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Arraignment

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Many defendants are confused about what an arraignment is and what happens during the  process. An arraignment is not the same thing as a trial. The only people present at an arraignment are the judge, the prosecutor, the defendant and defense attorney. It is the precursor to a trial.

What is an arraignment and can you go to jail at an arraignment?

An arraignment has two specific goals. The first is to determine whether the accused is worthy  of having bail set. If they are not considered a threat to the community, then the judge will set the bail amount. The judge hears what the defendant has been charged with and decides whether it is in the best interest of the community to allow the defendant to post an amount of money that is meant to guarantee that they don’t skip town before the trial.

If the judge doesn’t set bail or if the bail is set so high that the defendant can’t make it, then the defendant is remanded back to prison to await trial. A defendant who is not granted bail remains in jail either until the case is over or they can make bail, or the judge allows a bond reduction or modification.

If the judge does decide to set bail, then the defendant has the right to post bail in the form of cash. The other alternative that some defendants have is to borrow money from a licensed bondsman. A bondsman is someone who lends you money to make bail, but you will owe a portion of the cash that the bondsman posts. They will charge something called a bond premium, which is typically 10% of the total bond that they borrow to post.

The arraignment is also when the defendant is told the exact charges that they are being accused of. It is a chance for the defendant and their attorney to get clarification of what the charges are.

The steps to an arraignment:

Step one

The case is called by the bailiff. His job is to organize the cases on the calendar and then to announce which case is next according to the schedule or “docket number.” When your case is called, the case will have a specific name to let you know that you are next.

Step two

After your case is called, you will be escorted into the courtroom and stand in front of the judge next to your defense attorney. In larger courts, the defendant will stand in front of a camera or a monitor while inside the jail cell. The hearing then takes place via a closed-circuit television system. All parties including the judge, the defense attorney, other people in the courtroom, and the prosecutor watch the defendant on the monitor.

Step three

The judge will ask specific questions to either the defense attorney or the prosecutor. He might ask questions about whether you intend to waive your rights to a trial, which means that you don’t have a trial by jury but instead allow the charges to be decided upon solely by a judge. Although not many people ever waive their right to trial, it is a formality that is still in practice.

Step four

At that point, the judge will take some time to read through the notes and review the case file. He will then ask for more specifics from the prosecutor to clarify things. This is just a review of the case and there may be some back and forth between the prosecution and the defense, but it has very little bearing on your case in particular.

Step five

The judge will then ask if the prosecutor thinks that bail should be set. The prosecutor can also make a suggestion about the amount of bail, and if they believe that the defendant is a flight risk they may ask that they not be granted bail. It is then the defense lawyer’s turn to retort and try to fight for bail or to lower the amount.

Step six

After that the judge will either grant bail or not, and if it’s granted, they will set an amount. If the defendant is granted bail and can make the amount, they are escorted to a waiting area. If the judge decides to release the defendant on something called an ROR or “release on recognizance,” meaning that they needn’t post bail and are free to leave. If the defendant isn’t capable of making bail, they return to jail to await trial.

The arraignment process is only to do two things: decide whether bail should be allowed and to set the amount of bond that must be posted for the accused to get out of jail while awaiting trial. It has nothing to do with deciding someone’s guilt or innocence.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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The Most Common Killers Worldwide

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While the world is getting more and more populated with the human species, there are also more and more deaths too. And most of the time they have been caused by things that weren’t intended to be fatal.

Here’s some of the most common.

Road accidents

One of the most common killers is from road accidents, whether that be in a car or on a bike, there are crashes that happen every single day. This tends to be due to careless driving from people that are either over the limit and under the influence, driving competitively, or distracted by their phones. While a lot of people are aware of this information, it doesn’t stop the accidents from happening, and lives are constantly being lost. A lot of the time, the accident involves taking innocent lives away at the fault of someone else, that causes them to have an unpleasant death that could’ve been avoided. This is why more awareness needs to be raised with every incident that happens, along with how often they do, because this might give the world a much-needed wake-up call.

Robberies

Robberies can happen in all sorts of environments, be it at home, in a store, and even on holiday. Robbers tend to target people that seem to have something of value on them, and don’t look as if they’re going to fight back. A lot of robberies do happen when people are on holiday because they’re a lot more relaxed and off guard, because it’s the last thing on their mind while sipping on a mojito. The problem is, they can go wrong very quickly. Most robbers do not intend on killing anyone, they just go in with force to scare the victim, making them easier to take from. But when someone does get brave enough to fight back – that’s where things turn fatal. The robber may end up overcompensating or doing something they hadn’t planned on doing all in the heat of the moment. Not only ruining their own life, but an innocent person’s too.

Cancer

We all know what cancer is, we see it all over the tv and other forms of media. It’s a disease that comes with a lot of heartache. While there are many different forms of cancers, the grief that they bring to victims and their families can be very hard. Many can be treated with the right drugs and therapy – even surgery. But some aren’t as curable as that, leaving people to end their lives in a lot of pain and discomfort. Cancer can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender, and lifestyle. There are many different things that are advertised to reduce the risk of ever getting it, but really, the sad truth is that if you’re going to get the disease – you’re going to get it.

There is a lot of negativity in the world, and this is why we should all be doing as much as we can to see the good things. The media highlights a lot of deflating stuff – it’s your job to seek more. – Better.

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Myths About Compensation Unveiled

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Law hammer

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Compensation is an area of life that seems to be surrounded by a host of myths. All sorts of headlines have been made surrounding issues such as “compensation culture” and how compensation is detrimental to society as a whole. But this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, compensation, in many ways, can turn out to be quite a good thing. It’s a process that ensures that as many individuals in positions of authority and responsibility as possible stick to the protocol and provide those under their care with safe environments and products. Imagine the state of things if there wasn’t any threat of financial recompense for negative actions! So, let’s take a look at just a few myths associated with compensation to clear up the confusion.

You Can Claim Compensation for Any Accident, Regardless of Fault

Now, there have been cases in the past where compensation has been falsely claimed by individuals who have exaggerated situations, injuries, or trauma. But this percentage is extremely low and, generally speaking, you have to give a whole lot of proof to be able to make a claim. Only genuine breaches will be taken into consideration, as it has to be proved in court by the claimant that the other part has been negligent. No lawyer will waste their time with cases that won’t stand up in court. Serious faults, such as cases where the victim is deceased as a result of the problem, or the victim is genuinely harmed will generally be prioritised.

People Are Too Ready to Claim

We are given this image of compensation cases where everyone jumps at the slightest opportunity to make a claim. This, again, is false. In fact, six out of every seven individuals negatively affected by an accident are likely to brush opportunities to claim under the carpet. They are often scared by branded with this very myth and turn a blind eye to the problem at hand.

Employers Shouldn’t Have to Pay Out for Unforeseen Problems

Many will argue that employers or insurance companies shouldn’t have to pay out for unforeseen problems. A huge point of contention in this area is asbestos claims. People believe that companies shouldn’t have to pay out because they didn’t know at the time that asbestos was dangerous. However, it’s important to highlight that when you are in a position of responsibility, it is your job to check everything that those under your jurisdiction are dealing with. In the case of asbestos, health and safety checks should have been carried out.

Lawyers Purposefully Make Compensation Cases Last Longer

Another commonly spread myth is that lawyers will purposefully prolong the legal process of taking a compensation case to court in order to increase the amount of money that they can charge and earn from it. But any legal representative has a legal obligation to act in the best interest of their clients. To do this would break their code of conduct.

Chances are that you’ve heard all of these myths time and time again. But hopefully, we’ve helped to clear them up for you!

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America’s Aging Workforce: A Call For Change

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You don’t need us to tell you that people are living longer. What’s more, advances in medical treatments keep us fighting fit into our later lives. With medicine as it stands, even illnesses such as cancer aren’t enough to knock us down. Instead, we bounce back, often fitter than we were before. Such is the miracle of modern medicine.

No one can deny that this is a positive change and something we should all be thankful for. But, it’s also impossible to ignore that these improvements are at the root of some issues. America’s aging population is nothing new. For years now, we’ve seen baby boomers, born between 1946-1964, forming the largest generation in America. As it stands, 75 million American citizens fall into this category.

As a result, strains have been placed on Medicare, social security, and even our workforces. Early retirement packages start as young as 62, but many are now able to work later. What’s more, inadequate pensions leave many with no other choice.

And, there are obvious issues with an aging workplace. While there are benefits to elderly workers, there are also negatives. Of course, the majority of the issues come about from workplaces targeted towards the young. So, what needs to change to help our aging workers? Let’s take a look.

New health and safety regulations

As it stands, health and safety regulations aren’t serving the aging workforce. In the past, workplace fatalities have concerned younger workers or an even mixture across the ages. But, statistics from Minnesota fatalities suggest that things are changing, with more elderly workers at risk of fatal or long-term injuries. In fact, at least half of workplace deaths involved those who were 55 and over. And, these numbers look set to skyrocket in the coming decade. In some ways, you could argue that these statistics are inevitable. After all, workers in these age ranges now far outweigh those in any other. But, the figures are still worrying. What’s more, those over the age of 65 are thought to take longer to recover. Statistics show that older workers took an average 14 days to recover, while younger workers took 4-9. This is terrible news for everyone, as it means lost workload and lost earnings. The injured individual would be within their rights to contact lawyers such as Strickland, Agner & Associates to cover the financial burden of their time off. But, this would again leave employers out of pocket, which ultimately doesn’t help anyone involved.

Instead, it might be time for workplaces to reconsider their health and safety measures. With elderly workers in mind, issues such as visibility and hearing should be a priority. Bear in mind, too, that a small trip could do real damage for an older worker. As such, it’s more important than ever to keep walkways clear and safe at all times. These changes won’t be difficult to implement. So, there’s no excuse for workforces not to get behind this.

A focus on employee wellness

Employee wellness should always be a priority. Any employer knows that allowances must be in place for workers with disabilities. The law states that they provide wheelchair friendly desks, easy access to all areas, and even parking spaces close to the building. And, all these allowances could help to make life easier for an aging workforce. Admittedly, going too far here could cause insult. But, it’s hard to ignore that a 65-year-old worker will struggle to make their way up three flights of stairs to reach the office. As such, you should provide options like elevators and parking spaces nearby. Keep this understated, and let workers make their own choices about whether to use such benefits. But, you can be sure that having the option will go a long way towards reducing any discomfort.

Acknowledge the limitations of age

This is a tricky matter to traverse. On the one hand, discrimination should be avoided at all costs. And, that includes age discrimination. At the same time, it’s impossible to ignore that older workers won’t be as able to complete incredibly strenuous jobs. What’s more, they could cause themselves injuries while attempting it. As such, it’s difficult to know how employers could best approach this issue.

It may be that jobs should be at a worker’s discretion. Nobody knows our limits as well as we do. As such, it should be made clear that elderly workers can approach managers if they aren’t up to certain tasks. They shouldn’t be reproached or made to feel uncomfortable. Instead, bosses should be accommodating here. After this has happened once, they’ll know not to give the individual in question that job again. Rather than being a matter of discrimination, communications like these are a sign of a healthy and fair workplace, which accommodates for age without making assumptions.

Acknowledge the benefits of age

On the other end of the scale, it’s also crucial for workplaces to acknowledge the benefits with come from an aging team. Workers who have been in the field for their whole lives can bring a load of experience to a role. While not all 65+ employees will be as physically able as young candidates, you can be sure they’ll know a lot more. Why not make the most of these benefits by entrusting our older workers to train our young ones? This would save managers both time and money, and ensure workers learn from someone who’s done the job for years. What’s more, those older workers are sure to appreciate the chance to pass on their knowledge. It’s the best of both worlds and is a setup which is sure to suit everyone.

In conclusion

Accommodating an aging workforce isn’t difficult. It doesn’t cost employers, or create unnecessary work. In fact, small shifts in thinking and operations are all it takes to get this right. And, given that this is an issue which will only become more prevalent, it makes sense that all workplaces get on top of this sooner rather than later.

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