How DUI checkpoints in Arizona are determined

The Arizona director of highway patrol issued a statement about how they determine which locations will have DUI checkpoints across the state during holiday times. These locations are chosen based on crash data that has been analyzed from the previous year as it is a good indicator of the likelihood of additional casualties. Stay safe out there!

DPS will target enforcement efforts in areas of frequent injury and fatal collisions

For Immediate Release

Arizona – State troopers will focus their enforcement patrols in areas around the State where statistics have revealed a higher frequency of injuries and fatalities resulting from crashes related to dangerous driving behavior. The focused enforcement during the Independence holiday weekend, July 1 – ­ July 4, is designed to promote safe and expeditious travel along Arizona’s highways.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) will participate in or conduct DUI task forces, saturation patrols, aggressive driver enforcement, commercial vehicle enforcement and assisting stranded motorists.

“The enforcement corridors selected for the holiday weekend are based on crash data collected from 2015, and the intent is to save lives through aggressive traffic enforcement in and around those corridors,” said DPS Lt. Col. Daniel Lugo, Assistant Director of the Arizona Highway Patrol.

Northern Arizona DPS Operations:

Commercial vehicle enforcement will increase along I-40 from the California border to the New Mexico border and I-10 west of metropolitan Phoenix. The focus is on reducing fatal and injury crashes involving commercial vehicles and non-commercial vehicles.

Apache County – Saturation patrols

Cottonwood and Camp Verde – Participation in the Marshal’s Office DUI patrols

Flagstaff – Conduct aggressive driver enforcement

Gila County – Conduct saturation patrols

Kingman – Saturation patrol partnership with Kingman PD

Navajo County ­ Participation in saturation patrols

Page – Aggressive driver enforcement

Yavapai County – Participation in the Tri-City DUI Task Force

Central Arizona DPS Operations:

Central and East Valley – Participation in various multi-agency DUI task forces

Lake Pleasant – July 3rd no parking will be permitted along SR 74. DPS and Peoria PD will be patrolling and citing violators. Further traffic restrictions may be enacted if the park reaches capacity for campers and / or boat parking fills up. Restrictions are anticipated between 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. for a fireworks show.

Peoria – July 4th Fireworks show expected to cause traffic congestion along the Loop 101. DPS will conduct saturation patrols along the Loop101.

Phoenix – July 4th Event being held 6:00 p.m. thru 10:00 p.m. at 3rd St. and Indian School; fireworks show expected to cause traffic congestion on nearby freeways beginning at 9:30 p.m.

Rawhide – July 2nd Event traffic from 4:00 p.m. thru 11:00 p.m. expected to cause traffic congestion on I-10 in south Phoenix and west Chandler. DPS will conduct saturation patrols.

Tempe Town Lake – July 4th Saturation patrols from 4:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Drivers who stop on Loop 202 at Tempe Town Lake to watch the fireworks, continue to be a problem. Last year troopers cited a number of drivers for literally stopping on the freeway to observe the fireworks. Several collisions were reported in the area. This year troopers will provide aggressive enforcement aimed at educating and if warranted, citing drivers and removing vehicles that stop on the Loop 202 bridge over the Tempe Town Lake.

Valley wide – Aggressive driver enforcement

Westworld – July 2nd saturation patrols along Loop 101 from 9:00 p.m. thru 11:00 p.m. Fireworks show expected to cause traffic congestion on Loop 101 beginning at 9:00 p.m.

West Valley – July 2nd participating in the West Valley DUI Task Force hosted by Glendale PD

Southern Arizona DPS Operations:

Commercial vehicle enforcement will increase.

Pinal County – Saturation patrols in Casa Grande

Yuma – Increased staffing and saturation patrols along with the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office. 10-mile traffic-safety campaign along I-10 between the California / Arizona state line and the Maricopa County line. Participation in the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force. Saturation patrols and a focus on seatbelt and distracted driving enforcement

Cochise, Graham and Greenlee counties – DPS will conduct saturation patrols and participate in the Southeastern Arizona DUI Task Force as well as the Eastern Arizona DUI Task Force.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity, ensuring highway and public safety.

Photos depict various DPS investigated incidents throughout Arizona over the past few years.

Source: http://www.azdps.gov/Media/News/View/?p=744

2016 July 4th Weekend DUI Checkpoints in Phoenix, Arizona

There are a lot of reasons to celebrate but one of the best is our great nation’s independence day. Law enforcement individuals want to make the roads safe for everybody in high traffic times like holidays but they also have quotas and budgets to attend to, making them use holidays as a prime time for their agendas. This site should be updating periodically throughout the weekend with more checkpoint location information. Click the link below to be directed to the site.



Recent Arizona Checkpoints - DUI Location Alerts

Arizona
DUI Checkpoints
Recent Alerts

 

County

City Location Time
Maricopa Mesa Power Road Leaving The Salt River Mon May 30, 2016
Pima Tucson W Valencia Rd and S Camino De La Tierra Sat May 7, 2016
Pima Tucson N La Caã±ada Dr and W River Rd Sat Mar 19, 2016
Maricopa Tempe Asu Area Thur Mar 10, 2016
Pima Tucson Nogales Hwy Sat Feb 27, 2016
Maricopa Tempe S Rural Rd and E University Dr Thur Dec 31, 2016
Pima Tucson W Valencia Rd and S Camino De La Tierra, Sat Dec 26, 2015
Pima Tucson Camino De Oeste Sat Dec 12, 2015
Pima Tucson N Swan Rd and E Sunrise Dr Sat Dec 5, 2015
Pima Tucson Catalina Hwy and Prince Rd Sat Nov 28, 2015
Maricopa Queen Creek W Ocotillo Rd and N Ironwood Rd Sat Oct 31, 2015
Maricopa Scottsdale Rt-101 – North Scottsdale Thur Oct 22, 2015

 

Click here to stay up-to-date with the newest checkpoints, updated in real time: http://bit.ly/1TIFySO

Abusive relationships don’t always fit the stereotype

One of the most pesky things about relationships is that there isn’t a template or an easy definitive way to say what is healthy or what isn’t. These are very subjective things but there are documented psychological conditions that can explain some kinds of behavior. Check out this interesting look into Stockholm Syndrome and how certain relationships can take on aspects of this psychological condition.

People are often amazed at
their own psychological conditions and reactions. Those with depression are
stunned when they remember they’ve thought of killing themselves. Patients
recovering from severe psychiatric disturbances are often shocked as they
remember their symptoms and behavior during the episode. A patient with Bipolar
Disorder recently told me “I can’t believe I thought I could change the weather
through mental telepathy!” A common reaction is “I can’t believe I did that!”

 

In clinical practice, some of
the most surprised and shocked individuals are those who have been involved in
controlling and abusive relationships. When the relationship ends, they offer
comments such as “I know what he’s done to me, but I still love him”, “I don’t
know why, but I want him back”, or “I know it sounds crazy, but I miss her”.
Recently I’ve heard “This doesn’t make sense. He’s got a new girlfriend and he’s
abusing her too.but I’m jealous!” Friends and relatives are even more amazed and
shocked when they hear these comments or witness their loved one returning to an
abusive relationship. While the situation doesn’t make sense from a social
standpoint, does it make sense from a psychological viewpoint? The answer
is  – Yes!

 

On August 23rd, 1973
two machine-gun carrying criminals entered a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. Blasting
their guns, one prison escapee named Jan-Erik Olsson announced to the terrified
bank employees “The party has just begun!” The two bank robbers held four
hostages, three women and one man, for the next 131 hours. The hostages were
strapped with dynamite and held in a bank vault until finally rescued on August
28th.

 

After their rescue, the
hostages exhibited a shocking attitude considering they were threatened, abused,
and feared for their lives for over five days. In their media interviews, it was
clear that they supported their captors and actually feared law enforcement
personnel who came to their rescue. The hostages had begun to feel the captors
were actually protecting them from the police. One woman later became engaged to
one of the criminals and another developed a legal defense fund to aid in their
criminal defense fees. Clearly, the hostages had “bonded” emotionally with their
captors.

 

While the psychological
condition in hostage situations became known as “Stockholm Syndrome” due to the
publicity – the emotional “bonding” with captors was a familiar story in
psychology. It had been recognized many years before and was found in studies of
other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations such as:

 

  • Abused Children
  • Battered/Abused Women
  • Prisoners of War
  • Cult Members
  • Incest Victims
  • Criminal Hostage Situations
  • Concentration Camp Prisoners
  • Controlling/Intimidating
    Relationships

 

In the final analysis,
emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for
victims of abuse and intimidation. The “Stockholm Syndrome” reaction in hostage
and/or abuse situations is so well recognized at this time that police hostage
negotiators no longer view it as unusual. In fact, it is often encouraged in
crime situations as it improves the chances for survival of the hostages. On the
down side, it also assures that the hostages experiencing “Stockholm Syndrome”
will not be very cooperative during rescue or criminal prosecution. Local law
enforcement personnel have long recognized this syndrome with battered women who
fail to press charges, bail their battering husband/boyfriend out of jail, and
even physically attack police officers when they arrive to rescue them from a
violent assault.

 

Stockholm Syndrome (SS) can
also be found in family, romantic, and interpersonal relationships. The abuser
may be a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, father or mother, or any
other role in which the abuser is in a position of control or authority.

 

It’s important to understand
the components of Stockholm Syndrome as they relate to abusive and controlling
relationships. Once the syndrome is understood, it’s easier to understand why
victims support, love, and even defend their abusers and
controllers.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/OINWln

Beware of which websites you’re on

2016 Memorial Day DUI Checkpoints in Phoenix, Arizona


Memorial Day weekend means a lot of different things. It is a melancholy time for those remembering fallen soldiers, it is a needed break from work for many and a time for families to reconnect and spend time together. It is also a time where the police are out in full force looking to detain drunk drivers. Here is a valuable resource that shows where many DUI checkpoints have been in the past so you can know that these are certain areas to avoid. Be careful on the roads this weekend, designate and driver. Remember Arja Shah is here for you.

Local DUI Checkpoints

 

Recent Arizona Checkpoints - DUI Location Alerts

Arizona
DUI Checkpoints
Recent Alerts

 

 

 

County City Location Time
Pima Tucson W Valencia Rd and S Camino De La Tierra Sat May 7, 2016
Pima Tucson N La Caã±ada Dr and W River Rd Sat Mar 19, 2016
Maricopa Tempe Asu Area Thur Mar 10, 2016
Pima Tucson Nogales Hwy Sat Feb 27, 2016
Maricopa Tempe S Rural Rd and E University Dr Thur Dec 31, 2016
Pima Tucson W Valencia Rd and S Camino De La Tierra, Sat Dec 26, 2015
Pima Tucson Camino De Oeste Sat Dec 12, 2015
Pima Tucson N Swan Rd and E Sunrise Dr Sat Dec 5, 2015
Pima Tucson Catalina Hwy and Prince Rd Sat Nov 28, 2015
Maricopa Queen Creek W Ocotillo Rd and N Ironwood Rd Sat Oct 31, 2015
Maricopa Scottsdale Rt-101 – North Scottsdale Thur Oct 22, 2015
Maricopa Queen Creek Undisclosed Location – City Limits Sat Oct 3, 2015
Maricopa Gilbert N Arizona Ave and W Guadalupe Rd Sat Sep 5, 2015
Pima Tucson Flowing Wells Rd and W River Rd Sat Sep 5, 2015
Cochise Sierra Vista Az-92 and Greenbrier Rd 7pm To 3am – Sat Sep 5, 2015
Yavapai Prescott Willow Creek Rd Fri Aug 28, 2015
Pima Tucson E 36th St And S Palo Verde Rd Sat Aug 22, 2015
Maricopa Mesa S Val Vista Dr and E Ray Rd Sat Aug 15, 2015
Pinal Apache Junction W Southern Ave and S Ironwood Dr Fri Jul 3, 2015
Pima Tucson W Bopp Rd and S Kinney Rd Fri Jul 3, 2015

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1TIFySO

An unfortunate side effect of legalizing marijuana

The legalization of marijuana is a hotly disputed topic. For the first
time in decades, recreational marijuana is completely legal in a handful
of states like Washington. Many other states are beginning to take
similar measures in a path towards legalization but there is one
unpleasant side effect that not many people think of. Whether
recreational or medical, if you legalize marijuana, you need to
establish proper protocols for how law enforcement will handle DUI laws
as they pertain to marijuana consumption.

Motorists are being convicted of driving under the
influence of marijuana based on arbitrary state standards that have no
connection to whether the driver was actually impaired, says a study by
the nation’s largest auto club.

The problem is only growing as
more states contemplate legalizing the drug. At least three, and
possibly as many as 11 states, will vote this fall on ballot measures to
legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, or both.
Legislation to legalize the drug has also been introduced in a half
dozen states.

Currently, six states where medical or recreational
marijuana use is legal – Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania
and Washington – have set specific limits for THC, the chemical in
marijuana that makes people high, in drivers’ blood. But the study by
AAA’s safety foundation says the limits have no scientific basis and can
result in innocent drivers being convicted, and guilty drivers being
released.

“There is understandably a strong desire by both
lawmakers and the public to create legal limits for marijuana impairment
in the same manner we do alcohol,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s president
and CEO. “In the case of marijuana, this approach is flawed and not
supported by scientific research.”

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1T9wlzH

What does the law dictate on drunk driving in Arizona?

Drinking and driving is illegal in every state in the United States but Arizona is an especially harsh state on the matter. In most states, if you do not have above .08 blood alcohol content you will not be charged with a DUI but that is not the case in Arizona. You can be charged for what is called a DUI in the “slightest degree” which can be just as harmful as any more serious DUI charges. Here is what the law in Arizona is for driving under the influence.

28-1381. Driving or actual physical control
while under the influence; trial by jury; presumptions; admissible
evidence; sentencing; classification

A. It is unlawful for a person to drive or be in actual physical control of a
vehicle in this state under any of the following circumstances:

1. While under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, a vapor releasing
substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor
releasing substances if the person is impaired to the slightest degree.

2. If the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within two hours of
driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle and the alcohol concentration
results from alcohol consumed either before or while driving or being in actual physical
control of the vehicle.

3. While there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in the
person’s body.

4. If the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that requires a person to obtain a
commercial driver license as defined in section 28-3001 and the person has an alcohol
concentration of 0.04 or more.

B. It is not a defense to a charge of a violation of subsection A, paragraph 1 of
this section that the person is or has been entitled to use the drug under the laws of
this state.

C. A person who is convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of a class 1
misdemeanor.

D. A person using a drug as prescribed by a medical practitioner licensed pursuant
to title 32, chapter 7, 11, 13 or 17 is not guilty of violating subsection A, paragraph 3
of this section.

E. In any prosecution for a violation of this section, the state shall allege, for
the purpose of classification and sentencing pursuant to this section, all prior
convictions of violating this section, section 28-1382 or section 28-1383 occurring
within the past thirty-six months, unless there is an insufficient legal or factual basis
to do so.

F. At the arraignment, the court shall inform the defendant that the defendant may
request a trial by jury and that the request, if made, shall be granted.

G. In a trial, action or proceeding for a violation of this section or section
28-1383 other than a trial, action or proceeding involving driving or being in actual
physical control of a commercial vehicle, the defendant’s alcohol concentration within
two hours of the time of driving or being in actual physical control as shown by analysis
of the defendant’s blood, breath or other bodily substance gives rise to the following
presumptions:

1. If there was at that time 0.05 or less alcohol concentration in the defendant’s
blood, breath or other bodily substance, it may be presumed that the defendant was not
under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

2. If there was at that time in excess of 0.05 but less than 0.08 alcohol
concentration in the defendant’s blood, breath or other bodily substance, that fact shall
not give rise to a presumption that the defendant was or was not under the influence of
intoxicating liquor, but that fact may be considered with other competent evidence in
determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

3. If there was at that time 0.08 or more alcohol concentration in the defendant’s
blood, breath or other bodily substance, it may be presumed that the defendant was under
the influence of intoxicating liquor.

H. Subsection G of this section does not limit the introduction of any other
competent evidence bearing on the question of whether or not the defendant was under the
influence of intoxicating liquor.

I. A person who is convicted of a violation of this section:

1. Shall be sentenced to serve not less than ten consecutive days in jail and is
not eligible for probation or suspension of execution of sentence unless the entire
sentence is served.

2. Shall pay a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars.

3. May be ordered by a court to perform community restitution.

4. Shall pay an additional assessment of five hundred dollars to be deposited by
the state treasurer in the prison construction and operations fund established by section
41-1651. This assessment is not subject to any surcharge. If the conviction occurred in
the superior court or a justice court, the court shall transmit the assessed monies to
the county treasurer. If the conviction occurred in a municipal court, the court shall
transmit the assessed monies to the city treasurer. The city or county treasurer shall
transmit the monies received to the state treasurer.

5. Shall pay an additional assessment of five hundred dollars to be deposited by
the state treasurer in the public safety equipment fund established by section
41-1723. This assessment is not subject to any surcharge. If the conviction occurred in
the superior court or a justice court, the court shall transmit the assessed monies to
the county treasurer. If the conviction occurred in a municipal court, the court shall
transmit the assessed monies to the city treasurer. The city or county treasurer shall
transmit the monies received to the state treasurer.

6. Shall be required by the department, on report of the conviction, to equip any
motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to
section 28-3319. In addition, the court may order the person to equip any motor vehicle
the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device for more than twelve
months beginning on the date of reinstatement of the person’s driving privilege following
a suspension or revocation or on the date of the department’s receipt of the report of
conviction, whichever occurs later. The person who operates a motor vehicle with a
certified ignition interlock device under this paragraph shall comply with article 5 of
this chapter.

J. Notwithstanding subsection I, paragraph 1 of this section, at the time of
sentencing the judge may suspend all but one day of the sentence if the person completes
a court ordered alcohol or other drug screening, education or treatment program. If the
person fails to complete the court ordered alcohol or other drug screening, education or
treatment program and has not been placed on probation, the court shall issue an order to
show cause to the defendant as to why the remaining jail sentence should not be served.

K. If within a period of eighty-four months a person is convicted of a second
violation of this section or is convicted of a violation of this section and has
previously been convicted of a violation of section 28-1382 or 28-1383 or an act in
another jurisdiction that if committed in this state would be a violation of this section
or section 28-1382 or 28-1383, the person:

1. Shall be sentenced to serve not less than ninety days in jail, thirty days of
which shall be served consecutively, and is not eligible for probation or suspension of
execution of sentence unless the entire sentence has been served.

2. Shall pay a fine of not less than five hundred dollars.

3. Shall be ordered by a court to perform at least thirty hours of community
restitution.

4. Shall have the person’s driving privilege revoked for one year. The court shall
report the conviction to the department. On receipt of the report, the department shall
revoke the person’s driving privilege and shall require the person to equip any motor
vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to
section 28-3319. In addition, the court may order the person to equip any motor vehicle
the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device for more than twelve
months beginning on the date of reinstatement of the person’s driving privilege following
a suspension or revocation or on the date of the department’s receipt of the report of
conviction, whichever occurs later. The person who operates a motor vehicle with a
certified ignition interlock device under this paragraph shall comply with article 5 of
this chapter.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1NjI7ba

DUI laws by state

Drinking and driving is something that is treated very differently on a state by state basis. There are a few things that remain relatively consistent but there are widely different factors which play into the punishments associated with this offense in each state. We are going to provide some statistics below and an easy to navigate chart but keep in mind that this is not representative of the entirely of the laws and is not updated regularly. For additional information, call Arja Shah Law today for a consultation of your case.

Drunk Driving Laws

April 2016

All states define driving with a blood alcohol concentration
(BAC) at or above 0.08 percent as a crime, but specific laws and
penalties vary substantially from state to state.

42 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands
have administrative license suspension (ALS) on the first offense. ALS
allows law enforcement to confiscate a driver’s license for a period of
time if he fails a chemical test. Most of these states allow limited
driving privileges (such as to/from work).

All states have some type of ignition interlock law,
in which judges require all or some convicted drunk drivers to install
interlocks in their cars to analyze their breath and disable the engine
if alcohol is detected. 20 states* (and 4 California counties) have made ignition interlocks mandatory or highly incentivized for all convicted drunk drivers, even first-time offenders.
*We defer to our State Highway Safety Office members’ interpretation of the law. Some groups may have a higher count.

Federal law mandates that states adopt open container and repeat offender
laws meeting specific requirements. Otherwise, a portion of the state’s
surface transportation funding is transferred to the state DOT or State
Highway Safety Office.

Alcohol exclusion laws allow insurance companies to deny payment
for treatment of drunk drivers’ injuries, but they have limited
doctors’ abilities to diagnose alcohol problems and recommend treatment.
Some states have repealed such laws.

NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data
on drunk driving laws other than what is presented here. For more
information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

State Inc. Penalty for High BAC Admin. License Susp. on
1st Offense
Limited Driving Privileges During Susp. Ignition Interlocks Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions Alcohol Exclusion
Laws Limiting Treatment
*Meeting Federal Requirements
Ala. .15 90 days   Mandatory for repeat convictions   Yes Yes Yes
Alaska .15
(at judges’ disc.)
90 days After 30 days Mandatory for all convictions Vehicle impoundment     Yes
Ariz. .15 90 days After 30 days Mandatory for all convictions Immobilization or impoundment Yes   Yes
Ark. .15 6 months Yes Mandatory for all convictions Vehicle confiscation   Yes Yes
Calif. .15 4 months After 30 days Discretionary

Mandatory for all convictions in Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare and Sacramento counties (pilot project)

Impoundment, vehicle confiscation Yes   Yes
Colo. .17 3 months Yes Highly incentivized for all convictions   Yes Yes  
Conn. .16 90 days Yes Mandatory for all convictions     Yes  
Del. .16 3 months   Mandatory for all convictions
(eff. 2/2015)
Vehicle sanction and license plate impoundment   Yes Yes
D.C. .20 and .25 2-90 days or until disposition Yes Discretionary   Yes Yes  
Fla. .20 6 months for DUI After 30 days Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) convictions Impoundment, vehicle forfeiture Yes Yes Yes
12 months for refusal After 90 days
Ga. .15 1 year Yes Mandatory for repeat convictions Vehicle confiscation Yes Yes Yes
Guam From .08 to .10     Discretionary   Yes Yes  
Hawaii .15 3 months After 30 days Mandatory for all convictions   Yes Yes Yes
Idaho .20 90 days After 30 days Discretionary   Yes Yes Yes
Ill. .16 6 months After 30 days Mandatory for all convictions Impoundment, vehicle confiscation Yes Yes  
Ind. .15 180 days After 30 days Discretionary Vehicle confiscation Yes Yes  
Iowa .15 180 days After 30 days Discretionary   Yes Yes  
Kan. .15 30 days   Mandatory for all convictions   Yes Yes Yes
Ky. .18 30 – 120 days Yes Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) and repeat convictions
(eff. 6/24/15)
Impoundment Yes Yes Yes
La. 1 .15 and .20 See footnote   Mandatory for all convictions Vehicle confiscation     Yes
Maine .15 90 days Yes Highly incentivized for all convictions Vehicle confiscation Yes Yes  

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1L0oHWR

Enforcing digital theft

Today there are people serving sentences for crimes that did not exist 20 years ago. Digital theft is still a very new sort of crime that law makers and citizens alike are often times not sure what to make of it. Here is one example of a new way that digital property is being protected and how this precedent could affect you.

One man partly responsible for hacking the accounts of more than 100 people, including over a dozen celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer. 

Ryan Collins of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was charged in Los Angeles this week for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and faces a jail term of up to five years, although prosecutors are recommending he serve an 18-month sentence, according to NBC News

Between November 2012 to September 2014, the 36-year-old stole usernames and passwords by sending fake emails from addresses pretending to be Google and Apple, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He is accused of accessing at least 50 iCloud accounts and 72 Gmail accounts without permission using a phishing scheme. 

“[The] defendant used numerous fraudulent email addresses designed to look like legitimate security accounts from various internet service providers, including, for example, email.protection318@icloud.com, noreply_helpdesk0118@outlook.com and secure.helpdesk0119@gmail.com,” said court filings, according to the BBC

Collins, the first to be arrested in the hacking scandal, has not, however, been accused of distributing the photos that appeared on websites like 4chan. The investigation is still “ongoing.” 

“By illegally accessing intimate details of his victims’ personal lives, Mr. Collins violated their privacy and left many to contend with lasting emotional distress, embarrassment and feelings of insecurity,” stated David Bowdich, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.

“We continue to see both celebrities and victims from all walks of life suffer the consequences of this crime and strongly encourage users of Internet-connected devices to strengthen passwords and to be skeptical when replying to emails asking for personal information,” he said.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/celebrity-nude-photo-hack-guilty_us_56e98b43e4b0860f99db3494?ir=Crime&section=us_crime&utm_hp_ref=crime

Social media and the jury

There are many interesting considerations of the new digital age of information in which we inhabit and one of them is how it influences the legal world. There are so many different facets of the legal system that have been irrevocably altered due to the internet and one of those processes that we are going to look at is how social media could be” tainting” a jury’s verdict.

It’s a civil case. Voir dire, questioning of jury for selection purposes, after lunch. Question: no matter what can you be fair to both sides? – Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) January 25, 2016

Claire McCaskill is a respected United States Senator from Missouri – actually a former prosecutor in Kansas City and now, among her other senatorial assignments, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Senate. A person – ostensibly, at least – of consummate probity. But several weeks ago she was called to jury duty – she was just like any other citizen paying her dues as such.

So let’s see what she felt the need to do during off moments while paying those dues. Yes, Senator McCaskill decided to tweet 33 – yes, 33 – times to her more than 110,000 followershttp://www.businessinsider.com/claire-mccaskill-hilariously-live-tweets-jury-duty-2016-1 about her jury duty (and not about the importance of doing her civic duty just like everyone else). Instead, she made sure, among other things, in separate and successive tweets, that they knew she would sit near an electric outlet, that others were knitting and reading, that she loved Perry Mason, that the jurors were watching Comedy Central, that she did not want to be responsible for the remote and, ultimately, that she couldn’t talk about the case and would stop tweeting while sitting. As a U.S. Senator, one would expect nothing less, and precisely because she is a United States Senator, we take her at her word.

But that last tweet – that she would “turn off” while sitting (“HOLY X@*! I am on the jury. Then have to go social media silent re trial. Don’t worry. I’ll share after verdict”) – is the point. Can we take everyone at their word that they will be radio silent during the case? Or not look at media reports if so instructed by the Court? And by the way, what does it say about the sanctity of jury deliberation that Senator McCaskill, a former prosecutor, is comfortable “sharing” with her followers after the verdict, as she did – explaining by twitter how she was able, during deliberations, to show lend her personal expertise to her fellow jurors in terms of their deliberations?

In fact, a New York State Bar Association committee http://www.nysba.org/socialmediaguidelines/ has just proposed a regularized, sterner series of instructions to jurors to warn them against social media interactions during trial. Still, the increasing instances of breaks in the wall that should stand firmly between the media and jurors while seated on cases – highlighted by the fact that even a United States senator can’t seem to contain her enthusiasm for using her own jury service to promote herself – it is truly time for the System to take the bull by the horns.

Let’s look at the jury and the media. The jury system in America is built on an irrefutable fiction – that juries directed to follow a judge’s instructions actually do so. And the instruction on which the justice system must rely the most is that which directs jurors to pay no attention whatsoever to outside influences about the case – in particular, albeit only in some cases, the media. Of course, there have always been sensational trials; trials where the media reported anything and everything it could. But today is different. The tabloid press can make any case front page news merely because it is sufficiently salacious (and, maybe, it’s a slow news day). Cellphones, laptops in court – everything is in real time. Social media posts go “viral.” And not only do we have a 24-hour news cycle, how many channels are devoted solely to presenting the news. And if there is no news, the commentators can literally spend hours dissecting every syllable uttered in an on-going case.

Do we really believe that jurors can be so sanitized as to ignore what is right in front of them merely because a judge tells them not to look? Forget tweets. Forget Facebook or Instagram. How about where the front page boldly editorializes that the defendant is guilty as hell. Or perhaps worse, the 48-point-font front page is screaming details of a confession that a judge has ruled inadmissible and that the jury should never hear.

Here is how it works now. Before being selected for service, jurors are typically questioned, at least somewhat, about what they have seen and read in the press. They are sworn in before the trial begins because we have come to believe or at least come to accept, rightly or wrongly, that that oath of good citizenship will carry the day – that it will encourage jurors to adhere strictly to the judge’s instructions. Jurors are told, on the first day of trial and often afterwards, that they are not to discuss the case with anyone – including, by the way, each other – until both sides conclude their presentations; that they are not to read about the case; and that they are not to watch or listen to anything about the case. During the trial, the judge may ask the jurors, collectively while they sit in the jury box, if they have adhered to these instructions. The response is murmurs of “yes, your honor” coupled with heads nodding. Given this fairly standard protocol, does a juror’s oath before the trial begins really have the same gravitas we like to believe it does? Particularly when jurors are thereafter “questioned” en masse?

So what about this instead, or in addition: rather than merely instructing jurors each evening to avoid news reports and conversations about the case, let’s bring the solemnity of jurors’ obligations – and their oath – to the forefront. What if, instead of a global “And remember, don’t read [talk] about the case,” the parties, particularly the defense in a criminal case, consent to a more elaborate procedure. We suggest consent because, for sure, we don’t want a situation where a party is concerned that jurors who never thought about media coverage now, because the judge will have highlighted the problem, wonder if they should pay attention.

What if a judge were to begin each day by putting each juror, separately, under oath in open court? The juror would be subject to the same oath as any witness – Do you swear or affirm to tell the truth? A court reporter would transcribe the questions and answers. The courtroom would be solemn and quiet and all attention paid to the juror/witness. Each individual juror will be very briefly questioned by the judge: Did you discuss the case with anyone? Did you read any articles? Watch the news?

To be certain, no one doubts that a judge must handle these types of questions with great sensitivity lest there be a wedge driven between judge and jury. At the same time, the judge and the System must recognize that, in directing jurors to essentially remain purists over their contacts and the media coverage of a case, the judge is asking jurors to do something totally counterintuitive to human experience. These are both very legitimate issues and thoughtful commentators can certainly improve on the suggestion made here. Maybe, to ingrain the protocol, the procedure should be used in every case tried. Or maybe it should only be used in those high-profile, media-charged cases where the risk of a verdict tainted by external considerations is high.

And sure, what I am suggesting will cause trials to take somewhat longer, although not by much, and it may make jurors a tad uncomfortable when the entire courtroom is focused on them. More to the point, there is no question that this procedure would not be a guarantee. But a personalized question and answer session under oath might well have an impact on jurors; perhaps when a juror knows from the outset that every day of the trial he or she will have a mirror held up to them, the path of least resistance will likely be to, in fact, adhere to the obligations of good citizenship that the daily oath demands.

I had the great pleasure, over the years, of trying cases before the late Judge Eugene H. Nickerson of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, New York. When you walked into his courtroom, like so many others, you knew you were walking into a place where justice would be dispensed. It reflected the gravity of the decisions that would be made. When Judge Nickerson in particular would swear in a trial witness, imposing a school marm’s disciplining manner, not one person in the courtroom was out of their seat. No one would speak, even in a whisper. There was no bustling about with documents, no lawyer talking to his client or co-counsel; had they been available at the time, there would have been no looking at texts or emails, tweets or posts, all as you often see in courtrooms today. Judge Nickerson would not tolerate even the smallest sign of disrespect for the solemn oath being administered.

Jurors are the backbone of the System, and requiring them to be sworn and briefly asked a few questions each day may actually cause them to be better jurors – to more effectively appreciate the oath taken by trial witnesses. When you balance it all – the privilege, yet burden, of serving; the freedom of the press; and – singularly, the most important factor – the criminal defendant’s constitutional right to a fair trial, isn’t taking the time to make sure each juror has followed (and will follow) the judge’s instructions the best option? Indeed, isn’t making trials as fair as possible what the System is about?

There can be no question Judge Nickerson had it right when it came to witnesses. Why can’t we impose the same oath, the same significance, the same obligation on jurors to make sure the demands of Due Process are met? And what I mean is, imposing such obligations whether or not the juror is a United States senator; because when they sit in a jury box every single juror is far more important than a United States senator – at least to the person(s) on trial.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joel-cohen/helping-juries-to-better-_b_9237828.html?utm_hp_ref=crime&ir=Crime