Criminal Law Articles

Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Criminal Law.

2012 Illinois DUI Sentencing Guide

Illinois DUI Penalties - 2012 - First Offense • Class A Misdemeanor • Court Supervision up to 2 years • DUI Tech Fee $750.00 (P.A. Act 96-1342 eff. 1-1-11) • $50.00 Roadside Memorial Fund Fee (730 ILCS 5/5-9-1.17) • Fines of $0-$2,500.00 and • BAC > .16 or greater.

Summary of New Illinois Traffic and DUI Laws in 2012

P.A. 97-466, eff. 1-1-12 Short Description: School Bus Driver and Alcohol Testing · Amends 625 ILCS 5/6-106.1; adds 625 ILCS 5/6-106.1c new - · Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that an employer of a school bus driver permit holder who holds a commercial driver's license and who works for the employer as a school bus driver and is therefore subject to 49 CFR 382.307 shall, within 48 hours...

Drinking on the Move in Wentzville: Thoughts on Open Containers in Vehicles

Missouri's pro-alcohol reputation, supported by a strong alcohol industry lobby, continues to grow based on a recent decision by the Board of Alderman in Wentzville, Missouri. Despite efforts to tighten DUI/DWI laws, Missouri municipalities are having a tough time finding support.

Personal Portable Breathalyzer Tests to Help Avoid Tickets for DUI

Portable breathalyzers can help you and your friends avoid driving drunk and risking a DUI. As we begin this holiday season in St. Louis, Missouri, consider buying your favorite partier a portable breathalyzer for $30.00 to $100.00. While they may not be as accurate as police testing for DUI, they are valuable in helping someone realize they need to call a cab.

How Much Custody Credit Do I Get?

Since 2009, there have been no less than five legislative changes to the way presentence conduct credits are calculated, leaving even the most informed judges, district attorney and defense attorneys confused. The recent case of People v. Paul Garcia (2012 DJDAR 13257 (Sept. 24, 2012)) serves to clarify the law on this important issue.

White Collar Crime FAQs

The majority of my practice focuses on the defense of federal white collar crimes, which can be a confusing area of law for people who are unfamiliar with the system. In that vein, I've compiled some basic questions and answers regarding white collar criminal defense to help shed some light on the process.

How to Protect Against Identity Theft

In today’s digital age, identity theft is a serious concern for everyone. Not only is stealing an identity potentially easier in the electronic age, but once an identity has been stolen, a considerable amount of damage can be done in a relatively short period of time. Sometimes, the damage cannot be repaired, leaving victims without their life savings in their golden years.

Can An Anonymous Cell Phone Call to Police Support a Traffic Stop for DUI?

With the proliferation of cell phone use, police often receive calls from motorists who claim to be witnessing a driver who appears to be intoxicated and a danger to other motorists. Sometimes, the driver is not willing to give his name for fear of being called to court as a witness. The witness may believe that he will be arrested on an outstanding warrant, overdue child support or for immigration issues.

Child Rape Charges Aided by Criminal Defense Attorneys

Criminal defense attorneys understand the seriousness of a child rape charge. Not only is your freedom at stake but also your reputation, because you could be registered as a sex offender. When it comes to this type of charge, even an accusation can impact the rest of your life. There will always be the question as to whether or not you are guilty of this crime.

Virtues of Forgiveness, Love and Decency - Pakistan

A Book Review - Suppose you wanted to write a novel about the activities of a man and chronicles of his day’s life, obviously it requires a powerful narration and lot of details. Faced with such narrative limitations you might be tempted to invent a wider canvas of things, places, events, books and things. The good news is that Ian McEwan has presented a beautiful novel on these concepts.

Juvenile Commits First Degree Residential Burglary by Stealing Guns from Closet Near Home Entry

In San Diego County, a juvenile (“M.A.”) entered a house with the owner’s permission without any intent to commit a felony therein. While inside, he learned that there were guns in a closet and then decided to steal then. The closet was three feet by four feet and in the home’s entry way, but not in the home’s interior.

Money Laundering, Asset Forfeiture and Recovery and Compliance Country Report: Turkey

Turkey, even restructured its banking sector several times, has still not made sufficient progress in money laundering and compliance legislation for improvement of the inspection obligations. In particular due to its location bridging Europe to Asia attracts the foreign criminal organizations of migrant smuggling, terrorism and narcotics. Turkey hosted many brass plate companies in the past set for the purpose of placement, layering and integration of laundering transactions by 1990s.

Georgia Lawmakers Crack Down on Drug Abuse, Atlanta Criminal Attorneys Report

Prescription drug use and abuse is a rising problem in our country, according to Atlanta criminal attorneys, and Georgia lawmakers and state officials are cracking down on dealers and users across the state. The recent arrest of Richmond County family physician Dr. John Rumbaugh has gained national attention as the state of Georgia attempts to rein in prescription drug fraud.

Three Felonies and You’re Out

Named for the penalty in baseball for hitting strikes, the three strikes law is state legislation that imposes a life penalty for individuals that are convicted of three or more serious charges. This is typically reserved for felony crimes but is left up to the state to determine the details.

First Degree Burglary Conviction Upheld When Residential Home Uninhabited and Realtor’s Wallet is Stolen.

Under Penal Code § 460, every burglary of an inhabited dwelling is first degree burglary. Burglary of a structure that is not an “inhabited dwelling house” is second degree burglary. On June 27, 2010, realtor Janice Konkol was conducting an open house of a home in Irvine. Rodney Little and his girlfriend walked into the house.

The Consequences of Florida Child Abuse and Molestation Charges

Charges of child abuse and molestation can result in serious criminal consequences. If you are charged, you could lose your rights as a parent and face serious jail time.

If I Am Arrested, Can Police Look at My Text Messages?

Erik Rangel allegedly beat and stabbed a man in a San Mateo park. The crime was believed to be gang related. Days later, a judge signed a warrant for Rangel’s arrest and a search warrant for Rangel’s home. The search warrant authorized the seizure of stabbing instruments, as well as items containing stains or traces of human blood. The search warrant further authorized the seizure of items commonly known as gang indicia.

The Police Took Your Money, So You Usually Get it Back, Plus Interest

Under Health and Safety Code § 11469(i), when a government agency seizes a person’s money, the agency has a duty to protect the money and preserve its value. The government does this by placing the money into an interest bearing account instead of allowing the money to lose value over time. Moreover, the person whose money was taken is often entitled to get his money back, plus the accrued interest.

Statute of Limitation in Sex Abuse Cases - Interview with Thomas Simeone

Recent instances of sexual abuse have again ignited debate in the subject of statute of limitations. This sensitive area of law is under national scrutiny in light of numerous sexual abuse scandals in the media. Establishing fairness for both plaintiff and defendant has become a balancing act with important repercussions.

Federal Conviction Reversed for Assault Because Federal Officer Not Aware Defendant Threw Rock at Him

On June 18, 2009, Enrique Acosta-Sierra threw a baseball-size piece of concrete at U.S. Custom and Border Protection Officer Abram Lopez. Acosta-Sierra missed, although he was only seven or eight feet away. Officer Lopez only became aware of the attempted battery (assault) when the concrete hit the metal gate behind him and made a loud noise.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and DWIs

Originally developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, field sobriety tests can be used by officers when they are determining whether or not a driver should be taken into custody for driving while intoxicated. There are three tests that an officer may choose to use separately or in combination with the others. There are a number of tools that officers will use to aid them in determining which drivers are operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Seven Years to Life Sentence for Dissuading a Witness for Benefit of a Gang Reversed Because Force Threatened

Michael Valles was fatally shot at a tattoo parlor in Stanislaus County in 2004. Felix Lopez was charged with violating Penal Code § 187, murder, as well as four other counts associated with the crime, including attempting to dissuade a witness from testifying (Penal Code § 136.31(a)(2) and active participation in a street gang (Penal Code § 186.22(a)).

Securities Fraud in California - Understanding Securities Fraud

Investing always involves a degree of risk taking and not all investment losses are due to investment fraud. There are cases however, where investors have lost substantial amounts of money because of brokerage firms, stockbrokers, or financial advisors violating the securities laws.

Get Better Understanding of Federal Criminal Appeal

After the trial court convicts and sentences an individual of a crime, the defendant will have the right to appeal to an appellate court to have the judgment of the trial court reviewed. Learning about the procedure is essential if you are looking to make an appeal. After a defendant is found guilty of committing a crime and a verdict has been passed down by the trial court, he/she will get the right to make an appeal to the higher courts (appellate courts) for having the verdict reviewed.

Why You Should Advise Your Michigan Drivers License Attorney of Any Addictive Prescription Medications

If you are meeting with Michigan drivers license appeal lawyers to select one to help reinstate your drivers license, make sure to disclose any medications you are currently taking. Failing to advise your Michigan drivers license appeal lawyer of the medications you are taking can be fatal to your case. This is especially important if you are taking addictive prescription medication

Cruising the Caribbean Leads to Litigation Labyrinth

Two men who who jetted from New York to Fort Lauderdale to board Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas cruise ship to Jamaica last week, but their vacation took a twisted turn when they found themselves locked away in the cruise ship's brig, accused of raping a young woman.

Does the Law Against Carrying a Dirk or Dagger Violate My Constitutional Right to Bear Arms for Self Defense?

On September 28, 2010, a security guard removed Kenyatta Quinn Mitchell from the San Diego trolley because Mitchell did not have a ticket to ride the trolley. Another guard came to assist and noticed that Mitchell had a concealed knife sticking out from under his sweat shirt. The police were then summoned to the scene. They arrived and found Mitchell with an eleven inch knife.

Resisting Arrest During a Protest or Demonstration

This article explains the Florida statutes that dictate an individual’s consequences if he/she is arrested during a protest or demonstration. When you’re in a crowd for a political, religious, or social gathering, your actions will be strictly observed and judged by the police. While this differential treatment is necessary for law enforcement to maintain control, their demands may seem ridiculous or irrational, causing many to disregard them.

If You Want a Brooklyn Bagel, Go to Brooklyn, not Palm Beach….

Any Floridian bagel junkie will know that Brooklyn Water Bagel company is for producing the ‘best’ bagels on the east coast, made with New York City's famously pure tap water. Recently, however the Palm Beach County company claimed it had nailed the secret of how to make locally baked bagels taste like those from up coast. The secret; there is no secret.

The Police Asked Me to Be an Informant- Should I?

The activities of an informant are glamorized in movies and on television as dangerous, exciting, and dramatic. The informant can be the key witness everyone relies upon, so they are respected as powerful. Police appreciate this image of an informant, so it is not uncommon for police to appeal to this sense of adventure in saying, “Give us three and we’ll set you free.”

What Is Mayhem (Penal Code § 203) and Aggravated Mayhem (Penal Code § 205)?

If one is charged with mayhem, or aggravated mayhem, it is not unusual for the rhetorical question of, “what is mayhem?” to be asked. After all, “mayhem” is not a word often used nowadays.

Right to a Fair Trial

In recent decades, the likelihood of an arrest leading to a conviction has generally risen. Some defendants think that they can "beat the system" on their own. Those who have been through the criminal court system know better: having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is the best way to prevent becoming another statistic and to avert the impact of a criminal conviction.

What to do After a DUI Arrest

Drunk drivers account for a large number of accidents that cause injuries and deaths in the U.S. Vehicle operators have a duty of care to drive in such a manner as to not cause harm to other vehicle occupants. It is always best to refrain from mixing drinking and driving, AND have a designated driver take over, take a taxi, or some other solution.

What Is Penal Code § 647(b), Prostitution and Solicitation for Prostitution?

California Penal Code § 647(b) prohibits one from willfully engaging in a sexual act in exchange for money or other goods or services (typically drugs). This seemingly broad definition does not include pimping and pandering, which are separately addressed (Penal Code § 266 and 266i) or indecent exposure (Penal Code § 314). The scope of § 647(b) includes both the prostitute and the customer, also known as a “john.”

What Does Colorado Criminal Law Say About Defendant Sanity?

In the aftermath of the movie theatre shooting in Aurora, many people are questioning Colorado’s criminal justice system in regards to defendant sanity. The resolution of mental illness can have a substantial impact on the outcome of criminal cases, and in Colorado it is the prosecutors who must prove that a defendant is sane.

What is House Arrest as an Alternative to Jail?

If you face a jail sentence, but also have enormous responsibilities at work and / or for your family, i.e. child care or an elderly parent, house arrest may be something you should request as an alternative to jail. House arrest is specifically provided for at Penal Code § 1203.016, where it is called “home detention.”

Driver Safety and Improvement Courses Needed for License Reinstatement

To recover driving privileges, completion of a driver safety course may be required for license reinstatement. Whether you have lost your driving privileges because you accumulated too many points or your license was suspended following a traffic violation, you must meet certain conditions to become eligible for license reinstatement.

Pakistan’s Legal Framework to Combat Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing

Pakistan faces significant risks of money laundering and even more significant risks of terrorism financing. Aware of the prevalence of corruption, narcotics trafficking and terrorism, the authorities have focused on tackling these predicates. Pakistan has however not yet sufficiently taken into account money laundering and terrorism financing associated with these and other predicate crimes.

Will the Prosecutor Dismiss the Domestic Violence Case if the Victim Will Not Testify or Appear at Trial?

A common question our office often hears is whether the prosecutor will dismiss or drop the case if the victim refuses to testify at trial or even refuses to appear at trial. Indeed, there are cases where this has occurred, but such cases are actually rather rare. It is important to note from the outset that this article excludes application to probation violation hearings, which have different rules concerning unavailable witnesses. People v. Stanphill (2009) 170 Cal.App.4th 61.

Constitutional Right to Counsel

The Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees the right to an attorney to anyone facing federal criminal charges. The 14th Amendment and some state constitutions also afford this right to anyone facing state felony charges. Those who are indigent and cannot afford an attorney have the right to have one appointed to them for free. Most people, however, do not understand what the right to an attorney means, when this right attaches or who qualifies for a court-appointed lawyer.

What Happens at a Felony Preliminary Hearing Setting Conference?

As its name implies, at a felony preliminary hearing setting conference, a date is set for the preliminary hearing in the case. Yet that is only one of many important things that may happen at such a seemingly simple, single-purpose hearing. More importantly, the prosecutor and the defense attorney may negotiate, or attempt to negotiate, a plea bargain that would resolve the case (also referred to as “reaching a disposition”).

Sixth Amendment Right to Fair Trial Means Family Can Be in Court During Sentencing

It is not uncommon in many serious cases for a defendant being accused of a serious crime to “pack the courtroom” with friends and family. The presence of friends and family is to show support for the defendant, both to the defendant and court, including the judge and the prosecutor. When the defendant is in custody and he or she sees the support, the defendant feels better.

What Is Tampering with a Vehicle (Vehicle Code § 10852)?

Under Vehicle Code § 10852, it is illegal to tamper with a vehicle. The text of 10852 reads, “[n]o prison shall either individually or in association with one on more persons, willfully injure or tamper with any vehicle or the contents thereof or break or remove any part of a vehicle without the consent of the owner.”

Lowering the Expectation of Privacy - Videotaping of Spouse is Now Permissible under Georgia Law

Videotaping your spouse, or soon-to-be-ex-spouse, is now permissible under Georgia law, Atlanta divorce attorneys at the Margolis Legal Group report. In the recent case of Rutter v. Rutter, Stacy Rutter presented evidence collected through secretly installed video cameras in the home she shared with her then-husband Charles to aid in her divorce case.

Cleaning Up Your Colorado Arrest / Criminal Records

Have questions about criminal records in the state of Colorado? This article will help you understand how the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) maintains criminal records, what types of records can and cannot be sealed, and how to seal the records that you can.

Theft Crimes and Using Fake ID's in Las Vegas - An Overview

Using False Identification - According to law enforcement, technology and the Internet makes it easier than ever to obtain high quality fake identification. Unfortunately, some young people think that using false IDs are simply a rite of passage. There are also individuals who use the documents to conceal information that prevents them from obtaining decent paying jobs.

What is Trespassing (Penal Code § 602)?

Trespass means many things to many people. To one person, it means walking into an area posted with signs that state, “No Trespassing.” To others, it means walking into a business, loitering for a long time and then leaving without making a purchase. To others, it may be a homeless person living for several days, or even weeks, at an empty foreclosed upon house without permission.

Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act

The Georgia Taxpayer Protection False Claims Act (GTPFCA) went into effect on July 1, 2012. The GTPFCA models the federal FCA, but also contains some provisions that are unique. - [1]—Liability and Damages Provisions - The liability and damages provisions under the GTPFCA are similar to those under the federal FCA. For example, an individual will be liable for knowingly presenting or causing the presentation of a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval, or...

Indiana False Claims and Whistleblower Protection Act

Indiana passed the Indiana False Claims and Whistleblower Protection Act (IFCWPA) in 2005. The IFCWPA generally models the federal FCA, but contains some differences. [1]—Liability and Damages Provisions - Generally, an individual will be liable under the IFCWPA for the same violations as the federal FCA. For example, an individual will be liable for knowingly or intentionally presenting a false claim to the state for payment or approval, or...

What is Disturbing the Peace (Penal Code § 415)?

For one who is unfamiliar with California’s criminal courts, the charge of disturbing the peace may conjure up thoughts of a homeless man shouting obscenities at passing cars on a busy street. It may conjure up ideas that the charge is for someone who plays his stereo too loud at a party, disturbing neighbors late at night. It may also be two folks arguing too loud in a restaurant.

What is False Imprisonment (Penal Code § 236)?

False imprisonment prohibits wrongful restraining, confining or detaining a person without that person’s consent (Penal Code § 236). The most common context of this that our office sees is when someone transports someone in a car, against their will, usually during an argument after the person asks to be let out of the car.

Find Out the Liable Party before Filing Drug Injury Case

Defective drugs or Wrong dosages can result in serious injuries or can even lead to death. An individual suffering from drug injuries may claim for the damages. However, before that it is important to determine who is responsible for such an outcome.

You will Require Skilled Lawyers to Defend Drug Cases

There are defenses for drug crimes. Only skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can study the case in details and work on suitable defenses. Thus, you should contact an attorney if you get involved in any drug cases.

Defenses to Crimes

Generally speaking, there are 2 basic components to every crime: the criminal act (actus reus) and the criminal intent (mens rea). Thus, the prosecution must prove not only that the defendant committed an act prohibited by the law, but that he/she also had the intent to commit the criminal act beyond a reasonable doubt for the defendant to be adjudged guilty.

Tips for DUI Checkpoint Behavior

DUI checkpoint encounters can create anxiety for motorists. Here are some suggestions for what you should do if you’re pulled over. A DUI checkpoint can be scary. Most people would rather not have to deal with the police, but occasionally, a DUI checkpoint makes it impossible to avoid. There was a time when the legality of DUI checkpoints was an issue for the courts. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that they are constitutional, so they’re a fact of life for motorists.

Finding a Job After a Criminal Conviction

Employers are becoming increasingly concerned about knowing whether applicants have criminal records. Part of this concern stems from large jury verdicts that have been rendered against employers for negligently hiring people with criminal histories who subsequently caused harm to others while on the job.

What Is Statutory Rape?

Statutory rape is defined under Penal Code § 261.5 as sexual intercourse with a person under 18 years of age. The two individuals cannot be husband and wife. This crime is more broadly often referred to as unlawful sex with a minor, although this description includes other forms of sex besides intercourse.

What is a Misdemeanor Pre-Trial Hearing?

The legal process is packed with terminology that can be misleading even to attorneys. For example, a pre-trial hearing certainly implies that trial is imminent or definite. Therefore, when our office advises a client, following an arraignment on a misdemeanor, that the judge set a pre-trial hearing, the client becomes anxious. The client sometimes believes that his setting implies his or her case is going to trial without any attempt at plea bargaining.

Insanity Defense Triggered by Underlying Drug Addiction in a General Intent Crime

A defense to a drug importation charge when crossing from Mexico to the United States at the San Ysidro Border. With a trial date set at the end of the month I began researching various defenses for a federal drug importation charge. The defense counsel has a duty to make reasonable investigations to ascertain the extent of any possible mental impairment.

Reinstating a Suspended Driver’s License

When you are convicted of a crime and your license is suspended, this can have a large negative outcome on your life. Having your license reinstated as quickly as possible is the best choice and by following through with the right procedures you may increase your likelihood of achieving just that.

Criminal Defense Basics

Our criminal justice system is complex, both conceptually and procedurally. To ensure the fairness of the proceedings, each court system has its own rules of criminal procedure that govern the actions of all players: police, defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges and juries. The US Constitution requires that criminal defendants be accorded due process of law in all proceedings against them.

Why You Should Have a Conviction Expunged

An expungement is the legal process of seeking to have a past criminal conviction wiped out making it unable to be viewed by those inquiring into your past background. There are many reasons that this can benefit people from all walks of life that have been sentenced.

DUI Checkpoint in PA Requires Police Intervention

The decision to conduct a DUI checkpoint near a major highway on-ramp during the annual Musikfest festival in Northampton County, PA has been questioned by police officials. The DUI checkpoint was conducted by local PA township police on the night of August 4, during the first weekend of Musikfest. Musikfest is an annual music festival that has been held each August in Bethlehem, PA since 1984.

What is Receiving Stolen Property (Penal Code § 496)?

Receiving stolen property happens when someone purchases or obtains possession of an item that was acquired by the seller or “giver” by theft (i.e. burglary, embezzlement, shoplifting, robbery), fraud or any other unlawful means. Our office has seen this charge arise from purchases allegedly from pawn shops, garage sales and swap meets.

Do Warrants Expire?

Our office often receives phone calls from folks aware that “a warrant was issued” and they are anxious to know what do to next, as they fear police may execute it on them at any time. Our first reaction to such a question is to clarify what type of warrant (arrest, bench, search or complaint) is involved and second, how they became aware of the warrant.

When One Admits to Having Marijuana, A Search is Legal When an Arrest Follows

A search conducted without prior approval by a judge (in the form of a warrant) is unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution with the exception of a few situations. Such exceptions arise quite frequently in day-to-day police investigations. Arizona v. Gant (2009) 556 U.S. 332, 338.

Helping You Understand What Can Happen if You Issue a Bad Check

Actually, the penalties for writing a bad check in New York State can be severe. Everyone knows you are not supposed to write bad checks. Even if you do so intentionally or repeatedly, you won’t be treated like you robbed someone on the street or in a home, right? Actually, the penalties for writing a bad check in New York State can be severe.

Carrying a Gun Illegally in a Vehicle

If you have been caught with an illegally possessed gun in your car or truck, you haven’t really done much wrong and your legal problems aren’t too serious, right? Actually, the charge of criminal possession of a weapon in New York State is a serious charge. Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, the charge may be a class C or D felony or a fourth degree misdemeanor, with legal penalties ranging from one to 15 years in jail.

How Are Sentencing Guidelines Used in Criminal Cases in Virginia?

Virginia uses sentencing guidelines during sentencing for felony charges. After someone is convicted of a felony in Virginia, whether it be after entering a guilty plea or a trial, the Circuit Court judge will order a presentence report. A presentence report is prepared by a probation officer and includes various background, family, and employment information about the defendant. One of the items included in the presentence report is a calculation of sentencing guidelines.

Raleigh DUI Accidents and the Law

Facing a traffic ticket for reckless driving or speeding can be unsettling. In North Carolina, a particular DUI case captured the attention of national media. It involved a drunk plastic surgeon driving his Mercedes 90 mph in a 45 mph zone and slamming into a car driven by a member of the Carolina Ballet. The accident killed the young woman and the doctor went to jail.

Background Checks Can Lead to Liability in Wisconsin

Not handling the background check process correctly or misusing the information contained within the background check, also called a consumer report, can lead to liability for employers. Some potential background check pitfalls employers could face include:

Effect of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Convictions in the United States on Canada Immigration

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI), impaired driving and similar US convictions, have many consequences for an individual, including a possible criminal record in the United States. Those who are not US citizens, also have to be concerned about possible US immigration consequences of their DUI criminal conviction.

What is Grand Theft Auto?

Grand theft auto, also referred to as “GTA,” vehicle theft and / or just auto theft, is the unauthorized taking of another’s car with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the car. It may be by force, trick or false pretenses. Sometimes, the suspect takes the car to a “chop shop” to have the car disassembled for money or the suspect intentionally fails to return a rental car.

Know Your Rights for Criminal Defense

If you are facing criminal defense charges, it is important to know that you have constitutional rights. The legal system was designed to ensure that people are innocent until proven guilty. Knowing what your rights are is one way to ensure that you are being treated fairly. Here are some of your rights that are guaranteed by federal law.

Could the Complexity of White Collar Crimes Help Defendants?

For people charged with white collar crimes, the challenges local governments face in investigating and prosecuting white collar crimes can be an opportunity for a strong defense. Simplify the issue. That’s the advice often given to prosecutors who must try white collar criminal charges before a jury. White collar crimes often involve complex concepts and evidence.

Florida Retains Title as Nation’s Mortgage Fraud Capital

Florida is one of five states to rank in the top ten in Mortgage Fraud Index measures for incidents of fraud for both investigations in 2011 and loans originated in 2011. Michigan, California, Illinois and New York are the others. The dismal housing market in Florida is showing signs of new life, but the improvements have had little impact on the state’s mortgage fraud rates according to a recent report.

What is Joyriding?

Joyriding is a temporary taking of a car or motorcycle (Vehicle Code § 10851), bicycle (Penal Code § 499b(a)), or boat (Penal Code § 499b(b)), without the owner’s permission. The taking is generally thought to be for enjoyment only and is often committed by juvenile males. When the use of the vehicle, bike or boat is no longer enjoyable, the user returns or intends to return the item to the owner. Sometimes, the vehicle, bike or boat runs out of gas before it can be returned.

Witness Intimidation Can Make Admissible Otherwise Inadmissible Hearsay

It is common in domestic violence cases, as well as certain theft cases and certainly gang-related cases, that the unavailability of a witness for trial can mean a dismissal or defense verdict. For example, when a wife or girlfriend is the only witness to defendant’s conduct and she cannot or will not appear at trial, the prosecution may dismiss the case. Our office has experienced this many times on first day of trial, to our client’s relief.

Atlanta Divorce Lawyers Anticipate Change in Alimony Laws

The Atlanta divorce lawyers at the Margolis Legal Group understand how painful divorce is for couples, and the division of a life together can lead to unexpected problems, especially since some divorce laws address outdated standards from the past. However, as other states enact new laws that reflect today’s lifestyle, Atlanta divorce attorneys predict that Georgia may follow suit.

Move Over Law in Force August 5th, 2012 in Canada

New measures on road safety will come into force in Quebec this Sunday August 5th, 2012. This new legislation will take place under articles 406.1 and 311.1 of the Highway Safety Code (R.S.Q., chapter C 24.2). These new measures are already in place in seven Canadian provinces and most of the United States.

States Struggle to Establish Drugged Driving Laws

Although Maryland is not currently one of the states looking to pass a marijuana-specific drugged driving law, there are similar laws under review in other states, and it’s likely only a matter of time before the debate makes its way to the Maryland state legislature.

Gray Area on “Possessing” vs. “Viewing” Creates Porn Ambiguity

We’re at the beginning of the debate on what’s legal and illegal when it comes to computers and pornography. Recent cases suggest that it’s only a matter of time before the state legislatures are forced to take a closer look at how the law impacts our activities online.

What is Unemployment Insurance Fraud?

Unemployment insurance fraud is the receipt of unemployment benefits to which one is not entitled, or assisting one in such receipt. It is a particularly prevalent crime in today’s tough economy with numerous underemployed workers. Workers who may have been unemployed for some period of time, only find work at lower pay than expected, continue to receive unemployment benefits when they are simultaneously receiving pay.

The False Claims Act – Application of the Lincoln Law to the Health Care Industry

  By Ruder Ware
The False Claims Act was originally focused on the defense industry during the Civil War. It was later expanded during the defense industry scandals of the 1980s. Now, the law is being applied liberally in the health care industry with very severe potential consequences for health care providers.

Medical Director Compensation and Compliance

  By Ruder Ware
Compensation to medical directors has become a 'hot-button" compliance issue. If not properly structured and monitored, a medical director arrangement can become a major compliance problem. Health care attorney John Fisher discussed some of the recent cases addressing medical director compensation and what they mean to health care providers.

Medical Director Compensation and Compliance

  By Ruder Ware
Compensation to medical directors has become a 'hot-button" compliance issue. If not properly structured and monitored, a medical director arrangement can become a major compliance problem. Health care attorney John Fisher discussed some of the recent cases addressing medical director compensation and what they mean to health care providers.

Abduction Cases Are Not Always Tied Neatly With a Bow

Abduction, or kidnapping, can be charged for many common situations that don’t require being tied up and held against their will. The Virginia Code defines abduction as the unauthorized holding or transporting of someone against their will by force, threat, intimidation, or deception.

Driving Without a Valid License (VC § 12500(a)) or on a Suspended or Revoked License (VC § 14601)

One of the more common offenses our clients face, usually in conjunction with other offenses such as DUI or speeding, is without a valid license, a violation of California Vehicle Code § 12500(a), or driving on a suspended or revoked license, a violation of Vehicle Code § 14601.

Fatal Day Care Accident Leads to Multiple Lawsuits

Child care injuries are alarmingly common and the harm may result from a variety of sources. However, all day care accidents typically involve employee negligence or recklessness. Just weeks ago, a day care van filled with children veered wildly toward oncoming traffic before leaving the road and crashing into a tree. The accident injured 15 passengers — 14 of them children — and killed a 31-year-old woman.

What Are the Limits of a “Protective Sweep” Search Without a Warrant?

It is well-established law that warrantless searches of a home are “presumptively unreasonable” under the Fourth Amendment. Payton v. New York (1980) 445 U.S. 573, 586. However, it is also well-established law that law enforcement arresting someone in a house may perform a quick and limited “protective sweep,” warrantless search for their own safety when there is a reasonable suspicion that the house may contain a dangerous person.

Do Not Boat and Drink

As the summer winds down, it is important to stay safe on the water. Remember to follow the law and do not drink alcohol and operate a vessel, because just like driving under the influence, boating under the influence is illegal. Individuals are not allowed to operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Decrease in Excessive Speeding Tickets in Quebec, Canada

The relentlessness with which the authorities fight excessive speeding and their ubiquity on the roads of Quebec seem to have paid off. The number of excessive speeding tickets has seen a sharp decrease from 17,844 cases in 2008 to 7,400 cases in 2011. As of July 19, 2012 only 1,581 tickets have been issued.

What Are Illegal Tinted Windows (Vehicle § 26708.5)?

Our office has heard many clients report that they were pulled over because the police officer told them they had illegal tinted windows. The client usually suggests that the police officers had a hunch that our client was DUI, on probation, had drugs in the car or was wanted for an unsolved crime. The tinted windows, in other words, were just a pretext for the police to set up our client for a search, an arrest and much bigger charges than just illegal tinted windows.

The San Jose Police and DUI Charges

There is not a day that passes that the San Jose Police does not arrest and charge individuals on a DUI or DUI-related charge, whether on the 101 or on city streets. There is a high level of alert for drivers who are operating their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Difference between Juvenile and Adult Arrests

Adults and juveniles facing criminal charges in Miami are subject to different arrest procedures. Criminal defense attorneys understand the subtle nuances of the law and will protect your right to a fair trial. Adult and juvenile arrest procedures differ in Florida. When a child is facing criminal charges in Miami, the juvenile justice system exists to punish and rehabilitate young offenders.

Avoid Long-Term Consequences of DUI Conviction

The money and time that must be paid when someone is convicted of a DUI is substantial. This is why you need a strong criminal defense attorney in Miami to help win your case and clear your record. A DUI conviction in Florida may have long-term consequences affecting your finances, career, personal life as well as your freedom.

What is Forgery?

There are four types of conduct that can be prosecuted as forgery under Penal Code § 470. Each is considered a serious crime and a crime of moral turpitude that can have immigration consequences. First, one can be prosecuted for signing someone else’s name without that person’s authorization. The most common context of this is trying to cash someone else’s check to you by signing the account holder’s signature on the check.

Pleading to Impaired Driving in Utah

After a DUI arrest in Utah, you may be able to enter a plea to the reduced charge of impaired driving, but only under the circumstances described here. In Utah, impaired driving is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail[1] and a fine of up to $1000.00.[2] For many reasons that we will discuss below, impaired driving pleas are offered as a lesser, reduced charge (compared to a DUI.)

DUI Roadblocks

Utah has laws that define what a lawful DUI Checkpoint or Roadblock is, and when a DUI checkpoint exceeds the legal boundaries defined in the Utah Constitution. How to determine the legality of a DUI Checkpoint or Roadblock. The Utah and Federal Constitutions take the position that in the absence of reasonable suspicion, drivers have the right to be left alone.

First Degree Residential Burglary is a Crime of Violence Under Immigration Laws

In 2007, Ramiro Ramos-Medina was convicted after a jury trial of First Degree Residential Burglary, a violation of Penal Code § 459. The judge sentenced him to two years in state prison. Mr. Medina was not a U.S. citizen. Immigration officers told him that his conviction was a “crime of violence” under 8 U.S.C. § 16(b) and thus, an “aggravated felony” under the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43) and § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii).

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