FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

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


Although celebrities may be immune from many of the potential pitfalls facing everyday people, being arrested for DUI is certainly not one of them.

The latest celebrity to face drunken driving charges is 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, who was arrested and charged with DUI Tuesday after being pulled over for speeding in a Maryland tunnel, reports ESPN.

What legal lessons can be gleaned from Phelps' (latest) DUI arrest? Here are five:

Michael Dunn has been found guilty of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of a teenager in 2012.

Jordan Davis, 17, was shot and killed by Dunn, 47, over claims that Dunn feared for his life, with the teen's loud music and threats allegedly prompting him to pull the trigger. According to Jacksonville's First Coast News, a Florida jury on Wednesday found Dunn guilty of first-degree murder, taking only a fraction of the time to deliberate as Dunn's first trial jury had done.

Now that Dunn is a convicted murderer, what punishment lies ahead?

You may have heard the term "lewd behavior" in connection with someone being arrested for doing something somewhat less than decent.

But you may not know what criminally lewd behavior actually is. Lewd is typically defined as involving or being sexual conduct that is considered indecent or offensive. But at what point does someone's sexually indecent or offensive conduct run afoul of state or federal laws?

What actually counts as criminally lewd behavior?

California has eliminated the sentencing differences between crack and cocaine offenses, as Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Sentencing Act into law on Sunday.

The Act, also known as SB 1010, mirrors the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which narrowed the gap in federal law between the punishments for crack and cocaine offenders. But California's law goes further, treating cocaine and "cocaine base" (read: crack) the same in terms of punishing drug convicts.

What does this change mean for drug offenders in California?

An Oklahoma man has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly beheading a co-worker from whom he sought revenge.

Alton Nolen, 30, was charged with murder in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, on Tuesday in addition to two assault charges. Prosecutors allege that Nolan beheaded his coworker after being suspended from work; the FBI is looking into possible ties between the gruesome act and terrorism.

Now that Nolen has been charged with first-degree murder, what's next for the Oklahoma beheading suspect?

Tasers and other brands of stun guns are commonly used by law enforcement for subduing fleeing or combative suspects.

Increasingly, however, interest in Tasers is extending beyond law enforcement, with regular citizens looking to possess or even carry a Taser on their person for their own protection.

Is it legal to possess and potentially use a Taser? Here's a general overview:

Jodi Arias is approaching the final phase of her murder trial, but like many trials, this ultimate step will begin with jury selection.

Arias had a 12-person jury for her last trial -- a jury which was unable to reach a verdict with respect to her punishment. The woman convicted of murdering Travis Alexander will now participate in picking a second jury, one that will only deliberate on how Arias may be punished.

Will it be difficult to pick a jury for someone who's already been found guilty?

A DUI arrest can lead to a wide range of penalties: jail time, fines, a suspended license, and being forced to install an ignition interlock device, just to name a few.

But DUI charges can also cause trouble in other areas of your life, as one Florida woman discovered when her DUI arrest led to an investigation by the state's Department of Children and Families, reports WCTV.

How did this woman's drunken driving charge lead to potentially losing custody of her children?

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today he will be stepping down as soon as his successor can be nominated and confirmed.

Holder, the first African-American to hold the post, took office shortly after President Barack Obama began his first term in 2009. Holder leaves on something of a high note, reports The New York Times: Earlier this week, he announced that the federal prison population declined for the first time since 1980 on his watch, and should continue to do so for at least the next two years.

What the story behind Holder's time in office and his forthcoming departure? Here are five things you should know:

In any court proceeding, witness testimony can be an important source of evidence.

It follows, then, that courts take calling witnesses pretty seriously. How seriously? Seriously enough that those who refuse to testify can, in some situations, be held in contempt of court, which may result in penalties including fines and even jail time.

What are the rules for testifying in court and how can you keep yourself from running afoul of them?