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3D-Printed Guns: What You Need to Know

By now, you’ve probably seen all the news regarding the company Defense Distributed, more specifically its founder Cody Wilson and 3D-printed guns.

 

Issues surrounding 3D-printing firearms and firearms parts have recently come up in the Senate and been addressed by White House officials.

A few weeks ago, the Department of Defense settled its legal battle with the designer of 3D-printed firearms, allowing the company to re-release its CAD files to the public. That announcement sent state lawmakers scrambling in an effort to keep 3D-printed guns off the market. Eight states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the federal government (11 more states have since joined that lawsuit), and last week a federal judge blocked the publication of those blueprints.

According to Defense Distributed, the company who originally created a published the 3D plans, the blueprints had already been downloaded more than 400,000 times before they were removed for the first time in 2013, and while the company had re-uploaded the files to its site prior to the judge’s ruling, it has since blocked access to comply with the court order.

So, what does all this mean for you, the person who wants to 3D print a gun?

 

Gunned Down

Regardless of what a person may be able to publish on the Internet,” the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action executive director Chris Cox asserts, “undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years.” In order to comply with this law, blueprints for 3D-printed guns still require a metal firing pin and a six-ounce piece of steel to enable metal detectors to spot the guns.

Plans for plastic guns also lack critical components, like bolts, barrels, stocks, or other parts, so they’re not firing live rounds hot off the 3D press. 

Additionally, California required that all 3D-printed guns be registered two years ago, and other states may have followed suit — so even if you manage to print and assemble a gun, you’ll probably need to register it like any other firearm.

 

All the Guns That Are Fit to Print

Currently, Defense Distributed’s website relating to its “Liberator” 3D-printable gun reads: “This site, after legally committing its files to the public domain through a license from the U.S. Department of State, has been ordered shut down by a federal judge in the Western District of Washington.” So, unless you downloaded the files pre-2013, snagged them in the short time between the settlement and the new injunction, or don’t want to go elsewhere on the internet for the plans, you’ll just have to wait on your 3D-printed gun until courts can balance the First and Second Amendment issues with the public safety concerns.

There are 3D printers in public colleges and public spaces and there is the likelihood of potential irreparable harm,” U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik wrote last week, temporarily making publication of 3D gun printing files illegal under federal law. And you definitely can’t sell those guns, even if you can manage to make one.

Originally seen on FindLaw

 


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Facebook Divorce: Overview & Tips

Information found on popular social networking sites has given divorce lawyers new tools in their divorce toolkits.

 

Find out how Facebook and other sites are changing the legal landscape in divorce and child custody cases, and what you can do to protect yourself in the event of a Facebook divorce.

 

What is Facebook Divorce?

The term “Facebook divorce” refers to the increasing number of marital breakdowns that have occurred as a result of information found or discovered on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.

While social networking sites allow users to connect with old and new friends, they also create circumstances that may lead to a divorce or child custody battle. Moreover, social networking sites allow divorce lawyers to discover information they might not otherwise find using traditional methods of “discovery” (the process used to gather supporting facts and information in a case.)

In the recent past, the number of divorce lawyers who use Facebook and other social networking sites to uncover potentially damning evidence has grown. According to a 2010 survey by the American Association of Matrimony Lawyers (AAML), two-thirds of American lawyers say Facebook is the primary source of evidence used in divorce cases.

While there are no specific laws concerning the use of Facebook in divorce proceedings, the existing rules of evidence support the use of alternate forms of media to gather evidence, and this may include information found on social networking sites (via email, cell phone, or computer data retrieval, for example.)

 

What May Be Found on Facebook

There are several bits of divorce-related evidence that can be found on Facebook. Generally, a person’s overall history and whereabouts are just a mouse click away from public eyes – despite Facebook’s privacy settings (which are not always reliable.)

Furthermore, people often mistakenly believe that their actions online do not carry the same consequences as real-life events. For example, they may believe that online flirting is not the same as flirting in a bar. The reality, however, proves that what a person says or does online can have serious repercussions in a divorce or child custody case.

 

Below are examples of damning evidence that may be found on social networking sites, which may potentially be used against you in a “Facebook divorce” situation.

 

  • A friend “tags” a compromising photo of you drinking beer at a party or vacationing when you claim you have no time to see your children or dispute allegations of infidelity
  • Posts that refer to high-end purchases when you claim unemployment and money issues
  • Posts about your whereabouts that conflict with business trips or child visitation matters
  • Posts that suggests infidelity or deception, such as a Facebook status change to “single, but looking”
  • Keep in mind that even if the content on Facebook is deleted, it can later be retrieved by forensic experts and potentially used in court as evidence in divorce proceedings.

 

Facebook and Divorce: Legal Issues

Legal issues concerning the use of Facebook data in divorce proceedings varies. For instance, adultery is still grounds for divorce in some states and is defined in state laws as “the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with a person other than the offender’s spouse.” In most adultery cases, direct proof is not required – based on the mere nature of secretive relationships. Adultery in a Facebook divorce situation, however, might be inferred through photos and information posted on Facebook.

Note that while evidence-worthy photos and information exchanged on Facebook on their own may not be grounds for divorce, but information combined with other forms of proof may create an undesirable outcome.

 

Tips for Facebook Users Facing a Divorce

 

  • Be careful what you post on Facebook.
  • Know that what you say or post may be used against you in court, and divorce lawyers use Facebook as a matter of fact when gathering evidence.
  • You do not own the content on Facebook. Facebook has the right to do certain things with your content even without your knowledge.
  • Even if you are savvy enough to not post certain photos and information on your Facebook page, other friends and family members may post something potentially damaging about you on their Facebook page.
  • Do no secretly access your spouse’s Facebook page hoping to find damaging information to use against him or her. Not only is it a violation of the law to access someone’s computer or electronic device you do not have permission to use, the information you may find may be inadmissible in court.
  • Finally, if you suspect adultery or other wrongdoing by your spouse found on Facebook, you may wish to hire a divorce lawyer in your area who can help answer any specific questions you may have.

 

Is Facebook a Factor in Your Divorce? Make Sure You Get Professional Legal Help

Even the most amicable divorce can be a profoundly stressful experience — especially in this age of social media and the unenviable “Facebook divorce.”

Attorney Mishak can safely guide you through the process to ensure your financial security and peace of mind. 

 


Divorce is hard.
Attorney Matthew Mishak simplifies it.
Contact him today.


 

Original article as seen on FindLaw


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How Do Judges Set Bail?

Category : bail , blog , Criminal Law , July

Ever wonder how Judges set bail on cases? Learn all about the basics here!

How Judges Set Bail

Judges ordinarily set a bail amount at a suspect’s first court appearance after an arrest, which may be either a bail hearing or an arraignment. Judges normally adhere to standard practices (for example, setting bail in the amount of $500 for nonviolent petty misdemeanors). However, judges can raise or lower the standard bail, or waive bail altogether and grant release on the defendant’s “own recognizance,” or O.R., based on the circumstances of an individual case.

Defendants do not need a lawyer to arrange for bail. They can either post cash bail personally or phone a bail bond seller and arrange for a bond. Relatives or friends can come to a jail or court and post cash bail for an arrested person or purchase a bond from a bail bond seller.

Factors That Influence Bail Amounts

In addition to the seriousness of the charged crime, the amount of bail usually depends on factors such as a defendant’s past criminal record, whether a defendant is employed, and whether a defendant has close ties to relatives and the community.

Setting Bail By Algorithm

In recent years, courts have started using math to inform decisions about pretrial release. In these jurisdictions, select information about the defendant is entered into a program and a score or recommendation comes out. These bail algorithms, which consider factors like age and criminal history, are supposed to assess the risk that the defendant will commit another crime or fail to appear in court.

Judges may legally deny bail altogether in some circumstances. For example, if another jurisdiction has placed a warrant (hold) on a defendant, a judge is likely to keep the defendant in custody at least long enough for the other jurisdiction to pursue its charge. And bail may be denied to a defendant who is likely to flee the jurisdiction before the case concludes. 

Example: Rosie Olla is arrested and charged with managing a large prostitution ring. Rosie is a naturalized American citizen born in Spain, and her family still lives in Barcelona. While searching Rosie after her arrest, the police found that she was carrying a passport and $5,000 in cash. Under these circumstances, a judge will probably be very reluctant to set bail for Rosie. Her family background and the fact that she was carrying a passport and a large amount of cash suggest that Rosie may flee to Spain if she is released on bail. Unless Rosie can explain to the judge why she was carrying the passport and cash, and can also demonstrate strong ties to the local community, a judge is likely to deny her request for bail.

Bail Schedules

In many areas of the country, defendants can post bail with the police even before they are brought to court for a bail hearing or an arraignment. Many jails have posted bail schedules, which specify bail amounts for common crimes. An arrested defendant can obtain release immediately after booking by paying the amount of bail set forth in the jailhouse bail schedule. Bail schedules can vary considerably according to locality, type of crime, and residency.

As a general rule, bail for offenses classified as felonies is five to ten times the bail required for misdemeanors. The more serious and dangerous the crime, the higher the amount of bail is likely to be. As a general rule, a jailhouse bail schedule is inflexible. The police will not accept bail other than as set forth in a schedule; suspects wanting to pay less must go before a judge.

As an alternative or in addition to jailhouse bail schedules, some areas have duty judges. A duty judge is available to fix bail over the phone, without the necessity for a formal court hearing. Like a jailhouse bail schedule, using a duty judge is an option for arrested persons who are anxious to bail out of jail before going to court.

Police Practices That Affect Bail Amounts

Unfortunately for many suspects who want to bail out of jail quickly, the police tend to arrest suspects for the most serious criminal charge that can possibly be supported by the facts at their disposal.

For instance, the police may treat possession of a small amount of marijuana (a misdemeanor in most states) as an arrest for possession of marijuana with intent to sell (a felony in all states). Even though such a charge will almost certainly be reduced to a misdemeanor later in the case, it is a felony for the purposes of the bail schedule, and bail will be set accordingly.


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Originally seen onNolo.com


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