Breath Test Reliability Challenged

The New York Times recently published an article challenging the reliability of breath tests used in DUI prosecutions nationwide. While the reporter appeared to conclude that breath tests could be reliable, the article also found that they often could not be counted upon in practice. Problems occurred in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington and numerous other states, and affected breath test equipment manufactured by almost every leading company. In some states, fundamental flaws in breath testing have led to the dismissal of thousands of convictions.

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University Student Discipline: Fair or Unfair?

The Courts continue to grapple with the difficult question of fairness in university and college student discipline cases, especially when students are accused of serious misconduct (such as nonconsensual sexual conduct) and face expulsion or long-term suspension. On the one hand, all students and other members of an academic community are entitled to a safe campus environment. On the other, accusations of serious misconduct can badly damage a student’s reputation and result in the loss of educational and career opportunities. In short, the stakes are inevitably high.

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When Does Offensive Conduct Cross the Line to Disorderly Conduct?

Almost any kind of intentionally loud and disruptive behavior could be construed as criminal disorderly conduct, and a disorderly conduct charge can happen to anyone who gets a bit rowdy, especially when alcohol is involved.

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Can I Get a DUI in Arizona for Driving After Using Kratom?

There are several new “kratom” cafes and shops in Tucson. Before you try out one of these new places, you should know that if you are under the influence of kratom and your driving is impaired, it is possible to get a DUI or reckless driving charge in Arizona.

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Trump Justice Dep’t to Immigration Judges: Pick up the Pace or We’ll Decide Your Cases

Did you know that the judges deciding most immigration cases – including serious asylum matters – are employees of the Justice Department and not independent judges like the ones who handle criminal or civil cases? Most people don’t. Even the judges hearing initial immigration appeals are Justice Department employees. Under a new streamlining rule, however, even these judges may not have the final say in the life-and-death decisions affecting people in the immigration system.

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Is Cyber Stalking Against the Law in Arizona?

Electronic communication plays some role in almost all modern accusations of stalking or harassment. In Arizona, a person could be convicted of harassment or stalking solely based on electronic communications. Unlike verbal harassment, victims of cyber harassment often keep the electronic records of communication that definitively identify the perpetrator and preserve his or her every word.

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Charged With Drug Possession Just For Riding In the Car?

It is possible to be charged with a possession crime if you are riding in a vehicle where any type of contraband is found. When contraband, such as a firearm or drugs, is not actually found on a person’s body or in a person’s hand, the elements of “constructive possession” must be met in order for the person to be convicted of a possession crime.

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Most Migrants don’t Elude Inspection: 9th Circuit

Since the beginning of Operation Streamline in 2005, thousands of migrants have been criminally convicted under 8 U.S.C. 1325 and 1326, for unlawfully entering the United States. Other than a few cases appealed on procedural grounds, the vast majority of these cases are dispensed of within a matter of minutes, hence the name “Streamline.” But, a defendant recently appealed his conviction all the way to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, successfully arguing that he did not “elude” inspection when he crossed without inspection in a remote area of the border.

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Facial Recognition and Suspect Identification

There are conflicting studies as to whether a confident eyewitness is actually a more accurate eyewitness, so some jurisdictions now instruct jurors not to give more weight to an eyewitness identification just because the eyewitness seems confident.

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Do the Police Need A Warrant To Draw Blood from an Unconscious DUI suspect?

In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a series of opinions that explain what the police must do to satisfy the Fourth Amendment when conducting a blood draw or a breath test for a DUI investigation. In 2013, the Court decided that, in most circumstances, the police need a warrant to conduct a blood test without a person’s consent. But in 2016, the Court held that a warrant is not required to conduct a breath test incident to a motorist’s arrest. In 2019, the Court decided Mitchell v. Wisconsin, which held that a warrant is not required for a blood test, too, provided that the motorist is unconscious and, therefore, cannot consent to a draw or give a breath test.

Read: Do the Police Need A Warrant To Draw Blood from an Unconscious DUI suspect?