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Why You Can’t Always Count on Being “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”

March 31, 2016 Tucson criminal defense attorney for felony charges

The United States’ criminal justice system is based upon the tenet that individuals are always “innocent until proven guilty.” This means that when an individual is tried for a crime, the burden of proving his guilt rests with the prosecution. However, despite the fact that this ideal is meant to be a basic right of all citizens, there are many reasons you cannot always count on this principle during a trial, making it essential to mount an aggressive and solid defense.

Jurors’ Preconceptions

During a trial, the jury is meant to be an impartial body that determines whether there is sufficient evidence to convict the individual on trial of the crime with which he is charged. While the jury should always presume innocence until guilt is proven, the truth is that jurors often unintentionally assume before the case even begins that if an individual has been charged and arrested, he is likely to be guilty. Furthermore, personal or perceived views based on race or wealth can also lead to incorrect assumptions regarding guilt before a trial begins.

Media Interference

The prevalence of media coverage and the ease with which individuals can access news and other information can also have an effect on the assumptions made by a jury or judge. Because media stories often sensationalize court cases and may even make presumptions about guilt or innocence without a factual basis, these factors can affect the ultimate decision that a jury makes during a trial. Even when jurors have no previous or outside knowledge of the case they are evaluating, the type of thinking promoted by other media stories may influence the decision-making process and the assumption of innocence or guilt.

If you have been charged with a crime, your first step should be to seek experienced legal counsel and assistance. Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law can help you navigate the legal system and provide the support and defense you need during a trial to ensure your rights are upheld. Please visit our website or call (520) 247-1789 for more information about criminal defense in Tucson.

How a Conviction Can Get in the Way of Your Travel Plans

March 28, 2016

A criminal conviction can affect your life in many ways, from your ability to attain the jobs you want to your freedom to travel. The travel difficulties faced by individuals varies by offense and conviction, making it essential to understand how the charges you face or the conviction you have received will affect your ability to travel in the future. If you have questions about criminal charges you are facing or your ability to travel with a criminal record, your criminal defense attorney in Tucson can provide the answers and legal support you need.

Traveling Domestically

Domestic travel following a conviction may be limited, depending on your circumstances. If you have a probation officer, he can provide you with information regarding any travel limitations that may apply. Some convictions will allow you to leave the county in which you reside, but prohibit interstate travel. Alternatively, you may need to meet certain requirements before you are allowed to travel between states, such as paying fines or scheduling a court appearance to address outstanding warrants.

Traveling Internationally

A criminal record can also affect your ability to travel internationally. You may not be able to obtain or renew a passport if you are on bail, awaiting a trial, or have an outstanding warrant for your arrest. Even if you are issued a passport, some countries may deny entry to U.S. citizens or deport visitors with certain types of criminal convictions or within a certain period of time following a conviction.

Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law can help you refute criminal charges or understand your rights after you have been convicted during a trial. You can reach our office by phone at (520) 247-1789 to schedule a free initial consultation, or visit our website to learn more about Ms. Altschuler’s experience as a criminal defense attorney in Tucson.

Wisconsin’s Wackiest Laws

March 25, 2016

Wisconsin is one of America’s northernmost states, boasting an extensive coastline along the Great Lakes, a diverse and beautiful landscape, and lots and lots of cows. As America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin is home to more than 5 million proud Cheeseheads along with a handful of crazy laws that might make you wonder if all that cheese has gone to lawmakers’ heads. Not surprisingly, a few of these laws are directly related to the dairy industry, which remains the backbone of the state’s economy.

Restaurants may not serve apple pie without cheese

In an effort to showcase local Wisconsin cheese in every way imaginable, the state has made it illegal to serve apple pie in public restaurants without a slice of cheese on top. Strange as it is, the result is surprisingly delicious. Restaurants in Wisconsin are also forbidden by law to serve margarine or any other butter substitute unless it is specifically requested by the customer. With the everlasting love of dairy that Wisconsities share, it seems that such a request is pretty rare.

Throwing rocks at railroad cars is illegal

If throwing rocks at trains is among your favorite hobbies, Wisconsin may not be your ideal vacation destination. State law forbids throwing rocks of any kind at a railroad car. While this law may seem a little odd, at least it is worded more clearly than that which states “When two trains meet, neither shall proceed until the other one has.”

Livestock has the right-of-way on all public roads

Wisconsin cows like plenty of room to graze, and they can do so freely knowing that they have the right of way on all public roads. If you ever come to a stop sign and a cow is waiting to pass, you had better let her go before you proceed, or else you might get busted by a state trooper.

A Look at Iowa’s Dumbest Laws

March 22, 2016

Aside from being a state that is famously forgotten between presidential elections due to its low population and endlessly flat topography covered in corn fields, Iowa is home to a wealth of dumb and downright weird laws that might help you remember that the state exists in the shadow of Minnesota. Interestingly, Iowa is consistently named as one of the safest states to live in in the United States, and that may just be because of these wacky laws to protect its people.

Mustached men may not kiss women in public

If you sport any type of nose neighbor from a classic handlebar to a modern horseshoe, you should be careful about where you choose to show affection to your special lady within Iowa’s borders. In the state of Iowa, it is illegal for mustached men to kiss women in public. Even for those without mustaches, there are kissing laws enforced, as no kiss may last for more than 5 minutes.

One-armed piano players must perform for free

As if life as a one-armed piano player wasn’t hard enough, those unfortunate to boast this profession in Iowa must play for free according to state law. Still, those with disabilities to maintain their rights after death, because no one may use a deceased person’s handicapped parking permit in the state.

It is illegal to sell drugs without the appropriate stamp

In an effort to regulate illegal drug deals, Iowa does not permit the sale or distribution of drugs or narcotics without having an Iowa drug tax stamp. Just remember, if you are looking to score some narcotics in Iowa, be sure to ask your back-alley dealer for the proper credentials first!

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.

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