Many of our clients and their families have never been involved in a criminal case other than a traffic matter. Therefore, it is understandable that the thought of an arraignment to them means the arresting officer will be present and that our office must be ready to cross-examine him or her because there is a trial. In a misdemeanor or felony case, the arraignment is very different. Click on the attached article to read about an arraignment –
The Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses is the right to ask that witness questions, face to face. It allows one to see facial expressions, listen to pauses in the voice, evaluate confidence and anxiety. However, courts have authorized certain exceptions to this general rule under certain circumstances. Click on the link that follows to read about a judge that went too far in denying a murder defendant the right to cross-examine a witness –http://www.greghillassociates.com/lawyer-attorney-1852434.html.
One of the fundamental rights in our criminal justice system that our courts hold most sacred is due process. This includes the right to let the jury see all evidence, subject to certain restrictions involving undue consumption of time, items that will unduly inflame emotions and relevance. What happens if the prosecution withholds evidence and a man is sentenced to prison for murder of a cop? What if the evidence does not matter? What if it is very important? What happens to the verdict? Click on the attached link to read a summary of a published decision that answered these questions.http://www.greghillassociates.com/lawyer-attorney-1850461.html.
Occasionally, a client will tell us that the police made a traffic stop of the client’s car and searched the car from top to bottom, trunk to engine compartment. The experience can be terrifying because the police often bring a drug-sniffing dog to walk through the car. The police may find a baggie or more of legal marijuana and they take it. The same experience could happen at one’s home. Then no charges are filed. The client is usually thankful for this and hesitant about upsetting the police by asking for the return of his marijuana. What about asking one’s homeowner’s insurance? After all, isn’t this what it is for? Click on the attached article to read a case that discussed this.
Our office often represents people who are on probation and pick up a new, minor case. The client is often then offered a plea bargain on the new case with fairly good terms. Relieved to be offered such a seemingly good deal, the client is eager to accept it. We caution, “not so fast.” Pleading even no contest to a new case while on probation can constitute a probation violation, barring the individual from expungement later on. Read more about this by clicking the following link – http://www.greghillassociates.com/lawyer-attorney-1853184.html.
Most people appreciate the uniquely harmful nature of sex crimes, especially if the victim is vulnerable or the offense is committed with a weapon. The crime scars one’s self esteem and violates one’s privacy, often in a violent way. However, even taking into this into account, can a federal judge restrict where a man lives in the U.S. if he is found guilty of having illegal sex overseas? Read the article linked here to find out – http://www.greghillassociates.com/lawyer-attorney-1846327.html.
Robbery is an act of theft with the use or threatened use of force. It is therefore easy to understand why our courts take it seriously and punish robbery more harshly than, say, shoplifting. Judges also punish conspiracy to commit robbery with remarkable vigor. Similarly, courts consider conspiracy to commit robbery in a broad way. Click on the attached article to read about a published case that did so – http://www.greghillassociates.com/lawyer-attorney-1853183.html.
We see a lot of cases where two people will go into a store together, walk around and then both people will be arrested for shoplifting when only one of the people did the actual taking. Is this correct? Can aiding and abetting shoplifting be a charge? What is conspiracy liability? What if the non-taker left the store early and was waiting outside when the other person was arrested? Click on the link that follows to read an article about this common situation that drives our clients crazy –
We all know that while buying a computer has become easier than it was ten years ago, a fairly simple laptop with a minimum software package can easily approach $1,000. Therefore, it is not uncommon for two people, especially students, to co-own a computer. Beware, however, as a co-owner can consent to a police search of a computer, which could reveal presumably password-protected material, such as child pornography (or other things). Click on the attached article to read about a case where this issue became a big deal – http://www.greghillassociates.com/lawyer-attorney-1845185.html.
A drug courier, or “mule,” often will be unaware that the truck or car he is driving is loaded with drugs. The following case summary put this ignorance defense to the test, as it involved a driver moving about 75 pounds of cocaine and being paid $3,500 to do so. The judge did not believe the driver’s claim and therefore did not reduce the sentence. Click on the attached link to read a summary of this case – http://www.greghillassociates.com/lawyer-attorney-1845183.html.