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Kansas City Criminal Defense Law Blog

What is drug possession with the intent to distribute?

A person who is accused of having drugs can face a multitude of charges. One of those charges is possession with the intent to distribute. This charge is a complex charge for drug crimes because it involves three elements. Understanding those elements can help you better plan your defense if you are facing a possession with the intent to distribute charge.

What are the three elements of a possession with the intent to deliver?

Defendant cleared of high-stakes assault charge in drug deal

A criminal defendant from nearby Wichita, Kansas, has been acquitted of felony murder in connection with a deadly drug deal. The defendant was accused of causing the fatal assault during an exchange in which marijuana was sold. However, the man's family members and community rallied around him, arguing that his case should never have been considered in the violent crimes category that generally encompasses a felony murder charge.

The man in this case was tried under a law that expands the definition of felony murder to capture a larger group of defendants. That Kansas law states that anyone who participates in an illegal activity in which someone dies may be held accountable for felony murder, even if he or she is never accused of the use of a weapon or other assault charges. Charges ranging from drug trafficking to robbery may escalate to felony murder, even if the defendant did not participate in any activity that directly caused the victim's death.

Take swift action when you are charged with drunk driving

Last week, we discussed the story of the 15 people who are facing charges after getting caught at a sobriety checkpoint. It is no secret that drunk driving charges carry some serious penalties if you are convicted. How you are caught drunk driving has very little bearing on how your case is handled from the prosecution's side. We know that how you were caught can sometimes have a significant impact on your defense.

When we investigate a drunk driving case, we look into what happened just prior to the arrest. We consider the reason why you were stopped, how the police initiated the stop, how the police moved through the procedures during the stop and how the Breathalyzer was handled. We understand that it is important to scrutinize every second of the incident to determine if there were any errors made.

15 arrested at DUI checkpoint

DUI checkpoints are designed to catch drivers operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol before an accident occurs. However, it's important that those charged understand that the officers at these checkpoints still have to follow proper procedure when administering field sobriety tests or conducting searches on the vehicles. If you've been arrested for driving under the influence after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, it's important to talk with a criminal defense attorney about your case and your possible options.

At a recent checkpoint set up in Kansas City, a total of 15 people were arrested for drunk driving. The checkpoint was a joint effort by Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Kansas City Police Department and was put in at the intersection of Harlem Road and U.S. Route 169. The checkpoint ran through the night of the June 19 through to the early morning hours of June 20.

Miranda rights and drug charges: How they are related

Watching television, particularly shows that involve police officers, gives you the idea that the authorities have to read you your rights when they arrest you. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court made several ruling that modified the Miranda rights.

We all know what the rights are and can probably quote them word for word. There are two statements that the television leaves out. If you invoke your right to be silent, the questioning by the police must stop. Also, if you choose to have an attorney present, the questioning by the authorities must stop.

Is a pretrial diversion program an option?

It's critical to understand all of your defense options anytime you are facing criminal charges, but even more so when they involve felony offenses. While pretrial diversion programs are not available for every case and are largely offered at the prosecution's discretion, they can be an option worth exploring if your defense attorney believes one could be beneficial for your particular situation.

Pretrial diversion programs are designed to reduce the number of offenders that are unnecessarily sentenced to jail time, which also saves the state money for the costs it would otherwise incur housing, feeding and providing medical care to these inmates. Defendants who go through pretrial diversion programs also save the courts the time and money involved in a trial. Because of this, they are often a win-win option for both defendants and the state.

Intentions of sexual abuse put Kansas City man in prison

When it comes to criminal behavior, "intention" can sometimes cause as much grief as the action itself. At least, that is what happened to one Kansas City man, who was recently sentenced to a 10-year prison term for intention of sexual abuse on a child.

A 36-year-old man, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of attempting to entice a child and attempted statutory rape of a child he never laid eyes on. Each charge carried a 10-year sentence. The two sentences are to be served concurrently. The man is appealing the sentences and currently out on bond while he awaits his appeal.

Weapons charges: What you need to know

Many people do not realize the devastating effect being charged with a weapons crime can have on their futures, but at Kelly, Symonds & Reed, we know what's at stake and put all of our resources toward helping you fight the charges you are facing. We are familiar with the laws governing weapons offenses, as well as the possible penalties in the case of a conviction, and work hard to help you understand all of your options.

While more people may be familiar with the charges of use of a weapon while committing a crime or brandishing or discharging a firearm, there are actually many different types of weapons charges to be aware of. These charges can involve not only guns but also other items classified as weapons, such as brass knuckles and knives.

Wedding party assault added to Kansas City man's murder charge

Being arrested isn't the same as being found guilty of committing a crime. However, arrests are kept on record no matter how a criminal case turns out.

A Kansas City man was arrested, charged with murder for a 2012 shooting in a Jackson County home and was later released when authorities failed to collect sufficient evidence to prosecute him. The 31-year-old man was later charged with the alleged shooting murder of an Independence man, who burned body was found in a Cass County field in November.

Why did the officer pull me over?

Police officers are trained on what to look for when deciding whether to pull you over for suspected drunk driving, and understanding why the officer stopped you can help you be better prepared to make decisions about your defense strategy. Officers usually suspect a driver of operating under the influence based on observations while the vehicle is moving.

Reckless driving is one indicator of an impaired driver, as alcohol and other substances can alter your ability to make good decisions while driving. Drivers may speed up or slow down quickly or without apparent reason, drive to close to the car in front of them or turn without signaling or slowing down. In extreme cases, the driver may even be driving on the wrong side of the road.

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