The Fourth Amendment And What It Means To You

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The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution is one of 27 amendments, but due to being within the beginning section, is known as an amendment which is part of the Bill of Rights, which was argued by some in the founding of the US to be a vital part of the Constitution in order to protect and inform citizens as to the rights they have in everyday behaviors and situations.

So what is the Fourth Amendment? The Fourth Amendment states that all citizens are to be protected from unlawful search and seizure and that these must be done under the context of a judge’s approval and warrant that is based upon probable cause that a crime is being committed.

What does this mean for you? It means that police cannot enter your home or vehicle without your permission unless they have a warrant from a judge and that their desire to enter these places is built on probable cause that you have done something against the law. This is a very important piece of legislation to keep in mind whenever dealing with the police. If police wish to enter your home, you have the right by the Constitution of the United States to deny them permission to do so. If they wish to enter regardless, a judge has to allow them to do so after reviewing their case and their reasoning for wanting to search your home.

Your privacy is yours and your property is yours, and you should never let the police tread onto your privacy or property for no reason. That is what the Fourth Amendment is for, to protect you from wrongdoing on the part of the government. Keep informed on what rights you have as a citizen, including all amendments that are part of the Bill of Rights, including the Fourth.

Amendments are the backbone of what makes our government evolve and grow better for Americans. It is what keeps them safe from abuse and gives them a right to stand up for themselves with protection from the law.

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What You Should Know About At-Home Paternity Tests

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A man may be interested in home paternity tests for many reasons. He may have some doubts about the parentage of his child. He may want to establish a visitation schedule so that he can build a relationship with his child. He may want to have proof of parentage for a government benefit, as well. Home paternity tests are becoming increasingly popular because of their ease of use, cost-effectiveness and convenience. The following contains some information that a person may need to know about the tests:

What Kinds of Home Paternity Tests Can You Buy?

One of the most common home paternity tests is the swab test. The swab test is about $80, and it requires the user to take a sample of saliva from himself and the child. The parent then sends the swab samples to a lab, and the results come in about one to two days. The price of the test includes laboratory fees.

How Do Home Paternity Tests Work?

Paternity tests work by comparing a man’s DNA with a child’s DNA. The swab paternity tests are more than 99 percent accurate. Interested persons can shop for at-home paternity tests online or at physical stores. Pharmacies such as Walmart, Walgreen’s, CVS and the like sell paternity test that people can use.

Can You Use Home Paternity Tests in Court?

Some at-home paternity tests are eligible for use in court. Such tests require a witness to be present during the sampling. The witness must sign a form. Parents can then use paternity tests results in court.

Why Order a Paternity Test?

A paternity test can give a man and a woman peace of mind when it comes to their child. The custodial parent will be eligible for support, and the non-custodial parent will be eligible for visitation under most circumstances. The child will be eligible for compensation if either of the parents passes away, as well.

Knowing the facts on parentage is always the best option. Many trusted medical product providers offer home paternity tests for caring fathers.

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Dumb And Outdated Arizona Laws

464997291Arizona will be the focus of this post on outdated and dumb state laws. Many of the most ridiculous laws on the books in this state appear to be attempts to govern private behavior. Others simply don’t seem to make any logical sense at all. The following article details some of the stand-out ones among stupid state laws.

Although summer temperatures in Arizona can top 120 degrees Fahrenheit, it might seem unlikely anyone could get in trouble for refusing another person a glass of water. This refusal is unlawful and can result in a fine. The desert state might seem an unlikely place to find camels, but they do roam free after a failed US Army experiment. Hunting them is prohibited by law.

Probably the most outdated dumb law is in effect in Maricopa County, Ariz. It states that no more than six women can live in the same house. Otherwise the house would be considered a house of prostitution. Another nonsensical law dictating private behavior outlaws more than two dildos kept in the same residence. In Mojave County, any person apprehended stealing soap is required to wash him- or herself with it until it’s all gone. Rather unbelievably, women are prohibited from wearing pants in the city of Tucson.

In the Phoenix suburb of Tempe, no one under the age of 18 is allowed to buy spray paint, though some may agree with this attempt to curb spray-painted graffiti on walls. Another law that many state residents find acceptable is the prohibition of cutting down saguaro cacti, which are treasured symbols of Arizona statehood. Another wildlife related law prohibits donkeys from sleeping in bathtubs, though it seems rather absurd there would be enough of a need for this law to be passed.

While crime doesn’t pay in the first place, it’s inadvisable to commit any misdemeanor crime in the state of Arizona while wearing a red ski mask. Doing so will automatically have the crime in question upgraded in severity to a felony. If any person is attacked by a mugger in Arizona, he or she is allowed self-defense only with the same weapon the mugger has. Follow us for more on law, crime and legalities.

The Fifth Amendment Explained

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The fifth amendment to the US Constitution is designed to protect people against self-incrimination when they’re arrested on suspicion of a crime. It helps to ensure the treatment of the accused as innocent until proven guilty. A specific clause in the amendment prevents double jeopardy, which is a situation of an accused person brought to trial twice for the same crime. The same amendment also ensures the right to due process of law, a speedy trial and the right to fair compensation paid to crime victims.

According to the fifth amendment, no one accused of a crime can be forced to testify against him- or herself in a court of law. This extends to the requirement that the accused can’t make statements that count as self-incrimination. This amendment is the origin of the right to remain silent when arrested, and it’s tied closely to the Miranda rights that need to be read to anyone upon arrest.

The idea of the right to remain silent comes from the 17th century English politician John Lilburne, who refused to sign a pledge to answer every question asked of him upon arrest for distributing Puritan literature. Even after public corporal punishment, he continued to campaign for the rights of the accused and for protective measures against their being imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit.

Further development of the fifth amendment is credited to James Madison, the fourth president of the United States and one of the framers of the Constitution. He wrote that no one should ever be forced to be a witness against him- or herself in any type of criminal case. Several of the first US states didn’t include these protections in their individual constitutions, and Madison felt it was vital the rights of the accused be preserved on a federal level.

Since its inception, the fifth amendment has been changed and updated several times over the centuries. These amendments have included exceptions when public safety is immediately at risk and when a non-custodial parent is accused of kidnapping his or her child away from the custodial parent.

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What Is The Three-Strike Law?

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The three strike law is also referred as the habitual offender laws. These are statutes that are enacted by different states in the United States of America to ensure that people who have the habit of committing crime get higher sentences in subsequent crimes. This is so for offenders who have been convicted of two crimes of a serious nature prior to the third crime. In most of the states that have three strike laws in place, offenses that amount to felony are what is deemed as serious offenses.

The punishment that these habitual offenders face is majorly life sentences since the law seeks to increase the sentences served by these people. The enactment of the three strike laws in different states may vary but most states ensure that the offender is jailed for a minimum of 25 years and some even get the full life sentence. Some of the offenses which lead to such sentences include violent murder, burglary, firearm violations and many more. The law therefore seeks to put away serious criminals for longer period with an aim of reducing the levels of crime experienced in different states.

The effectiveness of the law however has been questioned in some states. People with prior criminal record are sent to prison for longer even for crimes where they would serve shorter sentences. This has led to an increase in the population in the prisons and therefore the government spends more money to keep these criminals away. This has not augured well with some leaders and therefore the challenging of the law. However, in some states, the law has worked well and the level of criminal activity has been on a decline.

The three strike law has been seen as an infringement on the rights of some of the citizens in some states. It is against the law to offer and unjust and cruel punishment for a crime and this has been promoted by the use of the law. People who commit minor crimes may be sent away for long periods and therefore an infringement on their rights. Well, although this may be true, it leaves the question of whether or not the law should continue being used in different states.

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What Are My Rights For Arizona DUI Checkpoints?

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If you have a habit of driving while intoxicated, then you have a reason to fear DUI checkpoints. However, law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear. DUI checkpoints are usually mounted and manned by local police departments to ensure Arizona roads are free of criminals and drunk drivers. While they may be important in law enforcement, we know that innocent civilians may be arrested by mistake. When approaching an Arizona DUI checkpoint, you should know your constitutional rights. However, you should also remember that the police also have certain rights which must be respected. The Judge’s Chamber: Law Blog takes a look at some of your rights.

Your Constitutional Rights

One of the most important constitutional rights, is the right to privacy. However, you also have the duty to provide the police with your license, registration, ID and proof of residence. Whether you’re driving while intoxicated or not, you do not need to take a breath test or field sobriety tests. In Arizona, however, your driving license may be suspended for a year if you refuse to take a breath test when requested.
You also have the right to deny the police permission to search you or your vehicle. Remember to be civil and polite when communicating with the police. If police have any reason to suspect you are intoxicated, you may be arrested and taken to the police department where they can get a warrant to test your blood alcohol content. You will then be required to comply with the warrant. A certified phlebotomist at the station will take a blood sample for testing. If your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit, you will be charged with DUI.

When you are being placed under arrest, you have the right to be informed of all your rights. Which include:

– The right to remain silent, so you should stop answering questions as soon as you’re arrested
– The right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you should not answer questions about the case until a public attorney is appointed to handle your case

Knowing your rights is important, but knowing your obligations is much more important. After all, refusing to do something you are required to do may result in an additional charge of resisting arrest or something else. Follow us for more on law, crime and legalities.

Quick Advice If You Have Been Involved In A Retail Scam

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Some people will do anything to make money even if it involves shady business practices. There have been countless scams targeting consumers over the years. The public needs to be aware of their rights and their options should they become a target of these bad elements. Here are a few pertinent advice about retail scams:

What to Do If You Fell Victim to a Scam

Hold on to all the evidence that you have been a victim of deceptive business practices. The paper trail is particularly important as it will help in the prosecution of the offender if the case reaches the courts. Ask for assistance from the local consumer protection agency. There is one in every state that monitors scams. The staff can help to verify what type of scam was committed and who the likely perpetrators are. For large fraudulent schemes, even the FBI may get involved in the case.

Getting Your Money Back

It can be extremely difficult to get your money back. However, this may be accomplished if you were charged via credit card. Just file a dispute with the bank. The same goes for phone bills and utilities. Dispute the charges with the company. Even online auction sites have implemented anti-fraud measures like customer insurance. Inform them of the fraudulent transaction so that they can bar the offender from the site and provide compensation.

Filing a Complaint

Once you have verified that you were indeed scammed, you have every right to file a complaint. You can file with the Better Business Bureau or any pertinent local government agency. You may also want to go to Fraud.org to seek their assistance. They can forward your complaint to the most appropriate body for immediate action. If you are unsatisfied with the pace of your case, then seek persons in the media to cover your story.

How to Handle Unwanted Deliveries

There are a lot of scams wherein people receive deliveries for items they didn’t buy. They may later on find that they have been charged for these without their consent. Dispute the charges and ask for proof of order. Offer to return the items. Be careful not to sign up for memberships and free trials if they aren’t necessary.

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Legal Terms Everyone Needs To Know

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Sooner or later, virtually everyone has to consult a lawyer whether it is for a home purchase, family issues, business transaction or other concern that needs legal representation. When that happens, many individuals are often caught up with legal terms and have no clue as to their meaning. Here’s a list of legal terms that everyone should know before walking into an attorney’s office.

Credibility

This word tells someone that you can be believed. Credibility is essential to every lawsuit and means that you or another individuals is trustworthy and honest. Credibility is an ongoing issue, starting with being open with your lawyer continuing through deposition and during trial testimony.

Damages

This term refers to the amount of money an individual recovers in a lawsuit. It can include lost wages, lost profit, out-of-pocket costs and more. The idea is that damages suffered are losses that may be recovered in a lawsuit.

Default

A default occurs when the court prevents a plaintiff or defendant from advancing their case  because they have failed to do what was required by the law. Defaults may be lifted when compliance occurs.

Defendant

The defendant is the person defending himself or herself in a lawsuit, or someone who has been accused of wrongdoing.

Discovery

This is the process that permits both sides of a lawsuit to file papers requesting the other side to furnish information. When one side requests discovery, the information must be furnished in a short amount of time, usually 30 days or less.

Docket

A docket is the manner in which the court keeps track of a case. When a case is “on the docket,” it means it is schedule for some kind of hearing.

Liability

This term means that the defendant is responsible for damages. In other words, one party is liable for damages suffered by the other.

Malpractice

Malpractice can be difficult to define. In order to prove malpractice, four things need to be proved: a duty to provide care to the patient; failure to provide care in accordance with community standards; failure to provide treatment was a substantial cause of injury, and; the patient or client suffered an injury requiring compensation.

Negligence

The basic definition of negligence is one individual has a duty to another individual,with the first party breaking the duty, resulting in a compensable injury to the other party. Negligence may be applied to a wide range of situations.

Plaintiff

Also called a claimant, this is the person who brings a lawsuit to recover damages from wrongs committed by a defendant.

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Can You Get A DUI From Prescription Meds And OTC Medications?

103576988Driving Under Influence isn’t limited to intoxication from alcohol. Plenty of defendants were charged because they ingested other substances that impaired their ability to drive, hence putting the public at risk. Some of these are prescription and over-the-counter medications. Be sure to look into the side effects of whatever drugs you are taking. Exercise caution by avoiding the wheel until after the effects have subsided.

Cold and Allergy Medications

It is common to get colds and allergic reactions. When you take medications to banish their symptoms, you are also probably ingesting sedatives that might cause drowsiness. Others have stimulants that increase nervousness. These ingredients are the reason why many of them come with warnings on the label that they should not be taken by those intending to drive. These might not be prohibited drugs but their effects can be just as dangerous and so charges may be filed against violators.

Painkillers

There are many classes of painkillers. If you are going to drive, be sure to take those that trigger significant intoxication. Stick to ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen. Avoid things like codeine and morphine as they are potent sedatives that often leave people very sleepy. The last thing you want to do is fall asleep at the wheel and cause accidents that could endanger your life or somebody else’s. Even at a low dose, reaction time will become impaired and sometimes those split-second decisions make the difference between life and death.

Weight Loss Medications

Prescription meds for weight loss may contain amphetamine which is a powerful stimulant. It is also addictive so it should only be taken under the strict directions of a physician. Even a small dose is enough to trigger anxiety and paranoia which can adversely affect driving behavior. Patients taking this drug should refrain from driving as their decision-making may be impaired.

Should you be caught by a law enforcer with medication DUI, call a defense attorney immediately. It will be difficult to convince an officer that the meds were for a real health issue. A savvy lawyer will be able to get your case dismissed or at least lower the penalty.

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Common Car Accident Scams And How To Handle Them

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Car accidents are common and can be disappointing for an average person. There are various things involved in a car accident that one needs to handle, including the insurance procedures and civil or criminal proceedings, if any. Some car accidents are also done on purpose. These accidents are staged to make money from fraudulent car accident claims. The number of these accidents is on the rise and hence it is important that one is aware of these situations and well prepared to handle them.

Types of Car Accident Scams

The T-Bone Accident

In this situation, a scam driver will hit your vehicle at a point of intersection. The result of the accident will be a T-Bone. Some phony witnesses or shady helpers will blame you for the accident when the police come.

Brake Slam

The driver of the car in front of you will slam the brakes suddenly and as a result you may hit their vehicle from the rear.

Dual Turn Sideswipes

While executing turn, you may slip slightly out of your lane. The scam driver will swipe your car or hit you even on your slightest sideways movement from your lane. Managed witnesses will testify against you so that you will have to bear the consequences.

Swoop and Stop

In this scenario, two cars will make you victim of a fake accident. One will overtake you and stop suddenly in front of you while the other will pull up alongside you so as not to allow you chance to steer aside and find some clear space.

Car accident scams can be financially damaging as well as time consuming for you to handle. You may also fall prey to injuries, should anything go beyond control in a fake car accident.

Avoiding Car Accident Scams

A few things and preparation can be helpful in such accidents. Install a dashboard camera and keep a pen and diary handy to note the information about the accident scene. These scammers target people specifically like old age people and women. These are easy targets for them. New cars and luxury vehicles are also on their list. In case of such an accident, always take notes about the details of the other car and its driver. This information will prove helpful in further investigation of the case.

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