Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Defining Felony Charges and How Criminal Lawyers Can Help

What is a felony?

The most serious types of crimes are referred to as felonies. The usual definition is that a felony is any crime that may be punished by more than a year s imprisonment, or death. A crime that has a maximum sentence of a monetary fine, or a short period of confinement in the local jail is not a felony. A statute may not specifically label an offense as a felony, but the punishment defines the offense as a felony. State criminal codes may call a crime an aggravated or gross misdemeanor, but the offense calls for a sentence of more than one year in the state penal system. Your state lawyer, such as an Austin criminal defense lawyer in Texas can help define these specific codes. Those offenses will be treated as felonies. When crimes charged are more serious, the need for an experienced criminal defense attorney to help a defendant through the process becomes even greater.

Felonies include both violent and non violent crimes, such as grand theft, embezzlement of large sums of money, first degree assault, or assault that causes severe bodily harm, all degrees of murder, rape, racketeering, large scale fraud, kidnapping, and serious drug crimes.

What are the consequences of a felony convictions?

If a person is convicted of a felony, he or she may find that his or her rights may be restricted more than those of a person convicted of a misdemeanor. Convicted felons usually serve more time incarcerated, and the conditions of their incarceration generally are more severe. There are many other consequences, as well. In many states, people convicted of felonies may not serve on juries. They may lose their right to vote, or to engage in some professions, like teaching or law. Felons are often prohibited from serving in the military, or owning firearms. In addition, as noted above, many states have so called three strikes laws that require that a person be sentenced to life upon his or her third felony conviction. Experienced defense counsel, will help you not only before and during a trial, but can make sure you may be able to return to a normal life as soon as you can.

What are the differences between misdemeanors and felonies?

Depending upon the circumstances of the case, some crimes may be considered either felonies or misdemeanors. Serious felonies, for example, assault, sexual abuse or drunk driving, often refer to conduct that could be a misdemeanor. If an assault causes severe bodily injury, for example, it is often regarded as a felony, but a local state lawyer, such as a Jacksonville DUI defense attorney, may be able to have the charges reduced to a misdemeanor. Simple assault that causes no lasting injury, however, is a misdemeanor. Similarly, while drug offenses usually are felonies, possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor in many states.

Less serious offenses, such as traffic violations, are often prosecuted as misdemeanors, even though they may be felonies in some circumstances, or the most minor type of crime, infractions, in others. A traffic violation usually is an infraction if there was no collision, no one was hurt, and no property was damaged. The violation becomes a misdemeanor or a felony if someone is injured, or there was destruction of property. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Understanding Birth Injury and Your Medical Malpractice Rights

What is Birth Injury?

Birth injury is caused to the baby in the womb of the mother or during the delivery or later after the delivery. These injuries can be minor or fatal. If the baby sustains brain injury then it will prove to be fatal as the whole life of the baby will be affected. Due to the injury a bay may develop cerebral palsy or become mentally retarded. This type of major birth injury not only affects the child but also affects the family members as they have to bear the burden of the child throughout their life. Sometimes the injury may be caused due to the negligence of the hospital staff. In this kind of situation there is a provision in law where the parents can sue the hospital for compensation.

Causes of Birth Injury

There are various causes of birth injuries. If the baby is overweight during birth then problem may arise during delivery due to which the baby may suffer from shortage of oxygen which may affect his brain tissues. If a baby is born premature he may sustain birth injury as the body of a baby who is born within thirty seven weeks is very fragile the baby may be injured during birth. The pelvis shape and size of the mother is defective due to which normal delivery is not possible and the baby sustains injury. The mother suffers from prolong labor pain which may cut off the supply of oxygen to the undelivered baby and cause damage to his delicate brain tissues. Abnormal position of the child during birth that is the leg comes out first and then the head which is also known as breach position.

Additional Types of Birth Injury

Caput is the injury caused when there is difficulty in delivery. This injury mostly occurs in babies who are delivered with the help of the vacuum extraction. The soft tissues of the babies scalp is bruised which heals within few days. A baby may show signs of bruising due to the use of forceps during the delivery. Hemorrhage in the small blood vessels of the eyes, this is very common and does not cause any damage. Temporary or permanent facial paralysis may occur due to the breakage of the facial nerve. Fracture of the collar bone during delivery is a very common occurrence. Healing occurs quickly. The group of nerves that supply blood to the arms and the hands may be injured if there is difficulty in delivering the baby's shoulders. Some the injuries are minor and the baby recovers within a short period but some of the injuries are fatal which may have a permanent impact for life.

Your Rights

Should you or your family be subjected one of these tragic injuries, you are protected under the law. A birth injury lawyer specialist in the state the injury took place in will have expert knowledge of local laws and statutes and be able to find justice for you in court, including compensation for pain and suffering and the helping to ensure that no one else must endure the same negligent treatment. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, November 14, 2008

Copyright Protection and Musician's Legal Rights over Song Ownership

Creative people of all types all come back to one legal touchstone and that is copyright law. It is often sited in all kinds of cases involving literature, film, publishing and certainly in music. Within the music industry, the ability of copyright to protect an artist’s work has come under new challenges in the last ten years. The rise of peer-to-peer file sharing, online music downloading and other internet related ways that music gets passed around has presented some real challenges to musicians to collect what is due them as owners of music under copyright.

There are numerous royalty rights associated with the writing, publication, performance and distribution of music that have to be sorted out by a complicated infrastructure that the music industry maintains to protect its own. But when you get back to the basics, the copyright of a piece of music works in music the same way it does in any literary field. That copyright, at least at first, belongs to the songwriter.

That is where the simplicity of the situation ends. For most songwriters, complete ownership of a song rarely remains the exclusive property of that author of the song. Most songwriters work with a publishing house to get their music out on the market. Even if the songwriter is writing songs for their own band, the publishing house provides the valuable service of not only publishing the song or songs but getting them out on the market to be covered or produced by others as well, if that is how the songwriter wants.

So this is a valuable service that is provided by the publishing house. In exchange for handling all of the promotion of the music, the publishing house takes over 50% of the copyright. This may seem like a lot to give up but there is a hidden side to sharing copyright that benefits the songwriter maybe even more than the promotional help the publishing house provides.

Because the publishing house now has a vested interest in that creative work, they also have a vested interest in protecting it. A copyright over a piece of music, at least on paper, is a pretty strong legal right. It covers all aspects of how that song can be used. If the song is used on a recording, obviously the songwriter has some rights to the proceeds of that release. But even if the song is just covered in a performance, technically the copyright owner has some rights to payment for the use of that exclusive creative intellectual material.

The issue is as much one of enforcement as it is whether the rights are there or not. This is a judgment call to be made by the songwriter, the publishing house and the legal representation of all involved. Sometimes seeing your creative material used has such a positive marketing value that to start a legal battle for the monetary rights could hurt your music career as much as it might help you.

These are decisions that musicians and owners of copyright or royalty rights are making every day in the music industry. The debate over the value of fighting for copyright versus allowing small infractions in exchange the marketing value of your music being heard is one that is held more and more as music sharing has become more common with the spread of internet services. While a strict copyright lawyer might argue that once you stop defending your ownership, you loose it forever, the truth of the marketplace is not always that black and white. The rights are there, to be sure. But the wisdom of how to let your music make you more successful calls for the use of judgment and a savvy that comes from your extensive knowledge of how the music industry really works. Sphere: Related Content