Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC
Phone: 816-318-7943
Offices in Kansas City and Belton, Missouri

criminal defense Archives

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.

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.

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.

Problems arise when cops can’t distinguish between pot and hemp

The legal status of marijuana nationwide is constantly changing. Although Marijuana the drug remains illegal under federal law, many states have legalized it for medical (and sometimes recreational) use. Others, like Missouri, have decriminalized possession. We also legalized medical use in 2018.

DWI defendants may face roadside blood tests

Missouri residents may be concerned that police are increasingly drawing blood from motorists stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence. As police more frequently charge motorists with driving under the influence of drugs like marijuana, rather than alcohol, a typical breath test may uncover nothing at all. Now, police can seek a warrant immediately, often via electronic transmission, to allow them to collect blood from a driver stopped on the roadside. The process of obtaining a warrant from a judge can take as little as 10 minutes.

Wrongful convictions remain a serious problem

People in Missouri may have good reason to fear a false conviction, especially if they are facing criminal charges for a crime they did not commit. In 2018 alone, prisoners were exonerated who had served a combined total of over 1,600 years in prison despite the fact that they were innocent of the charges against them. In a report by the National Registry of Exonerations, the organization noted that 151 people were released from their sentences in 2018 with an average sentence of around 11 years per person.

Facial ID technology could be misused due to lack of regulation

More stores in Missouri and other states are taking advantage of facial recognition technology to identify and track shoplifters. This same technology is also being used to create digital records of collected data, which may subsequently be shared with other businesses in the same network. Ultimately, this means that someone who was accused of shoplifting in one store may be banned from other locations they've never even visited before.

Common Criminal Defense Strategies

When you are facing criminal charges, you may be frustrated and concerned about how to effectively defend yourself. There are defenses available in many cases that an experienced Missouri criminal defense lawyer may be able to raise on your behalf. Although every case is different, there are some defenses that people use more often in criminal cases.

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Belton Office
8427 Clint Drive
Belton, Missouri 64012

Phone: 816-318-7943
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Kansas City Office
701 East 63rd Street
Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64110

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