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South Dakota: Majestic Mountains and Ludicrous Laws

February 29, 2016

You might know South Dakota as the home of one of America’s most recognizable monuments, Mount Rushmore. However, South Dakota offer much more than finely sculpted mountain ranges. It offers a rich tapestry of fun qualities, including the 5th lowest population of any state, an extensive array of grasslands, and the largest collection of mammoth remains in the world. In addition to all of these lovely features, South Dakota boasts some truly silly laws, which you can learn more about below.

It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory

If you are planning to tour a cheese factory in South Dakota, make sure you have plenty of coffee beforehand, because you are forbidden by law to lie down and take a nap inside the factory. Still, one might wonder why this law even needs to exist, because everyone knows that excitement lurks around every corner when cheese is being made.

Agricultural producers may protect their crops with explosives

There are many ways to protect crops from animals, including poison, scarecrows, and good old fashioned firearms. When these modest measures aren’t enough, farmers can use fireworks and explosives to keep crows and other predators away, as long as they are protecting crops of sunflowers.

Movies showing offensive behavior toward police officers are forbidden

South Dakota has a certain respect for law enforcement officials, and this is proven by the state’s law that forbids movies showing police officers being struck, beaten, or treated in any offensive manner.

Idaho: Great Potatoes, Ridiculous Laws

February 21, 2016

The state of Idaho is famously nicknamed the “Gem State,” because nearly every type of gemstone has been found within the state’s borders. In addition to a wide array of gemstones, Idaho has a collection of laws that are just about as dumb as a sack of potatoes. Keep reading to get a glimpse at some of the odd restrictions that Idaho lawmakers have felt the need to put on the books over the years.

You may not fish on camelback

Whether you are relaxing in Coeur d’Alene or taking in the majesty of Shoshone Falls, you should be wary of how you choose to fish in Idaho’s clear water sources. If you happen to own a camel, make sure you don’t take him fishing, since it is illegal to fish on a camel’s back. Boise has even stricter fishing laws, since residents are not allowed to fish from a giraffe’s back either.

It is illegal to ride a merry-go-round on Sundays

While it is not uncommon for states to have laws restricting the sale of alcohol or hunting on a Sunday, it is not so common for states to restrict merry-go-round rides on Sundays. On this subject, Idaho marches to the beat of its own drum by making it a crime to ride a merry-go-round on the seventh day of the week.

Men may not give their sweethearts boxes of candy weighing less than 50 pounds

Apparently Idaho’s legislators have a romantic side, because it is illegal for men to give their sweethearts boxes of candy weighing in under 50 pounds. It seems that when you are in Idaho, it may be best to opt for flowers instead of candy when you want to surprise your special someone.

What Constitutes a Felony?

February 15, 2016 Tucson criminal defense attorney for felony charges

When facing criminal charges, it is important to understand what kind of crime you are being accused of. Felonies are the most severe of crimes, and they have the most serious punishments, which often include prison or jail time and significant fines. Because the stakes are so high when it comes to felony charges, you will want to have an experienced defense attorney on your side to protect your rights and reduce your sentence. Below you can get a closer look at what constitutes a felony so that you know what you are up against with your charges.

Crimes that violate moral standards

Felonies are generally classified as such, because they violate moral standards or have a direct impact on the safety or wellbeing of others. Common felonies include burglary, kidnapping, rape, murder, arson, and child abuse. There are also some crimes that may be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime.

High penalties

Most felonies carry penalties of prison time for sentences of one year or longer. In the case of crimes that may be considered misdemeanors or felonies, the difference lies with the place and length of incarceration. Time served for felonies will take place in state or federal prisons, while misdemeanors will be punishable with a shorter sentence in a local jail. Convicted felons will also have a loss of rights, including disenfranchisement, exclusion from jury duty, and the loss of the right to possess a firearm.

Courtroom litigation

Due to the severe nature of felony punishments, courtroom procedures must be strictly observed when convicting an individual of felony charges. While infarctions and some misdemeanors may be resolved without a court appearance, felonies will generally have longer court proceedings and demand the representation of an attorney.

If you have been arrested for a felony, contact Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law at (520) 247-1789 to discuss your case. With more than 2 decades of experience in criminal defense, Ms. Altschuler can provide an aggressive defense to spare you from wrongful conviction or undue penalties.

A Look at Examples of Embezzlement

February 5, 2016

Embezzlement is a type of white collar crime that typically takes place in corporate environments, where individual employees may have authority over property or funds that are misused through manipulation of financial records. In order to constitute embezzlement, there must be a fiduciary relationship between two parties, the defendant in the case must have acquired property or money through that relationship, and the property in question must have transferred ownership to someone else—the defendant or another outside party. What’s more is that the crime must have been intentional. Here’s a look at some of the specific instances of embezzlement that may result in criminal charges.

Kickbacks

Generally, a kickback will occur when a vendor provides money to an individual employee to continue the company’s relationship with that particular vendor. In many cases, this agreement will include arrangements to inflate prices for certain products to provide benefits to the vendor.

Misuse of payroll

Payroll scams in which non-employees receive paychecks from a company are also considered embezzlement. Typically, this type of crime would be committed by a payroll manager or HR representative who would have access to the company payroll.

Siphoning

One of the simplest types of embezzlement is siphoning, in which an employee will pocket the cash from a transaction without entering the purchase into the computer so that the cash in the drawer matches the register’s count at the end of a shift.

Falsification of overtime

Hourly employees might commit embezzlement by falsifying overtime, which typically occurs by punching the time clock well before or after a shift begins or ends.

When it comes to white collar crimes, an experienced attorney will be integral for building an effective defense to avoid prison time and protect your reputation. To find the criminal defense services you need in Tucson, connect with Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law by calling (520) 247-1789 for a free consultation.

Vermont’s Very Silly Laws

January 30, 2016

Vermont is perhaps best known for its contributions in maple syrup and specialty ice cream, but it is also home to some rather silly laws. If you plan to travel to the Green Mountain State, you might want to read through the wacky laws listed below so that you don’t wind up in a holding cell during your stay.

It is illegal to whistle underwater

While you might think that the fact that whistling underwater is virtually impossible would be sufficient to ban the act in the state of Vermont, legislators decided to make sure that underwater whistling is not attempted by making a law against it.

You cannot keep doves in the freezer

If you use doves in your magic act, make sure you do not keep them in the freezer, because Vermont has made it illegal to do so. On the subject of animal-related crimes, Vermont also once banned tying giraffes to telephone poles, but the state has since become more progressive in its views on giraffe storage.

Women must have permission from their husbands to wear false teeth

Throughout each state, there are a fair number of laws that limit women’s rights, reminding citizens of a time before women were viewed as equals in society. In many cases, these laws go unenforced but remain a part of state law. This is exactly the case in Vermont when it comes to dentures, since the law dictates women must obtain written permission to wear false teeth, but it is questionable whether local dentists uphold this rule.

Utah Must Be Kidding with These Crazy Laws!

January 25, 2016

Utah is a state with a rich history and breathtaking scenery seen across many national and state parks. It is also a state that has created some ridiculous laws that might turn anyone into a common criminal. Read on to get a look at some of the most outrageous laws that Utah has put on the books.

It is illegal to hunt whales

It’s hard to think of a law more useless than the one banning whale hunting in the state of Utah. Unless whales learn to live in much saltier water, it seems that no arrests will be made when it comes to this silly law.

Alcohol may not be sold during an emergency

Utah is widely known for its stringent laws when it comes to alcohol sales, and some cities in the state ban the sale of alcohol altogether. Even with the strict laws surrounding alcohol consumption in Utah, however, it seems a bit extreme to ban the sale of alcohol during an emergency—perhaps when you might want a drink most.

It is illegal to not drink milk

On the subject of what you can and can’t drink in Utah, it seems that the state is not the friendliest for those who are lactose intolerant. In the state, it is illegal to not drink milk, which leads one to wonder if Utah’s dairy farmers had something to do with state lawmaking.

Bonus: Dancing is illegal in Saint George

Saint George must be the real-life inspiration for the film Footloose, because the town has actually banned dancing. Interestingly enough, Footloose was filmed in the northern Utah city of Lehi, quite possibly because it would have been illegal to shoot in Saint George itself.

Strange Laws from Around the World

January 21, 2016

In the past, we have covered some of the strange laws that have managed to stay on the books in states across the country, but there are also some odd laws that exist elsewhere in the world that you may not know about. In this article, you can see some of the wacky and likely somewhat dated laws that you should know if you plan to travel abroad.

Singapore’s harsh anti-littering laws

It seems that Singapore has had trouble with littering in the past, particularly with people spitting out chewing gum. Throughout Singapore, it is illegal to sell non-medical chewing gum, and the punishment is a hefty fine and the possibility of cleaning up a public area. Littering itself is a big offense, which may lead to public cleanup service while wearing a sign saying “I’m a litterer.”

The Philippines’ ban on vexation

In the Philippines, there is a rather vague law banning unjust vexation, which could be defined by any number of behaviors with a negative intended outcome on another individual. The Philippines also have not legalized divorce, so remember that vexing your spouse is not a suitable alternative.

The UK’s whaling laws  

While the Queen primarily a figurehead in modern British government, she does still have some special rights as the monarch of the nation. For example, any whale or sturgeon caught in the UK is considered property of the Queen. Members of Parliament hardly have it so easy, as it is illegal to die in the House of Parliament.

A Look at the Juvenile Court System in Arizona

January 14, 2016

If your child has been charged with a crime in Arizona, you may be worried about the punishments he or she will face as well as the long-term repercussions of the offense. In the state of Arizona, there are specially designated courts to handle juvenile crimes, and the process will look different than that of adults facing criminal charges. Below you can learn more about the juvenile court system, which you will be able to successfully navigate with the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney.

The prosecution process

In Arizona’s juvenile courts, there is a flow chart that will determine the justice process for the defendant. A court attorney review will influence the outcome of the case, which will often result in diversion or a hearing in juvenile court. In extreme circumstances, a minor may be charged as an adult with direct filing in city, state, or county courts. Charges might also be dropped after a review with the court attorney.

Possible punishments for juveniles

Just as there is a dedicated court system for juveniles, there are special punishments and facilities for underage offenders. In the worst cases, minors will spend time in a juvenile detention center as a result of their charges. More frequently, punishment might include fines, diversion classes, probation, and verbal warnings.

Court records for minors  

As a parent, you might be most concerned with how criminal charges as a minor can impact future educational and career opportunities for your child. In Arizona, there are procedures to have records sealed or expunged, creating a fresh start at the age of 18.

Because the juvenile court system is so different than the adult justice system, you will not want to hesitate to call an attorney when your child is facing criminal charges. With the representation of Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law, you can ensure a brighter future for your child with experienced criminal defense for charges including illegal weapons possession, drug charges, theft, vandalism, and underage drinking. To schedule a consultation with Ms. Altschuler in Tucson, call (520) 247-1789.

Examining Different Types of Defenses

December 31, 2015 Janet Altschuler has over 20 years of experience in criminal defense

When you are faced with a criminal charge, there are many different ways that your defense attorney might choose to approach your case. The right defense will depend on the specifics of your case, but you can get an idea of the fundamental types of defenses seen in the courtroom by reading through this article.

Pleading Innocent

Any time someone is accused of a crime, the court must assume that the individual is innocent until proven guilty. That places the burden of proof on the prosecution rather than the defendant, which means that it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt that you have committed a crime. Therefore, the primary goal of your defense may be to instill doubt in the jury of the prosecutor’s accusations. This may be achieved through an alibi, character witnesses, and a number of other strategies that can establish doubt of your guilt.

Admitting to a Crime with Extenuating Circumstances

Sometimes a criminal defense will me more complex than stating “I didn’t do it.” In certain situations, you may have committed a crime, but you should not be held responsible due to unavoidable circumstances. Types of defenses that would fall into this category include the entrapment defense, insanity defense, and self-defense. Self-defense is among the most common defense for crimes involving physical violence, in which the victim may have been threatening the defendant with physical harm or trespassing on his or her property. The insanity defense is highly popularized in film and television, but it is actually not commonly used, since it is very difficult to prove.

If you have been accused of a misdemeanor or felony in Tucson, call Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law to discuss the appropriate defense for your case. You can reach our law office at (520) 247-1789 to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your charges.

Maine Justice: Dumb Laws from America’s Northeast

December 25, 2015

Maine is a state known for its northeastern charm, delicious local seafood, and rocky coastline, but there are a few crazy laws in the state that help to define its unique identity even further. For example, it is illegal in the state of Maine to drive a car while wearing a helmet. Keep reading for a look at just a few of the other wacky laws in the state.

You cannot step out of a plane in flight

The skydiving industry certainly is not thriving in Maine, since it is illegal to step out of a plane during flight. This is a law that certainly feels unnecessary, as breaking the law might result in punishment enough upon landing.

You are bound by law to take down your Christmas decorations

Residents of Maine need to be prompt about the removal of holiday decorations, since fines will be accrued for homes with decorations up after January 14th.

You cannot catch a lobster with your bare hands

Lobster is one of Maine’s most appreciated delicacies, but you’d better be careful about how you catch it. It’s illegal to catch a lobster with your bare hands, though it seems that you should be rewarded for the feat, since those claws are a tough obstacle to get around without the help of a net. If you happen to indulge on lobster in Huberson, Maine, be sure not to eat any more than 4 potatoes with the meal, since you will need to feed one potato to each of your pigs if you eat more than 5 in one meal.

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