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Surviving Homelessness

Posted by njoachim305 on April 28, 2014 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (10)

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you ever found yourself in the position where you were without shelter? Many believe that it cannot happen to them, but I have met a number of individuals over the years, through no fault of their own, unable to find proper housing. One thing that we must realize that although society in general looks down on transients, God does not. In fact, a homeless person is in good company for even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was homeless during the final parts of his life here on earth. (Matthew 8:20 & Luke 9:58) Furthermore, I think of the several other men of faith who were instructed by YHWH God to forsake their homes in hopes of a better home, an eternal home. (Hebrews 11:8-10, 13-16, 24-27, 35b-40) For instance, Abraham was instructed by God to leave his home to live in tents in a country that he did not know. (Genesis 12:1) Lot was instructed to leave Sodom & Gomorrah before its destruction to go live in a cave. (Genesis 19:17) Lastly, I must remind you of Baruch, Jeremiah's Secretary, who was complaining about his lot in life during the Babylonian seige/ destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BCE. God actually said to him: “Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, YHWH, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 45:5)


In light of these examples, one may still wonder what they would do if they were ever in such a situation. With this in mind, I have decided to write this article. In the event that one would find themselves without shelter, or lacking in resources, the following list outlines some steps to take in order to alleviate the harshness of such a situation, namely:


  • If you have have family and friends available to help, then don't let pride get in the way of you speaking to them. 
  • If you are a member of a local congregation/church, contact them immediately in order to find out what type of assistance is available to their members and the community in general. (Acts 2:45, James 1:27)
  • Contact local agencies to find out more information on public assistance programs, such as: shelters/housing programs, cash aid, food stamps, WIC, and etc.
  • Contact non profit organizations to see if you qualify for assistance, a few examples: Homeless Voice in Miami Dade/ Broward County, Habitat for Humanity, and many more.
  • Obtain the following necessary essentials:
    • Bible (a source of encouragement)
    • Camping Tent/ Raincoat/ Warm clothes/ Sleeping bag (to weather the elements)
    • Access to public shower/lavatory ( In order to maintain hygein to some extent so as to avoid worsening affects of an illness. Also, in some cases maintaining proper hygiene can assist in a quicker recovery process as it will allow you to project a decent composure so as to attend job interviews.)
    • If possible, a bicycle as a means of transportation will save you a lot of unnecessary gas expense; furthermore, they can even be equipped with trailers that can be used for luggage carrying purposes or sleeping cots.
  • Try to work odd jobs here and there so as to provide for/supplement your nutritional and miscellaneous needs. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Examples of a few jobs that don't require too much of an investment:
    • Car Detailing Services
    • Handyman/Painting Services
    • Hair braiding Services

Please note that this list is not all encompassing; thus, please feel free contact us at 1-855-YAHWEH-7 Ext 2 for additional information, strategies, and assistance. Also don't forget to check out: www.HustlersAnonymous.org and www.GFNSProductions.org for more timely Bible relevant blogs on the topic of Survival of tactics of the Faithful.

Purchasing a New or Used Vehicle

Posted by njoachim305 on September 25, 2013 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (1)

There comes a time in everyones life where they must consider purchasing a new or used vehicle. There are several routes one may choose to take once they encounter this fork in the road. Some may avoid purchasing a vehicle all together and relying on the public transportation system to get around. Although this may have some monetary advantages considering the price of gas nowadays, it may be more difficult in some localities versus others. Also, another form of transportation which is relatively more cost efficient is the bicycle, and lately, more and more people are chosen to commute in this manner. These means aside, I will be focusing the remainder of this article with regard to those who choose to purchase a vehicle as I have just had the pleasure/trial of engaging in this process recently.

First of all, If I had to name the one word that is most important in this task, it would be: Research, Research, Research. Find out what type of car you are considering to buy. Check out Customer Reviews, KBB (Kelly Blue Book) Values, Edmund's True Market Value, and so on. Compare features, models, trims, brands, and etc. Once you have done all this, narrow down your search before you even get to the dealership. Once you find out what kind of car you want, get feedback from your friends/trusted advisors. (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; 20:18) After you've done all of this, keep a record of all the important information that you have found and take it with you on your car search for reference. In the event you are unsure about the information that you are getting from the salespeson, then you can refer to your notes for reference.


Next, visit several different dealerships. Don't allow yourself to be cornered into making a purchase the same day through intimidation by the sales person or finance department. Also, if what they are saying contradicts what you have discovered from your research, then it is a tell-tale sign that they are most likely not a trust worthy source to do business with. I've found some individuals will take advantage of the customers lack of knowledge in order to try to charge them higher interest rates or a sales price often times $1000 above MSRP (Manufactures Suggested Retail Price) or KBB. This in itself should not disuade one from purchasing from such a dealer, because some dealerships (CarMax for example) pride themselves on the quality of the cars they sell so it may be worth it to pay the extra money for peace of mind. However, in most cases you should avoid paying above the MSRP and should aim somewhere between the Invoice Price and the MSRP. Although dealerships are not required to disclose their invoice price, most will if you ask them kindly. 


Finally, the price has been set but now comes the hidden fees and taxes. In most cases, depending on where you live, taxes and fees can range between 9% and 13% of the sales price. That is why it is good to visit several dealerships in a region in order to get an idea of what type of percentage to expect with regard to taxes and fees. You can usually try to find an average that is not only fair for the dealer, but also for yourself because this is an area that many unwary customer have fallen victim.


At this point, if you have maneuvered through all of these hurdles and found a car that meets your needs, make sure it will be manageable in terms of your budget. It would be a good idea to come up with a ball park figure of the amount that you would like to pay and can afford prior to even starting your search. Although, this amount can be adjusted over the course of the search make sure that you are not overstretching your resources by purchasing an automobile that you aren't able to afford at the moment. 


Last but not least, pray over the matter and seek guidance from Our Heavenly Father Yahweh and His Son Jesus Christ. Because whether you are aware of it or not, they are keenly interested in even these most mundane matters in your life. (Matthew 6:26, 33) In all, I hope you've enjoyed this short article and please continue to visit us for timely advice with regard to your finances.


Protecting Yourself From Identity Thief

Posted by njoachim305 on March 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)
Article taken from Identity Shield by Legal Shield: Question 1. Do you review all of your account statements each and every month? Your credit card accounts are protected from fraudulent use under a federal law called the Fair Credit Billing Act. Your bank accounts are protected from fraudulent electronic transactions under a federal law called the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. Under these laws, if you notice a fraudulent transaction on your credit card or bank account, you should notify the financial institution immediately. If you spot fraudulent transactions and report them within two business days, your loss will be limited to $50, provided the transactions occurred less than 60 days prior. That is one of the main reasons why it is important to review your account statements each month; so that you will be able to report any suspected fraud in a timely manner and take advantage of the protective provisions granted to you under federal law. Question 2. Do you know what is on your credit report? Have you activated your credit monitoring and received your credit report? Under a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA; consumer reporting agencies defined by the FCRA shall, upon request by the consumer, provide a copy of his or her file once during any 12-month period free of charge. The best way to request your free annual credit report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion is to log on to www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Question 3. Have you received calls or collection letters for debts you've never heard of? In many cases, identity thieves will open new lines of credit and of course skip out on the bill. Eventually, the creditor may enlist the help of a debt collector to recover the funds. Once the debt collector finds your phone number or address, you will be contacted and informed it is your responsibility to pay the debt. Never pay a debt if it is related to identity theft. Consumers have little recourse if they agree to pay a debt that resulted from identity theft. If this has happened to you, call us for guidance. Consumer protection pertaining to debt collection is covered under a federal law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA. Question 4. Have you ever been denied the ability to file your tax return electronically? Employment fraud and tax fraud are often difficult to detect because they may not affect your personal credit. Someone may have used your personal information, including your Social Security number, to obtain employment, or used your personal information to file a tax return with the IRS to collect a refund. The best way to uncover possible employment fraud is to review your annual Earnings Statement from the Social Security Administration. For tax-related identity theft issues, the IRS has an Identity Theft Affidavit (Form 14039) released in April 2009. If you have previously been in contact with the IRS and have not achieved a resolution, you may call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free at 1-800-908-4490. Question 5. Have your credit card interest rates risen sharply for unknown reasons? Periodically, creditors will conduct account review inquiries into credit files with the three national consumer reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). These types of inquiries are called "soft inquiries" and will NOT lower your credit score or affect your personal credit worthiness. However, if your credit reports have been affected by identity theft, your legitimate creditors may not know you are a victim and assume you are a credit risk. In such a case, your legitimate creditor may raise your interest rate on a revolving line of credit. Question 6. Do you research companies through the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission before starting a new business relationship? Many fraud scams could be avoided each year with a little research. Whether searching for a new mortgage company or a new employer, the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission are great places to start your research. Question 7. Have you posted any sensitive personal or financial information to a social networking website? Even if you haven't posted sensitive information on your personal social networking profile, it's always a good idea to remain cautious. Many online communities are accessible to the general public. Be wary of posting pictures or information that would make it easy for someone to find out who you are and where you live. Question 8. Has your personal or financial information ever been lost or stolen with a wallet or purse? If your wallet or purse has been lost or stolen, the first step is to contact your creditors and financial institutions to cancel your credit and debit cards, or to put a stop payment on any checks that may have also been stolen. Quick notification to the organizations you do business with is key. To make these notifications easier, create a list of everything you carry in your wallet or purse along with any customer service phone numbers, and keep the list in a secure location. Many people tend to overlook a movie rental card or even a library card - both of which can be used to perpetrate identity theft. Question 9. Do you have a secure place to store sensitive personal and financial information at home? Sadly, many identity theft crimes are perpetrated by individuals close to the victim. In other words, the victim personally knows the individual who stole their identity. There is usually an excess amount of personal and financial information in our homes. Establish a secure location to store this kind of sensitive information. Question 10. Do you know where to turn if you think you may be at risk for identity theft, or if you suspect you may already be a victim? If you notice ANYTHING that may lead you to believe you are at risk of identity theft, or you suspect you may already be a victim, do not hesitate to call us toll-free at 888-494-8519.

Copyright Issues when using music in videos

Posted by njoachim305 on February 21, 2012 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I just learned this, so I just wanted to share it with you all. This article was taken from the website: www.School-Video-News.com. The article is titled, "Copyright issues when using music in videos". 

 

Welcome to the digital age!

 

 

Do you remember many years ago when trying to produce a video for your school took several thousand dollars worth of elaborate and bulky video equipment to make it happen? Now here we are in 2008, and with a very inexpensive digital video camera and some free software, you, yes even you can produce, publish and broadcast your video around the world – how exciting! And yet, how scary.

I’ve attended many conferences and workshops where attendees learn to use the latest and greatest technology and are encouraged to incorporate their favorite songs in videos to make their production more captivating. After all, every great video needs music, and any that do not use audio for enhancement lack in professional quality.

 

And this is the scary part – when a teacher or student uses a chosen piece of popular music in his or her video. In some cases based on hear-say, we as educators instruct them to use only 30 seconds or less of copyrighted music material so as not to infringe on copyright, and this is an issue.

 

What are the problems?

 

#1. Background music is not viewed as educational use.

 

Just because you’re producing a video at your school does not mean that the copyrighted music content is for educational purposes. It is ancillary. In following the Fair Use Guidelines, music that is applicable to education would be that which is directly related to your course content. For example, if you are studying classical music and want to use Mozart’s “Sonata in A Major” as an example for your students, then this is considered educational use. Or, if you’re studying the politics of the 60’s, and want to share how rock music reflected the times through poetry, then you may use a portion of the Beatles “Revolution” to educate your students. Both of these examples demonstrate educational and relevant uses of music. (The key word here is “relevant”).

 

#2. Posting a video to a network or public website which incorporates copyrighted music for which you do not have written permission to use is a violation.

 

Simply put, when using copyrighted music for the educational purposes stated above, it should be done on a secured network. Once you publish the video on your school website or some other public video site or unsecured network, a copyright infringement has occurred.

 

#3. Legally purchased music is for personal and home use.

 

You may hear an argument from your teachers and students that they did not illegally download the music but purchased the music legally from i-Tunes or some other legal music e-tailer, and, should be able to use in their school-produced video.

 

Actually, their legal music purchase is for personal and home use, and an entirely new set of rules apply for education, such as those stated in the above paragraphs.

 

What are the solutions?

 

a) Make your students and staff aware of the potential infringements. Most teachers and students use music in their video and then publish or use in it in a public setting while thinking they’ve done nothing wrong. But, their lack of knowledge about the laws does not make them immune.

 

b) Request permission. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll get the written permission you need, but go to the copyright holder(s) or publishers of the music to request written permission to use, especially if you think the song in question is that necessary for your production.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t base your permission on that given by the artist or composer unless they are the sole owner of the copyrighted music. (Crediting the artist does you no good). You can almost bet that any popular piece of music is not owned by the artist but possibly by many, such as producers, publishers, attorneys and many others. This can be a problem, because you need permission from all parties.

 

c) Purchase a royalty free music library. This is a great insurance policy for your site and system, ensuring compliance and demonstrating due diligence. Also, royalty free music is way “cooler” than it used to be, and many students and teachers can find the music of their choice which best suits their video content.

 

Not all royalty free music libraries license specifically for K-12 and university use, so be sure to check their licensing closely. For use in education, you should make sure the royalty free music library allows for:

 

• Synchronization with film and video

• Broadcast and podcast rights

• Rights to duplicate and sell videos within the educational environment

• Continued use for student portfolios. In this, a student can produce a video project and remain the sole owner for repeated use. If they ever want to use the project to promote their experience, further their education, or even to start a career, they should be able to do so according to the proper music license.

 

Many may say that there have been no copyright lawsuits against schools or districts for this type of use. Contrary to popular belief, there have been lawsuits, but they do get settled out of court. Regardless of the possibility of “getting away with it,” it is our responsibility to teach students legal and ethical practices when using technology in this digital age. And, as students begin to create their own works, they will understand the importance of ownership, especially as they seek credit and payment for their own creations. If we fail to teach this now, then we have done them a disservice.

 

Barry S. Britt is a creative and executive producer of music for film and video. As an ASCAP member, he had been educating educators on digital copyright awareness since 1996.


How To Fight a Traffic Ticket...

Posted by njoachim305 on January 27, 2012 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The article below comes from the website: wikihow.com, titled: "How to fight a traffic ticket."


One minute you’re cruising down the highway making record time on your commute, and the next you’re pulled over on the side of the road with the flashing lights of a police cruiser in your rear view mirror.


Since you are innocent until proven guilty, here is how you can try to beat that ticket!


1. Be polite and cooperative when you get pulled over. Being belligerent or indignant may make you feel better but it might cost you more. By being polite and cooperative, the officer may just write your ticket for a less costly offense instead of what was actually committed and with luck, you might just get a warning! On the other hand, if you are nasty or curt, the officer may note this and the prosecutors will be less likely to cut you a deal if this went to court.


2. Avoid admissions of guilt and never make excuses or create outlandish stories.

When you are asked if you know why you were pulled over, just respond with a simple and polite, "No officer, I do not,".

Keep in mind that honesty is the best policy especially when you prefer to get off with merely a warning.

On the otherhand, if you do get you the ticket, and decide to contest it, remember that any admissions you make now, can be used against you later.


3. Follow one of the two theories regarding how you question the officer.

 

Adopt the 'low-profile' technique. Ask the officer if you can handle the ticket by mail. The officer will immediately see you as a low probability to go to court and may take fewer notes. When you do challenge the ticket, the officer's sparse notes will make him want to skip the hearing. Even if he does come to the hearing, his sparse notes and memory will help the judge decide in your favor. Questioning the officer on the other hand will cause him to write voluminous notes on the traffic stop.

Alternatively, question the officer more directly, as you are handed the ticket, about how the offense was detected and verified. In the case of a speeding ticket, find out where they were positioned when they clocked you and what type of speed measurement device, was used and if it was radar, laser or Accutrac. Gather as many specifics as possible, including the serial number of the device. If, however the officer estimated your speed by following you, then find out what the location was when he began to follow you. Make sure you write down the patrol car's license plate number and his badge number. If you were cited for an offense other than speeding, make sure you understand exactly why you were pulled over, especially if you were cited for something that could not have been easily seen. Do note that the officer does not have to actually give this information releated to the device used at the time of stop. You can request this information by filing a motion of Discovery, and then you will get that information.


4. Check your ticket for accuracy by reviewing it immediately upon receipt. There are two considerations here:

 

If there are inaccuracies that may hurt your case (i.e. if the officer notes on the ticket that you crossed two lanes of traffic when you only crossed one, or if he says traffic was heavy when in fact it was light), ask him immediately to correct them. Be very polite when requesting changes to your ticket. However if you find that the officer is not accommodating, do not argue but record the actual circumstances in your mind, and after he leaves, jot it down.

On the other hand,if there are inaccuracies that may help your case or get the ticket dismissed, such as the wrong license plate number, the wrong street, etc., you do not want to call attention to them.


5. Begin preparing your defense immediately, once the police officer has given you your ticket and left the scene.

Record relevant details, such as traffic and road conditions, weather, time of day, and any extenuating circumstances.

If you have a camera or cell phone camera take pictures - especially if your defense depends on something like an obscured speed limit sign or a huge pothole that you had to swerve to miss.

The best witness you could ever have is a dash-cam recorder. It records video in front, to the sides and rear of your car. It also records audio in your car's interior, speed, location and other driving info. It can show: red-light, full stop, traffic flow, etc.

Go to the officer’s original position (whether stationary or moving) and check for any obstructions that might have caused them to have a poor view of the alleged offense or that might have caused the radar to malfunction.

Make a diagram of the road showing where the officer was positioned, which direction you were traveling, where you eventually stopped, and other important details.


6. Read the fine print on the ticket after you get home, as there is useful information on there that might help you. Make sure you understand all of it, as it will give you instructions on how to proceed to the next step.


7. Decide whether to fight the ticket by the circumstances involved, and the information on the ticket. Weigh the costs and benefits of contesting the citation.

 

Find out exactly what offense you are charged with by looking at the code number on the ticket.

 

Find out what the cost of conviction will be, including the fine, jail or community service, mandatory diversion programs, and increased insurance rates.


8. Calculate the cost of fighting the ticket and weigh it against the chances of getting it dismissed or reduced to a lower charge.


9. Decide whether you will need a lawyer.

Find out whether or not the jurisdiction where you received the ticket or were involved in an accident will allow you to have a lawyer for a hearing on a traffic ticket that cannot lead to a criminal conviction for either driver (criminal convictions are for DUI, felony hit and run, etc.) This information will be on the ticket.

If you plan a civil suit against the other driver in an accident, your attorney can come to court to observe the hearing on the ticket, but may not be involved in the hearing.


10. For most minor traffic violations, it might not be cost effective to retain an attorney.

Some exceptions include a ticket you received while far from home—an attorney can handle your case without you having to travel to court—or a ticket issued by photo enforcement (in many jurisdictions, if you’re not in the court room, there is no way to prove that you were the driver, and the case will be dismissed).

You should, however, hire an attorney for more serious infractions, such as DUIs.


11. Request a trial. Your ticket may include a court date, or you may need to request a trial.

For most minor violations, your ticket will also give you the option to pay the fine.

In almost all jurisdictions, paying the fine is an admission of guilt, so do not remit payment. Instead, follow the required steps to get your day in court.


12. Get as much information as you can.

Well before your court date, send a written request for discovery.

Discovery is the legal notion that you are entitled to see all the evidence against you and other relevant information that the prosecutor may have that can help or hurt your case. The prosecutor’s office must provide this information if you request it.

In some jurisdictions, you may need to file a motion for discovery for the judge to consider. In addition, you may be able to file a public records request for relevant information.

Some things you’ll want to specifically request (and you generally must make specific requests) include the officer’s copy of the ticket, maintenance and calibration records for any speed monitoring or breathalyzer device that was used by the officer to charge you, and the officer’s training records and certifications.

The exact nature of your case and your plan of defense will dictate the exact information you need to get.


13. Try to cut a deal.

In many places, you can request a pretrial conference with the prosecutor. This is an opportunity to plead to a lower charge or get a reduction in points or fines before you go to court.

Sometimes you can make an appointment for sometime before the court date, while sometimes you can only meet with the prosecutor right before your hearing.

Always consider any deal thoroughly, and make sure you understand the implications on both your driving history and your insurance costs.


14. Consider traffic school. Many jurisdictions offer an option to attend traffic school. In return, your charges will be dismissed or reduced. Explore this option by researching the law in your state. If you find that traffic school is a good option, request it from the prosecutor or judge. In California commercial drivers may not take traffic school.


15. Request a continuation of your hearing.

In most jurisdictions, the police officer who gave you the ticket must show up for the court hearing.

If he or she fails to show, your case will be dismissed. Many times officers will schedule many court hearings on a certain day so that they can appear for all of them at once.

If you request a continuation (a change of date) you increase the odds that the officer won’t show up.

You usually need to do this in writing, and typically you will need to make your request several days in advance of the scheduled hearing.

You might see about choosing a court date that is closer to the holidays - this might increase the odds of your officer being out on vacation.


16. Plan your defense.

Once you’ve decided to go to court, make sure you know how you will argue your case.

If there is a particularly egregious error on your ticket, you may be able to rest your defense on that, but minor discrepancies (such as the color of your car) won’t help you out.

If your defense is based upon extenuating circumstances, make sure they are sufficient to warrant a dismissal. The judge will not be particularly impressed by “I was running late to work,” for example.

Make an outline of your points, and make sure your evidence is well-organized.


17. Go to court and plead not guilty. Show up to your hearing looking clean and professional.

If you have not yet had the opportunity to speak to the prosecutor, now is a good time to do so. Unless you are offered a satisfactory deal, plead “not guilty.” A plea of “no contest” or “guilty with explanation” will do you no good.

Remember, just showing up to court may result in a dismissal if the police officer doesn’t also show up.

 

In Broward County, Florida, and perhaps in other places, if the officer does show up, change your plea to “no contest”; in most cases you will only pay court costs, with no points on your license and no traffic school necessary. There are many law firms in the area that will handle this for you for a reasonable fee, saving you the time and lost wages of going to court.


18. Use facts to present your case to the judge without admitting guilt.

"I was only doing 57 in a 55" is an admission of guilt. "I was traveling at a safe speed for the conditions" does not admit guilt.

Politely and clearly explain your defense, entering evidence as necessary.

In some cases (for example, a malfunctioning stoplight or an obscured speed limit sign) you may be able to admit guilt without harming your case.

Many conservative municipalities, however, maintain a master copy of all traffic laws, speed limits, and zone descriptions in a set of books at a courthouse or town hall. Sometimes these municipalities will not take your (legitimate) ignorance of the law as an excuse.


19. Make mental or handwritten notes of the decisions of the judge. Many courtrooms do not record conversations for traffic proceedings where criminal penalties are not reasonable. There can be ambiguity in how the judge declares your guilt or innocence and any penalties you might face. Make sure the Clerk or Collections department has information that matched what the judge decided.


20. Follow through with all the court’s requirements. Many times the judge will allow you to pay a fine without incurring the points on your license, or he or she will allow you to enter a diversion program. These arrangements and others can only benefit you if you follow through and complete the requirements in a timely manner. If you don’t, you will most likely be convicted of your original offense, and other charges may follow.


21. Request a copy of your motor vehicle record (MVR) from the state department of motor vehicles. Occasionally, clerical errors result in a dismissed ticket appearing on your MVR as a conviction. These can be difficult to clear up quickly (for example, when your insurer notices and raises your premiums), so it’s best to make sure your record is accurate. Telephone the court building and ask to speak to the Clerk's Office, or speak to someone who can verify that your case is paid, dismissed, postponed, etc.


Tips

 

The easiest way to beat a ticket is to Avoid a Traffic Ticket in the first place.

Help the officer relax. Traffic stops are the most unpredictable and dangerous part of normal police work, and officers are trained to approach vehicles with extreme caution. Always keep your hands in sight, preferably on top of the steering wheel. If you're stopped at night, immediately turn on your interior lights. Have your license, registration and proof of insurance handy before the officer comes up, or wait until he comes up and then tell him you need to open your glove compartment or purse. Use respectful language, like "Yes, sir" and "No, sir."

Consider recording the conversation during the traffic stop. An audio recording of your interaction with the officer can help you avoid a “he said/she said” situation in court — an argument you will almost certainly lose. Some states require that all parties be notified that they are being recorded, while others do not. Check the external links for more detailed, state-by-state information, and make sure you know the law in your jurisdiction before you record anyone without their consent.

If the officer relies on radar, ask to see the display of your speed on his radar unit. Often the officer has either cleared the result from his display or is fudging. This won’t lead to a dismissal by itself - and in some jurisdictions the officer isn’t required to show you the display - but discrepancies or lack of evidence may help as part of your defense.

Start preparing your defense immediately. It can take time to get necessary information from police departments and prosecutors, so make sure you request this information well in advance of your hearing date. You’ll also need to be proactive throughout the process to keep on top of court deadlines and to ensure you have the most complete defense possible.

If possible, try to delay your court hearing as much as possible. The longer the time between the ticket was issued and the trial the more the chance that the officer will forget details about your particular case. For example, if there were any trucks around, or if you had to swerve to avoid an accident.

Often simply showing up in court to fight the ticket is enough because many times, especially in big cities, there is a high probability that the officer won't show up. If the officer won't show up, then the case is usually dismissed.

In big cities or counties where the turn out for court is usually large, the judge may offer to reduce the charge to a lesser offense (reducing points on your driving record) or to a county ordinance (no points on your record).

Remember the sixth amendment guarantees you a speedy and public trial. For example, in California, a speedy trial is defined as 45 days from the time of the infraction. In many jurisdictions you must go to the courthouse in person to get a court date. During this process you will have to fill out several documents. If your local court system is a backed up, then among those legal documents you are asked to sign, will be one in which you waive your right to a speedy trial. Do not sign that document. You cannot be legally forced to waive this right. What this means is that if the court system cannot fit you in, within those 45 days, (times for your state may vary) then your case must be dismissed.

In some states (including California) you are entitled to a trial by mail. This is the best option for beating your ticket. You submit your claim as to why you are innocent in a letter, and the officer must do the same. While officers will often show up for court because it is an overtime opportunity, trial by mail is pure paperwork, and they will often not bother to submit their side of the story. When this happens, you win by default. Should you lose by mail, you have lost nothing: you can still request an in-person trial (as if your mail verdict never happened), request traffic school, or pay your fine.

Your entire case can rest on your attitude, be on your best behavior inside and outside of the courthouse. Always show respect for the court and the proceedings. Win or lose, it is always best to thank the judge. You never know if you will have to appear in front of them again.

Most radar guns need to be recalibrated every 30-60 days, and due to ignorance, lack of funding, or laziness, they rarely are. One solid arguement for your case is to prove that the measurment device is faulty. In some states the officer must check the calibration after issuing the ticket - usually by using two tuning forks held in front of the radar, which vibrate at the frequencies for 35 mph and 55 mph. Verify whether this was done and documented.

Examine what policies, guidelines, and standards your local transportation authority uses in the design and operation of its infrastructure. "A Policy On Geometric Design of Highways and Streets", also known as the "Green Book", is published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, provides the source for most state agencies in the design of their roadways. Similarly, the "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices", published by the Federal Highway Administration, often serves as the foundation for most states in determining their policies and standards on such traffic control devices as signs, markings, and signals. Much of time, especially on municipal and county roads, traffic control devices do not meet the requirements set forth within the MUTCD and related violations are therefore susceptible to being dismissed from court. The MUTCD is available at no-charge online (see external links).


Warnings

 

The advice in this article is mostly for Americans in the United States. For example in many places in the world it is acceptable to offer cash to the police! Different countries (and states in the USA) have very different ways of dealing with things and, of course, different legal systems.

This article is not legal advice and is not intended to substitute for the advice of a lawyer or your own research. Laws and legal processes differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and you must familiarize yourself with those in your jurisdiction.

Don’t ignore a ticket. You must show up for court if your ticket instructs you to. If your ticket gives you the option to go to court or pay the fine, you must do one or the other. If you wish to pay the fine, be sure to do so by the due date

Don’t be belligerent either to the police officer or in court. Belligerence can never help your case, and can frequently hurt your chances of a good deal or a dismissal.

Always make sure you know the implications of proving your defense. Sometimes a defense that seems effective does nothing more than prove your guilt. For example, if you say you were simply traveling at the speed of other traffic, you may prove that you were breaking the speed limit.

The best possible way to avoid a traffic ticket is to try to avoid getting one. This saves you time,money and from a lot of stress.

Starting Your Own Business

Posted by njoachim305 on January 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

In today's economy, job security is at an all time low. Many families struggle to provide their day to day needs, living paycheck to paycheck. Although it is not a solution to everything, have you considered starting your own business. Proverbs says, "Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself, but the inexperienced have passed along and must suffer the penalty." (Proverbs 22:3) Are you prepared in the event of a sudden job loss? A good back up plan is to consider starting your own business. Please note, I am not recommending that anyone quit their job in order to start their own business; but rather, be prepared in the event that your company turns sour. In my past, I have been foolish enough to quit my job without fully making sure that my business was self sustaining and I suffered greatly for that false step. Yet, I learned a valuable lesson and you can learn from it too. First, consider what skills could be used to provide some special service in your community. You can start off by using those skills to benefit friends and family, and in the long run: they may refer you to others. Everyone has something that they do uniquely well, so I encourage you to look within yourself and figure out what that is. Pray about it, and you may be surprised at what you find.


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