Good Policing vs. Bad Policing

The difference between good policing and bad policing is how the officer approaches his job and sees his mission.

It’s the difference between “protect and serve” or “respect my authoritah”.

It’s the difference between servicing justice or creating order.

We saw how dramatic the difference between the two is over two consecutive nights in Ferguson, Mo. [Read more…]

Mothers arrested for questionable crimes: Where is police discretion?

Breaking a criminal law puts you at risk for arrest. But we all know police use their discretion in determining who gets cuffed and who gets a stern “talking to”. In several recent cases to cross national headlines, it seems we are living in a nation where the warnings are falling out of favor, and people are being arrested for the most benign events.

It isn’t clear if the officers involved in these arrests truly believe they are doing a public service and protecting society, or if they’re in it simply to amass arrest numbers behind their names. [Read more…]

A Victory for Justice: Federal Law Enforcement to Record Interrogations

What happens in police interrogation rooms used to stay in police interrogation rooms. And though recording these potentially high-stress conversations has become more standard in local and state proceedings, the federal government had barred investigators from recording interrogations until this week. Now, the government says federal law enforcement will be required to video record interviews with suspects, in a move that could reduce the incidence of false confessions and questionable interrogation practices, while affirming the solidity of truly “good” cases. [Read more…]

Obama Hints at “Thousands” of Potential Drug Case Clemencies

Obama has the worst record on presidential clemencies of any modern Head of State. So when he recently announced he would be accepting and potentially approving stacks of clemency petitions, it came as a surprise. [Read more…]

Drug-Sniffing Dogs: Accurate Crime-Fighters or Tool of Deceptive Police?

Police K-9’s: we’re led to believe they have been trained in the best dog academies to use their superior sniffers to identify illicit drugs. They are essentially used to find drugs when cops themselves can’t identify their presence. But not all research backs up their use, with some even indicating the dogs are mere extensions of what their handlers expect them to find. Still, like shields, tanks and flash-grenades, they are common tools in the Drug War that law enforcement across the country insists on waging. [Read more…]

How To Avoid Breaking The Law

Most of us manage to go about our daily lives managing not to get into too much trouble with the law. Most of us have never had a court hearing, have never been fined and have never been arrested.

That said however, it can be surprisingly easy to break the law on occasion in minor ways, and every now and then we can find ourselves in a situation we never thought we’d be in that results in legal problems. For some people, breaking the law is a common problem that has to be dealt with, just as some people struggle to lose weight. For others it may not be a problem, but it can certainly be a concern if they’re trying to land a particular job or if they’re trying to get a visa for another country (often this isn’t possible if you have a criminal record).

In either case, a little guidance on how to generally avoid being at odds with the law could well prove useful. Read on then and we’ll take a look at how to avoid getting into trouble.

Don’t Take Risks

Most of us go through life without getting too much trouble from the law, but that’s not to say we’re completely innocent. Most people in fact will be guilty of breaking the law in some minor ways, whether that means watching illegally downloaded films, speeding slightly, or jaw walking.

If you’re very keen to avoid breaking the law though, then you should make sure not to take these risks. If you’re at all concerned something might put you at odds with the law – then don’t do it. A perfect example would be drink driving – if you want to be safe then you shouldn’t drink anything before getting behind the wheel, even if you intended to stay within the limit. Of course alcohol affects different people differently at different times, so if you aren’t careful then you can end up feeling drunk and having an accident even if you thought you were safe.

Do Your Research

Sometimes we can break the law inadvertently simply because we aren’t aware of what the law actually is. This is all too easy to do when you’re travelling to another country or state for instance – in these scenarios the laws will often be different from the laws in your local area, which can lead to your accidently breaking them.

Similarly if you run a business then you should get help to ensure that you aren’t breaking the law in any way – by infringing on a copyright for instance, or by failing to get the right license. An attorney can help you to understand laws ahead of time to avoid accidentally getting into trouble.

Avoid the Wrong Situations

Sometimes we end up breaking the law due to the situation we are in – perhaps we’re very late and we feel the need to speed, or perhaps we’re hanging out with the wrong crowd. Either way, the best solution is to avoid these situations in the first place. Life is just simpler that way anyway!

Featured images:
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The author of this post, Mark Jackson, is a freelance blogger who often writes for Law Offices of Mark T. Stern, criminal attorneys in Fairfield CT. He is fond of his pet labrador, Mike, and loves to take him out for a walk in the park.

Atty Gen Holder Calls for End to Felon Voting Restrictions

It’s called felon disenfranchisement and it affects millions of men and women in the U.S.—the removal of voting rights from someone convicted of a felony. While the process of getting those rights back after a sentence is served varies from state to state, Attorney General Eric Holder recently called on all states to repeal laws that hinder the restoration of rights. [Read more…]

Justice Isn’t Just – WHO You Are Matters in US Criminal Courts

In the U.S., we have this idea that the Constitution and the legal system are crafted so that we are all treated equally under the law. It’s even written into that founding document in the Equal Protection Clause, that all men are created equal and shall have the same protection under the laws. But as we see across the country, played out on television and in the news, that isn’t always the case when it comes to the criminal courts and the men and women behind the badge.

[Read more…]

Can The Surveillance State Be Stopped?

As Law Enforcement Pushes APLRs and Surveillance, People Push Back

With advances in technology and under the guise of keeping everyone safe, comes an ever increasing infringement by the government on people’s privacy. You can see evidence of this in the increasing number of surveillance tools used by police agencies across the nation. Used to scan license plates, monitor street corners, and look for people with outstanding warrants, these tools toe the line between safety mechanism and Big Brother’s eye in the sky. [Read more…]

The Problem(s) With Crime Labs

In what’s known as the “CSI effect” most people who lack true insight into the justice system get their information from television dramas. And when it comes to crime labs, this information is often over-exaggerated, to put it mildly. Instead of the infallible experts who use unquestioned scientific techniques to always get to the bottom of a crime, the reality is usually quite different. In an in-depth piece from Prison Legal News, we are invited to learn more about the truth of crime labs, their problems, and just how much they differ from the ideal portrayed on primetime dramas. [Read more…]