Memorial Day for Delaware Lawyers

  Memorial Day weekend is just a few short days away. The boardwalk, the beach, the smell of the ocean and Thrasher’s French fries, crowds, sunburns and all those things we associate with the first weekend of summer will be upon us. Unfortunately, along with all the pleasant experiences, there are also some things we hope to avoid on Memorial day weekend at the beach; traffic tickets, noise complaints, DUI, disorderly conduct and drunk in public are some of the more unpleasant that many will experience this weekend. Far too many have learned the hard way about the Delaware saying […]

Bail in Delaware

Delaware bail guidelines have been provided to help Justice of the Peace Courts impose bail fairly and consistently. Although judges must still use a fair amount of discretion and look at all of the circumstances in setting bail, that discretion is restrained by both statutory and constitutional limitations. The Delaware bail guidelines policy is used to help judges make logical and appropriate decisions when imposing bail. Delaware essentially has four types of bail; “OR” or release on own recognizance, unsecured bail, secured bail and cash bail. Delaware allows someone released on their own recognizance to not post any money for […]

Lawyers

As a lawyer, I often get to hear jokes about lawyers and have received many backhanded compliments about my chosen profession. Lawyers are often viewed in a negative light and sometimes rightly so. However, I do find it ironic that lawyers are the first to be called upon when people need help with a legal problem. Lawyers can only represent people who are seeking representation…without clients, there would be no need for lawyers. Lawyers are at the forefront of protecting individual rights and societal injustices so I thought for a change I would post some quotes that present lawyers in […]

Delaware Criminal Law Reforms

Delaware Criminal Law has historically been an area of contradiction when it comes to its politics and how it treats criminal offenders. Delaware has traditionally been a State dominated by the Democratic Party, which typically aligns itself with rehabilitating criminal behavior and attempts to keep incarceration rates low. The effect of politics on Delaware criminal law however, has seemed to be the opposite of what one would expect from a blue state. Delaware has often been home to draconian laws which limits the authority of judges and puts shackles on an offender who desires to build a productive life after […]

Supreme Court Search Warrant Requirement

The Supreme Court is Chipping Away at the Search Warrant Requirement The Supreme Court held on February 24, 2015, that Police can search a home without a warrant even when one of the occupants objects. The issue for the Court happened because the police searched the home of a man in Los Angeles after he expressly told them they couldn’t. The Police arrived at the home of Walter Fernandez, after following him from the scene of a robbery. Upon their arrival, he informed them they were not permitted to come in. Fernandez was then arrested and the Police returned an […]

Delaware Attorney Ron Phillips Update

Delaware Attorney Update I am Delaware attorney Ronald D. Phillips Jr. On January 1, 2015, I returned to the full time practice of law concentrating once again on criminal defense and family law. For those that don’t know, five years ago I was asked to help develop a private school as their Dean of Students and ultimately became the Executive Director. After fifteen years doing DUI’s, divorces and a variety of other legal matters, I felt it was a good time to take a break from being an attorney. In addition, I would be able to work in the school […]

Criminal Offenses in Alderman Court

Transfers and Appeals from Alderman Court to Court of Common Pleas A dollar makes a big difference in the Alderman Court depending on whether one wants to transfer a criminal case to the Court of Common Pleas before trial or appeal a conviction after trial. The difference of one dollar has been a source of confusion for lawyers, defendants and even the Alderman Court themselves. The confusion comes when a defendant charged with a town offense in Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach or Bethany Beach wants to transfer a case from the Alderman Court to the Sussex County Court of Common […]

Warrantless Searches of Cell Phones

Warrantless Searches of Cell Phones In June of 2014, The United States Supreme Court announced that the police may not perform warrantless searches of cell phones without a warrant. Riley v. California; U.S. v. Wurie, 573 U.S ___, 2014. The Court’s holding is a victory for privacy rights and Constitutional traditionalists. Specifically, the Court stated that “the police may not, without a warrant search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested.” Although it certainly seems that there is nothing private anymore, the Supreme Court recognized that there are still privacy interests that should […]

Juvenile Sex Offender Registration in Delaware

Juvenile Sex Offender Registration in Delaware Juvenile Sex Offender registration is a topic that has been highly debated. In most circles juvenile sex offender registration is a controversial topic which pits the benefits of community and victim protection against the severe consequences juvenile sex offender registration has on the future opportunities of a registered child. 11 Del.C. Section 4123 outlines the juvenile sex offender registration requirements. Unfortunately, even minor sex offenses that may have in previous generations been viewed as childhood curiosity, can result in sex offender registration. In addition, because of Delaware’s mandatory reporting laws, any parent who has […]

Supreme Court Changes law on Delaware DUI Blood Tests

The U.S. Supreme Court changes the law on DUI blood tests in Delaware DUI cases. The United States Supreme Court appears to have modified its position on whether a police officer needs to obtain a warrant before subjecting a Defendant to a blood test in DUI cases. Previously, the Supreme Court decided in Schmerber v. California, that it was permissible to obtain a DUI blood test without a warrant. Where an officer believed that he was facing an emergency situation and the delay caused by getting a warrant threatened the destruction of evidence, a police officer was permitted to take […]

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