Criminal Law Newsletters

OFFENSES INVOLVING PUBLIC SERVANTS

A public servant is a governmental officer, employee, or agent, a juror or a grand juror, an arbitrator or a referee, an attorney or a notary public, a political party official or a political candidate, or anyone who is performing a governmental function. A person is a public servant even if he or she has only been elected to office and has not assumed the duties of his or her office.

SCHOOL SEARCHES

The basic requirement for a search of a student is the reasonableness of the search. If the school officials have a reasonable belief that the search will produce evidence that the student has violated any rules of the school, the officials may search the student.

EXTRAORDINARY RELIEF

A defendant has an adequate remedy at law for a lower court's decision when he or she has a right to appeal the lower court's decision. When the defendant cannot appeal the lower court's decision, he or she may be entitled to extraordinary relief. Extraordinary relief is a method by which the defendant seeks to have an appellate court examine the lower court's actions and order the lower court to perform or to refrain from performing a certain act.

Criminal Forfeitures

Criminal forfeiture actions are generally thought of as a quasi-criminal matter. Criminal forfeiture involves the literal forfeiture of the defendant's personal or real property. Probable cause must be shown to support the seizure of property subject to forfeiture.

DEFENSE OF A THIRD PERSON

A defendant is entitled to use force or deadly force against another person in order to protect a third person from the other person. The defendant must show that he or she reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary to protect the third person.