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St. Louis Criminal Defense Legal Blog

How reliable are kits used in field tests targeting illegal drugs?

Most people in Missouri and across the country likely feel safely insulated against inaccuracies in criminal law-linked test results that are simply ridiculous in their conclusions.

Here’s an example: You would hardly expect a cop to pull you over, grab a box of baking soda from a shopping bag in your trunk and adjudge it heroin, right? And you would be astonished if a prosecutor subsequently slapped you with a major drug felony charge.

DUID: Even prescription medications can lead to charges

When you think about a drunk driving accident, you probably assume that someone has been drinking too much at a local bar or made the poor choice to get behind the wheel after having too many drinks at home. However, there are instances where people are arrested for driving under the influence of other substances.

Drugs are one of the main causes of impaired driving collisions. While many people believe that only illegal drugs are a violation of the law, the reality is that even prescription medications can lead to a driver being charged with a DUID, or a charge for driving under the influence of drugs.

Is a single Internet click probable cause for a criminal search?

Following are the key facts in a criminal matter currently on appeal in a federal court. The prosecution argues that the case details are neither controversial nor problematic and that a defendant’s conviction on child pornography charges was justified and legally tight. Conversely, attorneys from an Internet privacy group see fundamental flaws in the case and cite concern that it could lead to damaging outcomes for innocent computer users in the general public.

The bottom line: An individual clicked on a single URL link provided by a child porn website, and then used password information from that link to access unlawful images. Federal investigators were able to gain access to users because the file-sharing site was located – as is not often the case – outside the so-called “dark web.”

21st-century Big Brother concern: government’s online monitoring

Are you being watched? Are Facebook images of you also being perused by security officials via top-secret databases used for domestic spying? Are comments you posted innocuously online concerning your views on topics ranging from marijuana use and sexting to political activism and other topics being scrutinized by officials from the FBI or NSA?

You obviously hope not, given that the very idea is chilling. Can it possibly be that the nation’s citizenry is the mass target of clandestine domestic surveillance efforts?

Shoplifting is a common juvenile crime; defense strategies exist

Juveniles often find themselves in trouble with the law for a variety of reasons, with shoplifting among the most common. While this doesn't appear to be the most serious crime, the penalties and consequences can be quite severe.

As a parent of a juvenile charged with shoplifting, it's important to focus your immediate attention on the details of their arrest. When combined with information from your child, you will gain a better understanding of what happened and the next steps in the process.

Is this court ruling really a landmark self-incrimination decision?

Here's a hypothetical we pose for readers that we suspect many of them will challenge on the grounds of skewed logic.

The cops have probable cause to search a home pursuant to a criminal investigation. They demand that targeted criminal suspects open their smartphones for government scrutiny by unlocking them with personal passcodes. A court rules that impermissible because a passcode or other such information that must be "willingly and verbally supplied" is testimonial in nature. A criminal suspect needn't divulge it, given the seminal protection against self-incrimination that is provided under the Constitution's 5th Amendment.

What is Missouri’s revenge porn law, and does it have clout?

We spotlight a fundamental point regarding sex crime outcomes in Missouri on our Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry website. We stress at our established St. Louis criminal defense law offices that, “The stigma and criminal penalties associated with a sex crime conviction are significant.”

Moreover, they attach to wide-ranging behavior. Many people might reasonably link sex crimes with violent acts like rape or sexual assault, but the possibilities go far beyond that. They additionally encompass child pornography (possession or distribution), prostitution-tied charges, child molestation and unlawful Internet conduct.

What might materially improve Missouri’s budget problem?

Mary Ann McGivern says that her reasoned view regarding a material budget fix to Missouri’s governmental money woes might not fly with a number of residents, especially public officials. Rather than endorsing her ideas and promoting their implementation, she fears that state decision makers are more apt to simply deem her “a lunatic.”

Concededly, some might, but it’s just as likely that legions of Missourians would be most willing to give McGivern a close listen and thoughtfully reflect on what she has to say. In fact, it is clear that a diverse and growing demographic across the country already endorses her main points.

2019 brings strong national focus on gun law updates, restrictions

Although partisanship and a general unwillingness to cooperate across political lines certainly contributes to slowed American progress along many fronts, gun-law adjustments appear to be a marked exception.

That might reasonably surprise many people, given ultra-strong positions that have emerged as polar opposites in the right-to-bear-arms debate that has prominently raged in recent years.

What does aiding and abetting actually mean?

One of your co-workers commits fraud. It's sloppy and they get caught and arrested. You knew about the scheme, but you're glad you didn't go along with it when you see how everything turns out.

Then the authorities begin looking in your direction, and you get this sinking feeling. They think you're guilty of aiding and abetting. They want to bring you in on criminal charges.

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