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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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Presumption of Innocence

I am going to alter what I stated I would discuss this week and save that to next week. This week I want to discuss a concept which has been much maligned over the last several years, especially on talk radio, as a legal fiction and something which need not be honored in “real” life.

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Law Enforcement Agent Promises

Last time I left the discussion of law enforcement agent promises to a later day. To keep these musings in some reasonable sequence it is a good time to engage in that dialogue. Most have seen the various television cop shows where the detective makes some sort of deal with the arrestee to get the

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Federal Prosecutions

This week let me focus on specifically federal prosecutions, as that is the focus of my practice and an area unfamiliar to most people. Starting with, “Once upon a time” federal cases were reserved for the most serious violations of law with far reaching implications. The celebrated FBI “Ten Most Wanted” list with names like

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The Balance of Power

As promised, this week I want to talk about the balance of power in a criminal prosecution. To do that we will start with a fictional criminal offense and an allegation made that you dear reader have committed it. The scale at this time is fully tipped in favor of the prosecution side of the

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How TV Courtrooms Influence Public Perception

Television does a reasonably good job of entertaining us with crime/drama and lawyer (mostly prosecutor) shows. But it is a poor educator of how the system actually works. There is one producer who decided some 20 plus years ago to make the prosecution of cases the “go to” format for lawyer shows. Gone were the

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