Southern Odysseys

Now with Fewer Cyclopes

It isn’t surprising that most individuals with criminal records find it difficult to get back on their feet and pursue better opportunities. One’s personal reputation will often take a serious hit due to any criminal offense, whether or not the individual has done what they can to accomplish their mandated penalties. Having any criminal offense on your record can hinder employment and educational prospects, as well as your ability to take out loans or move into a new place of residence.

One way you can overcome this extreme prejudice is by petitioning for a legal process called expunction. According to the Texas Code for Criminal Procedure, individuals that meet a certain set of qualifications may be afforded the privilege to have their records cleared of offenses that could seriously hinder their ability to move forward and become productive members of society.

In general, expunction in Texas is typically granted to individuals that have been charged but not convicted of a crime, or those that were convicted of misdemeanors and other minor offenses. There are, however, special circumstances that allow individuals who fall outside these criteria to still be able to pursue an expunction petition. For example, individuals that have been wrongfully convicted of crimes, as well as those that committed certain juvenile offenses, are entitled to have their records. In some cases, Texas law also allows individuals with certain kinds of felonies to pursue expunction. However, it should be expected that individuals that were found to have committed grave crimes won’t qualify for expunction.

Overall, record expunction is a legal avenue that could prove useful to many individuals. Considering that any record of a criminal offense can do plenty of harm to someone’s lifestyle and reputation, the fact that the law provides such an option is important to know. If you think that expunction may help you in your current situation, do not hesitate to consult with a criminal law attorney to learn more about how you can clear your criminal record.

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Road Defects and Motorcycle Accidents


One of the biggest advantages of a motorcycle compared to a car is maneuverability. It allows the rider to ease pass the traffic and reach their destination in the quickest possible way. But while it is more convenient than a car, motorcycles also place riders at a greater risk of getting involved in an accident. The website of Karlin, Flrisher & Falkneberg, LLC reveals that motrocyclists are more susceptible to road conditions than their counterparts.

There are different kinds of road conditions that can put in danger a motorcycle rider. A loose gravel from a construction project or a deep pothole can make a motorcycle wobbly and cause the driver to lose control. No matter how safe you drive, you will remain at the mercy of road conditions. Other conditions that may impact motorcycle accidents include confusing, damaged, or missing signs, lack or poorly placed traffic signals, blind curves, and others.

So who can be held liable for injuries or fatalities due to poor road conditions? The main agency tasked to assist state and local governments with guidelines for the safe design and construction of roadways is the Federal Highway Administration. It monitors accidents and inspects accidents where road designs, maintenance, and other defects were the main cause.

Accidents due to road conditions are governed by the theory of “sovereign immunity.” Under this principle, governmental bodies are immune from lawsuits by private individuals. However, if a government entity acted highly negligently or recklessly in performing their duties, they can be held liable for accidents. Likewise, if a stretch of road has been deemed unsafe and the agency responsible for it did not take action within a reasonable timeframe to rectify that hazard, they can be liable to the victims.

With a motorcycle accident, the statute of limitation is much shorter than a car accident. Whereas other accidents involving motor vehicles have a limitation of 2 to 5 years, the statutory period for motorcycle claims is less than six months.

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Assault may be defined as an intentional act that places another person in fear of physical harm that he or she is about to suffer. This definition actually implies that the actual physically harm need not be inflicted and that causing another person to fear its possibility is already an act deserving of punishment. But, while assault remains to be a threat, the actual physical harm on another person is what constitutes battery. Before, assault and battery were treated as separate crimes, with battery more considered as “completed” assault. These days, however, many modern laws no longer distinguish between the two crimes, with assault already referring to crimes of actual physical violence.

State laws vary greatly with regard to penalties and sentences for an assault and/or battery conviction (it is possible for a person to be convicted only of assault without battery, such as when he or she raises his or her fist in a threatening manner, but without actually throwing a punch. In like manner, a person may be convicted only of battery without assault, such as when he or she pushes or punches someone else from behind). Conviction may include fines and/or imprisonment, depending on how severe the offense is and the criminal history of the offender; thus, repeat offenders will most likely receive stiffer penalties. Stiffer penalties will also be meted out on offenders whose victim is a public servant (like a police officer, a firefighter, a paramedic or a teacher), a family member, or a person living with the offender.

Assault (or simple assault) is considered a misdemeanor crime; however, if an offender threatens another individual with a weapon of any kind or with the resolve to commit a serious crime, like rape, then this shall be considered as aggravate assault, which is a felony. Likewise, an assault committed against a person with whom the offender has a relationship is considered an aggravated assault or a felony. A person, on the other hand, commits an aggravated battery if he or she accomplishes it using a deadly weapon, or if he or she has intent to commit murder or other serious harm.

Assault and battery, though intentional, still falls under the scope of personal injury law or tort law, thus, allowing victims to file a lawsuit in a civil court. Through this civil lawsuit, victims can seek compensation for injuries and other damages resulting from the incident.

The defendants in an assault and battery civil lawsuit case, however, as made clear in the website of the Charleston personal injury lawyers of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, may not only be the offenders themselves. According to the website, “owners and operators of businesses, bars and restaurants, security firms, and even the employers of assailants” can also be held responsible if the assailants were “acting in the course and scope of their employment.” Thus, in the event of an assault and battery crime, it may be in the best interest of the victims to seek legal help from experienced personal injury lawyers for the proper investigation of their cases and for guidance in pursuing legal action that will help them seek the compensation they may have a right to claim.

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Child Custody After a Divorce

Posted By on Nov 1, 2015

Undoubtedly, divorce isn’t something that a lot of people say they enjoy going through. It is an occasion and financially consuming procedure that can take its cost to the psychological and psychological wellness of both events. When youngsters are participating, this seems to double up. Concerns including child support and infant custody ought to be ironed out correctly to avoid problems that were future.

There are many techniques custody and kid visitation may become complex, and as a child custody attorney may point out, mental complications could get in the manner of appropriately creating a superb child custody and arrangement. Finding help from people who understand how the problem works and specialists who can give impartial legal help can tremendously assist in deciding child custody and visitation.

Typically, the settlement for child-custody is prompted by the courtroom to become satisfied within the family: this means the family has got on what they want to work these things out, the entire selection. Achieving this will allow both parents bargain to agendas and other problems that need to be cleared minus the support of the judge and to recognize. Simply do both parents reach an agreement and built a good determination can they be capable of providing their agreement, where the judge might consider and see if changes are before acknowledging the agreement essential.

Enforcing the decided visitation and custody is important since it can be a responsibility. Everyone who disobeys the courtroom- visitation deal and granted custody fined or certified and may be placed in disregard of court. So that you can possess the agreement revised such as going to another express or lack of work certain conditions should be documented instantly. This also permits both parents to maintain and training their directly to be in youngsters lifestyle or their child. Separating from your own spouse has already been tough enough since it is, and it generates the problem much more complex when kids may take place.

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A motorcycle is definitely one of the most excellent means of transportation. Besides being cost-efficient with regard to gas expenses, it can also enable the rider to easily drive through tight spots and past heavy traffic.

The only major worry for motorcyclists is their vulnerability to possible severe injuries due to the lack of protective gears other than the helmet. Thus, to help protect riders from serious harm, the American Motorcycle Association (AMA), the largest motorcycling organization around the globe, enjoins its members and encourages all other motorcycle riders to always wear additional protective gears, such as gloves, a jacket, and the appropriate pants and footwear, whenever they will ride. All these, of course, should be worn with a helmet that complies with the standard of safety that the US Department of Transportation requires.

The 2012 record of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on motorcycle accident shows 112,000 motorcycle mishaps; of this, 93,000 caused riders serious injuries, while 4,957 claimed riders’ lives. This only means that while it is true that motorcycles provide lots of conveniences, these also cause great risks.

While head-on collision is a major cause of fatality among motorcyclists, there are many other forms of mishaps that can severely injure and leave them with an amputated limb or permanent disability. It is a sad fact, however, that so many of these accidents are actually due to negligence or carelessness of the riders themselves, by the driver of the other motor vehicle involved or by someone who never really did his/her job (like a city or local government personnel in charge of keeping roads safe from accidents). These acts of negligence or carelessness are followed by many different kinds of wrong results: poor riding skills; drunk riding; collision with fixed objects (such as a lamp post or railings); overspeeding; lane splitting (an occasion wherein a motorcycle rider passes between two slow-moving or stopped vehicles, like during heavy traffic flows); a driver (of another vehicle) failing to notice an approaching motorcycle while making a left-hand turn; other vehicles denying motorcyclists their right of way; another vehicle tailgating a motorcycle; poor vehicle visibility and/or stability during inclement weathers; defective roads; roads not cleared of hazards; and so forth.

Since negligence can be dispelled through simple acts of diligence, a negligent or careless act resulting to an accident is, therefore, very much preventable. However, being someone else’s fault, the victim has the right to pursue legal actions against the liable party for whatever present and future damages his/her injuries may result to. Seeking the assistance of a highly-qualified personal injury lawyer or motorcycle accident lawyer will definitely help the victim know and understand his/her legal rights and options.

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The Sad Truth About Auto Accidents

Posted By on Jun 28, 2015

This is a day and age where automobiles are near everywhere that it has become practically a necessity for everyday life. These machines, complicated to manufacture and weighing thousands of pounds per vehicle, have made faraway places more accessible and has made travel far, far more efficient within the last few decades alone than they have in thousands of years. However, there are some sad truths about auto accidents that people need to be aware of in order to keep themselves safe and vigilant – both for their own sakes as well as for the people around them.

Automobile-related accidents happen on a daily basis. In fact, accidents of this nature are one of the leading causes of death in the United States of America. One of the worst things about accidents like this, however, is that you can take every precaution and preventative measure known and still end up in an automobile accident due to the negligence of someone else. It is never an easy scenario to deal with and it can be life-altering for some people. For example, if you end up in an accident of this nature – your spine might get injured and leave you permanently disabled as a quadriplegic for the rest of your life.

This can be an incredibly trying time but something to know about these kinds of accidents is that you don’t just have to take them lying down. There are actions that you can take, with regard to these unfortunate circumstances, where you are gifted benefits and compensation for the trauma that has been done unto you. Auto accidents are a subset of personal injury cases, otherwise known as the legal action you can file for if you have sustained physical, emotional, or mental injury that was caused by the negligence (either willful or intentional) of someone else.

You may click here to learn more truths about auto accidents.

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John Eddie Williams and his wife, Sheridan, strive to help those in their community. Through their involvement with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Houston Chronicle’s Goodfellows program, the two extend their hands to those in need.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center sets an impressive goal for itself to eradicate cancer from Texas and the world. They intend to do this through innovative research that pushes the bounds of science. Their integrated patient care strategies offer a unique and valued experience for the cancer victims that they treat. They have an ongoing mission of continued education for their trainees, professionals, and the public.

The core values of the MD Anderson Cancer Center directly align with values upheld by John Eddie Williams. MD Anderson is dedicated to creating a caring environment that benefits their staff and patients. They value the integrity of their employees, trusting their competent and impressive colleagues. Finally, the organization values discovery through research and creative strategies to cure cancer.

In the same vein of giving back to the community, John Eddie Williams is an involved member of Goodfellows Club of Houston, a Better Business Bureau Charity. The goal of the organization is to deliver toys to underprivileged children in the Houston area. The charity gives over 130,000 toys annually to around 60,000 children in need. As the largest donator to the Goodfellows Club of Houston, John Eddie Williams helps to grow and spread good will throughout the community.

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Auto Accidents: Whiplash

Posted By on Feb 18, 2015

The severity of the injury a car driver can sustain in a car accident depends on certain circumstances, like the speed of both cars before impact, whether or not the injured victim is wearing a seatbelt, the part of the car that is hit and how effective the other car safety devices (like the air bag) are.

Car accident injuries range from slight bruises severe physical harm, like injury to the neck and spinal cord, bone fracture, lacerations, internal injuries, and whiplash, which is an abrupt and violent blow to the head, making it to jolt back and forth. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) believes that whiplash is the most common injury that car crash victims sustain.

According to the website of Pohl and Berk, the dangers associated with whiplash include injury to tendons, muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues in the area of the neck. One problem this whiplash injury, however, is that it is not easily determinable. Often, the symptoms associated with this injury (which includes dizziness, the sense of pins and needles in the arms, swelling of the neck, nausea, back pain, blurred vision, headache, sudden lack of energy, muscle spasms and difficulty in swallowing) become evident only hours after the accident.

Contrary to perceptions that a whiplash is possible only if the vehicle that rear-ends the victim is speeding, studies have shown (and actual cases prove) that being rear-ended even by vehicles running at much slower speed can cause the injury. While there is no certain way of keeping this injury from happening to anyone during rear-end collisions, traffic enforcers can only advise drivers to always make sure that they are secured by a seatbelt to, at least, lessen the effect of an impact.

Besides car accidents, whiplash can also be caused by assault, a sports-related injury or a fall. Individuals, who sustain the injury because of the negligent act of someone else, are allowed by the law to file a civil or tort lawsuit against the liable party. Since any type of injury can cause financial losses on the part of the victim, as well as cast the victim in situations that require him/her to undergo costly medical treatment, it is, therefore, possible to seek compensation for all present and future damages the injury will result to.

Understanding your rights as a victim, though, would definitely be better through the assistance of highly-capable personal injury lawyers.

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You are probably aware that the mouth is one of the “dirtiest” parts of the body, mostly because it plays host to millions of different kinds of bacteria. A Leander TX dentist would explain that most of these are harmless, and some are actually beneficial because it helps in the breakdown of the food that we eat. However, there are some bacteria that can cause harm when we have poor dental hygiene, generally manifesting in bad breath and tooth decay, and on occasion it carries more serious consequences.

A study by New York University researchers suggested in 2010 that gum inflammation may be implicated in Alzheimer’s disease to a certain degree. They concluded this after reviewing 20 years of data culled from 152 Danish subjects that participated in the Glostrop Aging Study, most of whom began the study in their 50s. The study ended in 1984 when all the subjects were 70 years old and above.

According to the researchers, the data indicated that in people over 70 there was a strong link between low cognitive function and gum disease. Those who had inflammation of the gums at the time of a digital symbol test were more likely to score lower than those without periodontal problems, even when the results were adjusted for factors such as smoking habits, tooth loss with no periodontal implications, and obesity.

University of Central Lancashire researchers followed up on these conclusions in 2013 by examining brain samples of 10 people who had Alzheimer’s disease and comparing them with brain samples of those without the condition. They found that there was a bacterium normally associated with chronic periodontal disease (Porphyromonas gingivalis) present in the brain samples of those with Alzheimer’s disease but not in those without. A further study in 2014 using mice found that two of the more common bacteria that caused gum disease were motile, meaning that they are capable of travelling, and were to be consistently found in the brain.

While these studies do not definitively show that gum disease-causing bacteria that travel to the brain may be causing Alzheimer’s disease, the results are certainly suggestive. At any rate, it does no harm to ensure good gum and oral health by having good dental hygiene and regular visits to your dentist.

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Scaffold Law Under Fire

Posted By on Oct 20, 2014

The 1885 law enacted in New York when the first skyscrapers began being built which protect workers from fall-from-height accidents is still in force today, and not a lot of people are happy about it.

Labor Law § 240, more commonly known as the Scaffold Law, essentially places all the liability for construction site injuries of workers on the contractor or construction company no matter if the worker was partly or entirely at fault. Others characterize it as “absolute” liability which critics say is unfair to conscientious and law-abiding contractors that ensure the safety of their workers to the best of their ability. There have been numerous attempts to modify the law, understandably mostly by construction companies and their insurers, but so far it remains essentially the same.

The main contention of these would-be reformers is that the law is hurting the industry by driving up costs. But as stated in the website of Hach & Rose, the fact is that some contractors and construction companies cut corners when it comes to the safety of their workers, making a construction site even more dangerous than it has to be. This is one of the main reasons that the Scaffold Law came into being in the first place.

Construction workers are constantly in danger of serious injury because of the nature of the work, but it would be incredible to suggest that they would risk life and limb simply to collect damages under the Scaffold Law. It is undeniable that there are accidents that are due to the worker’s own negligence, but this is by far the minority.

While modifying the Scaffold Law to put liability on a comparative fault basis may be a good idea, there is little impetus to push this beyond the proposal stage at this point. Construction workers in New York are still under the current terms of the Scaffold Law.

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