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States With the Strictest Drunk Driving Laws

A feature of American law is that it’s difficult to make bold general statements about requirements and penalties. They vary from federal to state law and differ from state to state. But it is safe to say that it is pretty much always bad news when a drunk driver is stopped and charged, across the country.

The punishment for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) varies from state to state, and depends on whether it’s a first or subsequent offense. As you can see, even the charge’s name is not uniform. Rest assured, however, that it’s a hassle to deal with a charge wherever you are, and that in some states you’ll really feel the pain.

Sadly, undocumented immigrants find themselves victims of crime on their way to the United States or upon their arrival. Often, they are targeted specifically because of their immigration status and fail to report crimes for fear they will be deported.

In response, many cities, states, and the federal government have begun offering temporary visas and a path to legal permanent residency for undocumented immigrants who are the victims of crime. Here's how these visas work:

Until recently, the private sale of guns was largely unregulated. If you had a rifle and a friend who wanted to buy it, that was OK. And if you had multiple firearms for sale, you could simply take them to a gun show and sell them there, without the hassling of registering as a firearms dealer and performing background checks.

But selling guns privately isn't as easy, or legal, as it once was.

If you've been paroled out of jail, or are on probation trying to avoid jail, the last thing you probably want to see is law enforcement at your front door. Often officers want to search your home, and they don't always have a warrant.

But do they need one? Or can law enforcement just search your home if you're on parole or probation?

Is Quitting the Military a Crime?

When you joined the military you pictured international adventures, being part of a team, and fulfilling a dream. But now you are a few months into your enlistment and instead of feeling thrilled, you're filled with regret. Should you quit? Can you? What are the consequences?

Early release from the army is possible, although you have signed a somewhat extraordinary employment contract. Don't just go Absent Without Leave (AWOL) or desert without a word because that will get you punished by a military tribunal. But be aware that there are certainly limits to how you can leave the army.

In March 2012, an off-duty police officer shot and killed Kenny Smith outside a Cleveland bar. Although Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty initially said Officer Roger Jones "correctly and heroically took action to protect the safety of the citizens of Cleveland," Smith's family was awarded $5.5 million in a wrongful death claim in September.

Smith's family has yet to see any of that money, and they possibly never will. That's because Cleveland's law department is trying a new way around paying millions in civil judgments against the city's police officers.

The Department of the Treasury announced a new strategy in crime fighting: figure out who's behind companies used to pay "all cash" for high-end residential real estate. The Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said it will now require title insurance companies to identify buyers of luxury real estate in Manhattan, New York and Miami-Dade County, Florida. 

Those of us who can't afford a mansion or high-rise condo can at least rest easy that we're not being added to a government watch list. (Yet.)

Victimless Crime and Punishment Overview

The phrase 'victimless crime' can be surprisingly controversial. A victimless crime is defined as an offense to which all parties consent and no one is injured. But not everyone agrees on how 'injury' should be defined; and some ask, if no one is injured why is it a crime?

How to Act in Court for a Speeding Ticket

You got pulled over for speeding and you've heard about people beating tickets. So you go for it. Before the officer is even by your car, you are preparing your legal arguments, an eloquent list of reasons why you should not be fined for failing to follow traffic laws.

You're pretty sure this will work because you read about people doing this on the Internet. But the officer is unimpressed by your claims and now you have to go to court. How can you master the sport of beating tickets? Beyond your interaction with law enforcement, how should you act in court?

AZ Considers Police Filming Limits Despite Constitutional Right

Arizona Senator John Kavanagh has proposed a law that will make it illegal to film police up close when they are working. The legislation would make it a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $300 fine to film police within 20 feet of their work, reports Ars Technica.

But similar proposals have failed in others states and the law on filming police has been settled by courts around the country. We do have a First Amendment right to record police officers at work in public as long as it is not surreptitious or disruptive.