FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

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


I know what you're thinking: It's just a misdemeanor, right? No big deal -- I can handle this myself. But misdemeanors are crimes that can include jail time and are prone to turn into felonies if you're not careful.

So while you may not think a misdemeanor charge is serious, you may still want the help a qualified criminal defense attorney. Here's why:

[DISCLAIMER: This article is not legal advice. For your safety, if you are being detained by police, you should follow all officer instructions.]

An interesting legal quirk came to our attention the other day from this legal summary: "It's not a criminal attempt to escape where the arrest was unlawful." So, if an officer's reason for arresting you is invalid or illegal, you can't be charged with trying to flee that arrest.

Given the current climate of police shootings, especially against those fleeing from police, this seems like dangerous advice. So let's take a closer look at where this rule comes from and what it means for criminal suspects and defendants.

We've all seen them attached to stop signs or lamp posts in residential neighborhoods: yellow "SLOW Children at Play" signs or the newer, red "Drive Like Your Kids Live Here" signs.

Do these signs make a difference? And is it legal to put up your own traffic-related signs?

Red and blue lights flashing in the background. A siren whoop. Looks like you have to pull over. What did you do? Are you been pulled over for no reason?

Traffic stops may be a daily occurrence for police officers. However, cops can be jumpy during stops because they're dangerous. Just a few days ago, an officer from Hayward, California was shot and killed only 45 seconds into a routine traffic stop. In another case in Texas, Sandra Bland was pulled over for the relatively minor infraction of failing to signal. By the end of the stop, the officer became upset, and Bland was arrested.

Even if you think you were pulled over for nothing wrong, here are five tips on what to do during a traffic stop:

The transition from life in prison to life outside can often be jarring, at best. If you're not lucky enough to have a ride home and a supportive network, that adjustment can be even worse.

Finding a job can be the hardest part about transitioning back into society. Despite all the programs and incentives available to make it easier ex-cons easier, some of the old hurdles -- fear, prejudice, etc. -- still exist. So here are a few ideas for getting a job after jail.

As it should be obvious to everyone by now, the cops are on Facebook. Heck, they may even put your arrest on their own Facebook page.

So it shouldn't be that surprising that a New York state court made the police's job a little easier by ruling that Facebook must turn over photos, private messages, and personal account information in response to legitimate warrants. The ruling was in regards to 381 warrants served on the social media company by New York prosecutors, but could have much larger online privacy implications.

Thinking of getting a pet? Are cats and dogs too normal for you?

While many of us love kitties and puppies, some people want something a little bit more exotic, such as a gorilla, Chinese alligator, ploughshare tortoise, or hyacinth macaw. With the illegal animal smuggling industry worth an estimated $20 billion, second only to the illicit drug business, many people are getting their hands on exotic animals that they have no right to possess.

Is owning an exotic animal a crime?

Can I Ship a Gun?

Want to start an argument? Bring up gun control laws. No matter which side of the debate you're on, everyone's got an opinion. Despite all the contention surrounding this issue, not everyone knows the intricacies of firearms laws.

For instance, is it legal to ship a firearm through the mail? And does it matter which carrier you use? Let's take a look:

Can Cops Ask If You Have a Weapon?

When stopped by the police, you can expect to be asked the usual identification questions. Beyond that, the police may begin to ask additional questions to determine if any criminal activity has been taking place

If an officer asks you specifically if you're carrying a weapon, do you have to answer? Is that question even legal? A recent case decided by the Oregon Supreme Court sheds some light on this question.

"I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive..." Don't get Carrie Underwood mad.

You've probably once been just as mad as Carrie Underwood and wanted to key someone's car for parking too close, stealing your spot, cutting you off.

Sure, keying someone's car isn't a nice thing to do, but is it a crime?