regardless of how serious the crime is, is a huge hindrance to life’s opportunities and pursuit of one’s dreams. In the firm’s website, it mentions that a conviction “can have serious repercussions on every aspect” of life; it can result to loss of job, denied employment applications, difficulty in finding an apartment to live in, as well as in applying for professional licenses. This is because employers, landlords and license providers always ask about possible criminal convictions.

The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, a law that was passed in 1984, is one example of a federal mandate that constitutes a criminal offense if violated. This particular law strictly prohibits the possession and purchase of alcoholic beverages in public by individuals under the age of 21, except under certain circumstances. Those who will be caught violating this law will be charged either with Possession of Alcohol under the Legal Age (PAULA), or Minor in Possession (MIP).

Punishment for violators of PAULA or MIP differs from one state to another. For first time offenders, so long as the offense does not involve DUI / DWI or public intoxication, fines may range from $100 to $200. Repeat offenders can suffer fines, besides participation in an alcohol education program or rendering of community service. Other states also apply a suspension on the offender’s driving privileges.

PAULA or MIP may only be a misdemeanor, but if it sticks on one’s records, it will surely affect the violator’s future life. Hoping to be acquitted from the charge, or in the event of a conviction, working to have such conviction expunged from your record, can be possible, but only with the help of a well-seasoned lawyer who will be determined to fight for your defense, as well as care for your future as much as you do.

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