Anyone who has a driver’s license can relate to the feeling of seeing a police car behind you. Even if you’re obeying all traffic laws and driving as safely as possible, just seeing the flashing lights behind you is enough to drive your heart into your throat and make you question every decision you’ve ever made. In a split second you go from being completely rational to completely paranoid. You ask yourself a dozen questions and mentally try to prepare yourself for what’s coming next:

  • What did you do?
  • Did you do something illegal?
  • Are you going to be arrested?
  • Do you need a lawyer?

Fortunately, most traffic stops end with a simple warning or ticket: no big deal. However, now imagine if that cop were approaching you at home or at work, and instead of ending with a ticket, the situation ends with you in handcuffs. Where’s your heart then? Suddenly, your “paranoid” questions become all too real. Unfortunately, not knowing what will happen next could cause you to jeopardize your defense. You will be glad to know that the McDaniel Law Group, PLLC, is here to shed light on the typical criminal arrest procedure so you’re not left in the dark.

Understanding Your Arrest Procedure to Secure Your Defense

If you’ve never been arrested before, the process can be extremely frightening and confusing. Some of that is deliberately intended to make you feel passive and cooperative; it can also be manipulative and cost you your rights as well as freedom.

If standard police procedure isn’t followed precisely from start to finish, two things can happen: you could wind up inadvertently giving evidence against yourself, or—if you have retained an experienced defense attorney—your lawyer can use any procedural errors to strengthen your defense. Either way, knowing what to expect in your criminal proceedings is paramount for your future.

The common criminal offense procedure for arrest, processing, and conviction is as follows:

  • Investigation. In order for you to be charged and arrested for a crime, the police must have evidence or reasonable suspicion of guilt that connects you to the crime.
  • Arrest. Once a reasonable accusation has been made, you’ll be arrested on a warrant and brought before a magistrate for your initial appearance. The arresting officers must read you your Miranda rights as well as tell you the charges, but aside from that they needn’t give you any more information pertaining to the crime. As the initial appearance is where the validity of the charges is decided upon, it would be a good time to contact us or make an appointment to explain your situation.
  • Detention or bail. If the magistrate agrees that the charges against you seem unreasonable or the initial evidence unpersuasive, he or she can order the charges dropped—and you will be free to leave. It’s more likely that he or she will decide there were sufficient grounds to have you arrested, and will set a bail amount for guarantee you will appear for later proceedings. Only in the most serious crimes will you be detained without
  • bail. Of course, if you cannot afford to pay for bail (either directly or through a bail bondsman), then you will be stuck in jail until your trial date.
  • Preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is held in district court to determine if there is indeed probable cause that you (and only you) could have committed the crime in question. If the answer is yes, your case will be sent to the grand jury. If you’re accused of a felony, the preliminary hearing may be omitted and your case could be sent directly to the grand jury.
  • Indictment. If the grand jury agrees with the district court that there is reasonable certainty of your guilt, they will issue a formal charge against you; this is called an indictment. The complete charges will then be read to you to make sure you fully understand the accusations Your lawyer will also be able to explain the charges and provide you with your legal options going forward.
  • Pre-trial motions. After the indictment, your lawyer will have the opportunity to bring up any objections that may influence an impeding trial. For instance, if your rights were violated, witnesses were compromised, you were questioned without a lawyer present, or evidence was obtained illegally, your attorney can demand that the evidence against you not be presented at trial.
  • Stating your plea and plea bargaining. Once you have been formally charged, you’ll then have the opportunity to give your plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere (no contest). Once you’ve entered your plea the prosecution may (if so inclined) present you with the chance to “make a deal” to settle your case outside of court. A plea bargain can give you the opportunity to lessen your sentence or avoid a lengthy trial. If a plea-bargain cannot be reached, you will then proceed to make your case in court with a trial.
  • Trial. You and your lawyer will be able to present your defense and address any irregularities or misconceptions with the prosecution’s case. Remember, you’re innocent until proven guilty. If your lawyer can convince the jury that the prosecution doesn’t have a solid case, you can’t be found guilty.
  • Verdict, sentencing, and appeal. Once the prosecution and your lawyer have finished their final statements, the court will decide on a verdict—as well as sentencing, if you’re found guilty. If you believe the verdict to be unjustified due to an error at the trial, your lawyer can then start proceedings for an appeal. You have the right to defend yourself against criminal charges—but, in our experience, arrestees who proceed without lawyers almost always lose and have the heaviest sentences imposed on them. If you’re facing criminal prosecution in the Washington, DC area, do yourself a favor and contact the McDaniel Law Group, PLLC. You need sound legal advice and you need it today.

Deciding to place an elderly loved one—parent, grandparent, or another relative or close friend—in an assisted living facility can be one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make. There are dozens of questions you’ll ask yourself…and dozens more that will arise once the decision has been made.

Does she really need 24-hour care? Is there any way you could take her in yourself? Is this the best choice for her? Will she be happy? Does she like it there?

These are only a few of the concerns you may struggle with. Unfortunately, one of the most important questions you should be asking yourself may be too hard to even think about: Is she being neglected or abused?

Acknowledging and Understanding Signs of Elderly Abuse

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are designed as safe havens for elderly and disabled residents. Their overall purpose is to protect and care for residents who are unable to do so for themselves. Regrettably, they do not always succeed. In fact, surveys and inspections over the years have uncovered alarming instances of elder abuse and neglect that have run rampant through the nursing home system.

Although neglect and abuse may be more common than they should be, you can still protect your loved ones by recognizing the signs of maltreatment. It is extremely important during your visits that you keep a scrutinizing eye not only on the staff and accommodations, but also on your loved one’s behavior. If you notice any of the following, you need to take immediate action to secure the health of your family member:

  • Changes in attitude or personality. Increased moodiness, fearfulness, or lack of affection and attention can all be signs of persistent neglect or physical abuse.
  • Noticeably decreased interaction with staff or other residents. A withdrawn attitude can signal fear or mistrust of others’ actions as a result of having experienced abuse.
  • Poor hygiene or persistent illnesses. Repetitive illnesses and poor hygiene may be indicative that care and cleanliness are not being properly maintained.
  • Expression of contradictory views on finances and health decisions. Unexpected or irrational choices can be a sign of manipulation and coercion from caregivers or other residents. Exploitation of elders is extremely common as it is easy to confuse, threaten, and scare them into making poor decisions.
  • Physical health changes. Sudden weight loss, dehydration, and malnutrition, are all signs that the caregivers are neglecting their patients —or at the very least not effectively doing their jobs. Noticeable injuries. Bruises, cuts, sores, or skin discolorations are big clues that your loved one is either suffering abuse or that her caregivers ignore injuries.
  • Environmental hazards. Poor lighting, slippery floors, unsafe mobility equipment, or unsafe furniture can cause serious harm to elderly residents, and by ignoring these hazards the caregivers are promoting injury.
  • Giving Your Loved One the Security and Vindication She Deserves

    If you have witnessed signs that a family member or a loved one may be suffering neglect or abuse at the hands of her caregivers, contact us immediately. Our extensive knowledge and experience with nursing home abusers will get you the justice and compensation your loved one deserves for her ordeal. We’ll also give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that our determination with stopping these sordid crimes against the elderly will help prevent this type of abuse from hurting others. Call today for a free consultation and review of your case. By pursuing a claim, you can help us decrease the alarming number of nursing home abuses.

    Safety is the most important thing for you and your family. Help us spread the word to other families about assisted living exploitation and abuse. By sharing this page with your friends and family you can help other elderly victims’ families recognize and stop their loved ones’ terror.

How many times have you driven by a crash scene and wondered if anyone was hurt?

How many times have you seen a billboard declaring how many auto accidents have occurred since the beginning of the year?

How often have you wondered about your family’s safety while driving?

Unfortunately, when it comes to car accidents, your concern is valid. Every year well over a million car accidents occur across the United States. Although some of these collisions are minor, an alarming number of them are fatal or cause severe injury. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 800 out of every 10,000 of these collisions result in victims needing emergency care for severe injuries.

Considering the odds against you and your family, don’t you think it’s important to understand your potential injury risks?

Common Auto Accident Injuries That Can Claim Your Future

Understanding the possible effects of a collision can better prepare your family and your future finances; severe injury care can be terrifyingly expensive. You have the opportunity to plan for such an event by learning your options for pursuing injury claims or securing an experienced injury lawyer. Once you’re injured, no matter how severely, you’re going to need help securing a fair settlement for your recovery.

The McDaniel Law Group can help you understand what that settlement should be, as well as help you obtain it. However, every accident is different, and every injury requires specific attention to detail. This is why, whether you’re preparing ahead or already suffering the effects of a collision, knowing your injuries is paramount for developing a strong claim.

From minor to severe, common auto accident injuries include:

  • Bruises and swelling. The impact force of a collision can cause your body to bounce around the vehicle. Pressure from seat belts, shoulder restraints, and inflating air bags can cause massive bruising, hemorrhages, and swelling.
  • Cuts and open wounds. Shattered glass, metal shards, and impact force can easily tear your skin creating open wounds. The severity of each cut depends on the depth of the laceration, but deep cuts to veins or arteries can cause excessive bleeding and eventually death.
  • Broken bones. A severe impact can easily twist and snap any bone. The most susceptible in car crashes are the clavicle (collarbone) and pelvis (hips) as the force of the seatbelt is applied directly to them.
  • Puncture wounds. Sharp debris from the crash can be forced into you, stabbing and penetrating your body. These punctures can cause severe internal damage depending on depth.
  • Second- and third-degree burns. Cars can easily catch fire, causing the potential for excruciating scorching of the flesh and permanent scarring.
  • Amputations. Jagged and mangled metal, broken glass, and grinding force could cause limbs to be severed from your body—or can crush a limb so badly that surgical amputation is the only way to save your life.
  • Head injuries. Any type of force applied to the head can cause severe concussions, brain hemorrhages, swelling, hypoxia (lack of oxygen from failed organs and damaged blood supply), and even permanent brain damage. If not diagnosed and treated immediately, head trauma could be life-altering…or even fatal.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Impact force and lacerations to the spine can cause severe pain or lasting paralysis.
  • Death. Any one of the above traumas can lead to death if the injury isn’t treated in a timely manner.
  • Claiming Your Settlement Before Your Injuries Claim You

    If you’ve recently been injured, or if you know someone who has recently been injured in a car accident, contact us today. Our experience, knowledge and diligence will fight to make sure justice is done. No one should have to pay for someone else’s misguided actions; that includes you. Call now for a free consultation, and break free from the financial and emotional constraints of your car accident.

    Did you find this article interesting and helpful? You can help raise collision injury awareness by sharing this page on Facebook. Do your part to help your loved ones know their risks and consequences of defensive driving.

The amendments to the U.S. Constitution were designed in order to protect citizens’ fundamental freedoms and rights as residents of the United States. So, why are there so many cases of civil rights violations across the country? Every week seems to find a new outrage featured in the news, and a new round of protests from both sides of the latest issue.

It seems that, for a country that has fought tooth and nail for freedom and liberty, we haven’t learned much. Why is that?

Attitudes Lead to Civil Rights Violations

It’s all well and good to have a document that “guarantees” certain freedoms and rights. However, a piece of paper can’t magically change the views and opinions of those who choose to ignore it. Unfortunately, it’s those dissenters who have the power to wreak havoc and violate the civil rights of others.

Here are a few of the views and opinions that can fuel a civil rights violation:

  • Racism. The United States has come a long way in acknowledging its racial history. That doesn’t mean, though, that there has been full atonement for the racial sins of the past or that racial hatreds no longer fester. Sociologists have found some indications that each new American generation is less likely than earlier ones to judge people based on skin color; but there are still many white Americans who resent that they are on track to be a minority within the United States.
  • Prejudice. Tribalism has been around since the dawn of the human race. There has always been an “us versus them” mindset, and the creation of the United States didn’t abolish suspicion and prejudice against those who are different. Today, the battle lines are drawn based on political belief, sexual orientation, immigration status, gender, culture, and even language. The Constitution is powerless to teach acceptance to people who think “tolerance” is an evil concept.
  • Religion. Religion has played a huge role in moral and ethical development, but it’s also served as one of the dividing lines for prejudice. When people see all beliefs other than their own as monstrous and corrupt, they cannot find a way to compromise. Just as other prejudices can cause people to mistreat others, religious beliefs can spur violent, unlawful, and destructive prejudicial behavior in the name of a creed or deity.

Stopping the Causes from Affecting Your Future

If you believe that you’ve been a victim of a civil rights violation, you may be entitled to pursue a civil rights claim. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case and options. Our extensive knowledge and drive for justice can help you get your rights acknowledged and respected—a get a full recovery for what you have endured.

Don’t allow your civil rights to be trampled on—fight back with our help. Call today!