The Legal Insider
In this issue:
Fighting a DUI Where Police Acted Inappropriately
Police officers do not always act appropriately during a DUI stop. Sometimes, a police officer may use excessive force during the DUI stop, or the officer goes into places where the officer has no right to enter. When that occurs, a motion may be filed to suppress the evidence and get the DUI charges dismissed.
What Is Inappropriate Behavior?
Inappropriate behavior would be the police officer threatening you or using excessive force. Excessive force occurs when the police officer grabs or hits you where lesser strength could have done the job, especially if you were complying. For example, if the police officer had you in custody but decides to toss you on the ground in a headlock, then that would be excessive. Similarly, it would be excessive for a police officer to hit you with a baton if you had both hands up in surrender.
What Is Exceeding The Appropriate Bounds?
Exceeding appropriate bounds occurs when the police officer goes to an area where he is not legally supposed to be. An officer can exceed appropriate bounds even when the officer is authorized to arrest a defendant. Generally, police officers are not allowed to go into the defendant’s home unless he has a search warrant or if it was under exigent circumstances. For example, a police officer cannot go into a defendant's home to arrest him if the officer was not in pursuit of the defendant.
Once a motion is filed, the police department will need to release the police officer's personnel records to determine if there is a pattern of misconduct. The judge will then decide whether or not the inappropriate behavior will be taken into consideration. If the action is offensive, the case will be dismissed.
To Waive or Not To Waive Child Support
Child support and child rearing often go hand in hand for parents who are separated. The former tends to be a bargaining chip for the parent who wants sole custody of the child. But is it wise to waive child support completely?
In most situations, the non-custodial parent is obligated to pay child support up until the child turns 18 years of age or finishes high school. This holds true even if the non-custodial parent has no contact or visitation rights with the child. Child support is required so the child is properly fed and cared for. The general rule is that all parents must pay child support even if the parent does not have custody.
However, a custodial parent may want to waive child support so that the parent and the child have nothing to do with the non-custodial parent. Similarly, the custodial parent might be asked to waive child support for financial reasons, such as when the non-custodial has no money. But is this the wisest thing you may do? When an attorney helps you negotiate your child support payments, he may put all your intentions in it. For example, you can collect without the non-custodial parent contacting you, or you do not need to enforce child support payments. If you waive child support, you cannot go back in time to get child support payments when the financial circumstances of either parent changes.
However, it is in the non-custodial parents' best interests to waive support. If child support is not waived, the custodial parent may ask for back child support. Spiteful custodial parents can go back on their word and sue to get payments, even if the parents verbally not agreed not to enforce payments. This may be a legal headache on its own as the custodial parent can get non-custodial parent's income garnished or professional licenses suspended.
The Pros and Cons of Owning a Legal Marijuana Business
The drug laws in the United States are constantly changing. Most states have authorized the use of medicinal marijuana for individuals, such as cancer patients. Many states have also passed laws for the recreational use of marijuana.
Along with this change comes opportunity for entrepreneurs. Many business owners have entered the new frontier of cannabis distribution and cultivation. In these uncharted waters are many pros and cons for this industry.
Which States Legalize Recreational Marijuana?
The jurisdictions that have legalized recreational marijuana are: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
What Are the Pros?
- Large market with few competitors: this industry is very young and not many storefronts are available or as widespread compared to other markets. The benefits of opening up a marijuana dispensary mean that you may have a monopoly in your city or county.
- High revenues: depending on your operation costs and the number of clients you get, your profits can be considerably high. Many dispensaries in Colorado make approximately $5000 to $500,000 per month.
What Are the Cons?
- Federal law issues: States laws may have been passed, but the use and distribution of cannabis is still illegal on the federal level.
- Lack of Banking Options: Due to the federal law issues, many legal marijuana businesses cannot open up bank accounts, receive payments via checks or credit cards, take out bank loans to buy property for their storefronts, or even file for bankruptcy.
- Heightened security risks: These businesses operate on an all cash based manner, so security is a major concern during storage and transportation.
The Right to Breastfeed and Obamacare
Breastfeeding infants have become the norm in parenting. Scientific research is still being conducted, but many studies find that breastfeeding newborns are healthy for both mother and child. The law is typically slow in accommodating changes in scientific thought, but Affordable Care Act gives working mothers’ the right to express milk for their newborns.
Do Employees Have The Right To Breastfeed Children While at Work?
Employers are required to provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk. The exception is if 1. The employer has less than fifty employees and 2. Providing a break time would be an undue hardship for the employer.
Where Can New Mothers Express Breast Milk?
Under Obamacare, employers must provide a place shielded from the view of co-workers and the public for the employee to express breast milk. This location cannot be a bathroom.
How Long Do Employees Have This Right?
Employers are to provide reasonable break times up to one year after the employee gives birth.
Are Employers Required To Pay For This Break time?
Under Obamacare, employers are not required to provide paid breaks to express breast milk. The exception is if another federal law or a state law would require paid breaks.
What about State Laws?
Since Obamacare is federal law, all employers in the nation are subject to these rules. However, states that provide greater protection will govern employers and employees in that state. For example, California has amended its employment laws so that gender discrimination includes breast feeding related activities. In contrast, federal law does not consider breastfeeding a gender related activity.