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March 2019 Archives

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After a divorce, take the time to reassess your retirement accounts

If you've just finalized your divorce, it can feel overwhelming to assess your financial situation. The divorce process can be complex, emotional and time-consuming, the result may be a much different financial situation than you were in during your marriage.

At int'l conference, CSI experts call for forensic science reform

According to the Innocence Project, the misapplication of forensic science is a contributing factor in 45 percent of wrongful convictions that were resolved through DNA exonerations. The problem, which the Innocence Project defines as unreliable or invalid forensic discipline, insufficient validation of a method, misleading testimony, mistakes or misconduct, is the second most common contributing factor to wrongful convictions.

How many wrongful misdemeanor drug convictions occur in the US?

Across the United States, around 13.2 million misdemeanor cases are filed every year. Unfortunately, there are no statistics on how many of those cases result in conviction -- much less on how many wrongful convictions occur.

What is causing pedestrian fatalities to reach a 25-year high?

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), nearly 6,000 pedestrians died in traffic accidents last year. It was the second year in a row with a death toll that high. Even more tragically, that represents a 25-year high, with pedestrian fatalities growing by 27 percent between 2007 and 2016.

Decisions by prosecutors affect every aspect of a criminal case

The prosecutor may be the most powerful figure in the criminal justice system. They have power over everything from what charges will be filed to what the sentence will be after a conviction. They have influence over whether defendants get bail or have to remain locked up until they can be tried -- or until they agree to a plea bargain. They negotiate those plea bargains, too.

Same-Sex Divorce: Know These 3 Things

You’ve been with your partner for years. You own a home together. Your names are both on the credit cards and family bills. Even before 2014, when you could legally get married in Colorado, you were planning on spending the rest of your lives together.

2 justices dissent in DUI appeal citing Sixth Amendment violation

An interesting question came before the U.S. Supreme Court recently. In Stuart v. Alabama, a woman was charged with DUI and criminally negligent homicide for rear-ending another driver's car, causing it to strike a tree and kill the driver. Prosecutors submitted a lab report to prove the woman was under the influence of alcohol, but they did not ask the scientist who performed the tests to testify. Under the Sixth Amendment, however, criminal defendants have the right to confront all of the prosecution's witnesses.

Posting bail: The problems with the cash bail system

After an arrest, criminal defendants in the vast majority of cases have a right to bail. Bail affords you the opportunity to pay money to get out of jail while you await trial. If you show up for court and comply with all of the other conditions of your bond, the money you posted will be paid back, and/or applied to any fines, fees, and court costs you ultimately are required to pay. Bail provides the benefit of being out of custody while a criminal case is pending. However, as one recent article points out, there are growing national concerns about the fairness of bail setting, and some are pushing to do away with bail as we commonly know it.

Can police draw blood from an unconscious person without a warrant?

Colorado's express consent law provides that drivers, by virtue of driving on state roadways, have already consented to take a breath or blood test when an officer has probable cause to believe the person is impaired by alcohol or drugs. Refusal to take the test results in a revocation of the driver's license. Moreover, blood tests can be performed on people who are unconscious.

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