Why It Is Important To Always Fight Drug Charges

If you recently received drug charges, you may think that it is not worth it to fight them. Maybe you believe that the evidence against you is quite strong, or maybe you feel that a simple charge like drug possession is no big deal.

In reality, neither of these are very good reasons to opt out of building a strong legal defense against drug charges. Even if you believe that the evidence against you is particularly strong, a skilled attorney can find ways to fight for your freedom that you may never consider. Similarly, If you think that any drug charge is a small matter, you should seriously reconsider that position.

Drug charges carry extremely heavy penalties compared to other similar, non-violent crimes. Moreover, beyond the legal penalties brought on by a drug conviction, you stand to face many social penalties as well.

The punishment rarely fits the crime

Campaigning on a “tough on crime” platform is a classic way that political candidates can shore up votes in an election, especially in midwestern states like Missouri. However, the reality of the matter is that “tough on crime” usually translates to “stiffer minimum sentences for drug offenders,” among other things.

Drug convictions account for a far larger percentage of incarcerations than any other kind of crime, leading to overpopulated jails that can barely keep up with a system built to churn out more convicts year over year.

If you choose not to fight your drug charges, you may face very unfair jail time as well as surprisingly high fines.

The aftermath is widespread

Even after you serve your time, you’re not done paying for the conviction — not by a long shot. Individuals with drug convictions on their records often face great difficulty securing employment because many employers refuse to even consider hiring someone with a drug conviction.

Even if you manage to find work with a conviction on your record, you may have great difficulty finding a good place to live. Many property management firms do not rent apartments or houses to anyone with a drug conviction. The practical result of this is that those rental properties that do rent to individuals with drug convictions are filled up with other people who also have drug convictions. In many cases, this makes it very difficult to avoid making further foolish choices in the future.

You may also find that insurance rates rise after a drug conviction, making it very difficult to stay legal on the road.

However you choose to build a strong defense, do not waste any time. Every hour that you choose to wait to begin building your defense is an hour that the prosecution has to build against you.

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Springfield Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Woody Discusses the Importance of an Impartial Jury in Gov. Greitens Case

Springfield criminal defense attorney Adam Woody was interviewed by the local CBS affiliate KOLR10 earlier this week regarding the case involving Governor Eric Greitens.

We found out a few weeks ago that a Judge denied the request for a Greitens to waive his right to a jury trial. In this KOLR10 interview, Adam discusses the issue of finding an impartial jury for this case.

“If people have seen coverage of this, it could impact the ability of the parties to find a fair, unbiased jury in this matter,” Woody said. In regards to the actual charges Greitens is now facing, we are left looking at the invasion of privacy charge, which may be difficult for the prosecutor to prove without the infamous photograph we have all heard so much about.

To see the full interview with Adam Woody on KOLR10 and to learn more about what sort of actions the prosecution will need to take with Governor Greteins’ charges, click here.

Springfield Defense Attorney Adam Woody Discusses Consent in the Greitens Case

Springfield criminal defense attorney Adam Woody was interviewed by the local CBS affiliate KOLR10 earlier this week regarding the new details surrounding the case with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, coming out of the bombshell report from the legislative committee investigating his case.  In this installment, KOLR10 digs a little deeper into the details in the house committee’s report.

Gov. Greitens is facing serious allegations in regards to an affair, and these allegations are hinging on witness credibility. Adam Woody spoke with KOLR10 about what can determine consent versus non-consent.  If the witness is to be believed, Greitens could potentially face additional sex charges, including the possibility of First Degree Sexual Misconduct and Second Degree Sodomy.

“Realistically the report from the legislative committee was sort of a bomb shell. It included many more details than anything the public had seen up until this point. With that really came a lot of dangers for Gov. Greitens,” Adam stated.

To see part one of this series and to learn more about the witness reports in full, click here.

 

 

Parents: 3 Ways You Can Challenge Your Teen’s DWI/DUI

The last thing you ever expected was to get a call from the police station stating that your child had been arrested for driving drunk. Your teen isn’t even old enough to drink. A DUI can impact your child now and in the future, so it’s important to understand how to fight against the charges. There are a few different methods, each of which has the potential to have the case dismissed.

1. Your child is innocent and the breathalyzer was wrong

If your teen is adamant about the fact that he or she did not drink or that he or she only had a drink with dinner with family, it’s important to question the test results.

One complaint about breathalyzers is that they have the potential to be incorrect. For example, if your teen burped while taking the test, the officer should have thrown out the results. Why? Burping releases more alcohol from the lungs, which skews the test. The officer may request two breath samples. If so, they should match or be very close to one another. If they are not, then the Breathalyzer wasn’t calibrated correctly.

2. The officer stopped your child illegally

An officer must have just cause for stopping a vehicle. For example, if your child was speeding, then asking the teen to pull over is legal. However, if your child was doing nothing wrong and was pulled over, the officer did not have the right to that stop. That fact could have the case thrown out in court.

Here’s another example. If your child was driving home and pulled out of a bar’s parking lot, that in itself isn’t enough reason for a cop to pull over your teen. The officer might suspect that your teen had been drinking, but if your teen has broken no laws, then the officer has no right to make a stop.

3. The tests were taken illegally

Another thing you can contest is if the officer sought a blood test illegally. Blood tests are not the same as breath tests and require a warrant. They are more invasive, since a needle must be used to collect the sample. Officers have the right to ask for a breath sample, but if they want a blood sample, a warrant must be issued.

These are just a few potential defenses for your child’s case. Your attorney has more information on the defenses that you can use to protect your teen against a DUI charge.

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Springfield Criminal Attorney Adam Woody Weighs in on the Greitens Case

Springfield criminal defense attorney Adam Woody was interviewed by the local CBS affiliate KOLR10 earlier this week regarding the case involving Governor Eric Greitens.  Last week, a Judge surprisingly denied Governor Greitens’ request to waive his right to a jury trial.  Gov. Greitens’ legal team desired a bench trial only, but the Judge denied that request and is now requiring him to have a jury trial if he wants a trial at all.  A bench trial involves only a Judge hearing the case and deciding guilt or innocence, as opposed to a jury.

KOLR10 interviewed Adam Woody to discuss the pros and cons of a jury trial versus a bench trial.  To see that interview in full click here.  In this particular case, it is going to be exceedingly difficult to get 12 people onto a jury who do not have some sort of intimate knowledge of this case.  One concern defendants often have of juries is that they will let their emotions get in the way of the law and reason.  More than likely that was the concern here for Governor Greitens’ defense team.  A Judge is often more suited to hear a case, apply the law to the facts, and leave emotion out of it.  The prosecutors here will likely want to use the emotion of the case to drive the jury’s decision.

This is certainly one we will keep a close eye on.

Bringing Legal Marijuana Across State Lines

Marijuana is still illegal in Missouri. Even small amounts — a maximum of 10 grams — can still bring misdemeanor charges and fines. Larger amounts bring about more serious charges and could result in jail time.

You’ve been a big fan of the movement to legalize marijuana over the years. You’ve watched as states like Colorado have taken this next step. Yes, the pot sales are highly regulated and only small amounts can be legally sold, but it’s a game-changer.

You decide that you’re going to take a vacation this summer. You’ll drive out to Colorado, hike in the mountains for a week while enjoying the legal marijuana the state now has to offer. You might even plan to bring some back with you when you return to Missouri. Since you bought it legally, you figure, you won’t run into any issues with the law. Right?

Crossing state lines

Wrong. There are a few reasons this won’t work, and you could still get arrested. You can protest that you bought it legally all you want, but it makes no difference.

For one thing, the law in Missouri remains the same, no matter what happens with laws in other states. That law prohibits not just purchases and sales, but possession. You may have bought it legally, but you literally cannot possess it legally in Missouri. If you have it on you, you violate that law. Receipts from Colorado don’t get you out of those charges because the police do not care where you bought it.

Secondly, crossing state lines with marijuana is illegal. Remember that criminal activity that crosses state lines falls under federal jurisdiction, not just state jurisdiction. Federal law says that marijuana is illegal. The feds do not care if you bought in a state with different laws. Under their regulations, you broke the law.

This means that even those traveling across border states where it’s legal on both sides — which it’s not in Missouri — could theoretically face legal ramifications. If you drive back to Missouri with marijuana in the trunk of your car, you open up a whole host of possibilities for law enforcement officers.

The ramifications

How steep are the penalties? It depends how much you bring into the state. Trafficking 30 to 100 kilograms could net you Class C felony charges, which may result in a $10,000 fine and 3 to 10 years behind bars.

With the changing marijuana laws across the country, confusion is bound to cause people to break the law without knowing they’re doing so. Unfortunately, the authorities who catch you likely won’t care if you knew you broke the law or not. If you get arrested, it is very important to understand all of your legal rights.

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Springfield Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Woody Discusses the Brady Rule on KOLR 10 News

KOLR 10 News in Springfield, MO has been following the rare and interesting case of Brad Jennings and the 2006 shooting of his wife, Lisa. While Brad was originally found guilty, new evidence supports his innocence. As of February 9th, 2018, Jennings was released after being in jail for almost 10 years.

The Brady Rule, established in 1963, requires the prosecution to provide the defense with any and all evidence that could possibly lead to the innocence of the criminally accused. Local Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Woody, with his experience in similar cases, touches base with KOLR 10 News to discuss the Brady Rule and the significance it holds in this particular situation.

Click here to watch the full segment.

Springfield Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Woody Featured on KOLR10 News Story

Adam Woody weighs in with local CBS affiliate KOLR 10 regarding the 2006 murder conviction in Dallas County of Brad Jennings. Jennings’ conviction was overturned by a Phelps County Judge earlier this week following his attorneys filing for a writ of habeas corpus.  A Writ of Habeas Corpus is a petition against an agency holding someone in custody. Once a Writ of Habeas Corpus is filed, the courts must show a valid reason for a person to remain in custody. Click here to learn more about the story and what a Writ of Habeas Corpus could mean in Brad Jennings’ case.

New evidence was discovered in his case, casting serious doubt as to the validity of the jury’s verdict.  Had they heard the evidence that had been withheld, there is a strong possibility that the outcome would have been different.  The granting of a Habeas petition is exceedingly rare, making this story so fascinating.

 

 

 

Even a first-time DUI can ruin your future

Even for a first-time offender, a DUI arrest can have lasting effects for years to come. While it does not seem fair that a choice you made when you were 20 can affect you well into your 40s and 50s, the truth is that your choices now have a direct impact on where you end up in the future.
This fact highlights the importance of not only staying off the road when you are drunk, but also being aware of the local laws regarding blood alcohol limits and knowing where to turn when you do find yourself in a predicament.
Long-term effects of a DUI can include the following.
It will show up in a background check
Most employers do a background check before choosing from a possible applicant pool. This means that if you have a DUI on your record, it will show up to your potential employer. In a world where there is competition in almost every industry to get a great job, a misdemeanor or felony can make all the difference in your career.
When you want to rent a place to live, your landlord may also run a background check and turn you away if you have a DUI conviction. A mark on your record can also affect your ability to get financial aid for college.
It can increase your insurance rates
You know the drill. Even a small fender bender can increase your auto insurance rates, and a DUI makes the situation much worse. If you have been convicted of a DUI, the insurance company considers you a high-risk driver. Some insurance companies will terminate your coverage, and others may triple your rates for several years.
It can change your professional and personal relationships
Being convicted of a DUI may change the way people look at you and the way you feel about yourself. This can affect your ability to develop personal and professional relationships that are important to you.
While a DUI does not have to mean the end of the world, handling it well is important to protect every aspect of your future. If you have been charged with a DUI and are not sure where to turn, we encourage you to contact an attorney immediately.

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Posted in DWI

What to Avoid Doing at DWI Checkpoints

Sobriety checkpoints are a useful tool for police to use to keep drunk drivers off the road. They are helpful and aid in reducing the number of people who die each year as a result of drunk driving. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 3,300 people died in drunk driving incidents in Missouri between 2003 and 2012.

In addition to death and injuries, many people have their lives upended as a result of a DWI. Many of these come from sobriety checkpoints when police discover a person drank too much. Regardless of how much you have had to drink, there are certain actions to avoid during these interactions.

Admitting to drinking anything

If you did not drink anything, then you probably can say you have not had anything to drink. However, even if you only had one beer, you should avoid mentioning it at a checkpoint. Police officers can use anything you say against you in court. Do not admit to drinking anything. You can get away with saying, “I do not want to respond to that” when an officer asks you about your alcohol consumption.

Consenting to a search

Occasionally, officers ask to search a person’s car. This is typically only done when there is suspicion the driver drank something. Even if you know you have nothing to hide, you are within your rights to not consent to a search. Police officers cannot search a vehicle without a warrant. However, if you have an illegal substance in your car that is in plain sight, such as a beer bottle out in the open, then officers could legally search your vehicle.

Driving off before having permission

Most sobriety checkpoints only last about a minute, so make sure to stay where you are until the officer says you can leave. An officer can only ask you to pull off to the side of the road if there is suspicion. If an officer asks you, then pull off to the side instead of driving off.

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Posted in DWI