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June 2013 Archives

Drug paraphernalia law goes into effect next week

On July 1, a ban on the sale of some drug paraphernalia, signed recently by Governor Rick Perry, goes into effect in Florida. At first glance, it would seem as if this ban would result in most “head shops” being guilty of a drug crime. Upon closer inspection, however, the law is likely to have little effect.

Florida woman gets three years in prison for DUI death

Many Florida law enforcement agencies are aggressively pursuing those motorists it suspects of driving under the influence. When police stop one of these individuals, the officers will begin an investigation to determine if there are signs of impairment present. The motorists may be asked to perform field sobriety tests, and if they fail, they may be arrested. 

Ruling: sentencing factors must be proved beyond reasonable doubt

In terms of criminal law, juries are considered the "finders of fact," while judges are generally considered to be in charge of applying the applicable law to the findings the jury has made. In cases where there is no jury, the judge is both the finder of fact and the applier of the law.

Was this retired firefighter arrested for DUI or...something else?

The town of Surprise, Arizona, has unfortunately been all-too-apt for a retired firefighter from Ohio who moved to a retirement community there. According to the 64-year-old, his wife works 12-hour shifts as a nurse, so he adjusted his schedule to conform to hers -- which means he's out at night fairly regularly. And, he's African-American.

Is drunk driving 'serious' enough to warrant mandatory DNA swabs?

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court released a ruling that took many observers by surprise. In the case of Maryland v. King, the court found no constitutional problem with requiring anyone arrested for a "serious crime" to submit to a DNA cheek swab and have their genetic information entered into a giant national database. Yet in April, the court held that law enforcement generally can't draw blood from drunk driving suspects without a warrant.

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