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February 2015 Archives

Are Firing Squads Making a Comeback?

The Wyoming State Senate recently passed a bill that would bring back the firing squad for death row inmates in Wyoming. Apparently the problems with lethal injection have caused lawmakers to reconsider this mode of execution. Utah is the only other state that authorizes the firing squad for penalty cases.

Drunk Driver Gets a Break (Tax)

A man who drank too much at a party was driving home when he wrecked his car. His insurance company refused to pay for the damage so he paid for it himself and deducted it from his taxes. He claimed it was a casualty loss. Although the IRS denied his deduction, the tax court later allowed his claim.

Costs In A Criminal Defense Case

If you are convicted or plead guilty in a criminal case in addition to legal fees you will be required to pay the costs of prosecution. Additionally, if you receive some alternative disposition such as ARD, you will also have costs to pay. The costs can vary around the State but in Centre County they can be as much as $2,300 on what you might think of as a relatively simple criminal matter. For example, if a person is charged with driving under the influence and is either convicted or receives an ARD (common for a first time offender), you will have to pay for such things as the fingerprinting fee, $200, crime lab user fee, $134 and even a firearm education and training fund fee of $5. Failure to pay the costs according to a schedule given to a person by the Probation Department will subject the person to contempt of court and their probation may be revoked. 

How Do Lawyers Charge Fees?

There are a number of ways that a lawyer may charge for services. Some lawyers bill by the hour and charge for everything including writing letters, answering e-mails or making phone calls as well as court appearances. Any client who is paying a lawyer by the hours should expect to see a detailed itemized statement each time they receive a bill. If you are paying a lawyer by the hour and not receiving a detailed itemized statement my advice to you is to get the detailed statement.

Criminal Arrest Records

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal nearly one in three adult Americans has a criminal record. Companies looking for new employees are forced to comply with a host of state and federal laws pertaining to who they can and cannot hire. One study cited that nearly fifty percent of people with criminal records never got a call back for a job.

Motorcycle Accidents and Boomers

If you are age 55 or older and just getting into riding motorcycles or coming back to biking after being out of it for a few years you may have a greater chance of being injured in an accident while riding. Traffic safety consultant James Hedlund notes that while older riders may be more careful than younger ones, the older riders have slower reflexes and their vision isn't as good as it once was. Additionally, the bodies are more fragile and the same impact will cause more damage to a 55-year old than a 25-year old. 

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Lisko & Associates
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State College, PA 16801

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