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Charles Town West Virginia Legal Blog

When you can end a protective order in West Virginia

You may have taken a protective order out on your spouse following a big fight between the two of you. People often take out protective orders when they feel their own safety, or the safety of their children is in jeopardy. While these orders cannot physically stop someone from contacting you or your family, they provide and often effective legal deterrent.

Yet, as the days and weeks have gone on, you may decide to terminate the protective order. Reconciliation between spouses is a common reason people choose to terminate a protective order early.

What pre-trial motions might affect your criminal case?

Some people have said that criminal trials are often won and lost long before the jury is seated. They're talking about the way pre-trial motions can affect the outcome of a case.

Somewhere between the preliminary hearing (where a judge has to make the call about whether there's enough evidence to move the case forward) and a trial, your defense attorney may make several pre-trial motions. The success -- or failure -- of those motions can dramatically shift the balance of power between the prosecution and defense.

Injured in a car wreck? Don't make these mistakes

A serious car accident can turn your entire world upside down in an instant and leave you out of work, struggling with injuries and juggling a load of unexpected bills all at once.

One more challenge you'll face is the fact that the insurance companies involved in your case probably won't exactly have your best interests at heart. Sure, the adjuster who calls may sound genuinely concerned about your well-being and utterly sympathetic to your plight -- but don't lose sight of the fact that he or she has a job to do. That job is to save the insurance company money -- not protect your interests.

Why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney

Getting charged with a federal crime is terrifying. However, many people fail to realize exactly how much trouble they're really in, thanks to the onslaught of mandatory minimum sentences.

Back in the 1980s when the U.S. government went full-tilt into the "War on Drugs," legislators did something that has had a profound effect on the criminal justice system and American society in general. Essentially, they took a lot of authority out of the hands of the judges who oversee criminal cases and made long prison sentences the norm -- regardless of the circumstances.

West Virginia ranked in the top 10 for traffic danger

Traffic accidents sometimes turn fatal. A recent report suggests that West Virginia may be one of the deadlier states for driving in the nation.

The report is by 24/7 Wall Street. It looked at population and motor vehicle fatality data for 2018 to estimate the traffic death rate for each state.

How are child support payments decided in West Virginia?

Going through a divorce is an emotional time, especially for children. They may not understand why you are splitting up with your spouse, and they are likely unhappy about it. Your children may even blame themselves.

You want to do all you can to protect your kids. You are trying to their routines as much the same as possible. Caring for your children after the divorce may involve a child support payment from your soon-to-be ex. You may be wondering how child support payments are determined in West Virginia.

How truckers may be able to minimize accidents

Truck-related fatalities are on the rise in West Virginia and other states. At a Transportation Research Board meeting in early 2019, the chief safety officer from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration presented the following statistics: Large-truck-occupant fatalities have increased each of the last three years, fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks are on the rise, and the number of large truck or bus collisions has increased.

The FMSCA didn't specifically point the finger at drivers of large trucks. However, data suggests that truckers may be able to literally use their hands to reduce truck accidents. Nearly 40 percent of truck occupant victims weren't wearing seat belts in 2017, so one thing drivers can do is use their hands to buckle up. Work zone crashes may also be reduced if truckers use their hands to click the turn signal early when merging into open lanes and turn their flashers on when traffic is stopped or slowed.

Road Safe America advocates speed limiters on large trucks

One way to reduce the number of large truck crashes is to incorporate safety technology on trucks, especially speed limiters. This is the conclusion that the non-profit Road Safe America reached after analyzing federal data on large truck crash fatalities. Between 2009 and 2017, there were a total of 35,882 such fatalities in West Virginia and across the U.S.

Those eight years saw a significant increase in large truck crash deaths with all but six states experiencing it. Corresponding to this was a decline in the miles traveled by commercial truckers. Road Safe America found that most of the states that experienced the highest increase have speed limits of 70 mph. This is not a coincidence, according to the non-profit, because such a high speed is dangerous for large trucks.

West Virginia legislature considers new drunk driving law

The West Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would make it legal for a person to drive drunk on their own property. However, the bill would not protect a drunk driver from liability for hurting or killing another person. It would also still be legal for police to take drunk drivers into custody if that individual left their property or was spotted coming back onto their property.

The legislation was inspired by an incident that took place in 2012. The case involved a man who was taken into custody for drunk driving after being spotted driving an ATV on his own property. After passing the House of Delegates 97-2, the bill will now be sent to the Senate for approval. It was not clear if it would pass the Senate or when the matter would be voted on.

Study finds vehicle infotainment systems distracting to drivers

New cars and trucks come with an array of safety features designed to reduce traffic accidents on roads in West Virginia and elsewhere. Unfortunately, many new vehicles are also stocked with distracting electronic gadgets, including infotainment and GPS systems, that could increase the risk of car crashes.

For example, a recent AAA study conducted by researchers from the University of Utah examined 30 different dashboard systems on 2017 vehicles and found that all of them required moderate or high levels of driver interaction. Specifically, seven of the studied systems required moderate levels of interaction, 11 required high levels of interaction and 12 required very high levels of interaction. None of the systems required low levels of interaction. The study also found that using GPS systems and sending texts were the most distracting interactions.


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Charles Town, WV 25414

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