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Law Cases

State v. Yonkman – Police Not Allowed to Initiate Conversation

State v. Yonkman 633 Ariz.Adv.Rep. 43 – This case supports Miranda and Edwards in that after a suspect invokes his Miranda rights, even after a multiple day break in the investigation, police are not allowed to initiate a conversation with the suspect, whether direct or indirect.

This case also found that pursuant to Rule 404(b) and (c), the admission of testimony about acquitted conduct is not barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause or the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution and is admissible. In this case, police arrested Mr. Yonkman on sexual misconduct allegations and he immediately invoked his right to counsel. Two days later, the alleged victim called police and recanted her initial allegations. It was at this time that the police told the alleged victim that they could close the case if Yonkman would undergo a polygraph test and give a statement.

The alleged victim indicated that she would pass this information on to Yonkman and the detective provided his contact information for the alleged victim to give to Yonkman. Later in the day, Yonkman contacted the detective and scheduled a meeting to provide information in order to close the case.

At the meeting the detective re-read Miranda and Yonkman admitted to touching the alleged victims breasts and vagina. He was again arrested. After litigation, Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals found that because the detective initiated the contact with Yonkman through the alleged victim, rather than Yonkman initiating contact with the detectives, the statements obtained must be suppressed.

Child Pornography Cases and Computer Forensics

Today David Michael Cantor, a Sex Crime Defense Lawyer, based in Phoenix, AZ, discusses Child Pornography Cases and Computer Forensics.

As David mentioned in last years video post about Limewire closing down, more people are finding themselves on the wrong end of the law because of various file sharing programs. Almost immediately after Limewire closed the network was shifted over to Frostwire allowing people to continue to download files from other users computers easily and with unforeseen dangers. As David explains again, but in more detail in this video, when you download files from other peoples computers it is very easy to unknowingly download child pornography and other files that can result in decades of prison time.

In this video David goes into further technical detail about how various files end up on your computer. Even when you delete a file from your computer there can still be parts of the file on your computer that can be used as evidence against you.

If you do find yourself or someone you know in trouble for this type of activity it is important that you get competent and experienced legal representation. It is also critical that a computer forensics expert be involved as well.

Tami Loehrs: Computer Forensics Expert (520) 219-6807

Kim Hart: False Allegation of Abuse Trial Consultant (419) 868-6016

Why Defense Lawyers are Necessary

Why Defense Lawyers are Necessary

Picture of Handcuffs meant to create image of injustice

Image credit to Vectorportal

The power of government officials and prosecutors is awesome. They have to power to punish. They can literally charge you with a crime, lock you up, and take away the keys. Often times we forget how much power these officials wield and how important it is to keep a check on their power through the criminal justice system. A startling example of what can occur when this power remains unchecked is the case of Hubert Vidrine. Here is an excerpt from a federal magistrate judge’s statements in awarding Vidrine more than a million dollars in damages based on a wholly unfounded prosecution of this man and his company for environmental waste.

Rather than finding Agent Phillips conduct and testimony supportive of a finding of the existence of probable cause, this court finds Agent Phillips testimony, conduct and documentation illustrate a deliberate pattern of disregard for oaths taken, truth of the matter involved, wholly lacking in intellectual honesty, and exhibiting a deliberate intent to mislead all involved, particularly the prosecutors with whom he worked and who were relying upon his investigation and technical expertise in order to evaluate their case. Agent Phillips has displayed the very worst example of abuse and misuse of the power and trust bestowed upon a governmental agent, and has brought great shame upon the agency which had entrusted him with that power, responsibility, and authority . . . . It is sufficient for this Court to find Keith Phillips set out with a flagrant and reckless disregard of the rights of Hubert Vidrine, in that he deliberately controlled and skewed the investigation, falsified and sculpted reports and requests made to his superiors, mislead the prosecutor, gave patently false testimony under oath to the grand jury, made false verifications to this Court, all the while taking advantage of the opportunity he created to pursue his clandestine sexual affair with Agent Barnhill.

WOW.
Federal Agent Phillips made up charges and lied to create a case against an innocent man; this was evidence that a United States Attorney relied upon to prosecute Vidrine for a crime that didn’t exist. What was the purpose of all the lies? Phillips wanted to be able to continue a sexual affair with another federal agent.
WOW.
This is exactly why defense attorneys are necessary. Prosecutions are unfounded sometimes. People are innocent sometimes. Law enforcement officials lie sometimes. This is a fact of life, we are all human. So who is willing to stand up to these people who have such awesome power? Criminal defense attorneys. While some people may think this type of behavior is the exception, and not the rule, however true that may be, if you were Vidrine do you care?
(Hattip to Popehat.)

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