The Law Offices of John Phebus

Phoenix Criminal Law and Personal Injury Blog

How to explain a DUI charge to your children

A few months ago, you met a friend you had not seen in a long time for lunch. Catching up turned out to be a lot of fun, and the lunch went on for hours. You enjoyed some wine, but you felt perfectly fine to drive. However, you did not realize your brake light was out and got pulled over on the way home. Long story short, you ended up with a DUI charge.

In shock and feeling ashamed, you kept quiet about the charge. But now that you are facing the consequences, you are not sure how to explain it to your children.

Increasing the availability of medical second opinions

Access to medical specialists and subspecialists is sometimes difficult for Arizona patients to obtain. A world connected by the internet, however, has resulted in the expansion of virtual medical services. With telemedicine, patients can have conversations with remote physicians, and virtual second opinion services can review medical scans and test results and prepare reports about their conclusions. These systems have the ability to provide patients with medical evaluations by people at prestigious medical institutions.

Employers and insurance companies have been receptive to these virtual services because they have the potential to improve medical outcomes by reducing misdiagnoses. Patients have expanded opportunities to consult specialists instead of relying solely on the opinion of local physicians who might have limited time to spend on their patients.

A failure to diagnose lupus

Lupus is a noncontagious autoimmune disease that occurs when autoantibodies cause inflammation in multiple parts of the body, including the lungs, heart, skins, joints, blood and kidneys. Since May is Lupus Awareness Month, Arizona residents may benefit from learning a few facts about the disease.

Although men can develop the condition, women make up the majority of lupus sufferers at 90 percent. However, lupus in men tends to damage the organs more severely. Lupus typically develops when an individual is between 15 and 44 years of age. The 10 to 20 percent of lupus cases that do develop during an individual's childhood can result in significant health issues more quickly than it can for those in other groups. Lupus can affect children and adults of all ethnic backgrounds and races. However, African Americans, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders all receive lupus diagnoses two to three times more often than Caucasians.

Early detection is key for melanoma survival

Summer is almost here, and that means many Arizona residents will be enjoying more time out in the sun. However, dermatologists warn that sunburns and prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to an increased risk of melanoma.

The American Cancer Society says that melanoma is responsible for around 1 percent of skin cancers in the U.S., but it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths. It is also the top cause of cancer for women in their 20s and 30s. When diagnosed early, melanoma has a cure rate of 94 to 100 percent, but a patient's chances of survival drops to 20 percent if the cancer metastasizes to other parts of the body.

Preventing sepsis

Sepsis is a serious medical condition that can become fatal within hours. Arizona parents may not know that sepsis is responsible for the hospitalization of 75,000 children and teenagers every year in the United States. The results of a 2013 study show that almost 7,000 children will die each year from it, a number that is over three times the number of deaths resulting from pediatric cancers annually. For some of the children who are able to survive the condition, they may endure long-term complications, such as amputated limbs and damage to their organs.

Several hospitals are participating in a nationwide effort to address the prevalence of sepsis. The hospitals aim to decrease the number of deaths caused by childhood sepsis and the diagnoses of acute sepsis at their facilities by 75 percent by no later than 2020. More hospitals are expected to join the more than 40 that have gotten together.

How may a DUI arrest affect your future?

Whether it is your first or third arrest for a DUI, a conviction often means a criminal record that directly affects your future. Many go out for a night of partying without truly understanding the consequences of driving under the influence. Currently, more than 65 million people in the United States deal with the reality of having a criminal record, and you do not want to be one of them.

The obvious risks of drunk driving are the safety issues, as accidents, injuries and deaths are common when intoxicated drivers are on the road. Other than those concerns, how can a DUI impact your future?

Civil rights group releases report on law enforcement hacking

Huge government surveillance programs have been the subject of many media stories and political debates in recent years, but Arizona residents may be unfamiliar with one of the latest forms of electronic surveillance used by federal law enforcement agencies. A report released recently by several civil rights groups reveals that government agents are now able to install malicious software on the computers of hundreds or even thousands of individuals suspected of being involved in illegal activity without first obtaining search warrants. This malware is then used to monitor what these individuals are up to online and gather evidence that could be used against them.

Due to a change made to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, federal agents need to obtain only a single search warrant to place monitoring software on the computers of thousands of Americans. Agents are not even required to tell judges the names of the individuals involved or where they reside. This practice attracted the attention of the media when it was revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to monitor the internet activity of 9,000 individuals in 120 countries after obtaining a solitary search warrant.

Identifying kidney disease in diabetes patients

When Arizona residents have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, they are often at greater risk for developing chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease. Unfortunately, the tests for determining if a patient has either of these conditions is not completely accurate. Most tests are based on people's albumin to creatinine ratio and their estimated glomerular filtration rate.

However, a clinical trial showed that while these metrics can help physicians determine if a person has either kidney condition, neither have a 100 percent success rate. In an effort to determine a better way to diagnose a person with these conditions, a doctor at the Joslin Diabetes Center started looking for other markers to test.

Is treatment for drug offenders more cost-effective than prison?

In society today, many have the attitude of "lock them up and throw away the key" for those who commit drug crimes. While this may seem like a simple solution to get criminals or drug users off the streets, the reality is that it may not be the most cost-effective way to deal with drug addiction or repeat offenders.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction affects behavior and is considered a disease, therefore treatment is necessary for recovery. The exact success rates of these programs vary based on the available treatment and the individual, but many courts are moving toward a treatment-centered approach rather than strict traditional incarceration.

Prepping your college kid for safe summer partying

As the spring term comes to a close, your college kid is undoubtedly looking forward to summer fun. This means vacations, graduation parties and weekend trips to numerous destination sites in Arizona. These social gatherings are likely to include alcohol consumption.

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