Idaho Criminal Defense Blog

Idaho Criminal Defense Blog

Information and Insight on Criminal Law and Civil Rights

Archives: Criminal Defense

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Lawyer Prepare! Challenge Suggestive Lineups.

Posted in Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense
The Idaho Supreme Court once again points out the importance of challenging line-up identifications whenever the issue arises. Many people do not understand how common such evidence is, or how often jurors rely on the identification as the basis for their decisions. Eyewitness identification evidence can destroy a defense case with little more effort than… Continue Reading

“So how do I get my record expunged?” Here’s help.

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Criminal Defense
We receive daily inquires regarding the expungement of convictions, dismissing convictions, and reducing felony judgments to misdemeanors. Here are the Idaho options for someone who has completed probation. I hope this post helps demystify the procedures. Withheld judgment: Idaho generally allows each person one withheld judgment, but not every offense will support a withheld judgment. For example… Continue Reading

Exigent circumstances justify warrantless search of apartment

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense
Just how far does the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution go to protect against a warrantless search of an apartment? That question was again considered this week by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in US v. Yoga Almonte-Baez, a case in which the petitioner was convicted of drug trafficking crimes and sentenced to 156 months… Continue Reading

Beware the prescription drug DUI – get a lawyer to win your case

Posted in Criminal Defense, DUI, Hire a Lawyer
  Today’s question: “What happens if you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs? Let’s say prescription drugs. What does the prosecutor have to prove to obtain a conviction?” This question comes to me more frequently today than ever before, probably because more and more people who are taking medications prescribed… Continue Reading

State Security Manager NOT GUILTY of Theft of $31,000 from Ada County Treasurer’s Office

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Criminal Defense, Trials
The two best words for any criminal defense lawyer and any defendant – NOT GUILTY. Heard them again to day in the case of State vs. April Rice. Ms. Rice was charged with grand theft after she received a check from the County that belonged to the estate of another person. Eight months after it… Continue Reading

“Officers threw him to the ground, got on top of him and shot him dead!”

Posted in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Crime Victims, Criminal Defense, News
I am packing for the weekend and watching a little TV news this morning, and from that box a witness to a fatal shooting in Louisiana offered this explanation for the dramatic killing of a black man by a police officer there: “Officers threw him to the ground, got on top of him and shot… Continue Reading

The preliminary hearing – to waive or not to waive, that is the question.

Posted in Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, Trials
The decision whether to waive a preliminary hearing, and give up a review of the probable cause determination, can often be a tough one for clients to make. Every client hopes a win at preliminary hearing means the whole case goes away before it really ever started. Unfortunately, the truth is the State’s burden at… Continue Reading

Twin Prosecutor – “it is the State’s conclusion Mr. Holland … did not commit the crime of rape…”

Posted in Criminal Defense, News
After a fully contested prelim by which the State barely had enough evidence to establish probable cause, and after we found witnesses to contest the basic premise of the State’s case against Jack Holland, a weather man for a Twin Falls television station, the State today filed its motion to dismiss. Included within that motion… Continue Reading

“I’m not trying to be respectful. I’m trying to win.” Johnnie Cochran.

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Trials
In my split brained world a month or so ago, I had just finished watching another episode of The People vs. O. J. Simpson and reading an article in the New York Times describing the Supreme Court decision overturning a 1987 death penalty case in which prosecutors had, according to every Justice except Clarence Thomas, excluded… Continue Reading

How can it have been so long since I last posted? Answer – too much to do, too little time!

Posted in Civil Rights, Criminal Defense, News, Uncategorized
Yesterday I was complaining to Courtney and Will that we needed to get writing. “Why haven’t you two been posting anything to the blog? It’s not like there isn’t interest out there about our cases and the law generally!” Then I looked at my posts – or the lack thereof this year. Where does the… Continue Reading

Record Number of False Convictions in 2015 – Who Says You Don’t Need the Best Lawyer You Can Afford!

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense
After 35 years practicing criminal defense, I am sometimes cynical about our system of justice. Prosecutors overcharge offenses in an attempt to prompt a plea from defendants. Defendants are seldom “presumed innocent” in the eyes of the arraigning judge, many of whom impose restrictions on pretrial release that are as onerous as the penalty for… Continue Reading

Bowe Bergdahl and the Serial Podcast – Court of Popular Opinion

Posted in Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, News, Trials
SGT. Bowe Bergdahl will stand trial for Desertion and for Misbehavior before the Enemy despite the recommendations of the officer who presided over the Article 32 Investigation that a lesser proceeding is appropriate. Bergdahl left his post, was captured by the Taliban, was held 5 years and was only released when President Obama worked some magic and… Continue Reading

That “Fog Line” is Actually Part of the Lane – DUI Case Reversed!

Posted in Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, DUI, News, Trials
Idaho’s Supremes have decided, in a 3 – 2 decision, that the line on the side of the road is actually part of the lane, so an officer unreasonably stopped a driver because he had driven onto that line twice. That decision results in suppression of the evidence needed by the State for its DUI case. The case goes… Continue Reading

The Idaho Rider Program

Posted in Criminal Defense
Cue the intro: “Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.” Sorry, this post has absolutely nothing to… Continue Reading

Should You Refuse The Breathalyzer?

Posted in Criminal Defense, DUI
Now that we are finished with the recent trial, my nightmares involving exhibits, motions, and objections are beginning to subside, and things are starting to settle back into the normal daily grind; I figured it was time for me to sit down and get back to posting on our blog. Today’s post covers one of… Continue Reading

At Sentencing Your Story May Keep You Out of Prison!

Posted in Criminal Defense
 Last week was a gem. Twice, clients who were almost certain to go to prison when we first started working their cases, avoided that fate. First, in federal court a twenty-year-old kid who pleaded guilty to distributing heroin and oxycodone received three years probation. In state court, a client on a fourth lifetime DUI and… Continue Reading

Facing Federal Charges? Research Indicates 99% of ALL Federal Defendants Will Be Sentenced!

Posted in Criminal Defense
 Attorney Alan Ellis writes a monthly newsletter that includes information and tips on federal sentencing and post-conviction matters. I just read the following from his February edition:  – Approximately 97% of all federal criminal defendants plead guilty.  – Of those who proceed to trial, 75% are convicted.  – Almost 99% will ultimately be sentenced.  –… Continue Reading

“Everyone’s a Suspect” but Why Would the Cops Believe Jay?

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Criminal Defense, Trials
A youngish lawyer in court today asked me about the blog: "What’s going on with that podcast?" You may recall that I became engrossed in Serial, the investigative report turned podcast by All Things Considered. I have not been able to finish my review of the lessons in law apparent from that series. Work simply keeps… Continue Reading
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