Welcome to the blog of attorney Greg Klebanoff, an experienced criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of success in protecting the rights of the accused. With over 17 years of experience in the field, attorney Klebanoff has the knowledge and expertise to navigate the complex legal system and secure the best possible outcome for each and every client. From white collar crime to serious felonies, attorney Klebanoff has the skill and dedication to defend your rights and freedom. Stay informed with the latest legal developments and insights on criminal defense strategies by following this blog.

Protecting Your Rights: Insights and Strategies from a Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorney


Welcome to my blog - My name is Greg Klebanoff and I am a criminal and family law attorney based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. With years of experience in various forms of litigation, I am dedicated to providing expert legal guidance to clients in need.

If you are here to browse, please feel free to explore the rest of my website. However, if you require assistance, I invite you to reach out to me. You can start by registering on my website and briefly discussing your issue or visit my contact page for more privacy. Additionally, you can reach me at 479-442-4700. I am happy to offer a free initial consultation to discuss your matter and determine the best course of action. Thank you for visiting and I look forward to connecting with you.

Defending Against a Robbery Charge: Understanding Your Legal Options

Robbery is a serious crime in the state of Arkansas, and it is important for individuals who have been charged with this offense to understand the penalties they may be facing.

According to Arkansas law, robbery is defined as the taking of or attempt to take property from another person by means of force or fear. This means that in order for an individual to be charged with robbery, the prosecution must be able to prove that the accused used force or threatened to use force in order to take the property.

If convicted of robbery, an individual may face up to 20 years in prison, or up to life in prison if convicted of robbery using a deadly weapon.  Additionally, a conviction for robbery may also result in hefty fines and a criminal record, which can have a negative impact on an individual's future job and housing opportunities.

Given the serious nature of robbery charges, it is important for those facing such charges to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney. An experienced attorney will be able to review the facts of the case and develop a defense strategy that takes into account the specific circumstances of the alleged crime.

Some common defense strategies that may be used in robbery cases include arguing that the accused did not have the intent to steal, that the accused was under duress or coercion, or that the prosecution has not met its burden of proof.

It is also important to note that if an individual is charged with robbery in the state of Arkansas, they have the right to a fair trial, and they should not speak to law enforcement officials or make a statement without first consulting with a lawyer.

In conclusion, robbery is a serious crime in the state of Arkansas, and those charged with this offense could face severe penalties. It is important for individuals facing robbery charges to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney to develop a solid defense strategy and protect their rights. If you or someone you know has been charged with robbery, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.  Contact Greg Klebanoff at (479) 442-7400.

Hope for Change: The Evolution of Arkansas Law and Attitudes towards Marijuana

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s saw activists zero in on Mississippi as a focal point in the fight against segregation. The reasoning was simple: if the state could be desegregated, the rest of the South would soon follow suit. As it turns out, they were right. Similarly, as a criminal defense attorney and advocate for ending marijuana prohibition, I believe recent changes in Arkansas law may foreshadow a similar breakthrough across the nation.

Just a decade ago, possession of any amount of marijuana in Arkansas was a felony. But today, a person would have to have four prior offenses or be found in possession of more than four ounces to face a felony charge. Medical marijuana is now legal in the state, and the first licensed growing facilities have already begun operations. Furthermore, a bill is currently pending in the state legislature that, if passed, would decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, making the maximum punishment a $200 fine and eliminating the possibility of jail time. This progress is especially noteworthy for a state that is often considered "backwards" by the rest of the country.

But as a defense attorney, I am particularly heartened by the shifting attitudes of Arkansas prosecutors towards marijuana. Prosecutors' offices that would not have considered leniency a decade ago are now drastically reducing plea offers in marijuana possession cases. It is now common for prosecutors to place misdemeanor possession of marijuana "under advisement," meaning that the offender pays a fine and sees their charges dropped completely if they avoid legal troubles for a year.

I recently had a case that exemplifies this change in attitudes. My client was arrested while driving from California to Florida with over 120 pounds of high-grade marijuana in his trunk. Given the amount of marijuana involved, he was charged with a Class A Felony, carrying a sentence of 6 to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. However, after a lengthy negotiation and motions challenging the legality of the search and the credentials of the police dog, the prosecutor agreed to a resolution where my client was back home in California in six months and didn't even have to pay any fines!  I shudder to think what his fate might have been twenty years ago.  

So, yes.  Things are getting better, even in my conservative flyover state.  I sincerely hope it proves a portent for the rest of America.


Marijuana Possession Laws in Arkansas: Understanding the Harsh Consequences

In Arkansas, marijuana is classified as a Schedule VI controlled substance and the punishment for possession can vary greatly depending on the amount found. Possession of less than four ounces, or 113.4 grams, is considered a Class A misdemeanor. However, possession of four or more ounces of marijuana is a Class D felony, and possession of 100 pounds or more is a Class A felony, a serious crime.

When determining the seriousness of a possession charge, the "aggregate weight" of the substance is taken into account, including any adulterants or diluents. This means that even if the amount of the controlled substance is small, if it is mixed with other substances, the combined weight of all substances is used to determine the charge.

Drug dealers often mix illegal substances with other substances to increase the weight and profits. However, Arkansas law makes no distinction regarding the type of adulterant or diluent used or their purpose in determining the aggregate weight of a controlled substance.

This can lead to harsh consequences, as in the scenario of someone making brownies with a small amount of raw marijuana mixed with butter. If the total weight of the brownies is four or more ounces, it could lead to a felony charge.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a marijuana offense in Arkansas, it's important to seek legal representation. Greg Klebanoff, a criminal defense attorney, has had success arguing that juries should consider all factors, including common sense and the drastic effects a felony conviction could have on an individual's life. Contact our office today for more information.

The Fallibility of Eyewitness Identification: A Real-Life Example from a Misdemeanor Battery Case

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to defend a client in a misdemeanor battery case that highlighted the disturbing unreliability of eyewitness identification. The incident in question involved a bar fight in which the supposed victim couldn't identify his attacker due to being jumped by multiple individuals and losing consciousness. The prosecution's key witness was a bartender who claimed to have seen my client single-handedly attacking the victim.

As I sat down with the witness, I asked him a series of questions to gauge the credibility of his identification. He revealed that he had not been shown a photo lineup and had not previously known or seen the attacker before or after the incident. When asked if he would recognize the attacker now, he confidently claimed he would. I then pointed to a random person in the courtroom, who bore no resemblance to my client, and asked if that was the attacker. To my dismay, the witness positively identified the random stranger as the attacker!

After a brief discussion with the prosecutor, the case was dismissed. But it begs the question, what if the witness had first identified my client at the defense table? And how many innocent individuals are currently serving time in prison due to this type of flawed identification process? It's clear that our current rules and procedures surrounding eyewitness identification desperately need an overhaul to prevent miscarriages of justice.

What Happens When Brain Injury Erases Memory of a Crime: A Legal Guide

Imagine for a moment that you've committed a crime, but due to a freak accident, you've hit your head and have no memory of the event. What happens next? As a criminal defense attorney, this is a question I was once asked by a client.

The truth is, if your brain damage is so severe that you cannot understand the proceedings against you or assist in your own defense, you will be deemed "unfit to proceed" and cannot be prosecuted. However, this doesn't necessarily mean you will be released from custody. In most cases, individuals who are found unfit to proceed are turned over to a mental health facility to determine if their fitness can be restored.

If their fitness is restored, the prosecution can continue with the case. But if not, they must be released within one year, provided that the lack of fitness is the only reason for holding them. It's important to note that your mental state after committing the offense, whether it's due to a head injury or anything else, is irrelevant. What matters is whether you had the necessary mental state for the crime at the time you committed it.

In summary, if you find yourself in a situation where you have no memory of committing a crime due to a head injury, it's crucial to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney. They will be able to navigate the legal system and ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way. And remember, whether or not you will be released from custody depends on whether or not you are deemed fit to proceed with the case.

Navigating Self-Defense Laws in Arkansas: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Property

Self-defense laws in Arkansas can be complex, and it's important for individuals to understand their rights when it comes to protecting themselves and their property. A client recently asked me about these laws, and I wanted to share some key information to help others better understand their rights.

The general common law rule followed in Arkansas is that the victim of an unlawful attack may defend themselves with an amount of force proportional to the amount of force used against them. For example, while a gun can be used against a gun or knife-wielding assailant, it cannot generally be used against an unarmed attacker. Additionally, once your assailant breaks off their attack, you lose your right of self-defense and cannot hurt them anymore.

It's also important to note that you generally have no right of self-defense if you are the "initial aggressor," i.e. the first party to use unlawful force. Additionally, there are specific rules when it comes to using deadly force in self-defense. Arkansas requires that a person retreat, provided they can safely do so, before defending themselves with deadly force. However, retreat is not required if the person is in their home. Furthermore, while reasonable non-deadly force is allowed in defense of property, deadly force is allowed only in defense of persons. Additionally, Arkansas also permits the use of deadly force to prevent the commission of a violent felony.

It's also worth noting that the amount of force you are allowed to use in self-defense is the minimum necessary to stop the attack. So, even when dealing with an armed attacker, if you can make them break off their attack without killing them, you cannot do anything more.

In conclusion, self-defense laws in Arkansas can be complex, and it's important for individuals to understand their rights when it comes to protecting themselves and their property. It's always best to consult with a criminal defense attorney if you have any questions or concerns about self-defense laws in Arkansas. Remember that the use of force in self-defense must be proportional to the amount of force used against you, and that you lose your right of self-defense if you are the initial aggressor or if the attacker has broken off the attack.

The Complexities of False Confessions: Why Innocent People Admit to Crimes They Didn't Commit

As a defense attorney, there is nothing more challenging than a case where the client confesses to the crime. When a defendant confesses, juries almost always return a guilty verdict. It's easy to understand why: why would someone admit to something that could land them in prison unless they truly did it? This line of reasoning is so compelling that it's easy to assume that only the guilty confess, but the reality is far more complicated than that.

Innocent and sane people have been known to falsely confess, far more often than most people would ever imagine. A recent study found that of the three to eleven people conclusively proved innocent by DNA evidence, over 25% had given false confessions.

Why do innocent people confess? One reason is police interrogation techniques, which can be incredibly persuasive and can lead to false confessions. If you're interested in learning more about this topic, I highly recommend reading the article "The Interview" from The New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/12/09/the-interview-7) which delves deep into the psychology of police interrogations and why they can produce false confessions.

In short, while it may seem like a confession is the smoking gun that proves guilt, it's important to remember that false confessions do happen, and that innocent people can be convinced to admit to crimes they didn't commit. As a defense attorney, it's my job to dig deeper and make sure that my client's rights are protected and that the truth comes to light.


The Evolution of Marijuana Laws: From Criminalization to Legalization

As the legal landscape of marijuana continues to evolve, it's important to understand the history of how we got here. For decades, possession of marijuana has been criminalized in most states, but now, states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska have legalized recreational use of the drug. Even Washington D.C appears on the brink of following suit. Despite this progress, marijuana remains illegal under federal law and the law of most states. There are still many powerful people and organizations who feel it is their duty to enforce these laws.

The argument often made by prosecutors, judges, and politicians is that as long as a law is on the books, it must be enforced. However, this is a narrow-minded view that ignores the reality that laws are not static and unchanging. Most laws grew out of societal customs, which eventually became moral attitudes and were established as laws. Long before statutes were passed, the majority of people had already formed their attitudes and notions of right and wrong. Statutes are simply a codification of existing norms.

Every once in a while, an active minority, motivated by religious fervor, political intolerance, or some other special interest, is able to pass a law not founded in common sense morality. These laws are often draconian, arrogant, and oppressive. They violate public conscience and the beliefs of many citizens. No better illustration can be found than the laws enacted by the Inquisition, which were used to torture and execute millions of people.

Change in the law often comes not from repealing outdated laws, but rather from people refusing to enforce them. Juries, composed of common people, have the power to refuse to convict under oppressive laws, effectively rendering them null and void. This is what happened with the Inquisition laws, laws against organized labor, and so-called "Blue Laws."

It's important to remember that this change in the law came not because the statutes were repealed, but because juries were too humane and decent to follow them. As society continues to change, so too must our laws evolve to reflect the attitudes and beliefs of the people they serve.

Capital Punishment

The real reason so many support capital punishment is that they take pleasure inflicting pain on those they hate.  Of course, they aren’t likely to admit this, but it’s very easy to prove that it is so.  Throughout most of history punishments were vindictive.  As recently as the 1700s virtually every crime–from cutting down a neighbor’s tree, to stealing his chickens, to shooting the king’s deer–was punishable solely by death.  Our ancestors were more honest with themselves and didn’t hide their motives so well.  So-called modern man thinks himself better than this and cloaks his real feelings with terms like “deterrence,” retribution,” and “justice.” Prior to the industrial revolution good folks not only used the death penalty for most offenses, but inflicted it in the most terrible ways–flaying, crucifixion, drawing and quartering, drowning, stoning, and starving to death just to name a few. Today such horrific physical tortures are no longer used–at least not in the west.  But they have been replaced by what may be a far crueler form of mental torment.  The condemned is notified of the exact time and manner of his death and locked in a cell.  There he has nothing to occupy his mind save counting down the months, weeks, and days that remain of his life. As philosopher Albert Camus eloquently put it: “But what then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal’s deed, however calculated it may be, can be compared?  For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months.  Such a monster is not encountered in private life.” Judges and legislators today deny they punishment from vengeance.  They confess to “indignation” for the criminal, but insist it is “righteous indignation.”  But the word “righteous” is no more than a confession of hypocrisy.  Hatred is hatred, and calling it righteous changes nothing.  It is impossible to inflict pain and torture upon someone without hating them. Most contemporary champions of the death penalty defend the practice by insisting that killing criminals deters crime.  But there is absolutely no evidence this is true.  States without the death penalty have lower murder rates than states with it.  The difference isn’t much, but it plainly refutes the claim that killing criminals keeps others from committing crime. Are people kept from killing because they are afraid to die?  Every murderer–except those who kill in the heat of passion–plan their escape.  They intend not to be caught, and often they are not.  So the fear of execution cannot deter them.  In crimes of passion the heat of moment extinguishes any thought of capture or punishment.  So, again, fear of death is not a deterrent. The extend to which individuals are responsible for their behavior will always be a subject of debate.   What is clear is that most men who kill are very unstable and easily moved by outside pressure.  Crime, poverty, and ignorance go together.  When the world understands this and sees that every act is preceded by a cause or series of causes, it will seek to remove the causes of crime, and poverty, and ignorance.   Then, and only then, will the great mass of human maladjustments vanish from the world.