In a December 31, 2014 article for the Atlantic, the president and founder of BACtrack, a personal breath test company, likened the drunk driving problem in the United States to driving a car without a speedometer. If speedometers help us to avoid speeding tickets, why don't we have a tool to help us avoid drunk driving arrests? It was on this question that Keith Nothacker founded his company.
People make mistakes. It's a fact of life that a lot of us have just come to expect. But when those mistakes lead to criminal convictions, it's difficult to ignore what's happen. And in most cases, your criminal record won't let you forget either.
Every state has its own laws for every crime, and while many of these laws are similar, there are slight differences not only in the law but in the public perception and precedents regarding the laws. For this reason, it is extremely important to enlist the aid of an attorney who is familiar with cases in your area that are similar to yours. That's because it increases the chances that your legal advisor will be able to tailor your specific circumstances to your state laws.
Typically, when a police officer pulls you over in your car, the worst you can expect is some kind of traffic violation. It may be annoying or embarrassing to have to pay for that speeding ticket or take a defensive driving course, but the long-term ramifications of the incident are minor or nonexistent. Because of this, some people are not concerned when a police officer pulls them over and questions their level of sobriety.
It's no secret that different crimes come with different penalties, and depending on the classification of your crime, your penalty will be more or less severe. Misdemeanors result in comparatively less serious consequences than felonies, for instance, but even the penalties for some felonies are more severe than others. Of course, there is one penalty that is more serious than all the others combined: the death penalty.
Many criminal activities are regulated at the state level, including the punishments allotted for each given act. This is why a first-degree murder conviction might result in the death penalty in one state where the death penalty is legal, but the same crime would likely mean life in prison in a state where the death penalty is not legal. Some crimes, including many sex crimes, go beyond state laws and enter the realm of federal offenses.