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New device said to detect THC by breath

Most people in New Mexico are aware that law enforcement officers routinely use breath test devices to detect alcohol in a driver's system and to measure the amount of alcohol found. This measurement is based on parts per thousand. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is said to be far less concentrated than alcohol making detection by breath extremely difficult if not impossible. One company from California appears to be on a mission to make this possible.

As reported by National Public Radio, a business owned by a deputy reserve sheriff and trauma doctor is said to have developed a device that actually detects THC in a person's system by breath. Instead of waiting multiple days for results, this unit returns data in four minutes. There are important things to know about this unit that may make one skeptical about its effectiveness. For starters, it must be kept at a constant temperature which could pose a problem in the extreme New Mexico heat.

Tips for co-parents as kids go back to school

The summer days are coming to a rapid end with kids going back to school in the coming weeks. Every parent feels the transition to school days approaching, but individuals who are co-parenting with a former spouse have added challenges to face come August and September.

What can you do to ease back into the school year without disrupting the dynamics between children and parents? Every family handles it differently, but here are a few tips to keep in mind as you consider the best plan of action for your situation.

Your rights after a work-related accident

Even though there are some lines of work and jobs that are inherently more dangerous than others, it is important that you remember that you can be injured on the job regardless of where you work and what job you perform. Many New Mexico residents experience work-related accidents or even develop illnesses due to a situation or environment at work across a spectrum of industries. Knowing what to expect if this happens is important.

As explained by the State of New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration, there is a very specific process that should be followed after an on-the-job accident. Following this process is important in protecting your rights to medical care and any indemnity benefits that may be appropriate for your situation. First and foremost, if your condition requires emergency care that comes before everything else. Then, within 15 days you are required to notify your employer in writing via the Notice of Accident form about the incident even if they were present at the time.

Reviewing New Mexico's implied consent law

Like many in Roswell, you likely believe that law enforcement officials cannot compel you to do anything that you do not consent to. That includes offering a blood or breath sample for testing to see if you might be under the influence of alcohol. Several of the clients that we here at the Sanders Law Firm have worked with in the past have shared this same assumption. What they (and you) might not realize is that through your actions, you have already consent to be tested to determine whether or not you might be impaired while driving. 

New Mexico has what is known as an "implied consent law." It can be found in Section 66-8-107 of the state's Motor Vehicle Code. Basically, this law states that by driving in the state, you agree to submit to chemical testing of your blood or breath to determine if you are driving under the influence. A refusal to do so can result in its own criminal penalties, as well as the automatic suspension of your driver' license.  

What is the cy pres doctrine?

As the personal representative of the estate of a family member, friend or client in Roswell, you might take great pride in the testator's altruism evidenced by the contributions made through whatever charitable trusts he or she has established. Yet organizational circumstances can often change over time, and ultimately the tax distinctions or charitable aims of a group might be altered to the point of conflicting with your testator's original intentions. What is to then be done in order to ensure that the funds allotted to a charitable trust are not wasted? 

According to the Cornell Law School, a legal principle exists known as "the cy pres doctrine." This allows the court to modify the application of a charitable trust when unlawful, impossible or impractical circumstances make maintaining the original purpose of the trust wasteful. By law, a charitable trust must meet one of the federal government's designated purpose categories. These include: 

  • Relief of poverty
  • Advancement of education or religion
  • Promotion of health
  • Governmental purposes
  • Purposes benefitting a community 

Examining the implications arising from drug overdoses

People in Roswell will often roll their eyes at the "wrong place, wrong time" defense. For them, the idea of you innocently walking into a situation where criminal activity may have been occurring may just seem too far-fetched. Yet you might be surprised at just how many of the clients that we here at the Sanders Law Firm have worked with have found themselves in such scenarios. Often, whatever criminal issues they face have less to do with what they may have been doing where they were arrested than the fact that they were there at all. 

Take drug offenses, for example. If you happen to be at a location where illegal drug activity is supposedly occurring, there may an automatic assumption that you were how somehow involved. Imagine this scenario, then: You are with a friend who suddenly begins to display signs of a potential drug overdose. You know he or she requires medical attention, but in assisting him or her in receiving it, could you somehow be implicated in a crime stemming from his or her drug use? 

The attractive nuisance doctrine explained

The heat of the summer may prompt many in Roswell to look for relief by taking a dip in a swimming pool. While pools offer users untold fun and diversion, one cannot overlook the fact that they can also be very dangerous (especially for those that are poor swimmers). Young children in particular are at a heightened risk of suffering injuries (or worse) in swimming pool-related accidents. Indeed, information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that of one out of every five people who die from drowning in the U.S. are age 14 or younger. On top of that figure, for every one child that drowns, five more require emergency medical treatment for submersion injuries. 

Parents often try to do all that they can to protect their kids from the risks swimming pools pose. A degree of responsibility for their safety, however, also lies with pool owners. This is due to a legal principle known as the attractive nuisance doctrine. The Cornell Law School defines this doctrine as vicarious liability assigned to property owners for injuries caused to young children by features on their properties for which children may not comprehend the dangers that they pose. 

Understanding the Chapter 7 means test

If you are struggling with debt, know that you are not the only one in Roswell dealing with this issue. Many of those that we here at the Sanders Law Firm have worked with in the past are in your same situation: hard-working people that have seen various life events leaving them facing inordinate expenses. Oftentimes, your debt dilemma can become so great that fixing it on your own is no longer a realistic option. In such a case, a personal bankruptcy may be your best chance at reclaiming a healthy financial outlook. 

Yet bankruptcy is a privilege that is not afforded to all. It is designed to help those with realistic financial struggles, not people who simply do not want to pay their bills. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy does indeed allow certain debts to be discharged, but only if you qualify for it. You can you know if you qualify? Through the Chapter 7 means test. 

Are Fourth of July checkpoints legal?

No one in Albuquerque or Roswell wants to leave a Fourth of July celebration and get directed to a DUI checkpoint. 

But the truth is, New Mexico checkpoints are common on this summer holiday. The police know that people have the day off of work and are most likely with family and friends, eating, drinking, having a fire or watching fireworks. 

Understanding intestate succession

You have probably been told by many in Roswell that it is never too early to start your estate planning. Considering the potential of your death is never a fun exercise, yet as we here at the Sanders Law Firm tell clients, estate planning is more for your beneficiaries then it is for you. The fear is that they will dispute the ownership of your estate, and that your death might prove to divisive amongst your family members. This inevitably prompts the question of what happens if you die without a will. 

The state has created its own guidelines to deal with the estates of those who die "intestate" (without a will). These can be found in Section 45-2-102 of New Mexico's Uniform Probate Code. Per the states intestate succession rules, your surviving spouse will receive the entire amount of your estate if you have no surviving issue ("issue" being your direct descendants). If you do have children (or grandchildren), your spouse's share of the estate is reduced to one-fourth and remaining portion is distributed amongst your surviving issue equally (your surviving spouse is also entitled to your portion of any community property you shared together). 

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701 West Country Club Road
Roswell, NM 88201

Toll Free: 866-755-7229
Phone: 575-578-4392
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4801 Lang NE
Suite 110
Albuquerque, NM 87109

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732 E. Michigan
Suite 500
Hobbs, NM 88240

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1990 E Lohman Ave
Las Cruces, NM 88001

Phone: 575-222-1111
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1100 Sudderth Dr
Ruidoso, NM 88345

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