Category: Public Policy and the Law

By Scott Limmer

An attorneys blog about criminal law and procedure, college discipline, Title IX and cases of Interest

For Parole Violation, Father Blocked from Donating Kidney to Severely Ill Son

UPDATE: Despite the cancellation of his father’s donation due to parole violation, A.J. Burgess received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor in November 2017. He is now a happy and thriving three-year-old boy whose life is celebrated by friends and family. Beyond incarceration, criminal offenses often have other unfortunate ramifications, in areas like employment […]


What a Criminal Lawyer Tells His Kids about… Social Host Liability

Underage drinking is a difficult topic for any parent to handle. We all know it’s pretty much inevitable that our children are going to imbibe before their twenty-first birthday, but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. As a father with two teenage daughters I find myself always wondering how to best manage this […]


DOJ Rescinds Letter Cautioning Lower Courts on Fines, Fees for Poor Defendants

In his first year at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reversed numerous policies set by his predecessors in the Obama administration, in such areas as charging and sentencing policy, use of privately-run prisons, transgendered students’ rights, voting rights enforcement, and others. A recent addition to the list of policy reversals […]


What is the Fifth Amendment Privilege?

You have likely heard someone say they are “pleading the Fifth,” whether it was in a court, on television, or by a child refusing to completely answer their parents’ questions. This legal term has become commonplace, but it is still important to understand what it means, what protections it offers, and how you can use […]


Grand Juries

Although many cases involve a grand jury, they are far less publicized and less well known than their trial jury counterparts.  As a result, grand juries and their proceedings are commonly misunderstood.  Most people only encounter grand juries if they must serve on one or if they are a witness who will testify before one.  […]


Pardoned by President, Sheriff Arpaio Wants Conviction Tossed

Donald Trump’s first presidential pardon went on August 25 to Joe Arpaio, the long-time Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, first elected in 1992 to head Arizona’s biggest local law agency  and re-elected five times, before losing a sixth re-election bid last year. Arpaio received a “full and unconditional” pardon for his July 31 conviction on […]


New York’s New Law on Sealing Criminal Records: How It Works, What It Covers

The New York state legislature passed, as part of the 2017-2018 budget bill, a new section 160.59, titled “Sealing of Certain Convictions,” which amends the state’s criminal laws. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it on April 10, 2017, and the new law will take effect 180 days later, on October 7, 2017, and will apply to […]


House Judiciary Would Give DOJ Broad Powers to Ban New Drugs

A bill cleared by the House Judiciary Committee on July 12 would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSRA) to make it simpler and faster to ban new synthetic versions of already banned drugs, such as fentanyl, a fast-spreading synthetic opioid; K2 (also known as “spice”), a synthetic version of cannabis; and bath salts, a synthetic […]


New State Law Will Keep Most 16- and 17-Year-Olds from Being Tried as Adults

Advancing goals advocates have sought for a dozen years, on April 10 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a measure that will keep most, but not all, 16- and 17-year-olds from being tried as adults in state criminal courts. The so-called “Raise the Age” measure, added to the state’s 2017-2018 budget bill, will […]


What is Your Right to Film the Police?

Whether you are being questioned by police or are witnessing a police encounter with another person, you may consider recording the interaction. The news has shown how a police recording can provide evidence of whether a police officer has acted lawfully in making an arrest. However, depending on how and where you are filming the […]

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