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Newport Legal Blog

On Campus Disciplinary Proceedings Must Comply with Due Process

Last year, a federal judge in Michigan issued a landmark decision in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld an accused student's right to due process when faced with an accusation of an on-campus sexual assault. The ruling in John Doe v. University of Michigan, et al. confirmed that a college or university must give an accused student or his agent an opportunity to cross-examine the accuser and adverse witnesses in the presence of a neutral fact-finder to ensure a fair hearing.

Can ketosis affect my BAC?

You look great, or at least that's your goal. Part of your plan to reach your goals is watching what you eat. Maybe you have tried other diets in the past, but the keto diet is working for you. Unfortunately, the keto diet can produce side effects that may surprise you.

The keto diet sends your body into a state of ketosis, which is when you are no longer burning carbohydrates for fuel but are instead burning up the fat stores in your body. Like most of what happens in your body, this chemical process results in the release of byproducts. In the case of ketosis, the byproduct is acetone, which metabolizes to isopropyl alcohol on your breath, and this could be trouble if police pull you over under suspicion of DUI.

Why is heroin such a problem here and across the country?

The highly addictive nature of heroin is part of what makes it such a dangerous drug. It has been around since the late 1800s when people believed it to be a safe substitute for morphine. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

It doesn't matter whether you flip burgers at a fast food restaurant or run a Fortune 500 company; the chances of developing a debilitating addiction to this drug are the same. As a result, you could end up crossing paths with police who continue to believe that arresting you and locking you up for using and possessing heroin is the way to handle your addiction.

Your body and the effects of alcohol

It is no secret that drinking and driving is never a good idea. Driving while impaired places you in danger of having an accident, injuring others and facing mountains of legal trouble. Rhode Island's DUI penalties are among the toughest on the east coast, including fines, jail time, license suspensions and increased penalties for subsequent offenses.

What you may find frustrating is that it is not always easy to tell when you are impaired. You may feel the buzz of the alcohol but still have confidence that you can operate a motor vehicle safely, at least for as long as it takes you to get home. Nevertheless, your blood alcohol content may tell a very different story.

Your rights during field sobriety tests

As in many states, Rhode Island's implied consent law requires you to submit to a blood alcohol test if a police officer has probable cause to believe you are driving while intoxicated. Some examples of probable cause include the smell of alcohol on your breath, slurred speech or glassy eyes. However, police will typically ask you to perform certain tests to confirm their suspicion.

Field sobriety tests involve a series of physical activities to test your balance, coordination and ability to follow directions, all of which the consumption of a few drinks will compromise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has standardized three components of the FST, citing studies that show how reliable they are for validating the intoxication of a driver. However, many variables may render the results of the test invalid.

Facing embezzlement charges? Here is what you should know.

Federal criminal charges of any kind are a serious threat on your future. Regardless of the nature of the charges, it is imperative to work to protect your interests as early as possible in your case. With the right help, it is possible to defend yourself and mitigate some of the potential penalties you could face.

Rhode Island readers know embezzlement is a federal charge related to inappropriate financial dealings. This crime most often takes place in corporate settings, and it is the theft of assets by a person trusted to care for or appropriately invest these assets. Embezzlement cases are complex, and it is beneficial to have experienced guidance as you work to build an appropriate and effective defense.

Criminal defense attorney's job doesn't end at conviction

After facing criminal charges, going through the Rhode Island criminal trial process and ultimately being convicted, you may feel pretty down and out. It is understandable. Believe it or not, your fight may not be over just yet. If you haven't been through it already, you may still have the appeals process on your side.

What is the appeals process? How do I start it? Do I have to do it alone?

The serious implications of tax fraud charges

Federal charges of any kind are quite serious, including white collar crimes. Rhode Island readers may underestimate the serious nature of white collar crimes, assuming that the penalties will be less because no one got hurt or the persons responsible turned themselves in. In reality, conviction of any type of federal crime is serious, no matter what.

Tax fraud is a common federal charge, and if you are currently under investigation for this type of crime or you are already facing charges, there is no time to lose in seeking full protection of your interests. Conviction of this type of crime could result in jail time and various other penalties that could have a serious, long-reaching impact on your life.

Drunk driver allegedly crashes into DUI cruiser

A Rhode Island man allegedly crashed into a police cruiser that was patrolling for drunk drivers. According to, the Smithfield officer was part of Operation Rhode Island Blue Riptide, a group of law enforcement agencies working to decrease the number of drunk driving instances in the state.

The officer was on the side of the road on Douglas Pike sitting in his cruiser writing a ticket to a different motorist when he was struck by the allegedly drunk driver. His emergency lights were flashing when the cruiser was hit from behind by the other vehicle. Both vehicles sustained damage. The driver was unharmed in the crash, and the officer was treated for minor injuries. In addition to a DUI, the driver was cited with a number of other violations, including having expired vehicle registration, lacking car insurance, and refusing both a breathalyzer and a blood alcohol test. 

Improper use of medical marijuana could be a major problem

In Rhode Island, medical marijuana is available to certain individuals who have specific medical conditions. The use of this drug is thought to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with various diseases and disorders. In order to lawfully have medical marijuana, a person must have a prescription from a doctor and a qualifying medical condition.

Just because the use of medical marijuana is legal in the state, it does not mean that just anyone can have it. The regulations surrounding the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes are strict, and improper use could lead to serious legal trouble. If you are facing marijuana-related criminal charges for this reason, you would be wise to secure defense help fast.

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