Blog Posts in 2015

Missouri Law Enforcement Steps Up Holiday DWI Patrols

As part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Thanksgiving and Christmas push for safety, holiday DWI campaigns are now underway throughout Missouri. From now through the end ...
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Is "Black Wednesday" the Biggest Drinking Night of the Year?

Many people know all about Black Friday, but did you know that the day before Thanksgiving has become infamous as well? Black Wednesday has slowly but surely become one of the most popular drinking ...
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Can I Get a DWI for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?

Marijuana is illegal in most U.S. states, including Missouri. As with alcohol or controlled substances, a person who chooses to drive while under the influence of marijuana can be charged with a DWI ...
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What is Probable Cause and Why is it Important?

The term probable cause comes from the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and refers to a requirement that police have a sufficient reason to conduct a search, seize property, or make an ...
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Missouri Measure May Change Process to Regain Driver's License after a Drunk Driving Offense

A DWI in Missouri can be a major disruption to a person’s life and may end up costing them more than they expected. The Associated press has reported that the Democratic governor of Missouri, ...
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Will Prisoners Now Be Eligible for Pell Grants?

To begin, one must first understand what a Pell Grant is, and who Pell Grants have been designed to help. A Pell Grant is a federally issued scholarship that is awarded to undergraduate students who ...
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College Teen Draws Swastika in Dorm and Is Charged with a Hate Crime

A male 18-year-old University of Missouri student was charged with a hate crime after an April incident, where he drew a swastika on the ceiling of a stairwell in a dorm. He then wrote, “You ...
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Attorneys Nicole Chiravollatti and Mark Hammer Complete Semester Teaching Trial Advocacy

Attorneys Mark A. Hammer and Nicole Chiravollatti, both professors teaching Trial Advocacy II at Saint Louis University School of Law, have just wrapped up another semester. The entire team at The ...
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Exclusion of Black Jurors Highlights a Problem in St. Louis Justice System

In light of the recent Ferguson shooting incident of Michael Brown, an African-American teenager, and the ensuing riots, St. Louis and the surrounding communities remain to be all the more sensitive ...
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Fourth Consecutive Trial Win for The Hammer Law Firm, LLC

Last night, the jury returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY, another trial victory for The Hammer Law Firm! Another client accused of a serious sex crime was vindicated, saved from lengthy imprisonment and ...
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When Is Search and Seizure Lawful?

A citizen’s rights under the Fourth Amendment allow him or her protection from police officials and other law enforcement conducting unlawful search and seizures. Essentially, this is to ensure ...
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Dismissed! No Case, No Conviction for Woman Charged with Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance

The Hammer Law Firm, LLC is pleased to announce that our team has recently secured a successful case dismissal on behalf of a client! The case involved law enforcement officers responding to a ...
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Stories in "Hidden Faces of Courage" Lends a Voice to Incarcerated Women Leaving Prison

Women who are convicted of criminal charges have different experiences than men, from the initial criminal process all the way to imprisonment. Adapting back into the regular society is no easy feat, ...
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Man Serving Enhanced Sentence for Drug Possession Finds Life Renewed Through Art

Haven't we all experienced that moment where one mistake that we think is relatively harmless, balloons into something much more serious? While most of us have experienced this feeling, and for ...
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The Hammer Law Firm, LLC Gets "Not Guilty On All Counts" Verdict for Client

The accomplished trial team of Hammer and Chiravollatti just won another significant battle in the courtroom. The client, a respected professional, nearly lost everything when falsely accused of ...
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Proposed Legislation Would Improve Unfair Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 was a critical step for mandatory minimum reform. Now, new legislation would make further improvements to eliminate harsh and unfair sentencing for certain crimes. Two ...
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Ferguson Police Chief Resigns After Federal Findings of Racial Bias

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned this week following federal findings of racial inequality under his leadership and criticism from the Ferguson community. The St. Louis African American ...
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Crime Is Up in St. Louis Due to "Ferguson Effect"

St. Louis is experience what is called the "Ferguson effect," as the amount of crime has risen remarkably in just the few months since the August 2014, when Michael Brown was shot and killed ...
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Kansas & Missouri Work Together on New Bill to Prevent Gun Violence

A new bill is in the works and is set to unveil on Friday for the states of Missouri and Kansas. The collaboration of two different states on the bill occurs infrequently; not only that, the ...
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Should Life Sentences Be Reversed for Juvenile Offenders?

In an article from U.S.A. Today, it was reported that the Supreme Court is contemplating the idea of reversing life imprisonment sentences for those who were convicted as juveniles. One of the main ...
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Missouri's Alarming African-American Incarceration Rate

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the incarceration rate for non-Latino Whites is 430 to 100,000 per population in Missouri. The incarceration rate for Latinos is slightly more: 481 per ...
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Missouri Incarceration Rates Among Highest in the Country

A recent study shows that Missouri is among the top ten states that send the most people to prison. In 2012 along, 31,244 people were sentenced, totaling 518 new prisoners per 100,000 residents. In ...
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African American Incarceration Rates Continue to Grow

Since a grand jury failed to indict Darren Wilson after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, mass demonstrations against racial discrimination in the justice system erupted across the ...
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United States Ranks #1 for Inmates & Prisons

The United States is number one in the world when it comes to having the largest population of inmates, prisons, and solitary confinement. United States Prison Statistics The U.S. currently has 2.3 ...
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