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Why A Conviction For Drug Use Does Not Have To Haunt You Forever

Even if you have successfully completed a drug rehab program and are now completely clean, there may be aspects of your past, when you were a drug user, that may still feel as though they haunt you. One such scenario is if you were found guilty of a crime related to your drug use and, as a result, now have a criminal record. A criminal record can seem like a large chain holding you back from employment, going back into education or obtaining credit.

There are indeed many enlightened employers, education establishments and credit organisations that look past someone’s criminal past and try to look at the attributes the person now has rather than judge them for past indiscretions. It is to their credit that many of these organisations see someone going through a drug rehab program as a positive and proof that they can show commitment to achieving a goal.

It has to  be said that achieving the goal of giving up drugs, as you may well know, is one that requires a lot more grit and determination than many goals we could mention. Ultimately, it proves you can focus on something difficult to achieve and stay the course until you succeed. Many employers and others decide upon your value as a person who shows admirable courage and puts your drug rehab in the plus column rather than the minus column.

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Need Assistance with Disputing Criminal Charges

Top Lawyers can Provide Expert Guidance

Most of us tend to associate criminal charges with crime that occurs on the street, homes and alleyways of Australia. White collar crime refers to other forms of law violations that occur in a corporate environment. Expert criminal lawyers are happy to offer legal advice to those who require legal assistance in white collar crime cases.  White collar crime can occur in a variety of scenarios and include different types of law violations. According to recent news reports, white collar crime is on the rise in Australia and usually includes any type of activity that involves obtaining funds or property etc through fraudulent means.

Although white collared crime usually receives less than its fair share of attention compared to violent crimes, it has resulted in losses amounting to million dollars. White collared crime acts are usually committed by individuals who belong to a higher economic or social status and may be performed against the company (where the individual is employed), investors, creditors, the government or the environment etc.

The following list describes some of the most common forms of white collared crime:

  • Tax fraud: Tax fraud can be committed by an individual or by a company or its agents. Tax fraud refers to evasion of tax by providing false information to the government or tax authorities. Tax fraud includes hiding income, indulging in fraudulent, complex (and often illegal) offshore tax havens as well as claiming refunds or tax benefits that you are not entitled to claim. Tax fraud attracts a variety of punitive action measures including penalties, fines, convictions and imprisonment.

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How a Violence Restraining Order Can Help You

We often hear in the media news about people taking out a violence restraining order (VRO) against someone they fear is going to harm them.  To do this they have to apply to a court for the order and the police are the ones who serve it – or give it – to the person who is being violent or aggressive.  Often it is taken out by a spouse or de-facto against her partner – or in some cases – his partner.

While it doesn’t stop them from harming the person if they really want to, there are penalties for breaking the VRO. This can be enough to stop them from frightening or threatening someone where their action is not enough to bring a legal punishment against them. Sometimes people get so bitter and angry they act in ways that are stupid and not really what they are usually like.

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How to Get Legal Aid if You are a Minor

Being arrested is often frightening, especially if you don’t know exactly what is happening or why. In Western Australia, if you are arrested for an offence and you are a minor, you can get legal aid from the government’s Youth Law Team. There are a team of criminal lawyers who can help you with advice or help you if you’ve been arrested and have to appear in court.

Everyone has certain rights, even if they are a convicted criminal. If you are a minor, you have just as much right as anyone else to be represented in court, not to mention the right to remain silent or only answer police questions with a lawyer present.

If you don’t know who to turn to, these lawyers will help you with

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Court Rules Sleeping Lawyer Violated Defendant’s Right to a Fair Trial

Texas murder convict Calvin Burdine came within hours of execution in August of 1987, despite having had a lawyer who slept for periods of up to ten minutes throughout the trial. Fortunately, the court granted him a stay of execution, and Burdine appealed his conviction on the grounds that his public defense attorney, Joe Cannon, had fallen short of the adequate counsel provided for by the Sixth Amendment.

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The Case for Evidence Preservation

This week Rolando Cruz celebrated the 13th anniversary of his exoneration from Illinois’ death row. Cruz was wrongfully convicted in 1983 due in large part to a co defendant’s statements implicating him. Even though Cruz was never physically linked to the crime scene, DNA evidence did exist. With the help of a volunteer legal team led by Professor Lawrence C. Marshall at Northwestern University Law School, Cruz was able to secure DNA testing on the evidence found near the crime scene which proved he could not have committed this crime.

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Crime Labs Expose Preventable Forensic Errors

Police crime labs in both Detroit and Baltimore have recently come under fire for shocking errors discovered in the testing, analysis, and use of forensic evidence.

Last week the Detroit police crime lab was shut down after an audit in June of the ballistics division revealed a 10% error rate in 200 firearms cases they reviewed. A fear that this error rate pervaded all divisions was the main reason for the closure of this chronically under-funded and over-worked lab.

The discovery in the ballistics divisions has put the integrity of all forensic evidence testing and analysis in Detroit at risk. And the ramifications of the lab closure could be far-reaching. Innocent people may have been wrongfully convicted from flawed forensic evidence leaving dangerous criminals free to commit more crimes.

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Fixing Flaws in Forensic Science

In recent decades, the use of forensic science in criminal investigations has skyrocketed. In the media, TV crime dramas like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation portray forensic evidence collection and analysis as a flawless science that can quickly and accurately identify the perpetrator. Yet time and again, inaccurate or misleading forensic evidence and testimony has helped to convict the wrong person.

Dennis Fritz and Ron Williamson were convicted of a crime they didn’t commit based on microscopic hair comparison – a notoriously unreliable forensic test. Williamson was sent to death row and Fritz spent a decade in prison before DNA testing proved their innocence. Brandon Moon, another innocent man, went to prison for seventeen years after a state forensic crime lab analyst gave erroneous testimony at his trial.

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Post-Conviction DNA Testing Shouldn’t Depend on Miracles

By now everyone knows that DNA testing is a powerful scientific tool for proving guilt or innocence in our criminal justice system. Often post-conviction DNA testing provides the only evidence that can correct the injustice of wrongful conviction.

But what if all the biological evidence is destroyed while you’re still in prison? What if there is evidence but it’s not discovered until after state-imposed deadline for seeking DNA testing? What if the state denies your petition for testing because you accepted a plea bargain to avoid a harsher sentence for a crime you didn’t commit? And what if you’re indigent and can’t afford an attorney to help navigate the complex legal and scientific issues involved in obtaining a DNA test?

The sad truth is that it often takes a series of miracles to gain access to post-conviction DNA testing. That’s because our criminal justice system continues to place significant obstacles in the way of post-conviction DNA testing that could determine whether the wrong people have been convicted and punished for crimes they didn’t commit.

Today, The Justice Project is releasing Increasing Assess to Post-Conviction DNA Testing: A Policy Review. This policy review explains the problems surrounding post-conviction DNA testing policies and procedures and identifies the best practices for states to adopt to ensure that post-conviction DNA testing contributes to a more accurate criminal justice system and restores public confidence in the system’s ability to correct its own errors.

To date, more than 200 people – including 16 who were sentenced to death – have been proven innocent by DNA testing. In many of those cases, the same DNA test helped bring the real perpetrators to justice.

But seven states – Alabama, Alaska, Massachusetts, Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota and Oklahoma – don’t even have laws on the books allowing for post-conviction DNA testing. And those that do have laws fall short of what is needed to ensure that DNA testing can be used effectively to correct the injustice of wrongful conviction.

All but 12 states and the District of Columbia lack statutes requiring the preservation of evidence throughout an inmate’s incarceration. An investigative series this year by The Columbus Dispatch found that “evidence had been lost or destroyed nearly two-thirds of the time that prosecutors agreed to search for it because Ohio does not require evidence to be catalogued and saved.” States should require the preservation of biological evidence throughout a defendant’s sentence and devise standards regarding the custody of evidence.

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Increasing Access to Post-Conviction DNA Testing

DNA is a powerful scientific tool for proving guilt or innocence, but barriers throughout the criminal justice system are preventing this tool from being used effectively.

Increasing Access to Post-Conviction DNA Testing: A Policy Review is a new publication from The Justice Project designed to foster a dialogue among policy makers and to help states implement better DNA testing procedures and practices. This policy review provides an overview of problems with current post-conviction DNA testing laws, offers solutions to these problems, profiles cases of injustice, highlights states with good laws and policies for DNA testing, and includes a model policy.

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