Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How can I keep a criminal charge from crewing up my job?

A diversion can be a useful tool if applied correctly.  Whether it be utilized in a DUI case, a criminal charge, or a speeding ticket diversion can surely help you keep your record clean and avoid some stiff penalties in a criminal case.

Here is a common way this question gets brought up.

Q: I am charged with theft in when I took a few items from a Walmart.  My brother told me I should try to get a diversion.  What is a diversion?

A.  A diversion agreement often referred to as “a diversion” is a contract between you and the prosecutor. When someone has committed a crime sometimes the prosecutor will offer the offender a way to divert the charge; by using a diversion agreement. Basically, if you do everything that the agreement requires you to do and don’t violate any of the conditions of the agreement the prosecutor will not move forward with the case. Additionally, you will usually have to stipulate to the facts you are accused of committing. If you break the agreement the prosecutor will proceed with the case, along with the facts that you stipulated to, making their case much easier to prove. Diversions can work great if you don’t make any more mistakes.  I always advise clients to really look at themselves and their past.  It they are the type of person who gets in trouble often then a diversion may just be setting yourself up for failure.  They have their place but now right for everyone. Just in case you happened to stumble across this blog because of a Kansas Theft case Then here is a video for you.

Monday, May 14, 2012

State Senator trying to talk her way out of a traffic ticket becomes campaign issue...

Everyone gets traffic tickets and everyone tries to talk their way out of them.. Maybe appeal to the officer's good nature...Or see if they know a cop friend of yours that may curry a little favor into a warning.  But some take it a little bit far.  Now it looks like it may become an issue for a current state senator running for reelection.
Here is the article in the Wichita Eagle.

Democrat files to challenge Faust-Goudeau in 29th District.

By. Dion Lefler

Democrat KC Ohaebosim has filed for a rematch against state Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau in the 29th District, saying that he wants to “restore integrity” to the office.  Faust-Goudeau hasn’t officially filed to run for re-election yet and Ohaebosim didn’t criticize her by name in making his announcement, but he did make reference to the senator’s highly publicized efforts to talk her way out of traffic tickets while invoking her position with the state and connections to local officials.  “My immediate goal is to restore integrity, bring back integrity to the seat of the 29th District,” said Ohaebosim, 33. “No one should think they’re exempt from the law or above the law. People need to take a look at someone who will respect law-enforcement officers.”

The 29th District includes a large part of northeast Wichita and represents about 58,000 people.  Faust-Goudeau, 52, said she plans to file for re-election after the upcoming legislative wrap-up session next week. She said she expected someone would try to make her traffic history an issue in the campaign.  Last year, police videos of traffic stops showed Faust-Goudeau telling officers that she was a state senator and showing a police department token that was given to her by Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams. In two of the three incidents, she was let off with a warning by Wichita officers, although a state trooper did write her a $140 ticket for speeding on the Kansas Turnpike, which she paid.  Faust-Goudeau has apologized for the ticket incidents and said she regretted it had become “another distraction from the real issues,” such as jobs and education, facing the Legislature.  “As I said in my article of apology, nobody is perfect, we learn by our mistakes and try to do better,” she said.

Faust-Goudeau beat Ohaebosim in 2008, getting seven out of 10 votes in the 2008 Democratic primary. She won the general election by a similar margin over Republican Kenya Cox.  Faust-Goudeau is finishing out her first term as a senator after winning the seat vacated in 2008 when then-Sen. Donald Betts, D-Wichita, challenged then-Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, for the 4th District congressional seat.
Ohaebosim works as a customer support specialist in the utility division of Honeywell Inc., which makes energy-efficient thermostats.  Since his unsuccessful run for Senate, Ohaebosim has increased his public profile, serving on the City Council’s 1st District Advisory Board and the Wichita school district’s Oversight Committee, which monitors progress of the district’s $370 million in bonded construction projects.
He’s also been active in tutoring and mentoring through the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.  He said he was troubled that the Wichita district recently had to redraw attendance boundaries and close five schools because of decreases in operating funds from the state.

“The main reason for people to elect me is to work for funding for the schools,” Ohaebosim said. “Nobody likes the idea when schools are being closed.”  Faust-Goudeau said she’s already fighting in Topeka for more money for schools. “If you look at my votes, I’ve always voted for increasing funding for public education,” she said.  She said boundary realignment and school closures are more of a local than a state issue, and if Ohaebosim wants to change that, “perhaps he should run for school board.”

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2012/04/19/2303662/democrat-files-to-challenge-faust.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Have you been charged with Theft in Kansas?

Did you take something that wasn't yours?  Shoplifting...Theft...Stealing...

If you have been charged with theft in the state of Kansas you are looking at some serious charges whether it be a misdemeanor or a felony.  You don't want to have a criminal record especially if the conviction has anything to do with stealing.  Every time you apply for a job or an apartment or school you are going to looked at differently.  No one wants to hire a person that has been convicted of stealing.

That being said you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer.  One that can take the time to investigate your case and give you some honest and frank advice about your charges.  How theft charges work in Kansas is that the severity of the charge is largely dependent on the value of the items that the state is alleging that you stole.  Punishment ranges for theft vary widely depending on the value.

Here is a video produced by a Kansas defense attorney describing theft charges.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Criminal Charges against planned parrenthood in Kansas Lawyers want case dismissed.

Defense attorneys are asking a Kansas judge to dismiss the remaining criminal charges against a Planned Parenthood clinic accused of performing illegal abortions, saying the allegations stem merely from differing medical opinions about how such procedures should be handled.  The lawyers representing the suburban Kansas City clinic also argued in previously sealed court documents that nearly half of the 58 remaining criminal charges were filed after a deadline set by Kansas law. The Associated Press obtained copies of the documents Tuesday from the district court in Johnson County after Judge Stephen Tatum unsealed them.

Tatum, the district judge handling the case, dismissed 49 other charges in November at the request of Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe, including felony counts accusing the clinic in Overland Park of falsifying records. All 107 charges were filed in October 2007 by Howe's predecessor, Phill Kline, a fellow Republican who opposes abortion. Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate believe it was the nation's first criminal case against a Planned Parenthood clinic.  The judge, who has yet to decide whether the case will go to trial, has set a July 11 scheduling hearing. Planned Parenthood attorneys filed multiple requests under seal March 29 to have the remaining charges dismissed, and Tatum allowed them to become public Monday.

"We think we have very powerful legal arguments," Topeka attorney Pedro Irigonegaray, who's representing Planned Parenthood, said Tuesday. "There's plenty to show that there was never anything to it."  Howe declined comment, saying he didn't want to violate past instructions from Tatum and the Kansas Supreme Court for attorneys in the case to limit their comments outside courtrooms.  Kline, now a visiting assistant law professor at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., wasn't surprised by Planned Parenthood's attempt to dismiss the remaining charges.  "It's to be expected," he said.

The Planned Parenthood clinic is accused of violating a Kansas law that in 2003 restricted abortions at or after the 22nd week of pregnancy if a doctor determined the fetus was viable, or could survive outside the womb. For each of the 29 abortions, the clinic still faces one misdemeanor charge of not properly examining whether the fetus was viable and one misdemeanor count of performing an illegal late-term abortion.  Defense attorneys argued in their court filings that 26 charges covering 13 abortions before July 2003 were filed beyond a two-year deadline for pursuing charges that was in effect at the time. Legislators changed the deadline, giving prosecutors five years to file charges, but the change didn't take effect until July 2003.

In July 2005, Kline was Kansas attorney general and was locked in a legal dispute with Planned Parenthood and another abortion provider over access to key information in patients' medical records as he investigated providers. Kline didn't gain access until October 2006, just before losing re-election as attorney general. He became Johnson County's district attorney in January 2007 and continued investigating Planned Parenthood.
Attorneys for Planned Parenthood also are trying to block the testimony of a family practice physician and a doctor who provides care for patients with high-risk pregnancies. The two are questioning the methods used to determine that each fetus wasn't viable.

The defense attorneys said Tatum should not allow the testimony because neither performs abortions. The attorneys added that a potential defense witness — a medical school professor who edited a textbook on abortion and serves as chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood's New York City chapter — concluded that the Kansas clinic followed standard medical practices at the time.  In the past, the Kansas Supreme Court has declared that a criminal case against an abortion provider cannot boil down reasonable differences of medical opinion.  "This was simply an attack on women's reproductive health care issues, not based on facts but on political motivations," Irigonegaray said.

Planned Parenthood also argued that it's unfair and unconstitutional under past U.S. Supreme Court decisions to punish providers for making good-faith judgments about a patient's care because others disagree about their decisions.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kansas Case sounds very similar to the Trevon Martin Case

Read this article in the Wichita Eagle.  Very similar to the circumstances in this Trevon Martin case.  I'm not one to chime in on really controversial topics.  I also know that these are tough economic times and there is a general unrest and fear amongst the public but that being said we need to leave crime fighting and investigation to the police.  I am not saying that police are infallible, police make mistakes.  But everyone out there for themselves investigating crime and going vigilante is not the best option.

If you home gets broken into and you return to find that you have been burglarized call the police.  Do not grab your gun and start walking the streets trying to find out who did it.  There are people who are specially trained to do that...they are called police.

After a traumatic event you are not utilizing all of your cognitive reasoning skills because you have not been specially trained to do this.  Leave it up to the police, that is why they are there.  True they are not perfect and some are all out incompetent but it will keep you from pulling a gun on an innocent person just walking their dog.

Here is the article in the Wichita Eagle.

Attempted citizen’s arrest reminds victim of Florida case 

By Hurst Laviana

Cade Nesmith was walking his black Labrador in east Wichita last May when he noticed a man walking his way.  “He kept approaching me, and that’s when I noticed he had a gun,” Nesmith said. “He pointed the gun directly at me and told me to get down – face down – on the ground.”  Nesmith knows his way around guns, but he could only estimate the size of this one.  “It was like a .40 maybe, or a .45,” he said. “It was a big enough caliber to put a good-sized hole in something. ... Until the cops showed up, that gun was pointed at my head the entire time. I did everything he told me to do. I didn’t know what his intentions were.”
The man with the gun explained his intentions to police: His house had just been broken into, and he’d made a citizen’s arrest. But he arrested the wrong man.

The man, 64, was eventually charged with a felony count of aggravated assault for his actions that night. But after six continuances, five by the defense, the case was dismissed.  The man with the gun was free to go, and Nesmith was left with serious doubts about the criminal justice system.  “From the get-go, I’ve been shocked by how the case was handled,” he said.  Nesmith said he sees similarities in his case to the Florida case involving the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February.
Both cases involved armed citizens who presumably set out with good intentions. In both cases, the armed men called authorities to tell them about the possible criminal activity. In both cases, the man making the call ignored the urgings of dispatchers to avoid confronting any suspects.

Nesmith said he feared for his life.

“I thought there was a 50-50 chance that I wouldn’t walk out of that situation.”  The man who made the citizen’s arrest could not be reached for comment last week. His telephone has been disconnected. His lawyer, Julia Craft, said she could not discuss the case without her client’s permission, which she said she didn’t have.

The facts of the case

Nesmith has lived in the 500 block of North Brookfield since 2009. It’s a quiet neighborhood, a few blocks east of Woodlawn, that’s made up mostly of one-story houses that are appraised at $150,000 to $200,000.
Nesmith, 35, is an Augusta native who has an elementary education teaching certificate from Texas but has worked most recently as a part-owner and investor in an aviation parts distribution business.

“I’m a gun owner myself,” he said. “I’ve got a .9 millimeter, a .22 Beretta and a .357 revolver. I grew up out in the country, and I’ve been shooting my whole life. I don’t have a carry-concealed license. I don’t think I need one.”  Nesmith said he takes his 6-year-old Lab, Dakota, on long walks through the neighborhood a few times every week.  On the night of May 3, he said, he went a little farther than normal, and that’s probably why he ended up walking south in the 600 block of South Brookfield around 10 p.m.

As Nesmith walked down the street, the other man was dialing 911 to report that someone had just forced his way into his house. He told a dispatcher that he shot at the would-be intruder, whom he described as a black man who was 5-feet-8 to 6 feet tall. The man was wearing a white shirt and dark pants, he said, and had a gun. A police affidavit said the man ignored a dispatcher’s advice to put down his gun and remain inside until police arrived. The affidavit also said the man was intoxicated.  Nesmith said he never heard the shot. At 5-foot-7, he’s Asian-American and was wearing navy blue track pants and a gray pullover. He carried in his pockets a house key and cellphone.

When the man first approached, Nesmith said, “I thought that maybe he thought my dog had pooped on his lawn. But it wasn’t like I was even near his property.”  As he lay on the street with a gun pointed at his head, he said, he was afraid to try to use the cellphone or disobey the man with the gun in any way.  “I wasn’t about to run off," he said. “I was really afraid he was going to shoot me.” Nesmith’s house was across the street and just six houses south of the man making the citizen’s arrest..

The law

Kansas law defines assault as “knowingly placing another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm.” The crime becomes aggravated assault – a felony – when a deadly weapon is used.  Another Kansas law says a civilian may make an arrest in a felony case if the civilian has probable cause to believe the person has committed a crime. Citizen’s arrests also are authorized when the person making the arrest has seen a misdemeanor being committed. Police say citizen’s arrests are most commonly used in shoplifting cases, but they do occasionally occur in felony cases.

Court records show that the case against the man who made the citizen’s arrest was filed on Aug. 8 – more than two months after the incident – and that he was released on $25,000 bond.  Deputy District Attorney Kim Parker said the case was dismissed in January after prosecutors concluded that they couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty.  “The problem we had was over whether or not he had formed some sort of criminal intent to harm the guy,” she said. “His intent, from all the facts and information we had, was to hold him there for police. He didn’t intentionally try to harm the guy.  “It was dismissed because it was our belief that we didn’t have sufficient evidence to show that he was acting with a criminal mind.”  As for Nesmith, she said: “He obviously was scared, but he was immediately released once the police got there and sorted through the facts.”

Wichita lawyer Steve Robison, who has worked as defense lawyer and a prosecutor, said he doesn’t buy Parker’s contention that prosecutors needed to prove that man intended to scare Nesmith. The fact that he pointed a gun and that Nesmith was scared should be enough to win a conviction, he said.  “It’s not a matter of ‘Can you prosecute?’ It’s a matter of ‘Should you prosecute?’ ” he said.  But Robison also said prosecutorial discretion has to be used when deciding which cases to file.  If prosecutors blindly followed the letter of the law, he said, they’d be applying the state’s adultery law to every divorce case where one of the parties has had sex outside of wedlock.

Robison said he wasn’t familiar with the facts of the Nesmith case, but he suggested that prosecutors might have been reluctant to prosecute a case that could lead to a mandatory prison term for a 64-year-old man who was trying to protect his own property.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2012/04/14/2296415/attempted-citizens-arrest-reminds.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2012/04/14/2296415/attempted-citizens-arrest-reminds.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Criminal Defense Attorney in Overland Park Kansas.

You got a DUI.  You are charged with shoplifting. You were caught driving on a suspended license. Everyone makes mistakes but now your looking at a criminal case in Overland Park Municipal court and you need help.  If your charged with a criminal case in Overland Park you need to hire an Overland Park Criminal Lawyer right away to start protecting your rights.  Remember, criminal convictions will stay with you a lifetime.  Don't compound a mistake by taking a criminal conviction.  An Overland Park Criminal Lawyer can help.

Here is a video produced by an Overland Park Criminal Lawyer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kansas women sentenced after robbing old lady

A Kansas women was sentenced in Johnson County Kansas today on charges of robbing an old lady.  It was alleged that a younger Kansas women had held an elderly lady at knife point forcing her to drive around Johnson County gathering money from various ATM machines to get money for drugs.

Looks like they sentenced her to 11 years.

Here is the write up in Kansas City Star.

Woman sentenced in Johnson County kidnapping, robbery case

Read more here: http://joco913.com/news/woman-sentenced-in-johnson-county-kidnapping-robbery-case/#storylink=cpy

By: Tony Rizzo

The woman who kidnapped Edna Wells at knifepoint warned her to not scream or do anything funny.
But she didn’t say anything about praying, and that’s just what the 81-year-old Shawnee KS woman did as she was forced to drive around Johnson County and withdraw money from ATMs.

Lord, give me wisdom,” Wells repeated to herself on that August day in 2010.

That’s when Wells said she thought to go to a bank where they would have to walk inside. There, Wells mouthed “help” to the teller. Realizing that something was wrong, her abductor fled and police were called.
On Tuesday, Wells faced that woman again in a Johnson County courtroom and saw her sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Sarah Nicole Zaragoza, now 24, received the same sentence as the one imposed earlier on her co-defendant, 41-year-old Rachel Ann Batista, who drove Zaragoza to the Shawnee grocery store where Wells was accosted.

Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Riebli said they intentionally targeted an elderly, vulnerable victim. She argued that because Zaragoza was the one armed with the knife, she should receive a stiffer sentence. Riebli asked District Judge John Bennett to impose a 15-year term.

Defense attorney Zane Todd cited Zaragoza’s lack of a criminal record and the fact that she pleaded guilty without an agreement to spare Wells from having to go through a trial. He asked for a sentence of no more than 10 years.

Wells told the judge that she didn’t believe 10 years was enough.

I want you to know how terribly frightening it was,” she told the judge. “I pleaded with her not to hurt me.”
Before she was sentenced, Zaragoza told Wells she was sorry and said of her actions that day, “I was really bad into drugs.”

Zaragoza, who previously pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping, aggravated robbery and attempted aggravated robbery, was given credit for the time she has served in jail since her arrest shortly after the crime.

Read more here: http://joco913.com/news/woman-sentenced-in-johnson-county-kidnapping-robbery-case/#storylink=cpy