DOWNLOAD WORD FORMAT - FEBRUARY 2012 NEWSLETTER
The Law Offices of Fredric G. Antenberg - 5071 Bucketpost Court - Columbia, Maryland 21045 - Phone: (410) 730-4404 - Fax: (410) 992-9113 - Email: email@example.com -
Statutes of Limitations – Why They Matter to You
“Where did the time go?” We ask this question all the time, whether we have a deadline approaching quickly or we are enjoying a few more hours on the beach during the last day of a vacation. We often find ourselves thinking we have more time, until we don’t. When talking about statutes of limitations, it is important to make sure that you don’t let time fly by and find yourself without any left. Failing to act in time can have unfortunate consequences and could leave you (and you pockets) empty handed.
Statutes of limitations apply to many areas of law and they control the amount of time you have to act. Much like a deadline at work, in most cases if you don’t do what you have to do in the time you are given, mostly bad consequences will result. At work, you may get scolded by a boss. In the law, you may miss out on your opportunity to sue someone, charge someone, or recover money that others owe you. In all those cases, running out of time is never a good thing and it often leaves you with no possibilities to get more time.
The statute of limitations for your case will depend on the area of law in which your case falls. In most cases, people are dealing with the limitations period for personal injury. In Maryland, the limitations period for personal injury cases is three years. This means that if someone injures you in a car accident and you would like to sue, you have three years to do so. If you wait too long, then most likely you are out of luck. You can still sue, but the defendant will have an absolute defense and you will lose your case. So it is very important for you to know the limitations period for your injury. For most areas of civil law, the statute of limitations is three years. It is important to know that the limitations period begins to run when you know or should have known of your injury. So claiming you didn’t know you were injured in a car accident until your neck started hurting a year later will not change the fact that the clock was already ticking.
Another area of law where it is important to know the statute of limitations is with the enforcement of judgments. VISIT FGALAW.COM TO READ ON ABOUT HOW STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS APPLY TO YOUR JUDGMENTS.
As you can see, the statute of limitations can play a big part in your claim. It is one of the first things attorneys think of when discussing a case with potential clients. Whether you want to sue someone or are worried about being sued, it is important to know the time limits imposed by the statute of limitations.
If you have a possible claim against someone, don’t wait around to take action. Contact Fred to discuss your claim and he can help explain the statute of limitations and your options for moving forward. Act quickly so you don’t find yourself asking, “Where did the time go?”
As this is our first newsletter of the new year, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope everyone is staying warm through the winter and that you continue to stay in contact with us in 2012. Remember to follow us on facebook.com/fgalaw and @FGALAW on Twitter to see all our new articles and updates.
- Fred Antenberg
The Terry Stop – Was Your Stop Legal?
Many people believe that a police officer must see you in the act of a crime in order to stop you and ask you some questions. The truth is, all that the officer needs is to see something that he reasonably believes to be suspicious. A “Terry Stop” is a stop of a person by law enforcement officers based upon “reasonable suspicion” that a person may have been engaged in criminal activity. As you may recall, in order for an officer to legally arrest a suspect, the officer must have “probable cause” that the suspect committed a criminal offense. This distinction that is taught throughout the country to law students comes from standards established in a famous 1968 case, Terry v. Ohio.
The case discussed whether an officer may detain a person without probable cause and perform a limited search of the person for weapons. In the end, the Court found that a police officer may in fact perform this search, justified by the officer’s concern for his own safety and of those nearby. The officer does not need probable cause to perform this search and any weapons (and other evidence) discovered during the legal execution of this search can be introduced into evidence.
Suppose a police officer sees a person acting in an unusual manner, such as pacing outside a convenience store/bank, and this observation leads to reasonably suspect a possibility that criminal activity is or may be occurring. In such an instance, the officer may approach the suspected person. If he has a concern that the person(s) may be armed and presently dangerous, the officer may briefly detain the subjects. The officer must identify himself or herself as a police officer and may make reasonable inquiries. After an initial questioning and investigation into the person(s) behavior, if the officer still has a reasonable suspicion/fear for the safety of himself and others, he/she may carefully perform a limited search of the outer clothing. This is performed in an attempt to discover weapons that might be used to assault him or her. The officer may not look in any closed containers or place his hands inside pockets of the clothing unless, during the initial pat-down, he discovers something that he reasonably believes to be a weapon or drug paraphernalia.
The “Terry Stop” is an issue that is often discussed in the courts. Questioning the legality of an officer’s search is always an area that attorneys must consider in their clients’ cases. Being able to recognize and distinguish the difference between a reasonable suspicion and probable cause can be the difference between a guilty and not guilty outcome.
We are almost through February and this winter just hasn’t lived up to the name. I wonder what the weathermen have to say about it?
The Indians asked their Chief one autumn if the winter was going to be cold or not. Not really knowing an answer, the Chief replied that the winter was going to be cold and that the members of the village were to collect wood to be prepared.
Being a good leader, he then went to the closest phone booth and called the National Weather Service and asked, “Is this winter to be cold?”
The man on the phone responded, “This winter is going to be quite cold indeed.”
So the Chief went back to speed up his people to collect even more wood in order to be prepared. A week later he called the National Weather Service again, “Is it going to be a very cold winter?”
“Yes”, the man replied, “it’s going to be a very cold winter.”
So the Chief went back to his people and ordered them to go and find every scrap of wood they could find. Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again: “Are you absolutely sure that the
winter is going to be very cold?”
“Absolutely,” the man replied, “the Indians are collecting wood like crazy!”
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Each year tens of thousands of people die in traffic crashes. Throughout the nation alcohol is the major contributor to traffic fatalities. In 2002, alcohol-related fatalities rose to 17,490, representing 41% of all traffic fatalities. In 1991, in a Gallup survey of over 9000 drivers nationwide, 14% of the respondents reported they drove while close to being under the influence of alcohol within the last three months.
It is conservatively estimated that the typical DUI violator commits that offense about 80 times per year. In other words, the average DUI violator drives while “under the influence” at least once every four or five nights.
One approach to reducing the number of drinking drivers is general deterrence of DWI. General deterrence of DWI is based on the public’s fear of being arrested. If enough violators come to believe that there is a good chance that they will get caught, at least some of them will stop committing DWI at least some of the time. However, unless there is a real risk of arrest, there will not be much fear of arrest.
The individuals that come to our office fall into numerous categories. There are those for whom it is their first offense and others who have multiple offenses for alcohol and/or alcohol and drugs. The purpose of this and other articles is to inform potential clients of the process and how a lawyer may assist you in navigating the system and, hopefully, obtain the best possible outcome.
DWI FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
When you are stopped by an officer because he/she suspects you are driving under the influence of alcohol or while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, that police unbeknownst to you will prepare written investigative field notes.
A significant part of their field notes will include what is called “field sobriety tests”, which are standardized. There are several typical field sobriety tests that are administered at a traffic stop. These include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, one leg stand, and recitation of the alphabet. The performance of the driver in these tests may be evidence used to convict the driver.
Many times drivers are asked to perform these tests under circumstances that do not follow standard and reasonable guidelines. Here are a few of the types of circumstances where the officer has used poor judgment in administering standardized tests:
–having the driver face the headlights of either the police officer’s vehicle or the driver’s vehicle.
–not demonstrating and explaining each test.
–requiring the driver to perform the tests on surfaces that are neither fair nor reasonable, including but not limited to hills, severe slopes, potholes, surfaces covered with gravel and debris, or slippery surfaces.
–administering the walk and turn field sobriety test as well as the one leg stand test to individuals over 65 years of age, and individuals with back, leg, or middle ear problems, as they may have difficulty performing these tests
– administering the walk and turn and the one leg stand tests to individuals wearing heels more than 2 inches high
– administering the walk and turn and one leg stand to individuals 50 pounds overweight and to individuals who have disabilities of varying levels to lower extremities.
Establishing that any of the above conditions occurred may result in the Court not accepting the testimony of the police officer with regard to these tests and it may also affect other testimony of the officer in other areas because of the lack of the officer’s credibility having been effectively attacked.
DWI – Police Performance
DWI violators vastly outnumber police officers. It is not possible to arrest every drinking driver each time they commit DWI.
Some officers are not highly skilled at DWI detection. They fail to recognize and arrest many DWI violators. Also, some officers are not motivated to detect and arrest DWI violators.
In a 1975 study in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, only 22% of traffic violators who were stopped with blood alcohol content between 0.10 and 0.20 were arrested for DWI. The remainder were cited for other violations even though it was known that they were legally impaired.
The implication of the Florida study is that for every DWI violator actually arrested for DWI, three others are contacted by police officers but are not arrested for DWI. Many officers are simply not skilled at detecting a DWI.
Despite the lack of high performance by the police, you may be arrested for DWI and you absolutely need a lawyer.
ORIOLES ARE BACK!!
Monday, March 5
TB Rays: 1:05
Tuesday, March 6: Red Sox – 1:35
Wednesday, March 7: Twins -1:05
Thursday, March 8: Braves – 1:05
Friday, March 9: Rays – 1:05
Saturday, March 10: Phillies – 1:05
Sunday, March 11: Red Sox – 1:05
Monday, March 12: Blue Jays 1:05
Tuesday, March 13: Rays – 1:05
Wednesday, March 14: Pirates 1:05
Thursday, March 15: Tigers – 1:05
Friday, March 16: Twins – 1:05
Saturday, March 17:
Red Sox – 1:05
Red Sox – 1:35
Sunday, March 18:
Braves – 1:05
Monday, March 19: – off day
Tuesday, March 20: – Phillies 1:05
Wednesday, March 21: Blue Jays 1:05
Thursday, March 22: Twins – 1:05
Friday March 23: Red Sox 1:05
Saturday, March 24: Nationals 1:05
Sunday, March 25: Phillies 1:05
Monday March 26: Pirates 7:05
Tuesday, March 27: Twins – 1:05
Wednesday, March 28: Blue Jays 1:05
Thursday, March 29: Yankees 7:05
Friday, March 30: Tigers 7:05
Saturday, March 31: Pirates – 1:05
Sunday, April 1: Rays 1:05
Monday, April 2: FSC – 7:05
Enjoy this year –
Law Office of Fredric G. Antenberg