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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.

Heading Down South? Beware of these Loony Laws in Louisiana!

December 21, 2015

In the home state of the Big Easy, you might expect that there are some crazy laws to govern the nation’s most party-friendly city. In fact, New Orleans itself has a few wacky laws, including the prohibition of “fancy” bike riding. Throughout the state law books, you’ll find a few equally puzzling laws, including those listed below.

Stealing an alligator can lead to a decade in prison

Whether to eat, keep as a pet, or include in a circus act, a stolen alligator can be a significant liability in the state of Louisiana. In fact, stealing an alligator can land you up to 10 years in prison, so you should always make sure to keep proof of ownership on hand when you take your alligator out for a stroll. Just remember not to tie it to a fire hydrant, since that’s also illegal.

You cannot legally dare someone to go on train tracks owned by someone else

A game of truth or dare could quickly get out of hand in Louisiana, as it is against the law to dare someone to go on someone else’s train tracks. It won’t just be your friend who is in trouble for trespassing on private property.

Mocking contestants in a boxing match is illegal

Hecklers should stay home from any boxing matches held in the Bayou State, since mocking contestants in a boxing match is against the law. On a related note, fake wrestling matches are also forbidden by Louisiana law.

No Ice Cream Cones in Your Back Pocket: Strange Alabama State Laws

December 15, 2015

Every state has a handful of strange and silly laws, and Alabama is no exception to the rule with laws on the books stating that you are not allowed to carry ice cream cones in your back pocket or flick boogers into the wind. This article will take a closer look at a few more of the odd laws to know when you are in the Heart of Dixie so that you can stay out of trouble in the heart of the Deep South.

Putting salt on railroad tracks is punishable by death

You might not think much about pouring a little salt on the railroad tracks, but there is actually some logic to the law forbidding this action. Salt can attract cattle to the tracks, making a big mess when a train happens by. Back in the early days of the railroad, the ordeal proved such a hassle for cattle owners and railroad workers that the crime of salting the tracks was made punishable by death.

It is illegal to hold bear wrestling matches

Whether you want to watch two bears duke it out, or you want to try your luck fighting a grizzly yourself, you’ll have to choose a venue in Georgia, because bear wrestling matches are strictly against the law in Alabama.

Bathing in Mobile city fountains is restricted by law

While you may think that it goes without saying that bathing in public fountains is a bad idea, the city of Mobile felt that the action needed to be prohibited by law. Presumably, such a law could only have come about after the city dealt with its fair share of fountain bathers in local courts.

New Sentencing Bill Will Help Prosecutors Coerce Guilty Pleas From Drug Defendants

November 30, 2015

It’s already easy enough for attorneys do coerce a guilty plea from a defendant in a drug case: 97% of federal drug defendants end up pleading guilty. If that number sounds high, prepare for it to possibly go higher thanks to the new Sentencing Reform and Correction Act. Although there is a lot of excitement regarding this bill and its apparent benefits, like allowing people sentenced unfairly to possibly earn a sentence reduction, the act also gives prosecutors more power to force even more guilty pleas from drug defendants.

Currently, defendants in drug cases are coerced into pleading guilty due to the prosecution’s insistence on unfair punishments if the defendant refuses to plead guilty. In this case, “unfair” could mean life in prison for a simple felony drug conviction if the defendant already has been convicted twice. Basically, defendants are forced to choose between the already excessive 10 year sentence for a single drug conviction, or going to trial and possibly being sentenced to life, so it’s no surprise that so many drug defendants end up pleading guilty to avoid the possibility of life in prison. The power to hand down these types of sentences isn’t being limited by this act, it is being bolstered: and other crimes, like robbery, are now being added to the list of offenses that can result in these excessive sentences. This act is indicative of a continuing trend of unfair sentencing for people convicted of drug offenses, and incredibly enough, while the act claims to allow people sentenced unfairly, it still reinforces and enhances the practice of unfair sentencing.

It’s easy for prosecutors to force defendants into guilty pleas: that’s why you need an experienced and effective Tucson criminal defense attorney like Janet Altschuler. For over 20 years, Janet Altschuler has been standing up for clients accused of drug possession, robbery, domestic violence, and numerous other crimes. She is a responsive and formidable attorney who promises to treat all of her clients with respect and dignity. If you have been accused of a drug-related crime and you need someone in your corner, call the Tucson law offices of Janet Altschuler at 520-829-4460 or contact us online. Don’t let yourself be coerced into a guilty plea: call Janet today.

Answering Common Questions about Domestic Violence Charges

November 30, 2015

Considering that the net for domestic violence offences in Arizona has been cast very wide, there are a number of situations in which you or a loved one may be charged with domestic violence despite lack of evidence, lack of intent, or even lack of violence at all. And yet despite how easy it can be to have domestic violence charges brought against you, the consequences of being found guilty can be serious and far reaching. That’s why it’s important that you seek experienced legal counsel if you or a loved one is facing domestic violence charges in Tucson. Before you consult with a criminal defense attorney, read through this post for answers to some questions that you may have about domestic violence charges.

Q: Is domestic violence a misdemeanor or felony?

A: Domestic violence can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the seriousness of the incident. Misdemeanor domestic violence typically involves simple assault or battery and/or verbal abuse. Felony domestic violence is reserved for more serious cases that involve serious bodily harm, assault with a deadly weapon, inappropriate sexual conduct, and abuse to a minor. Misdemeanor domestic violence can also be elevated to a felony for a second or third offense.

Q: What are the penalties for a domestic violence conviction?

A: It depends on the seriousness of the incident and any other aggravating factors, such as a prior criminal record or multiple instances of domestic violence. In either case, the penalties for a domestic violence conviction can be severe and may include fines, probation, jail time, the loss of gun and voting privileges, mandatory anger management counseling, and the possibility of job loss and a damaged reputation among the community.

Q: Can the victim decide to drop the charges?

A: Although the victim can decide to drop the charges at any time, the ultimate decision to pursue the case rests in the hands of the prosecutor’s office. In domestic violence cases, the victim is simply a witness for the State of Arizona, who acts as the plaintiff in the case.

Q: What can I do to fight the charges?

A: Seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. In Tucson, Janet Altschuler brings more than 20 years of experience providing aggressive criminal defense to help individuals accused of domestic violence beat the charges against them. To schedule your initial consultation with Tucson’s domestic violence attorney, call the Law Office of Janet Altschuler at (520) 247-1789 or toll-free at (866) 377-7808.

New York’s Questionable State of Mind: Silly NY Laws

November 25, 2015

Attorney Janet Altschuler has dedicated her practice to defending those who face criminal charges in Tucson. While many of the clients who seek out Janet Altschuler for legal representation face trumped-up charges based on wildly outrageous laws, residents of Southern Arizona can at least take comfort in the fact that our state’s questionable laws aren’t nearly as bizarre as some of the laws in New York. As part of our continuing coverage of the weirdest and dumbest laws in America, we now turn our attention to the Empire State.

Adultery is a Misdemeanor

Adultery is certainly immoral, but illegal? Section 255.17 of New York’s penal code states that any person who commits adultery is subject to a class B misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a $500 fine. Although this century-old law is rarely enforced, about a dozen people have been charged with adultery in New York since the 1970s.

A Permit is Necessary to Camp Out on Your Own Land

People are normally allowed to do whatever they want on their own property so long as it doesn’t endanger or seriously disturb anyone else. In New York, however, it is against town ordinances to camp on your own land more than 72 hours a month, and a permit is necessary to camp out for two or more weeks. As if that wasn’t inconvenient enough, those permits can only be obtained once a year.

Distracted Cycling is a Crime

New York is one of many states in America that has passed laws against texting or making phone calls while driving a car, but New York is one of the few that extends the law to cyclists. Like most dumb laws this one is rarely enforced, but six tickets were handed out in 2014 to cyclists who were caught using a cellphone while biking.

If you or someone you care about is facing criminal charges in Tucson, contact Janet Altschuler today to schedule your initial consultation. Janet Altschuler has more than 20 years of experience in criminal law and is committed to providing her clients with the most aggressive legal representation to achieve optimal results. For legal help in Southern Arizona, call (520) 247-1879 or toll-free at (866) 377-7808.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?

ridiculouslaws

3 Wacky Washington Laws You Won’t Believe

November 20, 2015

Did you know that it’s illegal to attach a vending machine to a utility pole in Washington without prior consent from the utility company? Or that people are not allowed to buy mattresses on Sundays? How about the fact that it’s illegal to pretend one’s parents are rich? These are just a few of the truly bizarre laws that exist in the Evergreen State. Truth be told, most of these dumb laws are long-forgotten statutes that are no longer enforced, but it can be quite entertaining to learn about some of the wacky laws in Washington and think about the scenarios that put these statutes on the books in the first place.

 

  • It’s Illegal to Harass Bigfoot – Under the Undiscovered Species Protection Act, it is illegal to harass Bigfoot, Sasquatch, or any other undiscovered ape-like creatures or subspecies of Homo Sapiens. If you travel to Washington with the intent of messing with Sasquatch, you can face a fine up to $100,000 and imprisonment for up to 10 years.

 

  • It’s Illegal to Unknowingly Enter a City with Criminal Intentions – If you plan to commit a crime in any city in Washington, you better let the chief of police know in advance. That’s because it’s mandatory in Washington for motorists with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and phone the chief of police before entering the town.

 

  • It’s Illegal to Destroy Beer Bottles without Written Consent – Ever broken a beer bottle and received a $1 fine? If not, you’ve never broken a bottle in Washington. According to RCW 19.76.110, anyone who “wantonly” destroys a beer bottle without written consent is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a $1 fine for each and every bottle destroyed.

These laws are certifiably bizarre, but are they really any more outrageous than some of the laws in Arizona that put good people behind bars? Janet Altschuler doesn’t think so, which is why she is committed to providing aggressive legal representation for individuals facing misdemeanor and felony charges in Tucson. To speak with a criminal defense attorney with more than  years of experience dedicated to criminal law, call the Law Office of Janet Altschuler at (520) 247-1789 or toll-free at (866) 377-7808.

This article is part of a collection of The Most Ridiculous Laws in the United States! Some of these laws are downright hard to believe. Do you know what might be illegal in your state?

ridiculouslaws