Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC

Free Initial Consultation

We Try Cases And We Win Them

We try cases and we win them

Kansas City Criminal Defense Law Blog

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?

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.

FindLaw Network