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May 2018 Archives

Honesty may be nice, but exercise your right to remain silent

You were probably taught as a child that honesty is the best policy. A criminal defense attorney's take might be that you should never lie to the police but you should always exercise your right to remain silent. Being forthcoming with officers about what laws you have broken might seem like it will help them understand your point of view, but it will only get you charged.

How do we know if breath testing machines are accurate?

When someone is arrested for DUI, one thing a defense attorney might look into is whether the breath test was accurate. These tests can be performed incorrectly, and the machines may be uncalibrated or calibrated improperly. Just as important, the machines are manufactured and marketed for profit, with source codes that are proprietary. That means that there could be hidden issues that lead to inaccurate test results.

$50,000 bail in theft of $363? High cash bail keeps people in jail

Recently, a 61-year-old homeless man decided to scrounge what he could from what seems to have been a vacant, repossessed home in Mapleton. Although breaking into bank-owned properties is certainly inadvisable, it makes a certain sense in the man's situation. After all, the bank will probably discard all the contents.

Defense challenges investigatory bias in Beta Theta Pi case

A preliminary hearing was just held in the Penn State Beta Theta Pi fraternity hazing case. As you may know, a 19-year-old pledge died in 2017 after allegedly undergoing a hazing ritual in which he may have consumed as much as 18 drinks in slightly less than an hour and a half. The young man suffered several falls and died of his injuries.

The problem with police informants

A Penn State student recently learned the hard way how police rely on informants. The student was arrested and charged with several different drug violations after allegedly selling cocaine several times to a police informant.

Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill ordered released on bail

In 2008, rapper Meek Mill (Robert Rihmeek Williams) was convicted of drug and weapon charges after a Philadelphia narcotics officer testified against him. Meek Mill has always denied the charges, and prosecutors now admit to serious doubts about that officer's credibility. In fact, prosecutors recently argued before a judge that the conviction should be vacated.