Archive for April 2013

Know-Nothing Paul Mirengoff and Miranda vs. FRCrPro Rule 5

Paul Mirengoff does not know what he’s talking about and admits so. I have never practiced criminal law (except briefly at the international level) and have not studied it since 1974. Thus, like most Americans, much of what I think I know about criminal procedure comes from watching television and movies. That doesn’t stop him…

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The Limits of Miranda – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Interrogation

Slate magazine’s Emily Bazelon has a good article on Miranda in the context of the recent capture of a suspect in the Boston marathon bombing. But it’s easy to overstate both the importance of Miranda either to the defendant or to the government in any particular case, including a high profile case in which there…

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DWIs and Warrants

As if it were an open question, the Supreme Court today reaffirmed the principle that warrants are required before the police conduct a search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment, except in certain limited circumstances. Criminal defense lawyers have long complained that the exceptions swallow the rule, such that warrants are rarely required in fact,…

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It’s all in the “if” – How to interpret what lawyers say…

Reading and posting on Avvo is a treat. Avvo.com is a website that allows lawyers to answer questions from anonymous people about their legal issues. It also gives lawyers rankings, based on various criteria that are run through some kind of secret algorithm. I don’t understand it. But I do post on Avvo occasionally. Increasingly,…

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Clogged Courts in Wake County

No one is happy with speed at which Wake County’s criminal justice system processes cases. Judges, particularly in District Court, are frustrated with what seem like endless continuances that mean that even the simplest DWI cases can drag on 8 to 10 months. Prosecutors, who (one has to admit) are woefully underpaid, are frustrated that…

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What is an Appeal Bond?

Let’s talk about appeal bonds. In North Carolina, most misdemeanors first begin in District Court where, ultimately if the case is not dismissed, a verdict is rendered either by bench trial (by a judge) or a plea. Because North Carolina criminal District Court lacks a jury, and because the federal constitution guarantees a right to…

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Stopping for a Police Officer (or other Emergency Vehicle)

In a DWI investigation, an officer will sometimes testify that the vehicle was “slow to respond” to the officer’s emergency equipment. The slowness in response is often presented in court as evidence that the driver was impaired. After all, a sober person, it is thought, would respond immediately to the officer’s emergency equipment. It’s important,…

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