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Do I Need a Lawyer for a Petty Theft Charge?

You were caught stealing or are being accused of stealing. The charge is petty theft. Since the charge includes the word "petty," it must be no big deal, right?

Wrong. You definitely do need a lawyer.

Adjusting to civilian life is never easy for veterans, especially if they are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veterans with PTSD can have difficulty securing benefits, keeping therapy ducks, and, sadly, staying out of trouble with the law.

So where can veterans turn if they need legal help? Fortunately there are criminal defense attorneys and courts that can help.

What Are the Consequences of Fighting in Public?

Even in the land of the free, fighting in public is illegal. It is disorderly conduct that disturbs the peace. And keeping the peace is part of the social contract.

You didn't sign that contract but were born into it, and being a member of society means following certain rules of behavior that keep a general sense of peace. Ignoring those rules by brawling in public is a criminal offense, punishable by fines, jail time, or both.

Heroin overdoses nationwide have been skyrocketing, and police forces have been responding with enhanced penalties for dealers. In some cases, prosecutors are even charging dealers with murder if one of their customers ODs.

It's a relatively new phenomenon, and seemingly at odds with the softening stance in the War on Drugs.

Most people accused of a crime don't just sit in jail waiting for their trial. Instead, they are released on bail, a sort of financial insurance policy on their future appearance in court. But when faced with the choice of going to court and going on the run, not all criminal defendants choose the former.

So what happens if you skip town while you're out on bail? Nothing good.

Do Sodomy Laws Still Exist?

Way back in 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that states could not prohibit consensual sex between two adults. This decision invalidated state sodomy laws in the 14 states that still had them on the books. But that doesn't mean those laws went away.

Today in 2015, 12 of those states still have sodomy statutes. And even though these laws may not be fully enforceable, law enforcement continues to use them to harass citizens and state legislatures refuse to remove them.

September 17 is Constitution Day, marking the anniversary of Constitutional Convention delegates signing the document in Philadelphia in 1787. Since then, the document has continued to evolve, both in its structure and its interpretation.

While the Constitution lays out the foundations of our government, the Bill of Rights forms the basis of our protections against the government. This is particularly true in the realm of criminal law. Here are the three most crucial amendments regarding our criminal rights:

Normally, when Facebook and the police collide in the news about a criminal case, it's because the social media site is handing over personal user information to law enforcement. Generally social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are required to comply with police warrants requesting user data, and convictions based on that information are upheld.

But does it work the other way around? Can defense attorneys get access to the same social media user information if it may exonerate their client?

College Campus DUI Laws

No, not all college students are of legal drinking age. Yes, most college students are going to drink anyway. (They're especially going to drink at these ten schools.)

If and when they do drink, hopefully they do so responsibly and don't end up behind the wheel of a car. Law enforcement, both on and off campus, is cracking down on alcohol offenses. College students may also face additional DUI penalties from the school.

What Happens at a Bond Hearing?

After two days of hearings that included testimony from Walter Scott's mother and brother as well as a 153-page motion containing performance reviews and a psychiatric evaluation for North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager, who is charged with murdering Scott, the judge deciding whether to grant Slager bond has yet to make a ruling.

Although Judge Clifton Newman said today he will make a decision "as expeditiously as possible," the length of the hearings and the lack of a definitive answer have left many wondering what is going on. What normally happens at a bond hearing? And why is this one different?