Criminal Procedure - FindLaw Blotter
FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Recently in Criminal Procedure Category

It was just a love tap. Your car barely hit that other car. You can't even see the scratch unless you look closely. Should you stay? Should you go? Would it be hit and run?

Most of us know that when we get into a car accident, especially if someone may be hurt, we need to stay at the scene of the accident. Leaving would definitely be hit and run. But, what if there was only property damage? You hit an unoccupied car in the parking lot, and the owner is nowhere to be found. You don't have time to wait around, so you just leave a note with your name and phone number. Is that enough?

Is it still hit and run if you leave a note?

Maybe you heard about a famous athlete getting a suspended sentence, or you or someone you know has been offered one as a plea bargain. But what is a suspended sentence and how does it work?

While sentencing rules vary by jurisdiction, judges often have significant leeway in sentencing, and may suspend a sentence in certain cases. Let's take a look at what this means and how it works in practice.

Two incidents of school security officers beating high school students in Oakland has us wondering what limits, if any, exist for campus police officers. Are school police officers just like real police officers? Where does their jurisdiction stop and start?

The answer could depend on the type of campus and the relevant state laws. An Oakland Unified School District officer is already facing felony charges and the video below of one of episodes could mean more criminal or civil liability.

You committed a crime, broke the law, and got convicted. Now you have to spend a year in jail. Or, do you?

How would you like to spend that year at home instead? There are many alternatives to jail including a suspended sentence, probation, fines, and community service. In some, cases you might be eligible for house arrest. When under house arrest, you will be confined to your home and required to wear a monitoring device instead of spending your days in jail. So the word arrest is not totally correct, it is really 'house sentencing.'

Sounds like a better option, right? But here are five things you may not know about house arrest:

An early step in many criminal cases is a motion to dismiss the charges. It is a request from the defendant, asking the court to end the case before it ever gets to trial.

Motions to dismiss can be based on numerous issues and only some of them are granted. While every criminal case is unique, let's take a look at a few of the reasons why a court will grant a motion to dismiss.

Juveniles occupy an odd place in the criminal justice system -- sometimes treated as adults, sometimes not. And when determining whether juveniles get jury trials, the answer is like that of many legal questions: it depends.

So let's take a look at some of the factors that determine if a juvenile will get a criminal jury trial.

It happens. An innocent person's life is thrown into shambles because of a false accusation.

A police officer shows up and starts asking you questions. He's saying someone accused you of rape, theft, fraud. You're innocent, but they don't believe you. You're being falsely accused. What do you do?

Here are three things you should keep in mind if you are falsely accused of a crime:

The consequences for an underage driver getting a DUI can be severe. But can parents get in trouble if an underage child gets a DUI?

While most people are solely responsible for their criminal actions, there may be cases where parents are on the hook (criminally, civilly, or both) for a child's underage DUI.

The Utah Senate has voted to allow a firing squad to carry out executions if the drugs necessary for lethal injections are not available.

The bill, which now heads to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk, would make Utah the only state to permit a firing squad to perform an execution.

If someone wrongs you, you may feel like seeking retribution. But is "an eye for an eye" revenge legal?

There short answer is no -- there is no "eye for an eye" law in the American criminal code. But why is such a simple concept not used more our legal system?

Here's a look at where the "eye for an eye" idea came from, and why it might not be able to work in modern society: