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Richmond Legal Issues Blog

You can minimize the pain of your divorce

It is difficult to get through a divorce without experiencing some pain. Even an amicable divorce can leave you with feelings of regret and disappointment that can affect your life for years afterward. You may not realize how much your divorce affects others as well. Obviously, your children will have their own conflicts to deal with, but your extended family, friends and perhaps even co-workers will have some measure of coping to do during and after your breakup.

Some of the pain is unavoidable. Divorce is full of loss and change, and these two facts are often difficult for people. However, there are ways in which you may be able to minimize the negative impact the divorce has on your life and the lives of those around you.

When does search and seizure violate the Fourth Amendment?

Search and seizure is a popular topic across many forms of entertainment, and yet you probably do not fully understand the process. Although popular TV shows might depict officers searching anyone's person or property for whatever reasons they deem necessary, police must adhere to the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which gives you protection from unreasonable intrusion by government officials. 

If you believe that Kentucky police gathered evidence against you through an illegal search and seizure, you are probably worried about your future. Here are a few things you may want to consider. 

Defining "reasonable and prudent" speed

Many in Richmond may question the decision to seek compensation following a car accident, believing that auto insurance coverage makes such action unnecessary. Yet in many cases, insurance coverage is not enough to cover all of the costs of an accident, particularly when fatalities are involved (which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported as occurring in 834 cases in Kentucky alone in 2016). Yet seeking action following a car accident first requires assigning liability to one of the parties involved. 

The simplest method for determining liability is often identifying which driver's action were the most reckless. Speeding is often a standard in defining reckless driving, yet many will often prove ignorance in not knowing the speed limits in the areas where their accidents occurred. Kentucky law, however, has assigned general speed limits to certain areas to establish a baseline to be followed in areas where such limits are not clearly marked. According to Section 189.390(3) of Kentucky's Motor Vehicle Code, these are as follows: 

  • 65 miles-per-hour on interstate highways and parkways
  • 55 miles-per-hour on any other state highway
  • 35 miles-per-hour in business districts and residential neighborhoods
  • 15 miles-per-hour in parking facilities offered for public use

Overexertion -- the injury you need to know about

People in Kentucky are hard workers who take a deep sense of pride in their labor. This defining feature sets workers here apart from everywhere else. Unfortunately, your work ethic could be putting you at risk for an injury.

Some employers ignore the safety and well-being of their workers, choosing instead to push their most dedicated employees even harder. As someone with a strong work ethic, you probably feel tempted to go along with your boss' requests to just work a little harder and a little longer, even though doing so can lead to overexertion.

Understanding Kentucky's criminal attempt law

To most in Richmond, defining criminal activity is likely relatively simple: you either committed a crime, or you did not. Why, then, do some come to us here at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold facing criminal charges for circumstances in which no crime was actually committed? Kentucky law allows officials to charge you with a crime it is believed you were going to commit one. In such a case, the determination of your guilt or innocence comes down to a question of intent. 

The details of the state's criminal attempt law can be found in Section 506.010 of Kentucky's Revised Statutes. Here, it says that if you engage in conduct under circumstances which would lead you to believe that you were indeed acting unlawfully, you have committed criminal attempt. The same is true if you act (or omit to act) in a way that constitutes a substantial step towards your perceived goal of committing a crime. For the law to apply in this scenario, a "substantial step" is defined as any conduct that would leave no reasonable doubt as to your intention of engaging in criminal activity. 

Construction workers at serious risk for overexertion injuries

Working in construction can be an incredibly rewarding career path. Not only is the earning potential very appealing, but Kentucky construction workers often find a great sense of satisfaction in literally building something from the ground up. However, construction work is also dangerous, and some employers are not doing anything about it. 

Even in a dangerous environment, your employer must provide you with proper training and safety gear, but that is not all. You need adequate time to rest and recover, too. If your boss continually pushes you to work more than you feel your body can take, you could be in line for a serious injury. 

Truck drivers, sleep deprivation and crash prevention

Kentucky roads have long been familiar with the giants on wheels that travel alongside other vehicles. Semi-trailer truck driving plays a major role in today's economy; without truck drivers, the country would be drastically different. As vital as this industry may be, many do not stop to think about the health of the employees themselves. Could lack of sleep be one of the biggest hazards for truck drivers and everyone else on the road?

ABC News released an article in 2014 that appears to coincide with the aforementioned concerns. Voicing issues with trucking companies that pressure drivers to stay on the clock even when sleep deprived, ABC notes that just one mistake can lead to drastic measures. Nevertheless, an overwhelming number of truckers face strict deadlines with unrealistic timeframes to complete tasks. Some drviers even manipulate work logs in order to gain more work hours in the day. Whichever the case, ABC echoes concerns of many by highlighting tragic wrecks caused by drivers who simply did not have adequate rest before clocking in. 

Defining a change in circumstances

An important point to remember about divorce is that the obligation placed on separated parents in Richmond to pay child support is by no means meant to be punitive. Thus, if one obliged to pay such support experiences a dramatic change to his or her material circumstances, he or she may have the option to modify what is owed. Per information gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau, over $33.7 billion was due in child support in the U.S. in 2015 alone. Family court officials realize that those whose payments contribute to that amount cannot meet their obligations if fines and penalties are constantly assessed against them if they are already struggling to do so.

The law, therefore, offers the opportunity to modify a child support agreement in certain situations. However, some may think it difficult to define exactly what constitutes a change in circumstances. Some might view any increase in the salary of an obligor as justification to raise his or her child support payment, while obligors might look at factors outside their control (such as the current economic climate) as reasons why their payments should be lowered. Kentucky has dispelled the opportunity for discord over this matter by defining (in Section 403.213 of the state's Revised Statutes) a material change in circumstances to be whenever a change in what's owed due to the obligor's new financial situation would be greater or equal to 15 percent of the current mandated payment. 

Staying safe while working around chemicals

A list of major industries in Richmond shows a variety of them use chemicals in manufacturing everything from paint and rubber components to machined automotive parts of many different types. There are also many makers of products that include lead acid batteries, vinyl construction products, air, gas and liquid purifiers, insulated electrical cable, and more, large machine shops. And then there is a pilot plant for the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles. It’s fair to say that chemicals are a big part of business here, according to the above information from the Richmond Industrial Development Corp.

It’s also fair to say that each plant, forge and manufacturer who deals with chemicals has adopted safety procedures for handling these chemicals, as well as emergency preparedness measures should there ever be exposure or an accident. It’s part of the requirements for maintaining a safe workplace as defined by the U.S. government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As part of the Dept. of Labor, OSHA is responsible for ensuring safe working conditions for men and women through training, education and assistance.

Why are plea bargains used?

Plea bargaining may be criticized by many in Kentucky and across the U.S., but in truth, it is how the great majority of criminal trials are settled. Not only do they help ease crowded court dockets, they give prosecutors an opportunity to guarantee a conviction. For defendants, a plea bargain is a chance to receive a lighter sentence, as well as a somewhat better record.

The American Bar Association adds that plea bargains also benefit courts and prosecutors the time and cost of long trials and multiple charges, while defendants save both the cost of a trial defense, as well as publicity. Either side, defense or prosecution, can open negotiations in a plea bargain, which typically requires a guilty plea from the defendant for a lesser charge or a plea on one charge in exchange for dismissal of other charges.

Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold

Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold
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Richmond, KY 40475

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