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There are many varieties of disorderly conduct charges. Usually these types of charges involve conduct that annoys the public, like loudly yelling in a residential area while stumbling home drunk, fighting with hallucinations while in public, peeing on a public sidewalk, doing donuts in a parking lot, fighting actual people, continually punching the air while advising passerbyers to not walk into your punches, just being overly loud in public, playing music loud during the night, and nearly anything else that goes beyond just annoying or embarrassing.

For the most part, the specific elements of a disorderly conduct charge will vary from state to state, but will require a finding of criminal intent. Additionally, they can sometimes be interchangeable with charges like disturbing the peace, or be more specifically charged as public intoxication, indecent exposure, or public nuisance, depending on the jurisdiction and specific conduct. While often the evidence doesn't look good to the alleged victims and suspects of disorderly conduct, these charges are far from a slam dunk for prosecutors and can be defended.

Over the weekend, a group of over 40 teens jumped the turnstiles at an Oakland, California, public transit station, boarded a commuter train, robbed seven individuals and left two people injured before leaving the train and station. It's possible that as many as 60 teens were involved. Witnesses described the situation as quickly shifting from what seemed like boisterous horseplay to confusion and violence as the large group of teens boarded and ransacked the train.

While many passengers were left shook, police were able to identify some of the teenage suspects caught on the surveillance cameras, and are seeking arrest warrants.

With the Internet of Things (IoT) firmly taking hold of nearly every modern convenience, criminal defendants shouldn't be surprised when the data that gets collected and stored on modern technology gets used against them. This includes things like a person's internet browser history, IP address history, files stored locally, or in the cloud, and potentially even files a person has deleted. And it doesn't stop there.

A recent news story illustrates how IoT data is helping to solve a murder. The data stored on a murder victim's Fitbit, along with other pieces of electronically stored data, are forming the basis of some rather damning evidence against the victim's husband, who is now charged with murder.

When a person is sentenced to probation, or is paroled from prison, many of their individual rights will be restricted until the court appointed supervision gets completed. Among the most serious deprivation of rights includes a parolee’s or probationer’s inability to freely travel around the world, or even just the country.

Generally, a released convict who plans on travelling to another state for less than a few weeks will only need to get permission from their supervising officer, or the court. In many jurisdictions, if the conviction was for a misdemeanor, then permission may not be required except for extended travel.

However, if the plan is to remain in the other state permanently, or for more than a few weeks, then, more than the usual permission to travel is required. For extended travel, or moving across state lines, a person subject to court ordered post conviction supervision will need to get approval before leaving, or moving, to avoid penalties and arrest for violating the terms of their supervision.

Thanks to the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitutional, individuals are guaranteed protection from unreasonable search and seizure. This right not only requires federal, state, and local law enforcement to meet specific requirements before conducting a search, it also permits individuals to sue the police when an officer conducts an unreasonable search.

One officer and police department in Dunwoody, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, are learning some hard and expensive lessons about the limits of reasonableness. Recently, the department settled the fourth lawsuit against them related to an illegal search. The most recent settlement was for over $50,000 and resulted from a traffic stop where an officer claimed to be searching for marijuana. Last year, a six figure settlement prompted department-wide changes that require officers to get approval before extending a traffic stop to hail a unit with a drug sniffing dog.

Whether through new DNA testing, faulty forensic science, or procedural error, many criminal convictions eventually get overturned or vacated. Often, these exonerations don't occur until years or even decades after the fact and in that span a defendant may have already paid thousands of dollars in court costs, fines, fees, and restitution.

So when a conviction is tossed out, what happens to all that money? Until last week, Colorado had a statute on the books that allowed the state to keep fees and restitution paid by criminal defendants, even after their convictions were overturned. But the Supreme Court stepped in and ruled the law unconstitutional.

Back in 2015, the Food and Drug Administration intercepted over 1,000 vials of sodium thiopental bound from India to law enforcement officials in Texas and Arizona. The shipments were an attempt to skirt a 2012 ban on the drug and were intended to be used for lethal injections in death penalty cases.

Last week, the FDA informed the two states that, after much legal back-and-forth, it would not be releasing the drugs. Not only that, but that states have just 90 days to export or destroy their caches of sodium thiopental. Here's a look at why:

In the coming weeks, the New York City Police Department will be rolling out their body camera program to over 1,000 officers. The cameras will record interactions officers have with the public in an effort to increase the transparency of NYC's police practices, which have come under increasing scrutiny due to failing stop and frisk policies, as well as excessive force incidents.

Last Friday, a federal district court judge in Manhattan denied a motion to delay the roll out due to alleged problems with the program. Critics claim that the program does not go far enough and does not require enough types of interactions to be recorded. Perhaps the most concerning criticism involves officers being allowed to review their own body cam footage before making statements or writing reports.

WikiLeaks, true to its name, has been the source of thousands, if not millions of leaked government and intelligence documents. The published documents include videos of airstrikes and diplomatic cables from the Iraq war, leading Democrats' emails during the 2106 presidential campaign, and, most recently, "a trove of C.I.A. documents last month that described sophisticated software and techniques to break into electronics."

The last leak might've been the criminal straw that broke the prosecutorial camel's back. Multiple news organizations are reporting that U.S. Department of Justice is considering an array of criminal charges against WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange. None have been filed as of yet, but it is interesting to look at what those charges might be, what prosecuting them might entail, and why the government has waited until now.

In what reporters are calling the largest mass dismissal of criminal convictions in history, the state of Massachusetts is poised to reverse over 21,000 drug convictions as a result of the 2012- 2013 drug lab scandal. While it has been over three years since the main lab chemist pleaded guilty, the state has finally succumbed to pressures from groups like the ACLU requesting to reexamine all convictions related to the drug lab scandal.

Of all the convictions related to the drug lab scandal, just over 300 cases will be retried. The state prosecutor's office selected less than two percent of the cases to re-prosecute, explaining that the most serious cases, that involve more than just evidence from that one lab, will be retried.