Seriousness of an Offence: Summary vs. Indictable

Legal

LegalIn Hong Kong criminal law, the court may consider an offence summary or indictable. The common distinction between the two lies in the seriousness or weight of the crime. The main difference, however, is the mode of trial between the two offences.

Summary offences are less serious crimes, while indictable offences are serious crimes. Hong Kong criminal lawyers share more about these two types of offences.

Summary Offences

These offences are tried in the Magistrates’ Courts, but may also be applicable in the District Court along with indictable offences. This can happen if the court also charged the accused person with an indictable offence. Common examples of summary offences include careless driving, littering and pretending to be a police officer.

The prosecution limit for a summary offence is within six months of the commission to the offence. For it to be considered summary offence, the legislation creating the offence must indicate that it can be dealt with summarily. If it does not, it is considered an indictable defence.

Indictable Offences

If the offence is upon indictment or on indictment, it is indictable. Most offences like these can be tried in the Magistrates’ Court, the District Court or in the Court of First Instance of the High Court. The location or venue of the trial relies on the prosecution. They will normally consider and evaluate the complexity of the case and likely imposed sentence on the offender upon conviction.

If the likely sentence is two years imprisonment, the Magistrates’ Court can handle it. If it is four years, however, the prosecution will choose the District Courts, as it can impose a maximum imprisonment of seven years. The choice will always depend on the sentencing power of the court.

Serious offences like drug trafficking or shooting another person, however, cannot be tried in the Magistrates’ Court. More serious offences like murder or manslaughter are set out in Magistrates Ordinance Schedule 2, with the Court of First Instance of Power (with jury) handling the trial.

Paralegal Exposure to Actual Court Processes

Legal

Paralegal ExposureA skilled and highly efficient paralegal is expected to play various roles within the legal field. In a single firm, a paralegal acts as the right hand of esteemed lawyers and equally experienced practitioners. The task of the best paralegal schools in the country, then, is to make sure that they can produce graduates of such skill that lawyers’ tasks are made easier.

Here are the training of these legal assistants, researchers and paralegals before they are admitted to the profession.

Apprenticeship and Training

Paralegal aspirants must undergo training in both the academic and the professional level. Inside the school setting, paralegals analyze cases and build a familiarity of legal terms that will be used in the field.

In their apprenticeship and training, they witness actual litigation, case-building and court process first-hand – all of which are essential knowledge required in the practice of the profession. It is essential for a hopeful to enroll in paralegal schools that can provide such a high skill level of exposure.

Proper Tutelage

A good paralegal school will provide high quality education and guidance through its roster of faculty members and instructors. The legal profession, much like the philosophical discipline of old, thrives under proper tutelage and apprenticeship.

It is essential that in training, a candidate receives adequate guidance in building his knowledge and experience in the legal profession. This is why, as a paralegal student, you must expect training administered by professionals who have been honed by experience in the field.

Still, online paralegal courses, some of them free, can guide paralegal applicants, which are the distilled, 21st century version of the experience of those that came before.

Paralegals, Redefined

Paralegals, in the evolution of transnational and global legal perspective, play an even more definitive role. They are expected to create a specialization in certain fields. After one’s formal education and training, it is expected of a paralegal to further hone their skills and chosen specialization.

The key to a fruitful paralegal career is proper education and training. And to achieve that, choosing the best school is one of the most important decisions in your life.

Unhappy in Marriage But Lacking the Courage to Divorce

Unhappy Marriage in Colorado

Unhappy Marriage in  ColoradoOne reason couples choose to stay together in a bad marriage is that they don’t have the courage to end their commitment. Even though they felt trapped in a relationship, they would not pursue divorce unless they could guarantee financial stability.

The reality is, marriage, when it’s going okay, benefits the whole family. When it is not, however, it can be terrible for both parties, even more so if children are involved.  While divorce should be the last course of action for a couple, the idea of staying together despite being miserable should not be tolerated. This is because divorce can be a liberating experience and can make children happier if their parents are happy too.

Putting Off Divorce

Apart from financial concerns, couples also put off divorce because they are hoping that things will improve. Colorado Springs divorce lawyers say some people do not entertain the idea of splitting up because they are scared to be on their own and worried about feeling lonely.

Physical and Emotional Effects

An unhappy marriage, however, can be detrimental to physical and emotional health. According to WebMD, it may raise stress levels and increase the risk of depression or heart disease. Studies say couples that usually argue may also take longer to heal from simple wounds than those in less hostile relationships.

Accepting It’s Over

When life becomes too painful with too many conflicts and scars, it is normal to entertain the idea of divorce. When people harbor deep and long-lasting fear, it could be time to let go. Even without anger, couples may start to lose respect for their relationship and their spouse. If couples feel it is impossible to bring that respect back, this might signal the end of a relationship too.

While divorce is never easy, it may be necessary to regain a sense of freedom. Keep in mind that it is perfectly fine to end a marriage, especially if it’s making a person unhappy and unfulfilled. Consulting a divorce attorney will help them go through the process of addressing issues associated with their relationship.

Dear Men: Are You Really Aborting Your Baby?

Abortion

AbortionWomen take the center stage whenever unplanned pregnancies and abortion become the topic of discussion. While you cannot begrudge her for getting all the sympathy and attention, this doesn’t reduce or eliminate the validity of your thoughts and emotions about the situation.

Aborting Silence

The guilt that only she has to undergo the physical consequence of pregnancy suffices to keep most men quiet about the issue. Evading all chances of giving your honest opinion, however, might backfire in case you feel uncertain about your decisions. As the biological father of the unborn child, you can practice your right to the child without offending her.

Couples like to maintain a certain level of secrecy, especially if abortion enters the picture. The lack of advice — in addition to the panic and frustration that came with the news of pregnancy — makes it even more crucial for you to speak up and play an active role in deciding the child’s future.

HeartToHeartAdopt.com suggests asking the following question: Will you put your baby up for adoption or cut off his chances of life as soon as possible?

Aborting Hazards

Your decision to proceed with the abortion or not will affect her either positively or negatively. Research revealed that among young women who terminated their pregnancies, many suffered from psychological stress. Abortion also put them at risk of physical complications.

Ask yourself if you can bear the thought of allowing her to go through those hazards. If you consider the alternatives to abortion, you’ll realize that it doesn’t even count as a solution. Society’s opinion hardly matters compared to the life of your partner and your unborn child.

Aborting Abortion

Convincing her of disregarding abortion involves a lot of persuasion and effort on your part. You might be surprised at the variety of alternatives and the degree of support adoption agencies and similar organizations will give you. They’ll make it easier to cope with the reaction of your family and friends to your decision to give the baby a chance.

Just because a lot of couples have resorted to it doesn’t mean you have to. You have as much say on the baby’s future as your partner does. The key to coming to mutual agreement depends on your effort to balance her each other’s rights.

The Psychological Effects of Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs biteBed bugs are flat insects that lurk in dark corners, furniture and most commonly, in beds. These wait for the opportune moment before they prey on an unsuspecting victim. They leave their marks on you when you wake up and feel itchy all over.

These flat bugs hide in the seams of mattresses, bed frames, headboards and spaces underneath baseboards. Bed bugs do not only infest unsanitary homes, they also beset swanky five-star hotels.

Bed bugs are persistent pests. The causes of their infestation vary, but leaving them alone may have a psychological toll on a person.

Who Would’ve Thought Bed Bugs Caused Sleep Disturbance and Anxiety?

Bed bugs trigger an anxious feeling in a person as they leave marks on you, but are seemingly invisible the moment you awake. This anxiety may have a psychological basis, as recent research discovered.

Stephane Perron, a researcher and doctor at the University of Montreal, performed several published studies on the psychological toll inflicted by bed bug infestations. His team conducted a study that researched apartments deemed with unsafe conditions. Some of the units had bed bug infestations and others did not. They gave tenants a series of questions that determine health and mental impacts.

The study revealed that tenants with bed bug infestations were more likely to report sleep disturbances and anxiety compared to those without bugs.

Another study, researchers sent questionnaires to different cities, 474 returned. In the questionnaire, they asked individuals to illustrate their reactions to the bites left by bed bugs. Other than the obvious physical reaction, 29% said they dealt with insomnia, 22% suffered from emotional distress and 20% had anxiety.

Park City experts say bed bug control is the first step to eradicating these pests, but people must be aware of the lasting psychological effects. The studies illustrated are a cause for concern, but the researchers didn’t know the mental state of participants before infestation.

People with prior mental disorders are vulnerable to developing a pathological fear of bed bugs, delusions, parasitosis, paranoia and other similar psychological problems. The studies hopefully bridge an understanding of the link between infestation with sleep disturbance and anxiety.

Surviving a Hit-and-Run: What Should You Do?

car accident

car accidentImagine this: you’re driving down the street after a long day at work. It’s getting dark and as you make your way across the intersection, you see the unmistakable flash of light from a car’s head beams. You know it’s your turn to cross the road so you don’t mind it, but a few seconds later, you feel pain as something crashes into your car with such speed that it knocks you out.

But, it isn’t over. You’re alive, but winded, and as you manage to scramble to your feet and out of your car, the air erupts in horrified screams and the sound of a car zooming towards the distance. You’ve just been hit-and-run. What should you do?

The Scene of the Crime

ChristensenYoungLaw.com and other car accident injury attorneys note that the first thing you should do once you see realize the culprit has sped off is to gather evidence. By the time you get up, the witnesses will most likely have already contacted the police and an ambulance, so you should be ready to provide them with as much information to find who is responsible.

Your memory may be a bit hazy, but anything you remember about the car that hit you is solid evidence. This includes their license plate (even if it’s just part of it), the car’s make and model, and color. If you managed to see who the driver was, describe them the best you can. Even if it’s a generalized image, it can go a long way to find the culprit. You might want to gather information from the witnesses as well. More often than not, they would have a clearer look of the accident and may be able to provide more information to the police than you.

Finally, it’s a good idea to take a picture of the damage to your car and the crime scene in general. This will come in handy when you file for insurance later on since many need solid proof on top of a police report that you were the victim of a hit and run.

Pursuit of justice

Unfortunately, the chances of you finding out who crashed into your car and left you for dead are slim. Even if the police find out their license plate number, tracking them down can prove difficult since the culprit will most likely be hiding or on the run.

If you’re not satisfied with what your insurance company gives you as compensation and you really want to track the culprit, then it’s imperative that you get an attorney. They have a more comprehensive way of gathering information to track down the runaway driver.

The harsh reality is that not all hit-and-run accidents end with the driver getting caught. It’s a hard truth, especially since the criminal may be just as cunning in covering their trail and disposing of any evidence that would link them to their crime. Despite this, getting legal help is still the best way to handle a hit-and-run as even if you don’t find out the culprit, you’ll be able to maximize your insurance claims.

Confusion Arises Over Rolling Stone Rape Story

Rolling StoneThe late withdrawal of Rolling Stone of its highly controversial rape article that supposedly talks about a rape case that transpired in Virginia opened the door to various legal damage claims. Media watchers and victim advocates said that it has also raised some eyebrows as to how the university handled the situation,

Tobe Berkovitz, a media expert at Boston University said that, “If I was that fraternity, I’d have a lot of big legal offices on my speed dial and I would just be teeing them up.” He also said that, “The University of Virginia is, I think, also responsible for not thoroughly investigating and sort of going beyond what would be responsible for an administration to make sure that justice is served. I think they have failed on pretty much every level.”

The report published by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism last night dubbed the story behind such article as “A Rape on Campus,” published in Rolling Stone last November, a “story of journalistic failure that was avoidable.”

The report which was posted on the magazine’s website, accompanied by an apology from Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana, who also announced that the publication was officially retracting the story stated that “The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking,”

The article talked about a student referred as “Jackie who said she was supposedly raped by at least seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house a couple of years ago. The absence of her cooperation however did not give the police that strong of an evidence to work with.

The report also suggests that people offered to validate her claims were not interviewed, and as a result gave serious doubt on Jackie’s claims.

Laurie Meyers, founder of Community VOICES, a victim advocate group who has extensive experience counseling rape victims said that “If these stories are going to be written about, then they have to base on facts. I don’t think it does anybody any favors if they’re not,” She added that, “But on the other side of it, as a person who works with victims … most often they did not want to go and file a police report, so there was never documentation there. But did it mean to me that they weren’t sexually assaulted? No, and it was my job to assist them. I don’t even know what to say at this point.”

“On the one hand, women who are actually raped are going to find that people are going to be much more skeptical of them because they have seen yet another lurid campus rape story explode.” He further explained that, “Second of all, it has tarred men as presumptive rapists on campus, particularly fraternities, and that created greater gender divisions. Even though this story has collapsed, that division will probably remain.

LA Trying to Rewrite Debunked Law

LawAfter ten grueling months since the ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals eradicated an ordinance in Los Angeles city that forbids living in vehicles, the people in charge of making laws in the city seem to have changed their minds as they are now looking into rewriting it.

Based on a statement released the previous week, Los Angeles Times reported that Mike Feuer, one of the most distinguished attorneys in the City, proposed a new and supposedly “better” version of the law.

The 9th Circuit had the original law stuck down as what they call unconstitutionally vague, saying it appeared to be too harsh and seem to single out the homeless. The law also clearly stipulates that, “no person shall use a vehicle … as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise.”

Appellate Judge Harry Pregerson wrote in Desertrain v. City of Los Angeles  that, “Section 85.02 is broad enough to cover any driver in Los Angeles who eats food or transports personal belongings in his or her vehicle,” The judge also added “Yet it appears to be applied only to the homeless. The vagueness doctrine is designed specifically to prevent this type of selective enforcement.”

According to his report last month, the Times said, Mike Feuer suggested a less expansive definition of living in a vehicle, which is a clear indication of his willingness to help out the homeless. He also added another proposal which contains a different law that provides special permits for what he called as ‘car camping” on nonresidential streets.

 Despite the old law had been on the books for a whole, its implementation have already commenced prior to the decision, specifically in gentrifying Venice Beach neighborhood in LA. There have been reports that residents in the area have complained that vehicle dwellers are not as good as they seem as they throw litter in the streets, make unnecessary noises and relieve themselves in alleys.

Based on an interview with Civil rights attorney Carol Sobel, who represented the plaintiffs in Desertrain, Feuer’s proposal was “a vast improvement,” nonetheless that homelessness continues to become a serious problem. Los Angeles is currently associated with multiple initiatives that appears to be “anti-homelessness”, these include the Mayors’ Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, but Sobel says there isn’t even enough housing for the top-priority recipients in those programs.

The newspaper revealed that in one of their interviews, Carol Sobel stated that, “There is a problem with putting people in jail for performing life-sustaining functions when there is no other place to do it.”

Republican Defends Controversial Indiana Law

Same SexOne of the most prominent names in the republican side of the government gave an Easter surprise to gays and lesbians across the United States last Sunday

The former senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, uttered a homophobic term while defending the controversial religious law that was recently uphold in Indiana. This is the same law that some believe empowers businesses to refuse to render service to gays and lesbians.

Experts suggest that the law is “designed” in order to safeguard and preserve the religious views of the business owners from Indiana. Unfortunately, this did not sit well with the Gay community as Gay activists argued he law will open the door for discrimination, which will not only affect them, but lesbians and the transgender as well.

With a not so warm reception it received from the American people, the law was amended to include terms that give “minimal” protection based on sexual orientation.

During his appearance on CBS News’ Face The Nation, Santorum, The former presidential candidate who ran for the highest position in the state in 2012 and is known for having plans of running this coming election, showed his full support for the original bill without the changes, calling discrimination a “two-way street”.

He further added to the controversy by directing the flow of the discussion around the issue of executive overreach, which many consider as a familiar refrain for conservatives. The senator also went as far as asking questions whether such law would be equally reasonable if the government required a gay business to print signs saying, “God hates fags” for a client like the Westboro Baptist Church.

That Kansas-based church is openly homophobic, claiming US casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are God’s punishment for US laws that protect gays and lesbians.

One of the usual targets for supporters of gay and lesbian rights, Santorum unquestionably knew the free speech buttons he was pushing by using a homophobic slur, however activists were also quick to point out his comparison is misleading.

Stuart Gaffney, from Marriage Equality USA, told DC Dispatches that, “Santorum is confusing this [debate] by asking whether a business should have to print hate speech,” he added, “No law requires businesses to provide that service”.

Last week, Gaffney pointed to a ruling in which a Colorado state agency found in favor of a bakery that reportedly refused to decorate two cakes from a customer with Bible verses rejecting same-sex marriage.