In the past few days, I have received a number of inquiries from people who have been or had a loved one denied parole or a pardon from the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. These potential clients want to know how to appeal a ruling of the Pardon and Parole Board. In every case, I have to give them the bad news: There is NO APPEAL from a decision of the Board. Continue reading
A recent article got me thinking about the issue of prosecutorial misconduct and whether it has been an issue in my work.
As a person who prosecuted cases for over 3 years, I take it as an affront when a prosecutor abuses his power. That person is nothing more than a street thug, but instead of guns and knives, their weapon is the authority of the government.
That being said, I can’t recall any instances of prosecutorial misconduct in any of my cases. Continue reading
Is a police officer, without a warrant and uninvited, authorized under the Fourth Amendment to conduct a search of a vehicle parked near a residence?
This is the issue the United States Supreme Court will decide next year in the case of Collins v. Virginia. I have a case in the Middle District of Alabama with very similar facts so I, along with others, will be watching this Supreme Court case very closely.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.