Missouri is one of several states that recently issued cease-and-desist orders against a man who operated a business proffering legal services. The man operated a business under several names, including 3rd Millennium Systems, Inc., Affordable Law Center and Affordable Court Services.
Last week we talked about vacating criminal convictions and some of the circumstances that can justify vacating a verdict. Juror misconduct, a biased court and an improperly-handled plea deal are all factors that can lead a court to vacate a conviction, treating the trial and the ruling as if they never happened.
A wrongful conviction can turn your life upside-down. It can leave a lasting mark on your life as a criminal record, which can affect your future employment prospects and, in some cases, even where you can live and visit. A criminal conviction can also carry hefty penalties like fines and jail time.
In February a Supreme Court ruling could shape the laws that govern DNA evidence collection by law enforcement officials. Each state has its own laws governing DNA collection, which many believe is more invasive than a fingerprint or breath test.
Over the past decade Missouri has passed stricter and stricter laws to try to curb the use and production of methamphetamine in the state. At issue is pseudoephedrine, a drug that is used to relieve cold and allergy symptoms. Pseudoephedrine is also a key ingredient in meth production.
As we discussed last week, the Fourth Amendment protects all Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement officials. Under the Amendment, the definition of a "search' includes the search of a home, a vehicle during a traffic stop, a person's pockets or one of the most invasive tools available to law enforcement: a strip search.
State and federal protections exist to preserve justice and ensure a fair system for criminal defendants and prosecutors. These protections involve clear, consistent laws that make sure cases run through the system fairly. But a pair of cases before the Supreme Court has cast doubts on the consistency of laws governing Missouri's prosecutors.