Sometimes, the non-court consequences of criminal activity are as serious as the consequences of a conviction. These "collateral consequences," however, have traditionally come as the result of criminal prosecution. Most of the time, society doesn't inflict serious consequences on people who have never been convicted.
On March 15, students around the world plan to strike in order to highlight the global climate crisis and urge leaders to act. Many participants will be skipping school to engage in discussions, lobbying, protests and demonstrations.
According to some Iowa prosecutors, it doesn't matter if it was a mistake. It doesn't matter if they asked for a provisional ballot. The only thing that matters is that they were a former felon and they voted or attempted to vote.
Did you know that your property can be seized simply because you have been accused of a certain crime? You don't even have to be convicted. When police decide your money or property is connected to criminal activity, they can seize it in what is called a civil forfeiture proceeding.
"You have nothing to fear if you're not going to be a criminal," said a spokesperson for the Bensalem, Pennsylvania police.
The idea that ballistics -- marks made on bullets and casings by the gun they are expelled from -- can be relied upon as evidence is something most of us are familiar with. We've seen it on the CSI shows.
An arrest is traumatic for most people. You may wonder what will happen next. After police take you into custody, you will face a series of steps before your case goes to trial in Iowa. You may find some comfort in knowing what those steps are.
The use of civil forfeitures has been called "policing for profit." The civil forfeiture process usually begins when someone is charged with a crime, either at the state or federal level. At that point, police and prosecutors may find that some of the defendant's money or property is connected to criminal activity. In essence, the prosecutor charges these valuables with being connected to or the proceeds of crime. The defendant bears the burden of proving that they were not. If the defendant fails to prove that, the police and prosecutor's office get to seize the money and property permanently -- even if the defendant has not yet been convicted of any crime.
Iowa Code §726.6 provides nine specific definitions of child endangerment. Overall, however, child endangerment could be described as: 1) knowingly exposing a minor to substantial risk of physical, mental or emotional harm; 2) intentionally causing such harm; 3) depriving a child of the basic necessities of life; 4) abandonment; or 5) failing to provide adequate supervision in specified circumstances.
When prosecutors and defense attorneys choose jurors from a pool, they are allowed to reject some jurors, either for good cause or in what is called a "preemptory challenge." Jurors can be removed for cause, for example, when they are unqualified to serve, have a conflict of interest, or admit that they cannot put aside their biases. Each side gets a limited number of preemptory challenges that can be used to strike jurors without a specific cause.