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Kansas City Criminal Defense Law Blog

Driving without insurance complicates drunk driving charges

If you drive without insurance, you face the possibility of serious consequences, especially if alcohol is involved. If you recently received charges of driving without insurance in conjunction with a drunk driving charge, then you must proceed very carefully. It is very wise to consult with an experienced attorney to closely examine the details of your arrest and prioritize which of your rights you want to protect.

Either charge carries its own set of complications and entails a specific legal strategy when building a defense. When multiple charges overlap, the experience of an attorney becomes exceptionally valuable. Without a calculated, careful defense, you may face some very serious consequences.

Be careful posting pictures of firearms on social media

When it comes to protecting yourself, you simply can't be too careful with what you post on social media like Facebook or Instagram. This especially true for individuals who already have convictions on their record. Recently, a Missouri man with an existing felony got himself a ticket back to prison for illegally possessing firearms, all because of his Facebook profile.

It should come as no surprise at this point in time that your social media presence is not too different from making an official statement to an officer of the law — anything you say (or show) may be used against you. In the case of this man, he played himself by posting pictures on Facebook that depicted firearms.

Law enforcement phasing out sobriety checkpoints

Law enforcement throughout Missouri is shifting tactics to apprehend drunk drivers, which could have serious effects on DUI defense. Soon, more than 60 law enforcement agencies throughout the state will lose millions of dollars allocated for sobriety checkpoints, but that doesn't mean that it is any safer to drive after a few beers.

While sobriety checkpoints may become a thing of the past, law enforcement is not going softer on potential drunk drivers — if anything, they are getting more aggressive. Sobriety checkpoints are often visible from a distance, and in many instances, the law enforcement agency setting up the checkpoint announces when and where the checkpoint will take place.

What is the difference between theft and robbery?

Many individuals do not understand that subtle differences in charges can have a significant impact on sentencing and defense strategy. This is especially true when it comes to violent crimes. In general, crimes that involve some form of violence or threat of violence carry harsher sentences than those without any element of violence. One area where this becomes particularly clear is the difference between theft and robbery.

Theft, or larceny, is a broad term that generally applies when one party takes the property or right to property of another person without their consent. This might mean many things, from a person stealing a small amount of money or personal items to one person refusing to return the property of another person after borrowing it or holding it for a specific amount of time.

What if I'm accused of domestic violence?

Domestic violence charges can arise a number of ways, and many times, they are either patently false or the result of a misunderstanding by law enforcement or nosy community members. Unfortunately, domestic violence charges are often destructive to your reputation even if they are proven untrue. If you face domestic violence charges of any kind, it is important to seek out experienced legal guidance as soon as possible.

Often, domestic violence charges arise when your partner or spouse is angry and simply wants to cause trouble for you, even though you have not actually committed the crime. If this is the case, you and your attorney must build a case for your innocence and seek to deflate the validity of the claims against you.

Surprising defenses to drunk driving charges

Facing drunk driving charges is never something anyone wants to do, but we all make mistakes from time to time. However, a drunk driving conviction can carry serious consequences and affect many areas of your life, so it is always wise to consult with an attorney to identify ways you might fight the charges. Depending on the nature of your arrest, there a number of defense strategies a skilled attorney can help you employ.

Even if you do not contest the fact that you were drunk at the time of your arrest, you may be able to argue against the charges anyway. For instance, you may be able to claim that you were driving while intoxicated due to some specific duress, such as potential injury or death, or to avoid injury. This might prove effective if you were on the way to get medical help for yourself or someone else, or if you were fleeing danger of some kind.

FBI sets up hotline to collect evidence against local man

Following several sex crime charges against a Kansas City teacher, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has set up a dedicated hotline to collect information about any other potential crimes the man may have committed. According to police reports, teacher in question faces charges of statutory sodomy, and authorities believe that there may be more instances of sexual assault that have yet to be reported.

The teacher currently faces six separate counts of statutory sodomy, and allegedly engaged in sexual activity with his students over a number of years while serving as a teacher and coach. Authorities claim that the man admitted to them that he carried on relationships of a sexual nature with at least two boys younger than 18 years old. He also reportedly admitted to secretly collecting video footage of underage boys while they were naked in locker rooms at several school where he taught.

Missouri sheriff arrested on felony charges

A Missouri law enforcement official was recently arrested on felony charges — but that didn't keep him from continuing to serve in his capacity as sheriff. Despite facing charges of nearly twenty separate criminal offenses, the Mississippi County sheriff returned to his regular responsibilities as sheriff later that same evening.

According to the joint investigation involving the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Attorney General's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Sheriff allegedly used his position to conduct several types of illegal surveillance, commit forgery, tamper with computer data and even a single point of notary misconduct.

How are reasonable and suspicion probable cause different?

We've all been there — you're driving down the road after a long day, maybe coming home after a quick stop at the bar. Suddenly, you see the flashing lights behind you and pull over to the side of the road. In many cases, you may not even know why you're being pulled over.

Protecting our rights as citizens begins with the smallest rights, which are just as important to understand as the larger headline rights. Understanding the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause can help you defend your rights and the rights of those around you.

New attorney general encourages harsher drug sentencing

For decades, drug charges have carried stiff penalties for defendants, leading to many individuals facing years behind bars for non-violent offenses. However, The Obama administration took some steps to lessen the harshness of drug charges, indicating that law enforcement should ease off of enforcing the existing drug laws, especially when it comes to marijuana-related crimes. In the last fews years, public opinion on marijuana has shifted enormously, and many states have legalized its use in some circumstances, while other's have decriminalized possession. All this progress may be taking a backseat soon, if the new attorney general has his way.

Jeff Sessions, the newly appointed attorney general, made clear in a statement recently that prosecutors throughout the land are now encouraged to pursue harsher penalties for marijuana possession. Furthermore, judges will most likely be instructed to hand down sentences according to mandatory minimum guidelines.

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