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Jefferson City Criminal Law Blog

Missouri in the middle when it comes to DUI strictness

Many consequences could come out of being accused of drunk driving. Multiple factors impact what specific things a person who has had DUI charges brought against them could face if a conviction is ultimately reached in their case. This is because each state has its own particular laws regarding drunk driving, including what actions can be taken against those charged with DUI and those convicted of DUI.

Among the ways states vary when it comes to DUI law is in the strictness of the laws they have. A recent set of state rankings put Missouri solidly in the middle when it comes to overall DUI strictness. In these rankings, done by WalletHub, Missouri was in a three-way tie for the No. 25 spot. The states that Missouri tied with were New Hampshire and South Carolina.

When can burglary allegations lead to first-degree burglary charges?

Here in Missouri, burglary is a felony offense. This is the case whether the burglary constituted first-degree burglary or second-degree burglary.

However, being accused of first-degree burglary (the enhanced level of this offense) can expose a person to much heavier potential penalties than being accused of second-degree burglary (the standard level of this offense). This is because the first-degree charge falls into a higher felony class. Specifically, it is in the Class B level, the second highest of the state’s felony classes.

Governor signs deck of crime-related bills into law

Missouri, like all States, is set up to operate under the rule of law. The foundation of that rule is the U.S. Constitution, which most readers appreciate is now several hundred years old. That might leave you with the impression that this foundation is solid as the Rock of Gibraltar, but the beauty of the U.S. legal system is that it is one of controlled dynamism. It can and often does change in line with the needs of society.

Not too long ago, the governor signed a pack of bills into law having to do with criminal law matters. The issues covered cover a broad swath of topics, from a ban on the use of traffic ticket quotas by police departments, to an overhaul of the state's statute on police use of force and a measure that brings youth sentencing guidelines into line with federal rules. The one that seemed to draw the greatest media attention was a bill making it easier for individuals seeking to expunge criminal records.

Would self-driving cars bring an end to traffic tickets?

We may not be too many years away from the point where self-driving cars become a regular presence out on the roads. Such a shift in the type of vehicles being used would likely bring many big changes along with it. Among these changes are changes when it comes to traffic tickets.

A large portion of the typical traffic tickets currently issued are tickets for types of driving conduct (like speeding). Self-driving cars, by taking human drivers out of the equation, might take a lot of these typical reasons for police issuing traffic tickets off of the table. So, the advent of self-driving cars could perhaps bring about a big drop in many typical types of traffic tickets.

Unlawful stops and evidence admissibility

Police cannot just conduct a stop against a person at any time and in any circumstance. They must have appropriate justification for doing so, or else the stop could be illegal.

When a stop police conducted was unlawful, it could have major impacts on the admissibility of evidence found through the stop. As a note though, while evidence found subsequent to an unlawful stop can sometimes be eligible to be thrown out, there are certain circumstances that could lead to an unlawful stop being found to not affect the admissibility of subsequently found evidence.

How can you defend a drunk driving charge?

It may seem like an impossible task, but it is actually very possible to defend a drunk driving or DUI charge, just as it is possible to mitigate the legal damage associated with a charge if you are convicted. But let's stick to the former for this blog post. How can you defend a drunk driving charge?

Defending a DUI charge usually comes down to police conduct and the processes that investigators and prosecutors used in a particular case. For example, did the police perform a proper stop when they accused you of DUI? Did they give you a breath test, and if so, was the test performed properly with an accurate and well-calibrated device? What about the results of the breath test or blood test? Was the chain of custody for that evidence proper and compliant with the law?

What is second-degree sexual abuse?

There are many different types of sex offenses in Missouri law. One of these is second-degree sexual abuse.

This is a type of illegal sexual contact. Under state law, if all of the following three things are present, a person has committed second-degree sexual abuse:

  • The person subjected another individual to sexual contact.
  • The person did this purposely.
  • The person didn’t have the other individual’s consent to take this action.

Refrigeration and blood sample handling

Among the types of evidence police sometimes collect in DUI investigations are blood samples from a suspect. What results alcohol content testing of such samples yields can have major impacts on how authorities act in a DUI case (for example, it could have impacts on charging decisions) and could play a significant role in what ends up happening in a DUI case.

Among the things that could impact how accurate the results of alcohol content testing of a blood sample are is what happened during the course of law enforcement’s handling of the sample. So, what blood sample handling procedures law enforcement agencies have are not insignificant things.

The impacts of a parent’s incarceration on children

The list of incredibly deep impacts being sent to prison can have is truly extensive. Also, the impacts a prison sentence can have are not just limited to the impacts on the sentenced individual. For one, the family of the sentenced individual can also be greatly impacted. A recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation noted the many effects that a parent being in prison can have on children.

Included among the impacts a parent’s incarceration can have on a child are:

  • The child not having their parent as part of their everyday life during the sentence.
  • The child’s relationship with their parent being greatly altered by the various circumstances related to incarceration.
  • A child facing emotional challenges. A parent’s incarceration can be a very emotionally traumatic experience for a kid.
  • The income of the child’s family going down, which could have a variety of implications for a child.
  • A child having to move often.
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