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Criminal Defense Archives

Justices: Police need warrants to obtain cellphone location data

In what was considered a major victory for personal privacy advocates, the U.S. Supreme court has restricted law enforcement's ability to use cellphone location data in the course of criminal investigations. A 1979 precedent had given some the impression that this data could be obtained using a mere court order. The recent ruling makes clear that police ordinarily need a warrant for the information.

Supreme Court: Warrant required when police search your driveway

The Supreme Court has long ruled that homes and their associated premises deserve special protection from overzealous law enforcement searches. While police are generally required by the Fourth Amendment to get warrants before conducting searches, there are a wide variety of exceptions to that rule. When it comes to the home and what the courts call the home's "curtilage," however, courts scrutinize those exceptions carefully.

Police say no warrant necessary to probe ancestry DNA database

When you send in your genetic material to have an ancestry DNA test done, is that material private? Major commercial providers of these tests say they won't hand the data over to law enforcement without a court order. That may not mean much, as we recently learned in the "Golden State Killer" case.

Can neuroforensics explain some criminal behavior?

As a possible link between brain trauma and violent or unpredictable behavior becomes clearer, neuropsychology and neuroscience are increasingly being cited in criminal cases. Typically, defendants aren't trying to excuse their behavior altogether but to provide an explanation that could mitigate their punishment. A committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is now meeting to discuss the courtroom use of what they term "neuroforensics."

I've Been Falsely Accused of Child Molestation - What Do I Do?

One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to be falsely accused of a crime they did not commit - especially one as serious as child molestation. Texas child sexual molestation laws are some of the strictest in the country and can expose a person to incredibly harsh penalties upon conviction, including a lengthy prison sentence and the possibility of being required to register as a sex offender for life. Unfortunately, many allegations of child molestation are either deliberately false accusations by a child or are the result of simple misunderstandings, causing parents, teachers, babysitters, and other accused parties to be placed under serious legal scrutiny.

An Overview of Texas' Statutory Rape Laws

In the state of Texas, those aged 17 or younger do not legally have the ability to give informed consent to sexual activities. Therefore, an adult aged 18 or older who engages in sex with them is said to have committed a crime known as "statutory rape," even if the sex was actually consensual. In statutory rape cases, the prosecution is not required to prove that any force or violence was involved, just that sexual conduct occurred between an adult and someone younger than the age of 18.

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