Beebe and O'Neil

Norwich Law Blog

Lawmakers aim to make cars not start if a motorist is intoxicated

Late last month, lawmakers revealed that the federal government has invested significant monetary resources in its Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program (DADSSP). Lawmakers expect the DADSSP system to make it where cars can't be started if it determines that a motorist has a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit here in Connecticut or elsewhere in the country.

Federal lawmakers are pushing for the Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act to go into full effect by 2024. Once it does, all new trucks and cars sold in the U.S. will be required to have a passive alcohol detection system (ADS) installed on them.

Connecticut domestic violence charges aren't something to ignore

Domestic violence doesn't just involve one romantic partner inflicting physical harm on another. Instead, this crime can take on many forms.

In Connecticut, much like other statues across this country, criminal offenses such as stalking, threatening, simple or sexual assault or strangulation are all crimes that an individual can be charged with. All of these crimes are considered to be domestic-violence related offenses.

Is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy right for you?

When you are struggling with debt, one of the things that you may want to look into is bankruptcy. Not everyone chooses bankruptcy, but it can be a great solution in certain circumstances.

When you are considering bankruptcy, remember that there are a lot of myths about bankruptcy circulating in the public. Bankruptcy won't ruin your credit forever, and it doesn't make you a bad person.

Understanding how alcohol gets on your breath

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving, you may feel as though contesting such charges would be futile given the evidence against you. After all, a roadside breath test indicating intoxication is fairly ironclad, right? Yet what if subsequent testing shows your blood-alcohol content to be below the legal limit? Could the initial measurement have been incorrect? This has prompted many in your same situation to come to us here at Beebe & O’Neil asking how a breath test can even give an accurate measurement of the alcohol content of your blood anyway.

The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership offers the answer. The exact form of alcohol you consume in drinks is called ethanol, which is a water-soluble compound. This means that after ingesting it, it is able to pass through membranes through a process known as passive diffusion. Thus, ethanol molecules permeate the lining of your stomach and enter into your bloodstream, where they are eventually carried to your heart.

What happens if someone brings a title claim against your house?

Whether you have lived in your current home for two years or 20 years, you have likely developed an emotional attachment to the property. As you have grown accustomed to living in the space and made it your own, it has become your home, not just another house. In addition to enjoying the space, you have made substantial investments in its purchase and ongoing maintenance.

Most people who worry about complications in real estate deals focus on the potential for last-minute issues that could prevent a successful closing or delay possession. Once they assume possession, they think of the home as their home. For the average person, that may be the case, but some people find themselves at risk of losing their home long after they take possession of the property.

Tips for removing Chapter 7 bankruptcy from your credit report

People in Connecticut who have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy — or plan to — may worry about how to remove this record from their credit report. The first thing to note is that unless the record is an error, there may be no immediate way to dispute it and get rid of it.

Credit Karma notes that bankruptcy remains on a consumer’s credit report for up to 10 years from the date of filing. This may be the case even when all debts are discharged or paid in full. In spite of this, a decade is a long time and creditors understand this. As long as the individual maintains a clean record after this, the bankruptcy record soon begins to lose its effect.

Responding to criminal drug charges

Getting arrested for a drug crime in Connecticut may be frightening and confusing, especially since some of the state's laws about controlled substances are complicated. Sometimes, the severity of charges and penalties may vary depending on the type of drug, the amount you have or the location where your arrest occurred. At Beebe & O'Neil, we understand the detailed nature of the state's drug laws and have helped many clients react to criminal charges.

The Connecticut Judicial Branch provides details on the state's laws relating to drug possession and distribution. You may face charges for selling, manufacturing, transporting or giving away controlled substances. In certain circumstances, the quantity of the controlled substance may affect the penalties. There may be other factors that affect drug-related criminal charges as well. For example, you may face more severe penalties for possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school than for possession in another location.

Do not forget to choose an IRA beneficiary

When it comes to estate planning, creating wills and avoiding probate as much as possible top the to-do lists in Connecticut. Even so, many people who try to DIY this may forget to add beneficiaries to some of their most important accounts. These may include high-yield savings accounts, investment accounts and IRA accounts.

Forbes notes that this is one of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to their IRAs. The main reason many people do this is that they believe they can take care of it later. Unfortunately, death is often unexpected, so leaving it up to chance is ill-advised. When there is no beneficiary added, the IRA is included in the estate and may go through probate. This could create a large tax liability for the deceased’s heirs.

5 keys to asking your spouse for a divorce

Even if your marriage has been on the rocks for many years, you must still take extra care when asking your spouse for a divorce. The first conversation you have about your divorce has the potential to impact the process from start to finish.

Here are five keys to asking your spouse for a divorce:

  • Prepare yourself: Knowing what you want to say and how you'll react to your spouse can help keep you on track. You can't prepare for everything, but you can at least have a basic idea of the approach you want to take.
  • Choose the right time and place: Carefully consider when and where you'll ask your spouse for a divorce. As such an important conversation, consider having it when there is nothing else to get in your way.
  • Don't backtrack: If your spouse asks for another chance, you may be tempted to step back from asking for a divorce and comply. If you've already thought things through, don't turn back now.
  • Protect yourself: There's nothing more important than your safety, so do whatever it takes to protect yourself against a potentially violent spouse. If you're concerned about your spouse becoming violent, ask for a divorce over the phone or in a public place. Don't compromise your safety for anything or anyone.
  • Don't discuss the details: Once you ask for divorce, it's natural to want to discuss details such as child custody, child support, and property and debt division There is enough time to talk about these things when the divorce process begins. Getting into the details shortly after asking for a divorce is likely to cause more stress and tension, which can drag on for the entirety of the process.

How does domestic violence affect child custody?

When trying to get child custody during a divorce in Connecticut, parents need to take into consideration that the court looks at numerous factors when deciding which parent gets sole custody or if joint custody is best. Many of the factors have to do with what is best for the child, and if one of the parents is under accusation for domestic violence, this is a serious offense that will more than likely affect the parent's ability to gain custody.

According to FindLaw, if there is a suspicion of violence or abuse in the home, the judge will usually see this as being not in the best interest of the child. Not only is there a threat of physical violence, but it also takes a big emotional toll on the children when they are in an aggressive environment. As a result, a judge will usually not grant custody to a parent who is under suspicion, or as been convicted, of domestic violence. 

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