Being charged with a criminal offense can have a devastating impact on your reputation, finances, employment prospects, and your ability to own a home — almost every aspect of your life.
Unfortunately, many people who are charged with a crime enter the criminal justice system without any knowledge of its workings at all, and even worse, without any knowledge of their rights. As someone who believes that knowledge truly is power, I found this to be unacceptable. That’s why I took it upon myself to research some of the ins and outs of the criminal court system — starting with felonies vs. misdemeanors. While this is by no means a complete list of everything you need to know, it can certainly be beneficial to you in your loved ones if needed.
Felonies vs. Misdemeanors
All crimes are, in fact, not created equal. If you have been charged with a crime, you can be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. Understanding the difference between both is crucial to understanding both your case and your rights.
A misdemeanor is a charge for less serious crimes — such as possession of marijuana or shoplifting — and thus, they usually carry far less severe punishments. While the punishments for misdemeanors depend on the state in which they are tired, they involve less than one year in a county jail and a fine. Being convicted of a misdemeanor has no effect on any of your civil liberties, meaning you will still be able to possess a firearm, vote, serve on a jury, and hold public office if you are convicted.
Misdemeanors usually come in three types: Class A, Class B, and Class C misdemeanors. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious, and thus carry more serious penalties compared to Class B and Class misdemeanors.
A felony, on the other hand, is a much more serious conviction. Examples of felony crimes include first-degree murder or embezzlement. The penalties for these crimes depend on the crime and the state of course, but they can be far longer than the one year in county jail sometimes required by misdemeanors. In cases of first-degree murder, convicted felons may face capital punishment in some states — otherwise known as the death penalty.
Those who are convicted of a felony also lose many of their civil liberties, or at least have them severely limited. For example, felons are often barred from exercising their Second Amendment rights and owning a gun. They are usually not able to vote while serving their sentences, and may face restrictions on when they can vote after prison. They usually are not able to serve on juries or run for public office, either.
What You Should Do
Whether you’ve been accused of a felony or misdemeanor crime, the first thing you should do is reach out to a defense attorney like Ian Inglis Attorney at Law. A defense attorney can help represent you in court so that you can avoid being charged with the crime or have your penalty sufficiently reduced.
Dogs are man’s best friends for a reason. These furry companions will travel with us to the ends of the Earth for no reason other than a desire to see us happy. Well, they might want some scratches and cuddles along the way, too. But as an owner of dogs can attest, dogs are not completely perfect.
Sure, accidents happen and dogs can frustrate their human pals by being messy. But the incidents I am discussing do not involve picking up waste from your pet. I am discussing the very real and tragically common rate of dog bites in America.
In this post, I will discuss the rate or dog bites in America, injuries that can follow incidents like these, and ways to prevent your dog or a stranger’s dog from biting you:
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that anywhere from four to five million dog bites are experienced every year. As you can expect, the rates in incidence differ between men and women. Young men are the most likely to be involved in a dog bite incident, whereas adult women are the least likely to be on the receiving end of canine chompers.
Nobody wants to — or deserves — be bitten by a dog. Especially if the dog is a more combative or dangerous breed (though misconceptions run amok regarding what exactly comprises a list of combative breeds)! Fortunately, few dog bites are fatal or particularly dangerous. The severity and nature of the injuries are largely dependent upon the power of the canine and the location of the bite on the victim’s body.
For example, a dog biting your face as you are leaned over petting is likely to lead to more drastic and noticeable marks and scratches. If a dog bites your face, there may also be a need for facial reconstruction surgery similar to plastic surgery. Eye injuries or bruising is a unique injury to experience, but most of these incidents are healable, thankfully! According to the experts at Hare Wynn, whether it is the eye or another part entirely, make sure to document your injuries and seek legal representation as soon as you can in order to receive coverage for the potentially-expensive health care treatment.
Another injury or type of harm to keep in mind as you reflect on dog bites is the possibility of blood loss. If a dog bites your near an artery or a thick blood vessel, blood loss can happen dramatically. Research the best ways to handle sudden blood loss and keep them in mind, including taking steps like calling the police, tightly bandaging the area, raising injured areas above the heart, and more from a trusted health resource.
The safest thing to do when it comes to dog bite accidents is to not be bitten in the first place. At the end of the day, dogs are animals and impossible to fully control. However, taking steps like not getting near the mouth or face of a dog is a common-sense way to reduce your likelihood of being involved.
Another thing to consider is body language; stay away from anxious-appearing dogs and similarly, make sure to not make dogs nervous with odd behaviors or actions that could trigger their instinctual response of biting to prevent injury.
Divorce is different in every state, and knowing what to expect from your divorce when you’re in Texas is a big part of knowing whether it’s time to file and end your marriage. Understanding the laws in Texas is important not just for your peace of mind going forward, but also because you need to know whether you even qualify for a divorce. While America, in general, makes it fairly easy to file for divorce, there are limitations placed on the process, and you don’t want to go through the emotional strain of preparing for a divorce just to find out you aren’t legally able to pursue that divorce. In other words, you need to know what a Texas divorce entails, and how you fit into the system.
Thankfully, Houston-based Adams Law Firm has laid out a great FAQ that covers a lot of the basic questions people have when considering a divorce.
Let’s start with when you are legally able to file for divorce in Texas. To file in Texas, at least one spouse must have resided in Texas for the last six months, and within the county the divorce is being filed in for at least 90 days. In addition, Texas law requires the parties to wait at least 60 days before a divorce is finalized. That is true even if the whole divorce has been worked out and all points are already agreed.
As for the reason to file for divorce, Texas is a no-fault state, which means you don’t have to have any reason to file for divorce. You can still pursue a fault divorce for a variety of reasons, including cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, confinement, and living apart, which can make it easier for you to take a larger share of the property division or child custody. Still, the most popular choice is the no-fault option.
In order to come to a decision that is as fair and amicable as possible in regards to property and custody, Texas courts encourage the divorcing couple to pursue mediation, in which an unbiased official helps you negotiate the difficult issues. Ideally, this leads to a resolution of all disputes in the divorce. Otherwise, the case will be argued out in court and a judge will make the final decision.
All that really remains, then, is to discuss how that property and custody is ideally divided up in the eyes of Texas law. Property is split equitably, not equally, depending on certain factors such as the behavior of the spouses and the length of the marriage. While you may receive a 50-5o split in assets, this is unlikely.
The focus of custody is always on what is best for the child or children. Sole custody allows one parent to make all the important legal decisions and live with the child, while joint custody involves the parents sharing both decision-making responsibilities and time with the child.
The Texas divorce system is both similar to other states and full of its own unique qualities. If you are considering a Texas divorce, use this article as a baseline, but you should also consider contacting a divorce lawyer in the area to answer more advanced questions.