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Criminal Defense Archives

Gun Rights: Voisine v. United States

Voisine v. United States began in 2004 when Stephen Voisine pled guilty in 2004 to assaulting his girlfriend, violating Section 207 of the Maine Criminal Code. That section makes it a misdemeanor to "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause[ ] bodily injury or offensive physical contact to another person,"(emphasis added) including a family member or member of the household. Unfortunately for Voisine, he encountered the law again when he killed a bald eagle. Law enforcement officers discovered that Voisine owned a rifle while they were investigating the bald eagle killing, and after finding the violation of Section 207 of the Maine Criminal Code during a background check, they also charged him with violation 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). A similar situation happened to William Armstrong, who was convicted under the same statute and was later found to own a firearm. Both of their lawsuits were combined and decided upon by the Supreme Court in this one case. Because both Armstrong and Voisine could have been "reckless" in their assault, they challenged whether they were barred under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9).

Know Your Rights: Evidence Obtained During Stop

If you haven't heard, the U.S. Supreme Court came out with a new decision regarding the protections under the 4th Amendment on Monday, June 20, 2016. The case, called Utah v. Strieff, deals with whether evidence can be used against you when the evidence was obtained during an unconstitutional investigatory stop.