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Criminal law can often be challenging to comprehend, and felony murder is no exception. In this blog post, we aim to explain the felony murder rule in Mississippi without unnecessary complications. Felony murder differs significantly from “regular murder,” and prosecutors often pursue felony murder charges because they can be easier to prove. Moreover, felony murder can escalate to capital murder, carrying the potential for the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole.

Understanding Felony Murder

Tips for Co-parenting During the Summer

Co-parenting can be a challenging task, especially during the summer when children are out of school and schedules may be less structured. However, with a little bit of planning and communication, co-parenting during the summer can be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved. Here are some tips to help you successfully co-parent during the summer months.

Plan ahead: Summer is a busy time for everyone, so it’s important to plan ahead as much as possible. Sit down with your co-parent and create a summer schedule that includes vacation time, camp schedules, and any other activities or events that you want to do with your child. Having a clear plan in place will help to minimize confusion and conflict.

According to Forbes, a cast member of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, was sentenced to six and a half (6.5) years in prison and five (5) years of supervised release after pleading guilty for the role she played in running a nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme. The cast member and her right-hand man were arrested in 2021 and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing. The Department of Justice stated that the cast member “defrauded hundreds of victims” and “generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam.” The Department of Justice continued on to say that the cast member built her lavish lifestyle “at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people.” 

Wire fraud is quickly becoming an epidemic. According to an FBI report, in 2021, over $6.9 billion was lost to cybercrime, far surpassing the previous year’s by nearly $2 billion. Some common examples of wire fraud include but are not limited to online phishing scams, unauthorized payments, and telemarketing schemes.

What is Wire Fraud Legally Speaking?

Drug Use During Pregnancy

Child abuse is a serious and devastating issue that affects millions of children worldwide. It can cause long-lasting harm to a child’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. One particularly concerning form of child abuse is drug use during pregnancy, which can have severe and lasting impacts on both the mother and the developing fetus.

Pregnant women who use drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine can cause serious harm to their developing fetus. These drugs can cross the placenta and disrupt the normal development of the fetus, causing a range of physical and mental health problems. For example, exposure to cocaine can increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and cognitive and behavioral problems.

If I’m Accused of a Sex Crime, Will It Make Me Look Guilty If I Hire a Lawyer?

This is a question a lot of people ask themselves when they are being investigated for, or they are arrested for sex crimes. Often times, they call our criminal defense attorneys to ask that very same question. Even if the crime they’ve been accused of isn’t a sex crime, like possession of an illegal drug, or assault, most people still wonder if they’re doing the right thing by hiring an attorney. 

And why would they waste time wondering if they’re making the right choice by protecting themselves and exercising their Sixth Amendment rights? Why Should I hire an attorney if I did nothing wrong? The police will treat me fairly and I can just tell them my side of the story. They will surely know that I am innocent and drop these charges. This completely incorrect idea that only guilty people need legal help is repeatedly proven wrong. As with any kind of criminal case, having a good lawyer on your side is critical!

In a world where startling incidents shake the foundations of safety, recent events serve as a grim reminder of the potential dangers lurking around every corner. Take, for instance, the astonishing case of a 7-year-old child who brought a gun to a Grand Rapids, Michigan elementary school. According to CNN, fortunately, the gun was unloaded, sparing the school from what could have been a catastrophic event. Yet, this incident has sparked urgent discussions about the implications of irresponsible gun ownership, raising questions about the potential legal consequences for parents whose children gain access to firearms.

A Troubling Trend

The Grand Rapids incident is not an isolated occurrence. Cast your mind back to January when an elementary school teacher in Newport News, Virginia found herself at the receiving end of a terrifying surprise—a 6-year-old student armed with a gun concealed within his backpack. Shockingly, this was not an isolated event either. Just one week later, another elementary school student was discovered with a loaded handgun. These spine-chilling occurrences, combined with the ever-increasing incidents of mass shootings plaguing the United States, have prompted some school districts to take drastic measures, even going so far as to ban backpacks altogether.

One Mississippi Town Introduces Baby Boxes, Where Parents Can Anonymously Give Up Their Infant

In September of 2022, Long Beach, Mississippi became the first city in the state to install a “baby box” (sometimes also called an “infant safe haven box”). States like Indiana, Arkansas, Florida, New Mexico, and Arizona have already been using baby boxes for several years.  These boxes are typically installed at fire stations and provide a way for parents to anonymously drop off their newborn if they are unable to care for the child and want to surrender their baby to Child Protection Services (CPS) custody. 

How Do Baby Boxes Work?

In Illinois, State senator Steve McClure (R-Springfield), has introduced Senate Bill 1405, also called “Lindsey’s Law”. The motivating factor being this legislator’s desire to toughen law for impaired drivers who kill and injure others is the death of a Springfield woman in 2015. The bill would allow authorities to charge intoxicated drivers with a Class 2 felony if they kill someone while also causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement of others while driving a motor vehicle, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, or watercraft. A Class 2 felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than four years and not more than 20 years.

26 year old Lindsey Sharp was hit and killed by a drunken driver in the parking lot of a Springfield Walmart in June 2015. In her memory, McClure has introduced the legislation more than once. “I am doing this for Lindsey’s mom. For her, this is personal. Lindsey’s son, who was severely injured, and her boyfriend, received no justice. It’s wrong for the second and third victims to not get justice,” McClure said. “This issue is being driven by her family; it’s not something I just thought up. We will keep fighting for it and hopefully it will pass this session,” McClure said. “It’s important to them and they want to see a horrible situation made as right as it can be.” 

McClure has passed the same bill on at least 3 separate occasions, in hopes of honoring Lindsey’s life. Each time, according to McClure, the bill gets bottled up in committee. The latest version of the bill was referred to the Senate Special Committee on Criminal Law and Public Safety. “If it were called to committee, I believe it would pass. This is a common sense bill. I believe there is wide support for it, but the problem is getting it out of committee and if you have one person who doesn’t want something out of committee, they will hold it up,” McClure said.

Know Your Rights

Face ID and Touch ID are not your friends when it comes to your phone and law enforcement. Recently, in a search warrant that gave law enforcement access to President Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen, federal authorities requested access to Mr. Cohen’s phone and other devices by “use of the fingerprints of the user . . . or by holding the device in front of the user’s face.” The police wanted to obtain access to Mr. Cohen’s data by forcing Mr. Cohen to place his finger on his iPhone’s fingerprint scanner or by forcing Mr. Cohen to look into his iPhone camera so that the Face ID would unlock the phone. The police requested access to  Mr. Cohen’s phone in this way because they did not know his passwords. 

The police cannot use a search warrant to force you to provide law enforcement your passcode, PIN, or password because they are protected by your Fifth-amendment right against self-incrimination. Essentially, your passwords are material you know, while Face ID, Touch ID, and other biometric data are information you have to protect your phone privacy. It is not a violation of your right against self-incrimination for police to force you to turn over information you have that may help their case against you. Thus, it is crucial to protect yourself. Here are several ways that you can.

Exonerate Yourself from False Accusations

False accusations of sexual assault or molestation are a serious problem that can have devastating consequences for the accused individual. Although the actual prevalence of false accusations is difficult to determine, estimates suggest that up to 40% of sexual assault or molestation accusations may be false or exaggerated. The reasons why someone may falsely accuse another person of these crimes are varied and complex, and may include motivations such as monetary gain, advantage in a divorce case, or a desire to damage someone’s reputation out of jealousy or pettiness.

For someone who has been falsely accused of sexual assault or molestation, the situation can be incredibly overwhelming and traumatic. Not only must they contend with the emotional fallout of being falsely accused of a terrible crime, but they must also navigate the legal system to prove their innocence. This can be an incredibly daunting process, but with the help of an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney, it is possible to gather the necessary evidence to support an argument of innocence.

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