Carl e. CornwellAttorney at law

Kansas City Criminal Defense Law Blog

Facing murder charges in Kansas

The night in question may be a blur to you. Perhaps you were not even there at all and are baffled at why police arrested you. However, investigators and witnesses have placed you at the scene, and now you are looking at criminal charges that could jeopardize your freedom and the rest of your life.

If you are facing accusations of taking someone else's life, you have every right to be concerned. Criminal homicide carries some of the harshest penalties in the justice system. Depending on the type of criminal homicide with which police have charged you, your very life could be at risk.

The right defense for the drug charges you are facing

The conviction of any type of drug charge is serious, and the repercussions can have a serious impact on your life. If you are currently facing state or federal drug charges, you understand the gravity of your situation and the need to adequately defend yourself against these accusations.

Drug charges range in type and severity, but you would be wise to start building your defense strategy as soon as possible. Whether you are still under investigation or you are already facing charges, you have the right to build a strong defense. Individuals facing any type of drug charge in Kansas would be wise to act quickly to shield their future interests.

Should you enter a not guilty plea for bank fraud charges?

If prosecutors in Kansas have charged you with bank fraud, your immediate future likely consists of various meetings, hearings and other legal processes that may make your life stressful, and may have long-lasting impacts on your future. Like any other person in this or any other state, the law guarantees you the right to present as strong a defense as possible to try to avoid conviction. A question you must ask yourself is whether it's in your best interest to enter a not guilty plea.

There are so many factors involved that it's often difficult for the average person with no background in law to determine what the best defense option may be in a particular situation. The good news is that support is available to help you choose the path that will most likely increase your chances of obtaining a positive outcome.

Miranda warnings lost in translation

The most crucial time to understand your civil rights is when you are under arrest. This is when any violation or involuntary surrender of your rights can place your freedom at risk. By law, police who arrest you must inform you of your rights to prevent you from incriminating yourself. However, what if you don't speak English?

One of the important elements of the U.S. Supreme Court decision called Miranda v. Arizona is that police must clarify that you understood your rights as the officer read them to you. If you speak Spanish or another language, Kansas police must provide you with a translation of your Miranda rights. Unfortunately, many of those translations are confusing and inaccurate, compromising your vital rights.

Know your gun laws before buying, selling or shooting in Kansas

As a citizen of the United States, you and anyone else in Kansas (or another state) of similar legal status are protected by the Second Amendment with the right to bear arms. You may be a firearms enthusiast who collects vintage weapons from various eras or you may enjoy an off-the-grid lifestyle that includes hunting. You may also be among those who constantly refine their shooting skills as a means of self-defense. All of these things are legal under state law if you meet gun law requirements.

Kansas takes a lot of flak for its lack of stringent gun laws. In fact, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence issued the lowest score possible to this state, mainly because firearms dealers do not need a license, you can sell a gun to another person with no background checks and no limit on the number of guns you may purchase at one time exists. Even so, you could face weapons charges that can have lasting repercussions, so it's best to make sure you understand the regulations and know where to seek support if needed.

Is your child charged with heroin possession or trafficking?

Those who live on either coast may look at Kansas and imagine it as prairies and farms, insulated from the evils of the world, especially the terrifying drug epidemic. You know this isn't true. In fact, if you have a son or daughter who is facing federal drug charges, you can attest that life is not always so beautiful on the other side of the rainbow.

The phone call may have come at any time of day or night, but it still felt like a nightmare. Your child calling you from jail after an arrest for possession or distribution of heroin was the last thing you envisioned when you held him or her in your arms as a baby. You likely wanted only the best possible life for your child, and you still want that now. That is why you are searching for ways to help your child in this moment of uncertainty and fear.

Not everyone in Kansas can buy a gun

Gun owners in Kansas are fortunate that the state laws protect their rights despite national outcries for government control of certain weapons. While the recent horrific shootings that resulted in dozens of injuries and fatalities certainly raise the question of what to do to prevent future tragedies, you may be frustrated when these events raise more calls for gun control.

While Kansas is among the top states with strong protections for gun rights, you may still be at risk of facing weapons charges, both federal and state, under certain circumstances. Additionally, buying a weapon means following the rules carefully.

What are your rights when interacting with police?

Police officers in every state, including Kansas, have a way of making people believe that they have the law on their side. In many cases, that may be true, but that doesn't mean that they can ignore you rights under the United States Constitution.

The same is true of federal agents from agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), among others. They must follow the appropriate policies and procedures in order to ensure that they don't violate your constitutional rights.

Has a federal investigation opened against you?

Few people suspect that they will face serious criminal charges at some point in their lives. Often this type of predicament arises after a person has found themselves in a difficult situation and made questionable decisions or in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though you may have always felt like an upstanding individual, you could still end up facing federal charges due to unfortunate circumstances.

If someone accuses you of a serious crime, you may feel shocked and unprepared. Rather than panic about potential charges, you may want to learn more about your situation. First, an investigation must take place to determine whether the claims against you have merit.

How to know if your Fourth Amendment rights are violated

Let's say you're sitting at home one evening and there's a knock at your door. You look out the window and notice several people who appear to be uniformed police officers standing on your front porch. You open the door part way and greet them. They ask if you mind if they come inside and take a look around. You immediately feel nervous and worried as to what their motive might be for wanting to search your home.

If you deny the officers' request and they enter anyway without first obtaining a valid search warrant, you have a serious legal problem on your hands. If you do allow the officers inside your home and they wind up taking items away and charging you with a drug crime, things may get a lot worse before they get better. However, many Kansas residents are able to avoid conviction by challenging search and seizure or arrest processes officers implemented as being in violation of their rights.

Carl E. Cornwell Attorney At Law
142 North Cherry Street, Suite 100
Olathe, KS 66061

Phone: 913-712-0459
Fax: 913-254-7602
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