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New Law Might Make It Easier to Clean Up Your Criminal Records

 

criminal record investigations

 

It’s especially common for people who have had criminal convictions, to do their time and move on with their lives to become productive citizens. This path, however, can be difficult with your criminal record following behind you at every turn.

It isn’t always a simple matter to just get a job, an education, or even find a place to live, with certain criminal convictions on your record. Many people wonder if it’s fair for a past criminal act to negatively affect a person for the rest of their lives – after they’ve paid the price for their crime.

Fortunately, a new law in New York, Criminal Procedure Law 160.59 could make it a little easier to get a fresh start. Before the new legislation, you could only seal your records in limited situations. Beginning in October 2017, you could have opportunities you didn’t have before, even with a criminal record behind you.

What Is Criminal Procedure Law 160.59?

This law is considered more forgiving than the previous laws for sealing records.  And while the new law doesn’t exactly make cleaning up your record a walk in the park, it does make it easier. Beginning in October, you will be able to seal up to two New York criminal convictions — only one of which can be a felony conviction.

Requirements for Sealing Criminal Records

There are a couple of caveats with the new law. For instance, you are only eligible to seal a conviction under the new law after 10 years of good behavior from the date you were convicted or released from custody, whichever is later.

However, there are parameters. If you have more than two criminal convictions, if you have serious felonies like murder, or if your felonies are considered violent or are sex offenses – you likely will not qualify. Other examples of felonies that might not be eligible:

  • Manslaughter
  • Sexual conduct against a child
  • Assault
  • Burglary or robbery

But even if you have one of these convictions, it might be worth looking into whether or not the new law can help get your records sealed. Several factors could be considered, including the seriousness of the crime and circumstances; so it doesn’t hurt to see if you are eligible.

How Sealing Your Records Could Help

Unfortunately, Criminal Procedure Law 160.59 isn’t going to erase your conviction completely. Law enforcement and certain regulatory government agencies will still be able to see your criminal records. However, it could make your charges invisible to many employers and other types of government agencies.

This means that you won’t have to divulge your criminal background to a prospective employer, which could also give you a better chance at employment. Other benefits to sealing your criminal record include applying for housing or student loans. If your records are sealed, you could be eligible for housing assistance and professional licenses, which can all lead to increased success in starting fresh and moving forward.

Further, one of the most significant benefits of sealing your criminal record is you won’t have to worry about the embarrassment that comes with failing a background check. With sealed records, you could have opportunities that weren’t available before.

Criminal Lawyers with Experience at E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy

Do you have criminal convictions and want a clean slate? Even with the new law to seal records, you’ll need experienced criminal defense lawyers who are familiar not just with the law but also with the application, paperwork, and process required. You might not be sure if you qualify, but a chance at a clean record – especially when it comes to employment and other opportunities – is certainly worth looking into.

Contact the attorneys at E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy to request a free and confidential consultation at (518) 274-5820 or fill out our online contact form today!

7 Most Common Medication Errors

medication error

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals make mistakes every day. Although we expect each to provide us with the medication we need to keep us healthy, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes medication errors happen that can change your life or even become fatal. Here are 7 of the most common medication errors.

Improper Dosing

In order for medication to work properly, it’s important that patients take the amounts they need according to what their bodies need. If you or given too much or not enough, you could end up sicker than you started. Improper dosing can happen when medicine is prescribed as well as when patients are hospitalized.

Prescription Errors

Mistakes with your prescription can happen if the doctor prescribes the wrong medicine or a medical professional administers a medicine without considering your allergies or interactions with other medications. Other errors include prescribing the wrong dose, quantity, or concentration as well.

Wrong Drug

Believe it or not, patients are often prescribed or given the wrong drug altogether. As you might guess, this can be a fatal mistake that happens across every person in the medical profession from doctors to pharmacists.

Incorrect Route of Administration

This error simply means the medication is taken in the wrong way. The route of administration is the path in which the drug is supposed to enter your body. Whether the medication must be inhaled or administered intravenously, it must be taken correctly or the results can lead to extreme illness or even death.

Wrong Dose Times

Another common mistake that is made with medication is taking it at the wrong time or too many times. This mistake can be one that is made by the doctor or pharmacist, but it can also be the patient’s fault. Taking medication at the wrong times is common with elderly people who often forget that they have taken their meds or forget to take them at all.

Not Following Directions or Wrong Directions

It is possible that medication can be prescribed with incorrect directions, but patients also fail to follow the directions as well. It’s important that medication is not only prescribed with the proper instructions, but that patients also follow the directions as they should.

Patient Mix Ups

Sometimes, errors involve giving patients someone else’s medicine or getting the patients confused. This means that people end up taking medication intended for someone else’s illness or injury, which can have dire consequences. Although medical professionals must have contact with many people every day, it’s important that each is treated as an individual without the risk of being prescribed someone else’s medicine.

Experienced Attorneys Can Help with Medication Errors

Because of human nature, medication errors can be made in a number of ways. However, many times they are completely preventable and occur because people aren’t paying attention or aren’t following proper procedures for prescribing medicine.

When this happens, those medical professionals can be considered negligent and held accountable for their errors. If you or someone you love has experienced a medication error, contact the attorneys at E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy. To request a free and confidential consultation call us at (518) 380-2597 or fill out our online contact form today.

Examining a Nursing Home’s Duty of Care to Residents

nursing home

It’s obvious that not every bump or bruise can be blamed on the nursing home or its faculty. If one of your family members or loved ones is in a nursing home, it’s important that you understand what the nursing home’s duty of care actually means.

What is Duty of Care?

For any business, its duty of care is simply an obligation by law to provide a standard of reasonable care while performing acts that could harm others. If there is a breach of the duty of care, the business can be sued for negligence. What this means is that nursing homes have a responsibility to care for its residents and ensure they are in safe environments. This includes making sure personnel are properly trained as well as ensuring that the resident is protected as much as possible from the possibility of injury or harm.

Nursing Home Responsibility to Residents

For elderly people, the duty of care includes maintaining rights of the person to things like self-determination, freedom of choice, freedom of confidentiality, and dignity. It isn’t solely about protecting residents of nursing homes against physical abuse. Examples where a breach of the duty of care can happen with residents of nursing homes include:

  • Care staff who do not respond to problems
  • Neglect of basic needs
  • Personal hygiene neglect

In many cases, the neglect or abuse isn’t visible. Taking advantage of an elderly person financially, for example, is also considered a form abuse. Because you might not see the injuries and harm that have happened, it can be difficult to detect. Abuse and neglect can go on for years before it is uncovered.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

Unfortunately, when neglect or abuse happens in a nursing home, our loved ones aren’t always able to let us know. They might be afraid of repercussions, or might not even be aware of issues. Signs you can look for include physical injuries, malnutrition, bed sores, and sudden weight loss. If you suspect any neglect or abuse, it’s important that you investigate and make sure you have an experienced attorney on your side.

Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

When it comes to examining a nursing home’s duty of care, it’s important to remember that each situation is different. Not only are the signs not always clear and difficult to detect, but uncovering and proving neglect or abuse can be complicated.

Don’t make the mistake of leaving your loved one in the care of someone who isn’t taking care of him or her as they should. Contact the attorneys at E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy to request a free and confidential consultation at (518) 380-2597 or fill out our online contact form.

How to Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents this Summer

happy child in pool

Experienced Injury Attorneys Serving Victims of Swimming Pool Accidents in Albany, Troy, Sarasota and all of Upstate New York

Summer is a great time to take a dip in the pool, but it also means an increased risk of accidents. Unfortunately, swimming pool accidents not only end up being fatal sometimes, but even minor accidents can result in serious injuries. Any accident can end up costing you money, especially if it happens to someone visiting your home. Here are some ways you can protect yourself by preventing swimming pool accidents this summer.

Make Sure Children are Never Unattended

Even if the next door neighbor’s elementary school aged children are training to become Olympic swimmers, it’s important that you never allow swimming without an adult. Further, the adult that monitors the children should be a good swimmer. Whether it pertains to your children or someone else’s, it’s a good rule of thumb to require adult supervision at all times.

Double Check All Equipment

Before anyone swims, it’s a good idea to double check every piece of equipment to ensure that everything is working as it should. This includes not only the pool itself, but also ladders, slides, lights, filters, and any other pieces of equipment that could cause an accident.

Cover Pools When Not in Use

To make sure everyone is safe, even small children who might wander near the pool area, cover the pool when it isn’t being used. Safety pools are available that can keep children and animals from falling into the pool when no one else is around. You might also consider barriers and swimming pool fencing to keep children from entering the area when you aren’t around. Do not make the mistake of leaving your pool open for anyone to fall into.

Learn CPR

It’s a good idea to learn CPR in case you ever need to use it. Although no one wants to think they’d be in this situation, the truth is you never know when it might be up to you to save someone’s life. If you don’t already know CPR, it’s a good time to take a class and learn.

Have Safety Devices on Hand

Although you might think you won’t need life vests in your own pool, they could make a difference in saving someone’s life. Also, make sure you have real life vests on hand and not just floaty toys or devices designed for playing. You have a better chance of helping someone with a life vest than with a blow-up beach ball.

Jones Hacker Murphy New York Attorneys

The person the swimming pool belongs to is usually responsible for any injuries that happen. This means the property owner has a duty to do anything possible to decrease the chances of someone being hurt while on their property. If you or someone you love has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, the attorneys at Jones Hacker Murphy can help you get justice. To request a free and confidential consultation, call us at (518) 380-2597 or fill out our online contact form.

Boating Accident Liability: Who’s Responsible?

summer boating

Injury Attorneys Fighting for the Rights of those Injured in Boating Accidents in Troy, Albany, Sarasota and all Upstate New York

During the summer, thousands of people enjoy hitting the water with their boats. However, much like any other type of transportation, there are risks. Boating and jet ski accidents can end up resulting in serious injuries and even deaths.

Many times, these accidents don’t happen because of anything the victim did wrong, but instead because someone else was negligent and caused the accident. Here’s what you need to know about boating accident liability and who might be responsible for an accident.

Who Is Responsible for Boating Accidents?

Believe it or not, it isn’t always the person guiding the boat who is responsible for the accident. In fact, there are a number of different people who can cause accidents on the water. These responsible parties can include:

  • The boat operator
  • The boat manufacturer
  • Rental company
  • Other passengers

Whether it’s the person operating the boat, the boat manufacturer, or even someone responsible for maintaining the area where you boat, you’ll have to prove someone else was negligent and therefore, responsible for the accident. This can be a difficult process to navigate alone, and often requires the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Negligence in Boat Accidents

If you’ve been injured in a boat accident and it was caused by someone else, you’ll need to prove that they were negligent. This means proving that the person acted carelessly, which led to your injury or property damage.

Examples of negligence that can cause a boat accident include drinking while operating a boat, manufacturers of boats with defective parts, or even passengers who cause the accident through horseplay. In any event, if you are injured in a boating accident because of someone else’s actions, you shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences on your own.

Damages for Boat Accident Injuries

If someone else caused your accident, you could be entitled to sue for damages. This means you could get compensated for damages like medical bills, time lost from work, even damage to the boat if it was your property. Because boat accident injuries can be so severe and long-term, financial compensation through a personal injury case can help quite a bit in your recovery.

Personal Injury Lawyers with Experience

Enjoying a day out on the water is supposed to be fun and something you look forward to when the weather warms up. Unfortunately, while you might take every precaution possible to be safe on your boat, this doesn’t mean everyone else is as responsible. In these types of cases where someone else causes a serious accident, it’s crucial that he or she is held accountable.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident that someone else caused, you don’t have to deal with the medical bills and pain and suffering all alone. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge you need to help you seek justice. Contact the attorneys at Jones Hacker Murphy to request a free and confidential consultation at (518) 380-2597 or fill out our online contact form today!

Staying Safe on Your Motorcycle in the Summer

safe motorcycle rider

Personal Injury Attorneys Fighting for the Rights of Injured Motorcycle Riders in Troy, Sarasota, Albany and Upstate New York

There’s nothing better than the freedom of riding your motorcycle in the summer. Unfortunately, it’s no secret that it can also be the most dangerous time of year for bikers. Whether you plan on hitting the road as a passenger on a bike or you plan to ride cross country solo, make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay safe on your motorcycle this summer. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind before your next ride.

Make Sure You Are Hydrated

It’s easy to become so distracted by the landscape and the freedom of the highway that you completely forgot about the dangers of the summertime heat. One of the most important things to carry with you, whether you plan a short or long bike trip, is your water. Keep your body cool and make sure you are hydrated throughout your trip.

Dress Properly

Although it’s hot and we’d prefer to wear fewer clothes while on the road, it’s important that you still dress appropriately. For summer weather, this means gear that resists abrasion and impact as well as mesh-ventilated apparel. You do still need to make sure your body is covered and protected, no matter how hot it seems outdoors.

Beware Signs of Heat Exhaustion

Again, it’s easy to become distracted when bike riding. Make sure you keep an eye on any signs of heatstroke or heat exhaustion. Some things to look out for:

  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Dizziness

You could also sweat heavily or suddenly have flushed or pale skin. In any event, these signs should be taken seriously as soon as you detect them. Pull over immediately and spend the time you need rehydrating, resting, and recovering before you get back on your bike.

Learn to Drive on Different Surfaces

Riding in the summer means exploring different areas, which can include gravel roads, loose surfaces, and many others. You’ll find your ride much safer and more enjoyable if you take the time to get familiar with different surfaces before taking your bike out on the road.

Never Drink and Drive

It might be tempting when you’re out on your motorcycle to cool down and grab a quick drink at a bar. However, the risks that come with drinking and driving are not worth it, even in the summer.

Pay Attention to Other Drivers

Although this is something you have to do in every season, you might have to pay even more attention to other drivers who are out enjoying the summer as well. Summertime means more people are on the road potentially increasing the chances for distracted driving and traffic accidents.

Jones Hacker Murphy Experienced Injury Attorneys

Even if you follow all safety precautions while bike riding, there’s still a risk of other drivers who aren’t always as safe or careful. If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, the lawyers of Jones Hacker Murphy can help. To request a free and confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call us at (518) 380-2597 fill out our online contact form.

The Most Common Causes of Boating Accidents in New York

Injury Attorneys Fighting for Victims of Boat Accident Injuries in Upstate New York

Serving Troy,Albany, Schenectady, Latham,  and Saratoga Areas

boating accidents

 

As summer finally arrives, thousands of New Yorkers will take to the water, whether their choice is the ocean, a lake, or a river. Boat-related recreation takes a huge number of forms, from fishing and swimming to waterskiing and exploring. Unfortunately, along with a spike in boating comes a spike in boating accidents. In fact, according to the 2012 New York Recreational Boating Report, there were 241 boating accidents in New York State, which left 126 injured and 26 dead.

What causes these boating accidents, injuries, and deaths? While you might guess that rough waters or weather contributes to the majority accidents, the truth is that the most accidents take place on calm and clear days.

Here are the top causes of boating accidents in New York State:

  • Inexperience: The most common cause of boating accidents is simply inexperienced boat operators. Boaters who are renting vessels or who have had a long winter away from the water make simple mistakes in navigation or operation that end in capsizing or collision. To prevent these accidents, be sure to carefully learn about your boat and its operation before getting on the water.
  • Distraction or inattention: The second most common type of boat accident is caused by a lack of attention. Boaters who are having too much fun recreating or socializing may not have their eyes on the water or their hands on the controls. Alternatively, a boat may not have an attentive lookout, causing the boat to collide with another vessel.
  • Impaired boating: Up to one-third of all boating accidents involve a boat operator who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While boating often involves having a cold drink and enjoying the summer day, the boat operator should understand that drinking and boating can have serious consequences – not to mention that it’s illegal.
  • Adverse conditions: Always read the weather reports before taking your boat out. Even if it’s a clear day, water conditions and weather conditions can change in a matter of minutes. Storms can easily cause boats to take on water or capsize.
  • Improper maintenance: If you don’t properly care for your boat, an accident can easily occur. Be sure to keep your boat carefully maintained, and be especially cautious and aware at the beginning of the season when you take your boat out for the first time.
  • Rule Violations: The rules and laws are in place for a reason. Violating the laws can lead to dangerous situations, accidents, and injuries. The biggest rule violation that causes boating accidents each year is speeding. Be aware of your speed.

Speak to a New York Boat Accident Attorney Today

Get a New York personal injury attorney who has specific experience handling boating accidents and boat-related injuries. To schedule a free, private consultation with a boat accident attorney at Jones Hacker Murphy, please call us at (518) 274-5820 fill out our online contact form. Stop wondering if you could get justice and compensation after your accident and get all of your questions answered.