Criminal Law Articles

Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Criminal Law.




Court Reverses Felony False Impersonation Conviction Involving Use of Birth Certificate

California Penal Code § 529 makes it a crime to use a false identity to create or exploit a written instrument. The statute’s intent is to make it illegal for one to create liability for an impersonated person for a financial or legal obligation. The statute is a “wobbler,” meaning it can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

The Serious Penalties for Drug Trafficking

The number of drug manufacturing plants across America is growing, but the majority of illicit drugs in our country are imported from other countries in South America and the Caribbean and Mexico as well.

Federal Court Rules Collection of DNA from Felony Arrestee Constitutional

Over the last year, the Ninth Circuit and more than one California Court of Appeal have ruled on the constitutionality of California’s law directing police to collect DNA from an arrestee. In a First Appellate District Court of Appeal decision in California, People v. Buza (2011 DJDAR 11741), the court reversed Buza’s misdemeanor conviction for refusing to provide a DNA sample.

What are the Charges for Marijuana Possession in Florida?

Florida drug laws are rather strict when compared to other states. Not only will a person convicted of possession or any other infraction of a drug law lose their license for two years, but they will also be facing fines and in some cases jail time. The state of Florida wants the residents and visitors to the state to understand that they are not playing around when it comes to the war on drugs.

Challenging the Police Officer Who Issued Your DUII

Driving while under the intoxication of alcohol or drugs is a practice that is illegal throughout the United States. The specific penalties and consequences for DUI and DUII charges are determined by each individual state, and the acceptable level of blood alcohol concentration is unique to every state as well. If a police officer suspects a driver of driving while intoxicated, they may pull the driver over and request a test to determine alcohol-level.

Why is My Vehicle Being Impounded?

Vehicle impoundment is a popular penalty imposed by law enforcement agencies for crimes such as DUI or failing to pay a traffic ticket on time. Having a vehicle impounded is a serious hindrance for the owner of the car, and may affect their ability to work and live a normal life.

The Process of DUI Sentencing

Have you been arrested or charged with a DUI offense? If so, the ruthless process of the criminal justice system has already started and you need to act quickly to defend your rights. DUI charges can be complex matters because you will be facing both a criminal and civil case with the possibility of severe consequences. From the moment you are charged, you will have a mere 14 days to request an administrative hearing to save your driver’s license.

Court Vacates Sentence of 150 Years to Life by Dismissing Three Prior Strikes

California’s Three Strikes law contains sentencing requirements that add time to one’s sentence if the individual has a prior conviction for a “strike offense.” “Strike offenses” are generally described as serious or violent felonies, such as murder, rape, armed robbery and arson, but can include other offenses that seem, by comparison, not too serious or violent. This often results in sentences one court described as “arbitrary, capricious and patently absurd.”

Drugged Driving and Florida Law

Driving under the influence of a prescription medication, an illegal substance or an over-the-counter medication can be as unlawful as drunk driving. In the state of Florida, DUI is defined as driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances or controlled substances. What does this mean? It means that it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle when your normal faculties are impaired by the means of alcohol, or any other substance.

How a Misdemeanor Can Affect Your Future

While many people brush off a misdemeanor offense as a minor violation of the law, this serious crime can have a lasting effect on your life and your criminal record. Continue reading to learn more about the effects of a misdemeanor conviction on your record.

Challenging Your DUI

If you or a loved one is facing accusations of driving under the influence, there are ways to fight against a conviction. Learn how you could get your case dismissed by challenging the evidence against you and the method by which it was obtained. In the U.S., it is illegal to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration or content) of 0.08% or above.

Intellectual Property Theft: Is SOPA the Solution?

The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, is a United States bill introduced in October of 2011 in order to help combat the online theft of intellectual property and its injurious consequences, both for large companies and for artists personally. While supported by movie studios in California, the Act became the focus of widespread criticism and an online protest. A lawyer explains the Act, its controversy, and examines whether it could serve as a solution to the problem of online piracy.

Conviction Reversed for Burglary by Acetylene Torch at Best Buy

In the early morning hours of June 3, 2008, a silent alarm was triggered at a Murietta Best Buy. Police arrived and found “a large hole cut in a side steel door leading into the store that appeared to have been made by a torch.” Inside the store, police found a locked camera cabinet that had been forced open. A store security video showed a man in a hooded sweatshirt taking video recorders and cameras worth approximately $24,600 from the cabinet.

Looking to Clear Your Criminal Record?

Have you been charged with a crime in the past? If you have been accused and convicted of a criminal offense, your ability to secure work, housing, public benefits and financial aid in the future may be significantly impacted. The state of Washington has enacted laws that created a process for individuals who have a criminal record to clear misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors and felonies from their criminal record.

Immigration Consequences of a Conviction for a Drug Offense

With the exception of limited marijuana offenses, legal aliens are subject to deportation once convicted of any drug (or narcotic) crime in California. 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(B). “Any” means simple possession of methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy (“X”), phencyclidine (“PCP”), codeine, hydrocodone (“Vicodin”), ketamine (“Special K”), gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (“GHB”), heroin, peyote, and many other drugs, including prescription drugs without a valid prescription.

Criminal Act Related to Condominium - Indonesia

  By Leks&Co
Criminal provisions related to condominium is regulated in Article 21 until Article 23 of the Law Number 16 of 1985 (“Law 16/1985″) on Condominium. Article 21 paragraph (1) of Law 16/1985 regulates criminal sanction, that is stated:

Expungements - A Capsule Summary of the Statute

Expungements serve an important purpose of the law: allowing criminal defendants to wipe their criminal history clean, so long as they do not abuse this privilege. Understanding the New Jersey statutory framework is critical before an attorney should attempt to submit a petition to the courts. Below is a short, capsule guide to navigating the (surprisingly) detailed law for expungements.

An Overview of Georgia DUI Laws

It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08% or greater nationwide. The state of Georgia is particularly harsh with their DUI punishments and much like other criminal offenses; you will need a competent attorney to help you retain your driving privileges and your freedom.

Immigration Consequences a Conviction for Domestic Violence

Our office often represents folks accused of domestic violence and who are not U.S. citizens. A big issue is consequently the effect of a conviction on their ability to legally remain in the United States and return to the United States if they leave for any reason.

DUI Checkpoints in PA: Should They Be Banned?

At least two states are considering legislation to ban DUI checkpoints on the basis that checkpoints violate citizens' rights. DUI checkpoints are stationary roadblocks conducted by police officers who make suspisionless stops to check for intoxicated drivers. If it is determined that a motorist who passes through a DUI checkpoint is intoxicated, he or she will be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances under 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3802, the PA DUI law.

FBI Changes Rape Definition:Florida Rape Attorneys Explain Ramifications

For the first time since 1920, the FBI has updated its definition of rape in a move hailed by feminists, rape crisis centers, police, victim’s rights advocates, and Florida rape lawyers. The old definition of rape was the vague “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” The new definition is far more in line with current understanding about the nature of rape: it defines rape as the penetration of a person, regardless of gender, without the person’s consent.

Minnesota Supreme Court Rules on Urine Test for DWI Offenses

The law in Minnesota is forever changing as DWI attorneys challenge inaccurate testing for DWI cases. Review the latest changes in 2012. The Minnesota Supreme Court decided the case of State v. Tanksley on February 8, 2012. That ruling allows the State to continue using urine tests in DWI cases despite the significantly flawed nature of the test in relationship to intoxication.

What Happens if Police Say I Refused a Breath or Blood Test?

Our office often receives phone calls from folks who are arrested for DUI and are told by police that they must submit to a breath or blood test of their blood alcohol level. In perhaps five to ten percent of such cases, our clients refuse to give such a sample. They often ask, “now what happens?”

Avoiding Identity Theft — What You Can Do

Someone uses your credit card to charge a Caribbean vacation. Or accesses your bank account and drains it of funds. Or uses your ID while committing a crime. Identity theft refers to a broad range of crimes, including misuse of your financial information, name, Social Security Number and reputation. Identity—it’s more than your name, it’s life as you know it.

Call for a Nationwide Ban on Cell Phones and Texting while Driving

In December, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called for a nationwide ban on all cell phone use while driving. This goes beyond the hands-free laws enacted by ten states. Considering the dangers, why isn’t there such a ban in place? Cell phone use spread at almost an epidemic rate before the dangers were documented. Distracted driving causes more 6000 crashes and 3000 deaths each year.

Protect Yourself against Unscrupulous Debt Collectors

You may want to talk with the debt collector once to be sure the debt involved is yours or to discuss a way to resolve it, but you can refuse contact. If you inform the collector you are represented by a bankruptcy attorney or other counsel, the collector must contact your lawyer rather than you.

New Law in New Jersey Makes it a Crime to Drive with a Suspended License

In the state of New Jersey, driving with a suspended license has now become a criminal offense under certain circumstances. Specifically, if your license has been suspended due to driving while intoxicated (DWI) or because you refused to submit to a breath test, continuance to drive under the suspended license can result in a fourth degree criminal charge.

What is a Ponzi Scheme? Your New Jersey Tax Lawyer Explains

You’ve probably heard a lot about Ponzi schemes recently in the news — about people becoming unimaginably wealthy through fraud, only to watch their empires, built on dishonesty, collapse about them — but how many people who are not NJ tax attorneys truly understand what a Ponzi scheme is and how it works? Grasp the fundamentals of a Ponzi scheme, and you too can keep yourself from being victimized by perpetuators of this white collar crime.

Street Terrorism Sentence Stricken When Defendant Already Punished for Underlying Arson and Criminal Threats

Michael Hong Louie and Soriyaa Ek were both validated gang members. They were convicted of arson, criminal threats and street terrorism. The underlying facts are that Louie and Ek, in January of 2007, allegedly set fire to a Stockton, California, apartment of a woman who repeatedly reported gang activity in her neighborhood. Both defendants were also charged with attempted murder, but the jury returned a not guilty verdict on the attempted murder charge.

Legal Alert - Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011

It is a criminal offense, under Nigerian law, for any person to commit, threaten, promote, fund, assist or facilitate any act preparatory to or in furtherance of, or the actual execution of any act(s) of terrorism. It is also a criminal offense for any person or group of persons to seize, detain or attempt to seize or detain, or threaten to kill or injure another person (or property) as a basis to induce the release of a terrorist.

Conviction Related to Sexting Properly Required Sex Offender Registration

California Penal Code § 647.6(a)(1) makes it a crime to sexually annoy or molest any child under 18. No touching is required, but does require that a “normal person would unhesitatingly be irritated by” defendant’s conduct. The conduct must be motivated by “an unnatural or abnormal sexual interest or intent with respect to children.” Upon conviction for violating this statute, one must register for remainder of one’s life as a sex offender under Penal Code § 290.

What Makes a DUI a Felony?

The majority of DUIs are misdemeanors; however, under certain circumstances even a first DUI offense can be prosecuted as a felony offense. A felony DUI can involve a lengthy prison sentence for the accused. If this is your first brush with the wrong side of the law, you are probably very nervous about what the future will bring. First off, the majority of DUIs in California are prosecuted as misdemeanor offenses.

Ticket Thrown Out for Running Red Light Based on Red Light Camera

Our office receives many calls from clients who receive tickets for running red lights when the basis is a photograph from a camera at the intersection. Usually, the fine is pretty steep, approaching $500, not to mention the traffic school fees that follow.

The Consequences of Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated

A couple of drinks with dinner can subsequently lead to a fatal drunk driving accident. Vehicular manslaughter is a “wobbler” in the state of California, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense. It’s very normal to enjoy a couple of drinks during an evening out on the town or while enjoying dinner with your spouse or a couple of friends.

California DUI Basics

California drivers are strictly prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater. The minimum threshold is even less for commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21. It’s a good idea for all California drivers to become familiar with their state’s local laws as it pertains to drunk driving. In California and all across the nation it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more.

How a DUI Can Affect Your Driving Privileges

In the state of California, drivers can be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Arrests do not restricted to illegal street drugs; even perfectly legal prescribed medications can get you into serious trouble with the law. We are all familiar with a DUI as it pertains to alcohol; however, many of us are not so familiar with a DUID, otherwise known as driving under the influence of drugs.

Under 21 DUI: What to Expect

It’s against the law for anyone to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater in all fifty states. The DUI penalties for an underage driver are more significant. In the state of California it’s against the law for a driver to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater. For drivers below the age of 21, that number is far lower at just .01% under California’s “Zero Tolerance Law.”

Auto Insurance After a DUI Conviction

DUI is one of the most common offenses that people are arrested for. Often times, they don’t know how a DUI conviction will affect their insurance rates. If you have recently been arrested for DUI, then you are probably very curious about how a conviction would affect your auto insurance premiums. One thing to keep in mind is that if you haven’t been convicted yet, a DUI attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case, possible avoiding a conviction altogether.

Cyberbullying on the Rise

According to a report by the National Crime Prevention Council, 43 percent of teens have experienced some form of cyberbullying online. With the advent of social networking and social media sites, staying connected online has become a major part of people's lives. This is especially true for teenagers. Over 95 percent of teenagers have an email account and 97 percent of teens report using the Internet at home for personal or school purposes.

What are Miranda Rights? An Atlanta Criminal Lawyer Explains

In the United States, the Miranda rights (also called the Miranda warning or “reading you your rights”) are the warning that police give to criminal suspects in police custody or a custodial interrogation. The Miranda warning makes the evidence admissible in court because it proves that the suspect was aware of his Miranda rights against self-incrimination when he gave information.

American Servicemen and Military DUI

  By JD Law
A conviction for DUI is a serious matter for a civilian. However, the implications can be far more severe for a member of the armed forces. It is against the law for an adult to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration at or above .08% in the state of California. That number goes down to just .01% for drivers under the age of 21 under California’s zero tolerance law for underage drinkers.

Aggravating Factors in a DUI Case

In the presence of aggravating factors, a DUI case becomes more serious. Aggravating factors serve to increase the penalties for the alleged drunk driver. It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content above .08% across the nation. When a person is arrested for DUI in California, there are certain penalties they will face.

Types of Burglary for California Penal Code 459

Burglary, under California Penal Code Section 459 is also known as “breaking and entering a property”, with the main aim being: to steal something or commit a crime. It should be noted that even if force is not used, it is still considered to be a burglary. There are mainly two categorizations of burglary, which are first degree burglaries and second degree types. We will examine each of these and their respective penalties.

Child Molestation: What Every Parent Fears

Tragically, there are approximately 3 million children that are the victims of child sexual abuse in the United States. As a parent, it’s absolutely critical to seek justice against the abuser to put a stop to the further victimization of innocent children. The sexual abuse of children is a widespread problem that affects approximately 3 million children in the United States.

Probation Violations: What to Expect

  By HG.org
If you or a loved one was given probation, the judge who handled your initial case probably described what your probationary period would consist of. He or she probably set forth certain rules that you were supposed to follow, such as meeting with a probation officer on a regular schedule, abstaining from drugs and alcohol and following all laws.

Conviction for Second Degree Murder by Child Neglect Upheld

A Riverside County jury convicted Gregory Lee Latham and his wife of second degree murder of their daughter, age 17, for failing to obtain medical treatment for her type 1 diabetes, which resulted in her death. Gregory was sentenced to seventeen years in prison. His wife was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Not only did the jury convict both Lathams of violating Penal Code § 187(a) (Second Degree Murder), but the jury also convicted each of child endangerment (Penal Code § 273a(a).

Assembly Bill 327– The Fix for Unfairness in California’s Three Strikes Law?

California’s Three Strikes law is often criticized for its “one size fits all” approach in sentencing a defendant with two or more prior strike convictions. Strikes include, but are not limited to, such offenses as assault with a deadly weapon or with force likely to produce great bodily injury (P.C. § 245(a)(1)).

California DUI and Enhanced Penalties

A first time DUI offense without any aggravating circumstances is typically charged as a misdemeanor offense. However, under “aggravating” circumstances the penalties may be enhanced. A DUI arrest begins with the “traffic stop” where the suspicious police officer asks the driver if they have been drinking. Based upon the driver’s answers and any “signs” of impairment, the police officer asks the driver to perform a series of field sobriety tests.

Avoiding Tax Scams

Tax scams involve trying to cheat individuals out of their money. But it can also involve cheating the government, too. While some of these scams can be very persuasive, it is possible to stay out of their cross-hairs, if you know what to be on the lookout for.

Despite the Recent Publicity, Children Continue to Remain Susceptible to Abuse from Clergy

Child abuse, especially sexual abuse, is a devastating event and can be difficult to discuss. This is especially true for clergy abuse because it involves the church and trusted priests. However, clergy abuse is a topic that needs to be discussed. The more light shed on the topic, the better people can understand the problem, take preventative measures, provide therapy to victims, and attempt to right wrongs.

Nursing Home Abuse: The Deaths of 13 Children Linked to Poor Care at Chicago Nursing Home

The Chicago Tribune ran one of the more disturbing investigative stories I've seen in a long-time when it chronicled the poor care given to disabled children living at Alden Village North located on Chicago's north-side. The Tribune used public records and government documents to uncover the names and details of care provided to children living with physical and mental handicaps, including: cerebral palsy and Downs syndrome.

Understanding the Regulations Pertaining to Day Care Facilities is Crucial to Protecting Your Child

Day Care Centers are facilities that provide child care for less than 24 hours/day for over eight children if it is a family home or over three children in a non-home facility. In Illinois, these Centers are regulated by the Part 407 (Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers) of the Illinois Administrative Code. DCFS inspects and licensees these facilities (license valid for three years).

License Suspended at DMV DUI Hearing Despite Improper Calibration of Breath Test Device

Whenever a client of our office is alleged to be driving while under the influence, we are keen to verify if the breath or blood test is accurate. If the blood alcohol content is calculated by a breath test, for example, it is fundamental that the breath test machine is properly calibrated.

Facing Serious Charges? You Need an Arlington Criminal Defense Attorney at Your Side

Maybe you think this is a nightmare, but suddenly, you're facing criminal charges. It could be a surprise, or you could have known it was coming because you have been under investigation for some time. Either way, you need the services of an Arlington criminal defense attorney right away.

Defining Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious crime that is not punished lightly. A person convicted of identity theft can face thousands of dollars in fines and years in a state prison. With modern technology, identity theft has become easier to commit by the minute.

Second Probation Violation Hearing Improper after First Hearing Ended

A common situation our clients on probation face is being arrested for a new offense. They often remark that they are just unlucky. The client then faces not only a new criminal case, but a probation violation case that could land the client in jail or prison for significant time. This is especially so because the burden of proof is lower for a probation violation.

White Collar Crime Offenses: What You Need to Know

Coined in 1939, the term white collar crime is now used to describe illegal behaviors of a non-violent nature. Often, these are actions which are spurred by financial motivations with the intention of monetary gain. However, these are offenses which are widely categorized, and not always easy to definitively pinpoint on any one individual or business entity.

How Does a DUI in PA Affect You?

A Pennsylvania DUI conviction can have a serious impact on your personal and professional life. A PA DUI can result in significant DUI penalties, including fines, driver's license suspension and jail. Due to the severity of the consequences of a DUI conviction, if you have been charged with DUI or a DUI-related offense in Montgomery County, PA, you should seek the assistance of an experienced Montgomery County, PA DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

Stalking: One of the Most Common Criminal Accusations in Las Vegas

Stalking charges tend to be common in Las Vegas, a city full of all-night parties and heightened senses. A person may be accused of stalking if they make another person fear for their safety, regardless of whether it is intentional or unintentional. Studies show that as many as 1 in 30 women will be victims of stalking at some point in their life, and those accused of stalking will face serious penalties.

Court-Martials

What exactly is a court-martial? Is there any difference between a civilian trial and a military criminal trial? Members of the military who are facing criminal charges need to be aware of the details of their situation so that they can have the best possible chance of defending themselves. When a member of the Armed Forces is accused of a crime, they may have to be to tried in a court-martial, a trial which is led by the U.S. military.

What to Look for When Hiring a Private Investigator

Ever wonder what you should look for, when you need to hire a private investigator? If you have ever done an internet search for a private investigator, you have no doubt seen hundreds of PI's and investigation agencies appear on your screen. How do you know who to use? Well, start by calling around a bit.

Immigration Consequences of a Conviction for DUI

Our clients who are not United States citizens often nervously ask “will a conviction for DUI cause me to be deported?” They also sometimes ask, “if I leave the United States and try to return to the U.S. after the conviction, will I be turned away?” The usual answer we give is, “well, generally speaking, no.”

What Legal Rights are Granted the Family Someone Killed by a Drunk Driver?

When a person is killed by the careless or reckless actions of another party, like drunk driving, they are provide legal recourse in accordance to the state's wrongful death laws. While laws vary in each state, they typically provide for medical expense, funeral expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, pain and suffering and sometimes "punitive damages." If your loved one was killed by a drunk driving, you need to advice of an experienced attorney.

Determining Excessive Force When Police Actions Cause Personal Injury

Police in Orange County and throughout California have a long history of respected service but also of problems involving misconduct, including excessive force causing injury or death. Understanding the rights and limitations on police officers is important. An attorney examines cases that recently occurred in the state to determine whether misconduct occurred and discuss the laws.

Judge May Prohibit Medical Marijuana Use as Term of Probation.

Steven Hughes was convicted of cultivating marijuana (a violation of California Health & Safety Code § 11358), possession of marijuana for sale (a violation of California Health & Safety Code § 11359), and transportation of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana (a violation of California Health & Safety Code § 11360).

BAC: Breath and Blood Tests

Chemical testing plays a major role in the arrest and conviction of DWI cases. However, what many people do not realize is that they have rights concerning these tests and that the evidence can be disputed. If you or a family member were arrested for driving while intoxicated, you may be facing serious penalties. One of the difficulties surrounding these cases is how law enforcement officer test the driver’s blood alcohol concentration.

What is a Preliminary Hearing?

In every felony case, a preliminary hearing is required. The hearing’s purpose is to test the sufficiency of the evidence to determine whether the case merits continued attention. The accused can waive such a hearing and give up his or her right to such a hearing, but this is rarely done. If the evidence is deemed insufficient, the case is dismissed.

Texas Charges for Aggravated Sexual Assault

The state of Texas is especially ruthless when it comes to sex-related crimes committed against minors. This is especially true to charges of aggravated sexual assault against a child per §22.021 of the Penal Code. While sex-related crimes are always taken seriously, these are viewed as especially heinous by law enforcement and prosecutors when the victim is under the legal age of consent. Under Chapter 22 of Assaultive Offenses, §22.021, the crime of aggravated sexual assault is addressed.

A Reminder about Drunk Driving and the Super Bowl for PA Drivers

Tips to avoid a drunk driving arrest (DUI) in Pennsylvania this Super Bowl Sunday from Montgomery County, PA DUI attorney Jason Martin. The Super Bowl is America’s most popular national sporting event. This year, millions of people across the country will gather with friends and family to socialize and watch the game. Unfortunately, Super Bowl Sunday is also one of Pennsylvania’s most dangerous days on the road as a result of drunk driving.

Sentence Set Aside When Federal Judge Makes Mistake

Chino prison guard Robert McGowan was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for violations of federal laws prohibiting a prison guard from depriving an inmate of his constitutional right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment. The conduct at issue was a 2007 incident where McGowan allegedly pushed two hand-cuffed and shackled prisoners out of a truck, causing them to suffer bruises and cuts.

Did the Prosecution Violate Your Sixth Amendment Right to a Speedy Trial?

Our office frequently receives calls about someone who was arrested, but never told to go to court. In releasing the person, police may have advised the person that a notice would be mailed telling them of a court date, but the notice never arrived. Other times, there is an incident and the person is not even arrested.

Ignition Interlock Device: About the Device

For many people who have been criminally charged with drunk driving, they will be facing penalties that include the ignition interlock device (IID). However, there is considerable confusion about this device. We at Takakjian & Sitkoff are here to help clear up any questions one might have. The ignition interlock device is a mechanism that was put into effect by almost all 50 states in 2009 as a sentencing alternative for drunken drivers.

Police Use of GPS on Drug Dealer’s Car Without a Warrant Held Improper; Evidence From it Thrown Out

On Monday, January 23, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that evidence gathered by police using a GPS fastened to a drug dealer’s car without a warrant was improperly obtained. With Justice Antonia Scalia writing the majority opinion, the Court ruled that the act of attaching the GPS was a warrantless property invasion, so the evidence derived from it showing defendant’s whereabouts for twenty-eight straight days was inadmissible.

Videos in the Courtroom: The Use of Emotional Video Montages on the Rise in Criminal Cases…But are they Fair?

As reported in a recent Newsday story, the use of a video photo montage (an emotional video providing a glimpse into the life of a deceased victim) is becoming more common in criminal courtrooms across the country, including criminal courts here on Long Island.

What Constitutes an Arrest in Georgia

When can you consider yourself "under arrest"? - What is an arrest in Georgia? - It is important to know exactly what constitutes an arrest in Georgia. This is because a search of someone who is not under arrest is much more limited than a search of a person under arrest. In fact, a lot of rights that we are familiar with under the law do not apply unless there is a valid arrest first.

Georgia Speedy Trial

Is a Georgia Speedy Trial Demand the right avenue for your case? - Georgia's Speedy Trial Demand - The justice system in Georgia can move quite slowly. If you know anyone that has been involved in a criminal proceeding, you are probably aware that the process can drag on for what seems like forever.

Funding Pulled from Group Home for Children Following Discovery of Abuse

For handicapped children, living in a group home environment with peers facing similar disabilities can be a real gift. Unlike other living arrangements where children can feel significantly out of place, group homes for disabled children and young-adults hopefully foster an environment of support and encouragement.

Drug Use among the Youth in America and the Need for Legal Representation

Drug use among high school and college age students is on the rise. Statistics show that marijuana and psychotherapeutic drugs used for non-medical purposes are the most commonly sold and distributed drugs among students. When a student is charged with a drug crime, they may experience discrimination and penalties from school authorities and police enforcement.

Retroactive Sex Offender Registration in Texas

Sex offender registration can be made retroactive in Texas. Many people are surprised to discover that they have been labeled as "sex offenders" when their attorney told them years ago that they would not have to worry about it. The reason for this is that Texas courts have ruled that sex offender registration is not a "punishment".

Can an Employer be Held Liable for Death Resulting from Employee’s Drunk Driving?

Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), based in Orange County, California, is currently facing a civil lawsuit brought as a result of the actions of one of their employees. The employee, a pastor, was driving drunk in a company vehicle when he caused an accident resulting in the serious injuries that ultimately claimed the victim’s life. A lawyer explains how TBN may be held liable for its employee’s actions.

Drug Diversion Programs – Prop 36 Versus PC 1000

If you or a loved one face charges for possession of an illegal drug, a common response is, “prison will not solve the problem; treatment and education would be better.” Our legislature in Sacramento has recognized this, too, and has passed provisions that offer a drug offender a chance to “divert” from the criminal court system to drug rehabilitation programs in lieu of incarceration.

Charged as a Criminal? Miranda Rights Observed

If you are arrested by the police, you are entitled to certain rights and liberties, no matter what you are being charged with or accused of doing. The code that outlines criminal rights in Florida stipulates that certain and specific procedures must be followed by law enforcement agents when you are arrested or taken into custody. Among those, the Miranda rights feature prominently.

Coping with the Impact of a DUI

You probably already know that after a DUI in Florida, you need to contact a drunk driving defense attorney who has handled cases like yours before and can protect all of your rights under the law, but you may be at a loss as to how to explain to your friends, family members and co-workers that you have been arrested for a DUI.

Drugged Driving in the United States: New Threat to Motorists

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol has been a major contributing factor to the rise of personal injury claims in the State of California. Because of this adverse trend, hundreds of people get injured and worst get killed due to drunken driving. However, unfortunately, alcohol is not only the cause of impaired driving in the United States as drug-related DUIs are also on the rise.

Plea Bargaining by the Judge is Illegal – Not an Indicated Sentence

It is not uncommon for our clients to encounter a prosecutor who seems to stop plea bargaining, or plea bargain at all in the face of new information. The prosecutor may not seem to read the police report or, in the case of a DUI for example, to begin and end his or her analysis with only reading the blood alcohol content. The prosecutor may also seem to take a zealous personal interest in punishment of our client that seems inappropriate.

Conviction Reversed for District Attorney Withholding Evidence

On January 10, 2012, the United States Supreme Court reversed a murder conviction in Smith v. Cain (2012 DJDAR 296). The opinion held that a Louisiana district attorney violated his duty to produce material favorable to the defense and material to defendant’s guilty or punishment, as set out in Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83.

Challenging the International Criminal Court (ICC) by Using Traditional Form of Justice in Africa

This article addresses the “paradox between peace and justice” that has emerged in discussions about the relationship between the International Criminal Court [ICC] and traditional forms of justice, namely the Acholi tradition of "Mato Oput" in Uganda. While its sees the merit of using a traditional system this article also points out the potential danger of using these mechanisms as an excuse to avoid moral and legal accountability.

Why Is a “Wet Reckless” Better Than a DUI?

Anyone who has personally experienced being charged with DUI or has a friend or family member who has faced such charges in California may have heard about a “wet reckless.” The advantages and disadvantages of a plea to a “wet” often misunderstood. The term “wet reckless” refers to a plea bargained charge of violating California Vehicle Code § 23103 pursuant to § 23103.5.

Florida Mandatory Reporting Laws

The scandal at Penn State, which revealed that people required to report child molestation only had to report it to their superiors and not the police, has many people asking: What is a mandatory reporter? What do mandatory reporters have to do? A Florida rape attorney can explain. Of course, it is everyone’s duty to report abuse if they witness it.

Is Expungement Worth It?

In today’s economic hard times, our firm receives numerous inquiries about clearing one’s criminal record. The concern expressed is almost always that a prospective employer may reject a job applicant who has a criminal record, or pass over an existing employee for a promotion or pay raise on the same basis.

What You Should Know about Major Thefts

Although statistics show that theft crimes are decreasing across the board, there is still a concern regarding major thefts. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is committed to stopping instances of art theft, gem theft, organized retail theft, and more. Accusations of major theft are sobering, not only because of the penalties, but because of the manpower and resources that the investigating agencies possess.

Georgia Drug Possession Laws

Georgia drug possession laws are exceptionally harsh and can land you in prison if you don’t have a good attorney. If you are facing drug charges, an experienced lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Much like its neighbor Florida, the state of Georgia has little tolerance for drug possession.

Obtaining a 212(h) Waiver for the Immediate Relative of a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident

This article summarizes the requirements for obtaining a 212(h) waiver when necessary because an immediate relative has been found inadmissible or deportable as a result of a criminal conviction. You have been invited to visit a friend. The invitation is to stay in their home for six months. You won’t be allowed to work while you are there and you will have to pay for your own trip and your support. You accept the invitation.

Do the Victims of Cyber Scams Have Legal Recourse?

Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued warnings concerning a new computer-related crime when three California residents suffered personally injurious consequences after falling for the scams, explains a lawyer in the state. Unfortunately, despite law enforcement's best efforts to help these victims, the law currently doesn't provide an effective way of dealing with cyber crimes, and the victims may have little recourse.

Internet Crimes: Definition and Penalties

Internet crimes are a growing problem throughout the U.S. Ranging from fraud to child pornography, the types of crimes as well as their consequences vary depending on the seriousness of the offense. An internet crime, or cybercrime, refers to any illegal practice that involves the use of a computer or network, or targets a computer or network.

Prevalence of Identity Theft on Social Networking Sites

The massive availability of the Internet has helped a lot of Americans, even those people who are benefiting from Social Security disability benefits. However, despite the advantages of the online technology, there are also some adverse effects it can provide. One of the most daunting disadvantages of the Internet is fraud.

If You Receive Miranda Warnings, Your Talking and Subsequent Silence Can Be Used Against You

Anyone who has watched much television is familiar with Miranda warnings, which remind a suspect of his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you at government expense.

Court Makes Mistake in Sentencing Mentally Disordered Offender to Treatment

Kelvin Harrison was convicted in San Bernardino County of battery with serious bodily injury. He was sentenced to prison for two years. When the crime occurred in 2008 both he and the victim were homeless. Harrison attacked another man with a steel pipe because he found a bag of grapes left by the victim where he normally slept. The grapes were allegedly filled with blood, which Harrison interpreted as an omen that the victim intended to harm him. Harrison then attacked the victim with the pipe.

Ten New Laws to Know for 2012

It is January 1, 2012 and a host of new laws become effective today. While some of these laws may not affect you, others may, so it good to be aware of how the laws have changed. There are dozens of new laws, but our focus in this article in limited to ten that involve possible criminal cases.

If You Receive Miranda Warnings, Your Talking and Subsequent Silence to Certain Questions

Anyone who has watched much television is familiar with Miranda warnings, which remind a suspect of his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.


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