Drunk Driving Among College Party Dangers for Students

Posted on November 17th, 2014 by

Drunk Driving Among College Party Dangers Starting or returning to college can be an exciting experience with all sorts of rewarding and life-enriching opportunities. For many young people, it can also mean a chance to push boundaries and immerse themselves in college social events—which generally includes parties.

While many college students do of course attend parties and other social events while remaining in control of their actions and acting responsibly, others use this as a chance to engage in risky and possibly dangerous behavior.

This can include the consumption of alcohol or other substances that can impair one’s judgment and ability to perform important tasks such as driving. Young people at college parties are prone to overindulging and may have trouble realizing how impaired they have become. If those people then decide to get behind the wheel in that compromised state, they pose a risk to themselves, their passengers and anyone else who may cross their path.

While many schools are ramping up efforts to try and educate students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and drunk driving, even the best educational programs and disciplinary policies cannot fully eliminate the risk of drunk driving on or near college campuses.

Sadly, this means it is virtually inevitable that there will be drunk driving crashes, and innocent victims impacted by these crashes. These victims deserve justice and will likely need an advocate to assist them in navigating the legal system.

That’s where the Law Office of Sara J. Powell can help. We consider it an honor to represent drunk driving victims and ensure they get the justice they deserve.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for drunk driving victims in Phoenix and the entire region.

Help for Rape Victims on Campus and Elsewhere

Posted on November 13th, 2014 by

Help for Rape Victims on Campus and Elsewhere The statistics and horror stories are enough to make college students and their parents extremely nervous. Sexual assaults on or near campuses are becoming increasingly common, and it’s a growing problem in many college areas. The issue has become so important (and impossible to ignore) that the White House has even gotten involved, launching a national initiative called “It’s On Us,” using celebrities and high-profile personalities to speak out against sexual violence on campus. The initiative also aims to increase awareness and accountability related to campus rape and assaults.

College-based sexual assaults can take many forms. Frequently, a so-called “date rape” can occur at a party or other event, or shortly afterward while the victim is impaired. However, campus assaults often can involve a serial predator who looks for an opportunity to attack a student who is in a vulnerable position.

Whatever the circumstances, victims of sexual assault need a variety of services and resources immediately. This of course includes medical attention (and, ideally, some sort of counseling). They also need access to legal resources to help them achieve justice and ensure that the guilty parties are held responsible.

While many schools across the country are increasing resources to prevent campus assault and assist victims, often these services may not be adequate to fully meet victims’ needs. In addition, in some cases, the school itself may be held accountable for negligence or other factors that may have played a role in the situation.

This is why it can be critical for victims to have an advocate and representative that is solely focused on their needs and their rights. The Law Office of Sara J. Powell  has been providing help for rape victims for many years.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for Phoenix rape victims.

Campus Crime May Require More Than University Resources

Posted on November 11th, 2014 by

Campus Crime May Require More Than University ResourcesWhether your child is a new freshman or is a campus veteran, they may still be vulnerable to an assortment of potential dangers that exist on or near campus. This can include anything from drunk driving or other substance-related issues to any types of routine crime you typically find in heavily-populated areas.

Thefts and burglaries are among the most common crimes that occur on or near a college campus. Often, these are crimes of opportunity. In many cases, they are the result of young people who are too trusting or unfamiliar with the security precautions they need to take while at school. A student in the library may leave their laptop unattended for a moment while looking for a book, for example. Or someone may leave their dorm room door open or unlocked while they are down the hall chatting with a friend.

Of course, more serious offenses can also occur on campus (or in off-campus locations near the school). Sadly, in some cases these crimes may include acts of violence.

It is important that students research university resources that may be available to them in the event they are the victim of any type of crime. However, additional support or assistance may also be needed.

The Law Office of Sara J. Powell serves as a crime victim advocate for those affected by crimes at school and elsewhere.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for Phoenix crime victims.

Back to School: College Party Dangers for Residents

Posted on November 6th, 2014 by

College Party Dangers for ResidentsAs a new college school year begins, college students across the country are heading to campus, hitting the books and, in many cases, jumping into the social scene. Fall is often prime party season in college areas, as many clubs, fraternities/sororities, apartment buildings and other groups host events to recruit members, allow people to make new connections and just kick off the new school year.

When handled responsibly, these events can be a positive thing because they allow people to make new friends and enjoy a much-needed break from studying and classes. This can be especially important for new students who may be eager to meet new friends at school.

Unfortunately, there can also be some downsides. Mainly, that some young people take the partying too far. This is particularly true in the case of new students who are living away from home for the first time and are taking advantage of the opportunity to party without parents keeping tabs on them.

College parties can pose various risks to both the people living in or visiting the home where the party is held, as well as to other residents in the neighborhood near that property. If students attending the party decide to then drive while intoxicated, this poses a serious risk to people in the neighborhood and anyone else who is sharing the road with that impaired driver.

For this reason, you can be impacted by a college party even if you don’t live within or anywhere near the campus boundaries.  Numerous drunk driving victims have been injured or even killed by someone who drank too much at a college party.

The Law Office of Sara J. Powell represents all types of drunk driving victims, and would be glad to help with your pursuit of a drunk driving case.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for drunk driving victims in Phoenix and the entire region.

Drunk Driving Victims Need Justice via Legal Recourses

Posted on September 23rd, 2014 by

Victim of Drunk Driving SupportA jury recently acquitted a Texas father who had been charged with the shooting death of a drunk driver who had struck and killed the man’s two young sons.

While we may never know what really happened the night of the crash and subsequent shooting, we do know that many families are devastated by the loss of loved ones as a result or drunk driving—losses that sadly occur every day across the country.

Obviously, we would never condone anyone taking the law into their own hands. But we certainly understand the emotional pain and trauma that such a loss can cause—and the range of emotions including frustration and anger that victims of drunk driving crashes and their families often experience. These victims are eager for justice, and they deserve to get it.

There are legal resources and remedies available to assist and support drunk driving victims, and to help ensure they see the responsible parties face legal ramifications for their actions. However, for people who are dealing with the emotional and possibly physical fallout of a drunk driving crash, trying to navigate the legal system can be an additional challenge they may not have the strength to handle on their own.

These victims and their families need an attorney with experience representing drunk driving victims. That is one of our specialties here at the Law Office of Sara Powell, and we consider it a privilege to be able to assist these families in their quest for justice.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for Phoenix area drunk driving victims.

Child Abuse Often Committed by Those Who Should Protect

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by

Child Abuse Representation Child abuse or neglect is often committed by people or organizations that are trusted with the responsibility of looking out for children. Instead of protecting children, these parties then either abuse them, or fail to protect them from others who are committing the abuse or neglect.

There are countless examples of incidents in which people that should be caring for and protecting children failed to do so. It seems like the news is filled with heartbreaking stories on a daily basis. The people involved in these cases hold a variety of roles in which they are entrusted with the care of children: foster parents, coaches, community volunteers and others. There are also far too many incidents where workers at child welfare organizations or other agencies drop the ball and fail to notice red flags or obvious signs of abuse or neglect.

This goes to show that in child abuse situations, there are often numerous parties who—while perhaps not directly committing the actions of abuse—may still bear some responsibility for allowing it to happen or failing to put a stop to it.

Legal actions on behalf of the victim often may need to encompass a variety of parties. In addition, there may be special factors or procedures involved depending upon the particular details of the abuse and the circumstances surrounding it.

This is why it is important that these victims be represented by someone with specialized experience handling these types of cases.

At the Law Office of Sara Powell, we have been fighting to protect child abuse victims for many years. If you or a loved one needs a Phoenix child abuse attorney, we would be happy to assist you.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for Phoenix area child abuse victims.

Accidental Shooting Attorney Knows Each Case Matters

Posted on September 9th, 2014 by

Accidental Shooting VictimsAccidental shooting rates in many major U.S. cities are declining, according to law enforcement agencies. However, trends and statistics are of little interest to those who are affected by violent crime. Families who have lost a beloved member really only care about one particular thing—the one that took their loved one from them.

There are a number of organizations—including those related to law enforcement, and others organized by nonprofits or grassroots groups—that aim to help reduce accidental shootings, as well as incidents of violence in general. While some of these groups have made impressive accomplishments, sadly they cannot prevent every incidence of violent crime.

Far too many families continue to be devastated by the murder of a loved one. Worse, that initial trauma is often made worse by the challenges and frustrations those families may encounter as they try to navigate the legal system and seek justice on behalf of their relative.

While dealing with grief and profound loss, these family members shouldn’t have to fight to try and get the system to work on their behalf. They also shouldn’t need to spend time trying to research resources that might be able to help them.

At the Law Office of Sara Powell, we dedicate ourselves to handling this process for the families of accidental shooting victims, so they can focus on grieving and healing. As a leading Phoenix homicide victim attorney, we have the experience and compassion needed to serve as a legal representative and advocate for families affected.

Elder Abuse Complaints Rising Rapidly

Posted on August 26th, 2014 by

Stop Elder AbuseAnyone who follows local and national news has undoubtedly noticed that mentions of elder abuse tragedies and related arrests seem to be growing more common. A recent survey certainly seems to indicate these incidents are increasing in this country.

The Consumer Federation of America’s annual survey of consumer protection agencies was just released, and elder abuse complaints were a top focus.

As USA Today reports, elder abuse earned the dubious distinction of being the worst kind of complaint—which is viewed by how egregious the offense is considered to be. This takes into account how vulnerable the group of victims targeted would be, among other factors.

Elder abuse now comes in a wide variety of forms, with financial abuse and theft growing more common—and often involving technology. Crooks are now using high-tech tactics to gain access to victims’ bank accounts and financial information. This then allows the scammers to not only rob victims of their money, but in many cases can also lead to identity theft.

Victims are often tricked into unknowingly divulging personal information, but in some cases they are also threatened. The survey shows an increasing rate of complaints in which older victims were told they could be arrested if they didn’t cooperate or pay a non-existent debt.

The Law Office of Sara Powell realized that our older citizens are often the most vulnerable and need protection from scams and thieves, as well as those who may abuse or neglect them. We are experienced in pursuing cases involving elder abuse of many types.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for Phoenix elder abuse victims.

Child Abuse Victims Legislation Heads to President

Posted on August 19th, 2014 by

stop child abuseFederal lawmakers have recently voted in favor of reauthorization of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. This bill is the newest update to significant legislation in the fight to assist and protect child abuse victims. The original Victims of Child Abuse Act wad first passed nearly 25 years ago. It was considered a landmark moment in the fight on behalf of child abuse victims, as it brought federal and state resources together to provide services these victims desperately need.

Among other things, the new Reauthorization Act provides funding for Children’s Advocacy Centers, which combines and coordinates vital services needed by child abuse victims.

As this update notes, these Advocacy Centers served more than 300,000 children last year, yet many children didn’t have access to a Center in their community. By continuing to fund these Centers and perhaps create the opportunity to open additional Centers, this bill offers a vital resource to children who have been the victims of child abuse or neglect.

Having been passed by both the House and the Senate, the Bill now heads to the President’s desk for approval.

At The Law Office of Sara Powell, we are proud to serve as advocates for child abuse victims by providing them with the legal representation and support they need.  Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for Arizona child abuse victims.

Child Abuse Has Long-Term Effects on the Brain

Posted on August 14th, 2014 by

Most people would assume that child abuse can have lasting effects on its victims, but scientific research now proves this is true in the form of possible damage to the survivor’s brain development.

This article looks at research into the long-term effects that abuse and neglect have on a child’s developing brain. This research shows there can be a host of lasting psychological, behavioral and emotional repercussions from abuse and neglect, even years after the abuse has ended.

This abuse can cause physical damage and developmental delays to the brain, impacting its ability to function normally. In many cases, it damages or disrupts the brain’s “wiring,” which can have a significant impact on how the child thinks and functions after that point.

These findings reinforce the need for ongoing (perhaps permanent) support and treatment for child abuse survivors. This treatment is critical to helping them live healthy and productive lives as they get older.

This is why it is so important for child abuse survivors to have legal representation that can pursue judgments and damages on their behalf. These victims often have limited financial means, and would have difficulty paying for the type of treatment they need. Judgments against the offenders can help the victims obtain necessary services—and in some cases, restitution and fines collected from offenders can help fund programs to help many victims.

The Law Office of Sara Powell is dedicated to helping child abuse victims get the justice and remedies they deserve.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for Arizona child abuse  victims.

Holding Those at Fault for Drunk Driving Responsible

Posted on August 12th, 2014 by

When a crash results from drunk driving, obviously it is the impaired person behind the wheel who holds the ultimate blame for their irresponsible actions. However, there are often other people or parties who also need to be held accountable for their own role in allowing the dangerous situation to occur.

The family of a young Texas man killed while he was driving under the influence recently filed legal action against the bar they claim served him an excessive amount of alcohol the night he died. They are also suing the friend who gave his car keys to the man, providing him access to the car in which he died.

This case is unusual because it is the family of the drunk driver who filed legal action. In lawsuits involving drunk driving fatalities, it is typically relatives of the unimpaired victims who initiate legal action.

However, it illustrates the fact that a drunk driving crash can often be traced back to one or more additional parties who may hold various degrees of liability for their action (or inaction) that could be considered a factor in the crash.

Of course, no legal judgment can ever replace a loved one or compensate fully for the pain and suffering drunk driving victims experience. However, it can provide some recourse to deal with medical expenses, lost wages and other costs, as well as recognize the impact of your pain and suffering. In addition, legal action holds accountable parties responsible, which may help prevent future crashes or other problems.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving crash, you may be considering taking legal action—but may not be aware of all of the parties who could be held legally responsible. The Law Office of Sara Powell has considerable experience in representing drunk driving victims and can identify anyone who may be held legally responsible in your case.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for Arizona drunk driving victims.

MADD and NFL Continue Safe Driver Program

Posted on July 29th, 2014 by

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) teamed up with the NFL several years ago to come up with strategies to help curb drunk driving and other alcohol-related issues at pro football games and in the stadium area—and so far the program has made a significant positive difference.

One of the main elements of the program is the emphasis on the importance of having a designated driver arranged before leaving for a game. According to MADD, these efforts have resulted in an increase of sign-ups for a non-drinking designated driver by an average of 28 percent each year. And that doesn’t include fans who arranged for their own designated driver outside of the official program.

MADD sponsors safe driving programs with 14 NFL teams, including the Arizona Cardinals. The organization also has an NFL employee/player outreach program designed to combat underage drinking and drunk driving in a variety of ways.

The University of Phoenix Stadium has implemented a 4-hour online fan code of conduct class. Any guest who has been asked to leave the stadium for violations of the code of conduct or alcohol policy is required to complete this class before they will be allowed into the stadium again. The course costs $75, and $20 of that fee goes to support MADD.

As always, we support and applaud MADD’s efforts to help prevent drunk driving and we are in awe of the tireless efforts of the organization’s staff and volunteers.

At The Law Office of Sara Powell we try to do our small part by serving as a legal advocate for Arizona drunk driving victims and their families.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for drunk driving victims.

Wrong Way Crashes Often Involve Drunk Driving

Posted on July 24th, 2014 by

A series of tragedies resulting from “wrong way crashes” has prompted Arizona law enforcement agencies and officials to look into ways they might be able to help prevent (or at least reduce) the number of those types of crashes.

As you can probably guess, this sort of crash happens when a driver is on the incorrect side of the road going against the flow of traffic.

In May of this year alone, at least a half dozen people were killed on Arizona highways as a result of wrong way crashes. Not surprisingly, many of these crashes involve drivers who are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. So tactics that might help address these crashes are often included in a more comprehensive strategy to prevent and combat impaired driving.

There are also tactics that could specifically address wrong way driving, such as posting “Wrong Way” warning signs in areas where drivers may be likely to become confused, or where these types of crashes (or driving offenses) have occurred in the past. However, these tactics are likely to have limited effectiveness in the case of drunk drivers who are already obviously disregarding the rules of the road and acting in an unsafe and irresponsible manner.

By their nature, wrong way crashes often involve head-on collisions, which pose a significant risk of death or serious injury. This can devastate families, and leave the survivors with life-altering injuries and a long and painful recovery process. Not to mention, medical bills and financial losses they may incur.

At The Law Office of Sara Powell we know the trauma, challenges and difficulties faced by drunk driving victims and their families. We have been representing Phoenix drunk driving victims for many years, and can assist them in pursuing the legal remedies available to them.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for drunk driving victims.

Children Rescued from Arizona Child Trafficking Ring

Posted on July 22nd, 2014 by

Authorities across the country recently have been targeting those who sexually abuse and exploit children. Numerous children were rescued recently during a sweep of several Arizona cities, including Phoenix and Tucson.

The sweep is the latest move that’s part of a national crackdown on child prostitution and human trafficking which so far has helped to rescue thousands of children in total. The arrests have involved both pimps and clients, and the victims included adults as well as many young children. Law enforcement officials said the initial arrests and related investigations have uncovered a wide network of offenders who make up an organized effort to prostitute children and woman across several states.

Police and law enforcement agencies on the local, state and national levels have been stepping up efforts in the past few years to identify, apprehend and prosecute those who sexually abuse and exploit victims of all ages.  This has helped raised awareness of human trafficking, which many people previously hadn’t even realized was a problem in the United States.

Another major improvement is that these agencies are increasingly starting to treat those being abused as victims, realizing that they were forced into committing acts against their will. In the past, these victims (especially those considered legal adults) were often arrested and charged with prostitution or similar offenses.

Thankfully, the victims who were recently rescued in Arizona are now physically safe. However, they have a long road ahead of them on the path to recovery. It will take a lot of time for them to recover from the physical, mental and emotional abuse they have suffered. They will need a lot of support and access to a variety of resources that can assist them. In addition, they will also need someone to serve as their legal advocate and adviser.

The Law Office of Sara Powell would be honored to represent these children or any victims of child abuse, sexual exploitation and similar crimes. Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information related to child abuse in Phoenix and the surrounding area.

Campus Crime Victims Need Legal Advocates

Posted on July 15th, 2014 by

Campus crime is getting a lot of media attention lately, as law enforcement officials, victims’ rights organizations and others criticize schools (and the agencies responsible for overseeing them) with not doing enough to help victims—or prevent them from becoming victims in the first place.

A top official from the U.S. Department of Education testified before a Senate committee recently and admitted that some schools are failing students by not responding to sexual assaults promptly and adequately.

The Dept. of Ed is working on proposed regulations that would expand the responsibilities of colleges when it comes to reporting assaults and other sexual crimes, such as stalking and dating violence.

While some universities are making a dedicated effort to improve the way they handle sexual assaults and other crimes involving students, there is still a long way to go. Most experts and law enforcement officials would agree that there’s a serious problem—many would call it a crisis—when it comes to campus crime.

Ideally of course campuses should come up with solutions to make the campus and surrounding areas safer, thereby helping to prevent crimes from occurring in the first place. But when crimes do happen, the colleges need to have policies and resources in place to assist victims quickly, and to the fullest extent possible.

One major way to help victims is to provide them with the legal protections and advocacy that can help them navigate the court system and get the justice they deserve. That’s where we at The Law Office of Sara Powell try to do our part, by supporting and advocating on behalf of victims of campus crime and any type of assault or other violent crime.

Continue to read the SaraPowell.com Blog for more information on resources for campus crime victims in Arizona.