SCOTUS Rules Strongly On Civil Asset Forfeiture Practice

In Drug Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. So-called “civil asset forfeiture” has long been a hot-button topic in Missouri and other states across the country, with both adherents and detractors voicing strong opinions concerning the practice. Asset forfeiture enables federal and state law enforcers to seize property they say is somehow related to the spoils of crime. An alleged drug trafficker’s bank accounts might be taken over. A business owner might have equipment or other assets seized by authorities claiming that an enterprise has been engaging in money laundering. Supporters of the practice – most …

High-Profile Figures Launch Criminal Reform Movement

In Drug Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Thursday, February 28, 2019. When national commentator and news voice Von Jones says he wants “to disrupt the status quo,” he is not alluding to a cutting-edge opinion piece or edgy interview with a controversial public figure. The focus is something altogether different. Indeed, it is a light year away from what Jones usually does. The CNN on-air personality was recently asked to head a criminal justice reform movement, and he is jumping at the opportunity. He says he is ecstatic over the chance to “shift the criminal justice landscape for generations …

MO House Is Venue For Flurry Of Criminal Reform Bills

In Drug Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Thursday, February 21, 2019. The Missouri House of Representatives in Jefferson City is the place to be presently for individuals interested in hearing about and debating criminal justice reforms. This year is unquestionably going to see legislative sessions prominently marked by promotion and energized discussion of many would-be laws avidly endorsed by sponsors who say the time is ripe for change. Meaningful change, that is. As in a bail-reform bill that will seriously address the relative inequity visited upon lower-income defendants who present no risks yet are simply too cash poor to get out …

How reliable are kits used in field tests targeting illegal drugs?

In Drug Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Thursday, February 14, 2019. Most people in Missouri and across the country likely feel safely insulated against inaccuracies in criminal law-linked test results that are simply ridiculous in their conclusions. Here’s an example: You would hardly expect a cop to pull you over, grab a box of baking soda from a shopping bag in your trunk and adjudge it heroin, right? And you would be astonished if a prosecutor subsequently slapped you with a major drug felony charge. Stuff like that simply doesn’t happen. Or does it? One Florida resident who recently …

Is A Single Internet Click Probable Cause For A Criminal Search?

In Sex Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Sex Crimes on Thursday, February 7, 2019. Following are the key facts in a criminal matter currently on appeal in a federal court. The prosecution argues that the case details are neither controversial nor problematic and that a defendant’s conviction on child pornography charges was justified and legally tight. Conversely, attorneys from an Internet privacy group see fundamental flaws in the case and cite concern that it could lead to damaging outcomes for innocent computer users in the general public. The bottom line: An individual clicked on a single URL link provided by a child …

21st-Century Big Brother Concern: Government’s Online Monitoring

In Drug Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. Are you being watched? Are Facebook images of you also being perused by security officials via top-secret databases used for domestic spying? Are comments you posted innocuously online concerning your views on topics ranging from marijuana use and sexting to political activism and other topics being scrutinized by officials from the FBI or NSA? You obviously hope not, given that the very idea is chilling. Can it possibly be that the nation’s citizenry is the mass target of clandestine domestic surveillance efforts? The American Civil Liberties Union thinks the …

Is This Court Ruling Really A Landmark Self-Incrimination Decision?

In Sex Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Sex Crimes on Thursday, January 24, 2019. Here’s a hypothetical we pose for readers that we suspect many of them will challenge on the grounds of skewed logic. The cops have probable cause to search a home pursuant to a criminal investigation. They demand that targeted criminal suspects open their smartphones for government scrutiny by unlocking them with personal passcodes. A court rules that impermissible because a passcode or other such information that must be “willingly and verbally supplied” is testimonial in nature. A criminal suspect needn’t divulge it, given the seminal protection against self-incrimination …

What Is Missouri’s Revenge Porn Law, And Does It Have Clout?

In Sex Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Sex Crimes on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. We spotlight a fundamental point regarding sex crime outcomes in Missouri on our Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry website. We stress at our established St. Louis criminal defense law offices that, “The stigma and criminal penalties associated with a sex crime conviction are significant.” Moreover, they attach to wide-ranging behavior. Many people might reasonably link sex crimes with violent acts like rape or sexual assault, but the possibilities go far beyond that. They additionally encompass child pornography (possession or distribution), prostitution-tied charges, child molestation and unlawful Internet conduct. That …

What Might Materially Improve Missouri’s Budget Problem?

In Drug Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. Mary Ann McGivern says that her reasoned view regarding a material budget fix to Missouri’s governmental money woes might not fly with a number of residents, especially public officials. Rather than endorsing her ideas and promoting their implementation, she fears that state decision makers are more apt to simply deem her “a lunatic.” Concededly, some might, but it’s just as likely that legions of Missourians would be most willing to give McGivern a close listen and thoughtfully reflect on what she has to say. In fact, it is …

Criminal Sentencing Reform On Display Coast To Coast

In Violent Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Violent Crimes on Thursday, December 20, 2018. Just because you’ve got a big hammer in your toolbox doesn’t mean you should threaten to use it.” So says an ex-federal prosecutor commenting on the proper role of a government attorney in the charging process. That should uniformly be the filing of only charges that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The commentator and other reform-minded voices now speaking up in the criminal realm stress that charging high for political reasons or to secure leverage in a plea bargain broadly disservices the public and undermines justice. …