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You May Need an Attorney and Not Even Know It

People take legal matters into their own hands every day, and sometimes they lose money and property in the process. You can make a legally binding contract without using an attorney, but you are risking missing some big legal loopholes and laws you may not be familiar with that can not only make your contract invalid but can actually cost you in the end. When you are selling or purchasing real estate, tackling the creation of a will or even just loaning money to a friend, a consultation with an attorney can be a positive step. I'll show you when and why you need an attorney.



You May Need an Attorney and Not Even Know It

Three Things You May Not Know About DUIs

by Barry Butler

Most people have a basic idea about some of the laws and penalties associated with DUIs, such as revocation of driving privileges and jail time. However, DUIs are a lot more complex and far reaching than that, and you could end up landing in serious trouble with the law if you're not careful. Here are three things you may not have known about DUIs to help you avoid or prepare for legal issues associated with them.

You Can Be Arrested for DUI on Private Property

One thing people are surprised to learn is that you can get a DUI while on private property. In fact, cops have the authority to stop and arrest you for DUI even when you're in your own driveway pulling your car into your garage. There is no such thing as a safe place to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. If the police suspect you of driving drunk or drugged, they will pull you over and administer sobriety exams regardless of where you happen to be.

Now, it's important to point out that the odds of being discovered driving intoxicated on private property are a lot lower than they would be if you were out on the public roads where police are more likely to be actively patrolling for intoxicated drivers. Be aware, though, that police can stop and question you based on anonymous tips, so it's probably best to make a habit of staying out of vehicles when you've been drinking or doing drugs, regardless of where you are.

You Can Face DUI Charges Without Drinking a Drop

This may seem like something would only happen in a Bizarro world or the plot of a B-rated dystopian movie, but you can be charged and convicted of DUI without drinking a drop or even being in the vehicle at the time the arrest occurred. This is due to a law some states have called DUI by consent, where you could face the same legal consequences as an intoxicated person if you let someone who was drunk (or you had reason to know was drunk) use a vehicle you had under your control.

For instance, you let a friend borrow your vehicle after the two of you shared a 12-pack of beer. Police can charge you with DUI by consent for this act if when they pull your friend over they learn that he or she had permission to use your vehicle.

Although a state may not have a DUI-by-consent law, you may still be charged with aiding and abetting or reckless endangerment if you let someone drive drunk, and then the person gets into an accident. For instance, two young men in Connecticut were charged with reckless endangerment for letting their female friend drive an SUV, even though they knew she was too intoxicated to be behind the wheel. She was later killed when she struck a tree about a half mile away from the home of one of the defendants.

The moral of the story is be careful about who you let borrow your car and do your best to keep your friends off the street if you know they are too drunk to drive, lest you end up facing legal consequences too.

Damages from DUI Accidents Survive Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can provide people with a fresh financial start if they are experiencing money troubles. This can be particularly helpful if you are in a vehicle accident, and the damages you're ordered to pay far exceed your available assets. However, debts that arise from accidents where alcohol was involved cannot be discharged. So if an accident victim were to sue you in court and win a monetary award, you would not be able to discharge that debt if the accident was caused because you were driving drunk.

For more information about these issues or help dealing with a DUI charge, contact a DUI attorney, such as one from Chichester Law Office.