What are Criminal Threats and the Defenses to this Charge?

Criminal threats, also referred to as terrorist threats, is a serious charge because it can be not only a felony, but a strike offense.  While no one is often hurt, it is still a crime and viewed as one that prosecutors punish severely.  Often, the offense arises in the context of a break up of a romantic relationship, but it can also arise in the context of an employment situation or even a neighbor versus neighbor dispute.  What are the defenes to this charge?  What is the punishment?  Click on the following link to find out. 


Second-Time DUI Offender Must be Granted Restricted License after 90 Days of Actual Suspension.

There is a prevailing ignorance that on a second-time DUI, the driver cannot drive for a whole year.  This is just not true.  After 90 days, one can go to the DMV and apply for a restricted driver’s license, provided he or she shows proof of insurance in the form of an SR-22 from one’s insurance company, one shows enrollment in an alcohol awareness program (an SB-38 program) and one pays a license re-issue fee.  Click on the following article to read more.


How Much Custody Credit Do I Get?

Almost every day, sometimes more than once, we answer questions from clients and potential clients asking how much credit they get for the time they already served and then, how much “extra credit” they get once they begin serving time in custody.  As the reader of this article most likely can appreciate, someone serving time for a violent crime like rape will get less custody credit than someone servicing custody time for possession of a controlled substance.  However, one’s prior history also affects the calculations.  Click on the following article to read more.


Can an Anonymous Cell Phone Call to Police Support a Traffic Stop for DUI?

There is a general rule in misdemeanors that the police officer must observe the violation before making an arrest.  However, there are dozens of exceptions to this.  Can an anonymous 911 call suffice for an arrest for DUI?  Obviously, if it can, there is a great deal of opportunity for spiteful mischief, i.e. an angry ex-spouse calling in a DUI on the other ex-spouse.  Read the following article to find out more about this issue, as it is permitted, but with certain limits.


Juvenile Commits First Degree Residential Burglary by Stealing Guns from Closet in Entryway

If burglary is defined as entering a building or structure with the intent to commit a theft therein, can there be a burglary if the intent to steal is not formed until one is already inside a home, for example?  A second issue is whether an entryway area to a home qualifies as being part of a home.  The following case summary resolves the second issue, but never addresses the first issue.  Would the result have been better if the first issue were argued?  Click on  the following link to read about this interesting case.


First Degree Burglary Conviction Upheld When Realtor’s Wallet Is Stolen in an Uninhabited Home

If someone commits a theft inside an uninhabited building, i.e. an abandoned warehouse or an old farmhouse falling apart due to the elements, it is second degree burglary.  If someone is living in the house or using the warehouse, such a theft is first degree burglary. What if someone steals a purse inside a house that is an open house and the purse is the realtor’s?  After all, no one is living in the house at the time of the open house and there is no risk that someone could be inside that might use force to defend the house.  Is this first degree burglary or second degree burglary and why?  Click on the following article to read answers. 


The Police Took Your Money, so You Usually Get It Back, Plus Interest

There is an often a feeling of being robbed by the police when one is arrested.  Police reach their hands into your pockets and pull out everything, including money.  They make a showing of inventorying it, but can one really get it back later?  What if it is a large, large sum of money, such as several thousand dollars and one is suspected of drug sales or theft, but charges are later dropped?  What happens to the money?  How does one get it back?  Click on the following article to read answers to these questions.


Can Police Look at My Text Messages if I Am Arrested?

It is well known that a cell phone nowadays is really more of a computer than a simple phone.  Therefore, if someone is not on probation or parole (with a waiver of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure), must a police officer secure a search warrant before searching somenone’s cell phone, just as long as there is no exigent circumstance like the text messages may contain information about a pending bomb explosion?  Click on the following link to read a short article addressing this situation.


Federal Conviction Reversed for Assault Because Federal Officer Not Aware Defendant Threw Rock at Him

Assault is taught in law school as a “mental offense,” meaning the key to committing this offense is putting another person in anxiety or belief of an impending battery.  If the intended victim does not realize that someone tried to inflict a battery, did the suspect commit the crime?  To read the answer to this question and a discussion of this issue, click on the following link.


Seven Years to Life Sentence for Dissuading a Witness for Benefit of a Gang Reversed Because No Force Threatened

The crime of dissuading a witness for the benefit of a gang is a common offense, often never prosecuted.  After all, witnesses who are dissuaded usually do not want to compound their problems by going to the police. Sometimes, however, the attempt to dissuade a witness is done in a courthouse.  Read about this crime in the following article by clicking on the following link.