Criminal Law Newsletters


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.


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.


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.


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.