Suspect’s Car Flipped After Police Pursuit

Jefferson County police were on pursuit of a man facing multiple felony charges, including child pornography and drug charges, when the suspect’s car crashed and flipped over.

The chase began in Bessemer and ended in Concord. Suspect Walter DeWayne McGowan and a female passenger were flung from the vehicle after driving over spike strips that Jefferson County deputies placed on Lock 17 road.

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said Bessemer Police assisted the U.S. Marshal service apprehending the suspect. Both the driver and passenger were taken to a nearby hospital and none of their injuries are life-threatening.

Criminal Cases and Plea Bargaining

There are plenty of cases where an individual is charged with several different crimes and were they only end up being convicted of one or two of them. There are also cases where a defendant will receive a reduced sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to a crime rather than costing the state expense of a trial. This is called plea-bargaining and is something a criminal attorney will sometimes advised that their clients attempt.

Plea-bargaining means working with the prosecution to determine if there is an acceptable arrangement under which they may seek a reduced sentence for you or under which they may drop some of the charges pending against you. For example, if you get pulled over for a DUI and are found to also be in possession of illegal drugs and a firearm, you could feasibly be facing at least three separate charges. The prosecution may agree to drop some of the minor charges in exchange for you pleading guilty to the more serious charges or, in some cases, only the most serious of all the charges.

There are also cases where entering a plea may cause the prosecution to be inclined to argue on your behalf for a more lenient sentence. If you are convicted of a DWI, for instance, and have no other criminal convictions and haven’t even been in trouble with the law at any point during your life, the prosecution may recommend that you are given a lighter sentence because they don’t regard you as a particular threat to society. The amount of plea-bargaining you can do will depend upon the severity of the charges against you. If the charges are very minor, there may even be cases where you can enter into a plea bargain that will end up in a significant charge being completely dismissed from the case.

How to Appeal a Conviction

Your attorney may advise that you appeal a conviction if it is obvious that you were treated unfairly during a trial or that there was some sort of incompetence involved in your defense. The process starts by filing a notice of appeal. This is a form that you get from the court. In some cases, you can also get them from other locations. You simply fill out the form and bring it back to the court within 10 days. There’ll be a fee involved in filing for an appeal. It can be substantial, so make sure you ask how much you will need beforehand.

After you have filed your notice and made your payment, you have to file a motion that details the reasons why you are appealing your conviction. This is something your attorney will put together for you. If you have a new attorney, they will put together the appeal for you.

After your motion to appeal has been filed, you’ll receive a court date. This should happen fairly quickly. There may be other forms that you need to file to complete the process. If you have an attorney’s help, they will take care of this and make sure that your forms are all filed and that you’re ready to go when your court date comes around. If you’re doing this yourself, make sure that you pay attention to the details of what is required of you.

If you’re too late to file your appeal, you may have to go before a district court judge to get permission to file. Make sure you check how much time you have, but it will usually be 10 days. If you’re filing all this paperwork yourself, be sure to ask someone else for assistance if you don’t understand something that is required or question that is being asked.

Alabama Holds Highest Rate of Prescription Narcotic Use

While the United States makes up only 5% of the worlds population, it is attributed to consuming almost 80% of all opioid drugs.

Unfortunately, Alabama is one of the biggest contributors to this issue. According to Express Scripts, Alabama ranks at the top of the list for highest rate of use and fifth-highest costs of prescription narcotics in the country. The study found that while the national average of prescriptions filled per person a year in 2010 was 0.67, Alabama today stands at 1.17 prescription filled per person a year.

In a perfect world. the high use could be associated with excellent patient care and legitimate medical treatment. In the real world, the numbers suggest that Alabama has a major problem with the misuse of prescription drugs. This is considered by health professionals as “illegal diversion,” meaning that the drugs are being used to get high, not for treatment.

In any case, with high rankings come national attention. Police agencies in Alabama are going to be looking to restore their reputation and crack down of prescription drug use.  With added emphasis comes high arrests and the compulsion of prosecutors to make examples of misguided or innocent citizens. Don’t let this happen to you. If you or someone you know is being accused of illegal drug use make sure you have the right legal representation on your side. Whether justice for you means receiving a fair sentencing with professional help or the acquittal of all your charges, research a good Criminal Defense Law Firm near you today.

Expunging a Criminal Offense

Expunging your record means taking off certain criminal offenses. Not everyone will be eligible for this. To have your criminal record expunged, you have to file a motion in the court where you were convicted. You’ll also have to go before a judge to have your motion heard. There are certain cases where you cannot get a criminal offense removed from your record.

Most states have a waiting period before you can have a conviction removed from your record. This will usually be around five years. If you are in jail for a period of longer than five years, you may also not be able to get your record expunged. If you are ever convicted of a crime that could have resulted in you receiving a life sentence in prison, you will not be able to be expunged in the vast majority of instances.

Filing a motion is something you can do on your own or, if you prefer, you can hire a criminal defense attorney to do it for you. If you are at all confused about how the process works, it’s generally better to seek legal advice. You will also want to make sure before you file the motion that your offense actually can be taken off of your record. Some crimes, such as sexual misconduct crimes and other serious offenses will not be expunged from your record.

You will have to wait for an amount of time specified by your state before asking to have juvenile crimes expunged from your record. In most cases, you will not be able to have your criminal record expunged if you have more than one conviction on it. If you’re crime is expunged, it should not appear on your rap sheet any longer and you can say on applications for employment and for housing that you have never been convicted of a crime

The Juvenile Criminal Process

The juvenile criminal process is significantly different than the criminal process as it applies to adults. Where juveniles are concerned, the law has more of a goal of rehabilitating the offender than with punishing them. This means there will be options other than trials presented, in the vast majority of cases. For very serious crimes, however, the prosecutors may want to go to trial and seek a conviction.

When a child is arrested for a crime as juvenile, there’s a significant difference depending on whether the child is currently in custody or not. Most juvenile courts will go ahead and have a preliminary inquiry with the parents to determine the best course of action.

After this meeting, the district attorney’s office will determine whether or not there will be charges filed. If they do decide to press charges, the district attorney will file a Petition of Delinquency, which is similar to a criminal complaint as filed against adults. Your child will receive an appointed attorney, just as when an adult. You can also hire your own criminal defense attorney, if you prefer.

Throughout the process of dealing with the client, the district attorney and the courts may decide upon other types of action rather than going to a full trial. There will be cases, however, were the district attorney will want to go to trial and where the case will be heard in a similar fashion as would a case against an adult.

If you need an attorney for a juvenile case, be sure you get one that has experience arguing these specific types of cases. The prosecution and the defense will typically spend a lot of time negotiating ways to settle the case without having to put the child through a trial. You’ll need an attorney who understands what to be expected in these situations and who knows how to get the best deal for your child.

Do the Police Need Permission to Search Your Car?

The police need one of two things to be able to legally search your car: they need either your permission or probable cause to suspect that searching your vehicle will reveal that you are breaking the law. For example, if a police officer pulls you over and smells drugs in your car, they have probable cause to search the vehicle. If they look into your ashtray and see what appears to be a half burned marijuana cigarette, they then have probable cause to search your vehicle. When it comes down to it, all a police officer needs to search your car is a reason and they’re very good at coming up with them.

There are instances, however, when you can prevent an officer from searching your vehicle. For example, it’s common for police officers to ask you if you know why you were pulled over when they pull you over. Admitting to anything is admitting to breaking the law and, in most cases, that gives them probable cause to search your vehicle. It’s always best to say that you have no idea why you are being pulled over.

If a police officer wants to, they can call in a drug sniffing dog to search your vehicle. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for a police officer to just say that the dog smells something contraband in your vehicle and to demand to search the rest of it. Technically, you have a fourth amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure; this is why there has to be probable cause to search your goods. In practice, however, a police officer can usually find a reason that gives them sufficient authority to search your vehicle. If you are being pulled over and charged with a crime or your vehicle is being towed away, the officer has the right to look through everything in your vehicle

What Happens When You Have Been Charged with a Crime?

Being charged with a crime can happen with or without your knowing it. If, for instance, you’re charged with a crime after having left the scene of where it happened, you may find out that you’re charged a bit later when a warrant is issued for your arrest. This may happen, for instance, if you’re charged with disorderly conduct after leaving the scene of an altercation you participated in. You may also be charged on the spot, such as if you’re caught driving intoxicated.

After you’re arrested, you’ll be taken to a station and you’ll be booked. This will involve getting your identification, having your fingerprints taken and contacting a Birmingham criminal attorney, if you’re in custody for long enough or aren’t bailed out. A court date will be set for you and you’ll be arraigned, which means that you’ll have to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.

You’ll be able to speak to a lawyer before this happens and they can advise you on how to plead in the case. If you plead not guilty, you will have to go to trial to have your case heard. Not guilty pleas are entered both when the defendant is not guilty and when the defendant is certain that there isn’t enough evidence to convict them. No contest means that you’re not going to fight the charges, but that you’re not admitting guilt and that you’re accepting that you’re going to get convicted for the crime. It also means that the truth of the crime is not established beyond a reasonable doubt, such as would happen in a jury trial. Guilty means admitting that you did the crime you were charged with and accepting punishment for it. A lawyer can advise you on which plea you should enter when you go to your first appearance

Being Detained vs. Being Arrested

Welcome to, To get us started here we are going to clarify what the difference is between being detained and being arrested.

There are some areas of the law where the exact definitions of words are not clear. The areas of the law that surround the concept of being detained are one such area. An officer may detain you if they suspect that you are involved in the crime but they’re not arresting you for it yet. For example, if they find you in somebody’s yard in the middle of the night and you have no good reason why you should be there, they may detain you for a few minutes to check to see if you have warrants out or to investigate what’s going on. When they detain you in this way, you are generally not free to leave on your own.

When you are arrested, you are formally being charged with a crime. This means you are absolutely not free to leave on your own and that you will likely be booked, searched for weapons and kept in custody for a time. You may also have to pay bail to get out of custody before you are brought before a judge. Being detained is not this formal. Oftentimes, the severity of being detained depends upon exactly what the circumstances surrounding it are.

For example, if you are nearby when a minor altercation happens, the police officers that show up to break it up may want to detain you for a few minutes to ask you what happened. You’re not being arrested but you are expected to wait until the officer gives you permission to leave. If you are being detained, it’s always acceptable to ask the officer if you may leave or whether they intend to charge you with a crime or not. Agencies other than law enforcement can detain you, as well. As an example, if you are caught shoplifting at a store, the store security may detain you until the officers arrived to arrest you.