Month: February 2017

Car Seat Safety – Protecting Your Child

Accidents can happen to anyone. It is critically important that your child is in the correct car seat and that it is also installed correctly to best prevent injuries in the case of an accident. Click below to view the full infographic to ensure your child is safe when riding…

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Analyzing Alabama DUI Law in Light of Arrest of Madison Mayor’s Wife

Serious traffic offenses seem to be a common occurrence in Huntsville, and this topic became more prevalent recently following the arrest of Julie Finley, the spouse of Madison mayor, Paul Finley, on suspicion of DUI and reckless driving. Local news outlets reported that she was pulled over for driving 103 miles per hour on I-565 (65 mph zone), complied with a “preliminary breath test” that generated a result of .273 blood alcohol content (BAC), which is over three times the legal limit. However, that same news report also states that she refused a BAC test, which may have been a more sophisticated blood or chemical test for alcohol content than the breath test. Ultimately, the articles do not provide enough facts to make a full legal analysis, but raise some good issues to consider in DUI and reckless driving cases:

Breath Test Refusal

First, if you refuse any test to determine blood alcohol concentration, then there will be a 90- day suspension of your license. Code of Alabama 32-5-192. This would apply to the BAC test that Ms. Finley refused, according to the article, so it would appear she will face a 90-day suspension of her license, regardless of the outcome of the case.

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New Safeguards in Place for the Protection of Nursing Home Residents

Nursing Home Care Attorneys

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently revised regulations for nursing home facilities, which may help prevent elder abuse and make life for residents a little better. The regulations apply to all nursing homes that participate in Medicaid/Medicare programs. For a complete look at the old and new regulations, check out this side-by-side comparison from The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. Here’s a quick summary of some of the major changes:

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Knowing Who Services Your Student Loan Can Pay

Corporate Law Attorneys The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit last week on behalf of millions of student borrowers who may have been illegally cheated or deceived by Navient, the nation’s largest servicer of student loan debt. Navient, formerly known as Sallie May, who also services student loan debt. Navient counts over 12 million borrowers with over $300 billion in debt. The Navient lawsuit comes at a time of growing student loan debt, which now stands at more than $1.4 trillion dollars nationally.

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Alabama Law Requires a Jury’s Verdict to be Unanimous

courtroomA mistrial was declared in a Huntsville, AL criminal case where a man is on trial for shooting his daughter’s boyfriend. The jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case of Fitzgerald McQueen, who shot his daughter’s boyfriend after finding him naked in his daughter’s closet late at night. McQueen argued self-defense, in that he went to check on his daughter, only to find the naked man, Jaizon Collins, in hiding. Conversely, the prosecution argued that McQueen shot Collins out of anger. Collins, who was not killed in the attack, was charged with statutory rape due to the age difference with the daughter. However, those charges were dropped and the case was removed to juvenile court. Alabama law requires that the jury reach a unanimous verdict. Ala. R. Crim. P. 23. When the jury is unable to reach a unanimous decision, the judge declares a mistrial. Before declaring a mistrial, however, the judge often instructs the jury to try deeply to reach a unanimous verdict. This is sometimes known as a “dynamite charge.” If the jury is still unable to reach a unanimous decision, the mistrial is declared. The prosecution must then decide whether to bring charges once again. In this case, Circuit Judge Donna Pate has already set the case for retrial in September of this year.

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