FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

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


You don't have to have burglarized a home to be charged with a crime relating to the burglary. Even if you were never there and don't know the thief, you can get arrested for buying or receiving stolen goods. And of course if you are charged with the actual theft, you could be in even bigger trouble.

But a charge of theft, larceny, or receipt of stolen goods doesn't necessarily mean you're guilty. Here are the best defenses to a stolen property charge:

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.

If you haven’t seen them in movies, you’ve probably seen DUI checkpoints in anti-drunk driving ads. And that’s if you haven’t actually seen the flashing red and blues up ahead on the road and asked yourself if you might’ve had one too many before getting behind the wheel. DUI checkpoints are everywhere, and if you’ve never encountered one, it’s probably only a matter of time until you do.

But are they even legal? Can’t you just turn around if you see one? And what can they actually test you for? Here’s what happens at a DUI checkpoint:

The United States Department of Justice announced this week that it will phase out its use of private prisons for federal convicts. A DOJ memo noted that private prisons offered fewer rehabilitative programs and resources, were less safe, and cost just as much as Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities.

The move away from private prisons could be a huge landmark in federal criminal justice, and could influence state use of private prisons as well.

5 Ways to Make a DUI Worse

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.

You thought that getting charged with drunk driving was bad, but trust us, it can get even worse. Aggravating factors like an extremely high blood alcohol content, multiple convictions, or, god forbid, an injury-causing crash can turn a bad dream into a nightmare.

You should never drink and drive. And here are five things you should always avoid doing to make a DUI even worse.

It could have all been a misunderstanding. Or you were only defending yourself. Heck, you may not have even hit anyone else and you're still charged with assault. The charge can vary from state to state, and the circumstances that can lead to an assault charge are always unique. You can try explaining all of those circumstances to the police or a judge on your own, or you can enlist the help of a good criminal defense lawyer.

Here's why you might want to go with a lawyer:

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.

Your first DUI was bad. And your second wasn’t any better. And now you’re facing a third DUI conviction and things are not looking good.

You know you’re in for some increased penalties based on your prior DUI history, but could that include some serious jail time? Here’s a look.

You may have heard the phrase 'for-profit prisons' in reference to private prison companies contracting with state and local governments to detain convicts. You may have also heard that this arrangement can lead to some perverse incentives on the part of private companies, whose profits are tied to the number of people in prison.

What you may not have heard about is for-profit probation, whereby private companies monitor offenders, charge them for the privilege, and can even petition that they be sent to jail if they can't pay. This system can also lead to a perverse set of incentives, which is why the American Bar Association is asking that it be abolished.

Imagine a Venn diagram with overlapping circles of hacking, sexual harassment, and extortion -- that's 'sextortion,' a crime whereby a person threatens to distribute someone's private and sensitive information if they don't provide images of a sexual nature, sexual favors, or money. And while this may seem like a rare crime that only targets certain individuals, the FBI has indicated that sextortion incidents have been on the rise.

So how does sextortion work, exactly, and how can you protect yourself?

What Is DUI Manslaughter?

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.

When drunk driving ends in a fatal car accident, a simple DUI can become something far more serious. Even unintentional killings can be charged as crimes, normally as what is known as involuntary manslaughter.

So what is manslaughter, and how can a DUI turn into one?

Are Cops Drug Tested?

Many of us face drug tests when we apply for a job, even though it might not always be legal. Some states are drug testing welfare recipients with little to show for it but the bill. And athletes are drug tested seemingly around the clock, and can even be suspended for taking legal substances.

But what about police officers? Surely, the men and women we trust to make snap judgments in life-and-death scenarios are tested regularly for any drug or substance that might affect those decisions, right? The answer might actually surprise you.