A recent US Supreme Court ruling has the potential to affect many people who have had vehicles searched by law enforcement, including at least one client of Skier & Associates. The Court in Collins v. Virginia held that the 4th Amendment’s “automobile exception” (which allows police to search an automobile without a warrant) does not apply to a vehicle parked next to a home, and that police are required to obtain a warrant before they can search the vehicle.
Judges cannot allow juries to hear evidence that was obtained illegally or in violation of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. A defense lawyer can file a “Motion to Suppress” evidence that he or she believes fits these categories. A Motion to Suppress Evidence can be a very powerful tool for someone accused of a crime. A couple of our clients have had great results in a couple of recent cases thanks to effective suppression motions.
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