Category: Criminal Law Questions

Alibi Defense in Missouri

  

An alibi is a defense in criminal cases whereby a defendant demonstrates that he or she was somewhere else other than the scene of the crime at the time the alleged crime took place. In an alibi, a defendant is simply arguing that it is impossible for him or her to have committed the crime because they were at a different place at the time the crime was supposedly committed. A successful alibi rules out the defendant as the perpetrator of the offense.

An example of an Alibi Defense

John is accused of breaking into a store in Missouri at night and stole valuables. John presents evidence that he was at a party with friends or at a movie theatre at the time the alleged break-in took place. That evidence could be in the form of witnesses who were at the party with John, a video of John having fun at the party at the time of the break-in, photos, among other things. That evidence demonstrates an alibi. If the presiding judge finds the alibi believable, the defendant must be found not guilty. On the other hand, if the alibi is found unconvincing and unproven, the prosecution can use that ground against the defendant.

Depending on what an alibi is based on, the credibility of evidence presented or the witnesses who are testifying can significantly strengthen or weaken an alibi defense. The judge needs to find the presented evidence to be credible and trust the witnesses. Witnesses who are closely related or associated with a defendant can testify in a criminal case but the judge or jury might question their credibility hence that could weaken an alibi defense although it does not mean the defense should abandon it. On the other hand, a witness who is not in any way related to or associated with a defendant can strengthen an alibi defense. Testimonies from more than one person about a defendant’s alibi can also strengthen an alibi defense. Bank receipts, GPS records, video footage, swipe card records with location signatures, photos, assigned documents and phone records are usually strong alibi evidence because this evidence usually does not depend on a witness being reliable or believable.

In Missouri, a defendant is not legally obligated to actually testify when they intend to raise an alibi defense. However, if the defendant decides to assert an alibi defense, he or she is free to do so. Most alibi evidence takes the form of witnesses who can testify regarding the defendant’s whereabouts at the time the alleged crime was committed.

Regarding the procedure of raising an alibi, a defendant must notify the prosecution in advance that he or she intends to mount an alibi defense. The defendant’s attorney will provide the prosecutor with the names of alibi witnesses, their contact information, and other pertinent information about the alibi.

If the presiding judge or jury does not find an alibi defense believable for any reasons, the prosecution still must prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The court cannot just convict a defendant simply because his or her alibi defense was not believable.

Having a strong and believable alibi defense can help to get a defendant off the hook in a criminal trial in Missouri. While it may seem simple, putting together a strong alibi defense can be a daunting task.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Missouri, whether an alibi exists or not, it’s advisable to consult an excellent criminal defense attorney in Missouri. An attorney who understands Missouri’s criminal laws can help to investigate the case, device strong defenses, and prepare the appropriate alibi defense to help a defendant get the best outcome possible.

THE CRIMINAL DEFENSE OF SELF-DEFENSE IN MISSOURI

  

Self-defense is a criminal defense that can be raised by criminal defendants who inflict serious harm on another person and they believe that they were justified in doing so. This defense can be raised in crimes such as murder, assault, battery and others where the accused responded to the threat of force or violence from the victim. While Missouri laws prohibit the use of force and violence against other persons, they equally allow individuals to use reasonable and proportionate force to protect themselves from imminent harm. Therefore, inflicting serious harm or even killing an assailant may not be considered a criminal act when the defendant reasonably believes that his or her life is at stake.

According to Chapter 563 of Missouri laws, a criminal defendant is justified to use physical force when he or she believes that the physical force is necessary to defend themselves or others from an attack or unlawful force from another person. Physical force is also justified a person believes that the force is reasonably necessary to prevent another person from stealing, damaging property or tampering.

The use of deadly force is considered justified when a person reasonably believes that the force is necessary for self-defense or defense of others to prevent death, serious physical injury, or a forcible felony.

A criminal defendant who suffers from battered spouse syndrome is legally within their rights if they use force to defend themselves. If there is evidence that indeed the defendant was suffering from the condition, the person must not be found guilty.

Elements of self defense

(i) Imminent threat

A person can use physical force to defend themselves when there is an imminent threat that puts that person or their loved one in fear of immediate harm. The imminent threat may be accomplished either by use of words implying a threat of force or the actual use of force. Besides, a person can defend themselves when the threat is ongoing and not after it has ended.

(ii) Reasonable fear

Further, the law requires that the fear that the defendant was subjected to be reasonable enough to prompt measures of self-defense.

(iii) Proportional force

Another element that is considered in the self-defense is whether or not the force was proportional to the threat faced. A person defending themselves is required to use the reasonable and proportionate force to respond to the threat. For example, if a person is faced with the threat of being slapped during a squabble, the person cannot respond by pulling out a gun and shooting the other person. But if the person believes he is about to be stabbed and pulls a revolver and shoots back, this may be considered proportional force.

Under what is referred to as “The Castle Doctrine”, Missouri laws allow individuals to use deadly force against intruders who disrupt the sanctity of private property and intend to cause harm. A legal owner of private property has no duty to retreat and has the right to use deadly force to prevent an attack. However, a person must reasonably believe that the intruder intends to cause harm.

Generally, self-defense applies to circumstances where the criminal defendant is not the aggressor; where he or she reasonably believes force is necessary to defend themselves from imminent and unlawful violence; and where he or she uses a proportional and reasonable amount of force against the victim.

The defense of self-defense is fairly common in criminal cases in Missouri and the circumstances under which a person can defend themselves can be confusing. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges involving self-defense, it’s a good idea to seek legal help

Steps to get your Missouri driver’s license back after Alcohol Related Suspension

  

A person whose driver’s license is suspended by the Missouri Department of Revenue may have his or her driving privileges reinstated after the suspension period is served. Under section 302.281 (4) of Missouri laws, there are specific steps that must be completed in order to get a suspended driver’s license back. The requirements may vary based on the nature of the offense and the kind of suspension in effect. Typically, offenses that are deemed greater or severe will have stricter requirements. The following are the steps to follow:

(i) File proof of successful completion of a SATOP or similar program

Missouri laws require a person seeking to have their suspended driver’s license reinstated to complete a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) or a similar state-approved program. This program is meant to educate offenders about the hazards and consequences of violating traffic laws. You will go through screening after which you’ll be referred to one of the several types of SATOP service levels. You will have to complete the number of hours assigned for the program. Upon successful completion, the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse will send a notification to the Department of Revenue. The SATOP assessment fee is 375.

(ii) Pay a reinstatement fee.

There is always some fee to be paid when handling violations involving driver’s license suspension in Missouri. The amount to be paid usually varies depending on the nature of the violation and the kind of suspension imposed. Usually, a person will pay $20 for violations not related to alcohol, $45 for alcohol-related offenses and up to $400 for insurance violations. The fee can go up to $1500 for certain cases. In most cases, drivers pay $45, in addition to other expenses. Any unresolved traffic tickets should be paid as well.You can use the chart found on the Missouri Department of Revenue ,website to determine the exact fees you need to pay.

(iii) File SR-22 form

You’ll also be required to provide proof of financial responsibility, commonly filed as an SR-22. You must file and maintain proof of financial responsibility for two years from the date your license suspension began. The SR-22 serves to verify your fulfillment of Missouri’s minimum liability requirements. You can obtain an SR-22 form by purchasing a car insurance policy from a car insurance company.

(iv) Install interlock ignition device (IID)

You must provide proof of installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you intend to operate. This applies to persons with more than one DWI conviction, and cases of refusal to take a breathalyzer/blood test on driving record. The installer of the IID will notify the Department of Revenue after the device has been installed. The device must be certified by the relevant authorities. In addition, you must maintain the IID for a period of six months from your reinstatement date. However, minors who are suspended on the first offense under the zero-tolerance law do not need to provide proof of insurance.

(v) Certification from IID installer

This applies to drivers who were issued with restricted driving privileges during the suspension period whereby they are required to provide a certification of the IID installer indicating whether or not there were violations during the restricted period.

Bear in mind that there could still be a waiting period after you’ve met all the requirements. Therefore, do not attempt to drive before reinstatement of the license as it could lead to further suspension.

These are the basic steps a person has to follow to have his or her Missouri license reinstated after suspension. However, there may be additional steps that should be completed since the above guideline does not outline case-specific steps.

Do I Plead Guilty or Not Guilty?

   

Criminal Defense Not Guilty

What is the most likely outcome of my court date tomorrow?

I have used all my allowed continuances and tomorrow 7/18/18 @ 6:00pm is my court date where I’ll have to plead either guilty or not guilty to 3 charges. 1. Leaving the scene of an accident. 2. Very small amount of marijuana possession. 3. Not sure what it’s actually called but as I was pulled out of my vehicle to speak with Overland PD someone in the back seat tossed an eye glass container with an unknown substance into my driver side floor board. I was told it would be sent to a lab to test what it is. Now I am NOT guilty of the unknown substance charge whatsoever they could dust it for prints and mine will not be there. The insignificant amount of marijuana I am guilty of. The accident was more like our mirrors tapped in road rage while the other driver drove on the wrong side of the road to get around me. I’m not sure what to plead or what to expect, I am currently looking for work and can not afforded hire an attorney unfortunately.

Attorney Justin C. Hunt Answers

Best Answer
I am assuming that the judge either took your plea or you went to trial. It’s also possible that the judge set the trial for a later date. If you have more time, hire an attorney to keep this off your record. If you did plead guilty, it’s not too late! An attorney can attempt to set aside your guilty plea and work out a new arrangement to keep this off your record. Contact a local attorney for more information.

No Attorney-Client Relationship or Legal Advice Communication of information by, in, to or through this Web site and your receipt or use of it (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon Web site communications or advertisements. You also should not rely upon the transmission of an e-mail message to an attorney through this Web site to create an attorney-client relationship. The transmission or exchange of information will not do so. All information provided by this site, including summaries and articles on legal topics, is general in nature and provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as legal advice, and should not be taken as such. Legal advice involves an attorney’s application of legal knowledge and judgment to specific facts and circumstances presented by a client. Before providing specific advice, a lawyer may need to conduct legal research and/or obtain additional facts. Nonlawyers should therefore not draw conclusions about what may be legally required, permissible, or advisable based solely upon consultation of general sources of legal information, including this and other law firm websites, without first seeking appropriate legal advice.

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Questions & Answers Series-DUI/ hit and run..now what

   

Criminal Defense Not Guilty

DUI/ hit and run..now what

Kansas City Dui Defense, DUI Lawyer

Criminal Defense Kansas City

My husband left a resident where they had been loading hay, and drinking some beer…on his way home a deer ran in front of his car he tried to swirl to miss it and hit the signs on the corner..it was drivable but it’s a car he takes to work every day so he called the same buddy to put in on the trailer so no hauling cost, someone called in the accident the hwy patrol showed up, while he was loading the car on the trailer, made him blow..1.1 arrested him and he was served two tickets DUI and hit and run.

Answer From DUI Attorney Justin Hunt

First, stop posting facts of the case online. Second, your husband will probably need to hire a DWI attorney. At this point, the government has already started two different actions against your husband: a criminal action for the DWI/ hit and run, and a license revocation for testing over .08. These are 2 separate issues that you will need to fight.

My first thought is I would try to fight the case by pointing out that the officers didn’t actually see him driving and that it would be difficult to determine his blood-alcohol when he was actually behind the wheel. However, this is just speculation. You will need to hire a DWI attorney to investigate further.

No Attorney-Client Relationship or Legal Advice Communication of information by, in, to or through this Web site and your receipt or use of it (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon Web site communications or advertisements. You also should not rely upon the transmission of an e-mail message to an attorney through this Web site to create an attorney-client relationship. The transmission or exchange of information will not do so. All information provided by this site, including summaries and articles on legal topics, is general in nature and provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as legal advice, and should not be taken as such. Legal advice involves an attorney’s application of legal knowledge and judgment to specific facts and circumstances presented by a client. Before providing specific advice, a lawyer may need to conduct legal research and/or obtain additional facts. Nonlawyers should therefore not draw conclusions about what may be legally required, permissible, or advisable based solely upon consultation of general sources of legal information, including this and other law firm websites, without first seeking appropriate legal advice.

Justin C. Hunt

Justin C. Hunt

5.0 stars 1 review
DUI / DWI Attorney | North Kansas City, MO

First, stop posting facts of the case online. Second, your husband will probably need to hire a DWI attorney. At this point, the government has already started two different actions against your husband: a criminal action for the DWI/ hit and run, and a license revocation for testing over .08. These are 2 separate issues that you will need to fight.

My first thought is I would try to fight the case by pointing out that the officers didn’t actually see him driving and that it would be difficult to determine his blood-alcohol when he was actually behind the wheel. However, this is just speculation. You will need to hire a DWI attorney to investigate further.

No Attorney-Client Relationship or Legal Advice Communication of information by, in, to or through this Web site and your receipt or use of it (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon Web site communications or advertisements. You also should not rely upon the transmission of an e-mail message to an attorney through this Web site to create an attorney-client relationship. The transmission or exchange of information will not do so. All information provided by this site, including summaries and articles on legal topics, is general in nature and provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as legal advice, and should not be taken as such. Legal advice involves an attorney’s application of legal knowledge and judgment to specific facts and circumstances presented by a client. Before providing specific advice, a lawyer may need to conduct legal research and/or obtain additional facts. Nonlawyers should therefore not draw conclusions about what may be legally required, permissible, or advisable based solely upon consultation of general sources of legal information, including this and other law firm websites, without first seeking appropriate legal advice.

The DUI Process In Missouri

   

Kansas City Police DUI

 

If you are facing a DUI or DWI charge in Kansas City, it is important to note the fact that the state of Missouri processes these offenses administratively as well as criminally. Administrative actions differ from criminal or court actions, and if you are facing these types of charges, you should be aware of these differences.

Generally speaking, an administrative action relates to rules and regulations that government agencies make, enact, and enforce. Conversely, criminal or court actions relate to charges made by a particular state with the goal of enforcing a specific criminal law or statute within that state. The main difference between the two is where the action originates and who enforces it. With administrative actions, the originator and enforcer is a certain government agency, while with criminal or court actions, the originator and enforcer is the state itself.

When it comes to the specifics of handling a DUI or DWI, there are a few key differences between the possible criminal and administrative actions that could be taken. If you are charged with a DUI or DWI, the criminal action taken will be in regard to the ticket issued as a result of the offense. According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, “If you are convicted of an alcohol offense, the court sends a copy of the conviction to the department, and the proper points are assessed to your driver record”. Any points accrued as a result could lead to a suspension or revocation of your driving privilege.

You will also face an administrative action that is administered by the Missouri Department of Revenue. This is a separate action that will take place automatically, regardless of if the ticket you received is disposed of or reduced by the criminal court. This action requires that your driving privileges be suspended or revoked if you refuse to take a blood alcohol content test or if you do take a test and it is discovered that your blood alcohol content is over the legal limit.

If an administrative action is being taken against you as a result of a DUI or DWI, you will receive a Notice of Suspension/Revocation of Driving Privilege, also known as Form 2385. After you receive this notice, you have a fifteen day window in which you may request an administrative hearing. If the hearing results in your driving privilege being revoked or suspended, you are eligible to petition the circuit court to review your case.

If you are in the Kansas City area, and you are facing a DWI or DUI, it is important that you consult with a defense attorney about your case. A criminal lawyer can help to walk you through the process of dealing with any actions taken against you. A case of this nature can be overwhelming when it comes to managing the details of two separate actions administered by two separate systems. Enlisting the help of a defense attorney can ensure that every element of your case is properly handled.

“A Man Who Represents Himself Has a Full As a Client”

   

Criminal Defense Lawyers

Question: Can i go to court by myself and show the judge the proper paperwork and have it dismissed or do i need an attorney?

I have a hardship license due to dwi. I was driving home from work one day when someone ran a stop sign plowing into the side of my truck. The police were called and they asked for our licenses. The current piece of paper that was valid the day before this accident was sitting on my kitchen counter at home. I gave him the expired one and he told me that it was suspended. I told him i had the current one at home just not physically with me because i just got it the day before. He wrote me a ticket for driving while suspended. I went up to the municipality where the ticket was out of the next day to prove that i did have a valid license and they made a copy of it and put it in my file but told me that this was a violation that an appearance was still required.

 

Answer From Criminal Defense Attorney R. Christopher Simons:

Do not take any chances, get your DWI lawyer to take your paper down there and get this dismissed if he is able to. This has ramifications of revoking your diversion agreement and hurting your ability to make a living. Call your lawyer immediately.

Contact us about your criminal defense matters and questions.

No Attorney-Client Relationship or Legal Advice Communication of information by, in, to or through this Web site and your receipt or use of it (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon Web site communications or advertisements. You also should not rely upon the transmission of an e-mail message to an attorney through this Web site to create an attorney-client relationship. The transmission or exchange of information will not do so. All information provided by this site, including summaries and articles on legal topics, is general in nature and provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as legal advice, and should not be taken as such. Legal advice involves an attorney’s application of legal knowledge and judgment to specific facts and circumstances presented by a client. Before providing specific advice, a lawyer may need to conduct legal research and/or obtain additional facts. Nonlawyers should therefore not draw conclusions about what may be legally required, permissible, or advisable based solely upon consultation of general sources of legal information, including this and other law firm websites, without first seeking appropriate legal advice.

Can a Felon Go To A Gun Range?

   

GUN-facebook

Question About Criminal Defense:

Anonymous: Can I go shoot a gun with a friend I’m a convicted felon of a non violent crime I was released in 2011? I have my voting rights back I just don’t want to get in trouble

Answer From Kansas City Missouri Criminal Defense Lawyer Justin Hunt:

 A felony means you lose your gun rights for life. You need an expungement or a pardon to get them back.

Contact us about your criminal defense matters and questions.

No Attorney-Client Relationship or Legal Advice Communication of information by, in, to or through this Web site and your receipt or use of it (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon Web site communications or advertisements. You also should not rely upon the transmission of an e-mail message to an attorney through this Web site to create an attorney-client relationship. The transmission or exchange of information will not do so. All information provided by this site, including summaries and articles on legal topics, is general in nature and provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as legal advice, and should not be taken as such. Legal advice involves an attorney’s application of legal knowledge and judgment to specific facts and circumstances presented by a client. Before providing specific advice, a lawyer may need to conduct legal research and/or obtain additional facts. Nonlawyers should therefore not draw conclusions about what may be legally required, permissible, or advisable based solely upon consultation of general sources of legal information, including this and other law firm websites, without first seeking appropriate legal advice.