Criminal Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Criminal Law.
In the presence of aggravating factors, a DUI case becomes more serious. Aggravating factors serve to increase the penalties for the alleged drunk driver. It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content above .08% across the nation. When a person is arrested for DUI in California, there are certain penalties they will face.
Burglary, under California Penal Code Section 459 is also known as “breaking and entering a property”, with the main aim being: to steal something or commit a crime. It should be noted that even if force is not used, it is still considered to be a burglary. There are mainly two categorizations of burglary, which are first degree burglaries and second degree types. We will examine each of these and their respective penalties.
Tragically, there are approximately 3 million children that are the victims of child sexual abuse in the United States. As a parent, it’s absolutely critical to seek justice against the abuser to put a stop to the further victimization of innocent children. The sexual abuse of children is a widespread problem that affects approximately 3 million children in the United States.
Violating a term of your probation can have severe consequences. If you are facing returning to jail, an attorney can help defend you at the hearing. At times when people are convicted for a crime they are given probation as a part of their sentence. Probation can be a very appealing alternative to jail; however, when someone violates any of the terms of their probation, they can face stiff penalties.
A Riverside County jury convicted Gregory Lee Latham and his wife of second degree murder of their daughter, age 17, for failing to obtain medical treatment for her type 1 diabetes, which resulted in her death. Gregory was sentenced to seventeen years in prison. His wife was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Not only did the jury convict both Lathams of violating Penal Code § 187(a) (Second Degree Murder), but the jury also convicted each of child endangerment (Penal Code § 273a(a).
California’s Three Strikes law is often criticized for its “one size fits all” approach in sentencing a defendant with two or more prior strike convictions. Strikes include, but are not limited to, such offenses as assault with a deadly weapon or with force likely to produce great bodily injury (P.C. § 245(a)(1)).
A first time DUI offense without any aggravating circumstances is typically charged as a misdemeanor offense. However, under “aggravating” circumstances the penalties may be enhanced. A DUI arrest begins with the “traffic stop” where the suspicious police officer asks the driver if they have been drinking. Based upon the driver’s answers and any “signs” of impairment, the police officer asks the driver to perform a series of field sobriety tests.
Tax scams involve trying to cheat individuals out of their money. But it can also involve cheating the government, too. While some of these scams can be very persuasive, it is possible to stay out of their cross-hairs, if you know what to be on the lookout for.
Child abuse, especially sexual abuse, is a devastating event and can be difficult to discuss. This is especially true for clergy abuse because it involves the church and trusted priests. However, clergy abuse is a topic that needs to be discussed. The more light shed on the topic, the better people can understand the problem, take preventative measures, provide therapy to victims, and attempt to right wrongs.
The Chicago Tribune ran one of the more disturbing investigative stories I've seen in a long-time when it chronicled the poor care given to disabled children living at Alden Village North located on Chicago's north-side. The Tribune used public records and government documents to uncover the names and details of care provided to children living with physical and mental handicaps, including: cerebral palsy and Downs syndrome.
Day Care Centers are facilities that provide child care for less than 24 hours/day for over eight children if it is a family home or over three children in a non-home facility. In Illinois, these Centers are regulated by the Part 407 (Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers) of the Illinois Administrative Code. DCFS inspects and licensees these facilities (license valid for three years).
Whenever a client of our office is alleged to be driving while under the influence, we are keen to verify if the breath or blood test is accurate. If the blood alcohol content is calculated by a breath test, for example, it is fundamental that the breath test machine is properly calibrated.
Maybe you think this is a nightmare, but suddenly, you're facing criminal charges. It could be a surprise, or you could have known it was coming because you have been under investigation for some time. Either way, you need the services of an Arlington criminal defense attorney right away.
Identity theft is a serious crime that is not punished lightly. A person convicted of identity theft can face thousands of dollars in fines and years in a state prison. With modern technology, identity theft has become easier to commit by the minute.
A common situation our clients on probation face is being arrested for a new offense. They often remark that they are just unlucky. The client then faces not only a new criminal case, but a probation violation case that could land the client in jail or prison for significant time. This is especially so because the burden of proof is lower for a probation violation.
Coined in 1939, the term white collar crime is now used to describe illegal behaviors of a non-violent nature. Often, these are actions which are spurred by financial motivations with the intention of monetary gain. However, these are offenses which are widely categorized, and not always easy to definitively pinpoint on any one individual or business entity.
A Pennsylvania DUI conviction can have a serious impact on your personal and professional life. A PA DUI can result in significant DUI penalties, including fines, driver's license suspension and jail. Due to the severity of the consequences of a DUI conviction, if you have been charged with DUI or a DUI-related offense in Montgomery County, PA, you should seek the assistance of an experienced Montgomery County, PA DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Stalking charges tend to be common in Las Vegas, a city full of all-night parties and heightened senses. A person may be accused of stalking if they make another person fear for their safety, regardless of whether it is intentional or unintentional. Studies show that as many as 1 in 30 women will be victims of stalking at some point in their life, and those accused of stalking will face serious penalties.
What exactly is a court-martial? Is there any difference between a civilian trial and a military criminal trial? Members of the military who are facing criminal charges need to be aware of the details of their situation so that they can have the best possible chance of defending themselves. When a member of the Armed Forces is accused of a crime, they may have to be to tried in a court-martial, a trial which is led by the U.S. military.
Ever wonder what you should look for, when you need to hire a private investigator? If you have ever done an internet search for a private investigator, you have no doubt seen hundreds of PI's and investigation agencies appear on your screen. How do you know who to use? Well, start by calling around a bit.
Our clients who are not United States citizens often nervously ask “will a conviction for DUI cause me to be deported?” They also sometimes ask, “if I leave the United States and try to return to the U.S. after the conviction, will I be turned away?” The usual answer we give is, “well, generally speaking, no.”
When a person is killed by the careless or reckless actions of another party, like drunk driving, they are provide legal recourse in accordance to the state's wrongful death laws. While laws vary in each state, they typically provide for medical expense, funeral expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, pain and suffering and sometimes "punitive damages." If your loved one was killed by a drunk driving, you need to advice of an experienced attorney.
Police in Orange County and throughout California have a long history of respected service but also of problems involving misconduct, including excessive force causing injury or death. Understanding the rights and limitations on police officers is important. An attorney examines cases that recently occurred in the state to determine whether misconduct occurred and discuss the laws.
Steven Hughes was convicted of cultivating marijuana (a violation of California Health & Safety Code § 11358), possession of marijuana for sale (a violation of California Health & Safety Code § 11359), and transportation of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana (a violation of California Health & Safety Code § 11360).
Chemical testing plays a major role in the arrest and conviction of DWI cases. However, what many people do not realize is that they have rights concerning these tests and that the evidence can be disputed. If you or a family member were arrested for driving while intoxicated, you may be facing serious penalties. One of the difficulties surrounding these cases is how law enforcement officer test the driver’s blood alcohol concentration.
In every felony case, a preliminary hearing is required. The hearing’s purpose is to test the sufficiency of the evidence to determine whether the case merits continued attention. The accused can waive such a hearing and give up his or her right to such a hearing, but this is rarely done. If the evidence is deemed insufficient, the case is dismissed.
The state of Texas is especially ruthless when it comes to sex-related crimes committed against minors. This is especially true to charges of aggravated sexual assault against a child per §22.021 of the Penal Code. While sex-related crimes are always taken seriously, these are viewed as especially heinous by law enforcement and prosecutors when the victim is under the legal age of consent. Under Chapter 22 of Assaultive Offenses, §22.021, the crime of aggravated sexual assault is addressed.
Tips to avoid a drunk driving arrest (DUI) in Pennsylvania this Super Bowl Sunday from Montgomery County, PA DUI attorney Jason Martin. The Super Bowl is America’s most popular national sporting event. This year, millions of people across the country will gather with friends and family to socialize and watch the game. Unfortunately, Super Bowl Sunday is also one of Pennsylvania’s most dangerous days on the road as a result of drunk driving.
Chino prison guard Robert McGowan was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for violations of federal laws prohibiting a prison guard from depriving an inmate of his constitutional right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment. The conduct at issue was a 2007 incident where McGowan allegedly pushed two hand-cuffed and shackled prisoners out of a truck, causing them to suffer bruises and cuts.
Our office frequently receives calls about someone who was arrested, but never told to go to court. In releasing the person, police may have advised the person that a notice would be mailed telling them of a court date, but the notice never arrived. Other times, there is an incident and the person is not even arrested.
For many people who have been criminally charged with drunk driving, they will be facing penalties that include the ignition interlock device (IID). However, there is considerable confusion about this device. We at Takakjian & Sitkoff are here to help clear up any questions one might have. The ignition interlock device is a mechanism that was put into effect by almost all 50 states in 2009 as a sentencing alternative for drunken drivers.
On Monday, January 23, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that evidence gathered by police using a GPS fastened to a drug dealer’s car without a warrant was improperly obtained. With Justice Antonia Scalia writing the majority opinion, the Court ruled that the act of attaching the GPS was a warrantless property invasion, so the evidence derived from it showing defendant’s whereabouts for twenty-eight straight days was inadmissible.
Videos in the Courtroom: The Use of Emotional Video Montages on the Rise in Criminal Cases…But are they Fair?
As reported in a recent Newsday story, the use of a video photo montage (an emotional video providing a glimpse into the life of a deceased victim) is becoming more common in criminal courtrooms across the country, including criminal courts here on Long Island.
When can you consider yourself "under arrest"? - What is an arrest in Georgia? - It is important to know exactly what constitutes an arrest in Georgia. This is because a search of someone who is not under arrest is much more limited than a search of a person under arrest. In fact, a lot of rights that we are familiar with under the law do not apply unless there is a valid arrest first.
Is a Georgia Speedy Trial Demand the right avenue for your case? - Georgia's Speedy Trial Demand - The justice system in Georgia can move quite slowly. If you know anyone that has been involved in a criminal proceeding, you are probably aware that the process can drag on for what seems like forever.
For handicapped children, living in a group home environment with peers facing similar disabilities can be a real gift. Unlike other living arrangements where children can feel significantly out of place, group homes for disabled children and young-adults hopefully foster an environment of support and encouragement.
Drug use among high school and college age students is on the rise. Statistics show that marijuana and psychotherapeutic drugs used for non-medical purposes are the most commonly sold and distributed drugs among students. When a student is charged with a drug crime, they may experience discrimination and penalties from school authorities and police enforcement.
Sex offender registration can be made retroactive in Texas. Many people are surprised to discover that they have been labeled as "sex offenders" when their attorney told them years ago that they would not have to worry about it. The reason for this is that Texas courts have ruled that sex offender registration is not a "punishment".
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), based in Orange County, California, is currently facing a civil lawsuit brought as a result of the actions of one of their employees. The employee, a pastor, was driving drunk in a company vehicle when he caused an accident resulting in the serious injuries that ultimately claimed the victim’s life. A lawyer explains how TBN may be held liable for its employee’s actions.
If you or a loved one face charges for possession of an illegal drug, a common response is, “prison will not solve the problem; treatment and education would be better.” Our legislature in Sacramento has recognized this, too, and has passed provisions that offer a drug offender a chance to “divert” from the criminal court system to drug rehabilitation programs in lieu of incarceration.
If you are arrested by the police, you are entitled to certain rights and liberties, no matter what you are being charged with or accused of doing. The code that outlines criminal rights in Florida stipulates that certain and specific procedures must be followed by law enforcement agents when you are arrested or taken into custody. Among those, the Miranda rights feature prominently.
You probably already know that after a DUI in Florida, you need to contact a drunk driving defense attorney who has handled cases like yours before and can protect all of your rights under the law, but you may be at a loss as to how to explain to your friends, family members and co-workers that you have been arrested for a DUI.
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol has been a major contributing factor to the rise of personal injury claims in the State of California. Because of this adverse trend, hundreds of people get injured and worst get killed due to drunken driving. However, unfortunately, alcohol is not only the cause of impaired driving in the United States as drug-related DUIs are also on the rise.
It is not uncommon for our clients to encounter a prosecutor who seems to stop plea bargaining, or plea bargain at all in the face of new information. The prosecutor may not seem to read the police report or, in the case of a DUI for example, to begin and end his or her analysis with only reading the blood alcohol content. The prosecutor may also seem to take a zealous personal interest in punishment of our client that seems inappropriate.
On January 10, 2012, the United States Supreme Court reversed a murder conviction in Smith v. Cain (2012 DJDAR 296). The opinion held that a Louisiana district attorney violated his duty to produce material favorable to the defense and material to defendant’s guilty or punishment, as set out in Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83.
This article addresses the “paradox between peace and justice” that has emerged in discussions about the relationship between the International Criminal Court [ICC] and traditional forms of justice, namely the Acholi tradition of "Mato Oput" in Uganda. While its sees the merit of using a traditional system this article also points out the potential danger of using these mechanisms as an excuse to avoid moral and legal accountability.
Anyone who has personally experienced being charged with DUI or has a friend or family member who has faced such charges in California may have heard about a “wet reckless.” The advantages and disadvantages of a plea to a “wet” often misunderstood. The term “wet reckless” refers to a plea bargained charge of violating California Vehicle Code § 23103 pursuant to § 23103.5.
The scandal at Penn State, which revealed that people required to report child molestation only had to report it to their superiors and not the police, has many people asking: What is a mandatory reporter? What do mandatory reporters have to do? A Florida rape attorney can explain. Of course, it is everyone’s duty to report abuse if they witness it.
In today’s economic hard times, our firm receives numerous inquiries about clearing one’s criminal record. The concern expressed is almost always that a prospective employer may reject a job applicant who has a criminal record, or pass over an existing employee for a promotion or pay raise on the same basis.
Although statistics show that theft crimes are decreasing across the board, there is still a concern regarding major thefts. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is committed to stopping instances of art theft, gem theft, organized retail theft, and more. Accusations of major theft are sobering, not only because of the penalties, but because of the manpower and resources that the investigating agencies possess.
By Fox Firm, PC
Georgia drug possession laws are exceptionally harsh and can land you in prison if you don’t have a good attorney. If you are facing drug charges, an experienced lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Much like its neighbor Florida, the state of Georgia has little tolerance for drug possession.
Obtaining a 212(h) Waiver for the Immediate Relative of a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident
This article summarizes the requirements for obtaining a 212(h) waiver when necessary because an immediate relative has been found inadmissible or deportable as a result of a criminal conviction. You have been invited to visit a friend. The invitation is to stay in their home for six months. You won’t be allowed to work while you are there and you will have to pay for your own trip and your support. You accept the invitation.
Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued warnings concerning a new computer-related crime when three California residents suffered personally injurious consequences after falling for the scams, explains a lawyer in the state. Unfortunately, despite law enforcement's best efforts to help these victims, the law currently doesn't provide an effective way of dealing with cyber crimes, and the victims may have little recourse.
Internet crimes are a growing problem throughout the U.S. Ranging from fraud to child pornography, the types of crimes as well as their consequences vary depending on the seriousness of the offense. An internet crime, or cybercrime, refers to any illegal practice that involves the use of a computer or network, or targets a computer or network.
The massive availability of the Internet has helped a lot of Americans, even those people who are benefiting from Social Security disability benefits. However, despite the advantages of the online technology, there are also some adverse effects it can provide. One of the most daunting disadvantages of the Internet is fraud.
Anyone who has watched much television is familiar with Miranda warnings, which remind a suspect of his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you at government expense.
Kelvin Harrison was convicted in San Bernardino County of battery with serious bodily injury. He was sentenced to prison for two years. When the crime occurred in 2008 both he and the victim were homeless. Harrison attacked another man with a steel pipe because he found a bag of grapes left by the victim where he normally slept. The grapes were allegedly filled with blood, which Harrison interpreted as an omen that the victim intended to harm him. Harrison then attacked the victim with the pipe.
It is January 1, 2012 and a host of new laws become effective today. While some of these laws may not affect you, others may, so it good to be aware of how the laws have changed. There are dozens of new laws, but our focus in this article in limited to ten that involve possible criminal cases.
Anyone who has watched much television is familiar with Miranda warnings, which remind a suspect of his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
Restitution Order Can Apply to One Who Receives Stolen Property, but Does Not Participate in Burglary
It is a common misperception that if one receives stolen property, such as a credit card, one can use it without incurring criminal liability if he or she has a good faith belief that the credit card was a gift. After all, the recipient of the card did not steal it from anyone. This is not always so, as the recent decision in People v. Holmberg from Northern California shows (People v. Jon Holmberg (2011 DJDAR 7665).
Feliciano Covarrubias was arrested at about 3:00 a.m. on May 6, 2010 at the San Ysidro Port of Entry coming from Mexico to California with 193 pounds of marijuana hidden in his Ford F250. A dog specially designed to detect narcotics smelled the marijuana.
The search of a home is always a hot issue, especially when the search uncovers items that could lead to years in prison. The Fourth Amendment, made applicable to each state, provides that “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
While many may think that possession of illegal drugs is a small crime, the penalties you could incur if convicted suggest otherwise. A conviction of possession and possession with intent could drastically change your future.
The general rule concerning any search without a warrant is that the search is presumed illegal. It is a liberty invasion. Once a defendant shows that the search was conducted without a warrant, the burden shifts to the prosecution to show an exception to the general rule applies.
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, made applicable to each of the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, contains what is commonly known as the “Confrontation Clause.”
An arraignment is a criminal proceeding where the defendant is called before a court, informed of the charges, and asked to enter a plea.
When you are arrested for driving under the influence, you may believe your only option is to face the charges against you, particularly if you are guilty. A talented Kansas City DUI lawyer knows that there are often extenuating circumstances, and that you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. When you are facing a possible conviction for driving under the influence, it is imperative that you seek legal guidance and representation from a capable Kansas City DUI attorney.
Do you really need a Kansas City white collar crimes lawyer when you have been arrested for or suspect you are being investigated for a crime? Absolutely, unless you would simply rather face the rest of your life with a criminal record, possibly serve time in prison and pay hefty fines.
When you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated, you may choose not to hire a Kansas City DWI lawyer, or you may make the decision to simply "pick" one out of the phone directory. This decision would likely be one you would regret making when all is said and done. If you have been charged with DWI, it is crucial that you choose an attorney who is skilled, experienced and aggressive when it comes to handling these types of cases.
Have you been unfairly charged with a DUI? It can happen to anyone. Although it's certainly true that stricter laws against drunk driving mean safer roads for everyone, it can also be true that those stricter laws can get you in trouble when you've done nothing wrong.
Fatal falls are typically associated with older adults, specifically those aged 65 and older. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults, and, while alcohol increases the risk of such accidents, it also makes this demographic more susceptible to falls. Recent incidents in New York and Colorado illustrate how the risk of suffering serious or fatal personal injury escalates when people drink, explains a lawyer.
Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints are constitutional in 1990 in Michigan, several states have incorporated them into their efforts to prevent drinking and driving. Recently, the Orange County Register reported that drivers could access the date, time, and location of sobriety checkpoints via apps on their smart phones, leading many to question whether such apps are undermining the efficacy with which the checkpoints prevent drivers from drinking and driving.
Jesse Gonzalez was convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances for killing a police officer on duty. The conviction arose after he used a shotgun when Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Deputies kicked down his front door while serving a search warrant.
Greg Bennett had a homeowner’s policy through State Farm that insured him for losses arising from theft of his property at his residence. The policy also covered theft of trees, shrubs and plants on the property. The police did not define “theft.”
A “no contest” plea is distinguishable from a “guilty” plea. Once who pleas “no contest” does not admit factual guilt, although it allows him to be punished as if guilty to take advantage of a plea bargain.
Under California law, a person involved in a crime is either a principal or an accessory. Cases decided by our Supreme Court have included conspirators as principals, as conspirators fall within the “all persons concerned” language of Penal Code § 31, which defines who is a principal.
A Pennsylvania law to ban texting while driving statewide has been passed and will soon go into effect.
If you are using a radar detector in Florida, it can become evidence against you in a criminal traffic case. A Miami Dade traffic defense lawyer will know how to handle this situation.
A 4th conviction for drunk driving means you could be facing the highest Florida DUI penalties. A Broward DUI defense lawyer can help you protect your rights during your hearing.
Don’t let your child’s future be ruined by a conviction for juvenile drug possession in Florida. A Miami juvenile defense lawyer can defend your child's rights in court.
If you are cited for a Florida commercial vehicle traffic violation you could lose more than just your license.
Penalties for driving without a license are more than jail time and fines, you could permanently lose your chance at getting a license in the future. Talk to a South Florida traffic defense attorney.
A murder charge in Florida or homicide in Florida can result in serious jail time and fines. A South Florida criminal defense lawyer can help.
The field sobriety tests commonly used in determining a Florida DUI case can be flawed. To fight DUI charges in Florida, hire a Florida DUI defense attorney.
You may have heard you can “plead the fifth” when arrested, but what does that mean? Using the Fifth Amendment in Florida is best handled by a Miami criminal defense attorney.
Being charged with a second DUI offense means you will certainly be facing more than just higher penalties. Speaking with someone familiar with DUI law can help you know your rights.
If you’ve been arrested and face a boating under the influence charge, it’s important to know what to do next.
SCRAM ankle monitors after a DUI are common forms of supervision. These monitors and other forms of supervision can be avoided by speaking with a criminal attorney.
Learning how speed traps work and the different ways you can address a speeding ticket is a valuable defense. Also, contacting a traffic lawyer if you are facing significant charges is in your best interest.
After your first DUI, going the DMV can be confusing and intimidating. Contacting a defense lawyer for legal guidance so you can be sure you complete everything correctly may be in your best interest.
If you’ve been stopped at a Florida sobriety checkpoint, contact a Miami DUI defense attorney who will protect your rights.
Being made aware of your Miranda rights can help you in difficult situations that you may have found yourself in. Knowing your Miranda rights will help you if you believe they may be violated.
If you received a Florida DUI charge while on vacation, contact an attorney who can represent you in your DUI defense in Florida. This may help you to avoid some court dates.
Be prepared to face the steep costs of a DUI arrest. Even if it is your first DUI, the monetary penalties that come along with a DUI arrest can be hard on your wallet.
Charges for prostitution in can lead to many different kinds of penalties. It is very helpful to be made aware of your rights if you have been charged with prostitution or solicitation.
The defense for your DUI case can be affected by challenging a blood test or challenging a breath test. If you did either one of these, speak with a lawyer who can explain your decision to the court.
Fraud charges are not uncommon and are committed for different reasons.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI it doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty. Many factors can make or break a DUI case that has been brought up against you.
Raymond Mooney and his girlfriend, Janna Lorette, drove together to a San Bernardino Stater Brothers grocery store. Mooney and his two small children entered first. About twenty seconds later, Ms. Lorette entered with an empty purse.