#TuesdayTips – Speeding Tickets

At some point or another everyone has likely went over the speed limit.  What happens when you do and you’ve been caught?  What happens if you don’t think you were going as fast as what the officer told you?

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At some point or another everyone has likely went over the speed limit.  What happens when you do and you’ve been caught?  What happens if you don’t think you were going as fast as what the officer told you?  This week’s #TuesdayTips article is about speeding tickets.

Depending on your clocked speed and the speed limit will result in various penalties.  The faster you go the greater the fine and number of points that will be charged to your license.  When you are caught speeding you will receive a ticket.  Your ticket will give you three options: (1) plead guilty and pay the fine, (2) plead not guilty and request a trial, or (3) guilty with explanation or request a waiver hearing.  The first plea is self-explanatory.  If you select the first option you will have the points added to your license and have to pay the fine.  If you choose the second or third option, you will have to appear in Court.

By pleading not guilty you are asserting that you did not speed or question the accuracy of the clocked speed.  The Court will summon you and the ticketing officer to appear in Court.  After you plead not guilty, the Court will move on with a trial where you will need to assert defenses and question the officer.  For example, you may want to question (a) when and if the radar gun was calibrated, (b) the weather conditions, (c) the traffic conditions, and/or (d) whether the officer’s vehicle was moving when you were clocked.  If the officer can’t answer these questions, give his notes, etc. you may very well win your case.  Or the Court may dismiss your case all together if the officer fails to appear.

By pleading guilty with explanation or requesting a waiver hearing, you are admitting you were speeding but have an explanation justifying your speed.  For example, you were in the middle of a medical emergency.  The Court will summon your appearance but the officer will not need to appear.  In these situations, Judges may take into consideration the reason you were speeding and find that it was justified or perhaps lessen the penalty given your justification.

If you have a poor driving record, a commercial license, a provisional license, etc. you may be inclined to fight the ticket to avoid losing a job, losing your license, seeing a spike in your insurance payments, or many other possible consequences.

If any of these reasons or potential consequences resonate with you, call the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC at (410) 919-1790 and ask about our fixed fee services!

#TuesdayTips – Filing for Guardianship

When a person is no longer able to appropriately care for themselves or manage their property, it is important to ensure that they are protected.  

Many people find themselves in a precarious situation when their spouse, parent, sibling, friend, etc. are no longer able to feed themselves regularly, pay their bills, see the doctor, and generally not take care of their person or finances.  When a person is no longer able to appropriately care for themselves or manage their property, it is important to ensure that they are protected.  When a person will not or cannot voluntarily seek assistance on their own, you may have to request the Court to intervene in order to ensure their safety.  On this week’s #TuesdayTips article, the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC want to discuss the process of filing for Guardianship.

When filing a Petition for Guardianship of the Person and/or Property, the Petitioner is seeking the Court to declare the alleged disabled person incompetent and therefore unable to care for themselves and/or manage their property/finances.  This would let the Petitioner, when appointed Guardian, to act on behalf of the alleged disabled person and make sure they are taken care of physically and financially.

The steps to file the Petition can be confusing as the Petition requires specific information and documents for filing.  For example:

  1. The Petition requires various information about the alleged disabled person, including but not limited to their finances, the purpose of the filing, the diagnosis, etc.
  2. The Petition requires time sensitive certificates related to the alleged disabled person’s disability from two medical providers.
  3. After filing, the Court will appoint the alleged disabled person an attorney to represent them in the proceeding. The attorney will meet and speak with the alleged disabled person and contact anyone else, including the Petitioner, that s/he feels is necessary.
  4. The Petitioners will also be required to notify certain people and facilities that would need to be made aware of the Petition.
  5. Finally, there will be a hearing to decide whether the findings are such that the Court will declare the person incompetent and appoint a Guardian, presumably the Petitioner.

In most cases this process is painless.  In the other cases the process can be litigious and emotionally challenging for the Petitioner, the family, and the alleged disabled person.  In either case, it would be in your best interests to speak with an attorney to make sure the Guardianship process is completed effectively and accurately.  In the event you oppose the Petition, it’s important to make sure your opportunity to object does not expire and your objections are appropriately identified.

The health, safety, and well-being of your friend or family member is of utmost importance.  Call the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC today to help navigate you through this process.