[04/10] Police: Phoenix area man killed wife over HIV fear
[04/10] Maine hermit suspected in 1,000 burglaries caught
[04/10] Colorado officials find more court errors
What Happens if I am Pulled Over for Drunk Driving?
Once you are pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving, an officer will usually ask you to perform a field sobriety test. This usually consists of tasks that will allow the officer to observe your level of physical or cognitive impairment, like walking heel to toe in a straight line or reciting the alphabet backwards. Refusing to participate in a field sobriety test is generally fruitless, as the officer will request that you submit to chemical testing. This may include a breathalyzer test, which an officer can do on the scene, and blood and urine tests, which must be performed at a medical facility. You are required to submit to such testing should an officer ask, and refusal to participate in chemical testing can result in an immediate suspension of your driver’s license for six months to a year. Depending on the circumstances, refusal to submit to the testing can yield a higher penalty than the drunk driving conviction itself. These “implied consent” laws rest on the assumption that if you have undertaken the responsibility of driving a car, then you have given consent to be tested for your ability to drive that vehicle safely.
Interrogation and Identification: A Suspect's Rights
Police interrogation is an unavoidable part of the criminal justice system. Police must be able to properly identify and interrogate arrested suspects in order to provide the prosecution with enough solid evidence to press formal charges. Courts have long recognized, however, that despite its necessity, the high-pressure nature of police questioning and identification after arrest can often lead to bad information and coerced confessions. Witnesses may succumb to the powers of suggestion, and suspects may tell police what they want to hear because of fear and intimidation. The Constitution protects individuals against abuse in the criminal justice system, and courts have buttressed those rights with rules designed to protect the truth of confessions and identifications obtained while a suspect is in custody.
Criminal Law & Procedure
[06/18] Lopez-Valenzuela v. County of Maricopa
The district court's summary judgment and partial dismissal of a class action challenging Proposition 100, a ballot measure passed by Arizona voters that amended the state constitution to preclude bail for certain serious felony offenses if the person charged has entered or remained in the United States illegally and if the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the charge, is affirmed, where: 1) the Arizona Legislature and Arizona voters passed Proposition 100 and its implementing statute and rules to further the state's legitimate and compelling interest in seeing that those accused of serious state-law crimes are brought to trial; and 2) plaintiffs had not succeeded in raising triable issues of fact as to whether Proposition 100 and its implementing procedures violate the substantive and procedural due process guarantees of the United States Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment, the Excessive Bail Clause of the Eighth Amendment, and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, nor whether the Proposition 100 laws are preempted by federal immigration law.
[06/18] US v. Avery
The district court's denial of defendant's habeas corpus motion to vacate his sentence after he pled guilty to wire fraud, money laundering, and criminal forfeiture, is vacated and remanded, where: 1) defendant pled guilty only to honest services fraud and cannot be deemed to have been convicted or sentenced based on a broader charge that was not incorporated into the plea agreement and not acknowledged by defendant as true when he pled guilty; and 2) because the crime to which defendant pled guilty and for which he was incarcerated is no longer a criminal offense, petitioner’s actual innocence overcomes the procedural default of his claim challenging his conviction.
[06/18] US v. Gonzalez Vasquez
Defendant's conviction and sentence for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine are: 1) affirmed in part, where the record supports the district court's finding that no plea agreement was made, and there is no evidence of any promise upon which the defendant relied to his detriment; and 2) vacated and remanded as to the sentence, where the district court erred in treating defendant's suspended sentence for the prior conviction as a "sentence of probation of more than one year" under U.S.S.G. section 4A1.2(c)(1)(A), because the conditions of the defendant's suspended incarceration did not limit or require any conduct beyond that of a law abiding individual.
[06/17] People v. Sullivan
Defendant's robbery conviction is reversed, where: 1) double jeopardy bars a retrial on a substantive offense when jurors reached a verdict on the substantive offense but deadlocked as to an enhancement; 2) the trial court should have taken a verdict on the substantive offense and declared a mistrial as to the enhancement only; and 3) defendant received the ineffective assistance of counsel for counsel's failure to advise defendant to plead once in jeopardy.