In general, the pre-filing stage of a criminal case refers to everything that happens before criminal charges are officially filed. This can include quite a lot or very little, depending on the specific details. There are some differences in this process between a felony and misdemeanor in Colorado, but most of the process is pretty similar. Read the rest »
Bail bonds are an increasingly contentious topic in the United States. Are they applied fairly? People may generally agree that an offender who is likely to hurt himself or others should stay in jail until his trial. However, many of the people languishing in prison cells today are non-violent offenders, and the only reason they’re held is because they can’t afford to make bail – to pay the bond that releases them until trial. Read the rest »
On June 3, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled in Maryland v. King, 569 U. S. (2013) that it is not an unreasonable seizure, defined by the Fourth Amendment, for law enforcement officers to obtain a DNA swab from someone during the booking phase of an arrest. DNA testing is viewed as a technological advancement, and using this technological advancement during booking procedures can be viewed as either an aid for solving past crimes and preventing future crimes or an intrusion on individual’s Fourth Amendment right to be safe in their person from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Justice Kennedy, along with the majority, held that taking a DNA swab during regular booking activities is reasonable for the purpose of identifying the accused. Justice Kennedy reasons that this is no more intrusive as fingerprinting, matching tattoos to known gang symbols, or reviewing photos of an arrestee to aid in determining the identity of the suspect. Essentially, DNA would be a better tool to identify the accused because DNA cannot be altered like fingerprints or appearances. Read the rest »