Texas on Identity Theft

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014 in Criminal Defense Law | 1 comment

In our increasingly electronic and largely anonymous world, the means by which we do much of our transactions are with the use of government-issued or institution-issued identification cards. We have also become used to having our personal information used to verify our identities as sufficiently safe and secure. The fact is, we are more vulnerable to identity fraud today than at any time in our history because of how easy it is for criminal elements to get access to our identification cards and personal information. For this reason, the law has become increasingly stringent in prosecuting those who are suspected of committing identity theft.

Identity theft, formally known as “fraudulent use or possession of identifying information” under Texas Law (Penal Code §32.21) is a felony, and a conviction carries escalating penalties depending on the circumstances. At the very least, it is a state fail felony with a minimum of 180 days in prison plus a fine; at worst, it is a first degree felony which means 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. People convicted of identity theft may also be required to pay restitution.

However, we can be breaking the law without knowing it. For example, if you know the information to get into your boss’s account and you accessed it regularly to verify some transactions without informing her each and every time that you would be doing this, you are technically in violation of this law. Now let’s say that your boss has a grudge against you and reported you to the police; you may find yourself hard put to defend yourself.

As pointed out on the website of Inglis Defense, it is advisable to get legal guidance when facing any type of criminal charge no matter how seemingly minor the offense is. It is so easy to make a mistake and pay the price for something you didn’t do. In the above instance, you will probably use the defense that you had no intention to harm or deceive your boss, which is a principal element in proving identity fraud.

Make no mistake, identity fraud is a serious crime, and can really wreak havoc on your life. When charged with a crime, consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

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Strategies to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Medication Error

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 in Medical Malpractice, Pharmaceutical Liability | 0 comments

More than 51 million prescription errors are made each year, and more than 1.3 million people are injured annually because of medication errors. What is even worse is that people who take prescription or over-the-counter drugs have no way of knowing if their medication is defective prior to taking them. Fortunately, there are precautionary steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim or pharmaceutical or medication error.

One step you can take is to open your bottle at the pharmacy. This can allow you to show the pills directly to your pharmacist, and to become aware if your medication looks differently than it has in the past. Another step is to avoid getting your prescription filled during the beginning of the month if possible. A study shows that medication errors rise by 25%, mostly because Social Security checks come in at the beginning of the month, causing pharmacies to be swamped with filling requests. The last precautionary step is to not be in a rush. You should take the time to learn exactly how to take your medication and what foods or other drugs to avoid while you’re taking it. Many drug names look similar, so taking the extra time to double check your prescription could also prevent you from taking the wrong drug altogether.

Medication errors are preventable, and could be the fault of the pharmacist who incorrectly dispensed the medication or the manufacturing company that created a faulty product. Pharmaceutical errors can be defects in a drug’s composition, or manufacturing errors that made the drug dangerous. Common examples of these defects include mislabeling, unintended side effects, undiscovered drug interactions, or contaminated drugs. Never be afraid to ask your doctor or pharmacist about your medication, you could be saving yourself from pharmaceutical malpractice.

If you or a loved one has been affected by a pharmaceutical error, make sure to contact a pharmaceutical liability lawyer today. An attorney will be able to help you through your case and explain the complexities of your situation.

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Auto Accidents Due to Drunk-Driving

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Car Accidents, Drunk Driving Accidents | 2 comments

Alcohol and driving is a combination that will never work. Besides putting yourself at risk once you take the wheels after downing a glass or two of alcohol, you also compromise others’ (motorists and pedestrians) safety. Drunk-driving is one of the major causes of auto accidents in the United States. With more than five million mishaps every year, motorists become unsafe once they get on the same road with a drunk driver.

Alcohol affects or impairs a person’s mental and motor skills. Regardless of the type of alcoholic beverage taken, it is always the amount that will affect a person’s performance; thus, the more he or she drinks, the more impaired he or she will be.

Though it is a fact that the level of tolerance to alcohol differ from one person to another, rendering habitual drinkers more sober than social drinkers even after consuming bottles of alcohol, the measurement of blood alcohol content (BAC) or blood ethanol concentration is the same in all US jurisdictions: 0.08%. A normal male who weighs 160 lb. (the subject considered as basis for measuring BAC), after consuming two or three glasses of beer within an hour, will have about 0.04% BAC.

In an effort to reduce the number of accidents due to drunk-driving, the US government has imposed the dram shop and social host liabilities. Dram shop liability refers to the legal accountability of liquor stores, taverns, and other commercial establishments that sell alcohol to minors or already intoxicated persons who end up in car accidents and injure someone else. Social host liability, on the other hand, refers to the legal responsibility of hosts of parties or gatherings who continue to serve alcohol to already intoxicated individuals who subsequently get caught in an accident and injure someone.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to drunk driving, make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer today to discuss your situation. An attorney will be able to talk you through the process and support you during this stressful time.

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CDC Concerned About Human Antibiotic Resistance

Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in Health | 2 comments

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) hasn’t been vigilant in the past about warning, or even confirming, that antibiotics used on livestock affect human immune resistance to antibiotics. However, on Monday September 16, 2013, the CDC released an assessment confirming the advancement of drug resistance in humans as being related to antibiotics administered in agriculture.

According to the assessment released by the CDC, more antibiotics per volume are used on food-producing animals than people in the United States. The wide-spread development of drug-resistant bacteria in animals renders them carriers of harmful food borne illness like E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter.

Having this suspicion definitively confirmed by the CDC, consumers and researchers want to find solutions that allow the agricultural and livestock industries to thrive while also providing people with safe and nourishing food. Many have observed that animals should only be administered antibiotic medicines under veterinary supervision. In addition, the antibiotics give to animals should serve only to treat disease and not to accelerate growth.

Another cause for concern in antibiotic resistance exists in the transmission that occurs in hospitals. Many times people can be affected ingesting ill-prepared meat, but bacterium can also easilty spread in hospitals because of inadequate sanitation by doctors, nurses, custodial, workers, and visitors. When their report was released CDC director, Dr. Thomas Friedan, made a point to mention the spread of antibiotic resistance occurs through food consumption as well as lacking sanitation in high-risk areas, like medical facilities.

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Defunct Virus Resurfaces in Texas Megachurch

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Health | 0 comments

Unvaccinated members of a Texas megachurch contracted what has once been considered an eradicated disease in the US when a member brought in the virus from overseas.

The Eagle Mountain International Church, a non-denominational church located in Newark, Texas associated with the Kenneth Copeland Ministries, is the site of infection for 21 cases of measles among its congregation. The viral disease is extremely contagious, but decades of vaccination have all but wiped it out of the US. The recent outbreak was due to the fact that many of the members of the megachurch are not vaccinated against the virus. Of the 21 who came down with measles, at least 16 were not vaccinated.

Kenneth Copeland is a televangelist who, aside from spreading the prosperity gospel, preached that a true believer would put his or her trust in God and not in modern medicine. While church officials deny that the ministry is anti-vaccination, church members subscribe to the belief that getting vaccinations is a sign of fear and doubt in God. The senior pastors of the EMIC are the daughter and son in law of Kenneth Copeland, Terri and George Pearsons, who tell their congregation to get vaccinated and in the same breath remind them that if they have faith they will not need it.

It is the opinion of the church’s critics and members alike that the views of EMIC and the Kenneth Copeland Ministries are clear; it is a sign of a weak or absent faith to rely on modern medicine. That this will lead to serious health consequences in the future seems likely.

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What is Insider Trading?

Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 in Commodities and Securities, Insider Trading | 0 comments

It is common knowledge that both Martha Stewart and Enron were busted for insider trading. However, many people are unaware of what insider trading actually is, and that there are legal and illegal forms of it. The SEC serves to regulate stock trading within the U.S. and go after those who chose to engage in illegal insider trading. When regulations aren’t followed, it corrupts the market that relies on the fairness of competition and participation in order to run properly.

When an employee buys or sells stock from the company they work for, that is considered legal insider trading. The line between legal and illegal trading is crossed when a person can impact a company’s stock price, and then makes a trade based on that knowledge. For example, an employee who finds out that their company will have higher annual revenue than expected and then buys shares in their company based on that information, has just committed a form of illegal insider trading. If that employee shares their information with friends or family who then buy company shares, then the friends and family are considered to be engaging in illegal insider trading as well.

A person violates the law when they breach their duty to keep certain information confidential. The employee who gave information to his friends and family breached this duty. Even though these people are outsiders, they are liable for securities fraud because they are using inside information to their own advantage. This liability is called the misappropriation theory, and applies to people who receive material information that isn’t public.

Using inside information is illegal because that knowledge is not available to everyone trading, and therefore, gives the person with that knowledge an inside advantage. The United States has some of the strictest laws against illegal insider trading, and the SEC goes to great lengths in order to enforce them.

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Medical Mistakes and Cerebral Palsy

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Birth Injuries, Cerebral Palsy, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Each year, around 10,000 babies develop cerebral palsy, and unfortunately, thousands of these cases are a result of medical malpractice. When proper procedure is not followed, it can have permanent results for your child.

Cerebral Palsy is caused by a brain injury that occurs during brain development. It typically develops by the age of three and can have symptoms such as stiff or weak muscles mainly in the arms or legs, tremors, irregular twisting motions, or fragmented motor movements. Affected babies are often slow to learn to roll over, crawl, walk, or smile. Mistakes such as failure to recognize seizures, leaving the baby in the birth canal too long, or failure to treat the mothers changing conditions are medical mistakes that can cause babies to develop cerebral palsy. A few signs that can indicate your baby may be a victim of medical malpractice leading to cerebral palsy include:

  • Your baby required oxygen after birth
  • Your baby required CPR, a brain scan, or special care after birth
  • Your baby had seizures either immediately after birth or within 3-4 days of life

Brachial Plexus palsy is a common birth injury involving weakness arm, shoulder, or hand muscles. Most infants with brachial plexus palsy make a complete recovery, but some continue to suffer from arm weakness and require physical therapy or surgery. A brachial plexus injury can occur naturally, but there are some medically negligent events that can cause this injury during birth. These events include failure to perform an appropriate c-section, excessive stretching or manipulation of the neck or shoulders, or the use of forceps.

Treatment, therapy, and surgery can be draining, so it is important to contact a cerebral palsy lawyer if you believe your child is suffering from cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice.

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Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Abuse | 0 comments

If they are not properly cared for, nursing home residents can suffer serious injuries. Sadly, many signs of nursing home malpractice are overlooked because they are thought to be signs of aging. Familiarizing yourself with the warning signs of abuse and neglect can help you prevent a loved one from experiencing unnecessary pain or death.

Slip and falls are the most common injuries among the elderly. Falling is potentially dangerous because of the likelihood of bone breaks or fractures, especially hip injuries. Hip injuries are often the result of a slip and fall, but it is often likely for females that the hip broke first, resulting in a fall. Unfortunately, this can be the result of malnutrition. Regularly monitoring residents can prevent falls from turning into something more severe. When residents are not properly observed, they are likely to experience additional trauma because they were unattended for too long after a fall.

According to the website of the Lake Geneva nursing home neglect attorneys Habush Habush & Rottier, nursing home malpractice often happens when facilities fail to train their employees properly, are short staffed, or don’t give proper medical care when it’s needed. Some signs of abuse may be more obvious than others, but all signs deserve medical attention and further investigation. The more obvious signs are unusual bruising, cuts, bed sores, poor hygiene, weight loss, or infections. Some less obvious signs are a sudden change in behavior, withdrawal, or disappearance of personal items or finances. Another red flag to be aware of is if you visit a resident and staff members delay or refuse access, or refuse to leave the room throughout the duration of your visit. If you notice any of these signs, you should begin by notifying the nursing home’s management. If your concerns go unnoticed, then it is important to know that you have legal rights to protect your loved ones and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.

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The Importance of Labeling

Posted by on Jul 18, 2013 in Personal Injury, Product Liability | 1 comment

It seems silly to put a “may contain nuts” disclaimer on a bag of Peanut M&M’s, or a “may contain eggs” label on a carton of eggs, but product liability cases have everything to do with these painfully obvious labels. When the average product liability award is around $1.9 million, manufacturers go to frivolous lengths to protect both themselves and their customers.

Product liability involves two principles. The first is that companies have a duty of care not to put their customers in unforeseen danger. Secondly, companies have to provide an adequate warning of foreseeable danger. Of course, costumers have to act reasonably when using a service or product. According to the website of the product liability lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C., a product may be safe if used for its intended purpose, but it is potentially dangerous if used in another way. This is why products are required to have a clear and concise warning about these dangers.

Not all labels are as laughable as a chainsaw’s warning not to “hold the wrong end.” For example, all drugs approved by the FDA are extensively reviewed so that the label has the correct information about side effects and dosage. In a case before the Supreme Court, a woman claimed that she lost an arm to gangrene because of the drug Phenergan. The drug was used to relieve nausea, but the label only contained risks about using the drug in one certain way. The argument was that the label should have warned about using the drug in other ways if the risk of danger was so high. It is entirely ridiculous for a consumer to have to risk losing an arm just to cure an upset stomach, which is exactly why proper labeling is so important.

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Poorly Designed, Constructed or Installed Boilers and Furnaces, a Possible Cause of an Explosion Accident

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Explosion Accidents, Personal Injury | 2 comments

Most Americans are unaware that up to 657 billion cubic meters of natural gas are used in the United States every year. Though hazardous due to its high combustibility, natural gas is a daily home use, a necessity for ovens and gas stoves, clothes dryers, boilers, furnace, air conditioners and many other items.

A natural gas leak that is overlooked and uncorrected can be disastrous for it can result in an explosion which can severely injure or kill anyone, as well as destroy or ruin properties. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., the most common causes of residential gas explosions, include wiring problems, defective appliances, boilers and furnaces. As leaked gas spreads inside a room or a house, the smallest spark from a cigarette, candle, or any electronic gadget is enough to cause an explosion and, as a matter of fact, explosions, especially due to boilers and furnaces, have destroyed many houses, condominiums, apartment complexes, mobile homes and even hotels.

Boilers and furnaces keep many American homes warm during the winter and cold months. Using natural gas, these are able to provide heat in all areas of the home. It has been discovered, however, but only after explosion accidents have already occurred, that many boilers and furnaces have been poorly designed and constructed, installed erroneously or not properly maintained, thus causing the accident. The fault definitely lies on the manufacturer that designed and constructed these boilers and furnaces or on the individual who installed these inside your house.

Regardless of who ought to be blamed, though, explosion victims deserve compensation from the liable party – compensation that will help cover all their financial losses due to the injury they have sustained.

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