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Collins Law Firm :: Blog

Archive for February, 2013

Unemployement and Pathways to Better Chances in the Job Market

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Our nation has faced some difficult economic times as of late. In North Carolina, these trying times have left over 400,000  unemployed and unsure of how they will be providing for themselves and their families. The unemployment rate for young North Carolinians (ages 20-24) more than doubled between 2007 and 2011—the second highest jump in the nation.  North Carolina joined six other states in 2012 to combat this growing trend in a network which emerged as a result of the Pathways to Prosperity Report by the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The Pathways to Prosperity report was released in February of 2011 by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and was entitled: “Pathway to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century”. This report challenged our excessive focus on the four-year college education and argued that additional pathways need to be created to combine rigorous academics with strong technical education to equip the majority of young people with the skills and credentials to succeed in our increasingly challenging labor market.

Another aspect however—not addressed in the report or by the network— is the challenge our youngsters face due to their youthful indiscretions reflected on their criminal records.

Whether you are hired or promoted for a job may depend on the information revealed in a background check. Job applicants and existing employees as well as volunteers may be asked to submit to background checks. Employers are looking for the best possible candidates for their companies and background checks help sort through the overwhelming number of applicants they have. A blemish from days past can have a negative impact on an individual’s employability. An expungement may be the answer for certain, qualifying individuals who wish to clear their criminal record in order to have a better chance at employment.

If you or someone you know would like to open up career opportunities by discussing the possibility of expunging your criminal record contact Collins Law Firm  at (910) 793-9000(910) 793-9000 for a confidential legal consultation.

By Courtney Hull, Intern at Collins Law Firm

Buckle-Up Kids In North Carolina

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among those age 5-34 in the U.S. More than 2.3 million drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009. Seat belt use and proper child restraint are the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes, yet millions of adults do not wear their seat belts and fail to properly secure their children on every car ride. Many of these deaths and injuries can be prevented.  Placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.

According to North Carolina General Statute § 20-137.1 (Child restraint systems required)

(a) Every driver who is transporting one or more passengers of less than 16 years of age shall have all such passengers properly secured in a child passenger restraint system or seat belt which meets federal standards applicable at the time of its manufacture.
(a1) A child less than eight years of age and less than 80 pounds in weight shall be properly secured in a weight-appropriate child passenger restraint system. In vehicles equipped with an active passenger-side front air bag, if the vehicle has a rear seat, a child less than five years of age and less than 40 pounds in weight shall be properly secured in a rear seat, unless the child restraint system is designed for use with air bags. If no seating position equipped with a lap and shoulder belt to properly secure the weight-appropriate child passenger restraint system is available, a child less than eight years of age and between 40 and 80 pounds may be restrained by a properly fitted lap belt only.

A violation of this section shall have all of the following consequences:

(1) Two drivers license points shall be assessed pursuant to G.S. § 20-16.
(2) No insurance points shall be assessed.
(3) The violation shall not constitute negligence per se or contributory negligence per se.

For maximum safety and to avoid being charged with failing to restrain a child, follow these recommendations provided by www.buckleupnc.org:
•    Use rear facing child restraints as long as possible, but at least until age two. Most models can and should be used up to at least 30 pounds.
•    Once a child is turned to face the front of the car, use a child restraint with a harness until the harness is outgrown, from 40-80 pounds, depending on the model.
•    Use seatbelts for older children only when they are large enough for both the lap and shoulder belt to fit correctly.
•    Use a seatbelt on every car trip to set a good example for your children.

If you have been charged for failing to restrain a child, for a seatbelt violation  or if you have legal concerns about any area of law in which we practice, contact us at (910) 793-9000(910) 793-9000 for a confidential legal consultation.

By Lauren Seidel, Paralegal