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Kansas City Criminal Defense Law Blog

What happens if I'm convicted of a DUI?

In the state of Missouri, what happens when a driver is convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol depends on the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Whether it is the driver's first offense and the blood-alcohol level can make a difference in what penalties are applied.

If it is your first DUI conviction, your license will be suspended for 90 days. If the DUI was while driving a commercial vehicle, the penalties are increased. In this case, a blood-alcohol level of higher than .039 percent means the driver will have two points on his driver's license and be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for a year. It may be possible for some first-time, noncommercial offenders to be awarded some driving ability under the Restricted Driving Privilege program, but this is not a guarantee.

I've been charged with assault. What now?

Whether you are at a concert with friends or at a bar relaxing after work, a disagreement can escalate quickly and turn physical. Unfortunately, that one lapse in judgment can affect the rest of your life, and while nothing can be done to turn back time and make different decisions, it is possible to present a solid defense to charges of violent crimes and make the best out of a difficult situation.

The category of violent crimes can include many different charges from simple assault to murder. The exact charges will depend on the events before, during and after the incident as well as physical evidence present — such as visual indications of an assault — and witness statements.

Teenagers and sexting

While many parents may not want to think about their teens taking or sending sexually explicit photos from their cellphones, the reality is that it does happen. If the person is underage, however, this behavior can be deemed a sex crime and come with lifelong consequences, including being labeled as a sex offender for life.

A survey of 1,280 teenagers and young adults by the American National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that one in five teenagers admitted to sending nude or semi-nude pictures. While most of those who admitted to sending the pictures said they sent them to a boyfriend or girlfriend, 39 percent of boys and 21 percent of girls ages 13 to 19 said they sent the pictures to people they were interested in "hooking up" with.

Fully understanding a drug case in Missouri

If you are facing drug charges in Missouri, it is very important to understand every aspect of the case. While some of this may seem rather straightforward, no detail is too small to ignore.

First, you need to know exactly what the charges against you look like. All cases are not the same -- not by any means -- and the charges can change depending on what type of drug you had, how much of it you had and what you intended to do with it.

Missouri public administrator charged with 2 felony counts

A Missouri public administrator is currently facing charges of stealing over $500 and abuse of a person receiving health care — both felonies. According to reports, the woman took more than $10,000 out of various trust accounts from January 2011 to September 2012 while she was a business office manager at a nursing home.

According to reports, the woman would draft the checks and make them payable to cash or mark them to be use as petty cash, but the prosecutor claims the woman took the money for herself instead. The charges include 18 improperly cashed checks over four trust accounts and state that the nursing home residents did not consent to the withdrawals

What happens if I don’t take a Breathalyzer in Missouri?

Getting in a vehicle and driving under the influence is never a good idea; however, it happens. In Missouri, if you are arrested for DUI, it can lead to a suspension of your driver's license. With a first conviction, there will be fines to pay, alcohol education courts to attend and perhaps a stay in the county jail.

When you're stopped by police and they believe you are impaired, the officer will ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer at the scene. What happens if you refuse to take that test that can show what your blood alcohol content is?

Not guilty plea from man charged with five murders in Kansas City

During his arraignment on Monday, Nov. 24, a Kansas City man entered a plea of not guilty to five counts of first-degree murder. Reports indicate the defendant remained silent throughout the proceeding with his defense attorney speaking on his behalf. Other charges include four counts of armed criminal action, burglary, vehicle theft and illegal possession of weapons. The defendant pleaded not guilty to these charges as well.

According to a story published in the Kansas City Star, these violent crimes occurred on Sept. 2, when the defendant allegedly shot five Kansas City residents. Court records claim the man first burglarized a home, shooting the two residents who died later of critical injuries. Near the scene, he allegedly shot and killed a neighbor woman in her driveway.

Felony gun crimes carry serious consequences in Missouri

By and large, Americans enjoy the right to possess firearms and Kansas City residents are no exception. Guns allow us to protect our property and persons and for many, they provide a feeling of security in general. However, it is crucial to abide by the law when it comes to guns, as Missouri authorities typically take a strong stance against weapons crime.

The nation's rash of shootings and other crimes involving guns over the past decade or so means prosecutors go after those facing gun charges aggressively. To make matters worse, Missouri authorities have a firm foundation on which to stand due to the typically negative view the federal government has about guns. This can make it especially challenging when it comes to defending oneself against weapons violations.

What penalties can Missourians face for having child pornography?

Missouri takes the creation, promotion and possession of child pornography very seriously. The term "child porn" is used when the person depicted in the pornographic materials is younger than 18. Child pornography criminal penalties can be serious. However, when the child is or even appears to be 14 or younger, the potential penalties can be even greater.

Under Missouri law, filming or photographing a person under 18 in a sexual manner, or forcing them to perform in such a manner is illegal. So is showing or selling them materials that are sexually-explicit. It should also be noted that "Promoting child porn of a minor under or appearing to be under 18" is considered "promoting child pornography in the second degree."

The legal definition of first degree murder in Missouri

Not all incidents that lead to death in Kansas City are going to fall under the umbrella of first degree murder. There are varying degrees of murder that could be used, and there are also related charges, such as manslaughter, which show that a person may have been responsible for a death without the intent to kill. All people who are facing charges after a death deserve fair legal counsel, and one of the first things they should look into is what technically counts as first degree murder and what does not.

The first element that needs to be present, as mentioned above, is intent. If the person who has been accused of the killing did so accidentally and with no desire to cause the other person's death, it is not going to be first degree murder.

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