Blog Posts in 2014

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The Truth About Teenagers in Adult Prisons

Teens in adult prisons are more likely to suffer physical abuse, sexual assault, and suicidal tendencies than adults, but lawmakers in North Carolina are seeking new legislature that could increase ...
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Why the U.S. Needs to Reform Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

In the United States, federal crimes can carry mandatory minimum sentences. Unfortunately, the punishment is not always commensurate with the crime. Last year, a man from Rockford, IL was serving a ...
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Drugs & Crime in America

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), drug addiction can lead to criminal behavior. The NCADD explains how virtually all types of violent crime are often ...
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The Hammer Law Firm, LLC set to Teach Trial Advocacy Class

Mark A. Hammer and Nicole Chiravollatti are set to teach a class in January called Trial Advocacy II at the Saint Louis University School of Law, bringing their combined legal experience and knowledge ...
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What Missouri's Amendment 2 Means for Criminal Justice

Missouri voters could make it easier to prosecute sex crimes this November, news sources report. According to a recent article, Amendment 2 is on the ballot, originally called "House Joint ...
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Will the Court Punish You for Exercising Your Right to Trial?

The U.S. criminal justice system affords Americans many rights, but the system is far from perfect. In the wake of Matthew Martoma's nine-year prison sentence for insider trading, members of the ...
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Attorney Chiravollatti to Attend DWI Detection & Standard Field Sobriety Test Seminar

DWI defense is complex and constantly evolving. At The Hammer Law Firm, LLC, our team strives to understand this area of law to the fullest extent. That's what Nicole Chiravollatti, a defense ...
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New Study Finds Criminal Justice Policies Influenced by Race

The American criminal justice system has faced many criticisms, one of the largest of which is how the system disproportionately plays host to large percentages of minorities. While there may be a ...
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U.S. Sentencing Commission Allows Thousands of Prisoners to Petition for Reduced Sentences

Last month, the United State Sentencing Commission voted to allow thousands of federal drug prisoners to petition for reduced sentencing. According to Famm.org – an organization committed to ...
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Mental Illness Cases Continue to Burden Criminal Justice System

In previous blogs, we've discussed the growing concerns surrounding mentally ill individuals who become lost in the American criminal justice system. These concerns are not new, but they have ...
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The Ins and Outs of Missouri's Statutory Rape Laws

The age of consent in Missouri is 18 years old. This means that even if sexual acts are "consensual," if one party is under the age of 18, statutory rape charges can be filed. Consent is ...
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Sexual Contact with a Student Charges in Missouri

In Missouri, a teacher, school employee or similar person who works with children at a school may face criminal charges under Missouri Revised Statutes § 566.086 for "sexual contact with a ...
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St. Louis Criminal Attorney Nicole Chiravollatti Endorses Candidate for County Executive

The St. Louis criminal defense attorneys at The Hammer Law Firm, LLC are committed to their involvement with professional associations, non-profit organizations, and various community projects. The ...
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Federal Investigations and the Importance of Involving an Attorney

If you have been contacted by federal authorities in relation to any type of criminal investigation, or believe you are currently being investigated by a federal agency like the FBI, you need to act ...
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The Hammer Law Firm Supports Criminal Justice Non-Profit FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums)

The Hammer Law Firm, LLC is pleased to announce that our firm is a proud financial supporter of FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums). FAMM is a not-for-profit organization committed to sensible ...
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Supreme Court Rules Police Need Warrants to Search Cellphones

Cellphones are now protected under the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that police cannot search cellphones and smartphones without first obtaining a search warrant, changing the ...
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Parents & Mandatory Minimums: What You Should Know

Did you know that mandatory minimum sentences do not reduce crime? According to FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums), these sentences do more harm than good. A recent study found that even harsh ...
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Prevention / Intervention vs. Punishment for Young Offenders

In a recent segment from St. Louis Public Radio, a social ecology professor from the University of California, Irvine – James Diego Vigil – shared his thoughts on problems with youth, gang ...
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St. Louis Criminal Attorney Nicole Chiravollatti to Attend Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Annual Courts Conference

The Hammer Law Firm is pleased to announce that our own Attorney Nicole Chiravollatti will be attending the Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association Annual Courts Conference next week at ...
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The Purpose of the Prison System

A recent commentary piece aired on St. Louis Public Radio addresses a hot button issue of the day – What is the Point of Prison? During a time where more attention is being given to our ...
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Botched Execution Should "Provoke Constitutional Challenges" to the Death Penalty

According to Attorney Nicole Chiravollatti, a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer, Ohio's "botched" execution could be the catalyst needed to reconsider the death penalty. A convicted ...
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Justice Department Announces New Rules, Makes More Drug Offenders Eligible for Clemency

On Wednesday April, 23 rd, the U.S. Department of Justice announced new rules that can allow more non-violent drug offenders serving sentences for federal crimes to apply for clemency. The ...
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Missouri Executes 6 Inmates in 6 Months

The state of Missouri has been thrust into the national spotlight for policies regarding the use of the death penalty – and more specifically its frequent and rapidly increasing use. In the past ...
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Understanding Criminal Expungements in Missouri

The American criminal justice system is not designed to merely punish individuals convicted of crimes. It is intended to rehabilitate offenders and to promote productive, law-abiding lives. One of the ...
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Breastfeeding Mothers Now Exempt from Missouri's Indecent Exposure Law

Early this month, Governor Jay Nixon signed House Bill 1320 into law, expanding the rights of Missouri mothers. The bill has two main parts. First, it exempts breastfeeding mothers from jury duty. ...
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