FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

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

A single mom from Philadelphia is facing serious prison time for volunteering to a New Jersey officer at a traffic stop that she had a licensed handgun in her car.

Unfortunately for Shaneen Allen, 27, her Pennsylvania concealed carry permit isn't recognized in New Jersey, and she was arrested and charged with "unlawful possession of a weapon and armor penetrating bullets," reports Philadelphia's WCAU-TV. The incident occurred last October, but Allen has a court date set for August 5.

Why is the Garden State being so hard on this Philly mom?

The notable side effect of consuming marijuana is getting high (duh), and many Americans wonder whether it's illegal to simply be high in public.

This is an even more pressing question in states where marijuana possession and use is legal -- either for medicinal or recreational purposes -- but public use is still heavily restricted.

So is it legal to be high in public? Here's what you need to know:

If you're pulled over for a DUI and you're under 21, you may not be thinking about the potential legal consequences. You might be thinking about how much your parents will ream you, how much your friends will ridicule you, and how your social life may never be the same.

Well as Cher memorably said in "Moonstruck," snap out of it! (Too young for that reference? Don't worry about it.)

Worry instead about these five potential legal consequences of an underage DUI:

A Florida woman who fired a warning shot at her abusive husband will not receive a pretrial "Stand Your Ground" hearing in her assault case, a judge has ruled.

Marissa Alexander, 33, was hoping the judge would take into account Florida's new law extending "Stand Your Ground" to warning shots in granting her a pretrial self-defense hearing. Reuters reports that Alexander, whose original conviction in 2012 was overturned on appeal, had her claim of self-defense rejected during her first trial as well.

With Florida's new law in place, why is Alexander being denied a pretrial "Stand Your Ground" hearing?

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 fire 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?