FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

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


The NYPD has gained notoriety over the past decade due to its use of the policing tactic known as SQF or Stop, Question, and Frisk (more commonly known as stop and frisk). The stop and frisk tactic allows police officers to stop anyone on the street or in public who they have a reasonable suspicion might have committed -- or is about to commit -- a crime. While the NYPD has drastically scaled back its use of the tactic, the statistics are staggering and show that it yields a net negative outcome when community perceptions are factored in.

While there are strong proponents on either side of the debate, the numbers seem to show that it is used disproportionately against minorities, wastes resources, and is ineffective (unless used with stops based on "probably cause indicators").

5 New DUI Laws to Know About

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.

It may seem odd, but a DUI in Maryland isn't the same as a DUI in Pennsylvania. And a fourth offense in Kentucky might be treated differently than a fourth offense in Colorado. State DUI laws can vary, and they're subject to change from year to year.

Here's a look at some recent changes to state DUI laws and what they could mean for your DUI case.

While the crimes of grand theft auto and joyriding may seem like the same thing, there is an important distinction between the two. The amount of time that the thief intends to dispossess the owner of their vehicle makes all the difference.

Simply put: joyriding is when a person takes a car without the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle. Grand theft auto (GTA) requires the intent to permanently deprive the owner of their vehicle.

After decades in decline, overall violent crime rose by almost 4 percent last year and much of the increase was spurred by a rise in gun violence and murder rates in large cities. One of the cities struggling with gun violence is Washington, D.C., which saw homicides in one ward triple in the first half of 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015.

The District has a history of having some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country. So what are D.C.'s current guns laws, and how might they change as law enforcement tries to stem the rising tide of gun violence in Washington, D.C.?

Blocking traffic is not legal and is not a new practice for protesters. When protesters block traffic, they are engaging in civil disobedience, a term coined by one of America's earliest freethinkers and intellectuals, Henry David Thoreau.

While nearly everyone caught in a traffic jam caused by protesters becomes upset due to the delay, it is important to recognize that reporting on traffic conditions is a mainstay of local news stations across the country, while protests often get ignored. Blocking traffic means at very least making the local traffic report.

Although organized protests or marches can obtain permits to close streets, frequently protesters move from the permitted areas. When protesters block highways or streets that they are not permitted to be on, they do risk arrest. However, police are loathe to arrest peaceful protesters, even when they block traffic. The recent protest in Washington D.C. blocked a busy intersection for 7 minutes, and there were no arrests reported.

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.

A DUI charge may sound simple enough. Maybe you didn't get into an accident, had a low breathalyzer result, or even heard about a friend who got a similar charged dropped. Unfortunately, not all drunk driving charges are that easy.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, a first-time DUI can be a misdemeanor charge or a felony; you could be looking at community service or jail time; and you could plea bargain it to a non-DUI offense or be stuck with an expensive drunk driving charge on your permanent record. With so many ways a first DUI can go, it's even more important to have a good DUI attorney on your side. Here's why.

Obviously criminals shouldn't profit from their crimes. And I think that we can all agree that a car used in a drive-by shooting or purchased with money from a bank robbery can be confiscated by police. But what about when law enforcement seizes assets before a criminal conviction, or before criminal charges are even filed?

Recent studies are showing law enforcement officials are taking advantage of civil forfeiture laws more than ever. In fact, citizens lost more property to police in 2014 than they did to burglars. And new information is coming to light indicating police are seizing assets from people without any proof of a crime. So how is all this even legal?

Should I Plead Guilty to DUI?

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.

Maybe you think the cops pulled you over for no reason. Or maybe you don't think your speech was slurred when you talked to the officer. Or maybe you're convinced you passed those roadside sobriety tests. There could be dozens of good reasons to fight a DUI charge. But there could also be a few good reasons to plead guilty as well.

No one likes the idea of giving up without a fight, and you should never plead guilty to a crime you did not commit. But there may be advantages to pleading guilty to DUI. Here are a few:

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man thought responsible for bombing attacks in New York and New Jersey over the weekend, was arrested following a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey yesterday. Law enforcement believes Rahami placed the bombs that exploded Saturday night in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City and Seaside Park, New Jersey, as well as pipe bombs found Sunday night in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Linden prosecutors have already charged Rahami with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer after last night's shootout, along with one count each of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Could there be more charges to follow? And where will Rahami go to trial?

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.

Getting home after a couple beers may seem simple enough. But drunk driving can lead to accidents, and those accidents can be fatal. All of a sudden what seemed so simple now has devastating consequences.

Here's what happens when a simple DUI becomes vehicular manslaughter.