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Law Day 2019

Today is May 1, 2019, celebrated as Law Day in the United States. As federally recognized special days or semi-holidays this is a rather recent addition. The former Soviet Union celebrated May Day to commemorate International Workers Day. Soon this evolved into a display in Moscow’s Red Square as a major military parade with hundreds

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Searches and Seizures What Are They?

Let’s look at some typical situations and discuss whether or not, as a matter of law, they constitute a search or a seizure. You are driving on a city street or a highway and make a lane change without proper signaling or are slightly over the posted speed limit. In your rear view mirror you

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Your 4th Amendment Rights

It has been sometime since I last had the opportunity to discuss your rights with you, as memorialized by the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights. I would like to continue to discuss with you the protections which you have under the 4th Amendment. For convenience that amendment states: The right of the people to

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Continuation of 5th Amendment

Picking up where we left off at the end of last year, let’s continue our exploration of your rights under the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Amendment, as noted previously, merely states that no person may be compelled to be a witness against themself. Without turning this into a Constitutional

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The Right to Remain Silent

As we close out the year, let’s talk about your “right to remain silent”. What is it? How do you exercise it? And, when is your silence going to be used against you? The basis for this right is found in the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and is thirteen simple

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Concluding Searches and Seizures

To put a bit of a finish on our discussion of searches and seizures, let me define some of the situations where these terms do or do not apply. A seizure is a police preclusion of your freedom of movement. But not all such preclusions are actually seizures. For example, a traffic stop is a

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Clearing Some Misconceptions

Based on one comment in particular and some subsequent general impressions, I think it is important for me to clarify a few matters. My postings here are about the practicalities and legal issues involved in criminal matters. Everything I have discussed has been based on real world events. I have not characterized these events as

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Searches and Your Rights

Now that the turkey and dressing are a fading memory, if not our waistlines, let’s return to the discussion of searches and your rights. The exceptions discussed last time are matters over which you have no control. These are court made exemptions from the warrant requirement of the 4th Amendment. Most frequently encountered will be

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Happy Thanksgiving

Today, I want take time to wish each and every one of you a very special and joyous Thanksgiving day. No matter how meager it may seem, be thankful for what you have, for there are those who have much less.

Rights, Warrants, and Consent

Getting back on track in this series, we left off a couple of weeks ago about to discuss rights, warrants and consent. To start this topic, which we will only brush the surface, consider where these rights are memorialized. I say memorialized intentionally because the founders believed these rights are inherent, that is we are

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