Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

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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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.

The Alabama State Board of Health created a controlled substance list with 5 different sections in it (called schedules I, II, III, IV, and V) and if you are caught with one of the substances on the list you can be charged.

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Identity theft often isn’t as simple as one person stealing another person’s social security number and using it to apply for credit cards. There are several different ways by which someone may be charged with identity theft. If you or someone you care about has been charged with identity theft or trafficking in stolen identities, you should call an attorney and get legal advice about the case before making any decisions about what to do next.

 

At Skier & Associates we are available and willing to discuss your case with you, offer legal advice based on years of experience with criminal law, and discuss representing you in your case.

 

DEFINITIONS – Code of Alabama Section 13A-8-191

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The crimes of trespass and burglary may seem similar, but there are several differences between the two crimes and between the different degrees within the crimes.

 

There are four ways in which a person may be charged of criminal trespass: first degree, second degree, third degree, and by motor vehicle. The difference in the charge depends on what the person is accused of trespassing on. First degree involves where someone lives (house or apartment), second degree involves a structure that is designed to keep someone out (a fenced in yard or other type of building where people don’t live), third degree involves somewhere where you know you don’t have a right to be, but isn’t designed to keep you out (a neighbors yard without a fence and you know it is not your property).

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Being charged with the crime of domestic violence can be confusing. There are several different ways you can be charged. You could be charged with domestic violence in the first degree, second degree, third degree, by strangulation, by suffocation, or by interfering with a domestic violence emergency call.

 

You should talk to a lawyer that specializes in domestic violence before making any decisions about your case because it could be your freedom at stake. At Skier & Associates we are available to discuss your case with you in person, offer legal advice from experienced attorneys, and represent you if your case goes to trial.

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