Saturday, January 30, 2010

The coed and the unmarked police car

I received the following e-mail from a well-respected colleague of mine today. He said he had heard of this before but could never point to a specific incident of it occurring. He received the e-mail from a friend who was married to another friend of his.
I knew about the red light on cars, but not the #77. It was about 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, and Lauren was driving to visit a friend. An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on. Lauren's parents have always told her never to pull over for an unmarked car on the side of the road, but rather to wait until they get to a gas station, etc...

Lauren had actually listened to her parents' advice, and promptly called #77 on her cell phone to tell the police dispatcher that she would not pull over right away. She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there was an unmarked police car with a flashing red light on his rooftop behind her. The dispatcher checked to see if there were police cars where she was and there weren't, and he told her to keep driving, remain calm and that he had back up already on the way.

Ten minutes later 4 cop cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her. One policeman went to her side and the other surrounded the car behind. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground. The man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes.

I never knew about the #77 Cell Phone Feature, but especially for a woman alone in a car, you should not pull over for an unmarked car. Apparently police have to respect your right to keep going to a safe place.

* Speaking to a service representative at ** Bell ** Mobility confirmed that #77 was a direct link to State trooper info...

So, now it's your turn to let your friends know about #77.

Send this to every woman (and person) you know; it may save a life...
The story sounded fishy from the get-go. There's no mention of who Laura is. There's no mention of where it took place. It ended with a call to action. My first thought was that the story was an urban legend. Years ago I saw Dr. Jan Harold Brunvand on the old David Letterman show talking about his book The Vanishing Hitchhiker. Dr. Brunvand was a folklore professor at the University of Utah until his retirement in 1996 and he has compiled a multitude of these stories. In his books he takes the legend and peels it apart to look for the message in the story.

If I were Dr. Brunvand analyzing this story I think I would look at the paternalistic undercurrent in the tale that the world is a dangerous place for a woman and that she should be at home. Notice that the police dispatcher is revealed to be a man. There's also our Puritanical guilt about doing something wrong -- hence the police car with the lights on. Then there's our belief that technology makes the world a better, and safer, place. One other message conveyed in the story is that if you're being followed -- be it by a police car or someone else -- never pull over in a secluded area, drive on until you come to a lighted intersection or a lit parking lot.

Once I got to the office I went over to and this is what I found when I typed "#77" into the search box.

These stories are popular because they all have a slight ring of truth to them and they always happen to a "friend of a friend." Something to think about when telling your client's story to the jury.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Facebook post nets jail time in DWI case

In case you weren't paying attention, here's another warning. What you post on the internet is out there for everyone to see; and if you've been accused of breaking the law, you can bet the prosecutor is looking for you.

Ashley Sullivan of North Tonawanda, NY, learned that lesson the hard way. Last May she was behind the wheel of a car with an alcohol concentration of .13 and her boyfriend was in the passenger seat. Ms. Sullivan crashed into a wall and her boyfriend was killed instantly.

Last November, Ms. Sullivan pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide and DWI. She returned to court for sentencing on Wednesday where she received six months in jail followed by five years probation. Niagra County Judge Matthew Murphy III told Ms. Sullivan that he sentenced her to jail because he was "troubled by [her] conduct" since the accident.

And what was the conduct Judge Murphy was troubled by? It turns out that Ms. Sullivan posted pictures to her Facebook account a month after the crash under the caption "Drunk in Florida."
When defense attorney Glenn Murray said in court, "This young woman is remorseful," someone laughed among a crowd of more than two dozen of the victim's friends and relatives, drawing a reprimand from the judge.
While Ms. Sullivan shouldn't be punished for other things she may have done since the accident, the lack of remorse demonstrated by her Facebook post certainly played a role in the imposition of a jail sentence in addition to probation. When determining what constitutes an appropriate sentence, a judge is going to take the defendant's circumstances into account - and that includes acts of contrition, evidence of remorse and the acceptance of responsibility. Ms. Sullivan would have been in a lot better shape had she decided to attend AA meetings instead of posting pictures of her drinking.

Social media can be a great way to keep up with people, but when you are the one under the glare of the lights -- it's probably best to go off-line.

See also:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Seeing might just be believing

Earlier this month, police in Clarence, NY pulled over Michael Bartz for driving 59 mph in a 45 mph zone. That Mr. Bartz was speeding wasn't newsworthy. Blowing a .30 on the state's breath test machine, on the other hand, was.

The newspaper article states that a 160 lb. man would have to consume 11 alcoholic drinks in an hour to reach a .30. My Alcopro Drink Wheel tells me that it would take 13 drinks to achieve that blood alcohol concentration. Either way, that's a lot of alcohol in a short amount of time.

BAL .02%-.03%: You feel mildly relaxed and maybe a little lightheaded. Your inhibitions are slightly loosened, and whatever mood you were in before you started drinking may be mildly intensified.

BAL .05%-.06%: You feel warm and relaxed. If you're the shy type when you're sober, you lose your feelings of shyness. Your behavior may become exaggerated, making you talk louder or faster or act bolder than usual. Emotions are intensified, so your good moods are better and your bad moods are worse. You may also feel a mild sense of euphoria.

BAL .08%-.09%: You believe you're functioning better than you actually are. At this level, you may start to slur your speech. Your sense of balance is probably off, and your motor skills are starting to become impaired. Your ability to see and hear clearly is diminished. Your judgment is being affected, so it's difficult for you to decide whether or not to continue drinking. Your ability to evaluate sexual situations is impaired. Students may jokingly refer to this state of mind as beer goggles,but this BAL can have serious repercussions. See the pages on Sex and Alcohol: A Risky Relationship for how to protect yourself.

BAL .10%-.12%: At this level, you feel euphoric, but you lack coordination and balance. Your motor skills are markedly impaired, as are your judgment and memory. You probably don't remember how many drinks you've had. Your emotions are exaggerated, and some people become loud, aggressive, or belligerent. If you're a guy, you may have trouble getting an erection when your BAL is this high.

BAL .14%-.17%: Your euphoric feelings may give way to unpleasant feelings. You have difficulty talking, walking, or even standing. Your judgment and perception are severely impaired. You may become more aggressive, and there is an increased risk of accidentally injuring yourself or others. This is the point when you may experience a blackout.

BAL .20%: You feel confused, dazed, or otherwise disoriented. You need help to stand up or walk. If you hurt yourself at this point, you probably won't realize it because you won't feel pain. If you are aware you've injured yourself, chances are you won't do anything about it. At this point you may experience nausea and/or start vomiting (keep in mind that for some people, a lower blood alcohol level than .20% may cause vomiting). Your gag reflex is impaired, so you could choke if you do throw up. Since blackouts are likely at this level, you may not remember any of this.

BAL .25%: All mental, physical, and sensory functions are severely impaired. You're emotionally numb. There's an increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomit and of seriously injuring yourself by falling or other accidents.

BAL .30%: You're in a stupor. You have little comprehension of where you are. You may suddenly pass out at this point and be difficult to awaken. (But don't kid yourself: Passing out can also occur at lower BALs. But, at lower blood alcohol levels, you may decide You've had enough to drink and go "pass out." With an alarming BAL like .30%, your body will be deciding to pass out for you.) In February 1996, an 18-year-old student died of alcohol poisoning with a BAL of .31% after attending two parties the night before.

So, according to research conducted by the Phoenix House, Mr. Bartz should not have been able to operate a motor vehicle at that blood alcohol concentration. Could the state's breath test machine have been wrong? Did Mr. Bartz' blood alcohol concentration increase after he was stopped? If he had been drinking while driving, did the alcohol in his mouth affect the test result?

Dr. Kurt Dubowski, considered by many to be an expert in the field of alcohol testing, put together this chart showing the effects of alcohol on the body at various concentrations:

(g/100 ml of blood
or g/210 l of breath)
StageClinical symptoms
0.01 - 0.05SubclinicalBehavior nearly normal by ordinary observation
0.03 - 0.12EuphoriaMild euphoria, sociability, talkitiveness
Increased self-confidence; decreased inhibitions
Diminution of attention, judgment and control
Beginning of sensory-motor impairment
Loss of efficiency in finer performance tests
0.09 - 0.25ExcitementEmotional instability; loss of critical judgment
Impairment of perception, memory and comprehension
Decreased sensitory response; increased reaction time
Reduced visual acuity; peripheral vision and glare recovery
Sensory-motor incoordination; impaired balance
0.18 - 0.30ConfusionDisorientation, mental confusion; dizziness
Exaggerated emotional states
Disturbances of vision and of perception of color, form, motion and dimensions
Increased pain threshold
Increased muscular incoordination; staggering gait; slurred speech
Apathy, lethargy
0.25 - 0.40StuporGeneral inertia; approaching loss of motor functions
Markedly decreased response to stimuli
Marked muscular incoordination; inability to stand or walk
Vomiting; incontinence
Impaired consciousness; sleep or stupor
0.35 - 0.50ComaComplete unconsciousness
Depressed or abolished reflexes
Subnormal body temperature
Impairment of circulation and respiration
Possible death
0.45 +DeathDeath from respiratory arrest

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) includes a chart entitled "Common Signs of Alcohol Influence" is its DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing training manual -- the book that most law enforcement agencies use to train their officers in the administration and evaluation of police coordination exercises.

Here are the effects and behaviors at various blood alcohol concentrations per NHTSA:
.03 Slowed reactions

.05 Increased risk taking

.08 Impaired vision

.10 Poor coordination
Once again there are questions about the accuracy of Mr. Bartz' breath test. While the article notes that Mr. Bartz failed the coordination exercises administered by the police (that's a big surprise), it also states that officers found nothing out of the ordinary until they conducted the breath test.

A high breath test may be grounds for some attorneys to recommend an immediate plea because they see no way to win the case. It can also be an opportunity to turn the state's evidence and witnesses against the state and use them to your advantage.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Law and order: Rockport

I was down in scenic Rockport yesterday handling an appeal of a case involving the holder of a CDL. Due to the infinite wisdom of our state legislators, if you hold a CDL in Texas, you cannot get that ticket dismissed in JP or municipal court through defensive driving or deferred disposition. However, should you appeal your plea or conviction to the county court, you can get the case dismissed through one of those avenues.

What's even more absurd it that in a county like Aransas County (Rockport is the county seat), the county attorney's office handles all misdemeanors -- including traffic cases. So I dealt the the county attorney on my client's ticket while it was filed in the JP court and, as we were unable to come to a mutual agreement, we pled no contest, posted an appeal bond and appealed the conviction to the county court. And who would I be negotiating with in County Court? None other than the county attorney.

To his credit, the Aransas County Attorney, Mr. Richard Bianchi, realizes this little "dog and pony" show the legislature has created is an incredible waste of time and money for the courts, defendants and attorneys. He is trying to find a way to steer CDL cases to the county court in the first place to avoid this absurdity. One way might be to offer pretrial diversions at the JP level, thus eliminating the need to appeal a plea.

We reached an agreement for my client to receive pretrial diversion and a dismissal. Then things got weird. We approached the judge and he informed my client that by entering into the agreement he was pleading guilty to the underlying charge but that the case would be dismissed if he complied with the terms of the diversion agreement.

Hmmm. Entering a plea with the judge deferring a finding of guilt until the terms of the agreement were satisfied. That's not pretrial diversion, that's a deferred. Of course since it's a Class C misdemeanor it doesn't matter -- but on a more serious offense it raises the question of whether the person is eligible for an expunction per the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Who is indigent in Harris County?

It is a rarity in Harris County for any defendant who is out on bond to receive appointed counsel. There is even one judge in the Criminal (In)justice Center who will tell a (bonded) person seeking appointed counsel that he must sell every non-essential item in his possession and show that he still cannot afford to hire an attorney before the judge will appoint one.

Nevermind that the purpose of bail is not to punish a person but is, instead, a means of guaranteeing his appearance in court.

On December 3, 2008, the Harris County Criminal Courts last amended their Standards and Procedures [for] Appointment of Counsel for Indigent Defendants pursuant to the Fair Defense Act.
1.0 Financial Standards for Determining Indigency

The indigency standards adopted by the judges shall apply to each defendant equally, regardless of whether the defendant is in custody or out on bail.

1.1 A judge shall consider the following criteria as incorporated by the form adopted by the board of judges in determining whether a defendant is indigent:

1.1.1 defendant's income;
1.1.2 source of income;
1.1.3 assets;
1.1.4 property owned;
1.1.5 outstanding obligations;
1.1.6 necessary expenses;
1.1.7 the number of ages of dependents; and
1.1.8 spousal incomes available to defendant.

1.2 The judge shall not consider whether the defendant has posted bail, except to the extent that it reflects the defendant's financial circumstances.
In Galveston County I have been appointed to represent many a defendant who has posted bond, yet is still eligible for "appointed" counsel (much more on this topic later); yet in Harris County most of the client's for the appointed attorney are still donning the orange jumpsuits of the Harris County Jail.

Many of the misdemeanor defendants were charged with nonviolent offenses yet were denied personal bonds due to the magistrates' strict obedience to the Harris County bond schedule (misdemeanor and felony). The denial of personal bonds (and the subsequent refusal to request one) lead to the mass plea in which defendants "voluntarily" waive their rights to trial by jury, confrontation and appeal in exchange for time served so they can get out of jail and back to their families or jobs.

Convictions based upon expediency and judicial economy -- not on the merits. That's not justice.

Supreme Court affirms Melendez-Diaz ruling

Faced with the opportunity to curtail a defendant's right to confrontation as laid out in the Melendez-Diaz case, the United States Supreme Court today held that "notice and demand" statutes similar to Virginia's recently repealed statute violate the Sixth Amendment's right to confrontation.

At issue was whether Virginia's statute under which a lab analyst would be available for cross-examination upon the request of the Defendant, seemingly shifting the burden of proof.

The Court's opinion reads as follows:
"We vacate the judgment of the Supreme Court of Virginia and remand the case for further proceedings not inconsistent with the opinion in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 US ___ (2009)." -- Briscoe v. Virginia, 559 US ___ (2010), per curiam
The prohibition of trial by affidavit lives on.

See also:

"Supreme Court hears challenge to confrontation ruling" The Defense Rests (Jan. 14, 2010)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Let's see Bear Grylls get out of this

This morning while down on the island I stopped by the Galveston County Jail to consult with a client. Due to the nature of his case it was best that we meet face-to-face rather than over the video monitor system.

So, with my badge on my lapel I took my briefcase and entered the facility. Down the hall I walked to the command center and then down the wing to the attorney booth. I ran into a deputy on the way and we talked a bit about the current number of inmates in the jail and the jail's capacity.

I made my way to the attorney booth, pushed the buzzer and was let in. Now ordinarily I put a business card in the door so it won't lock behind me - but today I left the house in a hurry and didn't have any cards with me.

My client and I discussed his case, the state's "offer" and what he was willing to do. After we finished I stood up and walked over to the wall to push the buzzer to be let out. My client did the same thing on his side of the glass. After about a minute the door opened and my client stepped out to be taken back to his cell. I waited for my door to open.

And I waited. And waited. And waited. I pushed the buzzer again...and again...and again. Still the door wouldn't open. I saw maintenance staff leave one pod and enter another one so I knew some of the buzzers worked.

Still I waited. I banged on the window and I kicked the door. Still nothing. I pushed the buzzer another dozen or so times. The door remained locked. Finally I heard a cart coming down the hallway. I had to be ready to get the driver's attention (all those hours of Man v. Wild were going to come to good use).

Then I saw the deputy I had spoken to earlier. I motioned to him and he came to the door, found his key and unlocked it.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I was free at last!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No quid pro burger

Here's the laugh of the day from Twitter.

Geez. LOL. 4 HPD officers didn't order cause I wouldn't give them 50% off. If I get a speeding ticket will I get 50% off ?

If you drink in Minnesota, don't fall asleep in your car

The Minnesota Supreme Court upheld unanimously the DWI conviction of a man who was found asleep in his car in a parking lot with the keys on the console. There was no evidence that Daryl Fleck had recently operated the car. Mr. Fleck was convicted of driving while intoxicated in 2007 and sentenced to four years in prison.

The key language in the Minnesota DWI statute is "physical control of a motor vehicle." The Court held that a jury could, based on the totality of the circumstances, conclude that Mr. Fleck "was in a position to exercise dominion or control over the vehicle..."

The Minnesota DWI statute doesn't make a distinction between public and private places, making it a crime to "drive, operate or be in physical control of any motor vehicle...within [Minnesota]...under the influence of alcohol."

The Texas DWI statute, on the other hand, makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Had Mr. Fleck been in the Lone Star State after his little bender, he may have been able to argue that the parking lot of the apartment complex was not a public place. Key to that argument would be whether or not the general public had access to the parking lot. Was the parking lot gated? Did visitors have to check in before entering?

Mr. Fleck could also have argued that there was no evidence of operation since the keys weren't in the ignition, the engine wasn't running and there was no evidence of the last time the car had been driven.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A reprieve for Judge Killer

The special master appointed to hear the State Commission on Judicial Conduct's charges against Judge Sharon Keller of the Court of Criminal Appeals has found that the judge's conduct "[did] not warrant removal from office or further reprimand beyond the public humiliation she has surely suffered."

Of course, while Judge Keller may have suffered public humiliation, at least she is still alive to feel the brunt of it. Michael Richard is dead due, in part, to her actions.

Judge David Berchelmann, Jr., of San Antonio, found that Judge Keller's actions on the day of Mr. Richard's execution did not preven his attorneys, the Texas Defender Service, from filing the necessary documents as there were other avenues for filing available. Judge Berchelmann said TDS bore most of the responsibility for the events of the day.

Judge Berchelmann's findings will now go to the Commission who will decide whether to dismiss the complaint, reprimand Judge Keller or ask the Texas Supreme Court to remove her from office.

How 'bout a little rehab?

If a juror cannot set aside his biases and decide a case based upon the merits of that case, an attorney has grounds to strike him for cause. Once a juror admits he can't set those biases aside, that juror cannot be rehabilitated.

In this blog post, Steph from Brooklyn recounts her experience on jury duty and being accosted by a judge when she was noncommittal about her ability to set her biases aside.
He let fly once the door was closed. "Are you going to tell me that you are a Northwestern-educated young woman and that you cannot put your biases aside to be impartial in a court of law?!?" He took out on me all the rage that had been building up inside him for years as busy, educated people figured ways to get out of their civic duty.

I felt bad, but...I had a job that did not look kindly on my taking off work, I was strapped even without the distraction of jury duty. I did not want to serve. I shrugged sheepishly. "I was just answering the lawyers' questions honestly..." I had said. He had stumped away, back into the court room. I was not picked.

Damn that judge. His words rung in my ears today as the lawyers asked virtually the same questions. I was forced to say when asked if I could be impartial despite various and sundry things that I have seen or done, people I knew, that indeed, "Yes, I would try..."
Is that anyway to commend citizens for doing their civic duty?

A special shout out to Dr. Dennis C. Elias, Ph.D., for this find.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This can't look good on a resume

What does one do when you're the top law enforcement official in the county and the driver of the car in which you are riding is stopped and arrested for driving while intoxicated? Why, if you're the top law enforcement official in the county would you allow your campaign manager to get behind the wheel of the car drunk? Why would you get in the passenger seat?

Cuyahoga County (OH) Prosecutor Bill Mason is stuck trying to answer those questions after it was revealed that he was a passenger in a car driven by his friend and campaign manager Tom Regas earlier this month.

Mr. Regas was arrested for DWI after allegedly failing a battery of coordination exercises administered by police. Mr. Regas also declined to take a breath test. When asked how much he had to drink, Mr. Regas said he drank "several" glasses of wine. He said Mr. Mason had consumed about the same amount as he did.

In what must have been some sort of an oversight, the arresting officer failed to note that the County Prosecutor was a passenger. Another officer was kind enough to drive Mr. Mason home and drop off the councilman's car at his house.

Rumors are circulating that Mr. Mason will resign his post under pressure from MADD.

Monday, January 18, 2010

"I've been to the mountaintop"

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. here is the eerily prophetic speech he gave to striking sanitation workers in Memphis on April 3, 1968 - the night before he was assassinated.

Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It's always good to have your closest friend and associate to say something good about you. And Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world. I'm delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined to go on anyhow.

Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, "Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?" I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God's children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn't stop there.

I would move on by Greece and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon. And I would watch them around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would go on, even to the great heyday of the Roman Empire. And I would see developments around there, through various emperors and leaders. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance, and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and aesthetic life of man. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would even go by the way that the man for whom I am named had his habitat. And I would watch Martin Luther as he tacked his ninety-five theses on the door at the church of Wittenberg. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating President by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would even come up to the early thirties, and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation. And come with an eloquent cry that
we have nothing to fear but "fear itself." But I wouldn't stop there.

Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, "If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the 20th century, I will be happy."

Now that's a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. That's a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding.

Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee -- the cry is always the same: "We want to be free."

And another reason that I'm happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we are going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demands didn't force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today.

And also in the human rights revolution, if something isn't done, and done in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed. Now, I'm just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period to see what is unfolding. And I'm happy that He's allowed me to be in Memphis.

I can remember -- I can remember when Negroes were just going around as Ralph has said, so often, scratching where they didn't itch, and laughing when they were not tickled. But that day is all over. We mean business now, and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God's world.

And that's all this whole thing is about. We aren't engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. We are saying -- We are saying that we are God's children. And that we are God's children, we don't have to live like we are forced to live.

Now, what does all of this mean in this great period of history? It means that we've got to stay together. We've got to stay together and maintain unity. You know, whenever Pharaoh wanted to prolong the period of slavery in Egypt, he had a favorite, favorite formula for doing it. What was that? He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh's court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When the slaves get together, that's the beginning of getting out of slavery. Now let us maintain unity.

Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we've got to keep attention on that. That's always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers are on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn't get around to that.

Now we're going to march again, and we've got to march again, in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be -- and force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of God's children here suffering, sometimes going hungry, going through dark and dreary nights wondering how this thing is going to come out. That's the issue. And we've got to say to the nation: We know how it's coming out. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.

We aren't going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces; they don't know what to do. I've seen them so often. I remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic struggle there, we would move out of the 16th Street Baptist Church day after day; by the hundreds we would move out. And Bull Connor would tell them to send the dogs forth, and they did come; but we just went before the dogs singing, "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around."

Bull Connor next would say, "Turn the fire hoses on." And as I said to you the other night, Bull Connor didn't know history. He knew a kind of physics that somehow didn't relate to the transphysics that we knew about. And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. And we went before the fire hoses; we had known water. If we were Baptist or some other denominations, we had been immersed. If we were Methodist, and some others, we had been sprinkled, but we knew water. That couldn't stop us.

And we just went on before the dogs and we would look at them; and we'd go on before the water hoses and we would look at it, and we'd just go on singing "Over my head I see freedom in the air." And then we would be thrown in the paddy wagons, and sometimes we were stacked in there like sardines in a can. And they would throw us in, and old Bull would say, "Take 'em off," and they did; and we would just go in the paddy wagon singing, "We Shall Overcome." And every now and then we'd get in jail, and we'd see the jailers looking through the windows being moved by our prayers, and being moved by our words and our songs. And there was a power there which Bull Connor couldn't adjust to; and so we ended up transforming Bull into a steer, and we won our struggle in Birmingham. Now we've got to go on in Memphis just like that. I call upon you to be with us when we go out Monday.

Now about injunctions: We have an injunction and we're going into court tomorrow morning to fight this illegal, unconstitutional injunction. All we say to America is, "Be true to what you said on paper." If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand some of these illegal injunctions. Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. And so just as I say, we aren't going to let dogs or water hoses turn us around, we aren't going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on.

We need all of you. And you know what's beautiful to me is to see all of these ministers of the Gospel. It's a marvelous picture. Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longings and aspirations of the people more than the preacher? Somehow the preacher must have a kind of fire shut up in his bones. And whenever injustice is around he tell it. Somehow the preacher must be an Amos, and saith, "When God speaks who can but prophesy?" Again with Amos, "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." Somehow the preacher must say with Jesus, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me," and he's anointed me to deal with the problems of the poor."

And I want to commend the preachers, under the leadership of these noble men: James Lawson, one who has been in this struggle for many years; he's been to jail for struggling; he's been kicked out of Vanderbilt University for this struggle, but he's still going on, fighting for the rights of his people. Reverend Ralph Jackson, Billy Kiles; I could just go right on down the list, but time will not permit. But I want to thank all of them. And I want you to thank them, because so often, preachers aren't concerned about anything but themselves. And I'm always happy to see a relevant ministry.

It's all right to talk about "long white robes over yonder," in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here! It's all right to talk about "streets flowing with milk and honey," but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can't eat three square meals a day. It's all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God's preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do.

Now the other thing we'll have to do is this: Always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal. Now, we are poor people. Individually, we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively -- that means all of us together -- collectively we are richer than all the nations in the world, with the exception of nine. Did you ever think about that? After you leave the United States, Soviet Russia, Great Britain, West Germany, France, and I could name the others, the American Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States, and more than the national budget of Canada. Did you know that? That's power right there, if we know how to pool it.

We don't have to argue with anybody. We don't have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don't need any bricks and bottles. We don't need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, "God sent us by here, to say to you that you're not treating his children right. And we've come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God's children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you."

And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy -- what is the other bread? -- Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart's bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven't been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on town -- downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right.

But not only that, we've got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank. We want a "bank-in" movement in Memphis. Go by the savings and loan association. I'm not asking you something that we don't do ourselves at SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We are telling you to follow what we are doing. Put your money there. You have six or seven black insurance companies here in the city of Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an "insurance-in."

Now these are some practical things that we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base. And at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. I ask you to follow through here.

Now, let me say as I move to my conclusion that we've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We've got to see it through. And when we have our march, you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school -- be there. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we go down together.

Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus, and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters of life. At points he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew and throw him off base....

Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn't stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But he got down with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the "I" into the "thou," and to be concerned about his brother.

Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn't stop. At times we say they were busy going to a church meeting, an ecclesiastical gathering, and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn't be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that "One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony." And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem -- or down to Jericho, rather to organize a "Jericho Road Improvement Association." That's a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effect.

But I'm going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It's possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, "I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable." It's a winding, meandering road. It's really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles -- or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you're about 2200 feet below sea level. That's a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the "Bloody Pass." And you know, it's possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it's possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked -- the first question that the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

That's the question before you tonight. Not, "If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to my job. Not, "If I stop to help the sanitation workers what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?" The question is not, "If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?" The question is, "If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?" That's the question.

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you.

You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, "Are you Martin Luther King?" And I was looking down writing, and I said, "Yes." And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that's punctured, your drowned in your own blood -- that's the end of you.

It came out in the
New York Times the next morning, that if I had merely sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I've forgotten what those telegrams said. I'd received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I've forgotten what that letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I'll never forget it. It said simply,

Dear Dr. King,

I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School."

And she said,

While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I'm a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so happy that you didn't sneeze.

And I want to say tonight -- I want to say tonight that I too am happy that I didn't sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream, and taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1961, when we decided to take a ride for freedom and ended segregation in inter-state travel.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent.

If I had sneezed -- If I had sneezed I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great Movement there.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering.

I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.

And they were telling me --. Now, it doesn't matter, now. It really doesn't matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us. The pilot said over the public address system, "We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with on the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we've had the plane protected and guarded all night."

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.

And I don't mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I'm happy, tonight.

I'm not worried about anything.

I'm not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Galveston to ban driving while texting

Well it certainly didn't take Galveston long to ban motorists from texting while driving. The island city made it a Class C misdemeanor to the use "wireless communication devices to view, send or compose an electronic message" while driving. Of course that does lead to the question "What is driving?"

Violators will be subject to a fine of up to $500.

The new ordinance will go into effect ten days after publication in the local paper (approximately January 27, 2010) which should be this Sunday.

See also:

"New advocacy group seeks to ban cell phone use when driving" The Defense Rests (Jan. 13, 2010)

Waiting on Ligon

Word from up north is that a chief prosecutor in one of Montgomery County's felony courts was asked to pack up her desk and not come back. As we all know by now, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon and his chief crony, Warren Diepraam, dreamed up the idea of tweeting the names of motorists arrested for suspicion of DWI in MoCo.

These folks whose names are being bandied about haven't been proven guilty of anything and are presumed innocent. If you're firing someone, however, there's got to be a reason. Not to mention that the firing of a chief prosecutor in a felony court is a newsworthy event (one of Mr. Diepraam's justifications for the new policy).

To date, Mr. Ligon's Twitter account is silent on the matter.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fun with forensics

Gov. Rick Perry's choice to head the Texas Forensic Science Commission received a slap in the face from the Austin Court of Appeal yesterday. Houston Chronicle columnist Rick Casey thinks the other members of the commission should have been pleased.

Almost twenty-three years ago Michael Morton was convicted of killing his wife in a fit of rage. A bloody bandana was found less than 100 yards away from the body. As Williamson County District Attorney, John Bradley fought for five years to avoid having to run DNA tests on the bandana.

“There are 155,000 inmates in Texas prisons,” he said. “Every single one would like to be somewhere else, and every single one under the standard (Raley) proposes would have the ability to test any piece of evidence they want. That's why the Legislature set up standards for post-conviction tests.”

A federal judge said he “questions (Bradley's) rationale for rejecting the plaintiff's offer to conduct DNA and other testing at their own expense, particularly in light of (his) duties to uphold the Constitution and seek and provide fair and impartial justice,” but it was a matter for the state.

And this is the man the fair-haired one thought would be a good person to preside over a committee reviewing the state of forensic sciences in Texas. This is the man who a Senate committee that he didn't think the commission needed to review past cases.

Needless to say, Mr. Bradley was unavailable for comment.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sleep deprivation mimics effects of intoxication

According to studies by the National Sleep Foundation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the symptoms of driving while drowsy mimic those of driving while intoxicated.

Sleepiness can have the following effects:
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired reaction time
  • Impaired vision
  • Problems with information processing
  • Short term memory loss
  • Decreased vigilance
The Texas Breath Alcohol Testing Program Operator Manual lists the following effects of alcohol on drivers:
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired psychomotor skills
  • Depressed vision
  • Problems with information processing
According to a NHTSA survey conducted in 2002, 37% of all drivers have nodded off or fallen asleep at least once while driving. In combating drowsiness behind the wheel:
  • 26% of drivers opened a window;
  • 17% of drivers drank a caffeinated beverage;
  • 15% of drivers pulled off the road; and
  • 14% of drivers cranked up the radio.
In the 1990's NHTSA found that there were approximately 56,000 accidents a year attributed to drowsy driving. In a 2008 national survey, the National Sleep Foundation found that only New Jersey made it a crime specifically to fall asleep behind the wheel.

The problem in using drowsy driving as a defense to a drunk driving charge, however, comes about when alcohol is involved because by admitting that your client was impaired, you might just make it easier for the prosecutor to make her case.

Supreme Court hears challenge to confrontation ruling

On January 11, 2010, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Briscoe v. Virginia (No. 07-11191), in which the Court was asked to vacate a conviction on the grounds that Virginia's former "notice and demand" statute violated defendant's rights under the Confrontation Clause.

Richard Friedman, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, appeared on behalf of the petitioners and Stephen McCullough, Virginia'a Solicitor General, appeared on behalf of the state.

Justice Sotomayor questioned Mr. Friedman on exactly how a notice and demand statute robbed a criminal defendant of his right to cross-examination. According to the old statute, the state was not required to bring in a lab technician in order to admit a lab report into evidence. The defendant, however, had the right to demand the presence of the lab tech for cross examination.

Justice Breyer questioned Mr. Friedman on the cost of forcing the state to produce all analysts and lab techs who took part in the testing in question. He seemed particularly concerned over the number of lab techs who would have to be produced to satisfy the rule in Melendez-Diaz.

When questioning Mr. McCullough, Justice Breyer was concerned that the "notice and demand" statute would allow for trial by affidavit and, as a hypothetical, asked if Sir Walter Raleigh's accusers made sworn statements that were introduced into evidence, how effective cross examining them about the conditions under which they made their statements would be.

Justice Ginsburg then proposed that Virginia's statute created a situation by which the state could introduce a lab report and rest their case; the defendant would then rest and request a directed verdict on the grounds the state had failed to prove its case; but the motion could not be granted because the lab report was in evidence.

Justice Scalia seemed bothered by the fact that the "notice and demand" statute placed the burden on the defendant and did not address, in plain language, the sanction, if any, against the state should a witness fail to appear.

It would seem to me that since it's the state who's seeking to limit the freedom of its citizens that the burden of prosecuting that case should fall on the state. The defendant is innocent unless proven guilty, not the other way around.

On a more light-hearted note, Mr. Friedman, in his argument, introduced us to the termorthogonal. According to Mr. Friedman, orthogonal means right angle, unrelated or irrelevant. According to Merriam-Webster, however, the term means lying at right angles.

See also:

"Supremes to revisit confrontation question" The Defense Rests (Dec. 21, 2009)
"Trying to get around the Sixth Amendment" The Defense Rests (July 23, 2009)
"Supreme Court upholds right of confrontation" The Defense Rests (June 25, 2009)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New advocacy group seeks to ban cell phone use while driving

A new advocacy group has formed preaching the evils of talking on cell phones and texting while driving. FocusDriven was born in Grapevine, Texas where a mother lost her daughter due to an accident with a distracted driver.

The group appears to be following MADD's successful blueprint by creating awareness, pushing for legislation and supporting victims.

I would look for a push to create more "cell-free" zones in the next year. We may also begin to see prosecutors issuing subpoenas to cell phone providers to determine if someone was using their phone at the time of any fatality accidents.

See also:

"DWT is more dangerous than DWI" The Defense Rests (Dec. 22, 2009) (Official US Government website for distracted driving

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Keep an eye out for spies in the sky

According to this story on KPRC-TV, the Houston Police Department recently tested an unmanned drone aircraft that would have the capability to spy on residents in their homes and cars.

Just ask yourself after seeing this piece if the idea of unmanned spy planes above the skies of Houston really makes you feel any safer.

See also:

"Domestic Espionage Alert. Spy Drone Discovered" News Junkie Post (Jan. 8, 2010)

Sorry, so sorry

"...I'm truly sorry." -- Mark McGwire (1/11/10)

"I just really wanted to apologize sincerely..." -- Serena Williams (9/14/09)

"...I offer my profound apology." -- Tiger Woods (12/2/09)

Main Entry: apol·o·gy
Pronunciation: \ə-ˈpä-lə-jē\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural apol·o·gies
Etymology: Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French apologie, from Late Latin apologia, from Greek, from apo- + logos speech — more at Legend
Date: 1533

1 a : a formal justification : Defense b : Excuse 2a
2 : an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret
3 : a poor substitute :

As my wife would say, if you have to qualify your apology, it isn't really an apology.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Federal court denies suppression on HIPAA violation

In U.S. v. Elliot (Case No. 08-4160M), a decision published late last month, a federal court in Maryland held that even though the government violated a defendant's rights under HIPAA by issuing a trial subpoena without a court order, HIPAA does not mandate that the evidence be suppressed.

An officer of the U.S. Park Police received a report of an accident on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Upon arriving he noticed two cars: one parked partially on the roadway and partially on the shoulder, and the other, driven by the defendant, Ms. Adrian Elliot, against a retaining wall. Ms. Elliot was taken to an area hospital where blood was drawn per hospital protocol. Upon receiving the results of the blood test, the Park Police obtained a warrant and arrested Ms. Elliot.

As the Federal Courts have decided that a person's right to privacy of his medical records in not absolute but must, instead, be balanced against the state's interest in obtaining information, the Maryland court conducted a balancing test and determined that the government's interest in obtaining incriminating evidence outweighed Ms. Elliot's right to privacy.

Keep in mind we are talking about a misdemeanor. Police and prosecutors are tripping over themselves to issue subpoenas for blood records for a crime with a maximum punishment for a first offense of six months in jail. Police and prosecutors are finding complicit judges to sign "carbon copy" search warrants on "No Refusal" weekends for a crime that is one step above a speeding ticket.

See also:

Didn't they name a surgery after this guy?

Who is Thomas Jhon and why is he spamming on this blog?

These are a few of Mr. Jhon's spam comments (no back-links):

From Defense attorney turns snitch (Jan. 4, 2010)
"Common DUI defense attorney strategies are also examined. After reading this you will be comfortable in obtaining a dui defense lawyer for your current, future or your loved, DUI Defense Lawyer deal your panding pending legal case."
"An experienced DWI Criminal Defense Attorney can examine closely all aspects of a DWI charge, including errors that police may have committed, arrest procedures, use of intimidation and other details that may otherwise be overlooked. Find More Criminal Defense Attorney."
From Today the interlock, tomorrow ... (Jan. 2, 2010) and DWI is big business (Dec. 30, 2009)
"A Tax Attorney to make it simpler, easier and faster. It is not just time, labor and patience that is required substantially for the settlement of tax returns, the area where the worst impact is felt will be your pocket. The Tax Attorney appoints attorneys to keep on persuading tax payers and pay them hefty fees as per their capabilities of being persuasive."
I still have no clue what the hell that's supposed to mean.

From Taxi, dammit! (Dec. 29, 2009)
"Texas DWI attorney also looks into cases regarding drunken driving or for driving under the influence of a substance which is intoxicating. The attorney assists their client in preventing their license from being revoked or suspended, and represents their client at the hearing. Tax Attorney could also call for an acquittal of the case or a dismissal."
Now there's something I didn't know. If you want a DWI case dismissed, just go to a tax attorney. Now why didn't I think of that?

When I typed "Thomas Jhon" into Google I pulled up some articles he wrote that link back to (sorry, but no back-links today). According to the webpage, is a "One Stop Platform for all Sorts of Legal Information." And here's what they have to say about themselves:
Welcome to - The most comprehensive resource for legal information. It is quite obvious why one should learn about the laws regarding the specific legal issues he/she is facing. Whether your problem is related to taxes, real estate, personal injuries, accidents, family issues, divorce, DWI, crime, business, or bankruptcy, you will be glad to find easy top understand legal information at a single platform on this website.
If you need a good DWI attorney, is there for you, too:

A stitch in time saves nine. Caught driving under the influence of alcohol is considered to be a very serious offence with very complex criminal charges. Therefore it is of supreme importance that you choose a DUI defense lawyer to defend you with complete professionalism.

If you have been charged under DUI, your immediate first step should be to get in touch with an attorney who is specialized in exclusively handling such cases. The web is one such means where you can look for a professional online DUI lawyer. Other sources of locating a specialized attorney can be your friends, relatives or maybe even your family lawyer. The Yellow Pages are another good source to locate an experienced DUI attorney, or go through an exhaustive law directory in any library. Remember not to get carried away by flashy ads.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is lethally risky. If you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than 0.10, then you are seven times more at risk of getting involved in a fatal road accident, as compared to a person who has not taken any type of alcoholic beverage. In the US, the law states that any person who is found with a BAC greater than 0.08 is considered to be guilty of infringing driving rules, and can thus be convicted under DUI. Punishment is quite severe ranging from penalties to even imprisonment; and this is why you require a good DUI defense lawyer who is well versed with legal connotations to help you. Expert DUI lawyers will successfully find a way out so that the court as well as the DMV system turns favorable towards you.

The domain is registered to and is hosted by

Registrar: FastDomain Inc. Provider Name....: HostMonster.Com Provider Whois...: Provider Homepage:  Domain Name: LEGALINFO-ONLINE.COM     Created on..............: 2009-01-02 17:03:20 GMT    Expires on..............: 2011-01-02 17:03:18 GMT    Last modified on........: 2010-01-04 04:41:49 GMT