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Blog Posts in July, 2011

  • We have been addressing the situation of when does a person unequivocally invoke one's Miranda rights? As we learned yesterday, we know that a person must unequivocally invoke his or her rights. We understand how that affects our clients directly. However, there is another consequence of this opinion is that police are now authorized to engage in lengthy interrogations. At this juncture, we ...
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  • Immune deficiency disorders are classified into two categories (1) primary (or congenital) and (2) acquired. Congenital disorders consist of X-linked agammaglobulinemia, thymic hypoplasia (DiGeorge syndrome), severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), and C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency. These primary disorders are mainly seen in children. Sometimes though these ...
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  • Autoimmune Disorders And Disability?

    || 26-Jul-2011

    As we noted yesterday, autoimmune disorders are caused by a dysfunctional immunre response. The response is directed against the body's own tissues--that is, the body actually attacks its own tissues and organs. This can often lead to perpetual, multisystem impairments that will differ in clinical manifestations, course, and outcomes. There are several listed disorders in the Listing of ...
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  • The San Antonio Court of Appeals issued an interesting opinion recently. The facts were as follows: A confidential informant told police that the suspect was growing marijuana at his home. The officers did not get a search warrant, but instead went to the home to conduct a "knock and talk." The home was a mobile home, in a wooded area that is not visible from the road. Only a portion of ...
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  • Almost every right that is guaranteed to a criminal defendant by the U.S. Constitution can be waived, in some form. This includes the privilege against self-incrimination. As we have stated before, the right attaches once you are in custody and the police (or law enforcment) begin an interrogation. In order to waive your Fifth Amendment right during a custodial interrogation a defendant has to ...
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  • Yesterday, we discussed Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and the non-standard Field Sobriety tests. Begining in 1975, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began reviewing the field sobriety tests. After an extensive, exhaustive study for TWO YEARS, NHTSA determined that only three tests were determined to be reliable. That is, whether there was a good correlation with ...
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  • No one would ever associate "bath salts" with drug use, but the Drug Enforcement Agency has recently named "bath salts" a drug of concern. In fact, the Drug Enforcement Agency just conducted a sting and bust operation that nabbed ten people in the first ever "bath salts" sting. These are designer drugs that are easily purchased in stores or online, and they have only ...
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  • In the never ending quest to squelch drinking and driving, law enforcement officials have gone to great lengths to create ways to investigate whether someone is intoxicated. One of the ways to investigate whether someone has DWI is to use the HGN. As we left off yesterday, the HGN will indicate whether there is alcohol in a person's system. If there is alcohol in this person's system, then this ...
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  • As we noted yesterday, Miranda and its progeny are concerned with statements that are made as the product of custodial interrogation. In other words, any statements by a suspect of a crime while the police are questioning them when that person is in custody. It seems simple enough. However, as the law goes, the issue can be quite muddy. That leads us to the issue of the day--what statements are ...
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  • Police use the HGN as part of their arsenal to investigate DWIs. They are used throughout the nation and the test is very heavily promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The HGN is specifically designed to only test that nystagmus in a horizontal gaze (side-to-side) as opposed to a vertical gaze (up-and-down). The officer will place a pen, tip of the pin, or penlight ...
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  • Out of all the Standard Field Sobriety Tests, the HGN is the easiest to fail. No one, but the officer, can see the results. In fact, there is never a video of the person's performance on the HGN. Generally, if the officer was quick enough to turn on the dash cam, then there will be a recording o the officer administering the test. However, the camera is too far away to actually see the results. An ...
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  • As we previously noted, the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America provides that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in any criminal case. For a period of time, this amendment was not applicable to the States--it was only applicable to the federal government. Slowly, the Supreme Court of the United States began to slowly incorporate ...
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  • In the DWI context, intoxicants, according to the NHTSA, can increase nystagmus or the amount of involuntary eye-jerking. Alcohol consumption or consumption of other "central nervous system depressants" hinders the ability to control eye muscles correctly. This, therefore, causes the jerking or bouncing of the eyes. Alcohol can cause two types of nystagmus (1) alcohol gaze nystagmus (this includes ...
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  • The next clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, is the protecting against self-incrimination. This provision states that no person "shall be compelled in an criminal case to be a witness against himself." This has and still creates a massive amount of litigation. What does it mean to be compelled? If a person is being investigated for a crime, ...
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