${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
Call Today (480) 247-8558

Criminal Defense Archives

Justice Department says it will limit ECPA gag orders

The U.S. Department of Justice announced recently that it will voluntarily limit its use of secrecy orders authorized by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA). These may be familiar, as the agency has frequently been using them after seeking emails from hosts like Microsoft and Google.

Is it fair to suspend licenses for nonpayment of court debts?

Is the practice of suspending defendants' driver's licenses for nonpayment of criminal justice debt unfair to those who can't afford to pay? Does it actually make it harder for courts to collect that debt?

Supreme Court to hear case involving automobile search exception

Search warrants are generally required when police officers search your property -- unless a specific exception applies. In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court carved out a major exception to the search warrant requirement in a case called Carroll v. United States. It created the "automobile exception" or "motor vehicle exception," which essentially allows any motor vehicle to be searched without a warrant as long as the officer has probable cause to believe that evidence or contraband will be found in that vehicle.

Should the USCIS be able to search your devices without a warrant?

Criminal defense attorneys and civil rights activists have raised the alarm at the increasing number of electronic devices being searched at our borders and at international airports. In April, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported that it searched 19,000 devices in fiscal year 2016 -- a shocking increase over the 8,500 it searched in 2015. In the first half of 2017 the agency had already searched nearly 15,000.

Appeals court: Home search for cellphone is too broad for warrant

An influential federal appeals court has ruled that a judge erred when granting a search warrant for a cellphone. That search warrant granted police the authority to search a man's residence for any cellphones or electronic devices he might own, and the court said the warrant was unconstitutionally vague.

9th Circuit: Cops can't initiate glove box search for registration

When are police officers allowed to search your glove box after a traffic stop or an accident? At its base, it's a civil rights issue. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures" by government agents such as police.

Justice Dept. revives some efforts to validate forensic evidence

The Department of Justice has just announced that it will revive a forensic science initiative that was begun in 2012, during the Obama Administration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a halt to the initiative in April, in order to invite public comment.

9th Circuit conference urges more skepticism of forensic evidence

A large number of common forensic techniques including bite marks, hair analysis, ballistics, fingerprint IDs and footprint analysis were called into question last year. The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a nonpartisan group established by Congress in 1976, issued a report that debunked the evidence produced by the techniques as unscientific.

AZ Dept. of Corrections caught reading private inmate-lawyer mail

In 2011, an Arizona state prison inmate was infuriated when corrections officers read his confidential correspondence with his attorney, even though it was marked "legal mail." He sued the Department of Corrections for violating his Sixth Amendment right to counsel, among others.

Ramos Law Firm | 14500 N. Northsight Blvd, Suite 229 | Scottsdale, AZ 85260 | Phone: (480) 247-8558 | Map & Directions