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When Finding Counsel

Perhaps I should take a few minutes and discuss what a person should look for when needing to retain counsel for a legal matter. I will restrict this narrative to someone needing a lawyer for a federal criminal case, though the qualities I discuss will have broader application than just this limited discussion. Some of

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Need for Neutral Magistrates

I wrote a posting last week regarding the importance of a free and impartial judiciary and somewhere it is still bouncing around in cyberspace. But it is an important topic which bears some re-statement on my part. The need for a neutral and detached magistrate (to use the Constitutional descriptor) is as obvious as it

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To Sit On The Bench

Hope everyone had a festive and safe 4th of July holiday. Time to get back to the task of learning and protecting your civil rights which that holiday celebrates.   Having a law practice which is focused on federal criminal prosecutions requires keeping abreast, or informed, of the latest cases as well as the appointment

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Happy Independence Day

As we start this week, in which we will celebrate the 242nd birthday of this country, let me clean up some issues and matters since the last post. First, the U.S. Supreme Court held that police need a warrant to search your cell/smartphone for historical data which could be used to track your prior movements.

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Why your rights are important

The other day, I posted the news article about my recent victory in the appellate court. For my purposes here, the appellated decision comes at a most opportune time considering the discussions I have posted to this point. Consider the traffic stop posts. This case is an example of how cooperation can be manipulated into

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Do you have time for a couple more questions?

We left our hapless driver last time about to get out of the police vehicle and is confronted with a question, “Do you have time for a couple more questions?” Frequently the driver is half out when this is asked. Not wanting to appear “uncooperative” most drivers will say “Yes” or “Okay”. These are the

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The Trivial “Traffic Stop”

This week let’s look at one of the more common situations which I encounter in my practice — the trivial “traffic stop”. I used the word trivial intentionally. This is not the ordinary speeding or reckless driving stop, which generally are valid. By trivial I mean a stop which is technically legal but used for

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Initial contact non-custodial

Continuing our discussion of the initial contact non-custodial (i.e., not under arrest) interrogation, let’s look at some of the tactics you might be facing. There is a lot of truth to the good cop/bad cop maxim. Sometimes this can be the same person. Often a person will be presented a situation in which the detective

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Can words be used against you?

Let’s continue the discussion of how not to have your words used against you. You have been approached by some law enforcement agent regarding an offense. It is unclear to you whether you are being targeted for prosecution or are being approached as a material witness. You quickly decide that not talking at this time

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Is “Miranda” Necessary

Following up on last week’s initial contact post, let’s look a little deeper into that encounter. Many people wrongfully believe that a person must receive the well known “Miranda” warning when they are questioned by law enforcement agents or police. While this can get far more technical than I intend in this post, let me

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