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Jefferson City Criminal Law Blog

Report points to racial disparities in Missouri traffic stops

There are certain concerns that can come up in connection to the common police tactic of traffic stops.

Among these are concerns about whether police are sticking within the rules when it comes to such stops. There are rules in place regarding when police can conduct traffic stops and what police can do during them. When police violate these rules, they could be subjecting individuals to rights violations, including violation of the right against unlawful searches and seizures.

Federal appeals court strikes down lifetime supervised release

Supervised release is a bit like parole for people who have been convicted of federal crimes. The main difference is that supervised release is set up at the same time as a federal defendant's sentence and is meant primarily to help the defendant reintegrate into society. Parole is typically granted under the discretion of a state parole board, can be based factors beyond the original conviction, and takes the place of part of the defendant's sentence.

We know that supervised release is primarily intended to facilitate reintegration because the U.S. Sentencing Commission said so in a 2010 report. Like the Second Chance Act of 2007, that report says, supervised release is meant to "reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and help state and local governments better address the growing population of ex-offenders returning to their communities."

What is robbery?

Some might assume that robbery is just a generic name for stealing. However, it is actually its own specific type of crime.

Here in Missouri, the offense of robbery is when a person forcibly steals something and one of the following circumstances is present:

Life sentences growing in the U.S.?

Felony crimes can carry very long prison sentences with them. A conviction on some types of felonies here in Missouri could even expose a person to the possibility of being given a life sentence.

It appears that, in the U.S. as a whole, life sentences have been growing in prevalence. A recent study indicates that the number of individuals serving life sentences in America has grown significantly in the past three decades.

One for the record books? A mass dismissal of wrongful convictions

"[I]t remains somewhat of a mystery," states one national media report that recently chronicled the flatly notable and admittedly bizarre story involving a so-called "rogue lab chemist" whose conduct is now impacting the criminal justice system in one state in a monumental way.

The tale is highly instructive in the criminal law realm, we believe, and we pass along its essential details to readers of our defense blog across Missouri and elsewhere.

Ban on state funding of sobriety checkpoints being considered in Missouri

There are a variety of things a person could end up facing drunk driving charges in relation to. This includes interactions they had with police at a sobriety checkpoint. Such checkpoints are when police set up a roadblock on a given stretch of road to check drivers that are going through that stretch for signs of drunk driving.

Now, in some states, such checkpoints are not permitted. Missouri is not one of those states. So, such checkpoints are something drivers can encounter when driving along the state’s roads. How a driver acts at such a checkpoint can have significant ramifications.

Missouri considering cellphone use ban for for-hire drivers

Being accused of a traffic violation can have major impacts on anyone. It can have particularly big impacts though on those who drive as part of their occupation, such as truckers, bus drivers and commercial vehicle drivers. For these individuals, such accusations could not only expose them to fines, but also impact their livelihood. What happens in regards to tickets such individuals are given for alleged traffic violations could affect their ability to keep earning a living out on the roads. For one, if a ticket holds, it could hurt their driving reputation among employers and potential customers.

Skilled traffic ticket defense attorneys can help people who drive as part of their occupation with addressing the special concerns they have when facing allegations of having violated traffic laws.

U.S. Supreme Court rules in sentencing guidelines case

Among the things that can have big impacts in federal cases are the federal sentencing guidelines. These guidelines have major impacts on what consequences a person who has had federal charges brought against them would be likely to face if convicted.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision in a case focused on the validity of certain provisions of these guidelines.

When DWI allegations come up over an injury-causing crash

DWI charges are typically misdemeanor charges here in Missouri. However, there are situations in which a person accused of drunk driving in the state could be facing felony charges. One is if the person is being accused of drunk driving in relation to a motor vehicle crash in which someone else got hurt.

Under state law, it is a felony DWI offense to commit injury-causing criminal negligence while driving drunk. The typical felony level for negligently causing someone a non-fatal injury while driving drunk is class E.

Bill proposes change in the age for trying people as adults

One thing that can have a very significant impact on a young person here in Missouri who has been accused of a criminal offense is if they are tried as an adult.

When is a young person accused of a crime tried as an adult here in Missouri? Well, under current state law, any person 17 or older who is charged with a criminal offense is automatically prosecuted as an adult.

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Jefferson City, MO 65101
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