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Jefferson City Criminal Law Blog

Familial DNA searches gaining ground

There are various different techniques law enforcement could turn to for using DNA to try to identify the perpetrator of a crime. Today, we will be talking about one controversial such technique that has been gaining ground here in the United States.

This technique is the familial DNA search. This isn’t the usual type of DNA search in which police look at available DNA databases for a full match to DNA evidence they discovered at the scene of a crime. Rather, it involves them looking for partial matches in these databases. The idea behind this is that partial matches may end up flagging relatives of the perpetrator, and that this could help police identify perpetrators who themselves aren’t in the available DNA databases.

When allegations of computer equipment tampering arise

Computers play a very big role in our world. Given this, tampering with computers and things related to them has the potential to have major impacts. Missouri law takes efforts to protect computers from tampering. This includes making a variety of types of computer-related tampering against the law.

One of the computer tampering charges under Missouri law is the charge of tampering with computer equipment.

What does it mean to be a prior or persistent drug offender?

Drug charges are a severe thing to face to begin with. There are certain things though that can even further up the potential consequences for those accused of drug offenses here in Missouri. One is if the person falls under the definition of a prior or repeat offender.

In drug cases, certain special rules can be triggered when the suspect falls under the prior or persistent drug offender classification, including special sentencing rules.

Traffic ticket quotas now prohibited in Missouri

When it comes to traffic law enforcement, one would hope police would stick to proper conduct. One would also hope such enforcement actions would be focused on keeping the public safe, not on other motivations like bringing money into the government.

One thing that could potentially cause a police officer to stray into questionable or unfair practices when it comes to traffic law enforcement is being subjected to pressure to issue a certain amount of tickets.

Missouri statutory rape laws

Among the allegations that can have massive impacts on a person’s life is being accused of having had improper relations with a minor. Among the things such allegations could lead to is a person having statutory rape charges brought against them.

Here in Missouri, there are two types of statutory rape: first-degree and second-degree.

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.

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Jefferson City, MO 65101
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