Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC
Phone: 816-318-7943
Located In Belton, Missouri And Serving Clients In The Kansas City Metro Area

Belton Missouri Criminal Defense Law Blog

Public safety apps may be tools to advance racism

Missouri residents may believe that neighborhood crime apps and other recording devices keep them safe. However, it may simply scare them into thinking that crime is prevalent in their area when it may not be. It may also lead to enhancing stereotypes about minorities and other groups who may be incorrectly labeled as criminals. In many cases, police departments use information from these apps and other recording devices when developing law enforcement plans.

Therefore, they may be more likely to target minorities or areas where minorities are most likely to live. If a minority does interact with police, there is a chance that the individual could be shot or taken into custody based on a misunderstanding. Homeless individuals may also be stereotyped as criminals or an otherwise undesirable group of people within a community. This can also increase their risk of potentially hostile interactions with police officers.

What to do if you’re facing DWI charges

Facing DWI charges can be an extremely challenging time. You might fear the punishment of making a mistake or are potentially unable to pay the fine. Fortunately, there are options, especially for first-time offenders.

One of the best things that you can do is arm yourself with knowledge. Understanding how to handle this situation and knowing what options you have can make it a less stressful process and put you in the best position to make the best out of a bad situation.

What is an expungement and how do you get one in Missouri?

Criminal records can do a lot of damage to your life, even if they are a result of a mistake when you are very young. A criminal conviction, even just a misdemeanor, can have a lasting effect on your personal and professional life. In some cases, it can affect your education as well.

If you made a mistake at one point in your life that resulted in the criminal record, you may find yourself wishing that it was no longer affecting your future. There is good news for those who have a previous criminal record but no current legal problems. An expungement may be the way for you to get a fresh start and move on so that your previous conviction no longer affects your future.

Plea negotiations postpone Missouri murder trial

The trial of a Missouri man accused of murdering his wife and then burying her dismembered body in a shallow grave that was scheduled to start on May 28 has been postponed. The judge who set the new date said that the trial was delayed because negotiations with prosecutors were ongoing. The trail will take place in St. Louis County Circuit Court. The man could be sent to prison for the rest of his life is he is convicted.

Prosecutors say that the man killed his wife because she had filed divorce papers to end their marriage after 35 years. She was last seen alive in June 2015 just days before she was to appear in court. Police suspected that man had played a role, but they failed to discover a body or evidence of his involvement during extensive searches of the couple's farm and surrounding 35 acres of land. During an initial interview, the man is said to have given detectives permission to collect his DNA and search his cellphone, business and pickup truck.

Missouri woman pleads guilty to murder

A 46-year-old Missouri woman was sentenced to life imprisonment on May 20 after pleading guilty to a charge of murder in the second degree. She also admitted to possessing a gun illegally and using it in the commission of a crime. The woman had been charged with first-degree murder for the April 2018 slaying of her boyfriend. The Holts Summit man was found shot in the head in his home.

When the woman called the Callaway County Sheriff's Office to report the killing, she told deputies that she had been at a friend's house until approximately 1:30 a.m. and a safe containing $15,000 and an undisclosed quantity of marijuana had been taken. Deputies began to consider the woman a suspect when her friend told them that she had left at about 11:00 p.m. During the course of the investigation, the woman blamed the victim's daughter for the killing and then implied that a man had committed the crime after taking her to the house at gunpoint.

Race may influence opinion of justice system

According to research from Pew, a Missouri resident's view on the criminal justice system may be partially based on his or her race. Among African-Americans who were asked by Pew about their opinion of the criminal justice system, 87% said that it was unfair toward minorities. Only 61% of white Americans who took part in the survey said the same thing. Black Americans were also more likely to say that gun violence and violent crime in general were major problems in the United States.

In addition, black individuals were more likely to say that crime was a bigger problem where they lived. White Americans were more likely to have a positive feeling toward police officers compared to black Americans. White respondents to the Pew survey gave police a 72 on a feeling scale ranging from 0 to 100. Black respondents gave the police a 47 on the feeling scale, which meant that they felt neutral or slightly cold toward them overall.

DNA evidence may change outcome in 1984 case

Missouri residents likely know that DNA testing can be crucial in solving a criminal case. However, in 1984, DNA testing was not available to help a defendant create reasonable doubt. A woman convicted of killing her husband in February of that year is hoping that such evidence can help to prove her innocence. She is currently serving a life sentence as a result of that conviction.

The woman claimed that she awoke to a loud noise on the morning of Feb. 18, 1984. She also said that someone had grabbed her by the hair but had left because of her incessant crying. An investigation found a rifle owned by the family in a pond and in close proximity to boot prints. Those prints were from boots that the woman owned. Prosecutors also pointed to a life insurance policy as well as comments she made implying that she wanted her husband dead.

Missouri man charged with murder after car shooting

A 26-year-old Missouri man is facing murder charges after allegedly shooting another man inside a vehicle on April 30. The incident occurred in Kansas City just before 7 p.m.

According to authorities, a female witness picked up the defendant and the victim at a hotel near 63rd Street and Missouri 350. She said the defendant sat in the front passenger seat of her Mitsubishi sedan and started acting "crazy" and extremely high. Apparently, he was loudly complaining that someone had stolen his money. To drown out his ranting, the witness turned up the volume to her car radio.

Teen sues Apple Inc. over false theft charges

Loss prevention is taken seriously at Apple stores in Missouri and around the country, but the company now faces a lawsuit seeking $1 billion in damages because of its alleged zeal in this area. The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of a New York teenager on April 22, claims that Apple's use of facial recognition technology to track shoplifters led to false theft charges in four states. According to the teen, the real shoplifter presented Apple store security personnel with a stolen non-photo driver's permit bearing his name that was then used to link him to a series of thefts.

Police in New York took the teen into custody in November 2018 for stealing $1,200 worth of goods from an Apple store in Massachusetts. The charges were dropped when the teen presented officers with a credible alibi, and it became apparent that he was not the man seen on security footage shoplifting the items in question. According to the teen, a detective told him about Apple's use of facial recognition software.

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Benjamin Law Firm

Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC
8427 Clint Drive
Belton, Missouri 64012

Phone: 816-318-7943
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