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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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  • John Berry Speaks at University of Nebraska College of Law

    || 13-Mar-2015

    On March 12, 2015, Criminal defense Attorney John Berry spoke to University of Nebraska - Lincoln law students about current criminal defense issues. The talk covered current criminal law issues at the legislature, training and education, and a criminal defense attorney’s courtroom perspective. Berry is currently the president of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association (NCDAA) ...
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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

    || 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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