Some people who have been accused of a crime believe that if they can find the right way of framing their story, they can receive a verdict of "not guilty." This is a naïve understanding of the law. Nevertheless, there may be some circumstances in which a defendant can "explain" to the court why he or she did what was done, and thereby achieve a more favorable result in court.
You may already know that some companies refuse to hire people with a criminal record. It can completely bar you from some jobs and career paths, regardless of your college degree or your experience.
Most Coloradans do not understand their rights and how they pertain to the criminal justice system, especially when it applies to traffic/vehicle stops and DUI sobriety checkpoints. The Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution provides protections against unlawful searches and seizures. Law enforcement uses a variety of methods, including the use of probable cause and reasonable suspicion, to identify and apprehend intoxicated motorists and charge them with DUIs.
A wrongful conviction is devastating. The justice system is supposed to be on your side, but now you're going to jail for something you did not do. It feels unjust and unfair and surreal.
If you've been arrested or accused of a crime -- no matter what the circumstances -- you have the legal right to defend yourself in court. You also have the legal right to an attorney who will represent you and assist you in defending yourself. During your defense, however, you are not required to prove anything.
When examining why people commit crimes, one of the reasons -- though not typically thought of as a primary one -- is that they face peer pressure. In other words, someone else convinces the person to commit a crime that he or she would not have carried out otherwise.
Police accuse you of a crime. You have an alibi, but you do not have anyone to back it up. The authorities simply think you're lying. How do you establish that you are telling the truth?
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer recently introduced a proposed law called the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, which would decriminalize marijuana under federal law if passed. As it stands, even though Colorado has legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, the 1970 Controlled Substances Act continues to classify marijuana as one of the most dangerous and highly addictive substances that exists. Federal law also claims that marijuana has no medical purpose even though countless states have allowed patients to take the drug as a medication to receive life-changing benefits.
Imagine that two friends are celebrating a birthday. One friend lives in Colorado where recreational marijuana is legal. The other friend lives in Florida, where recreational weed is still against the law. Both friends enjoy smoking pot, but in the case of the Florida friend, he is breaking the law every time he smokes.
These days, racial bias is on the minds of a lot of people -- including those involved in the court system. Even though judges are supposed to be neutral figures, the reality is that everyone is human. Biases can subconsciously affect the way that a person views almost any situation -- even when that person is trying to adhere to the same standards for everyone.