Thursday, September 29, 2011

Boise Idaho DUI Lawyers - Criminal Defense Attorneys (208) 472-2383

What is a DUI?  Many people think that the crime of driving under the influence refers only to drunk driving.  DUI in Idaho used to be called a DWI or driving while intoxicated.  This denotation was changed to encompass what the law really covered.  DUI is driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substance.

To legally operate a motor vehicle in Idaho, there can be no more than .08% alcohol in your blood stream (BAC).  Depending upon your size this generally translates into 1-2 drinks over a one hour period.  There is no legal limit of drugs or other intoxicating substances in your system.  What this means, for example, is if you have smoked marijuana and you are pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, you will be found to have been driving under the influence if your blood tests positive for marijuana, regardless of when or how much you smoked.  In regard to other intoxicating substances, such as cough syrup or prescription drugs, there is also no legal limit.  This is not to say that you cannot operate a motor vehicle with these in your blood stream, but if there is a quantity in your blood stream such that your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired, then you can be charged with a DUI.  The police would apply the same field sobriety test they use in a drunk driving stop to determine the extent of your impairment.

Of course, with all DUI stops the police must have probable cause to pull you over in the first place.  This probable cause can range from failing to signal, failing to turn your lights on or weaving.  With the first two the police may simply be doing a routine traffic stop for a moving violation, but if at that time you appear drunk, stoned or otherwise impaired, they can request that you submit to a field sobriety test.

If your BAC is below .08% or if the amount of prescription or over the counter drugs in your system do not rise to the level of "intoxication", you can still be charged with reckless driving if you exhibited poor driving and that was the reason for the original traffic stop.

If you have been charged with a DUI or reckless driving and need to speak to a Boise Criminal Defense Attorney, please give us a call and see what we can do for you.  Call now, (208) 472-2383.

Boise Idaho DUI Lawyers - Criminal Defense Attorneys - Criminal Law

Monday, September 26, 2011

Boise Bankruptcy Attorneys - Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13 - (208) 472-2383

Bankruptcy is a specialized area of legal practice.  Unlike a divorce, DUI or other criminal case, a bankruptcy is handled in Federal Court rather than State Court.  If you were to get a divorce in Boise you would file in the Fourth Judicial District for Ada County.  For bankruptcy, you would file in Federal Bankruptcy Court.  Likewise, for a divorce, DUI or criminal matter in Ada County you would have a county Magistrate Judge hear and decide your case.  A bankruptcy is heard and confirmed by a United States Federal District Bankruptcy Judge.

It's not just location that makes bankruptcy a specialized area.  It has its own code of procedure and rules.  If you have an attorney who doesn't know these rules you can end up not getting your bankruptcy confirmed.  Like in all areas of law, in bankruptcy there are peculiarities that you don't know if you don't practice in that area.

Another difference about bankruptcy is it tends to be administrative.  It is rare that an individual filing for bankruptcy will actually ever go before the bankruptcy judge.  There is a debtor's examination meeting that occurs prior to the confirmation but that is run by the bankruptcy trustee, not the judge.  This is known as a 341 meeting.  341 refers to the Code section which requires that this administrative step be taken.

There are several different types of bankruptcy which an individual or a business might claim.  The most common is Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13.  Chapter 7 is the liquidation of debts.  Here there are income requirements that you have to meet in order to qualify.  There is also Chapter 13 which is an individual debt adjustment.  This does not discharge your debts, rather it allows you to repay them over a period of years.  Chapter 11 is reorganization and is used by businesses to repay their debts.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you are contemplating bankruptcy, give us a call and see what we can do for you.  Call today (208) 472-2383

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Boise Idaho Personal Injury Lawyers - Workers Comp Attorneys

What's the difference between a personal injury and a workers comp claim? 

This is a common question.  Most every employer in the state of Idaho is required to carry workers comp insurance.  If you are hurt on the job, the workers comp laws of Idaho ensure that there is coverage for you.  Personal injury, on the other hand, occurs when you are injured by someone other than your employer.  In a personal injury law suit you file a civil claim against the party who has injured you.  They may or may not have insurance that will cover your damages.

When you are injured on the job it is critical that your report your injury immediately to both the Idaho Industrial Commission and your employer.  If you do not report your injury within 60 days you can lose all your benefits.  Another difference between personal injury and workers comp is who covers the bills associated with your injury.  In a personal injury you are personally responsible for paying your medical bills and then trying to collect the cost from the party who injured you.  With workers comp, your bills are sent directly to and covered by (all reasonable and necessary bills) the insurance carrier.

Another difference between personal injury and workers comp is coverage of lost wages.  If you are injured in an accident not related to work and you file all the appropriate paperwork, you will be entitled to time-loss benefits which is compensation for lost wages if you are off the job for more than five days.  You also may qualify for temporary total disability benefits if you doctor confirms that you cannot work.  These benefits last until you have recovered to the maximum degree of recovery and are released by your doctor to work again.  If you are not completely temporarily disabled, you may qualify for temporary partial disability benefits.  In a personal injury law suit, if you miss work and are temporarily or permanently disabled, you won't collect any payment until you have settled with the insurance company or received and collected on a judgement against the party that injured you.

Death benefits are also provided by workers comp.  In general, your spouse will receive 500 weeks of death benefits.  This can change, however, if your spouse remarries.  In addition, your children, up to 3 total, will receive benefits until they turn 18.  Again, with personal injury, there is no guaranteed coverage for death benefits.  Any money you receive to compensate your loved ones will only come from a settlement with the insurance company or a judgment when you win the personal injury law suit.

So if workers comp sounds so good, why would you ever need a workers comp attorney?  You may ultimately decide what the Idaho Industrial Commission determines is reasonable and necessary or a full benefit does not actually meet your expectations, your out of pocket expenses or is commiserate with your injuries.  For workers comp cases in Idaho you are not allowed to file suit in civil court, like you would with a personal injury case.  For workers comp you have to file an appeal and have a formal hearing.  Prior to going to the formal hearing you may also want to go through mediation.  Mediation is non-binding upon you so if you still don't feel like you are getting what you deserve you can request a formal hearing.  Workers comp attorneys assist you in these matters.  They present your case before the formal hearing board or negotiate with the Industrial Commission lawyers during mediation. If mediation doesn't work for you The Idaho Industrial Commission  lawyers and your workers comp attorney or attorneys will have a binding legal hearing to determine what your benefits should be.

There is one situation where your injury may be taken to a civil court.  If you are injured at work but a third party is involved, in addition to filing for benefits under the workers comp laws of Idaho for the amount of the injury caused by your employer, you can sue the third party for the injury or the amount of the injury they caused.

If you have been injured on the job and need to speak to a Boise Workers Comp Attorney, please give us a call, (208) 472-2383.  We offer a free consultation.  Give us a call and see what we can do for you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Boise Idaho Probate Attorneys - Estate Planning Lawyers - Elder Law - (208) 472-2383

Have you been left out of your parent's will?  Did your parent fail to mention you in or bequeath you anything in their will? Are you out of luck or is there a chance you may get your intestate share of your deceased parent's property?  Do you get nothing or do you get your "rightful" share?

Our office deals with a wide range of Estate Planning and Probate issues.  Perhaps the most heartbreaking story I hear as a probate attorney is when an heir has been left out of a will.  This can happen in a couple of different ways.  Often it is the case that a parent has either been married before or had a child out of wedlock.  Later they marry and start a new family.  They make their last will and testament and make no mention of the child of the previous relationship.  Another scenario is you and your parent have a falling out and you are written out of the will.  Sometimes I even see that very dramatic clause that if you contest the will you loose everything and collect only $1.

In Idaho there is a chance that in both of these situations you may actually take what is known as your intestate share of the property.  Intestate refers to a probate situation where there is no will.  A descendant's property must be divided somehow so every state, including Idaho, has a set of probate laws which determine how the property will be divided.  In the above two situations, when you have been left out of a will and the court decides you deserve your fair share, they need a way to determine what you ultimately get.  This is your intestate share.

So how can these situations be challenged? Let's take the second scenario first; you have a falling out with your parent.  People often think that it's the parent's property so they can do with it what they please.  And this is absolutely true.  The challenge comes in when there is undue influence or lack of testamentary capacity.  If you can show that somehow your parent was influenced in a way that forced or influenced them illegally to leave you out or that they did not have the mental capacity necessary to write a will, the will becomes invalid and you as a child of the descendant may take an intestate share of the property.

The first scenario falls under something called a pretermitted heir. This is a fancy way of saying a left out heir.  This is a little bit more tricky.  The Idaho Probate Code contains a pretermitted heir statute which says, in effect, that if a parent leaves a child out of their will solely because they think they are dead then they are a pretermitted heir and are entitled to their intestate share of the property.  A child left out for any other reason gets nothing.  That's what the code says.  Case law, however, which is controlling at this point on the subject, says that unless the testator uses very specific language to show their intent to leave the child out (such as I have a child, Jane Doe, and I give her nothing), Idaho will presume that the child was left out unintentionally and therefore the child will take their intestate share.

Many people panic when they have been left out of a will, but as a Boise Probate Attorney, I can tell you this doesn't necessarily mean you get nothing.  If you have been written out of your parent's will or been completely left out of their will, it is possible that we might be able to get you your intestate share of the estate.  Please give us a call, (208) 472-2383 to see what we can do for you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boise Idaho Divoce Lawyers - Family Law Attorneys - (208) 472-2383

Divorce can get ugly.  As a Boise Divorce Attorney I have seen some really unsavory divorce and custody actions.  It is my job as a divorce lawyer to try to help you to go through the process without high conflict.  This isn't always possible.  It depends to a great deal upon the individuals, the degree of animus and the level of maturity of the parties.  However, as many Boise Divorce Attorneys will attest, there are a few things that you, as an individual, can do to help your divorce go smoothly.

One of the biggest areas of conflict in divorce and custody actions has to do with a new partner, spouse or significant other.  Keeping your divorce issues and your custody issues between you, your soon-to-be ex partner and your lawyers is far better than including your new boyfriend or girlfriend in the mix.

Being timely for visitation drop off and pick up and being courteous about potential conflicts are other important elements in divorce.  Often conflict begins here.  The parties, because they are at odds, begin to use their children to get back at the other party.  If someone is late for visitation drop off, the other party might use that against them or to claim they are not fit to be a parent.  Divorce is very hard on children and no child deserves to be put in the middle of a custody dispute.

Being up front and honest with your soon-to-be ex and with the attorneys is also critical to the process and the outcome of a divorce.  Incomes for child support calculations, use of community savings and care of community property are areas where people will often try to hide or fudge or somehow use to deceive the other party.  You are obliged by law to be honest about your income and to care for the goods of the community.  Lying about your income to decrease your child support obligation or destroying community property out of spite are sure ways to create a high conflict divorce.  Just a note about child support.  People often don't want to divulge their full incomes because they don't want the other party to get their money.  Child support is just what it says it is.  It is to support your child.

There is no guarantee that your divorce will go smoothly but using common sense and civility will go a long way in helping your divorce go quickly and with a low level of conflict.  There are of course certain issues which may result in conflict.  Your attorney knows how to manage these and it is far better to discuss these with your divorce lawyer rather than directly with the other party.

If you are seeking a divorce or custody and need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney, please call, (208) 472-2383,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Boise Idaho Criminal Defense Lawyers - DUI Attorneys (208) 472-2383

It seems like there are more stories in the local newspaper about increases in arrests over  holiday weekends.  For Boise Criminal Lawyers this translates into an uptick in the number of calls associated with folks looking for a good criminal defense attorney.  These holiday arrests don't just involve DUI.  They often involve other crime.

I have frequently discussed how to avoid a DUI but today I would like to talk about a good way to avoid being arrested for the crime of possession of drugs or paraphernalia.  As a Boise Criminal Defense Lawyer I regularly get calls from individuals who describe their arrest in detail.  In a lot of situations something happens to initiate a traffic stop, such as a broken headlight or blinker.  Contrary to popular belief, just because a person in in possession of marijuana or paraphernalia doesn't mean they are under the influence of marijuana.  So often people are arrested for possession because of an underlying offense, such as a traffic violation.  Here's the common scenario.  You're driving along and the detestable red lights, which signal trouble, flash at you.  The cop pulls you over, struts like a rooster to your window and snoops around a little bit.  You might be nervous, you might be driving an old Duster, you might be wearing a Grateful Dead T-shirt or you might just want to get the heck out of Dodge, but whatever it is it signals the cop to think something might be going on.  And then it happens.  The cop asks if he or she can search you or your car.  Just Say No!  People often think they have to let the police search them.  You do not.  If they have not arrested you, they cannot search you without your permission or without a search warrant.  Unless you have a rap sheet a mile long or you are really paranoid or aggressive, the police simply are not going to secure a search warrant on a simple traffic stop.

If the police search you, with your permission, then whatever they find is potentially admissible as evidence against you.  The police know that if they don't have your permission to search you or the vehicle anything they find that is not in "plain sight" may be excluded. 

This brings up a few important points.  One, if you are pulled over and you know you have marijuana or paraphernalia on you don't say yes to a search.  You do not have to.  It might also be sensible to always say no, just in case you forgot about the pipe or roach in your pocket (this actually happens all the time).  It is also an important if you have been arrested and the police searched you or your car without your permission and found incriminating evidence, make certain you tell your Boise Criminal Lawyer that this is how the evidence was obtained so that they can moved to have it excluded.  An obvious but often overlooked point is, don't act guilty during a traffic stop.  If you have been pulled over for a traffic violation, be agreeable and move on.  Your attitude can wind up getting you busted.

The world of criminal law revolves around what evidence is admissible.  You have to fully inform your Boise Criminal Lawyer of all the facts surrounding your arrest so that they can keep out any evidence that violates your rights.

If you have been arrested and need to speak to a Boise Criminal Lawyer, give us a call and see what we can do for you.  Call now, (208) 472-2383.