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Last week, a juvenile carjacker in New Jersey made headlines for being arrested twice within 48 hours for two separate carjacking incidents. Police released the minor into the custody of a relative after his arrest on a Friday for carjacking, and on Sunday, the teen was rearrested for another carjacking.

The juvenile carjacker, surprisingly, is only 13 years old. Fortunately, there were no injuries as a result of his actions, however, police have linked an additional two to three car thefts from surrounding communities to the young suspect.

While the phrase ‘wrongful arrest’ gets used frequently to describe when law enforcement arrests the wrong person, that isn’t exactly how the legal remedy of wrongful arrest or false arrest works.

If you think you’ve been wrongfully arrested, you may need to file a government tort claim or some other form within 60 days with your state, city, or county in order to be able to file a lawsuit under state law. Suing a police department is the same as suing the state, county, or city. While the primary remedy for wrongful arrest is based on federal law, which does not require an administrative tort claim be filed first, if there is state law remedy, filing an administrative claim with the state or responsible agency will be a mandatory prerequisite.

Law enforcement is always looking for better tools for analyzing criminal evidence in the hopes of achieving more accurate convictions. And, as technology advances, there are more tools at the police's disposal. One of the newest is facial recognition software and facial examination experts.

The new software has already been used to catch, and convict, alleged criminals. But how comprehensive is the technology, and how accurate are its results?

First Time Misdemeanor Offense

There are a lot of ‘first times’ to look forward to in life, but catching your first misdemeanor charge is not one of them. Being charged with a misdemeanor offense is not something to take lightly. You can go to jail, face serious fines, and endure severe life disruptions that can have an effect on your family, career, friendships, and other obligations.

At the outset, there are a few things you should know. To start, being charged with a misdemeanor does not mean you are guilty. The prosecutor must prove guilt. If you were arrested and/or booked into custody prior to the charges being brought, then you will have an arrest record, but not a criminal record. If you are convicted, or even accept a plea bargain, then you will have a criminal record.

In an effort to help control the recidivism rates of inmates, states are beginning to adopt the practice of 'flash incarceration.' Flash incarceration is the practice of locking up parole violators for short periods of time for violating the terms of their parole. The periods of time can range from one to ten days, and states like Hawaii, California, and Washington have seen some success with the practice.

While sending a parole violator to jail for a couple nights for returning a positive drug test may sound lenient to some, the fact of the matter is that sometimes a violation will go completely unpunished. Under the flash incarceration practices, every violation is punished with a short term in jail. Also, the punishment is frequently handed out swiftly, without requiring a parole revocation hearing.

In response to the recent sentencing in the Brock Turner case, or lack thereof, the California legislature has passed new laws relating to the crimes of rape and sexual assault. The new laws not only redefine rape and require mandatory minimum sentencing for sexual assault crimes involving an incapacitated victim, they also eliminate the statute of limitations for a prosecutor to bring criminal charges.

Removing the statute of limitations on rape and crimes such as sexual abuse of a minor takes into account the reality that victims are sometimes too traumatized to go through the court process immediately after being victimized. Additionally, oftentimes victims are afraid to come forward initially due to fear of retaliation, victim shaming, societal stigmatization, or for mental health reasons. These issues can take years to work through, and should not be the reason a violent sexual predator is allowed to walk the streets free.

So you had a bad day, forgot about your court date, and just found out that the judge issued a bench warrant for your arrest. What is that and what are you supposed to do now? A bench warrant, like any other warrant, authorizes the police to arrest you when they find you. The primary difference is that a judge issues a bench warrant of their own accord. Sometimes the police will actively search for you by coming to your home or business, depending on the severity of the crime and the number of times you have failed to appear in court.

If a bench warrant has been issued for your arrest, even for something as trivial as a speeding ticket, you need to act quickly, as having a bench warrant can lead to your arrest. Failing to appear in court is a serious violation that can cost you time and money, as well as potentially increase the severity of your charges and make a judge less lenient when determining your sentence, if you’re found guilty or enter a plea.

Petty Theft for a Minor

Kids and teenagers can find themselves in all kinds of trouble. Hopefully, most of it will be of the harmless variety. But even some small crimes with no apparent victim can be a big deal for minors and their future.

Take petty theft, for example. So named after the French word petit, meaning small, it refers to thefts of property having a relatively low dollar value. While it may not sound like a big deal, this small crime can have lasting consequences for minors, and should not be taken lightly.

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").

High School Vandalism Charges

There are innocent high school pranks, and then there are outright acts of vandalism. And the line between the two can be nearly invisible. Ten Arkansas teenagers allegedly crossed that line and then some by spray painting, super gluing, and etching a rival team's beloved panther mascot statue.

So what kinds of charges, and punishments, could these kids be facing? (And could their parents be in trouble, too?) Here's a look.