Monday, November 30, 2015

False Imprisonment Charges Result from Student's Calls for Help

When do charges of false imprisonment apply?

A frantic text from a female student to her professor, combined with her cry for help to a Sneads store clerk, resulted in her regaining her freedom. Her former boyfriend, Jia Liu, a 22-year-old from Plano, Texas, is now under arrest on charges of false imprisonment, having allegedly taken the young woman from Tallahassee to Texas against her will.

According to the complaint filed by the Sneads Police Department, Liu is alleged to have flown to Tallahassee from Texas and located his estranged girlfriend who told him that she had obtained an order of protection against him the day before, but that it had not yet been served.

In spite of the order of protection, the two spent much of the weekend together and he picked her up one day from Florida State University where she is a student. She told him that, in spite of her love for him, she wanted to end the relationship, but he said he wanted to talk to her about "fixing" it, and requested that she get into his car. With the understanding that they would talk as he drove her back to her apartment, she did so.

Against her will, however, Liu drove her towards the interstate highway and she became alarmed. She texted a frightened message to one of her professors, pleading with him to call 911 and the professor notified the FSU campus police. The campus police faxed a copy of the existing injunction of protection to the Sneads Police Department, which had already been notified by the store clerk who had reported that the victim was screaming at her to call the police. The clerk was able to describe the car in which the woman had been trapped as a green Toyota Camry.

When Liu was arrested, he admitted that he was aware of the order of protection and that he had refused to take his captive home, but insisted that he intended no harm and stated that he just wanted to talk to the woman where she didn't "have an escape."

In addition to being charged with false imprisonment, Liu was also issued, at the request of campus police, a trespass warning to keep him off the FSU campus. It has been noted by authorities that Liu made no attempt to resist arrest and cooperated fully with police. Both Liu and the former girlfriend are from Taiwan, so his defense may argue that he was unfamiliar with U.S. law at the time of the crime. Nonetheless, authorities also state that the order of protection was issued in response to an incident during which Liu choked the woman in question.

If you have been charged with false imprisonment or a similar crime, it is essential that you have an experienced, aggressive attorney on your side in order to obtain the best possible outcome.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tulsa Considers New Plan for Public Drunkenness Offenders

What are Oklahoma’s incarceration policies for public drunkenness offenders and how might they change in the future?

Currently, in Oklahoma, public drunkenness offenders are booked and held in a facility with the general prison population. Some favor a change of approach for a number of reasons. It is argued that a new policy would benefit police officers, offenders and taxpayers in Oklahoma. The proposed plan is to hire a nonprofit agency to take in public drunkenness offenders instead of having these offenders enter the criminal justice system via prisons. The offenders would be released to the nonprofit agency which would then house the offenders for 10 hours and not charge them for the offense. Their stay there would be confidential. The booking process would be reduced in time from 2 hours necessary if an officer were to bring the offender to the police station, to 10 to 15 minutes if the offender was brought to the nonprofit agency.

Officials say that the current state of affairs negatively affects policing because public drunkenness is unfortunately not able to be prioritized by law enforcement as a public health problem. When a police officer comes across a person who is in violation of the law, the individual is booked and taken to a holding cell in much the same way as a person who has violated a more serious crime. As mentioned earlier, the process takes a very long time. Officers have said that if they’re going to spend 2 hours booking someone anyway, they would rather it be a more serious offender. Therefore, a new policy would allow officers to process public drunkenness offenders more quickly and use more of their valuable time for more serious offenses.

The new policy would also benefit offenders. If the plan currently in negotiation succeeds, offenders would be brought to a nonprofit designed to service those suffering from alcoholism. This, it is felt, would be more helpful than a period of incarceration. The offender would get the chance to sober up at the facility and, hopefully, have a chance to seek treatment.

The new policy is also said to be beneficial for taxpayers. If the nonprofit agency is retained, the booking process would be reduced from 2 hours to 15 minutes. Officers able to utilize the nonprofit agency instead of the police station for booking, would be back on patrol much more quickly. This means that, effectively, Tulsa is putting more officers on patrol.

Taxpayers are presently suffering under the weight of a judicial system already clogged with public drunkenness cases. Under this new plan, public drunkenness cases would stop clogging up the court system. A lesser burden on the courts would mean less expense for taxpayers. Finally, if public drunkenness offenders are not locked up, the cost of housing them would decrease

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney promptly.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Judge Issues Gag Order in Oklahoma State Homecoming Parade Prosecution

What are the latest updates on the Oklahoma State Homecoming Parade case?

On Monday, November 9th, progress was made in the recent case against Adacia Chambers for allegedly causing the injury and death of multiple people at the Oklahoma State Homecoming parade. The original judge recused herself because she knew one of the victims. The substitute judge sent Ms. Chambers for a mental evaluation and adjourned the case to a date in December. The judge also issued a gag order, prohibiting all involved in the case from publicly speaking about it for 2 weeks, until defense counsel could be heard on the order.

Since the crash occurred, a motive has been sought. One possible explanation is that Ms. Chambers had mental health issues. Ms. Chambers is accused of driving through a red light, around a barricade, over a police motorcycle, and through a crowd of spectators. A video of Ms. Chambers being processed upon her entry into jail includes audio of her admitting to past mental health issues and struggles with attempted suicide. She admitted to feeling suicidal at the time of the crash. Her father has admitted that his daughter has had treatment for mental health issues in the past. The prosecution has publicly stated that it is their theory that Ms. Chambers’ behavior at the time of the crash was intentional.

Because it seems from reports that the defense will not be based on the identification of the driver, it may turn out to be very important for the defense to ensure that the jury is aware of the mental health of the defendant. If such mental health issues were present and arguable, the case may hinge on whether the defendant was sane at the time of the crash, and therefore capable of being criminally responsible. Thus, the gag order issued in this case is much more important than it may originally seem and may turn out to be a contested issue at the time that the judge hears arguments from defense counsel in the near future.

If you have been charged with a crime, you should consult with a criminal attorney promptly.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Young Men Wanted For Oklahoma Murder

What are the consequences associated with a first-degree murder charge?

It comes as no surprise that those involved in the procurement of illegal substances are at a higher risk of being involved with other crimes. Often, dealings involving drugs can take a wrong turn and result in violence. That is exactly what happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the fall of 2015.

On the night of the 29th of October, Edwin Monroe Harris, 19, and Norman Gaines III, 18, ventured onto the 2100 block with the intention of buying drugs. They met with 46-year-old Ronald Alvis Dinkins in an effort to purchase Lortab, a liquid painkiller. The deal did not go as smoothly as planned and Harris and Gaines used a firearm to steal the Lortab from Dinkins. Dinkins was shot during the altercation. Harris and Gaines then jumped into a red Chevrolet pick-up and attempted to flee. When another man tried to stop them, they hit him and dragged him under the vehicle for a number of feet.

Now, Harris and Gaines are wanted for murder. Both of the men were charged with first-degree murder as well as robbery with a firearm. Harris, who is currently subject to a sentencing deferral for an assault with dangerous weapon, was also charged with possession of a firearm while under the supervision of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
Murder is the most serious crime you can commit and therefore, the punishments are severe. A person convicted of murder in the State of Oklahoma can be sentenced to life in prison, with or without the possibility of parole, or to the death penalty. If Harris and/or Gaines are convicted of first-degree murder, they could spend the rest of their lives in jail or face lethal injection.

If you are facing murder charges, or charges for any other violent crime, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney by your side.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

New Website Launch

Welcome to our new website!  Please check back often for updates.

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