Omaha Legal Issues Blog

How common are teen drunk driving crashes?

When a teenager begins to drive, it signifies a new era of independence in their life. They no longer need someone to drive them around -- they can get themselves to school, to work and to hang out with their friends. During the summer months especially, more teens in Nebraska are out and about on the streets as school is out and they are either entertaining themselves or running errands for family members.

For this reason, the number of car accidents involving teen drivers also increases in the summer. Identified as a vulnerable group, teens are more likely to become involved in an accident generally and specifically in the summer. When Omaha teens first begin to drive, they are more likely to make mistakes.

How millennials are changing marriage and divorce

More and more "millennials" are cohabiting before getting married to one another. In fact, cohabitation among millennials has gone up six-fold from the previous generation, contributing to a decline marriage and divorce rates. Living together has become the path to getting married, and many couples in Nebraska and across the nation are even buying houses together, demonstrating the economic stability they are seeking before marriage.

Millennials are changing the face of both marriage and divorce. Waiting longer to get married, many Omaha residents along with their counterparts across the country want to lower financial stress in the form of student debts before tying the knot. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the median age for fist marriages is at 27 for women and 29 for men. Not only are millennials trying to gain financial success before tying the knot, they are also trying to ensure they are marrying the right person.

What are the penalties for refusing a breath test in Nebraska?

It's a common sight for Omaha residents as they drive down highways and local streets -- a driver pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. When police officers approach a detained vehicle, they typically check for signs of impairment and in doing so, may ask the driver to take a breath test to determine the driver's blood alcohol concentration. The question that arises, then, is if drivers must submit to the test and what happens if they do not?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 20% of suspected drunk drivers refuse to take a breath test. This refusal, however, is penalized in various ways. Most states impose an automatic six or 12-month driving ban for refusing to take the test and these suspensions may increase based on the number of DUI convictions. It might even result in jail time, depending on the situation and background. If the driver is found guilty of a DUI, then the breath test refusal may carry enhanced penalties.

Agreeing on parenting plan for the child's benefit in a divorce

Even when a Nebraska couple's marriage comes to an end, their relationship with one another does not if they have children together. As potential co-parents, they must come up with a child custody and visitation plan that is in their child's best interests during the divorce. Since it is hard to accept the new reality of having their children live with them for only a portion of their time rather than full-time, child custody is perhaps one of the most contentious issues in a divorce.

As a result, parents are sometimes unable to come to an agreement on the parenting plan. As per law in Nebraska, a parenting plan must be provided to the court. The parenting plan must demonstrate each parent's conviction to provide for the child's needs and their desire to continue a relationship with their child. If the couple is unable to do so, they have to inform the court and the case is then referred to either mediation or specialized alternative dispute resolution.

Was I searched illegally?

Even if you’re not doing anything illegal, dealing with the police can be intimidating. There is an inherent power imbalance, and you may not know all your rights. During these encounters, we hope that police are honest and follow the rules, but that’s not always the case.

If your interaction with police escalates to the point where you’re searched, knowing what your rights are becomes even more complicated. If police find evidence of a crime and arrest you during a search conducted illegally, you may have ground to have the case thrown out.

Theft encompasses several crimes

While many Omaha residents may think the unauthorized taking of another person's property is theft, the truth is that methods used and amounts taken change the nature of the crime to larceny or grand theft. The term theft is often used to describe a myriad of crimes and this can be confusing to someone who is being charged for a crime related to taking someone else's property. It's important to understand the criminal charges one is facing to ensure one can defend themselves.

Theft is often the generic term used when one person intentionally takes the property of another without their consent or permission, with the purpose of using it for him or herself, including selling it. It requires the intent to deprive the person from their property permanently. These cases often hinge on intent. To prove theft or larceny, it must be shown that the accused acted with the intent to take and keep someone else's property. If one can show they thought the property was their own or that they mistakenly took it, the intent requirement can be challenged.

Common custody mistakes parents should avoid

Sharing custody of your child can be a very difficult transition. As such, parents can make mistakes regarding custody orders and parenting agreements. Whether these mistakes are intentional or accidental, they can create serious problems.

Below, we discuss a few of the more common mistakes parents make and why it is important to avoid them. 

Woman charged with drunk driving in accident causing 3 fatalities

Before and while operating a motorized vehicle, most Nebraska drivers follow safe practices. Among others, these practices include ensuring proper maintenance of the vehicle, checking that all occupants are wearing seat belts, and avoiding alcohol and drugs that may impair judgment. However, not all drivers cover all these bases all the time. Drunk driving, in particular, is still a problem, despite continual warnings in the media about the dangers of driving under the influence.

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Whelan Law Office
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Omaha, NE 68131

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