FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

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


A South Carolina woman who left her 9-year-old daughter alone at a public park while she went to her job at McDonalds was arrested and charged with a felony.

Debra Harrell, 46, of North Augusta, was arrested after confessing to regularly leaving her daughter in the park while she worked at a McDonald's a mile-and-a-half away. According to CNN, Harrell had given her daughter a cell phone and a key to their house, which was about a six-minute walk from the park.

The arrest is causing many to ask: Is leaving a 9-year-old child in a public park illegal?

A Florida dad won't be charged for beating his son's alleged molester, despite leaving him "in a puddle of blood" on the floor.

Raymond Frolander, 18, has been charged with felony sexual battery of a victim under 12, for allegedly assaulting his attacker's 11-year-old son, Reuters reports. The unidentified father, 35, beat Frolander into submission after reportedly finding him sexually assaulting his son.

Why did police choose not to press charges?

Police officers' use of chokeholds to subdue resisting suspects is coming under after a New York man suspected of illegally selling cigarettes died in a confrontation with NYPD officers.

Video of the July 17 incident appears to show officers putting the man, 43-year-old Eric Garner, in a chokehold in order to take him to the ground, reports The New York Times -- desptite chokeholds being forbidden by NYPD policy.

What led to the fatal incident, and is the use of chokeholds by police officers legal?

Washington, D.C.'s marijuana decriminalization law is now in effect, reducing the penalty for simple marijuana possession to a $25 fine.

The District of Columbia now joins 17 states in reducing penalties for first-time pot possession to a civil, not criminal offense, Reuters reports. The District's law makes possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by anyone 18 and older a civil offense punishable by only a $25 fine and the seizure of drugs and paraphernalia.

What does this new weed law mean for D.C. pot possessors?

What crimes require sex-offender registration?

Convicts who must register as sex offenders are subject to restrictions on where they may live, work, and their privacy. But it may surprise you that different states have different requirements for which crimes require a convict to register as a sex offender.

Here are a few highlighted examples of which crimes require sex-offender registration:

What Is Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is in the news after a prominent New Orleans lawyer was charged with the crime for allegedly sending harassing text messages to an opponent.

Stuart Smith, a noted environmental lawyer and the namesake of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law's legal clinic, was charged with misdemeanor cyberstalking for allegedly threatening someone via text message in a dispute over a proposed noise ordinance. If convicted, Smith could face up to one year behind bars and a $2,000 fine, The Times-Picayune reports.

So what exactly is cyberstalking, and how can you get charged with it?

Prescription drugs have become a real part of many drivers' lives, but they can present a real danger of DUI.

Prescription medication like painkillers, antidepressants, anxiety meds, and even antihistamines can cause a driver to be impaired, and law enforcement is keen to their effects.

In order to be a savvy and safe driver, here are three things about prescription drugs and DUIs that every motorist should know:

In case you missed it, a Connecticut man was arrested this week for allegedly stabbing a watermelon in a "passive aggressive" way.

Of course, violence against fruit isn't typically a crime (otherwise fruit salad would be a lot more expensive). But in this case, police say the man's alleged melon mangling was meant to send a threatening message to his wife -- who had just reported the man's drug stash to police and was going through a divorce, reports The Register Citizen.

The incident brings up an interesting legal question: Under what circumstances can attacking an inanimate object get you arrested?

Teenage love grips many of the nation's minors, and many minors will become sexually active by sleeping with another minor. But statutory rape laws make it a crime to have sex with any person under the "age of consent."

Lawmakers understand that teens want to make love, but is sex between two minors a crime?

Here's what you need to know:

Identity theft charges can encompass a wide range of criminal activity, such as hijacking someone else's Facebook page or using someone's personal financial information to fraudulently obtain a loan.

Equally as wide-ranging are the potential consequences of being caught. For example, a California teen who hacked into another teen's Facebook account and added crude sexual remarks was convicted under the state's identity theft statute and sentenced to juvenile detention and probation.

But depending on both the offense and the state in which it's committed, criminal penalties for identity theft can be far more serious -- and potentially costly too. Here's what you need to know: