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Belleville Illinois Legal Blog

How dialect can impact a person's criminal case

African-Americans in Illinois and throughout the United States may sometimes speak in a language that is referred to as Black English. Its syntax and grammar patterns may be different than those used in more conventional forms of speaking. Therefore, it can be confusing for those who aren't familiar with it to understand what a person might be saying when using it. This can present problems for black Americans who are going through the legal system.

In 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) asked for translators so that they could better understand people using this dialect. While some may believe that this form of speech is nothing more than slang, it should be seen as merely an alternate way of talking. By seeing it as less than a true language, it can be easy to misinterpret what people are saying. It can also be easier to simply not learn what a person may mean when using it.

How courts determine the best interest of the child

Whether a child custody case is heard in Illinois or any other state, the best interest of the child will be a court's top concern. There are many factors that a judge may use when determining what best serves the child in a given matter. In many cases, a ruling will take into consideration the child's age and the ability of a parent to provide a stable home.

Generally speaking, a court will want to make a ruling that provides consistency for a child. This means keeping a child in the same school district or close to extended family members that he or she has a close relationship with. If a child's routine has to be changed, a judge will consider the possible impact before making a ruling. Typically, allowing both parents to have access to a child is considered to be in that child's best interest.

What should you do immediately following a dog attack?

Dog attacks are a lot more common than you think. In fact, more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs in the United States each year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hundreds of thousands of these victims will need serious medical attention.

Dog attacks can be traumatizing and put a victim in a state of shock. However, it is important to remember the following information in order to protect your rights and avoid additional injury after an attack.

GPS, texting features the most distracting on dashboard gadgets

Illinois drivers may be interested in a recent AAA study that shows how dangerous it can be to have a car infotainment system. Of the 30 systems from 2017 vehicle models that were analyzed, all demanded either a moderate, high or very high level of attention. This is important because taking one's eyes off the road for just 2 seconds doubles the risk for an accident.

In light of that, the results of this new study are startling. Using the GPS and sending texts were both found to mentally and visually distract drivers for more than 40 seconds. Furthermore, using voice commands and touch screens made the participants inattentive. Participants acted negligently while using these features behind the wheel, sometimes swerving out of their lanes, ignoring stop signs and going dangerously slow.

Divorced Illinois parents can enjoy happy holidays

Co-parenting during the holidays may present some challenges. If divorced parents can reach a balance during the holidays for the best interests of their children, it may serve best for everyone concerned. However, when couples divorce there is typically a host of difficult emotions that may get in the way of successfully celebrating joyous holidays with their kids. Depending on how much time has elapsed, either parent may still be dealing with feelings of discontent. One or both parents may struggle with trying to forgive and move on with their separate lives.

It is possible though for some people to put aside their differences after divorce for the sake of the children. One divorced mother who was recently interviewed shared a very positive spin on how holiday celebrations work out well for her children. She and her ex-husband are both remarried, so together with their new spouses, they enjoy holidays collectively. They have fun together, and her children have a larger group of adults in one place who love and care about them. This family unit may be an exception, but a little creativity might help even things out during the holidays.

ZF to develop new external airbag tech

Illinois residents may be interested to know that car parts manufacturer ZF is developing the technology behind external airbags and that these features may help protect drivers in side-impact crashes. The safety tech is far from being perfected, so it will not be introduced to the driving public anytime soon; nonetheless, the benefits are undeniable and can become an incentive for other manufacturers to get onboard.

ZF has released safety data showing that external airbags can reduce the severity of vehicle occupants' injuries by up to 40 percent. It is developing its own external airbags to go on the sides of vehicles and act as an additional crumple zone. It protects occupants by absorbing some of the force of the collision.

Sharing the road with commercial vehicles

While drivers in Illinois and elsewhere may be fearful of sharing the road with large trucks, it is possible to do so safely. It is important that drivers of passenger cars and trucks have a healthy dose or respect for the bigger and heavier commercial trucks. This means giving them ample room to merge onto highways and giving them space while driving. When in the presence of a commercial truck, drivers should be sure to avoid its blind spots.

Drivers may be in a truck's blind spot if they follow too closely in their own vehicles or drive next to the trailer. To avoid an accident, other cars must be sure to pass as quickly as possible as it minimizes time in an area where the truck operator can't see passenger vehicles. It is also worthwhile to pay attention to commercial trucks looking to make a right turn. This is because they need more room to make the turn without going off the road.

What are your options if your Uber is in an accident

Cab drivers in Illinois don’t have a high reputation for providing amazing service. Ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, attempted to break this stigma by offering passengers the chance to review their driver.

But, what happens when your service is so bad that someone gets hurt? Here are a few things you can do if your Uber gets into an accident.

CVSA Brake Safety Week leads to 4,955 out of service orders

Big rigs undergoing roadside inspections were a common sight in Illinois and around the country in September during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's annual Brake Safety Week safety blitz, and more than 14 percent of them were ordered off the road after inspectors discovered potentially deadly faults. Figures released by the nonprofit organization reveal that 4,955 of the 35,080 commercial vehicles inspected during Brake Safety Week were ordered out of service.

The CVSA asked inspectors to pay particular attention to commercial vehicle anti-lock braking systems during Brake Safety Week, and they discovered violations 8.3 percent of the time when inspecting trucks equipped with ABS. ABS violations were also discovered during 4.4 percent of the 5,354 inspections of trucks equipped with hydraulic braking systems.

Tips for parents raising children after a divorce

When Illinois parents get a divorce, they might be concerned about how it will affect their children. It is possible for parents to take steps that can ease the transition.

First, parents should do what they can to ensure that children's lives remain stable outside of the upheaval of the divorce. If they can agree on basic goals, even if they have different styles of parenting, this can help. They should try to avoid criticizing one another's parenting decisions. If a child is unhappy about one of those decisions, the other parent should listen to the child but not say anything negative about the other parent.

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