Criminal Procedure - FindLaw Blotter
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In the aftermath of a DUI arrest, it's important to remember that in addition to the criminal charges you are facing, you may also have a limited amount of time to request a hearing with your state's DMV in order to avoid a lengthy driver's license suspension.

In most states, immediately following a driving under the influence arrest, a person essentially has two different cases to deal with: the criminal case in criminal court and the administrative case through a state's Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent vehicle registration agency.

Why is it important to know about this administrative hearing process?

Although an accused criminal is often arrested immediately following an alleged crime, that person's criminal trial may take years to complete because of delays in the proceedings.

The ongoing trial of accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes, for example, was delayed several times before jury selection began earlier this week. According to Yahoo! News, the trial has been delayed for two and a half years, more than three times the timetable recommended by the Supreme Court of Colorado for felony criminal cases. The case has already had five trial dates and two judges, with a request for a third denied. In addition, more than 1,700 motions, notices, orders, and other court documents have been filed in the case.

What are some of the more common reasons for delays in a criminal trial? Here are five:

As the murder trial of accused theater gunman James Holmes gets underway in Colorado, the court has reportedly gathered the largest jury pool in U.S. history.

About 9,000 juror summonses were issued to potential jurors in the case, reports Fox News. The judge in the case has said in court filings that he asked for such a large jury pool because of the high-profile nature of Holmes' death penalty case. Holmes is accused of walking into an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater in 2012 and opening fire on the crowd. Twelve people were killed in the attack and 70 were injured.

How will the jury be selected, and what are the two sides looking for during the jury selection process?

There are many ways to get arrested on domestic violence charges. But there are also numerous reasons why those charges may later be dismissed.

In the case of soccer star and goalie for the U.S. Women's National Team Hope Solo, a judge dismissed the two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence assault Solo was facing following a motion filed by Solo's attorneys, reports Seattle's KING-TV. According to Solo's attorneys, the two alleged victims failed to show up for scheduled depositions and had changed their version of events on the night of the alleged assaults.

What led to the judge's decision in this case, and what are some of the other common reasons that domestic violence charges may be dismissed?

If a child is charged with vandalism, what punishments are possible?

Vandalism is, generally speaking, the intentional destruction of another's property. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the cost of the damage and also on the intent (for example, gang-related graffiti is punished more harshly than non-gang graffiti).

A lot of vandalism gets committed by minors, who end up in the juvenile justice system. Because vandalism is a property crime, there is property to repair. A question from FindLaw Answers wants to know who pays for the damage and what the consequences are for the minor who committed the crime.

FindLaw's Blotter attempts to cover the latest in criminal news as well as provide common-sense explanations of the legal intricacies of the criminal justice system. With 2014 coming to a close, we've tried to reflect on the stories that have caught our readers' attentions most -- both news-based and general.

With that, here are the 10 most popular posts from FindLaw's Blotter in 2014:

Top 10 DUI Stories of 2014

With 2014 drawing to a close, we hope that our readers have made it this far without a drunken driving incident.

Others haven't been as lucky or prudent in the past 12 months, as you may discover in our 10 most popular DUI stories of 2014:

Two girls accused of stabbing a friend because of a belief in "Slender Man" have been found competent to stand trial.

Anissa Weier, 13, and Morgan Geyser, 13, allegedly attempted a sort of ritualistic murder to please "Slender Man" -- a fictional, shadowy figure that began as an Internet meme. According to ABC News, the victim, a then 12-year-old friend of Weier and Geyser, was stabbed 19 times with a large kitchen knife last May, but thankfully survived.

What does competency to stand trial mean for these girls in the "Slender Man" trial?

What Is Constructive Possession?

Constructive possession is often thrown around in criminal cases where a person is charged with the illegal possession of something that wasn't in his or her actual possession.

The distinction can be hard to ferret out at times, but constructive possession is, in many cases, just as effective as actual possession in obtaining a conviction.

So what are some examples of constructive possession?

As the dust settles on the Supreme Court's ruling in Heien v. North Carolina, privacy and civil rights advocates are worried about how "mistakes of law" could allow officers to abuse suspects.

The Washington Post reports that although the basic reasoning of the case is simple, "it leaves some complications." The basic ruling: Officers can have reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle based on a reasonably mistaken view of the law.

As for the complications, here are five things to know about the Supreme Court's "mistake of law" ruling: