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Criminal cases have a habit of not going away quickly. Even after the arrest, the investigation, the trial, and either the acquittal or the conviction – even after the sentence has been served – the effects of a criminal case can still be felt. Whether it’s an increased difficulty in getting a job because of a prior conviction, or subsequent lawsuits stemming from the arrest, criminal affairs hang around longer than a Maine winter.
This week has provided two excellent examples of this problem. Both the Sandra Bland case and the issue surrounding the policing in Ferguson, Missouri have made their way back into the spotlight.
Sandra Bland was the black woman who was pulled over in Texas, allegedly for not using her blinker, violently arrested, and died in prison three days later. Her mother has sued the Texas Department of Public Safety, arresting officer Brian Encinia, the county, and two of the county’s jailers over her daughter’s death.
It’s been more than six months since Ms. Bland died in jail, but lawsuits surrounding her arrest and death are still plodding on. Officer Encinia is facing perjury charges for allegedly lying about being assaulted by Ms. Bland during the traffic stop, and Bland’s mother is trying to compel the FBI to turn over evidence that it found in its own investigation. Several key procedural rulings are set to come up in Bland’s mother’s affair that could make or break her case. The judge is set to decide whether to hold up the case until Officer Encinia’s case is over, and whether findings from independent investigations, including the FBI’s, should be turned over to Bland’s mother for her case against the Texas police and county.
Sandra Bland’s case is relatively recent compared to the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. It’s been a year and a half since Michael Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson. In the aftermath of the shooting and the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Wilson, the Department of Justice issued a scathing report on the police department, accusing them of regularly violating citizens’ constitutional rights with their policing tactics. The report mandated a series of reforms in the police department.
On February 10, the Department of Justice (DOJ) decided that it wasn’t satisfied with how the Ferguson Police Department had cleaned up their policies. They filed a lawsuit against the police department to compel them to implement the changes that the DOJ had recommended, claiming that, until their changes were adopted, the Ferguson Police Department would be violating its citizens’ rights under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments
These are only two examples of criminal cases loitering on and on and on. Having a criminal defense attorney like William T. Bly helps you get the closure that you’re looking for after a criminal charge. Whether that means fighting to the end for your rights and interests, or tying things up and ending the case as cleanly as possible, William T. Bly does all that’s possible to make things go the way you want them to. Call his law office at (207) 571-8146 or contact him online.
By the way, even police officers need lawyers too. You don’t have to look any further than the Ferguson and Bland cases to know that cops make mistakes and those mistakes can end up causing those same cops to lose their jobs and face jail time.
If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with
one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys
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