Restitution is an amount of money paid by someone convicted of a criminal offense. The purpose of restitution is to compensate a crime victim for actual losses incurred as a result of criminal activity. Importantly, restitution is not meant to compensate a crime victim for pain and suffering, hurt feelings, or other non-measurable losses. Only losses that are documented can be reimbursed through restitution.

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Don’t get taken advantage of in restitution orders.

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I have filed a Suppression Motion for a client based on a recent US Supreme Court decision, Rodriguez v. United States (2015.) The issue in Rodriguez is the extension of a routine traffic stop beyond the time necessary to write a traffic citation and what happens if incriminating evidence is discovered after that time. While my client was being held after a warning ticket had been issued, their car was searched by police. Drug evidence was found. I have argued to the Court that this search was illegal and that the evidence obtained during the search should not be admissible in court.

For more details, read below:

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Skier & Associates have had very encouraging recent success obtaining great results for clients before the Alabama Board of Pardons & Paroles.

The last three pardon applicants we have represented have all been granted full pardons. Two of these clients were subject to the requirements of Alabama’s sex offender registration laws, and the third was convicted of a violent felony (Assault, first degree.)

For all three clients, the pardon is a life-altering event for them.

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Because of some recent news regarding a high profile case with which I was involved, there has been a good deal of discussion of the Grand Jury process and how it works. To many, even within the legal community, Grand Juries are mysterious and there is a lot of misinformation circulating about exactly what happens when a Grand Jury considers a case. This blog will seek to remove some of the mystery around the process.

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Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum instructing US Attorneys to charge the “highest readily provable offense” regardless of other factors in all cases. This reverses an Obama-era policy that called for charging leaders and violent actors more severely than non-violent, non gang-related actors. The net result of these changes in policy is, from our perspective, medium-term uncertainty of results for our Federal clients. Continue reading

I recently became aware of a Texas case involving the use of call centers in India who “impersonated officials from the IRS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the United States.”

I advise my clients to be very skeptical about anyone who calls and claims to be from any government agency or bank. Always ask for verification of identity, and never give any personal information like date of birth, social security number, address, etc. to anyone who calls. Continue reading

Alabama’s laws provide for three levels of drug offense — Possession, Distribution, and Trafficking. Trafficking is by far the most serious of these offenses and carries a mandatory prison sentence as outlined below. The distinction between Possession, Distribution, and Trafficking is based mainly on the weight of the drugs involved.

As you will see by reading below, the punishments for Trafficking offenses in Alabama are severe and, importantly, mandatory. Prison time called for by these laws cannot be suspended or split by the sentencing judge.

These are extremely serious charges and should not be taken lightly by anyone facing a Trafficking charge. A skilled, experienced lawyer is a must for anyone facing a Trafficking offense.

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Many people come to this page looking for information about Alabama’s Pardon and Parole Board. From time to time we like to update the Board’s situation and what it means for those appearing before the board on a Parole Hearing, or petitioning the Board for a Pardon.

Read on to hear about some dramatic changes to the Board’s structure, and a report on the current state of hearing delay.

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While other states are decriminalizing or even legalizing marijuana for recreational use, Alabama has not changed their marijuana laws.

Alabama law allows for possession of marijuana in the first degree (POM I) and second degree (POM II). POM II is different from POM I because POM II is for first time offenders that are caught with only a small, or “personal use” amount of marijuana.

POM I is a Class D Felony, while POM II is a Class A Misdemeanor.

We at Skier & Associates have received information that there will be a bill filed in the upcoming legislative session that would expand Alabama’s existing expungement law to allow expungement of certain convictions as well as pardoned convictions.

As always, the legislative process is unpredictable and slow. Stay tuned to this space for updates and a critique of any new law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.

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