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The Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter

Experienced Attorney We often hear the word “murder” on television shows and in news stories. When this word is used, we know that it means one or more people have killed one or more other human beings. Another term that may be used to describe this occurrence is “homicide,” which in itself isn’t considered a criminal act. Homicide does entail lawful killing, such as when someone uses self-defense. Intentional killing, state-sanctioned killing during a war, and manslaughter are viewed as unlawful and the offender may reap serious consequences for life. Manslaughter is when the killing of another person happens without malice aforethought. Here, we explain further the differences between a murder and manslaughter: The Degrees of Murder Murder is a crime which entails killing a human being intentionally, unlawfully, with malice aforethought, and sometimes in conjunction with the intent to commit a felony. Murder includes felony murder, unpremeditated murder, and premeditated murder. While murder laws to vary slightly by state, most acknowledge these degrees of murder:  First Degree Murder (Premeditated): the defendant had planned to kill the other person. Second Degree Murder (Unpremeditated): the defendant did not plan to kill the other person, but an altercation resulted in another’s death. Felony Murder: the defendant had killed another person while engaging in a criminal activity, such as armed robbery, burglary, arson, drug crimes, DUI, kidnapping, DUI, rape, robbery, and domestic violence. Cases of murder may have aggravating circumstances, in which the incident was committed through laying in wait or targeting an individual in a high status. For instance, someone who killed a firefighter, judge, or member of law enforcement may be subject to more severe consequences. How Manslaughter is Defined Manslaughter is a less severe form of murder, where someone killed another without malice aforethought. In other words, a person died but the offender did not have the conscious intent to harm them, and he or she was not in an evil or depraved state of mind. There are several types of manslaughter, which have been defined below:  Intoxication Manslaughter: a person was under the influence and caused the death of another. Vehicular Manslaughter: a car driver had caused the death of those in another vehicle due to a car crash and had no intent to kill or cause severe bodily harm to them. May also be referred to as “gross negligence.”Voluntary Manslaughter: murder is reduced to a manslaughter charge because of mitigating...
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What Rights Do I Have if My Wages are Being Garnished?

Experienced Attorney What does it mean to have your wages garnished? The order to garnish — or deduct — from your wages money owed for reasons such as owed child support, back taxes, or student loan payments comes from a court order from a judge requiring your boss to deduct a specific amount of money from your paycheck to send to the institution or person you owe money to. The garnishment will continue until the money you owe is totally paid off.  There are legal limitations on the amount of money that can be garnished from your paycheck. Each type of debt has their own set of rules as to how much can be taken from your paycheck. An attorney knowledgeable about wage garnishment regulations can answer specific questions you may have concerning garnishing your paycheck. Will I Be Notified if My Wages are to be Garnished? If your wages are garnished it is because you lost a lawsuit with a financial judgment. The person who sued you can get the money from you by giving the local marshal or sheriff a copy of the court order. The sheriff of marshal sends a copy of the order to your employer. You must be notified by your employer that your wages are going to be garnished and by how much. It is the employer’s responsibility to take the deducted wages and send them to your creditor. Your employer must also provide you with information on the steps you have to take if you wish to protest your wages being garnished. Do People Need a Court Order to Garnish My Wages? There are certain types of entities that do not need a court order to garnish your wages. These are: The IRS for back taxesStudent loan originatorsChild support Other creditors are required to get a court order before they can garnish your wages. They have to bring a lawsuit against you, win that lawsuit, and then the court will issue the order mandating you pay your creditor the amount you owe. How Much Can be Taken out of My Paycheck? There is a limit to how much can be garnished from every check. The amount cannot be more than 25 percent of your disposable earnings, which is the amount left after any mandatory deductions. The amount for your state may differ, so to fully understand how much will be garnished, you...
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Wrongful Death Lawsuit and Who Can File a Claim

Experienced Attorney Wrongful death occurs when a loved one dies due to the negligence of another person or entity. A wrongful death claim is meant to compensate the surviving loved ones for both financial and emotional losses that were a result of the death. If you’re the surviving loved one of someone who has passed away due to the negligence of another, you may wonder if you are entitled to a claim. The following explains who can file and receive compensation. Immediate Family Members If the individual who died was married, the spouse would typically be the one to file the lawsuit. He or she could seek damages for lost wages, medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of consortium and more. If the individual does not have a living spouse but does have children, those children can file the lawsuit, including adopted children. Supposing the deceased did not have any living spouses or children, a parent can file the lawsuit. Distant Family Members If there are no immediate family members, other individuals close to the deceased may file a lawsuit. This could include siblings and grandparents. Depending on the closeness of the relationships and social circumstances, these individuals could seek similar damages to those of immediate family members. For example, if a special-needs sibling relied on the deceased for care, he or she could seek lost wages and loss of protection. Domestic Partners Each state varies on this aspect of wrongful death. There are some that allow domestic or life partners to file a suit, and there are other states that do not allow it. It’s important you understand the laws in your state so you can receive proper compensation if you are a domestic partner of the deceased. Financial Dependants Again, this varies by state, but there are some that allow other financial dependants to receive compensation following a wrongful death. This could include a disabled friend who was staying with the deceased, a niece or nephew who lived with the victim or other similar individuals. Parents of a Deceased Fetus Depending on the state in which you live, parents of a fetus who died while in the womb can file for wrongful death. Damages sought could include pain and suffering, as well as funeral expenses. While this is the case in some states, others require the baby be born alive and die shortly after in order for the...
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Basic Brain Injury Information

Experienced Attorney Your brain is in charge of everything your body does, says, feels, and thinks. It controls your immune system, hormones, breathing, and circulation. Your brain allows you to experience emotions and find ways to express those emotions. Without the brain’s signals, nothing in your body would know what to do. A traumatic brain injury could mildly or severely impact those functions. What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury? The brain is intricate and complex, so when someone receives a jolt or a hard blow to the head, there are various areas that could become affected. A traumatic brain injury results after such a jolt or blow, and disrupts brain function. Not every injury results in TBI, and not every TBI is severe — though there are some that could result in long-term problems, or sometimes even death. What Are Common Causes? There are a lot of ways individuals can end up with TBI. Causes range from falling off a roof to falling down the stairs. Someone who plays football could get a brain injury after a tackle, and someone else who does ballet could get dropped and end up with a TBI as well. The most common causes include military attacks, violence or gunshots, car accidents, and falls. What Is the Result? Every TBI patient will experience something different. One person may lose all function of the legs, while another might experience severe mental disabilities. An adult might have to relearn to walk, and a child might never speak again. Impairments include physical functions, cognitive abilities, emotional functions, and behavioral issues. Some common results are: Slow information processingPoor judgmentMemory lossSeizuresFatigueMood changesImpulsivity Who Can Experience TBI? Because there are so many causes, anyone is at risk of experiencing TBI. This includes infants, children, teenagers, adults and seniors. An infant could have a fall out of the crib, resulting in brain injury. A child could be a victim of domestic violence. A teenager could get injured during a sporting event. An adult could be in a car accident. A senior could fall down the stairs. As you can see, everyone has the potential to experience TBI because everyone alive is at risk of some of these basic accidents. What You Should Do After Being Diagnosed If you suffered symptoms of TBI and were recently diagnosed, you might wonder what to do next. The good news is, you don’t have to...
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What Rights Do Nursing Home Residents Have?

If you or someone you love is a resident of a nursing home, you do have certain protections and rights under federal and state laws. When something happens, you may wonder what these rights are. These laws can vary from state-to-state so it’s important to know what laws are applicable where you reside. The nursing home is required to provide you with a written description of the legal rights you have under their care. Make sure to keep the information that you get regarding these rights, or admission and transfer policies, in case you need to reference them later. Freedom From Discrimination Nursing homes do not have to accept every applicant they receive. However, they are not permitted to deny admission based on certain criteria. Civil rights laws prevent discrimination based on: Religion (under certain circumstances)DisabilityColorRaceNational originAge Freedom From Neglect and Abuse As a nursing home resident, you have the right to be free from forced solitude, misappropriation of your property, and all types of abuse including verbal, physical, sexual, and mental abuse.  not only do you have the right to be free from abuse from the nursing home staff, but this also includes other residents, volunteers, family members, legal guardians, friends, or any other individuals. Right to Respect You also have the right to be treated with respect and dignity in the nursing home facility. You have the right to choose the activities you would like to participate in. So long as it fits your care plan, you also have the right to make your own schedule including when you go to bed, wake up in the morning, and eat your meals. Freedom From Restraint You have the right to be free from restraints, including physical or chemical restraints.  Physical restraints do not allow for the freedom of movement or even normal access to your own body. Physical restraints include any physical or mechanical device, material, or even equipment designed to render you immobile. Conversely, a drug that’s administered for convenience or discipline, and is not necessary to treat medical symptoms, is considered to be a chemical restraint. It is illegal for a nursing facility to use either physical or chemical restraints unless it’s absolutely necessary to treat you medically. Restraints cannot be used as a punishment, or as a convenience for the staff. Under all circumstances, except if you are at risk of harming yourself or others,...
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