Federal criminal practice is distinct and separate from criminal practice in state and municipal courts. It has its own particular rules, procedures, and body of case law. Federal crimes fall into four classifications: felonies, misdemeanors, infractions, and petty offenses.
There are further groupings and classifications within these four broad categories. There are sex crimes, financial crimes, banking crimes, drug crimes, etc. Various statutes and provisions of the US Code govern the different offenses. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual, together with relevant statutes and case law, control sentencing.
Applications for executive clemency (which include pardons and sentence commutations) are very different from expungement petitions filed in courts and heard by judges. With executive clemency applications, a petitioner is requesting a executive (ultimately, a governor at the state level, or the the President acting through U.S. Department of Justice at the federal level) to take some sort of executive action on a previously adjudicated criminal case. The scenarios can be very complicated.
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There are three types of criminal charges: felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. Felonies, of course, are the most serious. When someone is arrested for a felony in Missouri or Kansas, various questions can arise regarding the facts and circumstances of the arrest. (Note that this article applies only to felony arrests.
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When a criminal case is filed by a prosecutor, one of the first things that will happen is the setting of bail by a judge. This is often done with the judge having little or no information about the defendant or the details of the crime the person is accused of. The Missouri Constitution (Art. I, Sect. 20 and 21) recognizes the need for people to be free from excessive bail. In actual practice, complete denial of bail is very rare and usually reserved only for capital cases.
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The Kansas City Star today had an article about the perils of self-representation. The article can be found here:
I thought this would be a good time to offer my thoughts on this. Whether you are dealing with a civil, bankruptcy, or criminal case, representing yourself is never a good idea. From working in the courts and in the legal profession for 15 years, I can tell you with certainty that this should never be done. Why? Let me count the ways.