Read the Latest Issue of the Criminal Law Newsletter
Did you know your cell phone can be tracked by the government, even when you’re not using it? Using a device called a Stingray, which acts like a fake cell phone tower, police can search large areas for a specific cell phone signal. It’s also able to gather data from other phones in the area. That violates the Fourth Amendment, say the Electronic Frontier Foundation and ACLU.
Judges are struggling to control the flow of social media into their courtrooms. One Florida judge — burned by jurors who have caused mistrials and other court disruptions after ignoring orders not to talk about or research cases — may be sending a juror to jail. The judge discovered a juror in a capital murder trial had Googled the defendant on a break, violating a written order to not research or talk about the case. The judge kicked him out of the courthouse and told him to expect a jail sentence.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this fall in a pair of cases that could affect how police dogs are used to detect drugs in people’s homes and vehicles. The rulings, expected by next summer, could go a long way toward helping small-time users avoid the cold, wet nose of the law. The court decisions will provide important guidelines for how police use their dogs.
The Lawyers.com criminal law forums should be one of your first stops if you’re grappling with a criminal legal problem or issue. Covering topics including traffic citations, DUI, juvenile crimes, misdemeanors and felonies, these forums are the place to ask questions and get answers before you hire a criminal lawyer.
Over the past decade, 26 states and the federal government have passed laws allowing mandatory DNA testing for anyone arrested for a felony — even individuals who are never charged or convicted. A number of states approve this procedure for certain misdemeanors, and sometimes even if the offender is a juvenile. The results are uploaded crime databases and then used to investigate unsolved crimes.