Americans spend over $38 billion on their pets per year! As a whole we dearly love our furry friends and are willing to fork out the dough to make sure our pets live in style and comfort. One woman recently willed her little, white dog, Trouble, $12 million dollars while leaving her grandchildren nothing of her legacy. Hopefully Trouble’s owner also thought to appoint a financial advisor to help this prosperous pooch manage his assets. Unfortunately, not all people have the same love of animals, capacity, or financial means to take good care of their pets. Animal cruelty cases have been cropping up in the newspapers at an alarming rate, shedding light on the dark issue of animal abuse and neglect. Due to the high costs of rescuing abused animals and cleaning up after incidents of animal abuse, states are imposing more stringent laws against animal cruelty. As the laws become tougher and the restitutions and punishments greater, people will need a criminal defense attorney to represent them if charged with animal cruelty. Just remember, animal cruelty or animal abuse is a crime and a crime that in many states can be charged as a felony.
Dogs are mans’ best friend but one unlucky puppy did not benefit from her loyal devotion to owner. Michael Bernhart Beckman was arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty after allegedly stabbing one of his dogs. Both of his dogs have now been taken into custody and the injured animal has received veterinary treatment. Beckman’s criminal lawyer will need to mitigate charges against Beckman and fight to reduce the felony animal cruelty charge which currently could land Beckman up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. In an even more bizarre incident, a Minnesota man has been charged with animal abuse and destruction of property after allegedly stabbing 29 pigs in another man’s barn. The alleged perpetrator, Curtis Adams, has no recollection of the incident likely due to his intense intoxication at the time, but has not denied the animal cruelty charges against him. Evidence certainly points the finger of blame at Curtis including blood all over Curtis’s clothes and Curtis’s bloody knife being found in the barn. Curtis’s criminal defense lawyer will most likely advise Curtis to accept a plea deal in hope of minimizing the damage, but his criminal defense attorney will also need to examine the possibility that Curtis could be innocent and the victim of a malicious frame-up.
If convicted of animal cruelty, Curtis and Beckman may not only serve time and pay restitutions, but may also be placed on an animal abuser registry. Much like a sex offender registry, an animal abuser registry acts to stop registered animal abusers from adopting pets from animal shelters, allows law enforcement to track residents with a history of animal cruelty, and informs community members of violent offenders. Each state is adopting a different approach to the registry. For example in California only adult and convicted felony offenders will be on the registry whereas in Idaho state lawmakers are pushing for laws that differentiate between pets and livestock. The new state registries will make it even more important if charged with animal cruelty to enlist a criminal defense attorney since animal abuse charges can follow you for the rest of your life and become well-known, public knowledge. No one wants to be neighbors with someone convicted of a Fido felony.
Some people feel that concern over animal cruelty is too extensive and law enforcement should allocate the resources used to fight animal abuse towards stopping cruelty towards people instead. However, animal abuse is both extremely costly and if left unregulated and unpunished can lead to even greater crimes. In one case, officials estimated that the state had to pay $1.2 million to rescue over 170 dogs rescued from an animal hoarder’s home. In another tragic case, it cost $37,000 for officials to clean up after a convicted hoarder who had more than 200 dogs, including 150 dead Chihuahuas, in his home. In addition, hoarding and other animal abuse can be a precursor to abuse against humans. In fact, animal abuse is one of the four indicators used by the F.B.I to evaluate future violent offenders and many people charged with child abuse or domestic violence have committed animal abuse in the past. As you can see, animal abuse is not a matter to ignore and has serious repercussions. A good criminal defense attorney will know the state specific consequences of being charged with animal cruelty. Hopefully, the precautions state lawmakers and law enforcement are taking to prevent animal cruelty will be effective and animal abuse will be prevented before it causes the death of innocent animals or leads to crimes against humans.
Do You Like Pets Better than People: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/09/05/opinion/garver/main3234187.shtml
Animal Abuse as Clue to Additional Cruelties: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/us/18animal.html
Minnesota Man Charged with Stabbing 29 Pigs: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/05/innesota-man-charged-with-stabbing-29-pigs/
Lee County man arrested for stabbing dog: http://www.winknews.com/Local-Florida/2010-05-10/Lee-County-man-arrested-for-stabbing-dog
Police have made serious allegations against a New Mexico man accused of possessing and producing child pornography. Possession, distribution, or production of child pornography can be a federal crime with production of child pornography carrying a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison per count and possession of child pornography carrying a maximum sentence of twenty years per count. If Kelley, who is charged with fifty-two counts of possession and distribution of child pornography, wants to see the outside of a prison cell before the end of his days he will need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight the allegations against him and prove to the federal court that they have got the wrong man.
During the investigation, police investigators believed that they had caught Kelley after finding an unattended laptop allegedly showing a video of child porn on a computer in a bar that allegedly belonged to Kelley. However, a police search of the laptop found no pornographic images. After finding this laptop, police searched Kelley’s home and seized several computers and hard drives that allegedly did contain multiple images and videos of children on file with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Police were aware that prior to Kelley’s arrest pornographic images had been downloading using unsecured wireless networks in the area where Kelley lived. It will be the job of Kelley’s federal criminal defense attorney to investigate if Kelley has been captured as a scapegoat or rightly charged. For example, the original laptop that supposedly led to the police to search Kelley’s house did not contain pornographic material and the entire police search was based on an anonymous tip alleging that someone had been watching child porn in the bar. The scenario seems sketchy to say the least, especially since police have charged Kelley with fifty-two counts of child pornography on evidence that could be false.
If the allegations against Kelley are true, Kelley’s criminal defense lawyer will need to examine his background to see why Kelley would be in possession of pornographic images of children. Many people who commit sex crimes or who are charged with a sex crime have themselves been victims of sex crimes. It is possible that Kelley has never received help for being a victim of sexual abuse and has suffered in silence, denial, or self-blame for years. Perhaps his computer contains child pornography because he identifies with other children who have been victims of sex crimes and is trying to understand what has happened to him. A good criminal defense attorney knows that no matter the severity of the accusations, no assumptions can be made regarding the truth behind child pornography charges or other sex crimes accusations. Child pornography charges are harshly punished by the state and federal courts because possession, production, or distribution of child pornography is regarded as sexual exploitation of children. Consequently, the criminal defense lawyer will bring an equally aggressive defense to the table to make sure that Kelley and other people charged with child pornography are not falsely imprisoned or unreasonable punished.
Lawrence Taylor is going to need a great criminal defense lawyer if he wants to be remembered for being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame instead of indicted for rape and solicitation of prostitution. Taylor has been formally charged with third-degree rape and patronizing prostitution. Unfortunately for Taylor, the alleged victim was one year under the legal the age of consent in New York, thus making his charges rape of a minor and solicitation of child prostitution. It appears that Taylor will plead not guilty and that the defense has a plan to prove Taylor’s innocence. The ultimate goal of Taylor’s criminal defense attorney would be to have all charges dropped. This is not Taylor’s first brush with the wrong side of the law and he was previously charged and convicted on two occasions of possessing drug paraphernalia and is also on federal probation for filing false tax returns and tax evasion. Luckily, New York does not enforce the three strikes law and consequently if Taylor’s sexual assault lawyer is unable to dismiss all charges against him, a good outcome may still be reached and Taylor may still be able to avoid serving any prison time.
The FBI is teaming up with police to combat underage prostitution in a national campaign called Innocence Lost. The goal of this program is to fight child prostitution by decriminalizing the girls involved and charging the people who control them and solicit prostitution instead. Even though many girls engaging in child prostitution make themselves available through internet ads, they are looked at as victims that need protecting from themselves and from the people that are taking advantage of them. It is likely that given this national crackdown on child prostitution, the prosecution will be extremely tough on Taylor due to the fact that the girl was underage, and will seek as harsh of penalties as possible for the rape charges and solicitation of prostitution charges. Currently there appears to be no evidence proving that Taylor sexually assaulted the alleged victim beyond a text she sent to her uncle after the alleged incident explaining what happened. Taylor’s criminal defense lawyer will have to show that there is no evidence to corroborate the alleged victim’s statements. The alleged victim could have made wild accusations due to emotional and psychological strain. The alleged victim was a runaway from her family, had been reported a missing person, and was allegedly staying with the man that brought her to Taylor’s hotel. This man appears to have beaten the alleged victim prior to the incident that occurred in Taylor’s room. Alleged victims of assault and domestic violence often make accusations that they later say are untrue and wish to recant in court. It is probable that the girl, who appears to have been abused by the man she was staying with, made statements against Taylor in the heat of the moment out of fear and emotional instability that will prove false in court. Instead of trying to incriminate Taylor, a well known public figure, the prosecution should go after the man who has most likely repeatedly beaten and forced the alleged victim into prostitution. Most importantly, the court needs to seek help for the alleged victim so that she can make more positive choices in her life and have a better future than one of prostitution, instability, and crime.
Animals with high testosterone levels are known to be fearless fighters and the ultimate predators. The African lions of Tsavo National Park in Kenya are reputed to be the most aggressive lions in the world. Why? Scientists believe that the higher testosterone levels in this particular group of lions makes them more aggressive and territorial than any other pride. In sharks, species with the highest testosterone levels are the most aggressive sharks in the ocean, more aggressive even than the great white. Testosterone levels between species vary but testosterone levels between individuals of the same species, including humans, also vary. Are some men naturally predisposed to violence and incapacitated by their chemical makeup when it comes to controlling their anger and aggression? Are certain men in greater danger of becoming involved in a domestic dispute and being charged with domestic violence? Do the men represented by domestic violence attorneys have higher testosterone levels than other men who were never charged with spousal battery? While these questions of yet have no concrete answers, a recent domestic violence case shows that there could be some validity to the hypothesis that men charged with domestic violence could suffer from above average testosterone levels.
Tito Ortiz has been arrested on charges of domestic violence. He has been accused of assaulting and beating his girlfriend Jenna Jameson in their home in California. For those of you who do not know who Tito Ortiz is, he is a 6-foot-3, 205 pound Ultimate Fighting Champion. This is a man who has made fighting his life passion and work, and who has had considerable success by being strong, aggressive, and fearless. Ortiz could very probably have higher than average testosterone levels, a chemical imbalance that has been shown to make many men pursue greater risk taking activity and may as in other species lead to greater aggression. This will be a challenging case for the criminal defense attorney representing Ortiz. Jameson allegedly sustained visible injuries after the alleged attack by Ortiz and it is likely that Ortiz will be charged with felony domestic violence. The domestic violence attorney representing Ortiz will have to put up a solid defense in order for Ortiz to retain parental rights of his children and not become convicted and labeled as a spouse beater. If Ortiz indeed does suffer from genetically high testosterone levels, is this a fact that can be used in his defense? In many cases physical and mental medical conditions such as Depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome that affect impulse control are used by criminal defense attorneys to show that their clients could not control their criminal actions. Ortiz’s domestic violence lawyer should investigate Ortiz’s testosterone levels and if they are higher than average use this as a defense to mitigate felony charges of domestic violence. If in fact Ortiz faces a greater challenge in controlling anger and aggression, he will need anger management courses and perhaps hormone therapy, not time behind bars.
When faced with criminal charges there are three ways that you can plead, guilty, not guilty, or no contest. It is always best to retain and consult with a criminal defense attorney before you enter your formal plea in court. The worst strategy is to plead guilty when you are innocent. This may seem obvious, but a day of police investigation and detention in a jail cell has made more than one individual crack and plead guilty to criminal charges that they did not commit or take a plea deal because it seemed like the easiest way out of the situation. In some instances, police and prosecutors may try to convince the alleged perpetrator to take a plea deal and offer incentives for them to do so such as reduced sentencing. The following case is an example of why it is vital to have a criminal defense attorney at your side if charged with a crime, especially when you are innocent.
Two Maryland students were in a big pickle, not the miniature bread and butter variety but the giant sized, deli style dill variety, meaning big, big trouble. They were being accused of assaulting a police officer, very serious charges that would have most likely landed them a hefty sentence if they were found guilty of the alleged assault. These students were in dire need of a criminal attorney to fight for the best outcome possible in their case. If convicted of assault, the students may have been expelled from the university as well as been unable to get a job in their desired professions due to the simple assault or aggravated assault charges placed on their records. The evidence and circumstances of the alleged crime supported the police officer’s claim that he had been assaulted by the two students after a basketball game while trying to clear the streets of victorious University of Maryland revelers. Past precedent showed that Maryland students were not above criminal activity caused by post-game hype. In 2001, Maryland students committed vandalism and criminal mischief, causing more than $500,000 in damage after a disappointing loss. Luckily, the two students followed the sound advice of their Maryland criminal defense attorney and did not plead guilty or accept a plea deal for the assault charges even though evidence pointed to that they had most likely committed the crime.
You can never count on just the truth to set you free. A prosecutor or judge will not care if you believe yourself to be innocent but have no evidence to support this vindication. This is why you need a criminal defense lawyer to find the evidence that proves the truth and your innocence. For example, one piece of evidence has entirely flipped the case for the two Maryland students, changing the accused to the victim and the alleged victim to the perpetrator. Due to newly discovered video evidence, it is the police officer who will now need to seek the representation of a criminal defense lawyer and who is being charged with use of excessive force and falsifying a police report. It appears that the two students never attacked the police officer but were attacked by the officer who then filed false accusations against the students. The criminal defense lawyers representing the two students have made sure that the video of the incident, captured by another student, has gone public. This was an aggressive move by the criminal attorneys because it shows that their clients are absolutely innocent and gives the message that they will not tolerate further false accusations or settle for anything less than the assault charges being dropped and the police officer prosecuted. The truth has been brought to light and the true perpetrator renounced. And with that, the defense rests.
How would you like your transgression to be viewed by millions of people on the web? Former NYPD officer Patrick Pogan, who is accused of assaulting cyclist Christopher Long during a Critical Mass ride, has to face being a YouTube sensation every day. In a video that has been viewed over two million times, the infamous officer appears to slam Long off his bike for no reason that is apparent to the viewer. Pogan faces up to four years of prison time if convicted of charges against him including assault and falsifying a report. His criminal defense lawyer will have to prove that Pogan had reason to forcefully detain the cyclist and that he did not intentionally change his story in his initial police reports of the incident to falsely incriminate Long. Pogan, who was only eleven days on the job when this unfortunate incident occurred, has already had to resign from the force. Hopefully his future holds only a career change instead of a criminal conviction for assault.
Pogan’s criminal defense attorney could use Pogan’s lack of experience to his advantage to reduce the assault charges and show that Pogan used bodily force as a form of self defense. Pogan asserts that he was originally attempting to detain Mr. Long because Long was riding with no hands, through a red light, in the middle of the street. Unfortunately for Long, the video of the alleged assault shows many other bicyclists doing the same thing. So what made Pogan single out Long? Pogan has testified that Long at first appeared to be evading Pogan, but when their trajectories started to cross, Pogan believed that Long was going to try to knock him over by riding through him. To protect himself, Pogan preemptively knocked Long off his bike before he was knocked over by the cyclist. Pogan could have made a rookie mistake and miscalculated Long’s intent, or he could have correctly interpreted the situation and taken the best course of action that he could in the moment. Either way, being charged with assault seems to be a drastic consequence. As his criminal defense lawyer should point out, everyone knows that you will make mistakes when starting a new job and that it takes experience to do a job perfectly.
As for the charges of falsifying business records and making false accusations, Pogan’s criminal defense lawyer will need to prove that Pogan did not mean to make conflicting statements but was caught up in the heat of the moment, probably had an adrenaline rush, and did not remember the altercation very clearly afterwards because it all happened so fast. Mr. Pogan is an upstanding citizen and prior to becoming a police officer had worked as an emergency medical technician. Although this incident and the YouTube video has demonized Mr. Pogan into an attack cop, hopefully his criminal defense attorney will be able to vindicate Mr. Pogan against his assault charges and show that he is still a good man to have around in an emergency.
Everyone likes to break a record, heck, some people spend their whole lives growing out their fingernails or making the world’s largest pancake just to be in the Guinness Book of World Records. Other records should not be broken. A Pennsylvania third grader has put in a bid for America’s youngest drug dealer, allegedly dolling out little packets of heroin to his pals at school. The packets ironically had the words “trust me” stamped on them since nothing is more suspicious than an unidentified, white powder with possible hallucinogenic or poisonous qualities. At what age does a minor become aware of the illegality and the criminal nature of their actions, and at what age does a child deserve to be punished regardless of whether they knew they were committing a crime or not? A teenager handing out heroin at school would be busted with a long list of drug charges including possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, or with the amount of heroin this 3rd grader had on him, charges of drug trafficking. Will this youngster need a criminal defense attorney to keep his record clean or will the courts find that this child was innocently unaware of what he/she was doing and has been caught in the middle of someone else’s scheme?
No charges have been filed against the child yet and a good juvenile defense lawyer will disprove any criminal intent of the child and stop any allegations before they turn into formal criminal drug charges. To begin with, the kid wasn’t selling the heroin. He was just passing it around like candy. He obviously had very little idea of the value of what he held in his little hands, which allegedly was worth about $1,000! A juvenile drug attorney would argue that this child should not be charged or sentenced because he had no knowledge that what he was doing was wrong, he did not pass out the heroin for personal gain, and because he did not harm any of his classmates with his little party favors.
So if the child isn’t responsible for this incident, who is? Perhaps it was some drug dealer’s sadistic idea to enlarge their client base by addicting third graders to heroin? More likely, this child found and took something that wasn’t theirs and he/she is going to be in a lot of trouble at home. It is very probable that it will be the parents of the child who are going to take the fall for this and will need to hire a criminal defense attorney to protect them against charges of child neglect, child abuse, drug possession, and distribution of a controlled substance. The parents at the school where this incident occurred are going to want someone to blame, and the school officials are going to want to push the blame as far away from themselves as possible. So when the cops knock on the door, the parents of this child better be ready with a criminal defense lawyer by their side to make sure that they do not incriminate themselves while they are under investigation. If they do not seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer from the beginning they could be facing serious consequences including being charged with heroin possession and having custody of their child taken away. Let’s hope that this family’s criminal defense attorney can show that it was all just one big mistake and the next time that this child brings something to share at school, it is brownies, and I don’t mean the magical kind.
If you have been given the key, is it illegal to open the door and walk into someone else’s house? If you have the password, is it criminal to open and look at another person’s email? The prosecution in the federal case against David Kernell, who is accused of hacking into Sarah Palin’s personal email account, would say that it is. In fact they are arguing that it is a very grievous crime punishable to up to fifty years in prison if Kernell is convicted of the charges against him including felony identity theft, wire fraud, and obstructing an FBI investigation. Kernell’s criminal defense attorney appears to be doing little to mitigate accusations against Kernell and the defense appears to be daunted. Why do Kernell and his criminal defense lawyer appear to be giving up on the fight? Is it that the evidence is so irrefutable that they might as well accept a plea deal to minimize the damages? Kernell’s criminal defense lawyer needs to get his act together and mount an aggressive defense before his young client is irrevocably sentenced to a lifetime in prison.
Kernell has pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him, yet the only witness that the defense has turned out is Kernell’s roommate, and some FBI agent who offered a lame remark about how Kernell had been upset. The criminal defense attorney responsible has decided that Kernell himself will not take the stand, a tactic that may make him look very guilty indeed and weakens his plea of not guilty. So what does the prosecution really have against Kernell? It is probable that there is some sort of trace that shows that Kernell’s computer was used to hack into Palin’s email account and to post some of the found information on the web. However, is there any hard evidence that is was in fact Kernell’s fingers that did the fateful typing? It could have been anyone, it could have been the roommate, it could have been any number of anti-republican University of Tennessee students who had access to Kernell’s room and decided that he would be a good scapegoat as the political saboteur.
Moreover, is it a crime to open an email using information that is available to the public? The perpetrator who opened Palin’s email gained access to the yahoo email account by correctly typing in her date of birth, zip code, and security question which was the well publicized fun-fact of where she met her husband. Kernell’s criminal defense lawyer can prove that the alleged perpetrator did not use any private information such as her social security number, which in fact would constitute identity theft and would justify the felony identity theft accusation that Kernell is charged with. Much information regarding any public official or private citizen is easily available through the web, and that is why it is important to have very secure passwords and security questions for email accounts. As a high profile public official, Palin should be using a much more secure system to email if she does not want any kid with a computer poking around in her personal business. If Palin or her security team had made her email more secure, she could have saved everyone a lot of trouble including the judge, family, criminal defense attorney, and poor Kernell who is facing a future behind bars just because he allegedly opened an email that a third grader could have hacked into.
Perhaps Kernell’s family, who is involved in politics, is trying to have this matter resolved very quietly, even if that means that the son takes the fall. After all, Kernell has been accused of hacking into the email in order to undermine Palin’s campaign, a tactic which does not reflect well on Kernell’s family who are part of the Democratic Party. If Kernell’s family won’t stand by him, it will be the job of his federal defense attorney to insure that this young man has a bright future. The federal defense lawyer has called Kernell’s alleged identity theft “just a prank.” If the defense is indeed going to show that Kernell is not guilty, they will have to prove more than that Kernell was just having a little innocent fun. Kernell’s federal defense lawyer will need to show that the evidence against Kernell is refutable and the charges against Kernell are far too harsh for any misdeed that was committed, if any was committed at all.
When you are charged with drunk driving, you never know what kind of sentence you are going to be facing. You could catch the judge on a good day and get free with nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a fine, or you could receive a criminal conviction and get sentenced to jail time. Since you can’t predict which way the wind might be blowing, or how the judge will respond to your case, it is essential to always have a DUI attorney on your side who will ensure that the best outcome is reached for your case and ideally charges are dropped whether the judge is feeling lenient or wants to play hardball.
Just don’t push your luck too far. A Maryland man was arrested for drunk driving this week and charged with a D.U.I. after hitting a car while allegedly driving under the influence. The catch to this case is that the alleged perpetrator crashed into the judge who had given him a light sentence on prior DUI charges. Judge Collier had decided not to give jail time in 1998 to the very man that hit his vehicle even though at the time the perpetrator had been arrested for driving under the influence twice in a three month time span. It is unlikely that this judge, who sustained injuries along with his wife during the accident, will ever be so nice again. It is also unlikely that even a criminal defense attorney will be able to help this man avoid bars this time, but he will need to retain the representation of a D.U.I. lawyer to make sure the charges do not become more severe than a misdemeanor. Perhaps the perpetrator needs to serve a little time to learn his lesson.
Judges are not the only officials who may be cracking down on suspected drunk drivers. Cops in states such as New York are starting to use “ghost” police cars. These new cars are all white, including the police decals, which are barely visible. So basically, a driver will not see the police car until it is too late and they have already given the officer reason to make a traffic stop and perhaps an arrest on charges of driving while intoxicated. If you get caught by the “ghost,” DUI attorneys are the only ones that have the experience and knowledge to save you from the boogeyman.
On Patrol and Almost Undercover: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/nyregion/28ghost.html
Alleged Drunk Driver Hits Judge He Faced in 1998: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/04/12/us/AP-US-ODD-Drunk-Driving-Judge-Hit.html?scp=1&sq=alleged%20drunk%20driver%20hits%20judge%20he%20faced%20in%201998&st=cse