Detroit Woman Claims Stillbirth Due to Police

Pregnant WomanA suspect in a case of shoplifting, Shenika Parchman, has lost her appeal to charge Detroit police with a lawsuit. Detroit federal judge, Denise Page Hood, had dismissed the case back in January 2015.

In 2011, Parchman was arrested for shoplifting at a Meijer store, a popular hypermarket, while she had been nine months pregnant at the time. In the week that followed after her arrest, she gave birth to a stillborn son and since then, the suspect has claimed that it was the rough treatment of her by a Taylor-based police officer during her arrest that had led to the death of her child.

It was, however, her failure to provide evidentiary support of the claim – the fact that she could not name a particular officer during her deposition being one of the key points of her case – equated into the failure of her appeal to file a lawsuit against the Detroit-area police.

A report from the Associated Press states that the court has rejected her appeal on the grounds of there being “no reasonable juror” for her claim since Parchman could not properly identify the Detroit police officer in question or that she had been injured at all during her arrest.

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Armed police drones now legal in North Dakota

droneDrones are becoming more and more utilized in a variety of different fields. Businesses such as DHL and Amazon caught the attention of many by making use of these robotic apparatus to make deliveries. Media outlets have also been known for using drones to capture hard-to-reach shots for breaking news. Now, the lawmakers at North Dakota add to this growing list, being the first U.S. state to legalize the use of armed drones for law enforcement.

As NPR reports, the passing of the new law allows North Dakota law enforcement to make use of armed drones equipped only with “less than lethal” weapons such as rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, bean bag cannons, and Tasers. The law also requires the police to obtain a search warrant before these drones can be used.

Republican state Rep. Rick Becker was the main proponent of the original bill and is none too happy with how parts of the law had turned out, emphasizing his views that drones should not be weaponized. He had first introduced the bill to push for measures requiring police to obtain appropriate search warrants before making use of drones to survey areas for evidence. However, hurdles in the legislative process caused him to make certain compromises. He was quoted by the website Arstechnica, saying, “…the committee accepted amendments and I didn’t fight them because I wanted the bill to pass at least to require warrants.”

Despite these compromises, Rep. Becker sees the law’s passage as a decisive step away from concerns of privacy invasion. However, Arstechnica notes that he remains determined to introduce a new bill that will advocate for the “non-lethal” use of police drones.

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Facing a Marijuana Possession Charge

shutterstock_139577978Drug violations in the U.S. are consistently being met with harsh prosecution and punishment. As the Bureau of Justice Statistics have found, there were more than 1.8 million arrests made in 2007 for violations against drug abuse laws. The American Civil Liberties Union also noted that more than half of these arrests involve marijuana. In fact, about 88 percent of drug arrests are usually for the illegal possession of marijuana.

Recent years have seen a controversial debate on the legalization of marijuana. While its use has become less and less taboo in American culture, the law remains stringent against the substance. Only a few select states have decriminalized the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana. Even fewer have chosen to legalize it completely. In most of the country, state laws still hold harsh penalties against possession of the substance. Even a small amount found in a person’s possession can lead to some damning consequences.

Generally, marijuana possession at first offense is classified as a misdemeanor. It could lead to a maximum $1000 fine and up to 1 year in jail. The penalty will become stricter at second offense, resulting to a maximum $2500 and up to 2 years’ time in jail. Any subsequent offenses are typically considered a felony, which could require a maximum $5000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.

Certain states also impose specific penalties based on the amount of marijuana found in an individual’s possession. In Texas, for example, carrying more than 4 pounds of marijuana can already be considered a felony. Punishment would then become more severe, especially if the individual has committed previous offenses in the past.

Facing a marijuana possession charge is no easy matter. Regardless of the popular sentiment for the use of marijuana, the law holds true on a different idea.

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The Difference between Murder and Manslaughter

shutterstock_136871513The media has recently dedicated a lot of attention to the June 19, 2014 death of a 22-month-old toddler in Georgia after being left for 7 hours in a car in the heat of the day. The father claimed that he had simply forgotten that his son was in the car when he had come in for work that day, and only remembered when he was on his way to meet friends after work. The man is being charged with murder and 2nd degree child cruelty.

Under Georgia law, murder is when there is malice aforethought. There is no distinction between an intent to kill (first degree murder) and reckless disregard (second degree murder); when a person is killed without provocation, it is murder. When the death was accidental, it is manslaughter, which is a less serious crime. The fact that the father in the aforementioned case was charged with murder suggests that the police believe that the child had been deliberately left to die and that it was not accidental.

It can be difficult to fully understand the difference between a charge of murder and manslaughter, especially in a case like this. Basically, it boils down to the intent of the actor that brought about the death of an individual. Was there intent to bring about the death of that person, or was it a true accident?

This is the current debate among media people who are speculating on the case. But a case like this is seldom cut and dry, and while the evidence so far appears to point towards deliberate child murder, there seems to be no motive for it. According to reports, the family appeared to be a normal one, with no apparent incidents of child abuse or neglect.

There is a good case to be made for either side, something that a competent criminal defense lawyer will use to bring about conviction for the lesser charge of manslaughter. Depending on how the case goes, it is possible for a manslaughter conviction to result in a suspended sentence, so it is in the best interest of a defendant in a murder charge to retain an experienced and smart criminal defense lawyer.


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How An Attorney Can Save You From A DUI Charge

When a person is charged with any type of criminal offense, it is critical that they obtain the services of a qualified legal professional as soon as possible in order to protect themselves against the most damaging possible consequences.

A criminal accusation, whether a simple misdemeanor or a felony offense, can have serious effects on the accused individual’s family, community, and professional life. A good criminal attorney knows this. For this reason, they will always act to do whatever possible to limit your exposure to the criminal penalties that you may face, and ideally to exonerate you completely in order to ensure that your name and reputation remain intact as much as possible.

One serious charge a criminal lawyer can help to defend you against is a DUI. Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense that, in addition to significant fines, often also results in prison sentences, the length of which is dependent on the frequency or seriousness of your offense. Other potential penalties for a first DUI offense may include one to 30 days in jail, a fine of $200 or more, 2 months’ suspension to permanent license revocation, and the need to install an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) in your vehicle. The IID is usually installed on your vehicle’s dashboard. It is a device that is used to detect the driver’s blood alcohol concentration, making it similar to a breathalyzer. If detected alcohol content goes beyond the device’s programmed limit, then your vehicle will automatically fail to start.

Through the expertise of your legal counsel, you can even be saved from losing your license or from facing harsh penalties. This is what makes a criminal attorney truly important in case you are charged with a DUI offense; make sure you trust the right person to save you from a conviction or punishment that you do not deserve.  For more information about DWI or DUI, a criminal lawyer Ian Inglis could help you with any legal questions involving drunk driving cases.

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Election Polling Discusses: Defense Against a Murder Case

If you are charged with a crime, regardless of whether it‘s minor or major, the consequences can be serious. Whatever the charge is, you will definitely need a strong defense from a highly competent criminal attorney who fully understands the law and is experienced in trial law.

Since not all criminal attorneys have the same level of expertise and amount of experience, the choice of defense attorney to represent your case is important. Remember that what you need is a strong defense and substantial evidence that will help you earn an acquittal. This is especially true if you are being accused of a major offense, like murder.

Since murder is a serious crime, those who are convicted of murder receive severe punishment. Depending on the degree of the act itself and whether you do or do not have a past record, the punishment for murder can be up to 25 years with a clean record or 30 years to life imprisonment if you have serious past offenses on your record. The worst punishment for murder, of course, is a death sentence. In addition, many of those convicted of murder are ineligible for parole.

A criminal attorney knows and understands the pressure and mental anguish undergone by those accused of murder. He or she also will appreciate the effect the accusation will have on the family and community life of the accused, as well as on his or her job and future life.

Besides the dedication to see to it that you get a fair trial, your criminal lawyer will also make sure that you have a strong case that can merit an acquittal. He or she will dig deep, looking for new evidence and interviewing possible witnesses who can help you in your case.

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