Child Support and the Efficiency of the Criminal Justice System

The other day, I read a fascinating story about the failure to pay child support. About a year ago today, 18 individuals were warned about the consequences of failing to pay child support obligations. These 18 individuals lived in three different counties in Texas. However, these people did not take heed of the attorney general’s warnings. Recently, these 18 individuals were arrested and put behind bars for failure to pay child support obligations. Many of these individuals had been in possession of marijuana at the time of their arrest, so more charges will be tacked on down the road. Because they did not pay child support obligations, they are facing some serious consequences administered by the penal justice system.

I immediately thought to myself, “how were so many people found in such a short time?” Well, it appears that the people that should have been receiving the child support payments had given police information regarding the whereabouts of the party that failed to make payments. One person said to the Bell County Constable, “We’ve raised our children, and now it’s their responsibility . . . I’ll tell you where they’re at.” With this information, police could quickly and efficiently round up the 18 people. The Texas Attorney General recently ordered that parents who had failed to pay child support should be arrested. Of the 18, the least amount of child support owed was $1,000, but one of the individuals had owed $73,000 in child support payments.

I could not believe my eyes when I read this story. Certainly, it is unjust for those with child support obligations to fail to make these payments. Failure to make these payments puts the other parent and the child in great jeopardy.

For those who don’t know much about child support payments, this article makes it very clear. Basically, these payments are designed to enforce a parent’s duty to provide basic financial, educational, emotional, and medical support. If the parents are separated, child support is a way to make sure that these basic needs are satisfied for a child. Each child support agreement is unique, but the basic idea remains the same: these payments are designed to make sure the child is properly cared for.

It is no wonder then, given this basic idea behind child support, that failure to make these payments can be extremely detrimental to the child. As the same article explains, there is civil recourse for those that do not receive the necessary child support payments. However, sometimes people can be particularly difficult, and the only solution comes through the criminal justice system, as it had for the 18 individuals described above.

I was very happy to see that 18 individuals were so quickly found and brought to justice. Child support obligations are OBLIGATIONS, and nonpayment should result in serious consequences. A child should not be forced to suffer without these necessary payments. Hopefully, police can move as swiftly and effectively in the future as they did with the 18 individuals described above.

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Maine Motorcycle Deaths

According to Bangor Daily News, there have already been more fatal Maine motorcycle accidents this year than in all of 2016. The news comes as two more Maine men died this past week.

In total, 20 people have died due to bike accidents this year, with an astounding 9 dead in September alone. The age range has been from 25 to 81.

The number, though high, is not nearly as high as the record, which was set in 1991 at 34 and nearly equaled in 2015 with 32.

Still, the high number of deaths is concerning. If you ride a motorcycle, you probably know the risks involved, but it is worth pointing them out again.

First of all, it is crucial to wear a helmet. About half of the deaths this year were due to people not wearing helmets, an easy problem to foresee and correct.

Beyond that, it is important to stay attentive. A large number of accidents come from drivers ahead of the biker turning left and neither party paying enough attention.

This is a serious point. There are numerous potential injuries that you could suffer from even if an accident isn’t fatal. Among them, some would be debilitating, such as spinal cord injuries, head trauma, or internal organ damage. Even those injuries likely to heal, such as broken bones, sprains, and lacerations could take a long time to heal and may require significant rehabilitation.

Despite these well-known issues, the number of bikers in Maine has generally continued to rise, from 56,050 in 2011 to 59,116 in 2015, although there was a slight decrease in 2016.

This is, of course, not just a Maine problem. There are significant numbers of motorcyclist deaths and injuries all along the East Coast and indeed throughout the country. In 2014, there were 4,295 deaths throughout the US and 92,000 injuries. That was a decrease in deaths from the year before but a significant increase in injuries.

So, what can be done? Some states make helmets mandatory, which can reduce the risks for riders. In Maine, in 2015, a mandatory 15-hour course was introduced called the Basic RiderCourse, which was designed to give hands-on training to help prepare riders for potential accident situations.

Otherwise, more stringent enforcement of laws that prosecute driving under the influence could help reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents.

All of these are good measures and should be taken up, but there is likely no complete solution for the risks inherent in riding a motorcycle. The rider is simply more exposed to all the most common dangers of driving and lacks the protections other vehicles offer.

With that being the case, it’s unlikely Maine or any other state could reduce the number of deaths below a certain point, and certainly never to zero.

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How to Avoid Fraudulent Investments

Investing can be a sophisticated financial matter, and like any sophisticated thing, it can be vulnerable to fraud. This is because people may easily give in to technical and flowery words, unrealistic promises, and high returns, when they are not very knowledgeable.

In fact, investment fraud lawyers even exist, because the threat of fraudulent investments is very real. But avoiding fraud will always be a better option than getting legal help because you have already been scammed. Below are some of the things you can do to avoid such a thing from happening.

Check registrations

Before anything else, it is important to check the credentials of the company you are being asked to invest to and the salesperson who is doing the asking. The company should be properly registered and licensed, while the salesperson should have a legitimate connection with this company and actually has the right to sell securities. If they don’t have the proper credentials, it is likely that they are fraudulent.

Be doubtful of high returns

Pay close attention to the sales speech. If the salesperson claims that the investment will have high returns and have very little risk, be doubtful, because it is likely that this is not true. Most investments that have high returns have very high risks as well. If you feel like the investment is too good to be true, trust your instincts and say no to the fraudster.

Be doubtful of social proofs

Again, this is regarding the sales speech. If the salesperson claims that everybody is investing in this particular investment, without even explaining why the investment is sound, he may be trying to give you social proof that the investment is legitimate, even though it is not. There are many kinds of investment scams that mainly focus on the number of investors.

Learn how to say no

You should not feel obligated to give in to the investment company and the salesperson. After all, it is your hard-earned money and you deserve to control on where to put it. If you don’t like the investment or if you feel that it is a fraud, don’t be afraid or guilty to say no.

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Not All Consumer Products Sold are Safe

Manufacturers are bound by law to always make sure that every product they produce is safe, that the product’s label correctly and accurately names the product’s ingredients, and that all necessary instructions and/or warnings that consumers have the right to know are mentioned. Making a fraudulent claim on what a product can do would be deception, an act that can result to a lawsuit, especially if the product ends up harming someone or fails to provide its claimed results.

It is important that one knows that, every year, thousands of lawsuits against manufacturers are filed by American consumers due to defects that cause injury. Though it is true that many consumers attitude are not meticulous with regard to checking products’ safety, this is only because of their belief that no harmful products will ever be sold in the market. This is primarily based on consumers’ trust that since these products were approved for distribution and/or consumption, then these are totally safe.

The task of enforcing safety laws on the manufacture of goods and in ensuring that manufacturers observe these laws is the duty of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Besides these, the Bureau also has the duty to:

  • Make sure that products are neither defective nor dangerous;
  • Stop unjust, fraudulent and deceptive business practices;
  • Accept and investigate consumer complaints on product defects;
  • File a lawsuit against individuals or companies found violating consumer rights or offering defective and/or dangerous products;
  • Make sure that product labels are correct and accurate and not deceptive or misleading;
  • Create and implement fair marketplace rules; and,
  • Educate individuals of their rights as consumers, and firms of their duties and responsibilities.

Despite the laws many consumers still never get what they actually pay for and, worse, some products even cause injuries or death. This is because hundreds of thousands of different products are made available in the market every month and federal agencies (which regulate products) do not have enough men to police or test every one of these to make sure that defective and dangerous ones never make it to store shelves.

Defective products can take the form of simple toys for children or a complex motor vehicle and, between these two, the endless supply of food, electronic devices, power supply items, tools, (and so forth) for which manufacturers, designers of product and marketers can be held liable.

Injured consumers should never hesitate taking a legal action against erring participants (in the manufacture and distribution of dangerous products) for the compensation that they may be entitled to receive due to the injury the product has caused in them. A website with the address:, may be able to help injured victims know and understand their rights, and who to contact for the best possible legal action that they can take.

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Reckless Driving of Commercial Vehicles

Of course, nobody wants to be involved in a traffic accident, so many traffic accidents occur because of unintentional acts, like driver error and mechanical failure. But for some reason, a lot of drivers are intentionally putting themselves in danger because of reckless driving, as if they want to be involved in a traffic accident. Actually, the reckless drivers themselves are not just the ones in danger. The other motorists around them are also at risk.

This danger is even amplified when we are already talking about commercial vehicles like trucks. Because of their size and weight, trucks can have a more devastating impact compared to other vehicles like sedans and SUVs. That’s why their drivers should be extra careful.

As an innocent motorist, you have no power over these truck drivers, so the only thing you can do is stay away from them, especially if they show signs of reckless driving. According to the website of Charleston car accident lawyers at Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, reckless driving can come in many forms, like speeding, running through red lights and stop signs, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Speeding is not just about going over the speed limit. Sometimes it also means that a vehicle is traveling too fast in consideration of the condition of the road and surroundings. For example, if the road is wet or the area is covered with fog, drivers should be more diligent because they can be more prone to crashes.

Running through red lights and stop signs is also a huge problem in the United States. There are well-documented cases of vehicles not yielding in intersections, resulting into a collision with a motorist who has the right of way. The worst cases end with the death of the innocent motorists.

Distracted driving occurs when the driver is not giving his full attention on the road, like when he is texting. While on the road, drivers have very little time to react to unexpected scenarios, so full attention is a must. Distracted driving can also trigger other violations. When a driver is distracted, he could run through red lights without even noticing.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is probably the worst kind of reckless driving. Even before a driver is on the wheel, he is already taking alcohol or drugs even though he knows that he will be driving. It is even worse if he is taking alcohol or drugs while on the road. Being under the influence can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, veer off the road, swerve into the opposite lane, or other actions that can potentially hurt them and the others around them.

Reckless driving continues to be a problem. The commercial drivers are not just the ones to blame, because even the drivers of small vehicles like compact cars and sedans are guilty. Whatever vehicle is involved, a traffic accident caused by reckless driving can cause injury or even death.

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