Your Conflict With the Law

Laws are rules of conduct that are accepted by the people and enforced by the state. Even this simple definition gives us problems. One of the problems is that laws, like the mini-skirt or a hair style come and go out of fashion. Behavior that we thought was outrageous a few decades ago is now acceptable.

When laws cease to be appropriate they should be changed. Unfortunately, laws are slow to change and society can move quite quickly. There are some laws, however, that never go out of fashion like robbery and murder. Oscar Wilde was maligned for his homosexuality; he was imprisoned and made a social outcast. If he was alive today he would be a celebrated television personality.

Even more confusing, instead of being black and white, we place laws on a point on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum, we have murderers and armed robbers; we feel that their behaviour is definitely wrong. At the other end of the spectrum we have someone who accepts €30 for taking a friend to the airport but does not declare the income in his tax return. Both are displaying criminal behaviour but we view them differently.

In addition to state laws, we also have our internal rules of conduct. These were given to us by our parents and other significant people in our lives. We live by these rules, though we pay lip service to the laws of the country.

How many of us have done the “odd job” and been paid for it without declaring it to the tax authorities. This is against the law, but we do not view it that way. Problems arise when our internal rules conflict with the laws of the country.

It is not unusual for people who are guilty of a crime to believe that they have done nothing wrong. A man who has stolen a loaf of bread for his starving family will believe that he has acted within his conscience and punishment by the state would be wrong.

The culture of a society will also determine what constitutes correct behaviour. When differing cultures meet, huge rifts can appear and often violence erupts. Both sides feel that they are behaving correctly. In some cultures, beating a wife “to make her behave properly” is regarding as correct; in others it is frowned upon.

Even within the same culture, problems may arise. In a relationship, partners may have powerfully opposing views on fidelity, violence within the marriage and financial freedom.

It is possible that you have been affected by crime and cannot come to terms with it. What may be happening is that your internal rules cry out for justice, but the culture or laws do not require the punishment that you seek. It will appear to you that there is an injustice.

It is not unusual for us to see offenders bemused and even amused by our outrage because they cannot see the problem. We are angry and want them to admit that they were wrong in order to satisfy our own needs. If they make such an admission, they will not mean it, because they do not believe what they have done is wrong.

Criminal behaviour affects us all. When we experience it face to face, it is hard to accept. Often, it is not the financial loss that that gives us the problem; it is the intrusion into our property and lives that angers us and leaves us with a feeling of insecurity. Our sense of fair play and our internal rules of conduct have been violated leaving us confused, angry and depressed. It can take years to come to terms with such intrusions.

I have produced some therapeutic recordings on a variety of subjects and invite people to make suggestions for additional recordings. The full list can be seen on http://renaissancetherapyprogram.com. This article, for example demonstrates that we feel that the law may not represent our own views. This may cause us problems, and problems with the authorities. People may feel that a therapeutic recording containing some useful suggestions may be appropriate.

Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft Today

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. It occurs when someone steals your personal information, which can include your social security, driver’s license and credit card numbers and so on. Entities that have had their databases compromised include the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and University of Texas School of Business. The common fear among victims is that these thieves will use their personal data to access bank accounts, open new credit cards, obtain long distance calling accounts or take out loans.

In an effort to help fight identity theft, Congress added new sections to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it passed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA). Privacy, limits on information sharing, consumer rights to disclosure and accuracy are all addressed.

An Overview of FACTA:

o To self-monitor their credit history, consumers may obtain free copies of their credit report annually at http://www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
o Businesses must leave off all but the final five digits of a credit card number on printed store receipts.
o Employers must destroy all information obtained from a consumer credit report before discarding it.
o Consumers who suspect they are the victims of identity theft need only to notify one of the three credit reporting services (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) to initiate a nationwide fraud alert.
o Mortgage lenders must provide the credit score they use to determine a loan’s interest rate, regardless of loan approval.
o Companies must provide training for their employees and document when it was completed. It should outline what the consequences are for any violations.

Reasonable measures of destruction of personal information include:
o Burning, shredding or pulverizing documents so they become impossible to put back together or read.
o Erasing electronic files that contain any consumer reports so they cannot be recovered.

After reviewing company practices to ensure that they are designed to reasonably protect personal information, some companies are hiring outside firms that specialize in destroying personal records.

Penalties include:

o Civil liability – An employee can recover actual damages sustained if their identity is stolen from an employer. Or an employer could be liable for statutory damages up to $1,000 per employee.
o Class action lawsuits – If a large number of employees are impacted, they may be able to bring class action suits and obtain punitive damages from employers.
o Federal fines – An employer can be fined up to $2,500 per violation.

The law applies to any business that collects personal information or consumer reports about customers or employees to make decisions within their business. This most definitely applies to real estate brokerage offices. All records should be stored in a secure method so as to protect all personal data relating to agents and most definitely data pertaining to clients. Look at the next step in protecting your company from potential liability.

According to the FTC, a reasonable plan for a company to safeguard personal information includes:

o Designating an employee to coordinate and be responsible for the security program.
o Identifying material internal and external risks to the security of these personal data.
o Designing and implementing reasonable safeguards to control the risks identified in the risk assessment.
o Continually evaluating and adjusting the security plan in light of the results of ongoing monitoring and testing of the program, material changes to business arrangements.
o Creating a mitigation plan that kicks in when there is a privacy or security breach and there is a need to “repair it” immediately in the eyes of customers, government regulators and management.

Private individuals can take the following safeguard steps to protect their identity from theft:

o Burn or shred any financial papers, mail or credit reports that contain personal information. Never recycle that paper.
o Call 1-888-5OPT-OUT and request that credit card companies stop sending pre-approved credit card applications. Also, ask your credit card companies to stop sending you “convenience checks”. These are sent monthly by your credit card companies and your contact to cancel these will most realistically need to be a monthly phone call until the message is implemented. In other words, keep after them until you get resolution.
o Invest in a shredder that can destroy credit cards, CDs and staples.
o Delete any e-mail that asks for personal information and instruct your employees and family members to do the same.
o Hang up on any telemarketers who ask for your personal information. Instruct your family members to do the same.
o Limit the number of credit cards you hold, both business and personal. Review your monthly statements, financial records and bank statements as soon as they arrive. The sooner you report a suspicious incident the better.
o Companies should advertise their privacy policies on their website.
o Use credit cards instead of debit cards. $50 is your maximum liability for credit cards.

Food For Thought:

Statistics show that if there is a security breach, 20% of your customers will no longer do business with you, 40% consider not doing business with you and 5% hire an attorney to sue your company.

What Are the Major Causes of Crime and How Can Crime Be Prevented

The number of crime being committed in the United States of America is increasing day after day. There are many reasons as to why people commit crimes and it has been identified that there are no quick solutions to fix this problem in the country today. When people become victims of crime they usually consult the law enforcement agents. For example, people becoming victim of crime in the Chattanooga city may seek professional help from the Chattanooga attorneys. A Chattanooga attorney will be able to aid the person when it comes to dealing with court proceedings and other legal matters. Crime has a major impact on the society and there are many reasons as to why individuals indulge in criminal activities.

It has been revealed that kids who are being neglected by their parents choose the path of crime later in their lives. Peer pressure is also a major contributor to crime today. Students who are weak in education and are unable to perform up to the required standards often become criminals in future. Most of these unfortunate kids come from poor backgrounds where the parents are unable to afford for the clothes, books and other necessary things. These kids form groups and criminal gangs and resort to extortion, theft and fraud as a means of achieving material items which they had been deprived of.

Substance abuse such as drug and alcohol abuse has a strong influence on an individual’s ability to decide things. When people become addictive, they often commit crime to support their drug habits. Moreover, an addicted person can become a vulnerable target for another criminal due to his inattentiveness. The crime life has been made easier in the US through the easy access of handguns. In most reported cases of crime, the weapon which was used was a handgun which was either stolen or purchased from black markets.

Researches have also shown that most of the criminals are not well educated enough. This means that unemployment and poverty had caused them to become criminals so that they had means of supporting themselves and their families. Even if they had been employed at some point, the wages obtained from the workplace wouldn’t be enough to support a family. With that income it would be impossible to even cater for their basic needs and crime was the only profitable business that could help them in catering for their needs as well as their wants.

There are many ways in which crime can be prevented. Punishments and imprisonments are already in place to decrease crime levels. Another way is to reduce the opportunities of crime for the criminals. This can be achieved by better lighting, improved security systems, locking bars and guard dogs. Moreover, if people are given proper education then there will be an automatic reduction in crime rate as they will be able to get a job which will be able to provide for their basic needs and wants. There are also treatment programs available which influences people to make positive choices and refrain from criminal activities.

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Attorneys – Legal Information On Filing A Lawsuit

The constitution was put in place to protect your rights as a human being, occasionally people are treated wrongfully and need to protect their own rights. You do this by filing a lawsuit against those who have wronged you. Filing a lawsuit has many steps to take to accomplish what you want so knowing those steps is the best way to approach your case.

The very first step in filing a lawsuit is filing the original complaint and the issuing of a summons. These two things will outline what it is that has happened to you, who it is you are filing the lawsuit against, and also what you are wishing to receive from the court system as a sort of relief or payment for your grief. After these two things are filed and issued the clerk of courts then informs the person that is being issued the lawsuit of the suit. After informed the defendant is informed of this they will give their answer to the summons which will most likely be an acceptance of the lawsuit or a countersuit where they will claim that the matter was actually caused by the prosecution.

After the defendant has filed their answer with the courts the case is officially opened and the discovery process begins. The discovery process is when both sides will begin to gather evidence to back up their side of the matter. This evidence must be registered and exchanged so that both sides are protected in a lawful way and may not be ambushed by hidden evidence or a secret withheld witness.

At this point something called a pretrial conference may be held with the judge that will be presiding over the lawsuit. The pretrial conference is set in place to minimize delays in the courts and is usually set around a week before the trial actually starts. The pretrial conference is also used so that a settlement may be negotiated if that is what both the prosecution and the defense want.

After all these different steps have happened the trial is able to begin. Witnesses are able to be questioned from both the prosecution and the defense. And the evidence is presented from both sides so that the proper outcome may be decided. The judge will then give the jury instructions on how to deliberate on the matter. The jury will then decide and the case will either reach what is called a verdict or a deadlock.