Mar 22 2010

What is Embezzlement?

The act of secreting and dishonestly appropriately financial assets by one or more people that have entrusted with them is what is referred to as embezzlement.

Examples of Embezzlement/Misappropriation

Misappropriation is a type of financial scam. For example, cashiers or clerks managing huge sums of cash may misappropriate money from their employers, an attorney may misappropriate money from the accounts of their clients, financial advisers may steal money from investors or spouses may steal cash from their partners. Misappropriation can be small, where only little amounts are involved or large where sophisticated schemes and huge amounts are involved.

In most instances, misappropriation is carried out in a systematic, methodical or premeditated manner with the intention of hiding the actions from other people. A majority of the time, it is carried out without the consent and knowledge of other people. It involves individuals who are trusted misappropriating the small amount of cash that they receive in an effort to reduce the risk of being detected. Misappropriation may go on for years and maybe even decades, without being detected if successful. Victims only realize that their savings and funds have gone missing and in the hands of an embezzler only when they need it or need to use it. It is at they point that they consider hiring an attorney.

Nature of the Offense

Misappropriation is a legal offense. The definition of the offense differs from one statute to another. The typical elements include the conversion, of property, that belongs to another, by individuals who have the legal passion of the property, deceitfully. Misappropriation is an offense against ownership. That is, the right of the owner to control not only the property’s use but also disposition. The element of conversion requires substantial interference with the property rights of the true owner. This is unlike larceny where any form of movement of the property especially when it comes along with the objective of depriving permanently one of the property’s possessions is enough. An attorney can help you understand the difference.

According to an attorney, the condition that conversions be deceitful means that the accused without mistake, a claim of right and willfully transferred the property to his/her personal use. The kinds of property that are subject to misappropriation vary from one jurisdiction to another. Misappropriation laws do not in any way limit the extent of the offense to personal property conversion. Laws usually include the conversion of tangible as well as intangible personal property. In most instances, it does not include real property. One critical element is that the accused ought to lawfully possess the property at the point where deceitful conversion occurs and not just have custody of it. If the accused lawfully possessed the property, then the offense is definitely misappropriation. On the other hand, the accused can only be accused of larceny if he/she only had custody of it. Establishing whether the accused only had custody or the lawful possession of the property is sometimes very hard. However, an attorney can help you do this.

This article is not intended to give any legal advice.

Additional Legal Resource: Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Lowe for more information about embezzlement laws and charges. Serving clients in criminal defense cases across Texas.

Mar 22 2010

DUI Laws and Breathalyzer

The DUI/DWI law allows drivers to operate a vehicle with blood alcohol content of not more than 0.08 percent. A breathalyzer test is done using a portable breathalyzer device that attempts to evaluate the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) through a breathe sample of the driver. These tests are now acceptably being conducted by law enforcement officials and the results are good enough to be used as evidence in DUI Cases. There are however other likely more accurate breathalyzer machines used by other agencies. The improvement in this technology has now become a very important component for the DUI/DWI law.

With powerful evidence surrounding drunken driving, the breathalyzer test reading of 0.08 or higher is thought to be strong enough as evidence of DUI. The test has been approved as reliable and acceptable. On the other hand, the tests can be contested because the results are assumption based and may not be applicable to everyone. Despite this new DUI/DWI Law, the defendant has the right to dispute and could challenge the position of the findings and counter the accuracy of the test.

How a Breathalyzer Works

The breathalyzer test does not consider physical features such as height and sex of the person; it assumes every individual is an average person. In addition, the readings of the breathalyzer are not well refined as the basis of the conversions is still questionable.

When the test is being done on a person, the breathalyzer device assumes a particular ratio between BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) and Breath Alcohol Content, which is 2100:1). The actual ratio varies between 1700:1 and 2400 from one individual to another and a 0.08 reading could mean a blood alcohol content of between 0.65 and 0.09. This gap is very significant especially in a DUI Case where there may be impairment on the individual and therefore a filed sobriety test to find evidence on the same. This gap is well able to contest a weakness in the DUI/DWI law.

Breathalyzer Anomaly

Also to consider is the weaknesses that can be found in any machine. They can misinterpret the information by reading other chemical substances in the breath that may otherwise not be alcohol. Some fumes from certain compounds also give false results. People with special dietary needs such as diabetics may have acetone in their breath and this may be easily picked up as alcohol. A decrease in BAC up to 25 percent can also be achieved by physical exercise before the test is done. Therefore the new DUI Law may not be an absolute in DUI cases and one can challenge the inaccuracy surrounding the results.

This article is not intended as legal advice

Bloom Legal can help you learn your legal options with DUI charges. Office located in New Orleans, Lousiana. Learn more here.

Mar 22 2010

Filing an Insurance Claim

An insurance claim refers to the application for reimbursements offered by an insurance company. Before policy holders can be laid out with money for their contracted service, they need to file an insurance claim. The insurance company then evaluates the circumstances and eventually decides to approve the claim or not.

Home, health, life or automobile insurance policies require regular payments, also known as premiums to the insurance companies. Normally, these premiums are used in two ways: to resolve another person’s insurance claim or to increase the company’s assets. However sometimes accidents will occur which set off actual financial damage, an automobile collision or a tornado for instance. In such cases, the policy holder has the privilege to file an insurance claim so he can collect money from the insurance company.

Steps on How to File an Insurance Claim

Generally, a local representative of the company handles an insurance claim. It is his task to investigate the particulars and facts of the insurance claim and negotiate the reimbursement from the chief insurers. There are many instances when a renowned authority such as a doctor, building contractor or a repair shop can immediately file the required insurance claim forms with the insurance company. But in some cases when the damage is trivial or another party has settled to pay for their misstep the policy holder may prefer not to file an insurance claim.

After an actual insurance claim has been filed, a company investigator referred to as an adjuster or appraiser is sent out. His responsibility is to assess the insurance claim objectively and find out the rationality of the repair estimates. The purpose for this investigation is to avoid the occurrence of fraud by contractors who may raise their bills to get extra recompense. Insurance companies consider the adjuster or appraiser’s assessment and decision as t the basis for the approval or disapproval of an insurance claim.

Reason for Denial

There are several possible reasons why an insurance company many not recognize an insurance claim. For instance, if the premiums have not been fully paid by the claimant, then the policy is considered inactive. Another example is when another insurance company has already granted to shell out for the damages indicated in the claim. This is common in automobile accidents where accountability is decided on a particular party. Not being able to fall under enclosed provisos may also be a possible ground for rejection. The majority of insurance policies specify the particular areas which makes one eligible for benefits. The company does not give out payments for accidents or damage claims instigated by negligence or an inevitable “Act of God”.

This article is not meant as a legal advice.

Learn more about handling insurance claims from Attorneys at Law Kelly / Uustal. Handling defense for torts claims in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Mar 22 2010

Making an SSI Appeal

Much can be said about making an appeal for benefits in any state. The common norm is that it is futile to appeal or time consuming with little chance of winning. What many people will not tell you is that you have nothing to lose by appealing. It is quite possible and there is a high chance that your first appeal for claiming your SSD or SSI that you may be denied again. The fact is almost all SSD or SSI reconsideration petitions that are denied initially are taken before an administrative law judge before they are cleared for approval.

Why should the claim process follow this insidious process?

There is a bureau that handles all the cases that are raised with regard to Social Security Disability or SSI. You may discover that the same bureau (the Disability Determination Services, DDS) that handles the initial claims will be the one handling the reconsiderations. There is one or more DDS bureau in every state that chooses or passes to the Social Security Administration the cases or appeals to be awarded or thwarted.

Knowing the Possibilities

The possibility is high for the DDS to deny an initial appeal on a SSD or SSI claim and a few weeks later, pass the reconsideration for approval for the same person, claiming decisional errors or some facts that they may have overlooked. They can pass that the original petition should have won by virtue. It should be noted however that the DDS rarely approves an SSD or SSI claim at the reconsideration level, based on the denial rate of reconsiderations which is noticeably higher than that of initial claims.

Even your own representatives will give you this scenario, not to blow your expectations, but to illustrate what you are up against for you to understand your chances. They will give your reconsideration a 15 – 20% chance of sailing through to an award which is usually true.

Although it may be very hard to point out how the world works where Social Security Disability Systems are concerned, the accepted rule is that an initial application denial has to be taken in front of a judge for your case to be contested, won, and benefits handed to you.

This article is not meant as a legal advice.

Your Internet Disability Attorneys Mike Murburg P.A. can help provide more information about making SSI appeal. Offices located in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, Florida.

Mar 4 2010

Hearing Impairment

An individual’s hearing sensitivity is measured by the quietest sound that the person can detect – this is known as the hearing threshold. A behavioral audiogram can be used to accurately measure that threshold in humans (and in some animals). This process involves recording the quietest sound that elicits a response from the listener, on a consistent basis. Different frequencies are used for these sounds while recording the responses. Another hearing test involves electro-physiological responses that don’t require behavioral responses.

With regards to various animal species, normal hearing thresholds are not the same for every frequency. When sounds are played at different frequencies, and at the same amplitude, some of those sounds will heard as a loud noise, some will be perceived as quiet and some will hardly be recognized at all. However, for those frequencies that are barely perceived, increasing the amplitude will make them more audible. In general, the frequencies that are used for communication within the species (as in “speech” – for humans) are the most audible for that species. This fine tuning of hearing will appear at many different levels of the auditory system. This will also include the ear’s physical characteristics and the nerves and tracts of the auditory system which will convey impulses to the portion of the brain that decodes them.

When an individual is unable to exhibit sensitivity to sounds that are normally perceived by its kind – that individual is described as being hearing impaired. For humans, this term normally refers to those who are insensitive to sounds in the frequencies that speech is heard. The severity of this condition is measured in terms of how much louder (increased amplitude) the sound must be, before the sound is recognized. In cases of profound deafness, no level of sound amplitude will be heard.

The quality of a sound, as opposed to its amplitude, is another characteristic of hearing. For humans, this is measured by “speech discrimination” tests. These tests will require that the subject not only hears the sound, but understands it, as well. There are some very rare forms of hearing disorders that will only affect this aspect of hearing.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.

Hearing Impairment can sometimes interfere with a productive lifestyle. For further information, contact Social Security disability lawyer Gerard Lynch, regarding SSI/SSD claims in Galveston and other Texas cities.

Mar 2 2010

Simple Will

  • Simple things to know about Wills
  • Easy facts on Wills

The death of a love one sometimes comes unexpectedly. It is something that nobody looks forward to but being prepared for such an eventuality could help ease the uncertainty of those who are left behind. Executing a Simple Will is a great way of assuring our loved ones that we care for them and removes the possibility of conflicts that may arise from a love ones sudden demise.

A Will gives family members with a simple estate a convenient way of distributing their assets to their surviving beneficiaries. Anyone could author a Simple Will; all that is needed is for a person to have all their intentions be written in a piece of paper. There are a lot of books and information readily available thru the internet which gives a basic understanding on what should be included in a Simple Will.

Although authoring a Simple Will is easy, getting the opinion or consulting with an attorney is still best. Information located in books and online sites only gives an overview of what is included in a Will. Other factors such as state and local laws should also be considered so that all provisions in the Will fulfil all legal requirements.

Who can make a valid Will?

A person must be “mentally capable,” they must possess the ability to understand fully the contents and provisions which are stated in the will. They must have the capacity to make sound and intelligent decisions. The law also require that Individuals must be of legal age or 18 and above.

What Makes a Will Valid?

The will must be executed under the author’s free will. All decisions must be made free from duress or influence of another individual. Wills must be done in writing in order for them to be legally accepted or stand in court. The person executing the Will must affix their signature on the document and should have witnesses attesting to the documents authenticity.

Who can be a witness?

Witnesses must be of legal age or 18 years old and above. They must not also be included as beneficiaries in the Will. Beneficiaries who stand to benefit from the Will’s execution may lose their rights in the process. 

Helpful tools and information on Probate Law: Adrian Philip Thomas, Public Attorney serving people in the Florida state area