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Kansas City Criminal Defense Law Blog

Line drawn between blood and breath tests in DUI stops

When you are pulled over because a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that you are driving after drinking, things usually move pretty quickly. At some point during the stop, you might be asked to take a field sobriety test. You might also be asked to take a breath test to determine your blood alcohol concentration. You have the right to refuse that breath test, but that refusal can trigger a different chain of events.

If you don't want to take a breath test and refuse, you risk your license being suspended. It is also possible for the law enforcement officer to get a blood sample to test to determine your BAC. Some counties in Missouri already have a policy that a search warrant must be obtained to get a blood test. A new ruling from the United States Supreme Court says that a search warrant is now required for all blood tests to check BAC.

Early childhood teacher faces rape charges

An early education teacher who worked with special needs students is being accused of statutory rape. The man, who also coached football and track, is said to have had sexual contact with a 16-year-old female. The investigation began on June 24. It is still considered open and more charges might be placed against the man.

An arrest warrant was issued in this case had a $50,000 bond condition attached to it. An order to avoid contact with children who aren't 17 years old or older was also included.

DUI arrests can be devastating, so can DUI convictions

Drunk driving charges are something that might seem kind of harmless, but they aren't anything close to harmless. The fact of the matter is that a drunk driving conviction can bar you from doing certain jobs. It might cause you to have to spend time in jail, pay fines or spend time doing community service. We know that you might not know how to defend yourself against a DUI charge, so we are here to help you with your defense.

If your job depends on you being able to drive or having a clean driving record, a drunk driving arrest can mean devastation. You could lose your job even if you aren't convicted of the drunk driving charge.

Boating while drinking is something that can lead to charges

Did you know that you can face criminal charges for operating a watercraft while you are under the influence of alcohol? Missouri has laws on the books that make it a criminal act to operate a boat or any other watercraft if you have been consuming alcohol. You might be shocked to learn how much your life can be affected by boating while drinking.

Consuming alcohol on the water is something that the United States Coast Guard notes is more dangerous than consuming alcohol on the land. If you are suspected of boating under the influence, you can be pulled over in the same way that a motor vehicle is pulled over when a driver is believed to be drunk.

Penalties associated with sex convictions vary greatly

Sexting, rape, sexual assault and child-related sex crimes are some very serious crimes that carry hefty social penalties, as well as hefty legal penalties. The only way to ensure that you aren't going to have to face these penalties is to be sure that you aren't doing anything that could lead to these types of charges. For some people, mistakes they made have already led to criminal charges.

We know that facing sex-related charges is a frightening prospect. You might be unsure of what to do next. You might not understand the charges and penalties you face. You might not be sure about how to start working on your defense. We are here to help you find out about your case, learn your options and get moving on a defense.

Felons in Missouri can restore their right to vote

Felons face a host of stigmas when they are out in society. On top of the social stigmas, felons also face the loss of some rights that are commonplace in this country. One of these rights is the right to vote. In the past, it was fairly common for felons to be unable to vote at all. More recently, states have been changing the guidelines in a way that allows felons to vote in certain circumstances.

The ability for felons to vote is determined by state laws. This means that every state has different laws regarding if and when a person who was convicted of a felony charge can vote.

Calling crucial elements into question can help your defense

When you are facing violent crime charges, your defense has to include some important points. Generally, the defense you use must include information and evidence that will call into question at least one of the necessary elements of the crime. Each criminal charge has specific elements that must be present in a case in order for the charge to apply. If you can call just one element into question, your defense might be successful. We know that you might not be familiar with each point that has to be met for each violent crime charge. We can work with you to help you understand these elements and find ways that you can show that at least one wasn't applicable to your criminal case.

When it comes to violent crime charges, many of them have to do with a personal disagreement that simply went too far. In some cases, a misunderstanding might have been the cause of the incident. If this is the case, we will need to find a way to present that information that is effective. This can take time and serious consideration, so we must ensure that we have ample time to consider each option.

Points that you should know about kidnapping

When you think of kidnapping, you might think of a child who has been abducted and taken away from his or her parents. While that is one possible scenario that could be considered kidnapping, that isn't the only type of kidnapping case. If you or someone you know is facing kidnapping charges, you should understand what this charge means.

Learning all you can is likely to help you if you are the person who is facing charges. The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you will likely be to get a defense strategy together.

Representing sex crimes defendants in Missouri

The most important things that a criminal defense attorney can provide to a Kansas City resident accused of sex crimes are: 1) an in-depth knowledge of the law; 2) a familiarity with the court in which the crimes are being tried; and 3) a familiarity with the judges and prosecuting attorneys involved in the matter. However, there is another thing that is vital to the success of every sex crimes defense case, and this is something that we feel is very important at Kelly, Symonds, & Reed, LLC. Nevertheless, not all defense attorneys in Missouri are able to provide it.

This missing element is, in so many words, the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship. When an individual accused of a sex crime comes to a criminal defense attorney for support, that person is likely to be extremely embarrassed and sensitive about the charges that he or she has been accused of. As such, this person needs to be supported by his or her legal counsel in a way that is completely free of judgment. At Kelly, Symonds, & Reed, LLC, our mission is to always provide a "judgment free zone" to our clients, so they feel safe to discuss the cases with us in caring and completely professional context.

Drunk driving arrests and convictions can impact employment

A drunk driving conviction can change just about every aspect of your life. What you might not realize is that even a DUI arrest has the potential of changing your life. This is because DUI arrests and convictions can show up on employment background checks.

Many employers these days rely on background checks to help them vet candidates for positions. It is important to note that a drunk driving arrest or conviction won't necessarily prevent you from every job that requires a criminal background check. Instead, the employer must be able to show that your arrest or conviction will have a direct impact on your ability to do the job at hand.

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