Tiger Woods' Arrest for OUI Highlights Draconian Laws

Posted by William Bly | Jun 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

At this point, nearly everyone has heard of the legendary golfer Tiger Woods being arrested for operating under the influence (OUI) in Florida. The incident, however, highlights two important things about OUI law – it applies to people who innocently take medications that can have serious side-ef...

Can You Be Too Drunk to Consent to a BAC Test?

Posted by William Bly | Jun 07, 2017 | 0 Comments

A recent case in Colorado dealt with that state's implied consent and operating under the influence (OUI) laws, and decided that, no, a driver can't be too drunk to consent to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. People v. Simpson The case, People v. Simpson, involved a driver, William Paul Simp...

Deer Driving Case Makes it to the Maine Supreme Court

Posted by William Bly | May 25, 2017 | 0 Comments

The Maine Supreme Court recently handed down a decision on an issue near and dear to many Mainers, but that almost never gets any attention in the court system: Deer hunting. The case involved the controversial strategy of “deer driving,” and the level of intent necessary to support a conviction....

The Harmless Error Rule: An Overview

Posted by William Bly | May 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

Out of all of the ways that the criminal justice system is stacked against someone who's been charged with a crime, the harmless error rule is one of the worst. As we'll point out in this blog post, the harmless error rule makes it far more difficult to overturn a criminal conviction on an appeal...

Apparent Intention to Speed Does Not Support a Traffic Stop

Posted by William Bly | May 04, 2017 | 0 Comments

If a police officer is going to pull you over for drunk driving, they need to have probable cause that you're violating the law before they put on their lights and sirens and conduct a traffic stop. What “probable cause” means, though, is a difficult question to answer, and is often left for cour...

Arkansas Shows Off the Horrors of the Death Penalty

Posted by William Bly | Apr 25, 2017 | 0 Comments

Arkansas has been in the headlines recently for its unprecedented decision to execute no fewer than 8 death row inmates in a span of just 11 days. The sudden flurry of executions is chilling. However, it is even more bothersome because the reason for the furious pace is simply that one of the che...

The Lack of Science Behind Marijuana Laws

Posted by William Bly | Apr 24, 2017 | 0 Comments

One of the most polarized and confusing aspects of the American criminal justice system today has to do with marijuana. In the past 20 years alone, 28 states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for medicinal uses. A small handful has legalized it for recreational use, as well. However, the feder...

Addiction Should Not Be Treated as Voluntary Intoxication

Posted by William Bly | Apr 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

The American criminal justice system makes a point of punishing people more if they intentionally do something that breaks the law. When a criminal act is done intentionally, it means that the person doing it considered other options, and yet still decided to take the course of action that they d...

The Intoxication Defense in Maine

Posted by William Bly | Apr 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

In the United States, our criminal justice system makes a point of focusing more on criminal acts that were intentionally done than on those that were accidental. Because of this focus on a defendant's mental state, many crimes in the U.S. and in Maine have a mens rea requirement. Latin for “guil...

Report Shows How Bad Civil Asset Forfeiture Has Become

Posted by William Bly | Apr 07, 2017 | 0 Comments

In one of our recent blog posts, we discussed how several politicians in Congress were finally pushing for civil forfeiture reform. The practice of taking property associated with a suspected crime had blown out of control, with law enforcement agencies taking more and more property that was only...

When Handcuffs Do Not Put You in Custody

Posted by William Bly | Apr 05, 2017 | 0 Comments

In a pair of last year's blog posts, we talked about Miranda warnings, and how they're only required after you've been taken into “custody,” which is not a simple concept. Now, a new case out of Maine showcases just how complex the idea of custody can become. Traffic Stop, “Detention,” and Arre...

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