In criminal cases the question arises “should I give a statement to the police if they question me”. Answer is almost always NO! The Police are doing their job and investigating whatever crime has been committed. If they have singled you out and asked you to speak with them and give a statement regarding the alleged crime then you are a suspect and should never give a statement without an attorney present to protect your interests.
Many times statements are given and facts revealed that you think are harmless to you but in fact makes the case for the police and results in your being charged and arrested. Chances are if they have brought you in for questioning they are going to arrest you no matter what you say in the statement. So don’t give one.
Alabama recently rewrote the laws concerning sex offenders and the registration requirements of convicted sex offender. One of the single most important aspects of these new laws was the inclusion of a method by which Juvenile and Youthful Offenders may be excused from registration for life as a sex offender and avoid the public notification requirement.
The criteria is very narrow and seems designed to apply to young adults and teens who find themselves in a situation where an offense has occurred and the only reason it is a criminal offense is due to age. Offenses involving force are not eligible. It allows for the crime to be punished but the defendant not to have to register for life or be branded as a sex offender at such a young age. In addition I think it is the Legislatures way of acknowledging that like it or not minors are engaging in consensual sexual relations at an earlier age and it is not justice to punish for life the party that happens to be only a year or two older than the other minor
Many times clients are confused about the purpose of a bond in a criminal law case. A bond amount is set by the court in each case and it is set to act as a surety that the defendant will appear in court for all future court dates.
Bonds in Alabama may be made by a professional bonding company which usually charges a percentage of the total bond amount. A cash bond may be posted in some cases if it is affordable. The last method is called property bond. Property bonds are made only if an individual who wishes to make another person’s bond owns property free and clear in an amount equal to twice the amount of the bond.
If a bond is made by a professional bonding company then you are paying for that service and the money you pay to them is not refundable. If you post a cash bond and are found not guilty then the money is returned to you. If you are found guilty the money is applied to any fines and court costs that are taxed against you. If you are out on a property bond the persons property is released when the case is resolved.
Upon being convicted for one count of possessing child pornography obtained over the Internet, a Tuscaloosa man was sentenced by a Federal judge to nearly six years in prison. Bruce Henry, a 37-year old Tuscaloosa resident, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court before being sentenced to 70 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. In its sentencing memorandum, the U.S, Attorney said Henry victimized specific children and harmed society by his illegal conduct, noting that individuals who view and possess child pornography enable and support its continued production.
Henry plead guilty to possessing more than 300 images of child pornography that he obtained over the Internet over a two-year span, which depicted real children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. U.S. Attorney Vance distinguished the case from less egregious violations: “This defendant did not just look at a few images once in his life, but used technology for years to possess hundreds of images that depict the rape and exploitation of prepubescent children.” The case was jointly investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
Possession of child pornography is serious offense, with especially damaging consequences. In addition to criminal fines, forfeiture, and lengthy prison sentences, a defendant faces lifetime registration as a sex offender, which carries implications for nearly every aspect of life thereafter. Successfully defending against a child pornography charge often entails the use of expensive forensic computer experts and the highest level of trial advocacy. If you or someone you know has been charged with this or other criminal offenses, you must make it your top priority to obtain the best legal representation possible. Call the law firm of Boles Holmes White today at 334-366-6086 for a consultation.
On Sunday, Jan. 13, three Montgomery teenagers entered a residence armed with handguns in an attempt to commit a robbery. Failing to anticipate an armed homeowner, they were met with gunfire. Two of the boys escaped unharmed, but their third accomplice was not so lucky. Shot by the homeowner in self-defense, 20 year old Deandre Robertson sustained a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. Of course the homeowner will not be charged, as he shot Robertson in self-defense. Enter the felony murder doctrine. Robertson’s two accomplices, who escaped, 17 year old Orlando Bowen and 19 year old Keyon Butler, will both be charged with felony murder as well as 1st degree robbery.
One might ask, how is it that they can be charged with the murder of their accomplice when it was the homeowner who committed the act of killing Robertson? The felony murder doctrine, as applied in this situation, makes any participant in an inherently dangerous felony, like 1st degree robbery, criminally liable for any deaths that occur during or in furtherance of that felony. The felony rule is often justified as a means of deterring violent felonies.
This means a participant in a dangerous felony can be charged with murder although he lacks the intent to kill and does not in fact cause the death of another person. The most often applied factor for determining whether the underlying felony qualifies for application of the rule is whether it presents a foreseeable danger to life. Additionally, the link between the felony and the death must not be too remote.
There are two ways in which the felony murder rule is applied, depending on which jurisdiction one finds himself in. In jurisdictions that adopt the agency theory, the death must be caused by one of the agents of the crime. Thus, in the case at hand, were Alabama an agency jurisdiction, felony murder could not be charged, since the homeowner who killed Robertson was not an agent of the crime. However, in Alabama, proximate cause theory applies, which means that the chain of events between the felony and the death must be short enough to have legally caused the death. Unfortunately for the defendants, this particular chain of events was about as short as they come; they broke into the house, and were met with gunfire.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a capital or violent offense, especially felony murder, then your top priority must be to obtain the most capable legal representation possible. The attorneys at Boles Holmes White have been trying these sorts of cases for decades, and bring a specialized expertise and unique team approach to handling each case. Their record speaks for itself, with an ever-expanding list of improbable courtroom victories. For more information, check out our website at www.parkmanlawfirm.com.
AMC’s hit drama Sons of Anarchy has a very real counterpart in the stark reality of the Georgia-based Outlaw Motorcycle Club. On August 16, 2012, agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the Outlaw clubhouse in Gainesville, Georgia, as well as the affiliated Hoodlums Motorcycle Club Headquarters in Buford, Georgia, charging 23 defendants with an array of federal weapons and drug violations. The arrests resulted from an extensive undercover operation conducted by the FBI in coordination with the North Georgia Major Offenders Task Force.
Members of the Harley-riding gang were charged with offenses ranging from methamphetamine and cocaine conspiracy and possession to using and carrying firearms during the commission of drug trafficking offenses. Charges also included possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, knowingly transferring a firearm to a convicted felon, possession of a firearm with obliterated serial number. Two people affiliated with the club unwittingly sold a homemade bomb to an undercover agent, and were charged with conspiracy to illegally make and transfer a destructive device. Another duo who made disclosures to several targets of the operation were charged with obstructing the undercover FBI operation.
A total of 6 indictments were handed down charging twenty defendants, and another criminal complaint was issued charging the other three. All but two of them are confirmed to have had ties to the Outlaw Motorcycle Club. The case is being prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. All charges relate to individuals and small groups of individuals, and no allegation has been made that the drugs or weapons trafficking were performed on behalf of the club. If you or someone you know has been charged with federal weapons or drug charges, contact the experienced professionals at Parkman Blanch for expert criminal defense representation.
Luxurious lifestyles, the roar of adoring fans, the glitz and the glamour, I’m sure at one point and time everyone has wondered what it would be like to have the life of a famous Pop Star. Daydreaming and wishful thinking are harmless, but once you pose as a Pop Star in order to benefit yourself, it’s no longer child’s play.
A 31 year old man, Christopher Gunn, of Montgomery, Alabama hijacked the Pop Star, Justin Bieber’s fame in order to receive explicit photographs of young girls. In return he promised free tickets and backstage passes to a Bieber concert.
Gunn, used chat rooms and other social media websites, such as Facebook, in order to contact hundreds of young girls ages ranging from nine to 16 and located throughout the United States. He also posed as a “new kid in town” and once he had gained the trust of these girls, he would share embarassing and personal information about them, if they did not provide him with nude photos.
On Thursday, the wannabe Justin Bieber plead guilty to child pornography and U.S. Attorney George L. Beck said Gunn’s plea included two counts of making child pornography, 15 counts of interstate extortion and seven counts of internet stalking. The FBI retained a search warrant and seized a laptop computer and cellular phone, both of which contained videos and images of child pornography.
Based on Christopher Gunn’s plea, he will be facing a minimum of 25 years in a federal prison and could be on supervised release for the remainder of his life. Police are working with the victims and their families and identifying new victims in several states.
If you are a victim of an internet crime or child endangerment, do not hesitate to seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer, everyone deserves to feel safe.
Mark Anthony Beecham has a list of charges turned convictions that will keep him behind bars for 744 years.
Beecham appears nonchalant as he was led into the courtroom to hear the judge read the verdicts to him. The convictions are brutal and carry long sentences each. Beecham was ordered by Judge Kevin Moulton to serve 99 years each for the three sodomy convictions. He then added to that 99 years each on two different rape convictions and another 99 years on a kidnapping conviction. The lesser charges were 10 years for jumping bail and 20 years for theft. But these charges were just for one of the women he attacked in his extensive criminal career. That attack occurred in 2006.
He had already been sentenced to for another brutal attack of another Dothan woman in 2006, for which he received 100 years in prison. Upon sentencing, he was already serving a 20 year sentence for the kidnapping and rape of a Tallahassee college student in 2007.
One of the victims, according to Beecham, had traded drugs for sex. He says that he had supplied her with cocaine and that they had a history of consensual sex, including the day for which he was standing trial. Beecham testified that the woman owed him $175, but that she only had $100 to pay him offering to trade the other $75 for sex. The jury didn’t see it that way.
After long deliberations, the verdict was reached by jurors. Guilty on all charges. Beecham will return to Florida to finish serving his time for the Tallahassee conviction first.
Charlene Sutherland claimed that her children love to read, and that they asked to be dropped off at Barnes and Noble while she ran other errands. District Judge Benjamin Lewis was not convinced.
Sutherland was found guilty on one of six counts of child endangerment for leaving her children alone at a Dothan book store. Sutherland was accused of leaving her 6-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son unattended at Barnes and Noble three days in a row, for several hours each time. But Sutherland argued that point, saying that it was “only an hour or so,” and that her 16-year-old son was there, too. Her 16-year-old, Nigel, testified in court that he was there the first two days with his siblings. All three were on summer break at the time.
On the third day, when he saw that the kids were alone again, store manager Steve Cagle called police to report the situation because he was concerned about the children. He did say, however, that the children were quiet, and that they didn’t cause any problems the three days they were in the store.
Sutherland’s defense attorney pointed out to the court that children are often dropped off by their parents at places like bowling allies, movie theatres, and amusement parks, but Assistant District Attorney Jarrod Blumberg argued that those businesses are meant to accommodate children.
Cases like this are complicated, and no two situations are alike. If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney early in the process. The right lawyer can make all the difference.
Drug arrests in Dothan aren’t front page news, but LSD trafficking arrests cause quite a stir.
Dothan Police Sgt. Jason Adkins, who heads the Dothan narcotics unit, said that the LSD trafficking arrests made on June 26 were a first for his department. He stated, “It’s very much out of the ordinary. That’s the first time we’ve ever charged anybody with trafficking in LSD. We’ve seen it before once or twice, but we’ve never had a trafficking amount.”
23-year old Kasondra Kay Strickland and 26-year-old Abby Gail Newton both face charges of trafficking LSD and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. According to the police report, the women are accused of trafficking 45.5 grams of the drug. The arrests took place at Newton’s home in Dothan. Officers also arrested another individual in the home, 41-year-old Leigh Dehannon Manning, for possession of LSD.
Adkins claims, “What they did in this case is put it in sugar cubes. We have dealt with [LSD] in the past, but it’s not as prevalent as crack, meth or marijuana.”
The state of Alabama prosecutes drug crimes aggressively, and the penalties are severe at the state and federal level. But it is important to know that a drug crime arrest does not always lead to a conviction. Whether the arrest was for simple possession, importation, or distribution, a qualified criminal defense attorney at your side can make all the difference. An experienced lawyer can work to have your charges reduced or possibly dropped altogether. Don’t face the risks of a drug crime conviction alone.
Read the original story here.