Avvo John W. Thornton, Attorney at Law - YELP


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Recording Police Action: Criminal Activity or Constitutional Right? reports a California man was arrested in April 2011 for recording video of police officers from inside his garage. The man recorded an encounter when he saw police arresting a man down the road at gunpoint. The recording was taken on his cell phone.

Police eventually caught wind of this recording, showed up at the recorder's home, and demanded the cell phone as evidence. When the suspect refused to hand over the phone, police arrested him on the spot for interfering with the police.

Such occurrences have become more prominent throughout the last several years, especially with the availability of camera phones and other portable recording devices. These occurrences have sparked both debate and litigation about the constitutionality of recording police officers publicly performing their duties.

California Legislator Alleges Constitutional Violation in DUI Stop

On March 27, 2012, police arrested Assemblyman Roger Hernández or suspicion of driving under the influence after they stopped him for allegedly weaving in his lane. Hernández claimed that police violated his constitutional rights during the stop and asked the judge in his case to throw out all of the evidence police collected after the supposed constitutional violation.

Acquitted of DUI Charges

Hernàndez told officers that he had only two glasses of wine over a period of five hours before he was arrested. A blood test showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent. Hernàndez filed documents with the court alleging that the traffic stop was unreasonable. As a result, Hernàndez argued, the blood test, the statements he made and the observations of the arresting officers should all be inadmissible.

The judge allowed the evidence to be used at trial. However, a jury acquitted Hernàndez of the charges against him after he successfully cast doubt on the way that the lab processed the blood test.

Bipartisan Marijuana Bill Would Allow States to Legalize Marijuana

The war on drugs celebrated its 40th birthday in 2011, which has prompted many state and national legislators to reconsider this longstanding drug regulation as many consider it to be "over the hill."

Legalization of Marijuana is an extremely controversial issue with arguments on both sides and the public's discourse has become increasingly vocal about this issue in the past several years. Many are questioning whether the war on drugs is an effective use of our nation's resources.

Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act

U.S. Representatives Ron Paul and Barney Frank attempted to rekindle the marijuana debate in the legislature. reported that the two introduced a bill on June 12, 2011 which would remove the federal prohibition on marijuana and allow states to legalize, regulate and tax the drug.

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