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Understanding Forensic Evidence: How Reliable Is It?

Forensic evidence has been overplayed and possibly even misrepresented in TV and Hollywood crime dramas. While it is true that DNA evidence is somewhat reliable in a court case and 99.9 percent of DNA sequences are unique, DNA is not infallible, nor is it always 100 percent reliable in court cases. Scientists that analyze a person’s DNA assess the long chain of loci. Loci are used to link a suspect Read More

Drug Use and Pregnancy: Can You Go to Jail?

In 2014, Tennessee became the first state to criminalize drug use during pregnancy. This monumental case has impacted women from around the state – and has started to spill over into neighboring states. Since the enactment of this new law, more than 100 women in Tennessee have been prosecuted and sent to jail, though most receive drug rehabilitation and treatment rather than actual jail time. While this criminal statute is Read More

Understanding the Chain of Custody in a Criminal Case

The chain of custody refers to the foundation prosecutors need in order to establish that certain exhibits (or evidence) are admissible to the court. Exhibits are tangible items that are relevant to the facts of the case and help establish the prosecution’s case. For example, when a person is accused of shoplifting, the stolen goods would be submitted as exhibits in their criminal case. Prosecutors must prove that a particular Read More

Can You Go to Jail for Not Paying Debts?

It is nothing new for bill collectors to threaten those in debt, and there are numerous instances where third party collection agencies will threaten people with jail time if they do not pay consumer debts. This causes confusion amongst citizens that fall behind on their payments, worrying that they could go to prison for being unable to pay. However, know that, if you owe money on a debt and cannot Read More

What to Do if You Are Accused of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious accusation and can include assault, stalking, battery, and even harassment that has been perpetrated by someone against a family member or household member – not necessarily husband and wife, which most people think of when they hear the term domestic violence. Florida has statutes that define domestic violence and even outline specific punishments for those convicted of these heinous offenses. If you have been falsely Read More

When Can a Juvenile Be Charged with an Adult Crime?

Traditionally, if a defendant is under the legal age of 18, they are considered a juvenile and will be tried for their crimes in juvenile court. However, there are circumstances that permit the state to push a youth under the age of 18 through the criminal justice system as an adult. The rules for this are complex, but it is important to note that juveniles are not free from adult Read More

Understanding Injunctions: What You Need to Know

An injunction is an order issued by the court that directs another party to take – or directly prohibits them from engaging in – a specific action. These can be issued via a judgment order or in connection with a lawsuit. In some cases, they are also seen in criminal trials. The Purpose of an Injunction Injunctions are used as relief from an action, or putting a stop to ongoing Read More

What Is a Violent Crime Under the Law?

Violent crimes are those that are heinous in nature and often involve intentional harm that has been inflicted upon another individual during the commission of a crime. Violent crimes do not have to involve the intent to harm, though they can include the threat of intentional harm. The majority of violent crimes are charged as felonies, and they are considered one of the most serious crimes – which is why Read More

Can You Really Go Back to Jail for Not Paying Court Fines and Fees While on Probation?

When placed on probation, you may also be ordered to pay court-ordered restitution, as well as court costs and associated fees. This is typically part of the conditions of your probation. Therefore, when you do not pay the court-ordered restitution, you could be in violation of the contract you have with the District Attorney’s Office. This can occur even when you make partial payments or fail to make the entire Read More

Are Fingerprints Enough for a Conviction?

Fingerprints are a vital investigative tool, as the technology used to match suspects with fingerprints found at a crime scene can help investigators better understand what happened – and, potentially, who was involved. Despite the clear benefits of finding a suspect’s fingerprints at the scene of a crime, fingerprints themselves have come under scrutiny. In the past, prosecutors found few weapons more powerful than the fingerprint. But today, the reliability Read More