Supreme Court hits the screw right on the head with a hammer, again.

You have probably heard about the new Supreme Court case.  There is an article about it here.  Let me sum it up for you.  If a police officer stops you illegally, but then discovers you have a warrant and then searches your car and finds contraband (drugs, etc.), the contraband that they find will not be excluded from introduction at trial.

The general rule is that if the police officer finds contraband after an illegal stop, anything he finds is excluded from trial.  The idea behind this rule is that the police should be prevented from “fishing” for illegal items by stopping cars for illegal or no reason.

There have been a couple of Supreme Court clunker cases, one found that if a police office stopped you for an illegal reason and a legal reason, a court should not look into which one was the actual cause of the stop.  That rule made police officers all over the US try to find some traffic violation (any traffic violation) to pull over cars they suspected were driven by people who might commit crimes.  (probably want to read that as minority drivers, especially males).   Once the Supreme Court came up with that rule, it has been open season by police officers to pull over vehicles for license plate lights being out, with the hopes of finding drugs or cash in the vehicle (because they got to keep it).

Because none of the Supreme Court Justices have ever practiced law, except for the few that have worked for a few years, you get a lot of the “ignore what happens in the real world” rulings from them.  But with the court short a justice, apparently all of those cases are going to be decided in favor of the State.

Ray Flavin, Law Dude, is an attorney who practices law in McHenry County, Illinois.  His law offices are located across the street from the courthouse in Woodstock, IL.  You may reach him directly at (815)669-6969

Nobody cares about the Prosecution

Recently a prosecutor brought a case against a man who was in prison serving a sentence that will be longer than his life.  That’s right, this guy is sitting in prison for a sentence that he would have to live longer than anyone in the world has ever lived to complete, and a prosecutor thought to himself, “This is totally worth prosecuting because I have a good case.”

Dexter
Why is it that I think my dog could do a better job?

 

I want you to think about that for a moment:  Nothing was going to stop the prosecutor from bringing a “good case,” not even the fact that the guy was not going to be punished a day more in jail, if the prosecutor was successful.  How does this happen?  Well, it happens when you as a voter don’t care about what dimwit you put in office.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/drew_peterson_guilty_of_seeking_contract_hit_on_prosecutor

When you don’t care who sits in what seat in government you will get prosecutors that will waste your money because they can.  And that prosecutor will know that you will not punish him at the ballot box because you are literally too stupid or apathetic to do so.  Three cheers for him, he can do a job entirely as he pleases, waste your money and not lose a night of sleep over it.  Isn’t that precious?

I was thinking about running for State’s Attorney in my county, however, after I thought about it for awhile, I recognized I didn’t have the stomach for it, nor the required amount of brains.  (see caption in dog picture above for the “brain requirement”)

Ray Flavin, Law Dude, is an attorney who practices law in McHenry County, Illinois.  His law offices are located across the street from the courthouse in Woodstock, IL.  You may reach him directly at (815)669-6969

 

 

Bad Arrests

There is a lot of discussion about what makes a “bad arrest” after a person has been arrested for DUI.  There are literally thousands of mistakes a police officer can make during a DUI stop that can lead to dismissal of the charges.

These mistakes include: stopping a vehicle when the officer does not have reasonable articulable suspicion of crime being committed, failing to gather enough evidence to support the charge and other technical errors that would lead a court to believe that the DUI charged could never be proven.

There are other “mistakes” the police officer could make that will NEVER cause the DUI to be dismissed, for example:  making any mistake that can be characterized as a scrivener’s error.  Those mistakes include getting the color of the car wrong, putting the wrong date on the ticket, etc.  These mistakes never result in a DUI case getting dismissed because the court will allow an officer to correct these mistakes if those case were brought to trial.

How can you tell the difference between the mistakes?  Sometimes it is easy, and sometimes it is not so easy.  If the officer puts the wrong return court date on a ticket, it is very likely the court will allow the ticket to be amended to reflect the correct date.  However, if the officer puts the wrong date on the Notice of Summary Suspension, it is likely that the Secretary of State will not confirm the suspension and kick the ticket back to the arresting department.  This may result in the suspension being thrown out if the driver has filed a motion to defeat the suspension.  Of course if the driver has not filed the motion the suspension will probably not be thrown out.

Telling which mistakes may lead to positive results is something that you should have an attorney look at after an arrest for DUI.

Ray Flavin, Law Dude, is an attorney who practices law in McHenry County, Illinois.  His law offices are located across the street from the courthouse in Woodstock, IL.  You may reach him directly at (815)669-6969

 

 

Calling Bullshit on the Ken Kratz Youtube Commercials.

The world of attorney advertising is probably one you don’t want to look too closely at. It’s also one that many attorneys don’t want you to look too closely at. Especially when it comes to “former” prosecutors working as criminal defense attorneys.

Those guys are my favorites. Prancing around like proud peacocks and showing off their pretty feathers because they were prosecutors. They know “both sides” of the coin, you know.  They’re obviously better at keeping you out of jail because they spent the last 20 years trying to put you in jail, right?

Having just finished Making a Murderer I moseyed on over to check out the firm page of everybody’s favorite prosecutor-turned-defense-attorney, Ken Kratz.  I was curious what old Kenny was up to these days. I’d heard he quit his prosecutor job. So sad.

Before you think I went looking for Ken on some sort of witch hunt because I’m dying to pile-it-on my boy Kentastic, just stop yourself right there. I don’t know Ken Kratz. I only know him from that Netflix series. I may be shallow, but I’m not so shallow as to think it was a fair portrayal of the man.  He’s probably an awesome guy.

Actually, he’s probably not. I’m just not positive.

I mean, I’m pretty sure I don’t like him. I’m not completely sure, though. Not yet, anyway. I’d have to know more about him to know for sure. So, if you’re looking for somebody to join your internet shame mob, I’m not meaning to shame the man. Right now. Today.

I am meaning to shame his youtube commercials, though.

It seems that my guy Ken, former prosecutor-Jedi-turned-defender-of-the-meek has himself a happy client! So happy, in fact, that his Grandmother helped film a “testimonial” for Kratz.  Thankfully Grandma looked like an actress, dressed like an actress, spoke like an actress, and used facial and hand gestures like an actress. Thankfully she didn’t have any of that un-natural nervousness or awkwardness when the bright lights and professional grade video equipment just happened to be in Kenny-boy’s office the day she walked in.

Thankfully Grandma kept it all together when it was time to come through for K-Kratz.

I know. You’re skeptical.  Who am I to say that this isn’t actually Ken’s client’s grandmother.  Hell, for all you know it might actually be Ken’s Grandma herself, right?  Who the hell am I to say?

I’m not much, but I am a guy who’s seen a lot of client’s grandmothers. I’m a guy who’s sat across a table from plenty of family members of guys who didn’t go to prison.  I’m a guy who knows the difference between a legitimately scared grandmother, and Ken Kratz’s acting friend.

I’m also a guy who proved that the only thing between a lawyer and a “client” in a Navy hat saying whatever-the-hell you want takes exactly $5, a short script, and a 24 hour wait.

Uh… I mean I’m a guy who had a client we’ll call “Bob.” He got a DUI and should of been put to death, obviously.  He was frightened. His family was frightened.  Bob feared the worst and, dammit, probably should have received exactly what he feared. NOBODY COULD HELP BOB!

Bob came to me, though. And because I know former prosecutors who taught me the secret-former-prosecutor-jedi-handshake, I KEPT BOB OUT OF PRISON AND HE IS A FREE MAN FOREVER!

I don’t want to brag or anything, but all it took was a little bit of my fucking charm, my superman undies, and a pinch of that law-magic my former prosecutor friends taught me.

Bob, how you doin’ these days?

I’m not saying mi hombre Kenilicious paid $5 to have some lady put on a Navy hat and pretend he represented her son. I’m saying that he paid her a lot more, and she didn’t even wear the Navy hat.  That seems Bogus.

Excessive Bail Blog names Edward Snowden the Man of the Year, (Again)

Excessive Bail Blog names Edward Snowden the Man of the Year, (Again).

First of all we would like to congratulate Edward Snowden for being chosen for the Excessive Bail’s Man of the Year Award.  Also, we would like to take this moment to affirm that President Barack Obama is STILL banned from this website. We will think about reconsidering that once baseball frees Pete Rose.  Actually, probably not.

This should puzzle some of you out there.  Here at Excessive Bail we are more liberal than literally anyone you know, so it doesn’t follow that the President would be banned for those of you who can bear to watch Fox News. He is nonetheless.

The reason we have once again chosen Edward Snowden for Man of the Year is because of his total awesomeness.  It is apparent to the editorial board here that he did something that you all would only talk about doing- totally disrespect your boss when he is full of shit.  Snowden didn’t like that his “boss” reads company emails hoping to find something in there that says something bad.  Knowing that it would cost him his job and his life in American, he did it anyway.  Knowing that he would always be in danger for the rest of his life, yuuup, he just did what he did LIKE A BOSS.

Don’t blame Eddy Snow for your lack of spine.  It’s not his fault you’re jealous.  He exposed the government for illegal activities (and some activities that were not illegal but were the kind of stuff that you don’t exactly get re-elected for doing).  Some of the things he divulged changed the way we relate to other nations (not listening to their phone calls)- for the better.

Some have suggested that he subjected other Americans to danger by them being named in the disclosures (spies, etc.) and that the disclosures caused things like the attack in Paris to happen.  People who say that either are trying to protect their phoney-baloney jobs, or are totally cold making this shit up, and should be immediately called out when they start talking such nonsense.

So, it is with a little pride, and a lot of protection from the U.S. Constitution that we hereby declare 2015 Excessive Bail’s Man of the Year to be Edward Snowden. Again.

Hell, he’s already the front runner for 2016’s man of the year as well.

Editors, Excessive Bail

DUI arrests dropping because police tired of going to trial

Being “tough on crime” ™ leaves more drunk drivers on the road.

I think I just guessed why DUIs are dropping like the stock market in 2006. More and more often we hear that the legislature and your local prosecutor crow about how they are “tough on crime” ™.  And I think the reason that DUI arrests have dropped is that officers were forced to go to trial on many of their weak DUIs because of the “tough on crime” ™ stance of the prosecutors, so they just started writing fewer DUIs.

McHenry County DUI Arrests 2004:   1699

McHenry County DUI Arrests 2005:   1671

McHenry County DUI Arrests 2006:   1756

McHenry County DUI Arrests 2007:   1794

McHenry County DUI Arrests 2008:   1638

McHenry County DUI Arrests 2009:   1408

McHenry County DUI Arrests 2012:     1198

McHenry County DUI Arrests 2014:     924

Graph

If you looked at the graph it looks like being “tough on crime” is literally the most effective tool the prosecutor has in his arsenal to increase the amount of crime.

It appears that after the current State’s Attorney took office for the second time, some new policy had the effect of taking fewer drunk drivers off of the road.  And that policy was being “tough on crime” ™.   So as I have written about again and again, saying you’ll be tough on crime and knowing how to do it are two different things.

I don’t think that there is any other good answer to the question of why DUI arrests are down.  Some have suggested that tougher penalties have caused drivers to carefully consider whether to drink and drive.  That’s funny, the law has been getting incrementally tougher on DUI for over 30 years and their hasn’t been any corresponding drop.  The numbers literally were going up every year until they reached 1800 one year 2007 and they have fallen since.

It’s funny but we got a new “tough on crime” prosecutor who told all of the local towns that there would be no deals on DUIs while he was State’s Attorney.  He started in December 1, 2004.   And he started his “tough on crime” policy in his second term:  right around the exact time that DUI arrests plummeted.

Law Dude, Ray Flavin, is a DUI attorney who represents drivers that have been charged with DUI in McHenry County Illinois. His law offices are located across the street from the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock, IL. You can reach him by phone at (815)669-6699