Idaho Criminal Defense Blog

Idaho Criminal Defense Blog

Information and Insight on Criminal Law and Civil Rights

Tag Archives: Constitutional Law

Panel Kills Public Defender Changes in Idaho – Don’t Blame the Defenders!

Posted in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, News, Politics
 From the Idaho Statesman tonight:  "Four years ago, a report from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association found that Idaho is violating its Sixth Amendment obligations to defendants. Public defenders across the state were being given too many cases, and some defendants weren’t meeting their attorneys until they were in the courtroom. The report… Continue Reading

Supremes Say Your Truck Can Be Stopped On An Anonymous Report

Posted in Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, DUI, Search and Seizure
   Once again we see that our right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure finds too few friends in the United States Supreme Court. The issue in Navarette v. California, decided this week, was whether the fourth amendment requires an officer who receives an anonymous tip regarding a drunken or reckless driver to corroborate… Continue Reading

Criminal Cases Require Lawyers with “attention to detail, an energetic investigation and a coherent plan of defense”

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, Hire a Lawyer, News, Politics, Trials
 The news tonight declares that Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel has won a new trial because his criminal defense lawyer did not do enough to provide an effective defense. Robert F. Kennedy was his uncle. Mr. Skakel was convicted of the murder of Martha Moxley in 1975. She was beaten to death with a golf club… Continue Reading

Supreme Court weighs question of cruel and unusual punishment for teens

Posted in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, News
The Supreme Court recently heard arguments surrounding two new cases up for review. Both involved the question of just how severe a penalty imposed on a juvenile offender must be in order to declared unconstitutionally cruel and unusual. The first case, Miller v. Alabama, involved a 14-year-old in Alabama who beat an older man to… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Tightens Rules on Plea Bargains

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, Federal Sentencing, Trials
 As any experienced Idaho criminal defense lawyer will tell you, the vast majority of cases are resolved with a plea bargain long before they ever reach a courtroom. Plea bargains are important to prosecutors because they help efficiently clear dockets and allow them to prosecute more cases. They can also be beneficial to defendants by… Continue Reading

Just One Tool – Protecting Your Sixth Amendment Rights

Posted in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, DUI, Fraud, Trials
The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution provides you with many of your most important tools at trial. It is intended to guarantee a fair trial to every person accused of a crime. Whether you are charged with DUI, a drug crime, a sex offense, fraud, manslaughter or murder, the Sixth Amendment helps us to get… Continue Reading

Idaho Criminal Defense Blog Is About Content – Free Information For You On Criminal Defense In Idaho

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Civil Rights, Civil Trial Practice, Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, DUI, Hire a Lawyer, Trials
Have you noticed how many attorney websites are all about the lawyer and pay no attention to the information that people charged with criminal matters are looking for? Most lawyer websites scream: "Hire me! Do it now! You might go to prison if you don’t act within the next hour! Call me now!" I hate those… Continue Reading

BAC Report Not Admissible Without Live Lab Analyst – This Changes Everything For DUI Cases

Posted in Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, DUI
 In an odd combination of Justices, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the 6th Amendment right to cross-examine and confront witnesses against you includes the right to question the lab analyst who tested your breath for alcohol in a DUI case. Justices Ginsberg, Scalia, Sotomayor, Thomas and Kagan joined in the majority opinion… Continue Reading

Idaho Court of Appeals Upholds Warrantless Search of Car – Just Like The United States Supreme Court Did

Posted in Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, DUI, Search and Seizure
 A recent Idaho Court of Appeals decision follows recent United States Supreme Court precedent, allowing a search of a car incident to arrest, even if the defendant is in custody at the time of the search, and unable to reach into the vehicle at the time of the search. The Idaho case is State v.… Continue Reading

Idaho’s Civil Action For Victims Of Sexual Abuse Not Applied Retroactively

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Crime Victims, Idaho Appellate Decisions
 The Idaho Supreme Court decided an interesting case in which the Boy Scouts of America sought to dismiss a case brought by sex abuse victims who had not proceeded with their cases until they were adults. Generally, Idaho civil law contains a statute of limitations that ends liability for civil cases after some number of… Continue Reading

Did I say the Idaho Supreme Court never grants relief? Say it ain’t so!

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, Idaho Appellate Decisions
The problem with over generalizations is – they are in fact over generalizations! Guilty. I may have suggested recently that your likelihood of getting relief on appeal is about the same as coming up with a perpetual motion machine; or a little less than winning that $200 million Power Ball; or swimming from Los Angeles… Continue Reading

Three Truths About Criminal Trials – And Maurice Troutman Gets Another Chance

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, Idaho Appellate Decisions, Trials
Reversing a conviction for rape this week, the Idaho Court of Appeals reminded all of us that the system works when the rules leveling the playing field are enforced. That applies to defense lawyers and prosecutors alike. As Judge Gutierrez noted: "While our system of criminal justice is adversarial in nature, and the prosecutor is expected… Continue Reading

Idaho Appellate Court Says Judge Had Duty To Order Mental Evaluation

Posted in Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, News, Trials
 In a decision handed down on December 30, the Idaho Court of Appeals vacated a conviction for robbery in State vs Faron Hawkins because the district judge did not sua sponte (on his own without a motion from the defendant) order a mental health evaluation during the trial of the case. Hawkins had contacted an FBI… Continue Reading

Can They Search My Computer (Revisited)

Posted in Constitutional Law
 Back in June I had been asked about the seizure of data from a computer in a post which set out that most basic of problems – suspects PROVIDING their computers to the cops for use AGAINST them or their spouse. My advice then was simple – don’t do that! Why make it easier on… Continue Reading

Can They Search My Computer Without A Warrant?

Posted in Constitutional Law
 This was the message on my phone today – "the cops are here, they think I have illegal pornography on my computer and want to search.  Can they search it without a warrant?  Should I talk to them?" And then the phone went dead.  I suppose the caller had a little talk with the nice… Continue Reading

Is The Exclusionary Rule At Risk – Maybe

Posted in Constitutional Law
 The testimony usually goes like this –  "Now officer, as you observed the defendant’s driving that night, did you see anything that caused you to believe he might be operating under the influence of some intoxicant?" "I did.  He was weaving all over the place, crossed the yellow line and the white lines, and almost… Continue Reading

So You Want To Plead Guilty – Idaho Appellate Court Says Lawyer Must Consider Mental State

Posted in Assistance of Counsel, Constitutional Law, Idaho Appellate Decisions
I am not a psychologist – and I don’t play one on this blog, but the Idaho Court of Appeals has decided that criminal defense lawyers need to pay attention to their clients’ mental states at the time they enter a plea of guilty.  In Ridgley vs State of Idaho, decided August 6, Judge Lansing… Continue Reading