Law Enforcement - FindLaw Blotter
FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Recently in Law Enforcement Category

Most of us have heard the apocryphal tale of Kitty Genovese, a woman who was brutally attacked and murdered in New York in 1964 while her neighbors ignored her screams for help. While many of the details of that particular story have been refuted, anecdotes about neighbors who don't want to get involved in possible criminal situations abound.

As uncomfortable as intervention can be, none of us want to be known as the person who did nothing when calling the police might have saved someone's life. So when you hear your neighbors fighting, and it sounds bad, should you call the cops?

Look, it wouldn't be International Beer Day without a few beers. The idea, though, is to not drink a few too many beers. And especially not to get behind the wheel afterwards.

No one wants a good celebration ruined with a costly DUI conviction. So here are a few things to keep in mind while saying "Cheers" to man's greatest invention.

We've all seen them attached to stop signs or lamp posts in residential neighborhoods: yellow "SLOW Children at Play" signs or the newer, red "Drive Like Your Kids Live Here" signs.

Do these signs make a difference? And is it legal to put up your own traffic-related signs?

As it should be obvious to everyone by now, the cops are on Facebook. Heck, they may even put your arrest on their own Facebook page.

So it shouldn't be that surprising that a New York state court made the police's job a little easier by ruling that Facebook must turn over photos, private messages, and personal account information in response to legitimate warrants. The ruling was in regards to 381 warrants served on the social media company by New York prosecutors, but could have much larger online privacy implications.

Can I Ship a Gun?

Want to start an argument? Bring up gun control laws. No matter which side of the debate you're on, everyone's got an opinion. Despite all the contention surrounding this issue, not everyone knows the intricacies of firearms laws.

For instance, is it legal to ship a firearm through the mail? And does it matter which carrier you use? Let's take a look:

Can Cops Ask If You Have a Weapon?

When stopped by the police, you can expect to be asked the usual identification questions. Beyond that, the police may begin to ask additional questions to determine if any criminal activity has been taking place

If an officer asks you specifically if you're carrying a weapon, do you have to answer? Is that question even legal? A recent case decided by the Oregon Supreme Court sheds some light on this question.

Back in December 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice said that it would refrain from enforcing federal marijuana prohibitions on reservations. Then, earlier this month, officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Indian Affairs, state, and local law enforcement raided two large-scale marijuana growing facilities on a northern California reservation.

While the U.S. Attorney's Office has yet to file charges in the case, it has left many wondering about the legal status of marijuana on Native American reservations.

Snitches get stitches, as the popular refrain goes. But jailhouse snitches can get much more -- money, food, housing considerations, reduced or dropped charges, and, as promised in one case, the opportunity to jail the army and "legally kill some people."

Multiple reports have revealed a complex and comprehensive jailhouse snitch program in Orange County, California, shining a light on the use and legality of jailhouse snitches like never before.

So how does law enforcement use jailhouse snitches and is their testimony legal?

When police come to question you as a suspect in a crime, you know the rules: anything you say can be used against you in court. So, you don't say anything. However, your Fitbit may talk loud and clear on your behalf.

For example, earlier this year, Jeannine Risley called the police claiming she had been sexually assaulted while asleep by a "man in his 30s, wearing boots." Instead of searching for and arresting the supposed attacker, police charged Risley with a crime.

Why? Blame her Fitbit.

With summer now in full swing, many of us will be spending more time out on the water. And many newcomers to the boating scene are surprised to discover that you can get a DUI on a boat.

According to the Coast Guard, "a boat operator with a blood alcohol concentration above .10 percent is estimated to be more than 10 times as likely to die in a boating accident than an operator with zero blood alcohol concentration." Therefore, every state has boating under the influence laws, which function similarly to driving under the influence laws. Here are three things you need to know about BUI laws.