FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

FindLaw Blotter - Crime Blog - Crime News - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog


In addition to state laws prohibiting child abuse, the federal government has its own laws meant to protect children from neglect and other forms of abuse.

These laws include minimum child welfare standards to which the states are required to conform. However, a recent three-year study by the Children's Advocacy Institute found that none of the states are actually meeting these standards, NPR reports.

What do federal child abuse laws require? And what did the study find when it comes to enforcement of these laws at the state level?

What is resisting arrest, and what defenses can potentially be used to defeat the charge?

A San Francisco public defender was arrested Wednesday after she refused to let police photograph her client in a court hallway. Notably, a police officer told her before she was placed in handcuffs that she would be arrested for resisting arrest.

Eventually, Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson was arrested, though a cellphone video shows that, far from "resisting," she let police cuff her and lead her away. So how can she be prosecuted for resisting an arrest that hadn't happened yet?

Most people are well aware that driving too fast or in a reckless manner is likely to get you pulled over. But a car's paint job may also attract the attention of law enforcement.

It's not against the law to have a crummy paint job or to paint your car an especially obnoxious color. Fortunately for most of us, the fashion police have not yet been granted the same power as the actual police to make arrests.

So how can your vehicle's paint job get you pulled over?

In the aftermath of a DUI arrest, it's important to remember that in addition to the criminal charges you are facing, you may also have a limited amount of time to request a hearing with your state's DMV in order to avoid a lengthy driver's license suspension.

In most states, immediately following a driving under the influence arrest, a person essentially has two different cases to deal with: the criminal case in criminal court and the administrative case through a state's Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent vehicle registration agency.

Why is it important to know about this administrative hearing process?

The Northeast is preparing for a snowstorm that could bring what The New York Times calls "near hurricane-force winds." the governors of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey have declared states of emergency, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordering a shutdown of the New York City subway and bus systems starting at 11 o'clock tonight.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took the additional step of declaring a travel ban, also starting at 11 p.m. this evening. What does such a ban mean, and what happens if you disobey the order?

Although an accused criminal is often arrested immediately following an alleged crime, that person's criminal trial may take years to complete because of delays in the proceedings.

The ongoing trial of accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes, for example, was delayed several times before jury selection began earlier this week. According to Yahoo! News, the trial has been delayed for two and a half years, more than three times the timetable recommended by the Supreme Court of Colorado for felony criminal cases. The case has already had five trial dates and two judges, with a request for a third denied. In addition, more than 1,700 motions, notices, orders, and other court documents have been filed in the case.

What are some of the more common reasons for delays in a criminal trial? Here are five:

In addition to fines and jail time, a DUI conviction can often result in a defendant being sentenced to probation.

Probation is a criminal penalty that permits a person convicted of a crime to be released back into society. However, an individual on probation does not enjoy the same level of freedom as a typical citizen. The conditions of a person's probation generally depend on the crime for which the conditions are being imposed, but they generally dictate the things a probationer must and must not do.

Here are seven common conditions of DUI probation:

As the murder trial of accused theater gunman James Holmes gets underway in Colorado, the court has reportedly gathered the largest jury pool in U.S. history.

About 9,000 juror summonses were issued to potential jurors in the case, reports Fox News. The judge in the case has said in court filings that he asked for such a large jury pool because of the high-profile nature of Holmes' death penalty case. Holmes is accused of walking into an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater in 2012 and opening fire on the crowd. Twelve people were killed in the attack and 70 were injured.

How will the jury be selected, and what are the two sides looking for during the jury selection process?

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday that the U.S. Justice Department will strictly limit local and state law enforcement agencies' use of so-called federal "adoptions" for civil asset forfeitures.

The federal asset forfeiture program originally began in the 1980s as part of the war on drugs, reports The Washington Post. At that time, few states had similar forfeiture laws; however, federal adoption of seized property allowed local and state law enforcement agencies to prevent seized property from being returned to criminals. But federal adoptions have continued to be used even as states passed their own forfeiture laws. According to the Post, since 2008 local and state police agencies have used a federal civil asset forfeiture program called Equitable Sharing to seize $3 billion worth of cash and property.

What do you need to know about Attorney General Holder's announcement? Here are five facts:

During a DUI stop, the results of a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test will often determine whether a driver is arrested or let go.

But there are some important differences between these preliminary alcohol tests and the testing of blood, breath, or urine following a DUI arrest.

What makes a PAS test different?