Sentencing - FindLaw Blotter
FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Recently in Sentencing Category

Spartan Man Found Guilty of Intentionally Killing Bears

An elderly man from Sparta, who shot and killed three bears on his lawn and was caught trying to dispose of the carcasses, was found guilty and fined by a New Jersey judge last week. The judge called the defendant's actions those of "a vigilante, usurping the right of the state," according to the New Jersey Herald.

Although this tale reads like fiction, it is fact. The 76-year-old Robert Ehling shot two adult bears and a cub on his lawn with a loaded firearm and was then caught disposing of the carcasses in a ravine. He claimed self-defense but the claim was rejected by Municipal Court Judge James Devine, who said Ehling acted as an aggressor when he shot the bears and was not threatened by them.

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?

Obviously, possessing illegal drugs anywhere can get you into trouble. But all states and even the federal government have increased penalties for possession in so-called drug-free zones like schools.

So when do these laws apply, what do they look like, and what are the possible penalties for bringing drugs to school?

We all know you can't threaten to kill the president. But what about a normal person? Or a whole race of people? Does it matter if it was on social media? And do emojis count?

While the First Amendment protects our freedom of speech, certain speech, like threatening to kill someone, can be a step too far. Here are the penalties you could face for murder threats.

Drug abuse and addiction aren't limited to illicit drugs like crack and heroin -- more and more people every year become addicted to prescription drugs. And like illegal drug abuse, abusing prescription medications can lead to serious criminal penalties.

Fines and potential jail time can vary, depending on the drug possession laws in your state. Here's an overview of the criminal penalties associated with prescription drug abuse.

Yes, Christmas shopping is expensive. But you know what's more costly? A criminal conviction. Not only could a shoplifting charge be expensive (from the costs of defending yourself and paying fines), but a shoplifting conviction could go on your record and stay there.

Here's how shoplifting could go on your record, and what you can do to take it off.

Date Rape Punishment

Date rape is rape. It doesn't matter if you know the victim, whether you took them out on a date, whether they drank during the date, or whether they led you on during the date. Non-consensual sex is rape, no matter what preceded it. And those convicted of date rape face the same penalties as those convicted of raping strangers.

But a prior relationship between the accuser and alleged perpetrator could complicate the determination of guilt. Here are the possible penalties for rape and how the issue of consent arises in cases of date rape.

Last year, Tennessee became the first state to explicitly criminalize drug use during a pregnancy. Since then, around 100 women in the state have been prosecuted under the new law, though most receive drug treatment rather than prison time.

While Tennessee's criminal statute may be unique, many states punish expecting mothers who do drugs while pregnant; and the penalties range from criminal conviction, to psychiatric commitment.

It's the largest one-time release of federal prisoners in history. In one weekend from October 30th to November 2nd, the Department of Justice will provide early release to about 6,000 prison inmates.

So who are these inmates, and why are they being released early?

Juvenile Killer: Is 11 Too Young for First Degree Murder?

McKayla Dwyer, 8, had a puppy. Her neighbor, 11, wanted to see it. Dwyer said no and the boy shot her with his father's shotgun from inside his home. He is now charged with first degree murder.

This incident happened on Saturday night in White Penn, Tennessee, according to the Associated Press. The boy's name is not being released because he is a juvenile. After his first hearing yesterday, Ed Miller, the 4th Judicial District Public Defender said the court has ordered the boy to remain detained. He is scheduled for a hearing on October 18, but the PD expects delays.