Choosing a lawyer can be difficult, especially if you have to do it at the time you are arrested. If at all possible, establishing a working relationship with an attorney whom you trust before the need for an attorney arises, is obviously the most desired and beneficial route. The lawyer you decide to retain should be compatible with your personality and manner of handling pressure. Find someone you can talk with and trust. Schedule a preliminary interview and have several questions prepared. (See sample questions below) Choosing a lawyer simply because he or she understands or is sympathetic to alternative sexual expression may lead to later dissatisfaction. Lawyers should be selected for their expertise and experience in specific categories of cases. You can always contact the NCSF, and if we know of lawyers in your area, we will refer you to them. There is also a website that lists, by state, kink friendly lawyers, and other professionals. The website may be accessed through the following link www.ncsfreedom.org/kap. PDF Coming Soon
Police Interactions ? What to do when you deal with police Your basic legal rights and responsibilities may not always be clearly defined by law enforcement officials. If stopped or detained, politely ask the police officer “why” in a manner that is not confrontational. Remember, your priority should be to alleviate or minimize the potential charges and/or use of excessive force against you. In some states, there are no clear statutes or laws which delineate the use of deadly force by law enforcement officials. In theses instances, the courts will decide, on a case-by-case basis, what is considered deadly or excessive force. Download the pdf
Juvenile/CPS/Child Services for BDSM Parents The concerns that result from contact with local and state child welfare authorities are occasionally troublesome for members of the SM/leather/fetish/poly communities. It is often difficult to accept the necessity of interacting with child/protective services and child/family services workers. Such persons are often empowered to make independent judgments that have a direct impact on family relations and personal freedom. This presentation provides a structure for acting in accordance with the best interests of your children and with due regard for your civil rights and the rights of others. Download the pdf.
Child Custody & Divorce: Considerations for Alternative Lifestyles The problems that arise in child custody disputes between spouses and partners create special concerns for members of the SM/leather/fetish/poly communities. In addition to the general tribulations that arise with privacy and personal security, these issues also require difficult decisions at a time of great stress. These choices often require making priority assessments between personal and family considerations. This presentation provides a framework for evaluating choices and seeking advice and counsel. Download the pdf
Doing SM Related Legal Research The law is interpreted – sometimes to our favor, and sometimes not. For example, while the NCSF firmly believes that consensual SM activity between adults is legal, there are those that have a differing opinion and will intentionally interpret the law in an unfavorable way. Therefore, it is extremely important for the SM- Leather-Fetish communities to have an understanding of the laws that may affect us. Knowing relevant laws will greatly assist our communities in safely organizing and maintaining SM-Leather-Fetish activities and functions. There are numerous laws, ordinances, and regulations at all levels of government - federal, state, regional, county and city. It's not easy to locate all of the laws that may affect us, but it's very important. You should make every attempt to thoroughly research your laws if your activities may come under the scrutiny of law enforcement or local authorities. In addition, NCSF recommends that thorough legal research should include consultation with a knowledgeable attorney, state Attorney General, local prosecutor, or other legal authority, familiar with the current interpretation of the law for the jurisdiction in question. Obviously, it is impossible to provide a comprehensive list of every law and its interpretation for every jurisdiction, so this material is designed to give the reader a basic understanding of legal research and the tools to get started. Download the pdf
Protecting Your Event There are many considerations organizers must contend with when planning a large event. Large events include educational and social conferences, leather contests, weekend play parties, vendor markets, swing events and club run0s. In light of recent attacks by religious and political extremists, here are some suggested guidelines for protecting your event and attendees.
Protecting Yourself Legally Members of the SM/leather/fetish communities have always had some level of concern regarding the issues of privacy, discretion, and personal security. The Radical Right, employers, ex-partners, and others may pose threats to these concepts. Many times their motivation comes from ignorance, but new motivations like custody of children, and revenge are also becoming commonplace. This presentation provides tips for protecting yourself legally for various circumstances. Download the pdf.
Traveling With Toys While there have always been security issues involved in travel, the current political climate, as well as new legislation, has changed the procedures used to achieve security, as well as changing the allowable items to be carried with the traveler. Security measures have been heightened as never before - to the point of creating a legal risk to individuals who practice alternative sexual expression for traveling with items that are commonplace for us. This presentation will address these issues and provide tips for traveling with toys. Download the pdf
Swing Groups & Law Enforcement: Group Issues It is important for swing groups and businesses to have an understanding of the relationship between the swing community and law enforcement, as well as the numerous legalities that can effect group functions. Once this is accomplished, your group can dispel myths, educate members, and constructively interact with law enforcement as the need arises. This presentation will focus on three aspects: interacting with local law enforcement, avoiding legal trouble, and group considerations.
Approaching Your Local Authorities The purpose of this presentation is to educate law enforcement, prosecutors, or other authorities about SM-Leather- Fetish and/or swing practices on behalf of a local group(s). NCSF's goal in presenting this material is to help local group(s) to develop a positive relationship with their local authorities. The contents and delivery method of the outreach presentation are designed on a case-by-case basis. We suggest that local groups work together when presenting info to local officials. PDF Coming Soon