Policing For Profit

“To serve, protect, and also make a profit.”  Some would argue that is a more accurate slogan for police departments that participate in civil asset seizure—a legally sanctioned practice that permits law enforcement to seize cash believed to be the proceeds of drug trafficking and then keep a share of that money to help fund their department. 24-year-old student Charles Clarke is a recent example of how unfair civil asset forfeiture can be.  In February 2014, DEA agents seized $11,000… Read More >

Cell Phones & Your Privacy Rights

If you are arrested, police have the right to seize your cell phone and search it.  Currently, this law enforcement right is absolute and unqualified, but the Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a unique criminal case to determine whether search warrants should be required to access phone numbers, text messages, photographs, and everything else which can be accessed from your smart phone data base. In the case now before the Court (Riley v. California), the challenge to police cell… Read More >

The Different Degrees of Murder in California

As we hear news reports of murder trials, such as those involving the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Jackson, and the tourist at the Venice Beach walkway, there seems never to be an informed explanation of the different degrees of murder which the prosecution alleged — or did not allege but should have. I hope this article promotes a better understanding of what options prosecutors have in bringing murder charges against a homicide suspect.   If you ever follow murder trials… Read More >