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Felonies Archives

Could social media work to deprive a defendant of a fair trial?

Comments on Twitter coming from President Trump have garnered their share of controversy since he took office in January. While some appreciate his propensity to speak his mind and find his honesty refreshing, others believe it is irresponsible and not fitting for a president to be so reckless and uninformed, especially when it comes to current legal matters.

Is race a consideration in plea deals?

While our justice system is predicated on equal treatment under the law, there is a constant undercurrent of inequality based on race. A number of studies have shown the prevalence of minorities being arrested and charged with crimes at a higher rate compared to non-minorities. But in a new study, the notion of African-American defendants receiving less favorable plea deals compared to white defendants is detailed.

Elements that a court may consider at sentencing

Despite the work and experience that a skilled criminal defense attorney can bring, there will be times where a defendant is convicted of a sex crime. When that happens, a defense attorney’s work does not end. In fact, there is work to be done to ensure that the client is treated fairly when sentenced.

Drivers should be aware on Halloween

With Halloween coming in a few weeks, much attention is being centered on all the children who will be taking to neighborhood streets in search of candy. The Party City commercials should give you a clue. It is an annual tradition here in Grand Rapids; so much so that some people prepare for it just like it is the only holiday of the year.

Could Apple's FaceID raise Fifth Amendment concerns?

It is expected that people will marvel over the newest release from Apple. The iPhone X is arguably the most advanced smartphone the computer maker has ever produced, and will have major technological updates, such as faster processing, longer battery life and wireless charging.

Do police sometimes conduct illegal searches?

We hope our readers had a fund and entertaining Labor Day weekend. In our last post, we highlighted the possibility that law enforcement agencies may overstep their Fourth Amendment constraints by seeking information not necessarily covered in search warrants or attempting to obtain warrants for electronic information without the requisite probable cause.

How the state police may decide to cite you

It’s not very often that we talk about traffic violations on this blog, but we find it important enough to discuss them through this post for a variety of reasons. First, with Labor Day weekend coming soon, traffic enforcement will undoubtedly be higher, especially because the possibility of having more drunk drivers and distracted drivers on the road raises the potential for an accident.

Should you always trust evidence from the crime lab?

If you are charged with a crime and are required to submit to testing so that authorities can collect relevant evidence against you, chances are that it is a crime lab that will analyze the samples you provide. The same could be said for investigations geared towards finding suspects for crimes.

Things to consider before answering questions for the police

If you have ever been asked by the police to answer questions in the investigation of a crime, you may think that talking to investigators will be okay. After all, the police will make it seem like having a conversation is nothing to worry about, especially if they say that you are not under investigation, and that it should not be a long conversation.

Why police officers need warrants to search cell phones

Because cell phones, laptops and tablets are ubiquitous within our society, many criminal investigations involve the seizure and search of electronic devices. In some cases, the right to canvass private devices for information is obvious, but in others, law enforcement may overstep their bounds. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court court ruled unanimously in Riley v. California that law enforcement officers must obtain a search warrant before combing through a suspect’s cell phone for information to link him (or her) to a crime.

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