FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Recently in Legislation & Policymaking Category

It's summer. It's hot. And kids are running around with ice cream, snow cones, and slushies. But why should they have all the fun?

"Basically, it's single malt beverages that are available in single serve cans, that are just opened and poured right into the slushie machine," Jeff Martin, manager of Breski's Beverages told Pennsylvania's Fox43 News. "Takes about a half hour or so, and you have a slushie."

"You can buy them now, and take them home and put them in the freezer, and then later when the kids go to bed, you can have a slushie," added Lisa Adams.

Sounds great. But are they legal?

Manhattan DA Passes on Minor Marijuana Charges

With all the changes happening at the state and local levels regarding weed, it's hard to know exactly what's legal and what's not. Can you smoke at home without a medical marijuana card? Can you grow your own weed? Can you have it on you in public? The answers to these questions depend on where you live, but if you're an herbal aficionado and you live in Manhattan, you don't have to worry as much about being charged for minor marijuana offenses anymore.

In 2017, Florida lawmakers shifted the burden of proof in so-called "stand your ground" shootings. Previously it had been up to defendants to prove immunity from prosecution under the state's "stand your ground" statute, but a new bill shifted that burden from defense lawyers to prosecutors, requiring them to prove a shooter is not protected by the statute.

What wasn't clear from the statute, however, was whether this shift applied to cases that had already been filed, but had yet to go trial before it became law. And defendants, defense attorneys, and prosecutors are still waiting on a definitive answer, as two Florida appeals courts issued opposite rulings on the matter.

Though you might get stolen marijuana back. We all know it's a pretty bad idea to call the cops to report stolen cocaine and other illegal drugs.

What you might not know is that prescription drugs can be just as tightly regulated as illegal narcotics. If you're just learning this now, then you might be wondering: Is it a good idea to report lost or stolen prescription drugs? And more importantly, are you required to by law?

Here's a look.

'Stand your ground. That's why we're here,' a Louisiana defense attorney recently told jurors. 'It doesn't say stand in your house and watch that guy run out the door, let him leave, get in his car go commit another crime.' But is that true?

So-called stand your ground laws remove a victim's duty to retreat before using deadly force to defend themselves. But what if the assailant is retreating? When do you have to stop standing your ground?

The top court in Massachusetts ruled this week that the state's ban on stun guns and Tasers is unconstitutional. The Massachusetts Supreme Court concluded that stun guns are "arms" under the Second Amendment, and therefore can't be fully banned under state law, but can be regulated under new state statutes.

Here's a look:

In the wake of the Parkland shooting, Vermont went from having some of the least restrictive gun control laws to some of the strictest. Last week, Governor Phil Scott signed three bills into law raising the age to buy firearms to 21, banning high-capacity magazines, and making it easier to take guns from people who pose a threat or keep them from buying guns in the first place.

The AP calls it "the first significant gun ownership restrictions in state history," and according to CBS, the new law may have already been used to prevent a suspected school shooter from acquiring a gun.

A Facebook crime blogger in Texas writing under the handle 'Gordiloca' (crazy fat lady) had a pair of third-degree felony charges against her dropped this week, based on a little-known legal doctrine.

Priscilla Villarreal had been charged with "misuse of official information" for publishing the names of a suicide victim and a car accident fatality before police had released the information to the public. But a district judge dismissed both counts, deeming the state statute under which Gordiloca (or Priscilla Villareal) was charged unconstitutionally vague. What does that mean?

What to Know About Idaho's New 'Stand Your Ground' Law

With the recent school shootings and subsequent student protests in the news, gun legislation is getting a lot of press these days. While many activists are talking about gun control and ways to get more guns off the streets, some states are passing legislation to increase or clarify citizens' use of guns in self-defense. Idaho is one such state, and both sides of the issue have a lot to say about their new "Stand Your Ground" law.

Gun Storage Laws by State

Whether it's a mass shooting or police shooting a suspect, reports of injuries or deaths because of guns seem to be in the news almost every day. Considering the damage that guns can cause, it's no surprise that there are various gun laws both on the federal and state level. 

These laws address everything from who is allowed to legally own a gun to what kind of guns are allowed to be sold in a particular state. Many states' gun control laws also address issues relating to gun storage, which promote responsible practices for gun owners. These gun storage laws are meant to encourage safe storage for guns to prevent children or people prohibited from owning guns getting their hands on guns.