Understanding the Different Degrees of Murder

Murder in the first degree. Murder in the second degree. Whether it is in movies or in the latest legal drama we’re binge-watching, we hear these words often. But how many of us actually understand what these terms mean? If asked, could we explain the difference between murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree?

Odds are that unless we are attorneys ourselves or are experts in criminal law, we wouldn’t be able to distinguish between the types of murder. After watching a crime documentary the other day, I decided I was tired of living in confusion and decided to research the various types of murder recognized under the law. If you’re like me and want to finally clarify a pesky issue that has been confusing you for years, take a look at what I found out below.

Keep in Mind…

When reading about these different definitions, remember that criminal law is decided on the state level. Because of this, certain definitions may vary from state to state. It is important to recognize that the definition of first-degree murder in your state may differ from the definition in another, but most states use comparable definitions. This post will not be talking about any specific state but will talk about criminal definitions in a general sense.

Murder in the First Degree

First thing’s first — murder in the first degree. Most states define first-degree murder as murder that is not only willful but premeditated too. Under this definition, the murder was committed after some degree of planning by the perpetrator.

Murder in the Second Degree

Murder in the second degree gets a bit more complicated. States usually define second-degree murder as murder that was not meditated, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a possibility. While the murder was not planned out, the murderer still had intent and understood this consequences of his or her actions.

There are two other definitions that need to be discussed: voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.

Voluntary Manslaughter

In situations of voluntary manslaughter, the perpetrator acted in the heat of passion. The heat of passion is a state in which a normal, reasonable person becomes disturbed enough to lost control of their actions — resulting in the death of their victim.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a death is a result of someone else’s criminal negligence. It is common for an individual to be charged with involuntary manslaughter after killing someone after driving under the influence, for example.

If you are facing a murder charge, especially a first-degree murder charge, you should contact an experienced attorney, like Bruno Law Offices, immediately. A first-degree murder charge is the most serious charge one can face in the criminal courts, and it is important that you have adequate representation. If convicted of first-degree murder, you could be facing capital punishment (the death penalty) or even life in prison without parole. Other degree charges carry stiff punishments as well.

Elderly Abuse at Nursing Homes

We all deserve to spend the end of our lives in comfort and happiness. Hopefully, we can also spend time with family or we can pass the hours doing things we love like talking with friends or making crafts. For some people, this can be done in their home where their medical needs are taken care of by a home health aide or a family member. For others, however, an enrollment and stay at a nursing home are required because of medical concerns or constraints on the family’s ability to take care of an elderly person.

No matter your situation, we all have an obligation to provide a safe place for our aging relatives. Contrary to the fears of your older loved one being holed up in a room with nothing to do all day, many nursing homes plan programming including crafts, music, movies, socials, and special events for holidays. These opportunities allow the elderly a chance to live a fulfilling life in their final years, relaxing and meditating upon a successful career and family. This is how it should be in nursing homes, and I am glad that the industry standard is now so much better than it used to be — just a dumping ground for the elderly to live out their final years.

Most nursing homes are attended to by lovely employees with a desire to care for others. Nursing home residents require intensive care sometimes, and the employees are there for any accidents or small injuries incurred from being an elderly resident. Additionally, daily upkeep of the rooms and the residents’ medicinal scheduling are taken care of by nursing home employees. These workers do the difficult tasks that are sometimes too burdensome for people to stay with their family members.

As I have explained, the vast majority of nursing homes are designed for relaxation and attentive care. Most employees have a desire to make the world a better place by improving the lives of our older generations. But as you know, there are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes, nursing homes are a hotbed of abuse or maltreatment.

As the law firm ChasenBoscolo reports on their website, many families seek legal representation after a nursing home not only fails to take care of the elderly but even worse, abuses the elderly. This is a graphic topic for many because of the vulnerability and innocence of the elderly just attempting to live their lives in peace.

Because nursing home populations often have vulnerable populations (from medical conditions or the frailty that comes with old age), they are a target of abuse by those with ill will or those who negligently fail to uphold their responsibility to care for others.

Some instances of abuse including deliberate withholding of medication, administering medication improperly, or even more graphic violations such as failing to address injuries like bed sores or bruises. No amount of abuse is okay. If you or a loved one are not receiving appropriate or even adequate treatment at a nursing home, you should seek out legal representation that will fight for the compensation you deserve.

Floridians Need to Pay More Attention to Golf Carts

Florida is famous for being a paradise for people of very diverse ages and interests. It’s the amusement park capital of the country. It’s got the beaches and nightlife that young adults love. It’s full of natural beauty for those who like to enjoy the quiet life. It’s got great weather. It’s got a booming economy. It’s got great food. And, of course, it has plenty of golf courses. For the most part, all of these interests coexist peacefully in one large state, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t be better at paying attention to some of the issues that come from providing paradise to so many people.

One area that really doesn’t get enough discussion is the golf cart. That may seem like an absurd topic, but as Glover Law Firm has detailed in several of their recent blog posts, it’s a fairly serious issue with some serious consequences.

Glover Law Firm has documented that there is a lot that can go wrong with a golf cart, and when it goes wrong, serious injuries are very possible. Some golf carts simply malfunction, leaving those on the cart and others on the road in serious risk of injuries. There obviously needs to be more regulation over who can modify golf carts and how they modify them.

Even more important, though, we need to make sure people in golf carts know the law and know how and where to drive their golf carts.
The golf cart can seem like a harmless vehicle that doesn’t reach speeds or have the ability to do much harm at all, but the reality is that golf cart accidents can be very serious and cause severe injuries. Many people therefore misjudge how they should behave in their golf cart. It can lead to people driving on main roads as if their golf cart is a normal vehicle. It can also lead to people driving recklessly because they don’t think they can hurt anyone with a little old golf cart.

We need to do a better job educating people who drive golf carts about the risks and requirements for that vehicle. For instance, Glover Law Firm points out that golf carts aren’t allowed on roads that aren’t specifically designated for golf cart use. A lack of knowledge about this can lead to many accidents with larger vehicles. Similarly, though golf carts are lighter and can’t reach extremely high speeds, you still aren’t allowed to drive a golf cart while intoxicated or texting. Finally, as with all vehicles, more injuries could be avoided if golf cart drivers and passengers took commonsense safety measures like wearing their seatbelts and keeping their carts maintained.

Just making sure everyone who uses a golf cart understands these basic requirements would do a lot to help Floridians continue to live safely and happily together, whether they’re off to work, off to the beach, or off to the golf course.

The Trump Administration’s Environmental Policy

President Trump has already taken massive steps to erase all the progress made on environmental issues during the Obama administration. In March, he rescinded a number of clean air initiatives set by his predecessor. Since then, the administration has not left off on the issue, which was a signature one during last year’s campaign. During the campaign, Trump presented himself as a champion of the coal industry, and he promised to bring back coal jobs by removing the regulations he and some in the industry feel are responsible for the decline in the use of coal nationwide.

In October, the EPA signaled that their intent was to continue in this direction by reviewing and removing Obama era expansions on the Clean Air Act.

These two points, combined with other acts in the administration and other comments made by those in the administration, suggest the environment is in for a very difficult four years. With recent extreme weather events suggesting global warming may be advancing faster than previously expected, this could be a truly tragic development.

There is a reason to hope, however. Though the administration in the White House is determined to unravel as many regulations as possible, no matter the consequences, it is not clear that the country will follow suit.

The decline in coal, for instance, has been due more to the increased use of natural gas (which burns cleaner than coal) than to any government policy. As renewable energy becomes increasingly cheaper, this trend is only going to continue, no matter the change in governing philosophy.

At the same time, many companies have already invested in the technology required to comply with the Obama era rules, and it would only be a needless expense to undo what is already done, particularly when it is not clear how long the policy may last as it is.

Other companies have also started up, and indeed, inventions and innovations in the green energy and clean airfields are surging. Consider the robovent, which prides itself on how well it can comply with the Obama regulations. Its success testifies to the strength of the trend toward cleaner energy and greater energy efficiency. It seems unlikely any of this will stop now. At most, it may slow slightly.

That does not mean no damage can be done. As has been seen in the response to Puerto Rico, the Trump administration has a great deal of power it can choose to deploy or not in order to deal with immediate environmental challenges. The putative attitude on display towards Puerto Rico suggests the administration will hold grudges and use or refuse to use its power depending on personal feelings about particular regions, communities, or issues.

Another issue on the Trump agenda, the travel ban, also shows that the administration can be very dedicated to pushing a policy no matter how much blowback it experiences.

It must be assumed until proven otherwise that all that can be done that the Trump administration is dedicated to dismantling as many environmental regulations as possible.

Common Challenges Startups Face

When you think about businesses, the first things that come into your mind are money and security. But businesses are not that simple. Before you even become successful, you have many challenges to overcome, especially if you are just starting out.

But what are these hurdles exactly?

Business Law

According to the website of Slater Pugh, Ltd. LLP, startups have specialized legal concerns and need to consider certain factors that other businesses do not. These concerns include but are not limited to the following:

  • Determining the best business model
  • Funding options
  • Protecting the business’s assets, such as intellectual property

Without the proper help, these legal difficulties can truly be a burden and can significantly affect the creation and progress of your business.


Competition is one of the constant struggles in business, and this can be particularly problematic for startups because they don’t have an established brand and customers yet. They are entering the market empty-handed. If there is anything they have, it is the buzz that is created just because of the fact that they are new players in the existing market. But sadly, that is not enough to get a competitive edge in the long run.

Financial Management

Whether you are a new businessman or an experienced one, there is always the struggle of handling finance. Like competition, financial management can be particularly problematic for startups, because they may not have the financial flexibility to take risks, which can make them lose out on the competition. Flexibility is also important when it comes to expansion, when the startups start rolling, getting profits, and having higher operation costs.

Market Share

As said earlier, startups have the advantage of being new, as this can create buzz and make potential customers try your product and services. But this buzz will not last forever, so it is important to use it as an effective stepping stone to get a chunk of market share.

Getting a consistent flow of customers can be hard for startups because of many factors, like customers already satisfied with a competitor’s product and services, doubts on the fact that the company is new, and the lack of talented staff because they are already taken by competitors.

The Dangers of Homeopathic Solutions: FDA Issues Warning Against Hyland’s Teething Tablets

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently come out with a statement warning the public against the use of Hyland’s homeopathic teething tablets and similar products. In an announcement reported by CNN on October 13, the FDA strongly discouraged parents and caregivers from using the homeopathic teething solution that are now being linked to ten infant deaths, plus 400 more incidents of adverse side effects in infants and children.

Hyland’s teething tablets and other similar products were found to cause vomiting, muscle weakness, agitation, lethargy, sleepiness, difficulty breathing, flushed skin, difficulty urinating, and seizures. The side effects caused by taking teething tablets are largely similar to symptoms of belladonna toxicity. Belladonna, more typically known as dead nightshade, is one the main ingredients used in these tablets. In controlled doses, it has been used as a sedative to remedy conditions like Parkinson’s disease. While homeopathy techniques claim that belladonna was properly diluted in the production of tablets, the lack of FDA regulation for these tablets doesn’t give much assurance of this.

Parents and caregivers on the lookout for teething remedies should instead try the many medically sound and tested techniques suggested by many doctors. One way parents can help soothe a teething bay is through the use of chew toys and child-safe pain medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Just remember to ask a physician about age-appropriate dosage when using OTC pain relievers. Another easy tip is to use a cold washcloth to gently massage the baby’s gums. Whatever solution you may try, remember to avoid using homeopathic remedies like teething tablets and gels. These products make use of ingredients that haven’t been properly tested and regulated. As noted by Williams Kherkher, these ingredients are so often powerful that, even when diluted, might leave you wondering why it can be safe to use for babies and children.

Medical Negligence vs Medical Practice: What’s The Difference?

We all put a great deal of trust and confidence in medical professionals. Whenever we need some treatment or medication, the very first person we will approach is a doctor or other medical professional. However, doctors are just humans and are prone to commit errors as well. According to the website of Abel Law Firm, negligence of a doctor and medical personnel can lead to serious injuries on your part.

In the medical field, doctors can commit either negligence or malpractice. While these two terms both refer to errors committed by one who is in the medical field, they are actually two different terms. Medical negligence refers to failure of the medical personnel to exercise reasonable care that a prudent person would have done in similar circumstances. On the other hand, malpractice refers to negligence by a licensed professional to provide services according to the standards set by the governing body.

Another element that can make medical negligence malpractice is “intent.” If the doctor has knowledge that he had to do something to treat the patient but did not do so with the knowledge that failure could result to injury or harm to the patient, then he can be liable for medical malpractice. Negligence, on the other hand, does not involve the element of intent. While the failure to treat in itself is negligence, it cannot be considered as malpractice since there was no intent to harm or they did not know that the patient might get harmed.

Medical negligence happens when a nurse accidentally leaves a sponge inside a surgical wound. There was no intention to harm the patient so it would be considered medical malpractice. Having a qualified attorney can help determine whether a doctor who made an error on your treatment committed medical malpractice or medical negligence.

Things You Didn’t Know About Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are some of the worst case scenarios that one could face while on the road. They are not as common as car accidents and this is no coincidence. While driving a car has practically become a requirement for most people who live in metropolitan areas, it is much more difficult to acquire a license that allows for you to drive a truck.

Yes, you need to be professionally licensed to drive an eighteen wheeler truck. A vehicle of that magnitude demands proper experience before a driver is allowed on road with it, what with civilian drivers and pedestrians to look out for as well. There are blind spots and ways to turn that a truck driver needs to be hyperaware of in order to be a responsible driver not just for themselves but also for the people around them. One wrong turn or one miscalculation could snowball effect into a giant mess of destruction and that really isn’t the way to go.

Another thing about truck accidents is that, as is according to the website of the lawyers with Williams Kherkher, a truck driver must submit to certain federal laws and requirements that are not applicable to other land vehicles. For example, a truck driver is only allowed to drive a truck for a total of fourteen hours, consecutively. From the same website, it can be found that it can approximately reach up to around 500,000 truck accidents that occur yearly within the United States of America alone.

The average cost of a truck accident can amount to around $60,000 in damages. Though every accident is different and there are always going to be different variables for all victims and survivors, one thing you can take away from this is that truck accidents are always extremely costly. It is never easy to deal with a truck accident but knowing your options and that you don’t have to be alone during such a dilemma can be a huge comfort.

Medical Professionals Misprescribing and Overprescribing Medication

Medical malpractice is over just doctors or medical professionals not upholding care’s conventional for their patients. There are various methods someone might get hurt as a result of a mistake. Even having detained diagnosis, misdiagnosing it, or failing to analyze a patients’ condition all can account as medical malpractice, particularly when the illness is lethal.

Individuals who have undergone such ordeals may report lawsuits contrary to even a healthcare facility and the physician for placing their lives in peril. Those who have experienced diagnosis that is inappropriate or late can undergo needless drug medications, operations, or solutions. This place them in more dangers, and can set a strain on their currently frail health. Not merely are they wearing about the physical psychological and emotional energy, they could not be soft on the budget as well.

Misprescribing and over -prescribing may also be an element of mistakes that are medical, and so they may be schedule for medical malpractice lawsuits. According to the website of the Houston NFL concussion lawsuit attorneys of The Mokaram Law Firm, the majority of miss and over prescription recommend mistakes are as a result of doctors misdiagnosing their clients authentic illnesses. Taking therapies or drugs designed for another kind of condition expose them to additional health difficulties and could make the patient sicker. Getting activity against errors that are such can help stop future individuals from enduring precisely the same fate, and also to get reimbursement for all your injuries that the individuals have sustained.

Over the collections of drug solutions that were needless, several clients have sued the makers of Zoloft. Pfizer, the anti-depression drug’s companies, happen to be offered a class action lawsuit for deceiving individuals and doctors about its effectiveness against depression while hiding potential Zoloft dangers. Arguments state that Zoloft is solely causing further side effects for clients battling with despair and performs no a lot better than a placebo.

Also, slight medical mistakes can have a large impact on the lives why it is crucial for medical professionals to offer the very best standard of treatment of patients, which is. Because they are those that handle the healthiness of their clients neglect, specifically about the medicine planet, might not be safe. Those individuals who have been responsible ought to be kept accountable for their steps.

Slip and Fall Accidents: Hazards in Public Places and Premises

Slipping and falling might sound like simple accidents, but they occur frequently enough to be a notable cause for concern. As the National Safety Council have found, accidents resulting from slips and falls are responsible for about 8.9 million emergency department visits every year. The most common victims of such accidents are people aged 55 and older. Even then, it’s important to note that slip and fall accidents can happen to anyone.

Slip and fall accidents can unfortunately happen in any place where there are hazards that people might easily miss. In some situations, they might event happen in places that people like to visit for leisure and recreation. Malls, restaurants, parks, and resorts could have hazards like slippery or wet floors, exposed wires, cracks on the floor or surface, uncovered pegs, and poor lighting along walkways that might cause injury to their patrons.

The most common type of injuries that result from slipping or falling include broken bones and fractures, torn muscles and ligaments, as well as more serious injuries to the back, neck, or head. In some situations, particularly for more elderly victims, these injuries could be severe enough to limit physical movement and capabilities.

Thankfully, these devastating outcomes can be easily avoided. For the public, it’s all about taking extra care when walking around their favorite places. Property and business owners should also do their part in mitigating the risks caused by certain hazards. One way to do that is by making sure hazards are taken care of before they can cause any damage. Keep floors dry and make sure there are signs that point attention to things like uneven flooring and exposed wires. There should also be adequate lighting in public premises. Similarly, property owners should also make sure that there are proper railings on stairs and walkways. If someone is hurt because of hazardous conditions on their property

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