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August 2014 Archives

Search and seizure issues in criminal cases should be handled by experienced attorney

One of the themes we like to stress on this blog is that the propriety of police investigation is an important issue when it comes to building a strong criminal defense case.  Most people don’t need much convincing to understand the police are capable of serious abuses of power. Even in cases where it isn't obvious that police have acted improperly in conducting a criminal investigation, it is good to look into the issue. This applies to a case in Tampa earlier this year in which police shot and killed a 29-year-old man during an unsuccessful drug raid.

Petition for Michael Brown Law

An unarmed 18-year-old named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer named Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014. This fatal incident was witnessed by several individuals, yet there is still conflicting accounts of what really occurred before Mr. Brown's life was taken. Not only has this tragedy raised issues about the relationship between police departments and their community, but it has also raised the question of whether more technology should be implemented by police officers to better document their encounters with individuals. A White House website petition has already acquired more than 100,000 signatures from people who think the answer to that question is yes.

Federal Sentencing Commission to look into sentencing changes for white collar crimes

Readers may have heard before of the U.S. Sentencing Commission or the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The latter are rules which detail a uniform sentencing policy for federal judges to use in criminal cases. The rules are not binding on judges, but often determine how a judge will approach sentencing in a federal criminal case. The guidelines have recently undergone changes with respect to certain drug crimes, reflecting a policy change initiated by the Obama administration.

US Sentencing Commission Set to Revise White-Collar Crime Sentences

Earlier this year the US Sentencing Commission reduced guideline ranges for nonviolent drug crimes. This past Thursday, the federal panel unanimously approved its latest set of priorities: white-collar crime sentences. The panel revealed that it is considering changes to guidelines for some white-collar crimes. So what type of differences can we expect? The panel revealed that the top priority will be working with Congress on reducing the scope of mandatory minimum penalties, but another goal will be measuring the fairness of sentences for fraud and other economic crimes.

Has Your Time Run Out?

After an individual has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to incarceration, there are several legal avenues that they can explore to attack that conviction. However, if an individual does not act quickly they may miss out on these opportunities because several of the post-conviction options give individuals strict time limitations of two years or less to file their actions with the court. These strict limitations usually leave incarcerated individuals with questions about what other options are left for them. So what does happen when your time runs out?

Arrests made in connection with illegal drug ring

The issue of illegal drug use among professional athletes has come into greater media attention recently with the arrest of nine individuals suspected of participating in what is said to be the largest scandal of its kind in the history of baseball. Among the accusations is that the individuals provided illegal drugs to teenagers who attended baseball camps. One of the individuals who was arrested is a cousin of Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.

Mark J. O'Brien's cases have been featured in:
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“Mark, thank you for everything. I will forever be indebted to you. You have stood by me and believed in me when it was not the popular thing to do. You are an amazing advocate.” Adam Filthaut
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