Lord Law Firm, LLC
Credit Cards Accepted: Payment Cards
Call Today for a free Consultation
803-407-4140
View Blog Navigation

Columbia, South Carolina, Debt Solutions Legal Blog

Choosing a business structure

So, you are ready to launch a business but are not sure what type of business structure would best fit your needs. Choosing the type of business entity to create has long-term implications and will factor in to how you pay taxes and how liable you are if your business suffers losses, among related considerations.

Different business formation types offer varying benefits and drawbacks, and what works best for one type of business may not do the same for another. For example, if you are operating a roofing company or something similarly dangerous, you probably want to choose a business structure that reduces your personal liability, such as a limited liability company. If, however, your business involves working at a desk out of your own home, you may face little risk, in which case a sole proprietorship may be more appropriate. These are business structure types.

Hundreds of prisoners receive commutations for drug sentences

Some South Carolina residents may have heard that Barack Obama commuted the largest number of sentences of any president in history. Of the total of 1,715 commutations, Obama issued 330 of those for drug-related crimes on the last full day of his presidency. He had struggled to reform harsh drug sentencing laws with little success, and the commutations were one aspect of that reform.

A commutation does not expunge a person's record in the same way a pardon does. In fact, some prisoners who sentences were commuted will not be leaving prison in 2017. One man, who has served 12 years of a 22-year sentence, will be released in 2019 as long as he enrolls in a residential drug treatment program. The man was sent to prison after being involved with his brother in a drug deal in which he and his brother were selling marijuana and cocaine. Although his brother sold the cocaine, he was charged with doing so as well.

Laws regarding drug manufacturing and cultivation

There are both federal and state statutes that prohibit the manufacturing or cultivation of illegal drugs, with some restricted exceptions in a few states regarding the production of marijuana. If convicted of drug manufacturing, South Carolina residents may be subject to stiff penalties.

If an individual is involved in any part of the illicit drug production process, he or she is considered to be manufacturing drugs. This can include selling specialized equipment to produce the drugs, selling precursor chemicals or simply volunteering to assist with the production of drugs.

High costs involved with DUI convictions

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety is engaged in an enhanced enforcement effort that is aimed at drunk driving during the 2016 holiday season. The stepped-up enforcement drive is scheduled to last through New Year's Day. As a part of its efforts, the department is airing a public service announcement in order to get people to think about the potential consequences of DUIs before they go out to celebrate.

The advertisement picks up from where the department's Labor Day commercial left off. It focuses on the financial costs associated with a DUI and shows a person as he goes through court. In 2015, 10 people were killed in South Carolina in accidents involving drunk drivers during the holidays. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 301 people died in accidents involving drunk drivers in South Carolina during 2015.

Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd charged with DUI

South Carolina pro football fans may have heard that Arizona Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd was charged with DUI on Dec. 12. The incident occurred at 2:48 a.m., just hours after the Cardinals lost to the Miami Dolphins in Florida.

According to the Scottsdale Police Department, officers found Floyd, age 27, slumped behind the wheel of his car with the engine running. He was arrested and charged with two counts of DUI, one count of failure to obey a police officer and one count of obstructing a roadway. He was released from custody a few hours later.

Drug tests returning false positive results

False positives results on tests for drugs have the potential to be a serious legal problem for any South Carolina resident. There are chemical tests that have been marketed to law enforcement agencies as accurate detectors of narcotics, but reports have demonstrated multiple instances of perfectly legal substances being accidentally identified as illicit drugs. Problems like this can be notoriously difficult to solve, and there are cases where people had to spend substantial time dealing with the criminal justice system before their innocence could be established.

Police procedure holds that any substance suspected to be an illegal drug or narcotic should be tested to determine its exact composition. According to reports, these inexpensive drug testing kits have mistaken items like vitamins, candy and tortilla flour as illicit substances. The Department of Law Enforcement Lab Systems in Florida found that 21 percent of substances initially identified as narcotics in the field later tested negative in the crime lab.

Marijuana testing has major technical problems

While the use of marijuana is not legal in South Carolina at this time, there is a pronounced trend towards legalization and decriminalization of the substance across the nation. With this upward trend in marijuana usage, however, comes the risk of driving under the influence.

Legal authorities through the nation are working to create a machine that can detect the precise amount of marijuana in a subject's bloodstream by measuring the chemicals present in their breath. However, there are many obstacles yet to be overcome when it comes to this testing.

Man jailed on false positive seeks damages in court

South Carolina motorists may be interested in a news story involving a false positive roadside drug test that was reported in October. A Florida man who was jailed for 10 hours on a drug possession charge in December 2015 has now filed suit against the city of Orlando and the producer of the drug test kit that the arresting officer employed at the scene.

The man was originally taken into custody when police discovered a white, sticky substance on the floor of his vehicle during a traffic stop for speeding. Although he claimed that the substance was glaze from a doughnut, roadside testing twice confirmed that the sample contained methamphetamine, and the man was detained by authorities at the Orange County jail pending release on a $2,500 bond. Six weeks later, the charges were dropped when a state crime lab determined that the glaze was not a controlled substance.

Harm done by criminalization of drug possession

Many people have been incarcerated for the possession of minor amounts of drugs in South Carolina over the last few decades. A report prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch that was released on Oct. 12 indicates that this practice is counterproductive and leads to far too many people being unfairly prosecuted. They recommend that state legislatures decriminalize low-level drug possession and focus on positive goals such as education, harm reduction and prevention.

According to reports there have been several areas in which the constitutional rights of defendants have been weakened through practices of the police and the prosecution. The report found a pattern of improper searches and violation of the rights of the citizenry by the police, including the use of threats and intimidation, and a clear propensity towards unfair enforcement against minorities was discovered.

New DUI patch could reduce drunk driving deaths

South Carolina residents may soon have the option of wearing a patch that indicates whether they are too drunk to drive. The product, which was developed by New Mexico-based startup company DermaTec, could be mass-produced in the near future if funding can be obtained. The company has already received grants and is seeking additional financing.

DermaTec's ONUSBlue patch is designed to gauge alcohol intake through sweat on an individual's skin. As a person consumes alcohol, the patch changes color and indicates if they become too inebriated to safely get behind the wheel of a car. The product was named ONUSBlue because the company believes it is "on us" to prevent drunk driving. The company was inspired to develop the patch because New Mexico has one of the highest per capita drunk-driving death rates in the nation.

Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

If you are looking for an experienced Columbia, South Carolina, attorney, contact our team to find out how we can help you.

Call 803-407-4140 today Free consultations Credit cards accepted

Lord Law Firm, LLC
7436 Broad River Road
Suite 110
Irmo, SC 29063

Phone: 803-407-4140
Fax: 803-407-4710
Map & Directions

free consultation: 803-407-4140