Legal Breakdowns Of The Hottest Entertainment & Celebrity drama


Troubled former child star Amanda Bynes is back in the news for allegedly tossing a marijuana bong outside of her hotel/apartment window from the 37th floor in Manhattan. She was arrested for such activity along with illegal possession of marijuana and now claims that officers of the New York Police Department groped her and “slapped” her vagina. She plans on suing the NYPD in civil court and also plans on becoming a singer and rapper in the near future.

Adding additional insult to the bizarre dealings of Ms. Bynes, she has also gone on several Twitter rants calling out other celebrities such as Rihanna, Chrissy Teigen and Courtney Love for being “ugly” and for her not respecting them.

What Does This Mean?

Neighbors initially called the cops after witnessing Bynes smoking marijuana and acting erratic in the lobby of the hotel/apartment. Once cops arrived at the premises, Bynes allegedly let them in willingly, yet tossed a marijuana bong outside of the window to rid the premises of any evidence of drug use. Tampering with evidence is a felony and she was also booked on charges of illegal possession of marijuana and criminal endangerment for potentially harming pedestrians on the street.

How Does This Affect You?

Do not partake in criminal behavior. If you choose to partake in illegal activities, you for damn sure should not do it in public wearing a platinum blonde wig and talking to yourself. You are asking for the cops to be called. Additionally, tampering with evidence is a felony, which can carry much more weight than a misdemeanor drug charge depending on the amount in possession.


Jodi Arias was found guilty of first degree murder in the 2008 killing of her then boyfriend Travis Alexander. She allegedly shot and stabbed Mr. Alexander in a jealous rage when he wanted to break up with her and scheduled a trip to Mexico with another woman. Though the 12 person jury found her guilty of the first degree murder charge, they were deadlocked on the penalty phase with some voting for the death penalty while four, as we have been told, voted that she receive life in prison.

What Does This Mean?

The prosecution has to put on a proceeding to present evidence as to why a convicted criminal should receive the death penalty as opposed to a life sentence. Since this jury was deadlocked on the penalty phase, if the prosecution seeks the death penalty again, the Court is looking at months of additional jury selection to find unbiased jurors given the nationwide attention of the case and even more time for the adjudication of the proceeding. The guilty verdict still stands, however, if the prosecution wants Arias to face the death penalty, they have to start this phase all over again. Additionally, since Arias cannot afford her own legal counsel, tax payers are footing the bill which we are told is upwards of $1.7 Million Dollars and counting.

How Does This Affect You?

I really hope it does not, but depending on the jurisdiction, death penalty may or may not be an option for sentencing. In Arizona, with the enactment of their new death penalty statute, the sentencing process now has two phases. In the first phase, the prosecutor presents evidence relating to aggravating circumstances. If the jury determines that the State (prosecution) has not established at least one statutory aggravating circumstance, the defendant is no longer subject to the death penalty. The jury is dismissed and the trial judge decides the appropriate sentence, which is exactly what has happened in this case.


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Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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