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Plea deal ends Florida ‘warning shot’ case

Marissa Alexander | Law

Stand Your Ground In a case that garnered all of its attention due to a “stand your ground” defense, has ended via a plea deal. A women accused of firing a gun at her estranged husband and his two sons in what she claimed to be self-defense, arguing that she feared for her life before discharging the weapon. Marissa Alexander is charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the 2010 shooting. She will receive credit for the 1,030 days she has already served, under the deal with the prosecutors. Had the 34-year-old Alexander, of Jacksonville, been convicted of all counts at her second trail in the case, she would have had to serve 60 years because of Florida’s minimum-mandatory sentencing rules when a firearm is involved. A jury deliberated for just 12 minutes during her first trial, before delivering a guilty verdict. Under Florida Law, anyone who fires a gun during a commission of a felony is subject to a minimum of 20 years in prison, which was her original sentence. Alexander’s conviction was overturned 21 months into her punishment,… Read More

Mistaken Police Officer

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr

Mistaken Police Officer Now An Exception to Unreasonable Search The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a police officers good faith reasonable mistake on the law does not run afoul of the 4th Amendment to the constitution that bans unreasonable searches and seizures. In Heien v. North Carolina, the Court in a 8-1 decision written by Chief Justice Roberts that searches and seizures based on an officer’s reasonable misunderstanding of the facts has been permissible for a some time. Roberts stated that same reasoning should apply to mistaken interpretations of the law. In a case from North Carolina based on a 2009 traffic stop from a broken brake light, the court expanded further into the erosion of our fourth Amendment protections of civil liberties. A police officer pulled a car over for a broken brake light not realizing the state law allowed only a single working light, which this car had. Sgt. Matt Darisse conducted the traffic stop of the vehicle that Nicholas Hein had been sleeping in the back seat as his friend drove. Hein, who was the cars owner, agreed to a… Read More

Blood Alcohol Content: A Standard Measurement for Law Enforcement in DUI Investigations

DUI | BAC

Blood Alcohol Content: A Standard Measurement for Law Enforcement in DUI Investigations  What is Blood Alcohol Content? Alcohol gets absorbed into our blood through our intestines and stomach lining. BAC is a measurement of how much alcohol has passed through and is now flowing in the blood throughout our entire body. A Breathalyzer test is often used by law enforcement and is considered a standard tool to measure BAC; it is considered accurate enough to be allowed into evidence into a court of law. Every 45 minutes, someone in the United States is killed from an alcohol-related automobile accident. Blood Alcohol  Concentration (BAC) Typical Effects Predictable Effects on Driving .02% Some loss of judgment Relaxation Slight body warmth Altered mood Decline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target) Decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divided attention) .05% Exaggerated behavior May have loss of small-muscle control (e.g., focusing your eyes) Impaired judgment Usually good feeling Lowered alertness Release of inhibition Reduced coordination Reduced ability to track moving objects Difficulty steering Reduced response to emergency driving situations .08% Muscle coordination… Read More

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