How do I file a medical malpractice claim?

Personal Injury Attorney

As a medical malpractice law firm, our lawyers would agree that these cases are some of the most challenging personal injury claims. This is often due to the defendants involved, and other complications. In general, if you think a medical professionals’ error caused you to be injured, you should ask a FL medical malpractice lawyer to review your case. 

Although cases like these do take time, dedication, and attention, with the right medical malpractice lawyer on your side, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. 

How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim

If you or a loved one has been injured by a doctor, nurse, technician, or any other medical professional, it may be possible to pursue compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim. Proceeding with this process might feel confusing, especially if you have never tried to navigate the legal system. That being said, these are not the types of cases you want to undertake without a medical malpractice lawyer. 

Medical malpractice claims should be filed by the injured victim or a family member. If you don’t know whether you have a claim, you can ask a medical malpractice lawyer. If a lawyer is interested, he or she will likely review your case to see whether or not another medical professional, of a similar, or the same, profession, would have provided the same treatment had they been in the same circumstance. If they would not have, compensation may be available. To know the answer to this important question, a good medical malpractice lawyer will likely call upon various medical professionals and expert witnesses. 

Understanding What Happened

Prior to pursuing a claim, it may help to have an understanding of what happened. It is possible to discuss the error with the doctor, or medical professional, in an attempt to get them to address and correct the issue. Whether or not this would be possible will largely depend on what happened, and you might not want to pursue this without talking with a medical malpractice lawyer. 

Contact Your State’s Medical Board

It may be a good idea to report what happened with the Medical Board in your state. Although they won’t help you with the legal side of things, or to recover compensation, they may do their own investigation. Depending on their findings, the at-fault party could be fined, or disciplinary actions may be taken. 

Statute of Limitations

Regardless of where the malpractice occurred, there will be a statute of limitations. This means that a time limit will exist, and if you do not file a claim by this time limit, your case may be thrown out. Although a statute of limitations may be, for example, 2 years from the date you discovered, or should have known, about the injury, there may be mitigating circumstances that could affect the deadline. Only a medical malpractice lawyer can tell you what the applicable statute is. 

Get a Third Party Evaluation 

As a medical malpractice lawyer, we will likely ask you to have a medical exam by a third party. This doctor can assess your injuries and help to determine whether or not malpractice contributed to them. 

Call a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

You don’t have to carry out the above before consulting a lawyer. This can, and should be, the first thing you do. By making this decision, you can leave the complicated tasks to the lawyer while you focus on recovering. 

 


 

Thank you to our friends at David & Philpot, P.L. for information on medical malpractice.

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How do I pay for medical costs before the case is complete?

If you have been injured in a car accident, a mishap at work or a fall at a business, you’re likely worried about how you’ll pay the mounting pile of medical bills you have incurred for your necessary health care. After a car accident, for example, the first thing experts advise is for you to seek medical attention, because the adrenaline of being involved in a crash may mask even serious injuries. But then the bills start rolling in. If you were transported to the hospital by an ambulance, you’ll have a bill for that service, followed by bills from the emergency room, bills for X-rays taken to ensure you didn’t suffer broken bones and bills for a hospital stay if your injuries were serious. If you are among those in the United States without health insurance or you have not yet been able to return to work because of your injuries, panic is likely quickly setting in.

Should you accept an insurance company’s offer?

If someone else was negligent in the accident and responsible for your medical bills, your period of recovery is the time that their insurance company will most likely try to take advantage of your vulnerability – and concerns over your credit scores – by making you an offer to settle your case. It’s important not to accept that offer, however, because you have no way of knowing what’s to come in terms of your health care needs.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Delray Beach, FL at this point is vital because he or she will be better able to get you a settlement that will cover current and future medical bills as well as pain and suffering. On your own, you won’t be able to make that happen.

What happens to those bills?

If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will keep track of your medical bills throughout your recovery process so he or she can ask for damages that cover the entirety of your expenses.

Your insurance company may initially cover the bulk of your bills, and your attorney may help you seek financing for the remainder while you wait for your personal injury case to be settled, but you will have to pay back both after your personal injury case is successfully completed.

Don’t let bills pile up

While it may be tempting to put your medical bills on hold while you wait for your personal injury case to be settled, this is not the best course of action for your financial future. It may take years for your case to be settled, and in that time period, your unpaid bills can be forwarded to a collection agency, which will have a negative impact on your credit rating.

To protect yourself – and your credit score – your best course of action is to contact your health care providers and let them know how you incurred your medical bills and the steps that are being taken in order for them to be compensated.

In some cases, your medical billing departments may be willing to put your bills on hold or allow you to make small monthly payments until your case is settled.

Thanks to Luckman Law for their insight into personal injury claims and how to pay for medical bills.

 

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How does pregnancy impact a car accident claim?

Car Accident Lawyer

Annually, thousands of women in the United States are involved in car accidents while pregnant.

In San Bernardino, Calif., in 2017, a pregnant mother of two lost her husband and her unborn baby after a crash involving a drunk driver who had previously been arrested twice for driving under the influence. Barbara Velasco, who was 7 months pregnant, lost not only her unborn baby, but also her family’s primary wage earner.

It is situations such as hers that can escalate a car accident claim, adding to the potential pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages that are already part of a catastrophic accident claim.

Statistics for fetal car accident deaths

Many women struggle to conceive, going through painful procedures to become a mom. In a car accident, all that effort, all the money spent of invitro fertilization or Others, however, some after struggling to conceive, lose their babies due to injuries associated with the accident.

According to Canadian research, women who are in their second trimester are more likely to suffer complications with their pregnancies as a result of a car accident, including premature labor, a common complication associated with car accidents.

Placental disruption, in which the placenta is separated from the wall of the uterus, cutting off nutrients from mom to baby, is one of the biggest risk factors.

Defendants can be held liable for a variety of different expenses including pain and suffering if a pregnancy is terminated as a result of a car accident.

In a situation where a mother loses her pregnancy as a result of a car accident, she is entitled to: 

  • Pain and suffering due to depression and potential post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings or income capacity
  • Property damages

What should you do if you are in a car accident while pregnant?

Because there can be numerous complications associated with pregnancy and car accidents, calling 911 should be the first order of business, even if you feel fine in the wake of the crash.

With medical intervention, it is impossible to determine whether or not you’ve suffered any injuries, including injuries that could be life-threatening to the baby.

Reasons to be especially concerned include

  • Unconsciousness 
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pain in the pelvic area or stomach
  • Umbilical cord prolapse

If you choose not to visit the emergency room, call your obstetrician, instead.

Your doctor can tell you what symptoms to watch for, including changing in your baby’s movements, spotting, headaches or swelling of the face or fingers, pain, fever, vomiting, dizziness and vaginal discharge.

After an accident, a pregnancy is considered high-risk, meaning that there is a bigger chance that there may be complications before, during or after birth.

Contact an attorney

Because an insurance company can potentially claim that a pregnancy could be considered a pre-existing condition in a car accident, it is important to have an experienced car accident lawyer in Delray Beach, FL who can help you navigate what can be particularly difficult territory.

The right lawyer can make even the most painful claims easier to manage, because he or she can manage the paperwork while you focus on healing. 

 


 

Thanks to The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims and how pregnancy can affect a car accident claim.

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What Should I Do If I Am Stopped for a DUI?

Drunk Driving Lawyer

It can happen to even the most responsible of people: you go to an event, out to dinner, a pool party, and without realizing it, you have consumed over the legal limit. This is all well and good for people who are of age, but when you get behind the wheel and drive, you put yourself at risk of being pulled over and possibly charged with a DUI. No upstanding citizen of the community wants to experience this process, especially considering a DUI could impact your reputation, your ability to retain your drivers’ license, employment, and may even show up on a background check. Here are some things that you should know if you are stopped for suspicion of DUI:

Do Not Submit to Sobriety Tests

If you have been pulled over, you may naturally want to comply with all directions given to you by law enforcement. However, a common misconception is that you have to.  In fact, you don’t. If you are asked to endure a field sobriety test, you may want to decline. Unless you have had nothing to drink, it’s best not to allow a field sobriety test to occur. Field sobriety testing can be difficult even for a completely sober person, so it’s best to avoid these tests altogether.  The same goes for a breath test. Although there will likely be collateral consequences to declining a breath test, including potential suspension of your license, or having an interlock device installed in your car, declining a chemical test gives the police and prosecutor very little evidence to use against you in court. Know your rights! By declining all sobriety tests, it may be more challenging for you to be convicted of a DUI down the road. 

Be Careful in Answering Questions

It’s important that you refrain from answering questions being asked of you by law enforcement. It’s likely that the questions they are asking are strategic in order to gather information to help prove that you are intoxicated. Do not answer any questions unless you absolutely have to, they could further incriminate you. 

Know Your Limit

It’s not uncommon for a person to believe that they are not too impaired to drive. Unfortunately, this is a primary reason why so many people are pulled over for driving under the influence. It’s important before the night begins to have a clear plan of whether or not you will be drinking and how you will be getting home. There are always a number of alternatives to drinking and driving. Across the country, anything above a BAC of .08%, could result in a DUI as at this point you are considered legally impaired. A variety of factors come into play such as your weight, age, how much you’ve eaten, how fast you consumed the alcohol and the type of alcohol you’ve consumed. Knowing what you can reasonably drink while you are out somewhere is key to avoiding a DUI. To put the legal limit into perspective, a 200 pound man who has consumed 4 drinks, will have a BAC of .08% and will be considered legally impaired. Before you drink, have an alternative plan to avoid a DUI, designate another person to driver, or refrain from drinking altogether.  Using a lift-share, such as Uber or Lyft, or even a good old fashioned taxi, is much less expensive than getting a DUI. You may end up with attorney’s fees, court costs, treatment programs costs, probation costs, interlock costs, etc.  

Contact a DUI Lawyer

Whether you believe that you were falsely charged, or did in fact get behind the wheel while under the influence, you will need to retain the services of an experienced DUI lawyer. They can help you to not only understand the legal process that lies ahead, but ensure that your rights are protected and help mitigate the consequences that you may be facing. Don’t put yourself at risk for obtaining more substantial consequences than you should, contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Harford, MD as soon as possible for the guidance and defense that you need. 

 


 

Thanks to Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into criminal law and what to do if stopped for a DUI.

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Answers to Common Questions About Equitable Distribution

If you are in the process of divorce or considering the possibility, you may wonder if the assets and property you hold in common with your spouse will be divided evenly between the two of you. More often than not, the answer is no. Most states have laws that divide marital property in a divorce according to a principle of equitable distribution.

How Does Equitable Distribution Work?

Inequitable distribution, rather than a 50-50 split of the marital property between each spouse, the court looks at the financial situation of each spouse and tries to divide assets according to a principle of fairness that will put each spouse on a more or less equal footing financially.

Which States Do Not Have Equitable Distribution Laws?

Of the 50 states, only nine do not divide marital property according to the principle of equitable distribution: Wisconsin, Nevada, Louisiana, New Mexico, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, and Washington. In these states, common law applies, which means that marital property is divided evenly between divorcing spouses with no consideration given to individual circumstances.

When Do Equitable Distribution Laws Apply?

If you and your spouse are able to negotiate your own property division agreement, and you both agree that it is fair, there is no need to concern yourselves with the principle of equitable distribution. If, on the other hand, you and your spouse are unable to come to a property division agreement, the court will intervene and apply the laws of equitable distribution to ensure a fair split.

Does the Law Consider Domestic Violence, Addiction, or Adultery as Factors?

Generally speaking, no. Usually, factors such as these are only considered if they had a negative impact on your shared finances. For example, if your spouse ran up a huge debt due to a gambling addiction or committed fraud by hiding marital assets, the court would be more likely to take those factors into consideration when determining equitable distribution.

What Factors Does the Law Take Into Consideration?

There are many factors that go into the determination of equitable distribution. Here are a few examples of the factors that the court may take into consideration as they relate to each spouse:

  • Existing pre- or postnuptial agreements
  • Future financial needs and earning potential
  • Contributions to marital property
  • Age and overall health condition
  • Liquidity of marital property

In some ways, a 50-50 split may be easier, but it is unlikely to yield much satisfaction in either spouse. The fact that most states have adopted the principle of equitable distribution speaks to how much fairer it is. If you have questions regarding property division, attorneys can provide personalized answers based on the particulars of your specific case. Contact family lawyers in Bloomington, Illinois to arrange a consultation.

 

Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into family law and equitable distribution.

 

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What Happens If I’m in an Uber or Lyft Accident?

Uber and Lyft Accidents

In the earliest days of the ridesharing services Uber and Lyft, neither company was quick to take responsibility for accidents, and it took a lawsuit for Uber to cover the first lawsuit associated with the company.

In 2014, shortly after the birth of Uber, a young girl was struck and killed by an Uber driver, although Uber initially refused to pay the claim, saying the driver was an independent contractor and off the clock, so his own insurance would have to be held liable.

Eventually, the case went to court and in the wake of the fallout, Uber – and other ridesharing companies such as Lyft – were forced to rewrite their insurance policies to cover such liability.

Insurance for ridesharing drivers is structured. Drivers use their own coverage when they are not at work, they merge their own coverage the ridesharing company’s contingency liability coverage – as much as $50,000 per injury and $25,000 for property damage – when apps are open but there are no fares accepted. While working, drivers are covered under the ridesharing services insurance. Both Uber and Lyft use James River Insurance Company, which offers $1 million in excess liability coverage on top of the insurance drivers are required to carry in order to work for the ridesharing services.

Who will pay for my injuries if I am hurt while using a ridesharing service?

There is still a chance your driver might be underinsured, however, with coverage that will not adequately compensate you if you are severely injured in the event of a car accident. What’s important to note is that many drivers’ insurance policies are void if they use their vehicles while driving as independent contractors, which is why ridesharing companies were forced to spend money on insurance for drivers.

The insurance provided by James River goes into effect from the time a driver accepts a request until after the ride has ended.

But accidents happen, and knowing what to do can be the best way to ensure that you are paid the compensation you deserve in the aftermath of the accident.

  • Call medical personnel and authorities. It’s important to call 911 if you need medical attention, and the police so there is a police report documenting the accident. In some cases, the other driver – not your ridesharing chauffeur – may be at fault, and in that case, their insurance company would be responsible.
  • Take down information. As with any accident, take photographs, take down information from witnesses who are available as well as information from the drivers involved so you or your attorney can contact them later for more information. Take special note of the weather and road conditions and any other factors that might be related to your accident.
  • Notify Uber or Lyft. The company will need to know that their driver was involved in an accident. Ridesharing services have special safety teams on hand to respond to claims, and they will likely call the company’s insurance. To be safe, you might want to call yours as well and provide them with any pertinent information.
  • Contact an attorney. A car accident lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida will help you be prepared if the ridesharing company’s attorney contacts you. It’s important not to accept a settlement until you talk with an attorney so that you don’t accept an offer that won’t adequately cover your expenses, especially if your life was drastically altered in the accident. Providing your attorney with photos, accident reports, medical records, and other information will make the entire process easier.

Thanks to Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims and Uber or Lyft accidents.

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Birth Injury Lawyer

Personal Injury Attorney

When you give a medical professional permission to make important, life and death decisions on your behalf, or that of your loved one, you are placing a tremendous amount of trust in them. While the majority of treatments are performed correctly, and without injury, it is certainly possible for a mistake to happen. 

When, and if, a mistake does occur, and it was the result of negligence or wrongdoing, it may give you the right to file a medical malpractice claim. If in the event you are on this page because your child was injured at birth, you are advised to consult a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. 

Common Birth Injuries

As a birth injury lawyer we have helped parents pursue justice after their child suffered harm because of the negligence of a medical doctor. For years, we have successfully fought for, and won, cases that have involved:

  • Brain injuries
  • Forcep injuries
  • Suffocation
  • Delayed development
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Fetal stroke
  • Cognitive impairment
  • C-section delay
  • C-section error
  • Medication error
  • Pitocin error
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

If you believe your child suffered a birth injury and you believe it could have been prevented, please consult a birth injury lawyer. They will be happy to review your case with careful consideration and compassion. 

Hiring a Birth Injury Lawyer

A birth injury can be so severe that will impact the child for the rest of their life. Others might require months, or years, of medical care. The cost associated with these injuries tend to be in the six, seven, or eight figure digits. For obvious reasons you might have significant concerns about how you will afford to cover them. At the same time, you might wonder how you will afford the fees of a birth injury lawyer. In general, birth injury claims are handled on contingency. This means you are not obligated to pay any upfront costs; rather, only if the lawyer takes your case, and it is successful, will their fees be deducted from the settlement. Realistically, if negligence or wrongdoing caused your young child to be injured at birth, the odds of you winning a settlement or verdict are considerably high. You should talk with a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. 

When the Doctors Deny Your Claim…

It is all too common for doctors or medical professionals to deny your claim of wrongdoing, and this would naturally be in their best interest to do so. As a birth injury lawyer, we have heard of cases that involve a doctor not only denying a mistake, but also insisting the childs’ injury was unavoidable. If in the event you incur something similar, medical records are missing, or staff are reluctant to talk to you about your concerns, or you just have that instinct of something not being “right”, please call a birth injury lawyer to explore your legal options. 

For a consultation with a leading medical malpractice attorney in Naperville, IL, call a law firm for an appointment and case review. 

 


 

Thanks to The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC for their insight into medical malpractice and birth injuries.

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Personal Injury Claims and Insurance Rates

Personal Injury Lawyer

Insurance and motorists go hand-in-hand. Most states require automobile owners to carry adequate insurance coverage, and even for excellent drivers, these policies might be expensive. However, after an accident, people automatically assume the worst and think their rates will skyrocket. Fortunately, that is not always the case. There are situations where your policy is unaffected by a crash and others that can nearly double your premium and leave you with additional surcharges.

Another Driver is At Fault

While no car accident is good, the best situation for a policyholder is when they were not responsible for the wreck. However, it can take weeks to determine fault, especially in a severe crash. Police have to investigate the scene, question the drivers involved and take witness statements. Then, they need to file the report, which depending on the filing method, could take anywhere from a week to two months. If the official report finds you were less than 50% at fault, then it is recorded on your insurance as a not at fault claim.

Affect of “Not At Fault” Claims

When you are found not at fault, there is little to no effect on your premium and policy. Even if the other driver does not have insurance, forcing you to collect medical payments and repair costs from your uninsured motorist benefits, your premiums should not go up.

You’re At Fault

Unfortunately, if you are found to be at fault for the accident, then your insurer will probably not be so kind. It is not unusual for at fault drivers to see their premiums double. However, as long as the accident is minor and there are no injuries, or if there is no other party involved, then you may be able to avoid additional surcharges or penalties.

Negligence Causes Someone Else’s Injuries

If there is another driver involved in the wreck, and the wreckage was your fault, then you may have to pay surcharges in the event the other driver makes a personal injury claim. Surcharges are essentially penalties on your future policy renewals, and they can remain on your policy for three years.

If you are in a car accident, the best thing for you is to be declared not at fault, as this will have minimal, if any, impact on your policy. However, if you are declared at fault, then your premiums may double, and you may be required to pay a surcharge. If you are in an accident, you may want to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Longwood, FL to discuss your responsibilities and options.

 


 

Thanks to David & Philpot, P.L. for their insight into personal injuries and insurance claims.

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Case Rejected 

Personal Injury Attorney

It is understood that once someone is injured due to someone else’s negligence, the injured party may like to pursue a lawsuit. Unfortunately, just because an attorney speaks with you does not mean they must or will take your personal injury case. Personal injury attorneys may reject certain cases for several reasons. By speaking with an attorney you are able to discuss what options may be available to you and what you should do to make a better case and maybe speak with them at a later date to hire them. This may already be a very stressful time for you and it is wise to not allow much stress into your life just to pursue a personal injury claim, your focus should be healing as much as possible.

If you speak with a skilled personal injury attorney and they decide not to take your case, these are a few reasons why they may:

You were negligent. If you are somehow at fault for the accident or injury you sustained, an attorney may refuse because the reward may not be worth the effort. It is likely that you will owe more money to the other party than you can even receive.

Your statute of limitations. There may not be enough time available to you to pursue a lawsuit. The attorney may not be able to do the work necessary to have a successful outcome.

You were not seriously injured. When you are actually suffering as a result of an accident, it is likely the outcome of your case will be more in your favor. Unfortunately, the more traumatic the better, for many attorneys to decide.

You spoke to other attorneys and were turned down. This may raise a red flag to an attorney because other experienced attorneys had declined, which may be a concern. 

No matter how big or small you may think your personal injury case may be, speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. They will be able to review the facts of your case and help you determine if it is even worth your own time. The only way your case can be rejected is by discussing it with an attorney, but just because one rejects it does not mean it is a bad case. Shop around and try your best to find peace in your potentially life-changing situation, a personal injury attorney in Atlanta, GA may be able to help you get to that place sooner than later.

Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and rejected cases.

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Robbing Empty Stash Houses Can Still Lead to a Federal Drug Crime Conviction

 Criminal Lawyer

For some, the opportunity to rob a relatively lightly guarded drug stash house can seem impossible to pass up. With a good plan in place, a well-executed raid on a drug house can net large quantities of drugs for resale on the streets or to another distributor. Except, increasingly, this anticipated profit is not realized because the alleged stash house is empty and the drugs non-existent. The only thing real about the situation in which the would-be drug robbers find themselves, after what turns out to be a law enforcement drug sting, is the lengthy federal prison terms for an assortment of federal drug charges.

Drug Stash House Sting Operations

In highly successful stash house sting operations, agents from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrest individuals who have been led to believe that certain stash houses are easy targets for robberies. In the sting operation, an undercover agent or a government informer tells a targeted individual that a certain drug stash house is stocked with a certain amount of drugs just waiting to be taken. The individual is also encouraged to bring weapons because the house is also likely guarded. However, the houses are empty, and when the individual and any other accomplices he may have recruited try to rob the house arrive, ATF officers descend upon them and arrest them for the attempted robbery, and other federal drug charges.

Federal law enforcement officials routinely use deception in setting up operations to catch offenders; the use of sting operations is part of this deception. As with other law enforcement sting operations, the use of stash houses has been criticized for possible racial targeting, and also because these operations seem to entrap defendants, who may not otherwise commit the offense. Defendants have also challenged the sting operations as outrageous government conduct, which goes against the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution. However, federal courts require the methods used by the law enforcement officials to include physical violence against the defendant, or coercion to commit the crime, in order to find government behavior outrageous.

Note that a defense of entrapment is distinct from a defense of outrageous government conduct, and therefore, even though stash house sting operations may not be considered outrageous in a case, depending on the facts of a case, an entrapment defense may still apply. An entrapment defense generally applies if the defendant was not predisposed to commit the crime; that is, if the plan and intent to commit the crime did not originate with the defendant. Your defense attorney can explain if an entrapment defense is applicable in your situation after a review of your case.

Contact a Defense Crimes Attorney

If you are arrested for a federal drug crime, either as a principal actor or as an accomplice, following a stash house sting operation, you need an experienced defense attorney to fight the charges. Contact a law firm to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Arlington, VA experienced in defending both state and federal drug charges for a consultation on your case.

 


 

Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into criminal law and drug crimes.

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