Finding An Advocate

4 Legal Ways You Could Win A Drug Possession Court Case

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Legal Ways You Could Win A Drug Possession Court Case

You might be surprised to learn that every year people get falsely accused of drug possession charges. If wrongly convicted of these charges, an individual’s life can be significantly altered. This is why it is ideal to know that you or someone you love could one day be faced with the challenge of fighting drug possession charges. The following are a few points to keep in mind.  Entrapment This is a type of crime that occurs when law enforcement uses tactics to coerce people into the commission of crimes. It can happen in a number of ways, and some people refer to it as a “set-up.” This is an understandable way to label entrapment because what often happens is that police may use an informant to sell drugs to another person. They might also use these sources to get people involved in other unscrupulous behavior. Individuals who think they are victims of entrapment need legal representation because entrapment is an illegal act.  Medicinally Legal Cannabis If you have a prescription for marijuana, you might think that you could not get arrested and charged for having your prescription with you. However, it is possible for an officer to charge you. Keep in mind that charges are not convictions, and you need to be able to prove that you had a prescription and that the marijuana in question was your prescription to win this type of drug possession case.  Illegal Search and Seizure If you are asked for permission to search your car or home without a search warrant, you can legally decline the request. However, if there is a threat to a person or property, law enforcement can override what you say. For example, if it is suspected that a missing person is at your home and their life is in danger, police may not have to have your permission to search if they hear someone screaming for help inside. In some jurisdictions, police officers can get a judge to sign a search warrant in a short period of time, but your rights are protected under certain circumstances until they have legal permission.  No Proof of an Illicit Substance Sometimes police officers charge individuals with drug possession charges based off of preliminary testing of substances at the scene. Laboratory tests must also be performed to confirm whether the substances are indeed illegal. If law enforcement does not bother to get the additional testing performed, it is possible to dispute the validity of the preliminary test results since they are sometimes unreliable. A criminal defense lawyer is an excellent resource to use if you are charged with any drug-related crimes. They can help you understand your charges and the potential consequences of a conviction. These professionals may also be able to create reasonable doubt, which could result in dismissed charges or a not guilty verdict. For more information, contact a professional such as Thomas A...

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Should You Take a Polygraph Test? Consider These Facts First

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Take a Polygraph Test? Consider These Facts First

If you get hauled into the police station and accused of a serious crime, sooner or later someone may offer you the chance to take a polygraph, which is commonly known as a “lie detector” test. Should you do it? If you’re innocent, it would seem like the quickest way to get out of there and put yourself past suspicion—except these tests are virtually useless. This is what you should know about polygraphs before you agree to take one. Polygraphs measure bodily functions, not lies. Polygraphs don’t measure the truth; they measure purely physiological reactions: the amount of sweat you’re producing through the use of electrodes on your fingers your blood pressure and your heart rate through a cuff on your arm your rate of breathing through straps on your chest The polygraph examiner has to measure the results of each blip of the needle against so-called “control” questions, which are designed to give the reader a baseline by which to judge what’s normal for you when it comes to those physiological reactions. Part of the problem is that the whole thing is very subjective—an examiner may not be that skilled at reading the polygraph’s results. Plus, assumptions are made from the very start: that someone telling the truth isn’t going to be anxious or nervous or react with any sort of spike in those areas to questions that offend, startle, or horrify them. Polygraphs aren’t scientific and can be easily beaten. The American Polygraph Association probably can’t be blamed for asserting its belief that the machines are 90% effective—when properly administered. That may even be true when judged by the results gained by expert examiners in controlled conditions. However, others claim the machines are really only about 65% accurate. The false positive rate is about 15% and the Supreme Court has said they aren’t reliable in court since 1998. Worse, polygraphs can be easily beaten. You can find instructions on how to beat the test online given by none other than Russell Tice, the former NSA agent who exposed the unwarranted wiretapping being done by the government. One of the country’s most notorious serial killers, Gary Ridgeway, passed a polygraph. So did Aldrich Ames, the CIA agent who spied for Russia. Simply put, you can train yourself to be calm and lie your way through them (or simply be born a sociopath who doesn’t get stressed easily when lying). Police use them as an intimidation tactic and a tool. The police know all the faults with polygraphs and know they can’t put the evidence into court if you fail one, so why bother pressuring you if they aren’t interested in finding out if you’re innocent? Because the odds are high that you’ll fail the test from sheer nervousness. Most people aren’t exactly at their calmest after being accused of a serious crime, so you may fail from the stress of being asked deeply personal or outright offensive questions alone. If you do fail, the police can ramp up the pressure and push their interrogation further by waving the results in your face. Given the cultural myth in the U.S. of the reliability of the polygraph machine, supported by TV shows like Maury Povich, who routinely uses them to “expose” liars to their loved ones, people can be easily terrified by a failed...

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Are You Being Falsely Accused Of Committing A Crime? What To Do As You Await Your Court Date

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are You Being Falsely Accused Of Committing A Crime? What To Do As You Await Your Court Date

It can be incredibly upsetting to be arrested and charged with a felony or crime that you know you did not do. Waiting for your trial to begin can be a nerve-wracking experience and you might not know what you should be doing during this time. Here are some tips to use while waiting for your day in court. Write Notes About Everything That Has Happened While you wait to appear in court, the events that led up to your arrest might be going through your mind over and over again. However, as time goes by, details and small pieces of information might start to fade and you might not remember them as well as you once did. You might also remember something that you thought you’d forgotten. Because every detail might be important, it’s smart to start a journal or create a word processor file that includes everything you can remember about everything that led up to your arrest. You might want to provide your lawyer with a copy of your notes; they might be able to find something in them that can help your case. Stay Away from Anyone Involved Because you’re innocent, you may want to talk with someone else related to your case about what happened or ask them why they made the statements they made. You might think you can prove your innocence or clear up a misunderstanding if you can only talk to certain people. However, this could be a recipe for even more trouble. You might find yourself getting into an argument or a fight that results in another arrest. If you feel that you need to communicate with someone, talk to your lawyer, who can contact them on your behalf. Get Enough Sleep It is not unnatural to toss and turn worrying about being convicted for something you didn’t even do. However, it is vital that you are able to get as much sleep as you can. Depriving yourself of sleep may make you more irritable during the day and more likely to have poor judgment and make poor decisions that may make things worse. Do your best to head to sleep at a reasonable hour; learn relaxation techniques and methods that can help you fall asleep. You might also want to talk to a doctor about a possible prescription for a sleep aid. Use the ideas above to help you to be smart about how you spend your time while you wait for your court date. Keep in regular contact with your criminal attorney and ask for suggestions about how you might best be able to prove your innocence. Contact a business, such as LaCross & Murphy, PLLC, for more...

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What You Can Do To Help Your Child Face Pending DWI Charges

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Can Do To Help Your Child Face Pending DWI Charges

If your child has been charged with a DWI, you might be angry, but this might be a time in your child’s life that they need you the most. Your child most likely is scared and confused and has learned their lesson through the process of being charged with a DWI. Here are three reasons why your child might need your help in getting through their DWI offenses. 1. Long-Term Consequences Teenagers and young adults think that they are invincible. If your child has been charged with a DWI, they might not fully understand the ramifications of these charges. Don’t let your child downplay their situation or tell you that they will just plead guilty to the charges. If your child is charged with a DWI and is ultimately convicted of this crime, this might have long-term consequences on your child’s educational and professional pursuits. Anything that you can do as a parent to help your child’s future will be worth it. If you can help in finding a DWI attorney that can effectively lessen or fight these charges, this can help protect your child’s future. 3. The Financial Burden While you might be upset with your child for getting in their current situation, they probably won’t have the means to fight these charges in an effective manner. If you can provide the resources needed ASAP for attorney fees, clothes for court, and other incidentals, your child will stand a better chance of getting a more positive outcome for their DWI case. While you might want your child to learn a lesson from their mistakes, helping them out financially can de-escalate your child’s problems and will help them get back on track faster. 4. The Need to Act Fast If you have just found out about your child’s DWI charges or had to bail your child out, you might be upset and need a little time to get your head around the situation. The thing is, the best thing that you can do for your child is act fast and secure a DWI attorney right away. There will be documents to submit to courts and your child’s attorney will want to have ample time to investigate the case. The sooner you can get your child effective counsel, the sooner their charges can be reviewed. There are some mistakes that are so big that your child shouldn’t have to learn from them the hard way. Being convicted of a DWI can bring on so many other issues in your child’s life. It isn’t worth it to not at least make it possible to review all options in their case. Anything that you can do to help lessen your child’s DWI conviction with legal and financial support, the better. For more information about tackling this kind of case, visit websites...

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Second Offense DUI: What You Need To Know When You Are Likely To Be Found Guilty

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Second Offense DUI: What You Need To Know When You Are Likely To Be Found Guilty

Any DUI conviction is serious, but repeat offenses are especially incriminating. If you “got off easy” with your first offense, with some probation, community service, or a suspension of driving privileges, you cannot expect the same thing with a repeat offense. It will be harder to convince the judge that you are truly sorry for your actions or that you can be reformed with a lighter sentence, since a repeat offense indicates a lack remorse, even if you are truly sorry. Here are some things you need to know about your options when it comes to fighting or negotiating a second DUI charge. 1. You could go to jail. Jail time is not essential for a first offense, but it is common and even mandatory for second or third DUI charges. If you are found guilty, count on spending some time in jail. Your DUI attorney can negotiate the terms of your incarceration and you can plead down for a reduced sentence, but it’s wise to make arrangements for your family or education in order to prepare for the time you will spend in prison.  2. Be careful when negotiating plea deals. Plea deals are a great way to help reduce the severity of your sentence. The prosecutor may offer reduced jail time and other concessions, like lower fines or fewer years of probation following release, in exchange for your guilty plea. Your lawyer might advise you to take the deal if there is a very slight chance of proving innocence. However, plea deals themselves can be a trap. Don’t answer questions or acknowledge statements like, “You and I both know you had alcohol in your vehicle.” If you make affirmative statements, even just a nod, these could be used against you later in court. Instead, remain silent or stay neutral by replying with, “You don’t have evidence,” or “That is just a speculation.” 3. Your case could be dismissed. In the case a of DUI, even second offenses, cases can be dismissed by the judge. The prosecutor knows this, and if trial day comes and the changes of dismissal are great, he or she might approach you with an excellent plea deal. If you get a great offer on the day of your trial, you need to do some digging before you accept the offer. If your case has the chance of being dismissed, then a deal would be worse for you. One of the most common reasons is that the officer who arrested you for a DUI does not show up to testify. Without the officer’s testimony and evidence, the case against you must be...

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Booby Traps And Criminal Fortification: What You Should Know

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Booby Traps And Criminal Fortification: What You Should Know

You have certain rights to inhabit and enjoy your own property in peace and to defend it against intrusion. However, you don’t have the right to turn your private castle into a fort and you can’t lay booby traps for would-be intruders. Here’s what you should know about booby traps and criminal fortification (before you run afoul of the law):  Criminal Fortification: Criminal fortification is (currently) a crime in only a few states, like Illinois and New Jersey, and the language usually specifically addresses people who have set up barriers that are designed to slow the entrance of law enforcement to places where there are drugs being made, sold, or stored. However, more states are considering adding this crime to the books as an “add-on” crime that can be tacked onto other drug charges. Why should you worry? Crimes like criminal fortification often carry more weight than the actual drug charges. In Illinois, for example, it’s a Class 3 Felony, which can net you up to 5 years in prison. If you happen to be keeping a bag of marijuana in your residence under 30 grams in weight, a first offense is only a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine. That means that the alarm system on your door could cost you more time in prison than the drugs in your possession. Booby Traps: Booby traps that are designed to be triggered by the unknowing actions of their eventual victims are sometimes illegal in certain states and generally ill-advised. So-called “spring guns” that explode on or fire at their targets are often specifically illegal, even if you warn victims in advance that they are entering at their own risk. The law puts a higher value on human life than it does property, so injuring or killing a potential thief when you’re in no personal danger is considered a criminal action. Why are laws like this enforced? It’s in the interest of public safety; if you’re in an accident or the police are executing a lawful warrant on you, emergency responders coming to save you or law enforcement officers coming to search the place shouldn’t have to worry about dangerous traps. Other types of booby traps may not be specifically illegal because the law often can’t keep pace with human ingenuity. For example, if you set a trap that will shock your victim with a small electric current and temporarily disable him or her, there might not be a specific law on the books in your state that makes the action criminal. However, you’ll still probably end up in civil court, being sued for the injuries and pain that your victim suffered. The best course of action, naturally, is to know the laws in your area before you set up your home defenses. However, if you’re already in trouble because you took the idea of defending your home a little too far and set a trap or ran up against an “add-on” law that made your home security devices illegal, talk to a criminal defense attorney (such as one from Sam Douglas Young Attorney at Law) as soon as possible about your...

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Could An Auto Accident Have Caused Your Miscarriage? ~ You Could Be Compensated

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Could An Auto Accident Have Caused Your Miscarriage? ~ You Could Be Compensated

Were you involved in a car accident that you believe could have been a contributing factor to you having a miscarriage? If so, you may be entitled to compensation if the other driver was determined to be at fault for the accident. According to, an estimated 3,000 pregnancies result in miscarriage as a result of car accidents.  Understanding the Complexity of Statutory Laws These types of cases are complex in nature, which is why a lawyer is the best resource to use to determine whether or not your case is strong. For example, some states do not allow people to file claims of wrongful death on behalf of an unborn fetus. Even if your state does not permit wrongful death lawsuits, a lawyer could be able to prove that the loss of your baby resulted in emotional distress for you. A court of law could award you compensation based on your injuries. If a lawyer can present a strong case, the insurance company may opt to forego a legal battle, and negotiate a settlement offer with your lawyer.  Proving Your Case The gestational weeks and trimester you were in at the time of the accident could affect your case. For example, the further a pregnancy goes along, the stronger the bond between the mother and unborn child is likely to be.  Women who have been pregnant before and given birth to healthy babies with little or no complications could use their prior pregnancies to show that they are not prone to having miscarriages. If this was your first pregnancy and you were only a few weeks pregnant, you might be experiencing emotional distress as a result of you losing your first child.  Your OB/GYN appointments can also strengthen your case. Doctors should have entered information about you and your developing baby in your medical records. If the records show that the pregnancy appeared to be progressing normally, this can place doubt on opposing claims that the accident did not contribute to your miscarriage.  What Not to Do Do not sign a waiver allowing the insurance company to view your complete medical record. This is because lawyers for insurance companies sometimes use the information in medical records to their advantage. For example, they could decide to suggest that other factors such as your age or lifestyle habits such as smoking cigarettes could have contributed to your miscarriage. Some lawyers who work for insurance companies may also try to insinuate that women who have had miscarriages or abortions in the may have had miscarriages regardless of whether they had been in an accident or not.  A limited release of your medical records may be required at some point, but you should only sign this type of document if you have legal representation. If possible, do not speak with anyone from the insurance company about your plans to file a lawsuit. Many insurance companies record phone calls, and your words could be misinterpreted.  Figuring Out the Amount of Compensation You could be entitled to have your medical bills paid, lost wages, transportation costs, and rehabilitation costs in addition to the emotional distress compensation. Calculating these costs can be difficult for the average person to do alone. Some women suffer from the sadness of having a miscarriage for many years. This is why...

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What To Do If You Are Falsely Accused Of Stalking

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Do If You Are Falsely Accused Of Stalking

In recent years, there have been a growing number of laws intended to fight harassment. These laws protect against bullying, stalking and other forms of harassment. While these laws have good intentions, there are times when individuals use these laws in ways they were not intended to punish others. If stalking laws are being used against you, there are ways you can fight back. Considering Your Intent Stalking is one of a small number of laws that require that the prosecutor prove intent. It is not enough that the victim believes he or she was stalked, but the prosecutor must also prove that the defendant intended to stalk the victim. For example, if you are traveling the same direction as a stalking victim, but for a legitimate reason, this would not constitute stalking. Fighting Felonies A felony stalking charge may be filed if a restraining order is placed against you and you violate the restraining order. Sometimes, it is not your fault for the violation of the restraining order, such as if you accidentally go to the same place as the individual with the order. If there is no reason why you would know that individual would be there, you could claim that the violation was accidental. If the Accuser Contacts You If the individual who filed a restraining order against you seeks to contact you or pursues you, you will need to contact a criminal defense lawyer, like those at Bare Law Firm, quickly so you can build a case that may be used to lift the restraining order. Restraining orders are issued when the individual requesting the order feels fearful for his or her life and needs a restraining order for protection. By trying to contact you, the filer is demonstrating that he or she lied to get the restraining order. When You are a Journalist Who you are following can also affect whether you are legally allowed to do so. For example, if you are a journalist and you are following a celebrity, this can be considered a constitutionally protected activity. While journalists usually know this, citizen journalists and bloggers may need to make this defense if the celebrity is not aware that the behaviors are protected. Once you have been accused of stalking, you should cease all contact with the individual making the accusation and should instead contact a lawyer. Any attempt to contact the accuser can be used as more evidence that you are stalking. Any evidence you have that you were not staking should be given only to your lawyer so he or she can use it to build a case to defend...

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Should You Let A Judge Or A Jury Hear Your Case?

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Let A Judge Or A Jury Hear Your Case?

If you are charged with a crime, you may have the choice whether a judge hears and rules on your case, or a jury. Before you make this decision, you should understand the differences in these options. You should also talk to a criminal defense attorney like those at Druyon Law to find out what he or she thinks would be best. Here are three differences you should fully understand about these options. Deciding the verdict: 1 vs. 12 A bench trial is handled by a judge, and the judge alone is responsible for hearing the evidence and making a ruling, whereas a jury trials consist of 12 people listening to the evidence and making a decision about it. One of the benefits of a jury trial is that all 12 jurors must agree on the verdict in order for you to be convicted of the charge. If they cannot come up with a unanimous decision, the court will consider this a hung jury, or a mistrial. At that point, you may have to go through another trial, or the court may just drop your charges. Viewing the evidence Judges are sworn in and must uphold the law, and this can be beneficial for you. Letting a judge decide your ruling can help you because of their legal expertise and knowledge of the law. Jurors are not legal experts. They process what they hear, and they may have biases against you. This can be a disadvantage in some cases, because jurors might not come up with their decisions based on facts and legal grounds. Jurors can also have a hard time differentiating between admissible and inadmissible evidence, whereas judges are usually good at this. Judges typically prefer to leave inadmissible evidence outside of the courtroom, but there are times when attorneys or witnesses may mention details that are not considered admissible. The problem with this is that when jurors hear evidence the judge labels “inadmissible,” they may have a hard time blocking this information out of their minds. Because of this, the jurors may reach a verdict that is actually based on evidence that was not admissible for the case, even though it was mentioned during the court case. A judge, on the other hand, is usually good at keeping this type of evidence separate from the case. Timing of the trial Bench trials are typically faster than jury trials, and this is primarily because: It takes time to select a jury; with a bench trial, a jury is not needed. The jury must spend time deliberating; the verdict of a bench trial is decided by the judge and deliberations are not necessary. Receiving a fair and speedy trial is your right as a citizen of the U.S., and your criminal defense attorney can help you through this difficult time in life, whichever type of trial you...

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What Is The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony Crime?

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Is The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony Crime?

There are many different types of crimes committed every day. The type of punishment that is given for committing these crimes depends on their severity. Criminal acts are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. Usually misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies and do not require that the person committing them be punished with as severely as those who commit felonies. These are some of the differences between misdemeanors and felonies and examples of each: Misdemeanors When a misdemeanor is committed, the convicted person may be punished with jail time, fines or both. Usually the jail time is spent in a local county jail instead of a high security federal prison. stem. Often the punishment for misdemeanor involves jail time that may be less than a year. If the crime is extremely minor, it may be considered a petty offense and the punishment may be very mild. Often petty offenses are punished only by a fine that is paid to the local court system. Felonies Felonies are considered very serious crimes and lead to extensive punishments. Those who are charged with a felony will face a trial before a judge and jury to determine exactly what their punishment will be. The consequences of committing a felony may involve a combination of a large monetary fine and a long stay in prison. Those convicted of felonies serve their time in state or federal prisons where they will be away from those who have committed less severe crimes. Some felonies are punishable by death in some states and these are considered capital crimes. Examples of Each While misdemeanors can vary slightly depending on the state the person is convicted in, these are some common types of crimes that are classified as misdemeanors: Speeding Public intoxication Trespassing Vandalism Felonies may also be classified in different degrees, such as first, second or third degree depending on the severity of the crime. These are some of the crimes that are considered felonies in most states: Murder Rape Arson Robbery However, if a person commits the same misdemeanor several times, the charge can be upgraded to a felony. For example, driving under the influence of alcohol is often a misdemeanor the first time a person is charged. If the person continues to do this and has multiple charges for the same crime, he now faces felony charges. Drug crimes are another example of crimes that may involve both misdemeanor and felony charges. If a person is caught with a small amount of illegal drugs in his possession, this leads to misdemeanor charges. If a person is charged with possessing a large amount of drugs with the intention of selling them, he will be charged as a felon. To learn more, contact a company like Hammer Law...

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