No Picture
General Article

Conspiracy in the Military Justice System

Conspiracy in the Military Justice System

Conspiracy is one of the most misunderstood areas of the law from the layperson’s point of view. There are many opinions as to what constitutes a conspiracy, and often it’s these misinformed opinions that get people into trouble.

In the military, those found guilty of conspiracy may be subject to a court martial. It may seem that the law is far sterner with respect to conspiracy and, in some aspects, it is. Prosecutors believe that when individuals conspire to commit a crime, it makes the crime far more difficult to detect and therefore increases the chance that the perpetrators will get away with the crime.

What is the Groundwork for Conspiracy?

The person that has been charged with the conspiracy is believed to have made an agreement with one or more people to commit a crime. As long as this agreement remains in place, those involved are equally party to the crime if and when it is committed.

Conspiracy gets more interesting, yet somewhat confusing, with the following example. Let’s assume two parties were charged in a conspiracy to rob a bank. One individual actually committed the crime. For some reason during his trial, this individual was acquitted of the conspiracy part of the charge. This does not automatically mean that the second individual – who was charged with the conspiracy portion only – will be acquitted as well, based on the ruling of the perpetrator.

A conspiracy doesn’t necessarily have to be entered into by verbal means only. It is sufficient for a conspiracy to have been formed as long as both parties to the conspiracy understand what is intended. Many times the conduct of the conspirators alone is enough for a charge to be laid.

What has been outlined so far is one side of the law. The other side states that just because an individual was, for example, in the same room where a crime was committed or planned does not automatically mean that the individual conspired to be part of the crime.

These are just the basics of the conspiracy charge itself. Most often, conspiracy charges become far more complex and intertwined. Multiple conspiracy charges can evolve out of a single case. In this event, the total circumstances surrounding the entire case have to be analyzed in order to determine if just one charge of conspiracy should be laid, or whether there is a justification for multiple charges of conspiracy to be laid.

Once it has been established that a conspiracy did exist, it doesn’t take much additional proof to establish a connection between the parties. What may have initially been considered a weak conspiracy case can quite suddenly gain momentum.

What has been covered here is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the law. Hopefully it has been a bit of an eye opener for those who perceive conspiracy as a simple, straightforward charge.…

No Picture
General Article

North Carolina Parole Hearings Explained

North Carolina Parole Hearings Explained

North Carolina parole conditions (Officially: “Conditions of Post Release Supervision”) are given to the convicted person on the day he is released from prison. He signs them, along with his parole officer.

NCGS 15A-1376 et seq governs parole violations in North Carolina. In addition, case law, including U.S. v. Morrissey (SCOTUS 1972) applies in North Carolina. Interestingly, 15A-1376 tracks U.S. v. Morrissey, a Brennan era opinion administrative law/due process opinion that lays out the actual procedure SCOTUS expected states to follow. As far as I can tell, there’s very little other case law from the state courts.

What happens if a Parolee Violates the Conditions of Release?

If the parolee violates the conditions of release, the parolee is subject to immediate arrest and confinement, usually in the county jail.

The parole officer will give the parolee (or his client) a violation report, which will also indicate the date and time of the hearing.

State statute requires that the person be given a “preliminary hearing” with 7 working days (weekends, holidays don’t count) of his confinement.

If the hearing is scheduled more than 7 working days after the parolee’s confinement, statute suggests immediate release is the remedy, although enforcing that would require a habeas application.

The parolee can request a continuance, in which case the parolee waives his right the preliminary hearing within 7 days.

This preliminary hearing is run by a “Hearing Officer.” Statute requires that the “hearing officer” can be a judicial officer, or can be an employee of the DOC whose full-time job is to conduct these hearings. (U.S. v. Morrissey requires this preliminary hearing and simply held that the hearing officer be independent, meaning that the officer could not be a parole or probation officer.)

The purpose of this preliminary hearing is to determine whether there is “probable cause” that the parolee did in fact commit a parole violation, allowing the parolee to be confined until the full parole commission hearing.

The preliminary hearing is an informal hearing where the rules of evidence do not apply. It is not unlike a probation violation hearing, although even less formal. The parole officer attends, and she and the parolee are sworn in. The parole violation letter you or your client received suggests that you merely need to ask for a witness to be called, and the parole commission will make sure that person shows up to this preliminary hearing.

In fact, you need to get your witness there, and get permission from the jail to permit your witness to attend.

Note that parolees have a right to have retained counsel present, but parolees do not, according to case law or state statute, have the right to appointed counsel. As a result, the vast majority of people probably go unrepresented.

At the conclusion of the hearing, after the hearing officer finds that there is probable cause of a violation, statute and case law give you a right to know the hearing officer’s findings and the facts on which he based his findings.

The full hearing should come within 45 days of the initial arrest on the parole violation. Since the preliminary hearing found probable cause, your client will probably be turned over by the local jail to the DOC. You should receive a letter from the hearing officer indicating the date, time, and location of the commission’s hearing.

How does the Parole Commission run its hearing?

As with the preliminary hearing, statute permits you to have witnesses (other than the parole officer and your client) attend the full parole hearing. You would need to work with the prison to permit their entry.

In addition, because cell phones are not permitted, if you have a recording on your cell phone that you want to play for the commission, you’ll need to either have a corrections officer carry the phone with him into the prison for you, or transfer it to another kind of device.

Both the parole officer and parolee are sworn in. If your client denies the allegation, the parole officer testifies at which point you can cross-examine.

I found that one of the alleged violations was, in fact, not a violation at all. Make sure that any violation alleged has a corresponding condition in the “Condition of Post-Release Supervision” document that the parolee signed.

Second, make sure that the violations alleged at the hearing are actually violations for which you or your client was given notice before the hearing.

Third, if your client has been arrested again on crime alleged to have occurred during parole, the parole officer may allege that the mere arrest is a violation of parole. This may be inconsistent with the Conditions of Post-Release Supervision agreement, which may state that the individual cannot commit crimes, not that the individual cannot …

No Picture
General Article

New Hampshire Domestic Abuse Laws Proposed Changes

New Hampshire Domestic Abuse Laws Proposed Changes

Domestic abuse is a major issue not only in Exeter, Portsmouth and Manchester but in New Hampshire generally. It shatters families and creates a cycle of abuse that extends to abused children who are at high risk for abusing their spouses and children.

According to some studies, over 3 million children in the US are abused annually. Battered spouses and their children may seek protection in battered women shelters, having their spouses arrested for assault, and often breaking up families.

In New Hampshire, domestic violence includes the following offenses:


Sexual assault

Aggravated assault

Threats of violence


Emotional abuse or intimidation

New Hampshire domestic violence laws include not only married couples, but extends to ex-spouses, siblings, cohabiting partners, and current or former intimate partners.

In New Hampshire, like most states, if you are the victim of domestic violence, you can seek an emergency protective order from the court that will prohibit the abusive partner or spouse from contacting you or entering your house or apartment. You can also have the perpetrator arrested if the police have evidence of abuse, such as observing injuries and the aftermath of a struggle.

However, this could all change if House Bills 1581 and 1608 pass in the New Hampshire legislature. Current law allows police who are summoned to a home where domestic violence has been reported to arrest the accused upon probable cause without a warrant if they observe signs of violence. This includes evidence of injury to a victim and signs of a struggle like damage to furniture or to the residence. Officers may also seize any firearms which may have been used or were threatened to be used by the accused.

This new law in New Hampshire would take away that discretion from law enforcement and would only permit an arrest if an officer directly witnessed abusive behavior taking place, or he or she must return with an arrest warrant. Although the law has been evidently designed to protect the rights of the accused, the situation could escalate if police must leave the scene to obtain a warrant without having an officer present at the household, leaving the victim at the mercy of the abuser.

The new legislation would also require a defendant under a restraining or protective order to violate it three times before being subject to arrest for violating the order. Presently, a single violation gives a judge discretion to order the violator arrested.

Law enforcement officials also fear that the new measures would not prohibit an accused domestic abuser from possessing firearms or from buying them.

Misdemeanor or Felony Charges

If you are accused of a domestic violence offense in New Hampshire, and depending on the severity of the circumstances, you can be charged with either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor, or a felony if serious injury resulted, or if you are accused of rape or other sexual misconduct.

Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction in NH

If you are convicted of domestic violence in areas such as Exeter, Portsmouth and Manchester or in New Hampshire generally, and your offense was a Class A misdemeanor, you face up to one year in jail, fines, probation, and probable participation in a domestic violence treatment program.

Class B misdemeanors do not include any prison time. This would include simple assault charges. You can still face fines and participation in a domestic violence program.

If your domestic violence conviction included a more severe charge such as a sexual offense, serious bodily injury, or assault using a firearm or other deadly weapon, you could face a Class A felony, which carries a possible imprisonment of more than 7 years and up to 15 years. If a sexual assault occurred or a homicide, the penalties increase up to life in prison.

A Class B felony imposes a possible imprisonment of more than one year but not more than 7 years. Probation can be up to five years.

Retain a New Hampshire Domestic Abuse Defense Attorney

Finding the proper New Hampshire domestic abuse defense lawyer is essential if you have been charged with domestic violence or abuse or with any associated criminal charges.

Regardless if there are significant changes to the domestic violence laws in NH pertaining to how and when law enforcement can arrest someone and when you can be charged, a domestic violence and abuse charge is a serious manner.

In some instances, a vindictive spouse or ex-partner may falsely accuse you of domestic violence to gain custody over children or for some other purpose. If you are arrested and charged with domestic violence and abuse, you need the services of Ryan Russman, one of New Hampshire’s premiere criminal defense attorneys.

A criminal conviction could result in the loss of your freedom as …

No Picture
General Article

Considerations when shopping for petite dresses

Wearing perfectly fitting clothing that highlights the parts of the body you like is one of the ideal ways you can enhance your confidence. However, when it comes to petites, it can be problematic to get the appropriate clothing. In reality, apart from dressing to match your body shape, you also need to consider your height. To assist you in navigating through your wardrobe, this guide highlights what you can shop for petite dresses.

Considerations when shopping for petite dresses

Ankle length

If you like to wear longer hems, you can choose those that go up to the ground level. For instance, during summer, you can pair breezy cotton sundresses that cover your ankles with casual footwear and espadrille sandals.


If you want your legs to appear lean and long, ensure you show more leg length. In this case, the dresses which hit slightly above or at the knee are the most flattering for women with petite body shapes. However, you do not want to choose a short dress because, wearing a micro-mini, you can risk appearing like a little girl.

Wrap style

A wrap-style can establish a flattering figure for petite women. However, since the dress is not broken up severely or sharply, it can still establish a smooth silhouette.

Vertical details

Having a dress with stripes that run at its center can establish a taller appearance. Admittedly, it will help in attracting the attention of the viewer.


Naturally, the v-necklines are flattering to most body types, even for petites. In particular, the V-neck will show your neck, giving an illusion that you have a long, lean neck.

Dresses to avoid

Horizontal stripes

Petite women need to avoid dresses with horizontal stripes because they will draw the eye horizontally instead of vertically.

Different colors

For a dress to best flatter women’s petite body shapes, it needs to have a monochromatic pattern. In particular, petite women should not wear dresses with one color at the top and another different one at the bottom, because such dresses will cut the body in half.


Dresses that hang at the middle of the lower part of the leg will not offer the long look you might be attempting to achieve.

No Picture
General Article

Information For Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

Information For Hiring a Criminal Lawyer

Are you in need of hiring a criminal lawyer in the state of California? Do you know what questions you should ask a potential criminal lawyer before you hire him/her? Where do you find the best lawyer to defend you? These are all very good and important questions you need to be asking if you are facing criminal charges in the state of California.

The first thing you will want to do when you are in need of a lawyer is remember your US Constitutional Rights. Under the US Constitution, the Fifth Amendment states “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. What this means is that you have the right to remain silent. You should only talk to law enforcement agents after you have spoken to a qualified criminal lawyer. By remaining silent until you speak with a qualified lawyer, you will help ensure that your criminal lawyer will be able to effectively protect your rights as well as possibly being able to help in reducing your sentence or fine.

The second thing to consider when hiring a lawyer is where to find the best one for you. You may want to start by visiting the courthouse and watching some of the criminal lawyers in action. If any case is similar to yours, pay close attention to the results and determine if that outcome is suitable for you. You may also check with law associations and find out who are members of that association and practice criminal law in the jurisdiction your criminal charges are pending.

The third thing to consider when hiring a lawyer is meeting with several of them prior to hiring one. Finding a good criminal lawyer can be difficult, but by visiting a few lawyers and asking them questions, you will be able to make a much better decision on whom to hire to represent you in court. There are several things you need to take into consideration when hiring a lawyer, such as their experience in cases similar to yours, does this lawyer belong to any law associations, and does the lawyer practice in the jurisdiction where you charges are pending? Also, make sure to find out if the criminal lawyer offers free initial consultation.

Once you have decided on a couple potential lawyers, ask them questions to narrow your decision down to the right one for you case. Here are a few questions you should consider asking:

How long as the lawyer been practicing criminal law in the state of California?

Do any of the lawyer’s past clients have positives things to say about the lawyer?

Will the lawyer fight aggressively for you in regards to the criminal charges you are facing?

Does the lawyer charge a flat rate or does it vary based on the direction of the case (will there be additional charges if the case goes to trail)?

Does the lawyer have the time and staff needed to fully represent you in this criminal case?

Having to hire a criminal lawyer can be one of the most difficult decisions someone has to make. Without conducting some research on whom would provide the best legal representation for you could result in a less favorable outcome. However, by asking the questions mentioned above, you should be able to find a criminal lawyer that will represent you fully and aggressively in court.…

No Picture
General Article

Areas and Fields of Law

Areas and Fields of Law

While entering higher education many students choose law as their area of study for graduation. There are several reasons for which people choose law as their area of study. Some of them become enthusiastic, some for earn as a lawyer and the rest of them give legal aid to the mass people.

Some information regarding the fields of law is shown below, especially which are performed by a lawyer:

Corporate Law:

The corporate lawyers help their clients to carry out their business relationships in a well organized and reliable mode with the law. The liability of a corporate lawyer takes account of making company contracts, rational property and examining the reasons of bankruptcy of any business or company.

Criminal Law:

Criminal Law takes account of crimes. Lawyers of criminal defense handle clients who are accused of crimes. Their common complements are the district attorneys and the prosecutors who signify the well being of the situation. The criminal lawyers are responsible to give legal protection to their accused clients and prove them as innocent. As well as they are accountable to make perfect inspections in order to rescue their clients from such criminal accusation.

Environmental Law:

The lawyers who deals with environmental law like the laws to protect the natural resources, laws of our surroundings and physical landscape, laws to save wild animals, etc. Environmental lawyers take effective actions against the companies or individuals who try to harm our natural environment.

Family Law:

Family law means the law which related with family matters, crimes and disputes and the lawyers are responsible to represent legal aids to their clients regarding family violence or disagreement. The lawyers who practice about family matters like divorce case or other legal matters are generally known as Family Lawyers.

Rational Law:

Rational property takes account of protecting the creator of rational works like creating programs, writing books, drawing pictures, creating new inventions, etc. These rational properties are covered under intellectual law. This law deals with responsibilities and rights of originators of intellectual property.…

No Picture
General Article

Benefits of Hiring a Board Certified Criminal Lawyer

Benefits of Hiring a Board Certified Criminal Lawyer

Why should you choose to work with a Board Certified attorney? Board Certification is a mark of excellence and a distinguishing accomplishment that sets an attorney apart from his or her peers. Within the legal community in Texas, an attorney who is Board Certified is known for having substantial experience in a select field of the law, as well as demonstrated, proven and special competence in that area.

When attorneys choose to go through the process of Board Certification, they must have already been in practice for five years with a minimum of three years’ experience in the specialty area of law. The Board Certification process is rigorous and extremely thorough. Attorneys must also furnish at least 10 qualified, vetted references and provide extensive and relevant experience and documentation. Additionally, an attorney must also pass a comprehensive specialty area examination that lasts an entire day.

Many people do not realize that Board Certification is not only a one-time event. Rather, it requires ongoing involvement in the specialty area and periodic references from peers in that field of law as well. It also requires continuing legal education course work and annual professional refreshment in order to keep up with current changes and trends in the legal world.

There are 21 select areas of law in which an attorney can become Board Certified, including civil trial, bankruptcy, criminal, immigration, tax, real estate, family, criminal appellate, estate planning and more. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) is the only organization in Texas authorized to provide the certification service, and the TBLS operates under the continuing jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Texas. Paralegals can also receive certification by completing a process that closely parallels the attorney certification process. More than 300 paralegals in Texas have distinguished themselves with board certification so far.

In 2012, the TBLS created a new certification for the specialty area of law involving criminal appeals, and 84 Board Certified attorneys were recently welcomed as the first group of specialists in Criminal Appellate law. This certification is available for Texas attorneys who have handled a sufficient number of post-conviction writs and appeals in criminal cases, and the other requirements are similar to those in other specialty areas. To learn why you should consider hiring a Board Certified attorney if you have been accused of a crime, call a Board-Certified Houston criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Ned Barnett today.…