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Making poor decisions at the Kenny Chesney concert in Orange Beach this weekend could spoil your good time.

Flora bama Kenny Chesney Defense Attorney John W Cowling"For a lot of Kenny Chesney fans, Saturday's concert in Pittsburgh couldn't last long enough.
For the Steel City, however, there was a lingering reminder of the rowdy crowd: a sea of garbage remained once the tailgaters had departed. Photos and videos have been hitting the internet, showing the mess that was made of Pittsburgh's North Shore area after the concert at Heinz Field. While most of the mess was from discarded alcohol containers and other pre-concert goodies, some people went so far as to leave behind reclining chairs." As reported by One Nation.

   It's easy to imagine that someone could get arrested in Alabama at the Flora-Bama this weekend. Drug possession and Public Intoxication is just a couple of allegations that you or someone you know might end up facing. Being accused of a crime can be devastating and embarrassing, leaving you to face uncertainty about your future. If you are charged with a DUI, Drug Possession or Public Intoxication, even if it's your first, you could face jail time, high fines and other penalties including having your money or property confiscated. A simple Kenny Chesney concert coupled with excessive drinking and poor decision making can make for a very long weekend.

   I am Defense Attorney John W. Cowling, and if you or a friend ends up on the wrong side of the law this weekend, you will need a competent defense attorney to be there for you. I have been practicing for over twenty years throughout Southwestern Alabama, and have handled cases in the criminal courts ranging from murder charges to speeding tickets. With my broad experience and reasonable fees, my office can provide quality, affordable legal assistance to you in a variety of matters.

   Let us help you with your charge. Call Defense Attorney John W. Cowling in Loxley at (251) 947-7667, our Mobile office at (251) 432-7667, or use our email form and contact us today.

Mobile police seized hydroponic marijuana

Justin Labiche Arrested in Mobile Deffense Attorney John W CowlingA 27-year-old man is behind bars Friday after police seized hydroponic marijuana estimated to be worth nearly $50,000 during a narcotic investigation Thursday, said a Mobile Police Department spokeswoman.

Around 12:40 p.m. on Thursday, members of the Mobile County Street Enforcement Narcotics Team wrapped up a narcotic investigation on the 1100 block of Oak Street, said MPD spokeswoman Ashley Rains.

They seized a 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, $772 in cash and 6.5 pounds of hydroponic marijuana, which Rains said has an estimated worth of $48,750.

Justin Cole Labiche, of Mobile, was arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana in the case.

Records from Mobile County Metro Jail show Labiche has previously faced jail time on marijuana-related charges.

In 2004, Labiche was charged with first-degree possession of marijuana after police were called to a report of shots fired on Cody Road North. An officer found a gallon-sized bag filled with marijuana on the floorboard of a vehicle, which Labiche said was his, according to an officer's deposition.

Mobile's new website for worthless checks

Mobile Defense Attorney worthless checksMOBILE, Alabama – Businesses that don't have the ability to electronically verify the worth of a check written to them now have a resource available through the Mobile County District Attorney's Office that can help them avoid worthless-check writers, or get money back that is owed them.

On Monday, District Attorney Ashley Rich announced a new function to the website, which allows the public to see information about the people writing bad checks, and also an access point where those who have done so can pay back what they owe.

"The automated payment system allows personnel within the District Attorney's Office Check Enforcement Division to direct more of their efforts to trying to find these bad-check writers," Rich said. Currently there are 36,656 active worthless checks in her office's database. During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, more than $627,000 in fees and restitution was collected by the bad-check unit, she said.

The new online database should dramatically increase the amount collected, Rich said, and it has already led to many tips from the public as to where some of the bad-check writers can be found.

"Writing a bad check is a crime and we will prosecute anyone who does write a bad check to a merchant when they know they do not have the money in the account to cover the goods and services that are being provided," she said.

To view the photo database, users can log onto the website and go to the tab on the right that says "Bad Check Writers." For those who would like to pay for a check they have written, there is a tab labeled "Check Writers Pay Online" just below that. Payments can also be made through an automated telephone system, at 877-958-8454.

Another service the district attorney's website provides is the ability for merchants to make their own most wanted posters for bad-check writers who have victimized their businesses. Under the "Protecting the Community" tab at the top of the website, there is a "Most Wanted" link that allows merchants to choose a photo and information to be included on the printable poster.

For more information, visit To report a worthless check, contact the District Attorney's Office at 251-574-5775.

If you have been improperly placed into the website, or have issues reguarding your offense, Attorney John W. Cowling can help you in you defense. Contact our Mobile office at 251-432-7667 today.

Mobile Councilors Pay Raise?

CouncilorsMOBILE, Alabama – A proposal to potentially link Mobile City Council members and the mayor's salary increases to cost-of-living raises city employees get was defeated by the council on Tuesday.

With a 4-3 vote, the council shot down a proposal pushed by Councilman Fred Richardson that would ask the Alabama Legislature to amend the Zoghby Act – the state law that establishes how Mobile's council-mayor form of government should operate – and link elected official pay raises with those of city employees.

The measure needed five votes for approval. Voting in favor of it were Richardson, Reggie Copeland, C.J. Small, and William Carroll. Voting against were Bess Rich, Gina Gregory and John Williams.

Following the vote, Rich and Gregory said they didn't support the proposal because they felt the council positions are public service jobs that are also part time.

"In the future, it might be the route we decide to go but it also brings up other questions," Gregory said. "If the economy improves and we are able to offer raises to employees every year, then does that mean the council raises continue to go up? Do we then look at capping the salary? I think it just opens up other questions that need to be looked at."

Richardson, in pushing for the proposal, said the present system of requiring the council to vote on its own raises every four years is not working because councilors have not voted themselves a raise in more than 16 years.

Richardson questioned why it is appropriate for federal and state lawmakers to approve their own pay raises, and not OK for the council to do the same.

"You can call Washington all you want, but they can't pave your street," Richardson said. "We are on the front line. To say there should never be a time a city council member or the mayor, who is working full time, should not receive a raise ... it's nonsense."

Richardson has said the proposal would mirror what is currently allowed for Mobile County commissioners, who last received a pay raise with the rest of the county's employees in 2008.

The council, last month, approved a 2.5 percent across-the-board pay increase for city employees as part of the fiscal year 2014 budget.

The council, however, did not endorse a pay raise for itself earlier this year when it had the opportunity to do so. Council and mayor pay raises can only be approved six months before a city-wide election, and the next time they can be authorized is in 2017.

"This is a common sense resolution," Richardson said, who emphasized that the proposal was not an actual vote for a pay raise.

Councilman William Carroll urged the council's more "conservative" members not to bend to constituency pressure of avoiding pay increases for elected officials.

"The fear I see from the conservative side of the council is the fear of a whiplash from what the general public might say about additional revenues going to an elected official," Carroll said. "If you are afraid of what the public is going to think, you need to educate the public on what actually happens in these chairs. The public is unaware of the midnight and 2 a.m. phone calls for service."

Carroll also said any consideration to reduce council member or the mayor's pay could lead to a situation where only the privileged serve.

"If at some point that Mobile feels as if those we elect should not be compensated, then we've gone backward," he said.

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

drive safe halloweenAt a glance: Help protect trick-or-treaters by following these driving safety tips on Halloween, or on the night your community hosts Halloween activities. Be especially careful between 4 and 8 p.m., when most severe vehicle/young pedestrian collisions happen.

Drive slowly, and don't pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children.

Park your mobile phone. Avoid distractions by waiting until you've stopped to call, text, or surf.

Watch for children darting into the street. Kids can cross the street anywhere, and most young pedestrian deaths happen at spots other than intersections.

Yield to young pedestrians. Children might not stop, either because they don't see your vehicle approaching or don't know how to safely cross the street.

Communicate with other drivers. Always use your turn signals. And if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights.

And, to keep your own trick-or-treaters safe:

Teach them how to safely cross streets. They should look both ways and cross only at corners and crosswalks.

Consider indoor community Halloween programs for younger kids. Some communities also offer to help you inspect your kids' treats to make sure they're safe to eat.

Brighten them up. Give them flashlights and glow sticks, and/or use reflective tape on their costumes, so drivers can see them.