Monday, December 30, 2013

Stay Safe on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas

Thousands of people, both locals and visitors, will be in Las Vegas tomorrow night to ring in 2014. There will be countless concerts, shows, and events to enjoy on the Strip on New Year’s Eve.

To keep you stay safe and enable you to have a great time, below is a list of helpful tips for New Year’s Eve: 
  • Have a plan – Before going out, discuss with your group where you will go during the night, where you should meet up if separated, and how you will get home or back to your hotel.
  • Charge your phone – Make sure your phone has full battery life before heading out for the evening.
  • Have emergency cash – Make sure you carry emergency money on your person (such as in your pocket or shoe) in case something happens to your wallet or purse.
  • Don’t go anywhere alone – Whether or not you decide to drink, it is safest to travel in groups or pairs. Likewise, try to keep an eye out for friends to make sure they don’t go anywhere by themselves.
  • Know your limits – If you are planning to drink, know how much alcohol you can consume before you lose control or blackout.
  • Eat throughout the night – Eating high protein foods before you go out and throughout the night will slow your body’s absorption of alcohol.
  • Stay hydrated – Alcohol is a diuretic and you will become more dehydrated with each drink. Make sure you drink lots of water throughout the night.
  • Keep your drinks in sight – Don’t accept drinks from strangers and be careful not to set your drink down and leave it unattended for any length of time.
  • Keep in contact with your friends – If you separate from your group, text them so they know where you are and who you are with.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help, if needed – If you feel unsafe for any reason or need help, don’t hesitate to ask security guards, LVMPD officers, concierges, or staff members for assistance.
  • Don’t drive after drinking – If you drink at any point during the night, do not try to drive home. Your ability to safely operate your vehicle could be impaired and there will be DUI checkpoints set up throughout the city.
  • Don’t get in the car with someone who was drinking – If your ride has been drinking, don’t get in the car. If possible, get the driver to take a cab with you and arrange to pick up their vehicle the next day.

Get Home Safely

-Updated for New Year's Eve 2015-

In addition to getting a cab, there are a few different options available to help you get home safely and avoid drunk driving.
  • The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is offering free bus rides to the Strip and Downtown for New Year’s, starting at 6 p.m. on December 31 and ending at 9 a.m. on January 1.
  • The RTC is also offering park and ride transit services to Downtown from the Suncoast Casino Park & Ride, the Centennial Hills Transit Center Park, and the Westcliff Transit Center. The buses will run every 20 minutes, starting at 6 p.m. on December 31 and ending at 4 a.m. on January 1.
  • The Las Vegas Monorail is another great option for getting around the Strip quickly on New Year's Eve. 
If you need any type of legal help in Las Vegas, don’t hesitate to contact De Castroverde Law Group. Our experienced lawyers can determine your rights and options and provide you with outstanding representation.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

What is Perjury?

Perjury is a felony offense in the state of Nevada. Commonly referred to as “lying under oath”, perjury is a serious crime that occurs when an individual purposefully lies while under oath. Similarly, a person can be guilty of perjury if, while under oath, they make a statement which they do not know to actually be true.

According to NRS 199.120, perjury occurs when, while under oath in a judicial or other official proceeding that requires an oath to be taken, the individual does any of the following:
  • Willfully makes a statement that is unqualified and that they do not know to be true; or
  • Willfully and falsely affirms or swears in a matter that is crucial to the point or issue in question; or
  • Bribes, induces, or suborns another person to make a statement that is unqualified or to affirm or swear in such a matter; or
  • Executes an affidavit seeking a verification of a pleading which contains a false statement or induces another person to do so; or
  • Executes an affidavit or another instrument which contains a false statement before an individual who is authorized to administer oaths, or induces another person to do so.
It is important to note that a person has not committed perjury if they believed that the statement they made was actually true.

The Penalties for Perjury in Nevada

If convicted of perjury, the defendant’s penalties will reflect the factors involved in their specific case.

Attempting to bribe, induce or suborn another person to commit perjury, even if perjury is never committed, is a gross misdemeanor. The penalties include:
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Incarceration in county jail for a maximum of 1 year

For committing perjury, the defendant will be charged with a Category D felony, punishable by:
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Incarceration in state prison for a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 4 years

If the defendant willfully commits perjury or induces someone else to commit perjury which leads to an innocent person being convicted and executed, the defendant could be charged with murder, which is a Category A felony, punishable by:
  • Life in prison without the possibility of parole; or
  • Life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving 20 years; or
  • Incarceration in prison for 50 years with a possibility of parole after 20 years.
If you are charged with perjury, it is important to have an experienced defense team on your side. Learn about our experienced attorneys by visiting our website or call De Castroverde Law Group to discuss your legal options.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Each year, thousands of Americans are harmed by the negligence of medical professionals. Medical malpractice claims can be brought against doctors, nurses, EMTs, pharmacists, dentists, hospitals, and any other medical professionals who fail to provide patients with proper care and treatment.

While countless factors can be involved in these tragic cases, most medical malpractice claims are the result of a few specific types of negligence.

Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis

If a physician fails to diagnose a patient’s illness or injury, or misdiagnoses the problem, the patient can suffer serious harm as a result. A physician could be sued for medical malpractice if they fail to properly diagnose or discover an illness or injury that any other competent medical professional would have diagnosed or discovered.

Improper Treatment

If a physician chooses a treatment that any other competent medical professional would not have chosen or if they fail to treat the patient as any other competent medical professional would have, the physician could be liable for malpractice. Similarly, the physician could also be liable for medical malpractice if they chose the correct form of treatment but administered it to the patient improperly.

Failure to Warn of Known Risks

Medical professionals have a responsibility to warn patients of any known risks of the procedures, medications, or other treatments they recommend. This obligation is referred to as the duty of informed consent, and is important because it enables patients to make informed decisions about their medical care. If a physician violates their duty of informed consent, and had the patient known of all risks beforehand, they would not have elected to carry on with the treatment that caused them harm, the physician could be sued for malpractice.

If you have been harmed by the negligence of a medical professional, it is important to learn about your legal options. Visit our Medical Malpractice page for more information or call De Castroverde Law Group to discuss your case with our experienced lawyers.

Friday, December 20, 2013

When is Drunk Driving a Felony?

Nevada harshly prosecutes all types of DUIs, and in some cases, drunk driving can even be charged as a felony offense. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, you could be charged with a felony if:

  • You were convicted of drunk driving twice in the past 7 years
  • You were previously convicted of felony DUI
  • In the course of driving under the influence you seriously injured a victim or caused a fatality

What are the penalties for felony DUI?

If you are convicted of felony DUI, your penalties will be based upon the factors involved in your offense.  Below is an overview of the typical sentences given for felony drunk driving.

Third DUI Offense – Category B Felony
  • Incarceration in state prison for 1 to 6 years
  • $2,000 to $5,000 in fines
  • Installation of a breath interlock device in your car for 1 to 3 years
  • License suspension for 3 years

DUI Following a Felony DUI Conviction – Category B Felony
  • Incarceration in state prison for 2 to 15 years
  • $2,000 to $5,000 in fines

DUI Causing Injury or Death – Category B Felony
  • Incarceration in state prison for 2 to 15 years
  • Fines of $2,000 to $5,000

If you are charged with DUI causing injury or death and you have already been convicted of drunk driving at least 3 times, your charges will be increased to vehicular homicide, which is a Category A felony. Conviction for vehicular homicide will result in incarceration in state prison for 25 years or life in prison, with the possibility of parole after serving at least 10 years.

If you are charged with felony DUI, it’s important to understand your defense options and to retain an experienced criminal lawyer for your trial. Visit the DUI Defense section on our website for more information.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Safety Tips for the Home

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the decorations. The lights, Christmas trees, and other festive garnishments make the season feel special, but these decorations can also sometimes lead to injuries or damage to property if users aren't cautious.

While decorating for the holidays, there are different precautions you can take to protect your family and home from harm. Read the prevention tips below to learn how you can keep your loved ones safe and avoid dangerous accidents.
  • If you are getting an artificial tree, look for one that is “fire resistant”.
  • When buying a real tree, look for one that is fresh and does not have dry needles that easily fall off.
  • Place your tree at least 3 feet from all heat sources, including radiators, fireplaces, vents, space heaters, and lights.
  • Make sure your tree does not block any doorways.
  • Hang glass and breakable ornaments towards the top of the tree, out of the reach of children.
  • If you have young children, be careful not to use small decorations or ornaments that could become choking hazards.
  • Never light candles near your Christmas tree or other decorations.
  • When hanging lights indoors or outside, be sure to check each strand for broken sockets or bulbs and frayed wires.
  • If you are hanging lights outside of your home, make sure the strands are certified for use outdoors.
  • No more than 3 strands of lights should be plugged into any single extension cord.
  • Make sure you turn off all lights – both indoors and outside – before leaving the house and going to sleep.
  • When opening presents, keep the discarded wrapping paper away from fireplaces or sources of heat and immediately throw away the paper when done.
  • Be sure to throw your tree out once the needles become dry and brittle, as it is more flammable once it has dried out.

We hope these tips will help you keep your family safe while enjoying your holiday decorations!

De Castroverde Law Group represents victims of negligent accidents in personal injury cases throughout Las Vegas and Clark County.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Get the Facts on Hit & Run Charges

In the state of Nevada, drivers involved in collisions have a responsibility to stop and render reasonable aid to any injured victims and to give their information to the other drivers (NRS 484E.010). The failure to do so will result in charges for fleeing the scene, more commonly referred to as hit & run. 

Regardless of whether the accident resulted in property damage, injury, or fatality, any drivers involved are required to exchange the following information at the scene:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Vehicle registration
  • Driver’s license (if someone requests to see it)

If you are involved in an accident and fail to stop and give aid or provide your information to other drivers, you will face either misdemeanor or felony charges.

Misdemeanor Hit & Run – Property Damage

You will be charged with a misdemeanor offense if you flee from an accident that only resulted in property damage. If you hit and damage an unoccupied vehicle or other property with your vehicle, you have a duty to try to find the owner or leave a note with your name and address, and to also inform law enforcement about the accident.

If you are convicted of misdemeanor hit & run, your penalties will include:
  • 6 points to your driver’s license;
  • Fines up to $1,000; and/or
  • Incarceration in county jail for a maximum of 6 months.

Felony Hit & Run – Bodily Injury or Death

Hit & run is charged as Category B felony offense when the accident results in bodily injury or death to a victim. If you are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident that involved injury or fatality, your penalties will include:
  • Fines between $2,000 and $5,000;
  • Incarceration in state prison for 2 to 15 years; and
  • Possible suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

Charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Clark County? Our defense team at De Castroverde Law Group is experienced in fighting all types of misdemeanor and felony charges. Visit the Hit & Run page on our website for more information.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning During Winter

In recent weeks Nevada and many states throughout the country have been hit with extremely cold weather. It’s important to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning when heating your home this winter.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas that is produced whenever a fuel is burned. CO is the most common cause of poisoning deaths in the United States, killing over 500 victims each year. Although CO poisoning can occur during any season, it is most common during the winter when people use gas, kerosene, wood, oil, or charcoal to warm their homes.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Exposure to high levels of CO can cause illness and even death. CO poisoning has symptoms similar to the flu, except that the victim will not have a fever. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, disorientation, shortness of breath, vomiting, and the loss of consciousness.

If you or members of your household are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately go outside to get fresh air and seek medical attention.

What Causes Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Victims can suffer CO poisoning when the gas builds up in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas. CO gasses can accumulate in the home because of a blocked chimney, rusted or malfunctioning heating system or water heater, idling car in the garage, or any unvented, fuel-burning appliance or space heater.

There are a number of steps you can take to prevent CO poisoning in your home and protect your family.
  • Have your heating system, water heater, and all fuel-burning appliances checked by a trained professional at the beginning of every winter.
  • Have your chimney inspected or cleaned every year.
  • Never leave your car idling in the garage, even if the garage door is open.
  • Keep a window cracked in a room that contains a fuel-burning appliance to avoid CO buildup.
  • Never use a barbecue grill, charcoal grill, or gas camp stove indoors.
  • Never use your oven or gas range to heat the room or your home.
  • Never use a generator inside of your home, garage, or basement; when using a generator outside, keep it away from all windows, doors, and vents.
  • Perhaps the most important action to take is to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home, including at least one battery operated CO detector in case the power goes out. Check or replace the batteries in your CO detectors twice a year.

Be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning this winter and take the necessary steps to prevent harm to your family.

The team at De Castroverde Law Group represents injury victims in the Las Vegas area. Call the firm if you need assistance with a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Unfortunately, it seems like motorcycle accidents make the headlines every week in the Las Vegas area. These collisions often lead to catastrophic injuries, and the tragic truth is that most motorcycle accidents are preventable. The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

Cars Making Left Turns
Drivers making left-hand turns cause approximately 42% of all motorcycle accidents. Passenger vehicles making left turns often hit motorcycles when the rider is:

  • Passing the turning vehicle
  • Trying to overtake the turning vehicle
  • Going straight through the intersection when the vehicle turns
The small size of motorcycles means that they can stop more quickly than larger passenger vehicles. If a car is following a motorcycle too closely and the rider has to stop abruptly, a rear-end collision will likely result. The impact caused by a car striking a motorcycle can cause the rider to be thrown from the bike onto the ground or the car in front of them, leading to severe injuries.

Failure to Yield
Much like left-hand turn collisions, failure to yield accidents are often the result of drivers failing to notice motorcycle riders. Failure to yield collisions can occur if a driver does not yield to a motorcycle when:

  • Merging onto a highway
  • Changing lanes
  • Leaving or entering a parking lot or garage
  • Making a right-hand turn
  • Crossing through an intersection that is controlled by a traffic signal or stop sign
Open Doors
Open door accidents often occur in urban areas when drivers parked on the side of the road throw their car doors open into the immediate path of oncoming motorcycles. These collisions are typically caused by drivers failing to check for oncoming traffic before opening the doors of their parked vehicles.

Drivers of passenger vehicles can help prevent injuries to motorcycle riders by operating their cars safely and checking carefully for motorcycles before making any maneuvers on the road. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, our lawyers at De Castroverde Law Group can assist you with seeking rightful compensation. Visit the Motorcycle Accidents page on our website to learn more. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Understanding Nevada’s DMV Point System

In order to encourage individuals to drive safely in Nevada, the DMV employs a demerit point system in addition to tickets and fines for driving offenses. If you are cited for violating a traffic law anywhere in the state, demerit points will be assigned to your driving record. The number of points assigned will be based upon the alleged traffic offense.

If you receive 12 or more points within any 12-month period, your license will be suspended for 6 months. Below is a list of some of the most common traffic offenses in Las Vegas and the number of points you will get for committing the offenses.

Points for Speeding
  • Driving 1-10 mph over the posted limit – 1 point
  • Driving 11-20 mph over the posted limit – 2 points
  • Driving 21-30 mph over the posted limit – 3 points
  • Driving 31-40 mph over the posted limit – 4 points
  • Driving 41 mph or more over the posted limit – 5 points

Points for Other Offenses
  • Failure to dim your headlights – 2 points
  • Driving too slow, impeding traffic – 2 points
  • Texting or hand-held phone use (2 or more offenses) – 4 points
  • Failure to yield to right-of-way – 4 points
  • Passing a school bus with flashing signals – 4 points
  • Following another vehicle too closely – 4 points
  • Failure to obey a stop sign or traffic signal – 4 points
  • Failure to provide aid or give your information at the scene of an accident – 6 points
  • Careless Driving – 6 points
  • Reckless Driving – 8 points

Getting a ticket may not seem like a big deal, but the points can add up fast and lead to harsh consequences. If you were wrongfully ticketed, an attorney can help you fight the citation and corresponding penalties. Visit our Traffic Tickets page to learn how De Castroverde Law Group can help.