The Myth of the Presumption of Innocence

               The Myth of the Presumption of Innocence     The Constitutional principal that everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is often misunderstood and is often the subject of conversation with. I often get questioned as to how someone could be charged with a crime for which there appears to be little evidence or why they need to post bail to stay out of jail pending trial if they are presumed innocent. The constitution does not specifically say that an individual is entitled to the […]

Beach Replenishment-A Perspective From an Old Salt

In addition to being a Delaware lawyer, I am also a part-time lifeguard with a career that has spanned 32 summers guarding the Delaware beaches as well as a lifelong surfer. On a recent trip to Rodanthe on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I had the opportunity to watch as my two youngest children accomplished the milestone of paddling into and surfing their first waves unassisted by Dad. Thereafter, I literally could not get them out of the water the rest of the trip. They caught the surfing bug that first bit me more than 35 years ago. *When […]

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 […]

Misinformation about DE Traffic Tickets

                                   Delaware Traffic Tickets can impact you more than you think. I recently was approached by a client who received a traffic ticket for speeding. She was charged with driving 17 mile per hour over the speed limit. When the officer issued her the ticket, he informed her if she just paid the ticket, there would be no points assessed against her license. Based on that information, the client made some assumptions. She assumed the officer provided her accurate information and that if she […]

Lawyers

As a lawyer, I often get to hear jokes about lawyers and have received many back handed 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 […]

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 […]

Child Custody Guidelines Have Changed

Delaware has had child custody guidelines for many years. Recently, those guidelines have been modified to allow for a more equal division of contact than the previous guidelines provided. The previous guidelines provided for the designation of a primary placement parent and a visiting parent. This resulted in the placement parent having the vast majority of the time with the child while the visiting parent was left with very little quality parenting time. In a nutshell, the former guidelines allowed the visiting parent to have visitation rights every other weekend and one evening a week for two to three hours. […]

Protection From Abuse in Delaware

Protection from Abuse in Delaware In Delaware, as in many other states, there is a proceeding called a Petition for Protection from Abuse, called a PFA, that is based on the need to protect individuals from domestic violence. I am sure we can all agree that people who are the victims of domestic violence need to have access to legal protection from the Courts. The desire to provide quick relief however, can come at a cost to due process. Unfortunately, the protection from abuse process, while providing necessary protection, is also subject to being misused by someone who is merely […]

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