FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

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


Police Hope 3D Printed Fingers Will Unlock Murder Victim's Phone

As technology becomes more sophisticated, the police too are increasingly creative. Michigan authorities, for example, recently commissioned a set of 3D printer fingers to unlock a murder victim's smart phone.

The police believe that the phone holds information about the crime, Fusion reports. Keeping in mind the difficulties of the FBI wrangling with Apple over defendant phone privacy, the Michigan authorities came up with a very creative workaround: copying the victim's fingers in the hopes of unlocking the phone.

Can My Lawyer Turn Me In?

A lawyer can only adequately represent her client if she knows all the facts. On the other hand, a client may be wary of telling his attorney everything, for fear of it reflecting poorly on his case or that the attorney will turn around and spill the beans to prosecutors or the judge.

While there are legal protections in place to foster full communication between criminal defendants and their counsel and you should feel comfortable answering all of your attorney's questions honestly, these protections have their limitations. Here's what you need to know about attorney-client privilege in criminal cases, and when your lawyer might be required to breach it.

Snapchat Crime: Teen's Conviction for Video Upload Upheld

New technologies often lead to new legal issues. So it is with Snapchat, a social media site where people post videos that disappear after 24 hours. A California appeals court this week upheld the conviction of a 16-year-old high school student who uploaded a 10-second video of a fellow student masturbating in a bathroom stall and was charged with misdemeanor invasion of privacy.

The boy who was filmed committed suicide two weeks later, reports Ars Technica, but he was not considered in the criminal case. At issue here is privacy.

Prison Phone Call Price Cap Is in Limbo: FCC to Vote on New Proposal

Prisoners are not usually a coveted consumer group, except for a select few companies that profit from incarceration. Among these are prison phone companies Global Tel*Link (GTL) and Securus Technologies, which have been charging prisoners and their families exorbitant rates to communicate.

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a rate cap on calls of all kinds and the companies fought it hard, winning a stay in a March federal appeals court ruling. That stay is still in place and compromise efforts by the FCC are under consideration, reports Ars Technica.

Whether you're a rancher or a suburban mom, seeing a coyote can be a bit frightening. Shepherds have always tried to keep them away from their flocks, and as neighborhoods expand, seeing a coyote lope down a street or through a city park becomes more common.

So are you free to shoot a coyote if it's near or on your property? And do you have to prove that you, or your children, or your sheep were in danger?

3 DUI Statistics You Should Know

Welcome to FindLaw's DUI Law series. If you have been charged with a DUI, know someone who has, or just want to know about the law and how to protect your rights during a DUI stop, please come back each week for more information.

Drunk driving is dangerous and can have serious consequences for the drinking driver and everyone around. But DUI is a relatively common crime, one committed by people of all backgrounds and classes.

Sometimes people drive while intoxicated because they don't realize they are doing it, unaware that they're impaired until too late. Others just don't appreciate the gravity of the risk, which includes not only lost lives but also criminal charges. So let's take a look at some DUI statistics that may influence your decision to drive while intoxicated or to let others do so.

The 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland has been the site of countless protests and counter-protests by both demonstrators and delegates inside and outside the convention. And if you're wondering about the legality of these protests, we've got you covered. (If you're wondering about the legality of plagiarizing a speech, or using a band's song without permission, we've also got you covered, here and here.)

To make sure you don't violate the laws while making your voice heard, check out these five things you need to know about legally protesting, at conventions and elsewhere:

Can Police Force Catheterized Urine Collection in DUI Cases?

How determined should authorities be to collect evidence from a reluctant suspect? Should they be allowed to strap someone down on a hospital gurney and take urine using a catheter without the person's permission but with a warrant? What if the warrant doesn't specify catheterization but simply authorizes police to collect blood or urine generally?

These are the questions that one South Dakota defendant, Dirk Landon Sparks, is asking after undergoing a forced catheterization to collect his urine in a DUI case. He seeks to have the warrant quashed and the evidence against him suppressed, saying that the Constitution's Fourth Amendment reasonableness requirement makes no allowances for such an invasive procedure. Let's consider his claims.

There's your classic DUI, where someone is pulled over for swerving or at a checkpoint, smells like alcohol, slurs his speech, fails some roadside tests, and gets arrested. These are, sadly, almost too common to count.

But then there are your more adventurous drunk driving affairs, involving pet squirrels and attempts to fake black ice on the road. Here are five of our favorite strange DUI stories, from the FindLaw archives.

When the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision this week saying that logging onto a computer network with someone else's credentials constituted criminal hacking under federal law, a wave of panic rippled through the Netflix and chill community. After all, some of us -- and we're not naming names -- are treating a friend's username and password like a free all you can eat buffet, and we don't want the feds kicking in the door in the middle of season three of "Orange Is the New Black."

So is the end of shared streaming access? Are you going to get locked up for logging into HBOGo on mom's account? Probably not, but there are reasons to be careful.