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James Neil Papirmeister
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James Papirmeister’s Answers

6 total

  • Can a officer file charges for litter/ dump a month later after they tell you if you pick it up and dump?

    that they we give you a warning and they dont give you a ticket or citation they just watch you dump it and give back your id and drive away

    James’s Answer

    Unfortunately, yes. To be frank, officers have the power to wrongfully charge anybody, even a completely innocent person, with any offense, even murder, at any time. They can entrap you, set you up, lie to you, and completely and unfairly mistreat you. Keep in mind, however, a charge is an allegation, nothing more, nothing less. It remains to be proven. One is not convicted, until a factfinder, be it a Judge or a Jury, concludes after a trial that the State has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is why we are in business as criminal defense attorneys. While I certainly represent guilty people, I also represent plenty of good folks, who are wrongfully charged and innocent. You should hire a criminal defense attorney, who may be able to have the charges dismissed, or assist you in a trial, leading to an acquittal. You're not alone in your predicament. Take a deep breath, find a good criminal defense lawyer and Good Luck!

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  • How can commonwealth convict with no evidence

    convicted with burglary and attempted grand larceny back in july with no evidence to say i done this crime. the victim changed his story several times to include what i was wearing and what i supposely took. no finger prints were taken. no other w...

    James’s Answer

    Most people misunderstand what "evidence" really is. In most criminal cases, evidence consists of a human being simply talking. That's it! There is no requirement that there be fingerprints, photographs, DNA, videos, statements, confessions, multiple witnesses, or even "eyewitnesses". One person's say-so can be enough evidence to convict a person of most crimes. The standard to convict is "proof beyond a reasonable doubt". Let's take an example of the most serious crime known to man, "First Degree Premeditated Murder", punishable by imprisonment for Life. The entire case could consist of a medical examiner who tesitifies that a body he or she examined suffered death by a gunshot wound to the back of the head at close range. The only other witness is a neighbor who saw a person running out of the location where the body was found, one minute after hearing a loud boom. If this neighbor identifies in court the person seen running away, the person could be convicted in a 45 minute trial, if the testimony is believed beyond a reasonable doubt. The person could then be given a life sentence. I was a homicide prosecutor in Maryland in the first part of my career and one of my colleagues obtained a First Degree Murder conviction, in a trial that started about 9 am in the morning, including jury selection, by around 3 pm in the afternoon of the same day.

    Regarding inconsistencies in testimony and statements, I have been practicing criminal law for 25 years. I have handled thousands and thousands of criminal cases as a prosecutor for nine years and a defense attorney for 15 years. I have never seen one case, not one, where there are no inconsistencies.

    You need to speak with your public defender, or their supersivisor if your calls are not returned, immediately, about your options at this point. There are strict guidelines and deadlines by which your appeal and other post-trial remedies must be filed. If you get no response from the public defender's office, then you must immediately find a private lawyer. Everybody says I don't have the money for a private lawyer. While you might not have it right away, borrow it, and don't pay your rent, electric, water bill or car note. None of those other bills, will give you a criminal record for life, or have the potential to put you in jail. Your criminal conviction is a more serious thing than any other bill you have. It's an emergency, treat it like one.

    Good Luck!

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  • Can i go to jail first time offender

    got pulled over last year in nc i'm from pa. got speeding ticket and possesion drug parphinala plus small amout of pot, just seeds. i didn't have time to take first time offender class because of my job. can i go to jail?

    James’s Answer

    Yes. Despite what you may hear in the media, possession of Marijuana is illegal, and a potentially jailable criminal offense in all fifty states and in the federal courts. You should hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer, who usually can help you avail yourself of typical first offender diversionary programs that allow you to avoid jail time and having a permanent criminal record, in most situations. There are lots of exceptions and complications, however, and what you may hear about one person's case, does not necessarily appy in your case. Find an experienced criminal defense lawyer in the jurisdiction in which you are charged as soon as possible to find out what your options are, and what you can do to avail yourself of the best choices. Good Luck!

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  • Practical information wanted on citizen's arrest.

    I was stopped by an armed security guard as a store for not showing my receipt. (Just didn't feel like showing it). He took the stuff I paid for away because of this. I asked him if he suspected me of shoplifting. Answer: No, but he took my st...

    James’s Answer

    It is doubtful you could have successfully and legally made a so-called "citizen's arrest". First of all, in most states, shopkeepers are allowed to physically detain and arrest shoppers who are reasonably suspected of stealing, and that is the reason for the abundance of loss prevention officers and armed and unarmed security guards in a lot of commercial establishments. Secondly, a citizen's arrest can generally, only be made for a crime of violence committed in your presence, where your effecting of the arrest does not itself cause a "breach of the peace". That is generally the law in Maryland, where I practice. Most states laws discourage and disfavor so-called "citizen's arrests" and a person who tries to make such an arrest will in most cases wind up being charged with an assault or other criminal offense themselves. The laws do not favor citizen's arrests because vigilanteeism is discouraged, and usage of an authorized police force is encouraged. Citizen's arrests are limited to egregious and emergency situations, such as where you see an adult violently beating a helpless child or defenseless woman, and the like. If the security guard was authorized to carry a weapon, he or she was probably someone with police powers, and therefore a public official, who the law grants qualified immunity to, making it so you cannot even prevail in a lawsuit. If you get an apology, that's about the best outcome you could expect, unless there's something more to what happened than in your inquiry. Good Luck!

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  • Is it legal to be stopped for having one license plate light out?

    I was stopped for having a license plate light out (even though the other one was working and giving sufficient light). As a result of the stop, I was issued a misdemeanor for not switching my license from an out of state license within 90 days. ...

    James’s Answer

    Unfortunately, the answer to this question is usually yes. Based on a Supreme Court ruling several years ago in a case, police may make a traffic stop for the most minor infractions, and use it as a pretext for a more invasive search of the motorist or the vehicle. Based on the Supreme Court case, this is known as a "Whren" stop. The authority of the police is not without limits, however. You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, who may be able to show the police went too far, committed racial profiling, or other unconstitutional behavior. I wish you good luck!

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  • Why a prosecutor goes forward and press charges without evidence???

    My bf was charged with a battery/aggravated/pregnant Everything happened when my bf went to his wife house to set up the divorce,and to get his clothes. Before he leaves,she ask him if in order to be in peace and for those all years that they live...

    James’s Answer

    Without question, your boyfriend should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area. He should immediately refrain from discussing any aspect of the case, except with a lawyer. Many times, one will hear that the prosecutor is "pressing charges" on a case that someone feels lacks merit. Sometimes this can be true, sometimes it is not. You cannot generally control a prosecutor's decision to move forward on a case. A prosecutor's decision to do so is usually based on a reasonable belief that a person is guitly as charged, and that there is a reasonable probability of being able to prove the allegations in a court, beyond a reasonable doubt. This decision is in turn based on the information the prosecutor receives from the investigating officer, any witnesses who have been spoken to, statements of witnesses and reports about the case. A significant number of times, the prosecutor is simply wrong, or obtained wrong, false, misleading or tainted information. This is where an experienced criminal defense attorney comes in. Oftentimes, one hears, "I am innocent, why should I have to pay for a lawyer?" Unfortunately, the resolution of a disputed incident, is based on piecing together information about an occurence in the recent or distant past. There is no simple way to determine what the truth is about a past event, especially one, where it's one person's word against another, which is a very common occurrence. It requires the diligence, knowledge, skill and experience, of a quality criminal defense attorney to gather the necessary information to convince a prosecutor, and possibly a jury and a judge, that someone was wrongly accused and did not commit the crime with which he is charged. There cannot be a more important calling as a lawyer. It is often time-consuming and expensive, but like the case where good people learn they have a terrible disease, or illness, it is crucial that a top professional be immediately sought to ensure the best results, and in your boyfriend's case, that justice is done. I wish you good luck!

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