Menu
X

Category Archives: Weird Laws

image
6 months ago Laws , Weird Laws

Things Cops Do That Are Illegal: What a Police Officer Can and Cannot Do

Between 2005 and 2013, police officers in the United States faced forcible rape charges over 400 times, and forcible fondling charges 636 times, according to CNN. Researchers at Bowling Green University say that police misconduct is not as rare as the average citizen might think, and that it happens at all stages and ranks of law enforcement careers.

It’s important for citizens and civilians to know there are things cops do that are illegal. Keep reading. Informing yourself is protecting yourself. A graduate study by an associate professor of criminology at Bowling Green University found that between 2005 and 2012, there were 8,006 arrest incidents and 13,623 charges against police officers. The research team concluded that “nearly half” of the charges faced by cops were charges on violent allegations.

Worse, Mapping.com reports that 852 people were allegedly killed by police in 2018 so far. They also report that in 2017 there were only 14 days when a civilian was not killed by police.

Police misconduct and police brutality are words in every day vernacular today, with good cause.

There are a number of things that cops do that are illegal. Generic police misconduct can range anywhere from bribes to search and seizure without a warrant.  If you are driving your car, cops can’t even stop your car without probable cause or reasonable suspicion a crime has occurred. This is because the 4th Amendment treats traffic stops as a “seizure.” If there is no probable cause, any evidence collected for a DUI or crime can be tossed out by the court.

Things Cops Do That Are Illegal

Allegations of illegal actions by law enforcement can range from police misconduct to police brutality, to actions such as rape or even murder. These actions, when true, can result in a miscarriage of justice such as obstruction of justice. Discrimination is a factor that is gaining more publicity in recent years.

As smartphones become more prevalent in mainstream society, the recording of police misconduct and police brutality has also become more prevalent. Police misconduct refers to actions taken by law enforcement that is in contradiction with their official duties. Sometimes police misconduct is illegal, and sometimes it is not.

Police misconduct refers to actions such as intentionally obtaining a false confession, using intimidation, corruption, racial profiling, surveillance abuse, drug use, stealing, bribery, false arrests, false imprisonment, ticket fixing, search and seizure without a warrant, unlawful killing of dogs, coercing false testimony, and sexual abuse.

Even the simple question such as, “Do you know why I pulled you over today” can be viewed as intimidation if the stop goes bad for the driver in question.

In New York City in 2011, 16 officers were charged after facing a grand jury on widespread ticket-fixing. The ticket-fixing investigation began in 2008 and included two alleged false arrests with one related to alleged drug dealing.

The grand jury heard over 80 witnesses testifying over a course of six months. In addition to ticket fixing, charges included grand larceny, tampering with public records, conspiracy, and official police misconduct.

While the definition of police misconduct can sound lenient, it can also find itself in the heat of a grand jury inquiry. In many cases, police misconduct leads to the use of the exclusionary rule by defendants at trial.

What Is the Exclusionary Rule?

In the United States, the exclusionary rule precludes evidence that is gained in a way that infringes on the Constitutional rights of the accused in question. The exclusionary rule does not apply to civil matters, including immigration matters.

It is this rule that generally governs over police misconduct matters in the rule of law.

Police brutality is a form of police misconduct that occurs when unnecessary and excessive force is used by law enforcement handling citizens. This includes but is not limited to the use of nerve gas, batons, any form of physical abuse, and pepper spray.

Illegal use of a firearm is also considered police brutality. Law enforcement is permitted to apply force when necessary to make arrests, and we want them to be able to do so in order to keep us safe. They are also permitted to use their firearms for self-defense.

The issue of proportionality comes into play when it comes to the use of deadly force. Cops are always required to use the least amount of force in any situation. Whether the use of force was proportional to the problem at hand will be the question when determining whether or not misconduct or brutality came into play, if a cop is questioned on his or her use of a firearm.

For example, a police officer making an arrest that is being resisted, and has a knife pulled on him, can use deadly force if necessary. It would be misconduct if the knife was not pulled on him.

Five Police Officers Convicted After Hurricane Katrina

The New Orleans Police Department serves as an example of police misconduct that involved unlawful use of firearms leading to death. Police corruption was also a problem after Hurricane Katrina. Five police officers were convicted by a federal jury six years after the hurricane.

The officers were convicted in relation to the infamous Danziger Bridge shootings.

Those were police shootings that resulted in four injuries and two fatalities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. There were four convictions of unlawful shootings, and those four officers were also convicted of cover-ups.

One of the officers convicted was Sgt. Arthur Kaufman, who was investigating the police shootings. He was found guilty of a cover-up, as well as a number of other charges related to the shootings.

He was accused, and found guilty of, planting a firearm at the scene of the crime to make it appear as if the victims were armed at the time of the shooting. He also lied to federal agents.

Cases such as this make citizens facing a false arrest or illegal search more convinced of the existence of the “blue code of silence.” The blue code of silence is the notion that there is a brotherhood among police officers, and they will protect each other at all costs.

When police officers are covering up for their own in regards to illegal activity, the blue code of silence in itself would be just another thing on the list of things that cops do that are illegal.

Is the Blue Code of Silence Real?

Anyone that is facing false arrests or illegal searches, or any of the other things that cops do that could be considered illegal, may tell you that the blue code of silence is real.

A study in the Journal of Policing and Society asked some members of law enforcement to dish the dirt. Survey says the blue code of silence is a thing.

The study was examining police corruption and asked law enforcement what they thought of it. Some officers viewed corruption such as money or drug stealing as worse than police brutality. They also viewed that as worse than bending the rules to protect their fellow officers from criminal prosecution.

The study also found that officers were not so willing to report police misconduct or brutality unless there was something in it for them.

The study found that the findings from police officers themselves supported the notion of the “blue code of silence.”

What Police Officers Can and Cannot Do

There is a long list of things police officers can and can not do, but many on that list pertain to those moments that happen at a point of contact with law enforcement. Illegal searches or seizures are a hot subject that can easily lead to a situation of police brutality or police misconduct.

  1. When it comes to searches, legal searches occur with a warrant. This is your Fourth Amendment constitutional right. Without a warrant, a search of any property or person is illegal and unconstitutional. That is unless an individual is already under arrest. Before the arrest, a police officer must have consent for a search, or a warrant produced.
  2. If evidence is produced without a warrant or consent, it will fall under the exclusionary rule, and would likely be ruled inadmissible in court.
  3. Police officers must have reasonable belief or suspicion that a vehicle or home contains evidence or illegal items in order to get that warrant or consent.
  4. If evidence is in plain sight, the police officer has reasonable suspicion and is not required to get a warrant. In other words, if a gun a police suspects is illegal, or a bag of drugs is on the passenger seat of a car they stop, they can search the vehicle without consent or warrant.
  5. A police officer may not “stop and frisk” unless there is reasonable suspicion you are involved in a crime. Your rights here are protected by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

Your Rights If You Are Arrested

The rights of the accused are sometimes easily ignored by police officers working with an accused individual that is not clear on their rights.

If you have been arrested, you must have your Miranda rights read. You are informed of your right to an attorney. You are also advised of your right to remain silent.

Most criminal defense attorneys would advise you that you exercise both of those rights. Even one-word answers to police can create a snowball of a problem for the accused if the officer in question engaged in police misconduct.

If you are arrested, and you do want to speak to your lawyer (as you should), the police are not allowed to listen in. It is your right to have a private conversation with your counsel.

This is a privileged conversation. If the police listen to the conversation, have your attorney speak directly with them, and not you.

The most important constitutional rights are your Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process and your rights of the presumption of innocence.

If you’re worried about how to protect your freedom, always consults a lawyer. You can find lawyers that specialize in police brutality with services like USAttorneys.

It Could Happen to You

There is no one size fits all formula that will determine whether or not a cop stop will result in your false arrest or any form of police misconduct or brutality. It doesn’t depend on your race, age, or sex.

Dealing with law enforcement can be frightening especially when there are things cops do that are illegal. It’s always good to know your rights. To learn more about any legal issue or to find the right legal advice for any situation check out our blog today.

image
7 months ago Crimes , Laws , Safety , Weird Laws

What Are The Regulatory Requirements for Cleaning Crime Scenes?

Crime scene cleanup is an essential part of the process of restoring a crime scene environment and making it safe for habitation. The cleaning of crime scenes is not officially a regulated industry, yet there are regulations, restrictions and guidelines for crime scene cleanup staff to follow that ensure that rigid public safety standards are met. There are several agencies that are responsible for overseeing the protocols, namely, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Any company that offers crime cleanup services would be recognized by the above organisations as being capable of carrying our necessary cleaning at crime scenes, while the company itself would have a rigorous training program to ensure that all their employees meet the very high standards that this type of work demands.

Crime Scene Cleanup

Crime Cleanup Companies

In the US, there are certain crime cleanup companies who operate across the country and their staff are specifically trained for this type of work. Crime cleanup technicians undergo special training and encounter horrific scenes that might arise from the following scenarios:

  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Unattended Death
  • Disease

The crime scene cleanup company would also be called in to eliminate risks from a tear gas infected area and render the environment safe for habitation and that means removing all traces of the harmful chemicals.

Crime Scene Cleanup Regulations

Special Skillsets

This type of work does not suit everyone, due to the traumatic scenes that one is likely to encounter, not to mention dealing with the people who are directly affected by the incident, the owners or occupants of the property. The cleanup company do sanitize the entire room where a trauma has occurred, yet they do not clean carpets, which are disposed of in a safe way. Items such as bedsheets, blankets and items of clothing are also disposed of, while the floors and walls are cleaned using special chemicals that break down the blood pathogen. The cleanup process is very thorough and the technicians wear special protective clothing while at work and due to the nature of such incidents, the company would have mobile teams who provide a round-the-clock service 365 days a year.

Bloodborne Pathogens

When cleaning up blood or human waste, the technician is always aware of the potential danger from bloodborne pathogens and is required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), the technician would be competent in the use of many different products used to sanitize a trauma scene. Bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted from person to person, such as hepatitis and HIV, therefore great care must be taken when cleaning up blood or other bodily fluids.

Second Responders

Crime scene cleanup technicians are what is known as second responders and would be called in when the police have finished collecting the required evidence and in many cases, they have to comfort family members before and after the cleanup process. If, for example, a person took their own life at the family home, the crime scene cleanup technicians would be called in as soon as possible and in such situations, family members are still in a state of shock and a high level of compassion is required when entering the affected premises and carrying out the cleaning.

Safe Removal of Biohazardous Materials

This is the primary role of a crime scene cleanup technician, who would thoroughly disinfect the area to ensure that all biohazardous materials are safely removed, Certain items would not be cleaned, rather they would be bagged up and incinerated and it is a time consuming task to completely clean the trauma scene, while great care must be taken by the technician to ensure they have completely removed all biohazardous materials and the property has been thoroughly sanitized.

Should you ever require the services of a crime scene cleanup company, an online search would be the best place to start and by dealing with an established company that is accredited and recognized by regulatory bodies, you can be sure the cleanup will be carried out promptly and effectively, allowing you to safely occupy the property. Typically, the cleanup company would have a network of branches and would cover several states or perhaps a region of the US.

image
8 months ago Weird Laws

Is it Legal for Telemarketers to Call if You Are on a Do Not Call Registry?

It is true that most of the people are fed up with the telemarketing calls that they receive on regular basis. The telemarketing calls can get very disturbing and tiring. The telemarketing sales calls are often unwanted and people have zero interest in them. These type of calls interfere during your work hours and disturb you during your relaxation time. Nobody wants their phones ringing unnecessarily. Nobody gets happy to receive calls from telemarketers for the reason of sales. These telemarketing calls and robocalls can really get on your nerves sometimes and all you want is for them to stop. If you are also totally exhausted and fed up with these telemarketing robocalls then there is a good news for you. You can register yourself for the national do not call list to report nuisance calls and can get rid of the telemarketing calls.

How To Get Yourself Registered For The National Do Not Call List

Like most other people, chances are that you are also tired of getting unwanted telemarketing robocalls on regular basis. If you do not want the telemarketers to call you for sales purposes, then do not waste any more time and register yourself for the national do not call list. After the immense appeal from the public, the government finally took action and created a national do not call list. They saw the exhaustion that the telemarketing calls have caused to the people. The telemarketing calls were increasing rapidly and the government noticed that they should do something. The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission along with the help of the states formed the national do not call registry and encouraged people who were tired of receiving these telemarketing calls to put their numbers up in the registry. The national do not call registry was formed in the October of the year 2003.

With the help of TSR (Telemarketing Sales Rule), you can put yourself in charge of selecting the calls or numbers that you do not want any contact form. This will help you in getting a reduced number of calls from the telemarketers.

Now, must be wondering that how can you get yourself registered for the national do not call list. Well, it is not a very difficult task. You have two options. You can either register online or by a call. If you want to register by phone call, then you must call with the number that you want to register. If you want to register online, then you must have an email address. You will be asked to provide that email address for confirmation purposes. You will receive a confirmation email from the system which will have a link inside it. By pressing the link, your registration will be confirmed. You will have a maximum of 72 hours to check and click that link. Within only 31 days, you will receive much less number of calls from the telemarketers. Your number will reach them and they will acknowledge that you do not want any telemarketing sales calls. Your number will now be included in the national do not call list. You will feel relieved after putting your number up for this registry because now the telemarketers will avoid calling you.

The telemarketers do their search in the national do not call list every month. After every 31 days, they look into the national do not call list and note the numbers that are on the list. These telemarketers avoid calling the numbers that are included in the national do not call list.

What Happens When A Telemarketer Calls You After You Have Registered For The National Do Not Call List

Putting up your number up in the national do not call list does not mean that your number will be completely blocked for the telemarketers. However, these telemarketing calls will slowly and gradually reduce. Give a time of 31 days, and if after 31 days you receive a call from the telemarketers, only then you can take some action. If you receive a telemarketing call after 31 days have passed then you can file a complaint by calling 1-888-382-1222. It is a toll-free number. You can also file the complaint online at donotcall.gov. Just note down the name of the company from which you received the call and the date as well. The telemarketers who do not respect the national do not call list are extremely discouraged. They are heavily fined for this kind of act. The fine can reach $40,000 for every call. So, it is not at all legal for telemarketers to call you if you are on the do not call registry.

Whenever you feel that you are receiving too many marketing calls, or that you’re being disturbed too often by these telemarketing robocalls, then register yourself up for the national do not call list. You will start noticing a reduction in such type of calls. You will feel relieved.

image
1 year ago Weird Laws

10 Surprising Pet Laws You Might Not Know About

Americans love their pets. 68% of all households have at least one pet.

That’s 84.6 million pet-loving people.

And with pet ownership comes responsibility. You have to feed them, give them plenty of water, and make sure that your pet is healthy.

But you also have to make sure that you and your pet doesn’t break the law. While most Americans know it’s against the law for a pet to bite, there are other laws most of us aren’t even aware of.

To help you and your pet stay within the law, here are ten pet laws you need to know about.

1. Don’t Allow Fido to Bark After 6 pm in Little Rock

Yes, it’s true. There is actually a law in Little Rock, Arkansas that states you cannot allow your dog to bark after 6 pm.

This helps to curb continuous and annoying barking and howling. Since it’s one of the most frequent complaints Animal Control receives, it makes sense.

It’s considered the owner’s responsibility to keep their dog from barking so that it doesn’t bother the neighbors. They recommend having pet owners with barking dogs to buy a bark collar or a barking management system at their local pet store.

2. Don’t Allow Your Dog to Bark for Longer than 15 Minutes in Northbrook, IL

Pet laws in Northbrook, Illinois have declared that it’s illegal for dogs to bark for more than 15 minutes straight.

While at first glance, it might seem strange, when dogs bark for a long period of time, it can be an indication that something is wrong.

3. Pets Have Fair Warning About Trespassing in Denver

The pet laws sure are interesting in Denver, Colorado. Perhaps it’s just that they have very well educated dogs.

The law states that a dog catcher must notify dogs of impounding by posting a notice. Then notice has to be on a tree in a city park and/or along a public road through that park.

The notice must be there for three consecutive days. After that, a dog catcher is free to round up all dogs still ignoring the notice.

4. No Smelly Dogs in Illinois

Illinois loves its various pet laws. In Galesburg, if you have a smelly pet, you’re breaking the law.

Either this law came out after the song, “Smelly Cat” came out or it’s to help ensure dogs are not neglected.

5. Don’t Give Your Pet a Lit Cigar in Illinois

For many people, smoking and drinking go hand in hand. But if you’re in Illinois, you’d be breaking two pet laws.

It’s illegal to give your domesticated animal a lit cigar. This is actually a statewide law.

6. You Can’t Educate Your Pet in Hartford, CT

I guess no one wants the dogs of Hartford, Connecticut to become too uppity. Their pet laws state that no one can to educate their dogs.

The reason behind this law remains unclear. Perhaps they worry that all the educated dogs would leave Connecticut and head to NYC for a career in TV.

7. Pet Laws State No Whiskey For Pets in Chicago

If you haven’t figured out that you shouldn’t give your dog alcohol, this law in Chicago, Illinois will remind you. Except that it only pertains to whiskey and no other type of alcohol.

Luckily, this one is usually easy since most animals don’t like the taste of alcohol. However, if your pet does end up imbibing, keep in mind that they are much smaller and weigh far less than you do.

That means the alcohol will affect them to a much higher degree than it can affect you.

If your pet does get drunk and injuries occur, you can be liable. At that point, it’s a smart idea to consult with a personal injury attorney.

8. The Fair Housing Act

While most of these are silly pet laws, the Fair Housing Act of 1988 is one intended for good reasons. It requires apartments and housing communities that would ordinarily restrict pets to make an accommodation for Emotional Support Animals (ESA).

The emotional support animal laws help those people who struggle with emotional and psychological disabilities.

What this means is that if you’re a verified ESA owner, no one can deny you housing just because you own a pet. It’s similar to housing laws that prohibit people from denying housing to disabled persons based on their condition.

However, you can’t just state that you have an ESA. You must first have a diagnosed disability. You must also provide documentation to the property owner or housing representative.

9. The Air Carrier Access Act

The Air Carrier Access Act has been in the press a lot lately. Recently, a passenger actually tried to claim that a peacock was their ESA.

As a result of people trying to bring the peacock and other rather strange pets on airlines as ESAs, the airline industry is now reviewing and changing their policies.

This act was originally passed in 1990. It’s designed to prohibit discrimination of disabled people traveling by air.

The Air Carrier Access Act states that airlines can’t refuse transportation, limit, or require advance notice before offering service to disabled people.

However, ESA owners must provide verified identification.

The Air Carrier Act also restricts airlines from charging fees for accommodating disabled persons with an ESA.

10. Cats Don’t Chase Dogs Up Telephone Poles

Lest you think that dogs are the only animals with some crazy pet laws written about them, here’s one about cats.

In International Falls, Minnesota, it’s against the law for cats to chase dogs up telephone poles. Since most dogs can’t climb but cats can, this law seems to be in reverse of what most of us would think is normal.

When You or Your Pet Breaks the Law

Given that most of these pet laws are completely silly, it stands to reason that you or your pet may inadvertently break the law at some point.

But there are other laws, like the Fair Housing Act, that is really important for all of us to comply with. Many individuals truly require the emotional support only an animal can provide.

When someone breaks the law, it’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer. Use our site to find the best attorney for your needs in your area.

Newsletter
Location

© Copyright 2019 Halt Law Directory | Connecting Attorneys with Clients in Need. All rights reserved.