Texas Criminal Justice System Moves Into The Classroom

The methods for dealing with disciplinary problems in Texas public schools are changing. Being sent to the principal for disruptive behavior or facing the school coach for punishment is becoming a thing of the past. In many school districts throughout Texas disciplinary action involves the local police department and the Criminal Justice System. In the past two decades most Texas school districts have turned to local law enforcement agencies to provide a police presence on campus. These officers are referred to as School Resource Officers. Some districts have created their own police department. These are made up of in-house school officers with police powers employed directly by the school district. Adding police officers in schools is the fastest growing area of law enforcement according to the Texas Police Association.

Many parents and community leaders are questioning the training these school police officers receive, especially giving police powers to civilian School Resource Officers, and are lobbying for training standards that take into account the school setting and dealing with children. There are also questions being raised as to the overall effectiveness of an increased police presence on school campuses.

Certain types of student behavior, even those involving low level non-violent misbehavior can result in ticketing for a Class C misdemeanor up to arrest and incarceration. Class C misdemeanors carry a fine of $60 to $500 dollars, require the student and a guardian to appear in court and remain on a student’s criminal record. If the student or family cannot pay the fine, they are subject to arrest once attaining 17 years of age.

Statistics Are Difficult to Compile

The Texas Education Agency does not require school districts to report student arrest and ticketing data and since few schools submit student crime statistics to the Texas Department of Public Safety, these statistics are difficult to compile. The Texas attorney general has published an opinion against disclosure of school district use of force policies, allowing view of policies or numbers only when voluntarily provided, as only several school districts have done.

Statewide, juvenile crime has decreased 14% over the period between 2000 and 2008. Based on available data school misdemeanor tickets have more than doubled during this time. The majority of tickets were issued to high school and middle school students; however, from the records that are available it is not unusual for very young children, in some cases 10 years old and younger to receive a Class C misdemeanor ticket at school. Of the nine school districts documenting the age of ticketed students, over a six year period, three reported issuing tickets to children six to nine and one case of a child 4 years old being given a Class C misdemeanor ticket.

Use of force

School police are in most cases armed with automatic weapons, pepper spray and tasers. Few school districts have any set policies involving the use of these weapons. In contrast, the various Texas juvenile justice agencies have placed restrictions on the use of pepper spray, for instance, on youth in their custody.

The debate concerning the use of SRO’s and school safety continues. Some argue that with the Texas school budgets as stretched as they currently are, the cost of school police is not worth the returns. Most do agree that a more transparent and inclusive method of reporting incidents involving ticketing students and the use of force by officers in school situations is needed.

Networking and Seminars to Improve Michigan DUI Defense

Drunk driving cases have become increasingly serious, carrying harsher license sanctions, longer jail sentences, and dire financial penalties. A person accused of a drunk driving offense understands these penalties as well as the social stigma affiliated with a DUI conviction. With widespread pressure from anti-drunk driving advocacy groups, there is a growing awareness that police, prosecutors and judges hold a bias against meritorious challenges to a drunk driving crime.

In many states, a vibrant defense bar has sprung up to challenge the institutional bias against the DUI suspect. California, Georgia, and Washington amongst many others have specialized DUI defense firms populated by aggressive lawyers knowledgeable in the science of breath and blood testing. The lawyers at these firms attend national seminars on trial techniques, technical programs regarding breath machines, and certification courses in standardized field sobriety tests.

Advanced DUI / DWI defense programs can be expensive and time-consuming. An advanced course in GC and GC/MS might cost over $2,000.00, requiring the defense lawyer to schedule airfare and hotel accommodations. Every summer, the National College for DUI Defense hosts an intensive program in DUI defense at Harvard, but this 3-day program requires travel, airfare and lodging. It also costs $1,500.00 and requires membership in the NCDD. While these programs are top-notch seminars, few Michigan practitioners appear at these national programs.

Michigan lags far behind the majority of other states, and only a couple of firms have dedicated their practice to defending drunk driving cases. The vast majority of Michigan lawyers are unwilling to limit their practice, so they are less willing to spend the necessary funds to attend out-of-state programs. As a result, Michigan courts address poorly developed issues, and they are more willing to issue bad opinions that ignore the undisputed science in drug and alcohol-related driving cases.

To raise the bar on the quality of Michigan drunk driving advocacy, it is not necessary that lawyers spend a fortune. An attorney does not need to travel hundreds of miles or spend thousands of dollars to improve the quality of their drunk driving litigation skills. Networking opportunities exist within the state, and inexpensive seminars are locally sponsored.

Every summer, the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM) sponsors a Trial Practice College. Trial advocacy skills are taught, practiced, and rehearsed, lead by top Michigan criminal defense lawyers. Although the program does not specifically address drunk driving litigation skills, at least a few qualified drunk driving trial lawyers attend the program every year. These networking opportunities are golden, and every Michigan lawyer should try to attend this wonderful program. CDAM also hosts conferences in the spring and fall on valuable topics that permit networking with other criminal defense lawyers.

The State Appellate Defenders Office (SADO) sponsors an email listserv for a reasonable fee. Participating on the listserv, every lawyer can get input from hundreds of criminal defense lawyers and enjoy the comradery of these fellow practitioners, even if only via email. The SADO forum has one entire email listserv dedicated to DUI defense.

The Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) offers an annual one-day course on Michigan drunk driving defense. This year, the program was simultaneously broadcast over the Internet, so participants did not even need to leave the office.

Retired police officer Tony Corroto offers a standardized field sobriety test training course every other year in conjunction with the Maze Legal Group. Mr. Corroto is a DRE (drug recognition expert) and SFST Instructor of Instructors. He has trained thousands of police officers, and he takes time out of his busy schedule to help train Michigan lawyers in these testing protocols for a very reasonable fee.

Lastly, local opportunities exist if you simply look around for them. Local bar associations usually host an occasional meeting that might offer opportunities to learn. A few of the CDAM/SADO lawyers have banded together to form informal groups that meet over drinks to discuss cases. By bouncing ideas off friends from the criminal defense bar, insights and fresh notions spring from an otherwise stagnant pool of ideas.

How Do I Choose A DUI Attorney?

My last two articles in EzineArticles addressed two frequently asked questions: (1) should I contest my D.U.I. charge? and (2) should I represent myself in a D.U.I.? This article discusses a common follow-up question: if I have decided to contest my D.U.I. charge and I’m not going to represent myself, how do I choose a D.U.I. attorney?

Choose an attorney that focuses on D.U.I. The last article compared choosing an attorney to choosing a doctor. If you are choosing a doctor for a problem with your big toe, you want a doctor that only treats feet, and preferably a foot doctor that focuses on big toes. If you are seeking a lawyer for a D.U.I. you want a lawyer that practices criminal defense and focuses on D.U.I. defense.

Choose an attorney that has education and training in D.U.I. issues. Look for an attorney that has completed courses in field sobriety testing, breath testing, and testing of blood and urine. Also look for a lawyer that is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and regularly attends continuing legal education seminars for D.U.I. law.

Choose an attorney that has experience in D.U.I. cases. You would not want a foot doctor that has been educated in foot medicine but has little experience actually treating feet. Look for a lawyer that regularly contests D.U.I. cases and has taken many cases through contested motion hearings and trials. It may also be helpful to find an attorney that practices regularly in the court where your D.U.I. case is being held.

Choose an attorney that has good communication skills. The lawyer needs to clearly communicate with you, the prosecutor and the judge. The lawyer should be able to educate you on the law and the process for your case. Communication also involves listening, so the attorney should listen to your situation and concerns, and answer all of your questions.

Choose an attorney that charges appropriate fees. The fee for contesting your D.U.I. charge is naturally going to be higher than the fee for walking you through the process of pleading guilty. The fee for a lawyer that focuses on D.U.I. is likely going to be higher than the fee for a lawyer that practices several areas of the law. If the fee is too low, the lawyer probably doesn’t value his or her time highly or does not plan to put a lot of work into the case.

There are many attorneys that handle D.U.I. (O.V.I.) cases. Hopefully, the criteria discussed here will help you evaluate which attorney is the best one for your case.

Federal Rule 35 Motion for Sentence Reduction – Information

The court, on a motion from the prosecutor of the government usually made within a year of the imposition of the sentence, may reduce the defendants original sentence to reflect the subsequent “substantial assistance”. This means that the defendant has assisted the government in the investigation and or prosecution of another person who has or is committing a criminal offense.

However, the court may also consider the Rule 35 motion if it is after 1 year of the defendants imposition of original sentence, if the defendants information or evidence provided to the government as substantial assistance wasn’t known to the defendant until more than a year after originally sentenced.

A Rule 35 motion can reduce a defendants sentence below any minimum mandatory sentence that was imposed by the court. For example, if the defendant has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison, even if the guidelines only were for 60-72 months, the court can reduce the sentence anywhere under the 120 months for the defendants cooperation.

Cooperation is one of the only ways, and the best way to get sentenced below some of the strict minimum mandatory sentence requirements. A Rule 35 motion once filed by the prosecutor will usually reflect a recommendation to the court on what the government thinks the defendants cooperation is worth in terms of years taken off their sentence. However, the Judge has the ultimate say in determining the actual reduction of a defendants sentence.

There are ways to find help in securing a Rule 35 by the government. A Sentence Reduction consulting service can assist you the whole way through this process and most likely help you do what is called “third party cooperation” for a defendant already in Federal Prison.

Reclassification of Theft Charges

Multiple states have created new regulations or reclassifications of theft laws to account for criminal activities that target elderly adults. Often the penalties for stealing from an elderly or disabled person are more severe than the penalties for the same action against adults of those without disabilities. These changes in regulations are important in cases involving identity theft.

Greater numbers of people, including elderly adults, are using the internet for shopping and other forms of commerce. With this increase in traffic comes an increase in personal information that is available on the web. This can put elderly adults, who may not be as familiar with internet trends and threats, at higher risk for theft or fraud. Without a good deal of familiarity with internet scams and dangerous actions, a person may quickly become a victim of theft.

In light of these changes in criminal activities, many states are beginning to adjust their theft laws. Many of the reclassifications increase the consequences for these charges based on the amount of money that is stolen. The value of the theft can directly affect the severity of a criminal charge. In many of the states, these actions are enough to bring serious consequences upon a convicted individual.

It is important to be aware of the codes that regulate theft in your state. It is possible that theft against specific victims or theft that occurs in specific manners will have much more severe consequences, and in many cases, the charges and penalties associated with theft crimes can vary greatly from state to state.

If you are facing theft charges involving elderly adults, it is important that your rights are protected.

What Is Bail? Get the Details Now

What is bail? Do you know the details about this matter? If you have no ideas regarding this legal issue then you’d better consider this article below.

We all experience tough sailing once in a while. For a number of us, this can just imply a reassessment of our lives along with a dedication to move ahead. For other people, nevertheless, there may be a number of lawful bickering that becomes implicated, and for whatsoever basis, we could come across ourselves or possibly a member of our relatives confronted with confinement time and court manifestation.

Knowing what their choices may possibly be in conditions of becoming able to obtain from jail although in anticipation of a court manifestation will entail in becoming well-informed with reference to bail, tips on how to place it and what it all indicates.

So what is bail?

Quite basically, bail can be an assurance to the court, generally monetarily, that an individual will seem in anyway of their planned court dates and can stay inside the specified area till the conclusion of every lawful scheduled which surround the case. If you’re detained and booked, you might submit bail yourself in the detention center at which you’re apprehended by having a loved ones member spend the bail to suit your needs.

This can ordinarily be performed with money or cashier’s check for the complete quantity of the bail that was placed. On the other hand, to create this occurs, you might need to have loads of dollars just lying about, and sadly, most of us don’t. So, with the intention of totaling this charge, you or your relations could have and search for the assistance from a bail bondsman.

With any luck, you will by no means need to discover the entire ins and outs of posting bail bonds in Austin for both yourself or for a person which you know. Nonetheless, poor things do occur to very good individuals and at some occasion we are able to uncover ourselves, either individually or peripherally, associated with a hard condition. The capacity to acknowledge the methods that detention center and bail bond firms run may possibly indeed be very useful to us at that position eventually, and may perhaps help to create issues just a bit easier once the going gets hard-hitting.

Click Fraud Defense

Pay per click (known as PPC) advertising now appears on virtually every Google search. These advertisements are used by businesses or people looking to increase traffic to their websites. For every person who clicks on one of these specialized links, the purchaser of the link will have to pay a small fee. Many businesses, such as law firms and insurance companies, put a great deal of their advertising money into this service. Even small businesses can see a drastic increase in business due to these links. Because of its popularity, some people have been trying to take advantage of the service by falsifying links. There are many potential incentives for individuals or businesses to do so.

The first incentive is to out-do competitors. A competing law firm may post a link for one term that has nothing to do with their specific law firm, though the link clicked upon may lead to their website. They may then steal their competitor’s business.

Another incentive behind a click fraud crime is to vandalize a reputation. A link with one name may instead lead to a web page that is intended to destroy the reputation of an individual or businesses.

Accusations of this crime can severely affect the reputation of a business or person. Defense against click fraud may be helped by the complicated nature of proving internet crimes. It is also very important because some states consider this crime to be a felony. Many people have been falsely accused of this offense. However, proving a lack of evidence may overturn a charge or reduce a sentence.

For more information regarding click fraud defense, visit the website of the Milwaukee fraud defense attorneys of Kohler & Hart, LLP.

Avoid DUI Charges: Get the Best DUI Lawyer

Driving under the influence is a growing problem in our society today. It is considered to be a serious offense and could result to serious consequences if ignored. However, now a days a person who has been charged with this offense should not have any trouble dealing with such a case because they can get the best DUI lawyer who can help them out.

Being arrested can be an embarrassing experience, and definitely a life changing for anyone else. It could mean the loss of your driver’s license, civil fines and worse it can even land you in prison. No one wants to suffer such consequences. These penalties can have a great impact not only on your family,but as well as in your career and future. It can even damage your reputation as a citizen. Thus, it is imperative to consult the best DUI lawyer to eliminate and if not lessen the DUI offenses.

As we all know, it is always necessary to know your best chance to come out of the problem such as charged with this case without much damage. This could be made possible with the help of your DUI lawyer. Serious offenses such as these need to be dealt with by someone who knows the law. Talking to an attorney who specializes in DUI defense is the first thing that you should do if caught with DUI. Only them will be able to guide you through the process correctly.

The DUI lawyer will work to build your defense case and will find ways to settle the case or minimize the penalties. They can give you an extra confidence that is needed for the case. They can answer your questions and will prepare you for the proceedings each and every step of the way. They will give you the chances at either winning your case or at least minimize your penalties. Of course, it is also important for you to share all the facts about your case with them. This could help to fully defend you with your case.

Getting a competent DUI lawyer can be time consuming. However, because of the presence of internet finding the them becomes much easier. Aside from asking your friends and other relatives, online resources are also there to help you find the best DUI lawyer in your area. Through this you can actually get the information such as their names and contacts.

The DUI charges are very frustrating and can damage your reputation in the society. If you get caught, it could be better to find and contact an expert DUI lawyer in your area to lessen your charges or acquit you fully from them.

Elder Fraud

Many seniors are likely to turn over their finances to another party as they age. They typically entrust this money to family or friends in order to relieve some stress and give them some power in the event they are unable to make their own, or clear, decisions. This may also prevent “elder fraud,” or taking advantage of seniors for financial gain.

Elder fraud is considered a white collar crime because it is typically committed by those in good financial standing who have access to an elder’s personal information. They know it may be easier to get away with an elder fraud crime because they may not closely follow their finances.

Many different people may try to take advantage of an elderly person’s financial situation. It can be people they know, even family members, or it could be someone who has access to their information or accounts, such as accountants.

Credit card and check fraud is commonly performed against the elderly. Stolen credit cards may cause significant damage, or newly opened credit card accounts may go unnoticed. Investment and security fraud can cause significant damage. Falsifying signatures on a will is a crime that comes with a harsh punishment.

Not all those accused of this crime are guilty. The circumstances are often misread. A common defense strategy is to show insufficient evidence. Especially for Internet-related fraud charges, it can be difficult to determine exactly who is at fault. The financial actions taken may also have not been intended for personal gain. Sentences may also be reduced through plea bargains or showing a lack of malicious intent.

When You Need A DUI Attorney

All states are strict on those who decide to take the risk of driving while intoxicated. Whether they are highly intoxicated or just a bit, their blood alcohol level is the ultimate determining factor in many situations. Most states have a limit of .08% and the consequences only become more detailed and build upon first time offenses. So, when you’re thinking about your offense and deciding if you need a DUI attorney, there are a few things you need to consider.

A Drunk Driver lawyer helps you determine the true situation at hand. DUI attorneys are extremely experienced in their field and completely understand your situation. While you may have some variations, they’ve been around long enough to assess a situation quickly and depending upon your charges, this will determine the end amount you will pay the lawyer. So, don’t get upset and think you’re going to be paying a ton of money upfront-plus does protecting your record and reputation really have a price tag? A DUI attorney can also explain the proper consequences that you could possibly face in court. Instead of asking around or hearing the wrong information, the DUI attorney is an experienced professional who can predict the outcome based on your common goals.

While you’re dealing with your everyday tasks of work and family, do you really have time to call several organizations, schedule meetings, and prepare for hearings? The Drunk Driver Lawyer will be managing the entire process. From dealing with the DMV, to figuring out what paperwork you’re supposed to be filling out, to making the calls to courts and scheduling for meetings, hearings and other imperative tasks. In essence, while your life is completely out of the ordinary after being accused of driving under the influence, a DUI attorney can attempt to help you stabilize by streamlining the process.

Last of all, the DUI attorney will represent you in court. By having this experienced professional by your side, you’re able to rest assured the DUI lawyer more than likely knows the people involved in the case, and will work directly with them to get the best outcome for you. This experienced professional also knows the arguments that work best with your specific situation.