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Kansas City Criminal Defense Law Blog

Kansas City fugitive receives hefty sentence

When Dorothy famously observed that she and Toto weren't in Kansas anymore, at least she wasn't looking at the prospect of returning home to face serious drug charges resulting in years of prison time. That's just what happened to a Kansas man who has just received a hefty punishment after fleeing from authorities following an arrest.

The 36-year-old had been apprehended last year in connection with a drug trafficking operation in Kansas City. Among the charges leveled at him were conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, as well as money laundering, to which he had plead guilty, admitting involvement in the local operation. According to court documents, the man had been in possession of up to 100 kilograms of cocaine, among other things. While he was waiting to receive a sentence, the man fled custody and remained at large for six years.

Engage with your local authorities before you have to

The freedom to drink responsibly is one of the great rights that America grants its citizens. Even though each state maintains its own statutes about how drinking is to be handled and by whom, alcohol is nothing to be afraid of, in and of itself. It is true that some individuals are more prone to overindulge and engage in risky behavior, but for the majority of the population it is possible to drink regularly and not to run afoul of the law. Even many police officers understand that drinking is a culturally accepted component of the coming-of-age process, as demonstrated in a recent "responsible drinking" event held for Missouri State University students by local police.

Police partnered with the Taylor Health and Wellness Center to give students an opportunity to experience various states of simulated inebriation in a controlled environment. The department hopes that by allowing students to interface directly with the department, they will have a more complete understanding of both the effects of alcohol and the department's policies on how to deal with students who are publicly inebriated.

Kansas City passes 100 homicides in 2016

Kansas City may not be the most dangerous city in the country, but it is home to a unsettling trend in violent crime. Just a few days ago, the city suffered its 100th homicide for the calendar year of 2016, the most homicides in the city since 2012.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, there were two separate killings, one involving a toddler being killed by an older child who had gotten a hold of a loose weapon. By contrast, the city had only suffered 86 homicides at this point in 2015, and in 2014 only 65. 2014 also featured an historic low for homicides, with only 82 recorded in the whole year.

Actions on social media can lead to criminal charges

People sometimes feel like the Internet provides a layer of protection. They'll say and do things on social media that they may never do in real life. However, it's very important to remember that what is said and done online is still very real, and it can lead to genuine criminal charges. The false sense of security provided by the Internet will not protect you in court.

For example, one study found that social media sites are being involved more and more often in sexual assault cases. That study showed a rise in these cases of a staggering 300 percent.

For a self-defense shooting, your life must be in danger

If you shoot someone in self-defense, it may be legal. It's important to remember, though, that your life actually has to be in danger, or you have to think you're likely going to be killed. Shooting a firearm is to be viewed as a last-ditch effort to save your own life, where you believe you'll die if you don't do it.

This does get to be a tricky area in court, because the jury may not think you were in as much danger as you thought you were in. That's why it is so crucial to think about this before discharging the firearm. If you don't, you can still be charged, even when crimes were being committed.

Woman uses Alford plea to get misdemeanor conviction after crash

A woman from Columbia, Missouri, was involved in a deadly accident on Interstate 70, and reports claimed that she had been drunk at the time that she caused the wreck.

The woman recently went before the Montgomery County Circuit Court, and she used an Alford plea. As a result, she was convicted, but she got a misdemeanor conviction. It was for careless and imprudent driving.

Cocaine charges in Missouri can result in lengthy jail terms

People who live in Missouri likely know that the state takes a harsh stance on drugs. Cocaine certainly falls within this realm. Did you know that cocaine charges could potentially involve being sentenced to life in prison in the most severe cases? That's the case for people who have more than one cocaine-related conviction.

Let's start with cocaine possession, which as the least severe penalties of all cocaine charges. Even possessing a small amount of cocaine is a class C felony. This type of felony can mean a prison term of up to seven years. It is also associated with a one-year minimum sentence. There is a chance if you are facing your first cocaine-related charge that you will be sentenced to complete a drug treatment program and probation instead of incarceration.

Missouri Supreme Court rules some felony thefts are misdemeanors

Many thefts in Missouri have been prosecuted as felony charges; however, that might not be correct. A change to the law in 2002 that was apparently inadvertent means that some felony thefts should actually be misdemeanors. That fact was recently noted in an opinion by the Missouri Supreme Court.

The court issued a ruling based on an appeal by a woman who was convicted of stealing firearms and other items. The felonies that are related to the firearms should be considered misdemeanors, according to the court. The state's criminal code is what determines how criminal acts should be charged. The court noted that that part of the code is written in a way that makes it inapplicable to the definition of stealing.

What is sexting and is it a crime?

Texting is a very common way to communicate with friends and family members. It is possible to send videos and pictures via text messages. You might be tempted to send sexually explicit pictures via text message, but doing so might end up being a criminal act. If you are considering sexting, you should make sure that you aren't running afoul of the law.

Are there any specific laws regarding sexting?

Is it a crime to help someone who has committed a crime?

A person who commits a crime must usually have to face the music. In some cases, the person who commits the crime finds people who are willing to help him or her out after the crime. This can become a criminal matter for the person who gives that assistance.

What is aiding and abetting?

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