How Well Do You Know Criminal Law?How Well Do You Know Criminal Law?

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How Well Do You Know Criminal Law?

Sure, you know what's illegal and what's not. You know how to avoid breaking the law. But do you know the technicalities that can get your case dismissed in court? Do you know what kind of evidence is allowed in your defense and what isn't? Do you know how to effectively cross-examine a witness? If the answer to these questions is no, then you shouldn't be considering defending yourself in court. When a criminal case gets to court, innocence doesn't matter as much as experience with criminal law does. You need an experienced lawyer to help you defend yourself. In this blog, I'll share experiences that can help you understand what is going to happen in court and how to assist in your own defense. But the most important piece of advice I can give you is this: don't go to court without a lawyer.

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Truck Driver's Texting Leads To Multiple Deaths -- Which May Not Even Be Illegal In Texas

The driver of a pickup truck in Texas crashed into a minivan filled with elderly church members who were on their way home from a retreat. Thirteen members of the group were killed, in total, leaving only one survivor other than the truck's driver.

What was the apparent cause of the accident? Distracted driving may be to blame -- specifically, texting while driving.

Witnesses claim they tried to alert the police.

Witnesses to the whole situation claim that they saw the driver weaving erratically in and out of traffic and crossing the center line well before he was actually in the crash. While they called the police, police weren't able to find the distracted truck driver until after he crashed into the church minivan.

Texas has no uniform laws against texting while driving.

Amazingly enough, while distracted driving is something that's gotten more and more attention over the past few years nationwide, Texas still has no unified law against cellphone use while driving. Individual cities and towns have passed laws banning the practice -- but this accident happened in a rural area outside of a city's specific jurisdiction. That means that the driver may not have been doing anything specifically illegal by having his eyes on his phone instead of on the road while he was driving.

Distracted driving is a growing problem.

Whether it's because having a smartphone at hand means more people are glancing at the GPS guidance system app they're using to find someplace, talking on the phone after their after-work plans, hunting Pokemon, or texting someone, there's no doubt that they contribute to the problem of distracted driving. Over 64% of accidents on U.S. roads involve a cell phone -- and 78% of those who admit to using their cell phone when they get into an accident were in the process of texting at the time.

Your only real relief may come in civil court.

While the laws have tried to keep pace with the problem, they can only punish the behavior -- not compensate the victims. Victims of truck accidents can suffer catastrophic injuries -- or, as seen in the Texas case, even die. Surviving victims may face a lifetime of painful therapy and recovery. Surviving relatives of the deceased may lose out on the love and companionship of their mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. While pursuing a wrongful death action against someone who was driving a truck and texting won't bring back the deceased or repair your wounds, it can provide you with the income you need to get ongoing medical care, raise your family, and have financial security in the future.

For more information on how to pursue a claim due to distracted driving, talk to an attorney in your area.