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  • From 2007 to 2015, the VA evaluated over 24,000 veterans for their traumatic brain injury (TBI) claims using physicians unqualified to evaluate TBI. This revelation came to light after an investigation by a news team in Minneapolis, KARE 11, found that as many as 300 veterans at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center were denied benefits based on unqualified examinations. The KARE 11 team found that ...
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  • Burn Pits: The New Agent Orange?

    || 14-Jul-2016

    Many OIF/OEF veterans know exactly what a burn pit is, since they lived and worked near and around them. The military used large trash pits as a way to get rid of refuse, and burned many different kinds of material. While the VA concedes that exposure to the fumes of the burn pits caused eye irritation and burning, coughing and throat irritation, breathing difficulties, and skin itching and ...
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  • Confirming Your Stressor for PTSD

    || 7-Jul-2016

    Unlike a lot of other mental health disorders, post traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD), can manifest months or even years after a veteran leaves service. Sometimes, those signs can be subtle and become more disabling as time goes by. In order to be service-connected for PTSD, you will need to show that there was an in-service stressor and that you have a current diagnosis of PTSD. To obtain a ...
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  • The Big Three Things That Will Ruin Your Criminal Defense

    || 23-Jun-2016

    People contact criminal defense attorneys when they feel the most important things in life are on the line. Criminal defense attorneys know that their clients have placed a great deal of trust in them. Unfortunately individuals charged with crimes often do things that minimize attorney’s effectiveness. Below are three things that people do that can destroy their chance of getting a favorable ...
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  • Damages in a Personal Injury Case

    || 15-Jun-2016

    Depending on the circumstances, when you are injured by someone else’s negligence, you are generally entitled to be paid monetary damages by that other person. While most people are likely aware of this fact, what many people may not know, is what type of damages are compensable and what kinds of expenses can be accounted for in compensable damages. Damages in a personal injury case ...
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  • Jail or Probation

    || 3-Jun-2016

    Recently, there has been a lot of talk in Nebraska amongst politicians regarding the large number of people we have sitting in jail or prison across the state. According to the Nebraska Department of Corrections, in 2005, the average number of people incarcerated in Nebraska Prisons was 4,086.In 2014, the average number of people incarcerated in Nebraska prisons was 4,871.The increase constitutes ...
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  • Q & A - Search Warrants

    || 27-May-2016

    Q: If I get stopped on the interstate, will the police search my car, regardless of whether or not I consent? A: In interstate drug stop cases, sometimes drivers deny consent to search the vehicle and the vehicle is searched regardless of consent. However, law enforcement may not search a vehicle without consent unless the officer has a lawful reason and the authority to do so. First consent must ...
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  • Human Rights Watch recently issued a report on the survivors of military sexual trauma (MST), and their treatment after reporting the assault. (Here: https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/us0516_militaryweb_1.pdf ) Although recent reforms have improved the way that the military responds to victims of sexual assault, many of those who were assaulted were forced out of the military in ...
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  • A man who was arrested in October, 2014 following an Interstate 80 drug stop just west of Lincoln while on his way to Colorado with $65,000 to purchase marijuana has been cleared of all charges. According to Lincoln Judge Susan Strong, 24-year-old Erik J. Felsheim of Minnesota committed no crime in Nebraska by intending to commit a crime in another state. Felsheim’s defense attorney pointed ...
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  • Interstate Trucking

    || 16-May-2016

    Shocking as it may seem, when a trucking company is involved in a crash, they will often quickly have a team of investigators at the scene of the crash, and despite their being several people at the scene taking stock of what happened, the company will mysteriously “lose” evidence which one would think should be readily available. Additionally, trucking cases are largely influenced by ...
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  • FBI Admits Hair Match Testimonies from Experts Are Flawed

    || 29-Apr-2016

    For decades, an “advanced” technique the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) used to tie suspects to crime scenes was forensically analyzing hair samples. The results of the analysis would then be presented in court testimonies from an expert witness. More often than not, these testimonies and the apparent results of the analyses were not in favor of the defendant. Now, in a formal ...
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  • A friend of mine just started an important new job in Chicago as the Director of Government Affairs for a medium-sized business. Like any of us would be, she was very excited about her move and the new opportunity. As her friend and an employment law attorney, can you guess what was the first question I asked her?... Of course, I questioned whether her employer gave her a thorough, written job ...
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  • Protecting Yourself from Misplaced Documents

    || 22-Apr-2016

    There have been a number of stories in the news recently about how the VA has either misplaced or shredded documents veterans and their representatives have submitted to support their claims. Information submitted online has been lost, and documents sent to the VA have been wrongfully shredded. There is no way of knowing for sure whether you are one of those affected, but there are things that you ...
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  • It used to be that if a person was stopped on the interstate with a large amount of U.S. currency or drugs, they were charged with crimes of either possession with intent to distribute marijuana or possession of drug money in violation of Nebraska Revised Statute Section 28-416(17). Back in those days, if the federal government got involved in cash seizures, most of the time it was to pursue a ...
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  • What Is "Tort Reform"?

    || 18-Apr-2016

    “Tort reform” is a phrase used for the process of limiting the ability of injured persons to fairly recover for their injuries, even when their injuries are caused by someone else. One popular technique of persons championing tort reform is to use social medial to spread tales of what they consider outrageous verdicts by out of control juries. Often citing the case of Stella Liebeck, ...
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  • Talking Is Never a Good Idea

    || 13-Apr-2016

    Having practiced criminal law in state and federal courts for more than a decade, I’ve learned several things, one of which is the simple principle that there are common mistakes made by defendants or defense attorneys that lead to convictions. One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is talking to cops. It is my opinion that the most common reason people are in jail or prison is ...
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  • Is Asset Forfeiture Legal Stealing?

    || 8-Apr-2016

    Asset forfeiture is the process of law enforcement agents seizing property from an individual during an arrest, and then a United States attorney prosecutor successfully keeping it for the government’s own use afterwards. Even if no conviction is garnered for the suspected crime that led to the arrest, the seized property can be kept forever by the government if the asset forfeiture case ...
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  • Expediting Claims Tips

    || 28-Mar-2016

    The amount of time that it takes for the VA to decide an appeal leaves many veterans feeling hopeless about moving their claims forward. The VA provides several criteria that allow veterans claims to be expedited. Further there is are avenues outside the VA that can get eyes on a file within the VA. How does the VA view claims and why is it important that veterans think that way too? As we ...
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  • Insurance: Collateral Source Rule

    || 23-Mar-2016

    In some states, the “collateral source rule” is a powerful negotiating tool you and your attorney can use to help maximize your recovery after an injury which was not your fault. Generally speaking, the collateral source rule states that in the event your case goes to trial, you are allowed to ask the jury to award you damages for your medical bills based on the amount the care ...
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  • Most criminal defense attorneys write blogs about their statistical successes by resolving cases without a conviction, and most attorneys spout off incredible records of success that, by any account, are simply impossible. Like most things, anyone can make up statistics or shape statistics to fit their own agenda. The attorneys at the Berry Law Firm are very successful at getting cases dismissed ...
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  • From injury to verdict, what happens in my personal injury case? You have been injured by someone else’s negligence. What is likely to happen from this point on? Provided the at-fault person has insurance, it is quite possible that before you have the chance to contact an attorney, you will be contacted by a representative of the at-fault person’s insurance company. Insurance companies ...
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  • Routine Traffic Stops can lead to an arrest

    || 23-Feb-2016

    Traffic Stops There's little doubt that much of the contact between police and people who are arrested result from traffic stops. Many times people stopped for routine traffic offenses are subsequently arrested for drug offenses, transportation of narcotics, driving under the influence or a similar crime. There are several things drivers should understand to help eliminate contact with ...
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  • Blue Water Navy Vets Denied Again

    || 22-Feb-2016

    Once again, the VA has said that it would continue to limit benefits related to Agent Orange exposure to veterans who have set foot in Vietnam or its inland waterways. A recent court opinion, Gray v. McDonald, held that the Veterans Administration was required to determine whether those on board ships were close enough to the shoreline to qualify for presumptive Agent Orange exposure. The court ...
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  • Many veterans are taking medications to treat their service connected PTSD or manage the pain for their back, ankle, and knee conditions. VA doctors will prescribe medications and discuss with veterans their side effects, but most veterans are unaware that they may be entitled to compensation for these side effects. 38 CFR 3.310(b) provides that veterans can receive compensation for non-service ...
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  • Justin Kalemkiarian on Civil Forfeiture Laws

    || 11-Feb-2016

    Berry law Firm attorney Justin Kalemkiarian spoke with Channel 8 Eyewitness News today about civil forfeiture laws. He was interviewed after testifying at the state capitol about Nebraska's civil forfeiture system. Watch the video below, and for more information visit Chanel 8's coverage of the situation, " Lawmakers hope to reform civil forfeiture laws." News, Weather and Sports ...
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  • When Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Nebraska?

    || 10-Feb-2016

    Potential clients and their relatives often call our office when they learn that either they or a loved one have been a target of a criminal investigation. Others wait to see what will become of the investigation before contacting an attorney. Some people call us after the case has already gone to trial or after they have lost a trial or lost on appeal. The bottom line is that the best time to ...
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  • Basics of Traumatic Brain Injury

    || 8-Feb-2016

    During service, many veterans have received a traumatic brain injury (TBI) without recognizing it. Some brain injuries are not apparent at the time but can have long lasting effects on veterans later on in life. These effects are compensable and veterans can be missing out on benefits they are entitled to by not reflecting on their experiences in service. How do brain injuries occur in service? ...
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  • Tips to prepare for a C & P exam

    || 5-Feb-2016

    When veterans receive a Compensation & Pension ( C & P) examination notice, they struggle to determine where to start preparing for it. In the end, they make the mistake of walking into the C & P Examination blind. Below are four tips to preparing for a C & P Exam: 1. Determine the purpose of the examination. This may seem like common sense, but when veterans have multiple claims ...
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  • Nebraska Money Forfeiture Cases

    || 3-Feb-2016

    Many Nebraska money forfeiture cases begin when people with out-of-state license plates travel through Nebraska heading west and are stopped by law enforcement. Immediately law enforcement asks whether the driver or passenger have any large sums of cash or whether they intend to purchase marijuana in states such as Colorado, California or Oregon. Law enforcement then finds a reason to search the ...
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  • Cold War Service in Europe

    || 1-Feb-2016

    Many veterans don’t realize that they don’t need to have served during a time of war or in a combat zone to be entitled to disability compensation from the VA. Any injuries that occur during active service are compensable, and that includes injuries that occur while training. In addition, training accidents may result in other problems, such as PTSD. Service members who were stationed ...
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  • Evidence Proving Agent Orange Exposure for Non-Vietnam Vets

    || 28-Jan-2016

    Veterans applying for Agent Orange related conditions including diabetes mellitus, prostate cancer, ischemic heart disease and Parkinson’s disease are receiving a new letter from the VA that may cause some alarm. This letter asks that veteran to provide evidence that they were exposed to Agent Orange in service and is usually sent to vets who were stationed in Guam, Puerto Rico, Thailand, ...
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  • The Legislative Process in Nebraska

    || 27-Jan-2016

    With the new year, the Nebraska legislature is back and, to paraphrase Twain, no one’s life, liberty, or property is safe. What should the average Nebraska resident know about how the process works? First, the Nebraska legislature meets for either a long session (ninety working days) or a short session (sixty working days), with the long session corresponding to the biennial budget. Short or ...
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  • Attorney John Stevens Berry Sr.’s book, The Twelfth Victim is named as one of Steve Drizin's must-read list of books about confessions and interrogations in criminal cases. Drizen, heads up the innocence project at Northwestern Law School and is currently Brendan Dassey’s lawyer. The Netflix series Making a Murderer exposed the prosecution’s coercion of Dassey which resulted ...
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  • The Presumption of Innocence and Jury Selection

    || 19-Jan-2016

    You often hear people say the phrase, presumed innocent but very few people truly understand what that phrase means for a criminal defendant. A person charged with a crime is called the defendant. Defendant is presumed innocent throughout a trial until the government is able to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. When selecting a jury, experienced criminal defense attorneys will ...
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  • Nebraska Ignition Interlock Driving Permits

    || 4-Jan-2016

    As a convenience to our clients, we created this document to direct clients to various Nebraska DMV resources which clients may find helpful. Following these links will allow you to check on the status of your Nebraska driver’s license, locate a company to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, and download the ignition interlock driving permit application. Remember, the ...
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  • Another Solicitation of Prostitution Sting in Lincoln, Nebraska

    || 17-Dec-2015

    Last summer, Lincoln Police set up a sting operation at a hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska. The operation was set up with a website known as backpage.com. Individuals seeking services on backpage would locate a fake page offering “full service” and provided a phone number. Individuals who contacted them were lured by a police to a hotel. Once the individuals arrived at the hotel, there was a ...
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  • Acquittal for Client Charged with Sexual Assault on a Child

    || 10-Dec-2015

    Berry Law Firm recently secured a major courtroom victory on behalf of a client who was on trial for sex crime allegations. The man had been charged with five counts of sexual assault on a child. The case involved nearly two years of preparation for the trial, and testimony in the trial in the Lincoln County District Court was heard for two full days before the jury went into deliberations. As ...
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  • The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

    || 1-Dec-2015

    On Friday, I argued a case in front of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The issue was unique, and dealt squarely with The United States Constitution's Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights which prohibits illegal searches or seizures without a warrant or a warrant exception. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is a step below the United States Supreme Court. Basically, government agents ...
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  • When Is an Arrest or Seizure Unreasonable?

    || 27-Nov-2015

    You may have heard the 4th amendment to the United States Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. An arrest is a seizure. The general rule is that law enforcement may not arrest you without a warrant, as such an arrest is considered unreasonable. In a criminal case, an unreasonable arrest can lead to the exclusion of evidence of a crime which law enforcement finds during ...
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  • Berry Law Firm attorney Justin Kalemkiarian was featured on KMTV News today in coverage of the sexual assault allegations against a Huskers football player. Watch the video below to see what he had to say about the case:
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  • Evidence Proving Agent Orange Exposure for Non-Vietnam Vets

    || 17-Nov-2015

    Veterans applying for Agent Orange related conditions including diabetes mellitus, prostate cancer, ischemic heart disease and Parkinson’s disease are receiving a new letter from the VA that may cause some alarm. This letter asks that veteran to provide evidence that they were exposed to Agent Orange in service and is usually sent to vets who were stationed in Guam, Puerto Rico, Thailand, ...
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  • Cold War Service in Europe

    || 13-Nov-2015

    Many veterans don’t realize that they don’t need to have served during a time of war or in a combat zone to be entitled to disability compensation from the VA. Any injuries that occur during active service are compensable, and that includes injuries that occur while training. In addition, training accidents may result in other problems, such as PTSD. Service members who were stationed ...
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  • The Nebraska Trade Secrets Act

    || 29-Oct-2015

    Most businesses accumulate data valuable not only to their business, but to their competitors. What is the value of your customer list? Or the business model you perfected? In July 1988, the Nebraska Trade Secrets Act (NTSA) became law. The NTSA was designed with the objective of codifying and strengthening trade secret protection laws in Nebraska. Under the NTSA, a trade secret is ...
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  • The other day I was working with a drug dog expert who was reviewing a video from a police drug stop on Interstate 80 in Lincoln, Nebraska. After having reviewed the video and the training records of the dog, the expert was able to provide me with a great deal of ammunition to attack the government’s case, specifically whether the drug dog was properly trained and whether the drug dog ...
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  • Warrantless Searches

    || 9-Oct-2015

    For the most part, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution indicates that searches by the government conducted without a warrant are not legal. Specifically, the Fourth Amendment provides: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon ...
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  • Sex Offense Trial Ends with Probation

    || 8-Oct-2015

    When the average person hears that someone has been accused of a sex crime against a minor, their first reaction is to scowl or shake their head. This is unfair, as it indicates that they are already assuming the accused is guilty, despite not knowing any evidence surrounding the case. When our client, Gary (name has been changed for privacy reasons), came to our Lincoln criminal defense attorneys ...
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  • Federal Drug Sentences May Be Reduced

    || 7-Oct-2015

    Approximately 6,000 inmates are set to be released between October 30th and November 2nd, 2015, as the result of recent changes to the US Sentencing Guidelines. If you or a loved one has been found guilty in Federal court and incarcerated as a result of an interstate drug stop, drug conspiracy, distribution of a controlled substance, or other Federal drug charge, you may be eligible for a sentence ...
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  • Dependents' Benefits

    || 5-Oct-2015

    A veteran who has a combined total rating of at least 30 percent can receive additional monthly compensation for his or her dependents. Sometimes, there’s confusion about how to claim dependents, or how to establish that a veteran has dependents. Here’s a quick guide in applying for dependents’ benefits. A “dependent” can be a spouse, child, or even a parent, although ...
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  • New Legislation Possible for "Blue Water" Navy Veterans

    || 24-Sep-2015

    The recent Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) decision opened the door for more “blue water” Navy veterans to receive service-connections for disorders related to Agent Orange exposure. However, there have been some recent developments that might open that door even wider. News reports are now suggesting that more Navy veterans might have been exposed through the distilled ...
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  • Reasonable Accommodation for Religious Beliefs

    || 23-Sep-2015

    Recently a Kentucky county clerk was held in contempt of court for refusing to issue gay marriage licenses out of observance of her religious beliefs. While this clerk was an elected official, the publicity highlighted the issue of what obligations an employer has to accommodate employees with religious beliefs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which applies to employers of 15 or more ...
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  • When Should a Defendant Testify?

    || 9-Sep-2015

    In any criminal case, the defendant has the right to testify and the right not to testify. If a defendant chooses not to testify, the fact that the defendant did not testify cannot be held against him in court. Furthermore a defendant in a criminal case is entitled to a jury instruction which informs the jury that the defendant has a constitutional right to testify and that the fact that the ...
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  • Sentencing in Federal Court

    || 8-Sep-2015

    Most people have a basic understanding of the process involved to determine a sentence for a person convicted of a crime. In most state courts, a judge imposes a sentence based upon parameters set by the legislature. As an example, in the State of Nebraska, a Class III felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment between one (1) and twenty (20) years in prison. For a person convicted of a Class ...
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  • IT Security: Potential Liability for Small Businesses

    || 27-Aug-2015

    Torts – or civil wrongs – evolved over a thousand years as a means of preventing blood feuds, but they are constantly being applied to new situations by the courts. Negligence, one of the most common torts, has been around for several hundred years, long before the invention of the automobile where we so often see it applied today. Negligence does not require intentional wrongdoing, ...
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  • John Berry Interviewed by KETV in Drug Cash Seizure Case

    || 20-Aug-2015

    John Berry was featured in a story on KETV NewsWatch 7 yesterday, “ Charges dropped in suspected Lancaster County drug stop.” He was interviewed in connection with a case in involving suspected drug money seized after a traffic stop. Berry Law Firm is one of the leading criminal defense firms in Nebraska for drug and cash seizure cases such as the one in question. The traffic stop ...
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  • Almost all evidence that the State presents against a criminal defendant is prejudicial. In determining whether the evidence is admissible, the Judge must decide whether the evidence the government wishes to present is unfairly prejudicial. The basic rule is that when a jury decides a criminal case, the decision should be based only on whether the defendant committed the alleged crime. The ...
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  • Solicitation of Prostitution Stings

    || 18-Aug-2015

    In the past month, there have been a couple of solicitation of prostitution sting operations in Lincoln, Nebraska. The sting operations in Lincoln are similar to others in Omaha, throughout Nebraska, and the rest of the United States. During these sting operations, a law enforcement officer will pose as a prostitute on an internet site such as Backpage.com or Craigslist.com and provide a listing ...
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  • Out of state motorists are often stopped on Interstate 80 for minor traffic violations. While Nebraska drivers stopped for the same infractions are told to wait in the car and a ticket is produced quickly, such often is not the case with out of state motorists traveling through Nebraska. Watch John Berry on KETV NewsWatch 7, "Pennsylvania Man caught with thousands of dollars won't face ...
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  • Helping Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Win Your Case

    || 14-Aug-2015

    In criminal cases, while many of the decisions belong to the lawyer, several decisions belong to the client. The client gets to decide the following: Whether to plead guilty or not guilty. Accept a plea bargain. Waive jury trial. Testify at trial. Appeal. These are important rights and while the attorney will advise the client about these rights, the rights ultimately belong to the client. ...
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  • I'll Take Constitutional Law for $1000, Alex.

    || 11-Aug-2015

    Answer: This clause of the federal and Nebraska Constitutions protects a defendant against three separate abuses: A second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal; A second prosecution for the same offense after conviction; and Multiple punishments for the same offense. Question: What is the Double Jeopardy Clause? In the simplest of examples, the Double Jeopardy clause of the Nebraska ...
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  • Spoliation of Evidence in Cash Seizure Cases

    || 5-Aug-2015

    Out-of-state cars traveling west through the State of Nebraska are often stopped by law enforcement. Usually, the reason for the stop is following too closely or some other minor traffic violation that may or may not have occurred. After the traffic stop, the officer will ask the driver about the purpose and destination of the travel. During this time the officer will attempt to establish ...
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  • One of my greatest loves at the Berry Law Firm is helping small business clients avoid trouble. Often this involves issues of employment law. Many of my small business clients have experienced terminating a problem employee. Recently one of my clients experienced an employee theft and terminated the employee. The employee even admitted to the crime. My client wanted to withhold from the ...
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  • Gay Marriage: Legalization Implications in the Aftermath

    || 27-Jul-2015

    The recent United States Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage resolved one question, that is, whether it is legal for states to deny same sex couples the right to get married. And now opportunities will be presented to start answering all of the hypothetical questions which were posed before the national legalization of gay marriage. Issues such as whether gay marriage will lead to ...
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  • Federal Investigations

    || 23-Jul-2015

    Often we receive calls from individuals who have been interviewed by the FBI, DHS, IRS, or another three-letter agency. The person calling us is concerned that he or she may be the target or subject of a federal investigation and feels that he or she may need representation before things get out of hand. Federal Investigators Cast a Wide Net The reality is that the target of an investigation is ...
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  • Anatomy of a DUI Stop

    || 22-Jul-2015

    The penalties for a conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol in the state of Nebraska are severe. Many times, good people who have only had a few drinks are stopped and arrested for driving under the influence. The consequences can have a long time impact on things such as employment and insurance costs. In the State of Nebraska, a traffic violation, however minor, “...creates ...
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  • When Business Relationships Sour

    || 23-Jun-2015

    Many consider their business partners members of their family – and, believe me, nobody drives me crazy like my family. Similar to the rate of divorce, about half of the business relationships I witnessed deteriorated to the point where someone wanted out – or wanted someone else out – even among friends. You have heard me preach it before: just like good fences make good ...
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  • Lawyers, Guns, and Money

    || 17-Jun-2015

    “I was gambling in Havana. I took a little risk. Send lawyers, guns and money. Dad, get me out of this.” Those are lines from “Lawyers, Guns, and Money”, by the late Warren Zevon. The lyrics may make one think of a person willing to do whatever it takes, legal proceedings, violence, or bribery to get himself out of a sticky situation. Although violence and bribery do not ...
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  • Encounters With Cops

    || 16-Jun-2015

    Many of us have had contact with law enforcement. For some people, interactions with cops have led to arrests, and for some people, no arrest. Sometimes when stopped for a minor traffic infraction, police may place a person in their cruiser; other times, a person may stay in the driver’s seat of their own car. The Fourth Amendment provides that the “right of the people to be secure in ...
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  • Sexual Assault Allegations on College Campuses

    || 15-Jun-2015

    Within the past year, Berry Law Firm has represented faculty and students at universities who were accused of rape. In both instances, a Federal Title IX hearing was held and the University officials found by a preponderance of the evidence that the accused engaged in sexual misconduct. In both cases, criminal charges were never filed. While the Title IX policy makes sense, the execution of the ...
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  • Berry Law Firm Wins Terroristic Threats Trial

    || 11-Jun-2015

    On June 9th, 2015, Berry Law Firm attorney Justin Kalemkiarian secured a not guilty verdict for a client charged with one count of making a terroristic threat. The case stemmed from a situation in which the acquitted defendant was accused of threatening another person with a crime of violence. The crime of making terroristic threats is charged under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-311.01 and is a ...
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  • Interstate 80 Drug Stops

    || 8-Jun-2015

    Throughout Interstate 80, individuals driving cars with out of state plates are stopped, taken to the police car to be questioned, and eventually their cars are searched. Sometimes the search occurs with consent. Sometimes the search occurs without consent. Often individuals who have been stopped by law enforcement and his vehicle searched without consent complain that there was never a warrant to ...
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  • Interstate Cash Seizures

    || 5-Jun-2015

    Often in Lancaster, Seward, and York Counties, the state patrol or deputy sheriff will stop vehicles traveling west hoping to uncover and find large amounts of cash. Law enforcement will then claim that this cash is currency used or to be used in a drug transaction. Not only is the cash seized, but the defendant is charged with a Class IV felony carrying a term of up to five years in prison. Often ...
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  • How Much Will This Divorce Cost Me?

    || 27-May-2015

    The short answer is: Get out the check book. Certainly not every divorce is going to be costly for the parties involved. In the case of a couple that has been married only a short time, and have no children, it is unlikely that a divorce will financially cost either of the parties much money, other than relatively low attorney fees, and/or the additional cost one pays to no longer share expenses ...
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  • Recent Discovery Trends for DUI Cases

    || 8-May-2015

    For many years, prosecutors have possessed an unfair advantage in the area of investigative resources. Having an unlimited budget has allowed prosecutors to use inexhaustible resources in finding every possible shred of evidence that might be remotely related to a criminal investigation. That unfair advantage is gradually shifting and balancing to give defendants more tools. Years ago, the use of ...
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  • Unreasonable Detention and Drug Dogs: The Rodriguez Decision

    || 27-Apr-2015

    On April 21st, in Rodriguez v. The United States, the United States Supreme Court held that without reasonable suspicion, a traffic stop that is extended in order to conduct a drug dog sniff is an unreasonable seizure. This means that unless an officer has more than just a hunch that criminal activity is afoot, the officer cannot continue to detain the person in order to run a drug dog around the ...
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  • Can I Talk Myself Out of an Arrest?

    || 14-Apr-2015

    Every defense attorney should know that one of the best possible defenses to a criminal charge or conviction is controlling the message, primarily the message told by the person being investigated for a crime. One of the most common reasons that people are convicted is simply because they do not shut up. We have all heard stories where a person might have gotten away with committing a crime had ...
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  • The Technological Revival of the 4th Amendment

    || 3-Apr-2015

    After the passing of the Patriot Act, constitutional scholars bemoaned the demise of the 4th Amendment. See, e.g., Susan N. Herman, The USA Patriot Act and the Submajoritarian Fourth Amendment, 41 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 67, 106 (2006). The right to privacy gave way to protection against terrorism. Several three letter agencies probed us and scrutinized our actions. The TSA patted us down then put ...
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  • Choose Your Friends Wisely

    || 25-Mar-2015

    Supposedly there is an old Chinese proverb which says something to the effect of: It is easy to dodge the arrow of an enemy, but difficult to avoid the spear of a friend. I suppose that can be taken to mean that when your friends are pointing out your flaws, which may hurt your feelings, it can be hard to avoid the truth behind what they say. On the other hand, even the spears they inadvertently ...
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  • Civil Forfeiture or Criminal Prosecution

    || 20-Mar-2015

    Generally speaking, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the one specific government entity from punishing you twice for the same crime. The prohibition prevents the government from imposing a criminal sentence and taking your property. As an example, if somebody is caught with money while traveling through the state of Nebraska, and the government suspects that money is ...
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  • Criminal Defense Attorney John Berry spoke to University’s Students Innocence Project in March about the latest concerns defense lawyers are facing statewide. Berry, President of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association (NCDAA), talked about the importance of continuing education and training as well as legislative issues from a criminal defense lawyer’s courtroom ...
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  • But Officer, I Can Explain...

    || 26-Feb-2015

    You would be amazed at how many people are in jail or prison right now, because they tried explaining their way out of something with a police officer, or someone else accusing them of something nefarious. In cases with no physical evidence of a crime, it can be difficult to obtain a conviction simply based on the claims of the alleged victim. But when the suspect tries to explain their behavior, ...
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  • Real Advice for Real Life Problems

    || 16-Feb-2015

    There are plenty of stories throughout the news - nationally and locally - about attorneys who give their clients bad advice. I’ve literally talked to 100s of clients who are in legal trouble because a person with one black suit who markets himself online as a “top criminal defense attorney” gave that client poor advice. Here is an example: I had a client a few years back who had ...
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  • How Do I Know When I Need a Lawyer?

    || 11-Feb-2015

    Yesterday, AMC launched a spin-off of the show “Breaking Bad” which is about a criminal defense attorney and it is entitled “Better Call Saul.” Like most television shows, the program is designed to be entertaining, but not necessarily insightful. However, yesterday’s episode raised a great question: when do I need to hire a lawyer? Sometimes the answer to this ...
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  • Over the past 5 years, federal forfeiture cases in Nebraska resulted in over $4.6 million in seized assets. Forfeiture is the loss of property as a penalty for wrongdoing. In drug cases, money and property that are connected to the drug trade can be taken by police in connection with an arrest, even if the person is not charged with a crime. Now, Local law enforcement is unsure of how to proceed ...
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  • Woman Accepts Plea Bargain in Interstate 80 Case

    || 3-Feb-2015

    In connection with an October 2013 drug trafficking case, a 24-year-old woman will not be facing federal indictment due to the acceptance of a plea bargain. Her co-defendant was not offered a plea deal and will be facing federal charges for the incident. The duo were arrested after being stopped by Nebraska State Patrol on Interstate 80. Deal Cut in Interstate 80 Trafficking Case According to the ...
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  • Nebraska Criminal Law Case Summaries

    || 28-Jan-2015

    State v. Piper, 289 Neb. 364, Oct. 31, 2014 Issues on Appeal: The issues on appeal were whether the trial court erred in (1) holding that the rules of evidence do not apply at suppression hearings and (2) denying Piper's motion to suppress based upon the legality of a DUI checkpoint. Facts: In 2012, Piper was stopped at a vehicle checkpoint near Scottsbluff. Trooper Peterson alleged that Piper ...
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  • The Legal Enterprise of Conspiracy and Theft

    || 27-Jan-2015

    One specialty of the Berry Law Firm, is the defense of persons charged with drug trafficking along the Intestate in Nebraska. It is very common for an eastbound vehicle in Nebraska to be pulled over, and the driver arrested and cited for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver the same. Depending on the substance involved, the crime carries a possible penalty of up to 50 ...
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  • The legalization of marijuana in Colorado combined with Interstate 80 have resulted in a increase in the number of criminal arrests and convictions in the State of Nebraska for people traveling with marijuana. In the State of Nebraska, it is illegal to possess marijuana. The penalties associated with possession vary depending upon the weight of the marijuana. Nebraska Revised Statute §28-416 ...
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  • Asset Forfeiture & Interstate Drug Stops in Nebraska

    || 20-Jan-2015

    Forfeiture is a penalty used to take the profit out of crime. It is also big business for the government. However in January of 2015, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he would not allow local and state police to continue to seize cash and other property without criminal charges or warrants. In the state of Nebraska, one of the most common forfeiture cases is an interstate drug stop ...
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  • Prescription medication is rapidly developing. Doctors want to use the best in science and medicine to help their patients. One of the negative effects of modern medicine is the patient's potential addiction to prescribed drugs resulting in criminal charges. Today it is not just the illegal prescription drug user who is prosecuted; everyone involved in the distribution of controlled substances ...
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  • False Confessions

    || 16-Jan-2015

    The goal of any police interrogation is to get a confession. Police do not interrogate people they believe to be innocent. There is a long history of people confessing to committing crimes they did not commit. In Nebraska, one need look no further than the Beatrice 6 or the Mathew Livers case to see evidence that false confessions happen during interrogations. Often, a criminal defendant will ...
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  • Prosecutorial Misconduct

    || 15-Jan-2015

    If the police violate a citizen's constitutional rights, the evidence unlawfully obtained is not admissible in court. Often when a judge suppresses the illegally obtained evidence, the defendant wins the case. Thus because law enforcement officers understand that their misconduct may cause the suspect to go free, they are deterred from violating that suspect's rights. The same is not true ...
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  • The Keystone Pipeline is again in the news as Congress gets ready to approve the pipeline route through Nebraska. The pipeline, which has already been completed in several states, is a 36-inch pipe that would carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day, mostly originating in Canadian tar sands, to be refined on the Gulf Coast, in Texas. Proponents of the pipeline are optimistic they have sufficient ...
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  • Attorneys rarely see people at their best. Typically, there is a problem, be it a crime, injury, contract dispute, trouble dispersing a deceased loved one's assets, etc, and talking to an attorney is seen as a "last resort" in order to solve the problem. Often, however, had the client come in when the problem was first discovered, much time, money, and stress could have been saved. ...
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  • A Lawsuit Up in Smoke?

    || 30-Dec-2014

    About States of Nebraska and Oklahoma v. State of Colorado As you are probably aware, the State of Colorado legalized (to a certain extent) the recreational use of marijuana, and the associated marijuana industry. Legalization occurred through an amendment (Amendment 64) to the Colorado Constitution, which voters approved in November, 2012. The first stores selling recreational use marijuana ...
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  • Should I hire a criminal defense attorney now or wait?

    || 23-Dec-2014

    This is a question frequently asked by clients when looking to hire a criminal defense lawyer for a relative, friend or themself. In my experience, the sooner an attorney from the Berry Law Firm can enter an appearance in a criminal case, the more likely the results are going to be favorable for somebody charged with a serious felony. Because attorneys from our office have represented clients from ...
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  • Reasonable Expectation of Privacy

    || 16-Dec-2014

    The warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution is still alive in the State of Nebraska. In a December, 2014 Nebraska Supreme Court decision, the Court made it clear that the state must follow Federal Court rulings noting that the warrantless search exceptions recognized in the State of Nebraska do not include "probable cause" searches. While cars and ...
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  • Statute of Frauds and Partial Performance

    || 11-Dec-2014

    As a general rule, the Statute of Frauds allows a party to avoid oral agreement for the sale of real estate, the costs of goods over $500, a marriage contract, the guarantee of another's debt, or contracts that cannot be completed within one year; however, where there is partial performance, an oral contract may become enforceable. What if an oral contract is both for over one year and for ...
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  • Ferguson, Eric Garner, and Grand Juries in Nebraska

    || 8-Dec-2014

    With recent events in Ferguson, MO and with Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY, the term "grand jury" has become a much-discussed topic. There has been confusion as to the composition and purpose of a grand jury. Before getting to the topic of grand juries, however, it is important to give a brief overview of how felonies progress through the Nebraska state court system. Felonies in ...
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  • The Under the Legal Limit DUI Arrest

    || 4-Dec-2014

    While state DUI laws vary, most states prohibit driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of your blood, OR while under the influence of any drug, or alcohol. Many people operate a vehicle relatively soon after drinking (like after last call when the bar closes) and do not have a BAC greater that.08, and are not under the influence of alcohol. A ...
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  • Excellence in the Courtroom

    || 26-Nov-2014

    Athletes and soldiers achieve excellence through training. In sports, practice is crucial. In the military, battle drills and rehearsals are used to prepare for combat. Any endeavor in which excellence is expected, that requires constant training. This is no different for lawyers. While most states have continuing legal education requirements that mandate attorneys to participate in a minimal ...
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  • Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney Now or Wait?

    || 24-Nov-2014

    This is a question frequently asked by clients when looking to hire a criminal defense lawyer for a relative, friend or themself. In my experience, the sooner an attorney from the Berry Law Firm can enter an appearance in a criminal case, the more likely the results are going to be favorable for somebody charged with a serious felony. Because attorneys from our office have represented clients from ...
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  • Nebraska Forfeiture Cases on the Rise

    || 19-Nov-2014

    Years ago, I heard a State Trooper testify that on Interstate 80 drugs travel East and money travels West. Back then, most interstate drug stops involved drugs such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin destined for cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, or Washington DC. While we are still regularly contacted by individuals stopped and arrested for possession with intent to ...
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  • Lincoln teens may be enjoying their freedom of youth with a little too much partying; this is a worry that has some locals fearing for the state of their forests and homes. A leading concern among citizens in this dry weather is the potential for bonfire parties to cause huge forest fires, which can eventually lead to criminal defense being necessary because of excessive damage. Police are ...
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  • In the recent case in State vs. Lavalleur, the Nebraska Supreme Court found that the defendant was denied his constitutional right to confront the alleged victim when the court prevented him from asking the victim about a relationship in which she was involved when she made the rape allegation. In Lavalleur, the defendant sought to present evidence that the alleged victim was in a sexual ...
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  • Sex and the Workplace

    || 26-Sep-2014

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin by employers with 15 or more employees, states and political subdivisions, and educational entities. When “sex” was added by amendment to the legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives, it was done ...
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  • Complicated Computer Crimes

    || 27-Aug-2014

    Law enforcement has improved crime fighting technology vastly over the past few years. The internet is often used to commit crimes such as internet sex crimes, identity theft, and terroristic threats. Some citizens concerned with the government’s confirmed spying through sources such Edward Snowden, Wikileaks and have taken steps to attempt to communicate in private. Some internet users ...
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  • Federal Drug Sentences May Be Reduced

    || 12-Aug-2014

    If you or a loved one has been found guilty in Federal court and incarcerated as a result of an interstate drug stop, drug conspiracy, distribution of a controlled substance, or other Federal drug charge, good news may be coming soon. In April of this year, the United States Sentencing Commission proposed Amendment 782, which reduces by two levels the offense levels assigned to drug quantities ...
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  • In April 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Missouri v. McNeely holding that the natural dissolution of alcohol in one’s bloodstream does not necessarily justify a nonconsensual blood draw absent a search warrant. The defendant in McNeely was stopped for speeding and crossing the centerline. During the stop, officers became suspicious that McNeely was intoxicated and asked him to submit to ...
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  • The Federal Criminal Jury Trial

    || 17-Jun-2014

    Any person accused of a crime has a Sixth Amendment right to trial. Often in federal drug cases such as possession with intent to distribute cocaine or conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, the potential sentence if convicted varies greatly. Defendants in federal cases are often faced with a very difficult decision of exercising their right to trial and potentially facing a much more severe ...
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  • On behalf of Berry Law Firm posted in Drug Charges on Wednesday, January 15, 2014. Some residents of Lincoln may have noticed recently that the battle against drugs has picked up, resulting in more drug-related arrests across the state. When it comes to the drug charges that are a result of these arrests, the potential consequences can be heavy and permanently damaging. One Lincoln County man ...
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  • On behalf of Berry Law Firm posted in Drug Charges on Friday, December 20, 2013. Drinking and driving in Lincoln is an issue that troopers are struggling to address. However, when drug charges are added in addition to DUI charges, the potential consequences could be hefty. This goes doubly so for figures who are big in the eye of the public, such as politicians or law enforcement officers. One ...
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  • On behalf of Berry Law Firm posted in Drunk Driving on Thursday, January 2, 2014. Even if Lincoln residents may indulge in the occasional party, keeping road safety in mind is important. Having a drunk driving incident on your record can be hugely damaging in many ways, some temporary and some irreversible. Some of the consequences for DUI charges may soon be faced by one Natick woman. After being ...
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  • It takes money to make money, or so the saying goes. Access to sufficient capital is one of the major considerations why some businesses fail and others don’t. One of the great things about working with small business is I occasionally witness them become big business. There are programs in Nebraska that can help small businesses get the capital they need to succeed. In 2011, with the goal ...
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  • On behalf of Berry Law Firm posted in Drug Charges on Thursday, January 16, 2014. Though drug problems are not often an issue in Lancaster, recent drug busts may have brought the issue to the forefront of people’s minds. When many think of drug busts it often involves jail time. However, when it comes to those who face drug charges, the potential consequences are often much heavier than ...
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  • When it comes to the Lincoln area, drug crimes are treated very seriously. The drug charges that anyone who breaks these laws might face are heavy and can include fines and jail time. Even with such penalties in place, there are still some who distribute drugs and face the consequences later. This is the case with one Lincoln man, who was recently indicted on drug charges. The charges included ...
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  • Lincoln citizens may have heard of the recent rash of drug charges that many are facing. The drug in specific is marijuana, which still remains illegal in Nebraska despite its legalization in several other states. Due to some surrounding states being among the legalized states, the number of arrests could become problematic. A recent increase in marijuana-related arrests may be what prompted the ...
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  • Those in Lincoln with ties to the sports scene may be well aware that drinking and sports often go hand in hand. Those watching a good game may indulge in an ice cold beer and the players themselves may party after victories. However, it is important for both fans and players alike to be aware of the fact that it is important to stay out of the driver’s seat after drinking, lest you land ...
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  • Residents of Lincoln may indulge in some holiday parties every now and then. With Halloween just gone and Thanksgiving coming up ahead, there are plenty of opportunities to have a beer and a good laugh. However, enjoying the night safely is an important thing. Otherwise you might find yourself facing drunk driving charges, which can cost a pretty penny. This may be a lesson that one Lincoln County ...
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  • Lincoln residents may be aware that there are some issues in the area with prescription drug abuse. However, more serious drug charges have been cropping up recently due to the increased use of illegal street drugs such as heroin, which has seen a spike in usage recently. This may be the case with three people over the month of October. One died from an overdose and two were hospitalized. However, ...
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  • Some Lincoln residents may know how stressful it is to be an unwitting part of a crime. For example, this can include people who try cashing phony checks or people who wind up with counterfeit money. No matter how it happens, monetary fraud can occur anywhere to anyone, which is why it is important to have a criminal defense plan if you ever wind up in a situation that involves fraud. One loosely ...
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  • Sometimes in the scope of my practice clients inquire whether a party’s winning a lawsuit ensures their attorneys’ fees will be paid at the expense of the losing party. In general, it does not. Recently, in White v. Kohout, 286 Neb. 700 (2013), the Nebraska Supreme Court reexamined when a court may award attorneys’ fees under Nebraska law. In White, several taxpayers challenged ...
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  • For residents of Lincoln, it may not be considered too unusual to wind down from a day with a little drinking. In fact, many people indulge in drinking to wind down, de-stress, or simply to enjoy themselves in the company of friends. However, drunk driving is a result of drinking around others that is all too frequent. One bad decision to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated can cost ...
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  • It may not be uncommon for some residents of Lincoln to unwind from their work week with a little partying, clubbing or drinking with friends. There are plenty of safe ways to enjoy a drink in the company of others. However, drunk driving is one quick way to bring the party to a halt. DUI charges can be costly and may permanently mar your record, making it more difficult for you to function as a ...
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  • We recently won a not guilty verdict for our client in a sexual assault case in Sarpy County. The facts involved a man in his 30’s, allegedly having sexual contact with a 15 year old girl. The client was found not guilty of 3rd degree sexual assault. In this case, the verdict was based on the law, rather than the facts. Even if the allegations were true, we still would have won. First, while ...
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  • Many people who reside in Lincoln may say that they work hard for an honest living. Holding a job and earning wages is something that many do in order to support themselves. This could be why white collar crimes often become such large public matters whenever a scandal is revealed. No matter who is involved in a fraud scuffle, many people may find themselves angry, especially since these scandals ...
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  • Those living in Lincoln may occasionally indulge in a drink or two to relieve the stress of the work day. This is not an uncommon practice. However, it becomes a problematic practice if driving is added to the mix. For those who make the mistake of drinking and then driving, reckless behavior and a lowered ability to make good decisions could end in drunk driving charges. One Wisconsin man is ...
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  • There are times when Lincoln citizens may drive under conditions that are not recommended. For example, someone may wind up getting behind the wheel even if they are drowsy, having difficulty concentrating, or even after having a drink or two. However, driving after taking prescription drugs or street drugs can result in drug charges in addition to reckless driving and other traffic violations, ...
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