Thursday, January 30, 2014

Possession with Intent to Sell – Proving the Charges

Being arrested for possession is bad enough, but if LVMPD believes there is enough evidence, your charges could be increased to possession of a control substance with intent to sell. Possession with intent to sell is a felony offense in Nevada that typically involves a number of different factors.

In order to convict you of possession with intent, the prosecution must be able to prove that:
  1. You were in possession of a controlled substance or illegal drug; and
  2. You intended to sell the drug.

How is intent proven?

As you can imagine, proving another person’s intentions can be difficult. In this type of case, the prosecutor would probably use the following types of evidence to prove your intent.
  • You had a large quantity of drugs in your possession, more than you would possess if you were simply a recreational user.
  • You were in possession of drugs but were not high, and you did not have any paraphernalia needed to use the drugs. This would indicate that you were not a user.
  • Portions of the drugs were individually stored in baggies or containers.
  • You were carrying a large amount of cash, particularly numerous small bills.
  • You had a weapon on your person, which can indicate that you needed to protect yourself.
  • You were located in an area that is known for facilitating drug deals.

Defenses for Possession with Intent Charges

While any of the types of evidence mentioned above could be damning to your case, they do not prove that you intended to sell drugs. Some of the defenses that can be used to fight these felony charges include:
  • Lack of intent: If you were simply a recreational user, you cannot be convicted of intent to sell. For example, being found in an area known for drug deals with a large amount of drugs in your possession does not prove that you intended to sell. Rather, this could show that you had just purchased the drugs from a dealer for your own use.
  • The drugs weren’t yours: The prosecutor must be able to prove that the drugs were in your possession. However, this can be difficult to prove if the narcotics were found in a house where you live with three other people or in a vehicle that you share with a friend.
  • Your rights were violated: Law enforcement must follow the rules outlined by the 4th Amendment when searching suspects and their vehicles and homes. If your rights were violated by an illegal search and seizure at any time during the investigation, the judge may rule the evidence inadmissible or your attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence.
Don’t wait to retain the representation of an experienced Las Vegas defense lawyer. Call De Castroverde Law Group today to discuss your options and read our Possession with Intent to Sell page to learn more about the charges and penalties.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How Much Money Will I Get For My Injuries?

If you are considering filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you are likely wondering how much money you could receive. Many victims of negligent accidents are unsure if they will be awarded the amount of money the need and if it will be worth the time and trouble of taking legal action.

While every case is different, the amount of money you could recover through a personal injury claim or lawsuit will be impacted by a number of different factors.
  • Extent of your injuries. Typically, long-term injuries, such as amputation or brain trauma, result in more compensation than injuries that heal quickly, like a broken wrist.
  • Cost of medical care. This includes fees for the ambulance, emergency room care, surgery, medication, hospital stays, and medical equipment.
  • Loss of income. You could be compensated for wages you missed during your recovery.
  • Loss of future earning capacity. If you suffered an injury that negatively impacts your ability to earn a living, you could be compensated for this loss.
  • Your age. The length of time that you will have to live with the injury could affect the amount of money you receive.
  • Property damage. You could be reimbursed for any damage done to your personal property during the accident, such as your vehicle, electronics, or clothing.
  • Emotional distress. In some cases, victims can be compensated for the psychological trauma they experienced as a result of the accident or injury.
  • Loss of enjoyment. If your injury has forced you to give up normal activities like exercise, playing an instrument, or other activities and hobbies, you could receive additional compensation.
  • Pain and suffering. You could receive more money if you suffered severe pain and discomfort as a result of your accident.
Additionally, the court or insurer will also consider such factors as:

Who was at fault for the accident?
If the defendant was completely responsible for the accident, you will likely receive more compensation. If you were even partially at fault for the accident, however, you will receive a smaller award.

Are you within the statute of limitations?
Each state has a timeframe that determines how long after an accident a victim can seek compensation. In the state of Nevada, a victim has 2 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.

What is the damages cap?
Most states put caps on the amount of compensation victims can receive for different types of injuries and damages. Depending upon your specific case, you may be able to only recover a limited amount of money.

Have questions about your case and the amount of money you could be entitled to? If you are in the Las Vegas area, don’t hesitate to contact De Castroverde Law Group. Visit our Personal Injury section to learn more!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Understanding Product Liability

Under product liability law, a manufacturer may be held liable for providing a consumer with a defective product. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a defective product, you may have legal grounds to seek compensation.

Product liability claims can involve all types of defective items and a variety of factors, but these cases typically involve three main types of defects.

  • Defective Designs. These defects involve flaws in the design that make the product unreasonably dangerous to consumers. The defects are not the result of negligence or errors in the manufacturing process, but rather because the item’s design is inherently dangerous.
  • Manufacturing Errors. Many products are defective because of errors that occurred during manufacturing, and in some cases one batch is dangerous while another is perfectly manufactured. These defects are usually the result of negligence on the part of the manufacturer.
  • Defective Marketing. Even if a product is manufactured correctly, consumers can be harmed by marketing defects. Marketing defects include the failure to warn consumers of potential hazards of using the product, improper labeling, insufficient instructions, and intentional misrepresentation of the product.

Can I file a product liability claim?

If you were injured by a defective product, you may be able to pursue compensation from the manufacturer. In order to hold the manufacturer liable for your injuries and losses, you will need to show that they were negligent. There are five basic elements of negligence that must be proved:
  1. You were owed a duty of care by the manufacturer.
  2. The manufacturer breached the duty of care they owed to you.
  3. The manufacturer’s breach of duty was the actual cause of your injuries.
  4. The manufacturer’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of your injuries.
  5. You sustained quantifiable damages because of the manufacturer’s negligence.
De Castroverde Law Group is dedicated to helping victims of negligence recover the compensation they deserve. Visit our Product Liability page for more information or call our Las Vegas injury lawyers to discuss your case.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Your Rights If You’re Arrested

In one of last week’s posts we discussed what you should do if you’re arrested. Additionally, it is crucial that you know what rights you have if you are taken into custody.

When you are placed under arrest, the officer is required to inform you of your Miranda Rights, which include:  

The right to remain silent.
The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from self-incrimination, which means that you do not have to answer any questions. Anything you say, even if it seems harmless, could be used as evidence against you in court. It is best to stay quiet and refuse to answer any questions until you have legal representation.

The right to an attorney.
No matter the circumstances, anyone who is placed under arrest and is accused of a crime has the right to be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford to hire your own legal counsel, the state will provide you with a lawyer. It is best to refuse to discuss any aspect of the case until you have spoken to your lawyer, who can inform you of your legal rights and options.

The right to refuse to sign anything.
If law enforcement tries to persuade you to sign anything, such as a statement or other type of document, you can refuse to do so. It is in your best interests to refuse to put your signature on anything until you can discuss the matter with your attorney.

In addition to your Miranda Rights, you are also entitled to other rights, under most circumstances.
  • If you have not been placed under arrest but are merely being questioned, you have the right to stop answering questions and calmly leave.
  • You have the right to refuse to consent to having your person, your home, or your vehicle searched.
  • You have the right to make your own decisions, which means that if you choose to do so, you can answer the police’s questions, give a statement, or consent to tests without your attorney present.
  • If you choose to speak to law enforcement, you have the right to stop answering questions or discussing the case at any time and wait for your lawyer.
  • You have the right to be treated humanely, which means that the officers should not use excessive and unreasonable force against you.
If you were not informed of your Miranda Rights when arrested or if you believe that your rights were violated in any way, contact an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible. De Castroverde Law Group is dedicated to protecting the rights of the criminally accused, and we may be able to advocate on your behalf. Visit our website to learn more about hiring a criminal lawyer.

Friday, January 17, 2014

What is Negligence?

Negligence is perhaps the key aspect of any personal injury case, yet many people do not understand what this term means. The law defines negligence as the failure to act with the same level of care that a reasonable person would use under the same circumstances. If a person acts negligently and causes another individual to sustain harm, the victim can seek compensation under personal injury law.

In order to hold the acting individual (known as the defendant) liable, the victim must be able to prove their negligence. There are four main factors involved in negligence: 

Duty of Care
Every person has a legal obligation towards all others and must act with a reasonable level of care to prevent harm to other people.

Breach of Duty
If a reasonable person would have foreseen that the actions taken by the defendant would likely cause injury or harm to others, the defendant has failed to exercise their duty of care.

In order to seek compensation, the victim must be able to prove that the accident and the injuries they sustained were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. It can be difficult to prove a defendant’s negligence if multiple factors were involved in the accident.

The victim’s lawyer must assess their losses, including the costs of treating any injuries sustained, property damage, and missed wages, and determine the monetary value.

Can I file a personal injury claim?

If you believe that your case meets the above criteria, you may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. In order to do so, your lawyer must be able to prove that:
  1. The defendant owed a duty of care to the general public or to you in particular.
  2. The defendant violated their duty of care in one or more ways.
  3. You sustained injuries.
  4. Your injuries were the direct result of the defendant’s violation of their duty of care.
Our caring and knowledgeable attorneys have helped countless clients in the Las Vegas area obtain rightful compensation under personal injury law, and we may be able to assist you in the fight for justice. Visit the informative Personal Injury section on our website to learn more about your rights and options.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What to Do If You’re Arrested

Being arrested is a frightening and stressful experience, but there are certain steps a person can take to help protect their rights and interests. 
If you are arrested, remember the following tips:

Try to stay calm.
Listen to the officers’ instructions and do as they say. If you escalate the situation in any way, it will only make things worse for you.

Don’t try to run away.
Even if you are innocent, running from the police will make you appear guilty, and the prosecutor may try to use this behavior as evidence of your guilt during trial.

Don’t resist arrest.
If you fight the officers or lay a hand on them in any way, you will likely face additional charges for resisting arrest or battery on a police officer.

Don’t talk to the police.
Beyond giving the officers your name, you are not required to answer any of their questions. Tell them that you wish to exercise your constitutional right to remain silent. It is important to understand that anything you say to the officers can be used as evidence in court. It is also crucial to know that law enforcement is allowed to lie to suspects in an attempt to gain evidence, so it is best that you stay quiet.

Ask for a lawyer.
After telling the officers your name, the only thing you should say to them is that you want a lawyer. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the state will provide you with one. Don’t answer any questions or discuss any aspect of the case with anyone until you speak with your lawyer.

Do not lie.
Attempting to confuse the police by lying about who you are, giving false documents, etc., will not work; eventually they will determine the truth, and you could face additional consequences.

Facing criminal charges in Clark County, Nevada? Our experienced attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group can protect your rights and defend you against the allegations. Call us at (702) 222-9999 or visit our website to learn more. We offer a free online case evaluation. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Is Shoplifting a Serious Crime?

The simple answer: yes, shoplifting is a serious offense and should not be treated lightly. A person is guilty of shoplifting if they intentionally steal, take, or carry away a store’s property.

In Nevada, the crime of shoplifting falls under either NRS 205.220 (grand larceny) or NRS 205.240 (petty larceny), depending upon the value of the item taken.

Petty Larceny

If you are accused of shoplifting property worth less than $650, you will be charged with petty larceny. Petty larceny is a misdemeanor, punishable by:
  • Restitution of the stolen property
  • Maximum fines of $1,000; and/or
  • Up to 6 months in county jail

Grand Larceny

Grand larceny will be charged if you are accused of shoplifting property worth $650 or more. The degree of the charge and the potential penalties are dependent upon the exact value of the property that was shoplifted.

Property Valued Between $650 and $3,500 – Category C Felony
The penalties for a Category C Felony shoplifting charge include:
  • Restitution of the stolen property
  • Maximum fines of $10,000
  • 1 to 5 years in state prison

Property Valued at $3,500 or More – Category B Felony
The penalties for a Category B Felony shoplifting charge include:
  • Restitution of the stolen property
  • Maximum fines of $10,000
  • 1 to 10 years in state prison

Defenses for Shoplifting

There are various defenses that can be used to fight shoplifting charges in Nevada. Some of the most common defenses include:
  • You already owned the property in question. Perhaps the store’s staff mistook items you already owned as their property.
  • Mistaken identity. In some cases the store’s staff confuses an innocent person with a shoplifter because they have similar features, are wearing similar clothes, or were in the area where the theft occurred.
  • No intent. You may have forgotten that you were holding an item and walked out of the store without paying for it. In such a case, you had no intent to steal the store’s property, and you are not guilty of shoplifting.
If you are charged with theft in the Las Vegas area, make sure you have a powerful defense team on your side. Call our firm to discuss your case or visit our Shoplifting page for more information!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Medical Malpractice – What Has to Be Proven?

If you have been injured by the negligence of a medical professional, you may have grounds to seek compensation through filing a medical malpractice claim. These cases are often complex, as there are specific factors that your lawyer must prove in order for your medical malpractice claim to be successful. 

Some of the facts that your case must prove include:

There was an established physician-patient relationship.
Your lawyer must be able to prove that you and the physician had an established professional relationship, which means that you hired the physician to provide you with medical care and they agreed to be hired by you.

This relationship is easy to prove if you were seeing the physician and receiving treatment. This relationship is more difficult to prove if the physician was a consulting medical professional who did not treat you directly.

The physician was negligent.
In order to be liable for medical malpractice, your physician must have acted negligently. This means that your physician is not necessarily guilty of malpractice simply because you were unhappy with the results of your treatment.

Your attorney must be able to prove that your physician made treatment decisions that a competent doctor would not have chosen in the same situation, and that these actions caused you to suffer harm. Your attorney may need to present testimony from a medical expert that explains what standards of care are reasonable in cases similar to yours.

The physician’s negligence was the cause of your injury.
Because medical malpractice cases often involve patients who were injured or ill to begin with, it is necessary to show that more likely than not the harm was caused by the physician’s negligence, rather than the patient’s preexisting condition. Testimony from a medical expert may be required to prove that the injury was directly caused by your physician’s negligent actions.

You suffered specific damages as a result of your injury.
Even if there is clear evidence that your physician acted negligently, you cannot pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim unless you sustained injury or illness as a result. Types of specific damages include physical pain, additional medical expenses, psychological trauma, missed wages during recovery, and the loss of future earning capacity.

If you would like to discuss your options to seek justice and hold a negligent physician accountable, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at De Castroverde Law Group. You can also learn more by reading our Medical Malpractice page.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

BAC and Impairment: How Much Can I Drink?

Blood alcohol content (BAC) measures the percentage of alcohol in a person’s blood, and this measurement is most commonly obtained through breath tests and blood tests.

Your BAC and how quickly you will become intoxicated is based upon a number of factors, including:
  • The amount of alcohol you have consumed
  • The type of alcohol you have consumed
  • The length of time you have been drinking
  • If you ate while drinking, and how much you ate
  • Your gender
  • Your weight
  • Your age
  • Your tolerance for alcohol
  • If you are taking certain medications
Alcohol affects everyone differently, but there are certain impairments that commonly occur when a person’s BAC reaches specific percentages. People typically exhibit the following signs of impairment the more alcohol they consume:
  • 0.01% to 0.02% BAC – You will appear normal, but you will exhibit subtle effects from the alcohol, which can be detected with specialized tests.
  • 0.03% to 0.05% BAC – Your ability to concentrate will be affected.
  • 0.06% to 0.09% BAC – Your ability to reason will be impaired and you will also notice effects on your depth perception, peripheral vision, and glare recovery.
  • 0.10% to 0.19% BAC – Your speech will be slurred and you may stagger, and your reaction time, reflexes, and gross motor control will be impaired.
  • 0.20% to 0.29% BAC – You will exhibit severe motor impairment, and may sustain memory blackout or lose consciousness.
  • 0.30% BAC or Higher – When an individual’s BAC is 0.3% or higher, they are at risk of alcohol poisoning and severe physical harm.
Arrested for an alcohol-related crime in Las Vegas? Call De Castroverde Law Group for experienced representation and visit our DUI Defense section for more information.