Criminal Law Articles

Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Criminal Law.

Arson - Why Your Criminal Defense Attorney Matters

Arson cases can either be charged in federal or state court. In Minnesota, the most common arson charge is arson in the first degree, which charges that the person intentionally set fire to his home or other dwelling, usually for the insurance money or some other financial reason. This is a serious charge that, if convicted, will likely result in at least a 4-year prison sentence. If you or a family member is facing charges of arson, you need an attorney experienced in handling arson cases.

Escalating and Deescalating Murder Charges

On June 5, 2011, there was a case of a transgendered female who was out for a night on the town when she and some of friends were harassed by a group of young men. It started out with harsh words and eventually descended into violence. When she walked away, she was assaulted by one of the men, and she took a pair of scissors from her purse. She stabbed the assaulter, leading to his death.

Is There a Such Thing as Marital Rape?

Marital rape is nonconsensual sex between two spouses. Marital rape is believed to occur in significant numbers but is underreported. However, this sexual crime may be treated differently than other sexual crimes, depending on the law of the jurisdiction where the charge is filed.

When Can the Police Stop me on the Street? What are my Rights?

Police will often use a person’s presence in a high-crime area, coupled with unprovoked flight as sufficient to justify an officer’s brief, investigative stop. Illinois courts have decided that this was consistent with previous decisions recognizing a citizen’s right to ignore the police, as it found that unprovoked flight is not simply refusing to cooperate but is suspicious conduct that allows the police to investigate.

Committing Offenses on the Internet – Internet Crime

When a crime is allegedly committed using the internet the first question is always, “Where should this case be handled?” Should it be in the state where the offender committed the offense? Should it be where the victim lives? Should it be somewhere else like in federal court?

What can the Police Require me To Do once I'm Arrested?

Once you are arrested what you say and do in the presence of the police becomes that much more important to protecting your freedom. Because your freedom is at stake, what you say and do can mean the difference between guilty and not guilty.

Confessions to Police

I always advise my clients not to speak with the police or any law enforcement authority without an attorney present. This is common sense to an experienced criminal defense attorney but to the citizen who has never had contact with the police, the desire to explain his or her side of the story and defend themselves is a natural instinct.

Teens and the Pressures of Underage Drinking

As young adults, teens are under a great deal of pressure to make decisions that can impact their future.

Life Without Parole For Juvenile Offenders

On March 23, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided to once again consider arguments in a case concerning life sentences for juvenile offenders.

New Jersey Legalizing and Decriminalization of Marijuana

New Jersey was a leader in the fight to decriminalize marijuana in 2010 by being one of the first states to make it legal for treatment centers to dispense the drug for medicinal purposes.

Criminal Sexual Conduct And Other Sex Crime Allegations - What Does It Mean?

Sex crime allegations are some of the most serious criminal charges a person can be accused of committing either in state or federal court. In addition to serious jail or prison sentences, a person convicted of sex crime allegations may be required to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 10 years, and possibly for life. Sex crime allegations can negatively affect numerous areas of your life, including your professional and personal life.

Used Car Does Not Run, What Can You Do?

Attorneys frequently receive questions regarding defective used cars. All too often, people purchase a used vehicle with verbal assurances that everything works fine and that it will be quite reliable, only to discover that neither is the case. What can you do when this happens to you?

Criminal Mischief Offenses in Florida

Criminal Mischief is, for all intents and purposes, "vandalism". In Florida, this property crime may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the extent of damage, the nature of the property involved, and whether the accused person has prior convictions for the same offense.

Tips for Handling an Illinois Traffic Stop

We’ve all been there: felt the panic rise over us when we see flashing lights in our rearview mirror; felt the anxiety of getting pulled over even if we think we are doing nothing wrong. The truth is, most of us have been or will be pulled over for a traffic infraction at some point in our lives.

European Parliament Approves ‘International Standards of Combatting Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation’

On the 20th of May 2015, two years after the European Commission first proposed the 4th AML Directive, the European Parliament approved the final text of the 4th AML Directive intended to address the threat of money laundering in 2015 and beyond.

Yes, You Can Get A Dallas Driving While Intoxicated Arrest Expunged

If you are arrested for a DWI it is public record. Anybody can go to the court clerk’s office and request a copy of a person’s court records. It does not matter if the arrest resulted in a final conviction. In order to stop the public from having access to these records,the record of a DWI arrest must be expunged or “erased.”

What to Do if You Cannot Afford to Pay Your Driving While Intoxicated Surcharge

A DWI conviction is one of the most expensive offenses that a person can be charged with. One of the things that makes it so expensive is the fact that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) assesses a three year penalty called a surcharge for every individual convicted an offense that stems from operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Three Steps to Shorten Your Driving While Intoxicated Driver's License Suspension

When you are convicted of a DWI one of the things that is restricted is your ability to drive on a valid driver’s license. This can create a big hardship because you need a driver’s license to do a lot of things like get back and forth to work, complete court ordered requirements if you are on probation, to take your kids to school, and to get groceries just to name a few things.

Three Advantages to Being Sentenced to Jail Instead of Probation for DWI

If you and your attorney have analyzed your case and determined that it is not one that is suitable for pleading not guilty and going to trial then you must next start thinking about punishment options. The two main options are jail vs. probation. Let’s face it nobody wants to go to jail. But, sometimes it is more advantageous to go to jail for a DWI than it is to do probation. Each situation has to be analyzed. There are no one size fits all solutions.

Do I Have to Have an Interlock Device if Convicted of Driving While Intoxicated

Maybe. Whether or not you have to have an interlock device if you are convicted of a DWI, Interlock Device depends on whether you are a first time offender, repeat offender, or had a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or above.

Driving While Intoxicated Education Programs

If a person is convicted of a DWI they are “required” to take a DWI education program.

How To Overcome Driving While Intoxicated Blood Test Results Obtained Without Your Consent

Does a police officer have to have a person’s consent to draw their DWI Blood Test Without Consent if they are being arrested for DWI.

10 Ways Your Driving While Intoxicated Blood Test Result Can Be Wrong

You just got your blood test results from your DWI arrest. You were expecting to see a number below the legal limit of .08. But, the number you see is more than twice the legal limit.

Juvenile Weapons Possession

All states throughout the country have their own specific gun control laws that coincide with a set of penalties.

Recent DUI Statistics Reveal Ongoing Problem

DUI accidents are the most preventable type of car accidents; however statistics for DUI accidents remains shocking.

Are There Any Special Laws Regarding Homeless People

The gap between the richest and poorest people in the United States is bigger than in any other country in the world. As a result, homelessness has become a serious and widespread problem in America. But, how has society come to deal with this issue? Are there any special laws regarding homeless people?

Challenging DUI Test Results

In addition to the testimony of the arresting officer’s observations, the prosecution may introduce evidence during a DUI trial regarding test results that implicate the defendant. However, a number of test results may be challenged during the course of the defense.

A Website Published Embarrassing Content About Me, What Can I Do?

The Internet has brought many benefits to modern civilization. Unfortunately, just as with any technology, it also has a dark side. So, when a website publishes embarrassing content about you, what can you do?

After a Riot, Who Pays for the Damage?

Riots have erupted all over the United States in recent years, often in the wake of racial tensions created by police activities. Often beginning as peaceful protests, these demonstrations sometimes degenerate into violent riots where people and property suffer harm, leaving innocent people to pick up the pieces. This has led many to ask who should pay for the damage after a riot?

DUI Defenses

Consequences for DUI convictions, especially subsequent convictions, can be quite serious, resulting in a loss of freedom, hefty fines, loss of driving privileges and social and professional consequences. A DUI defense lawyer can discuss whether any of the following defenses may apply in your case to help you get your charges reduced or even your case dismissed completely.

What Does “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” Mean in Criminal Proceedings?

The fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine prevents the prosecution from admitting certain evidence into a criminal case after it has been tainted by a primary illegality. This doctrine is meant to remove illegally-acquired evidence from negatively impacting a criminal defendant.

I Have No Money, How Can I Hire an Attorney?

Frequently, the people who need an attorney the most are also the ones who can least afford to pay for one. Whether accused of a crime, injured in an accident, or facing the possibility of losing your children, there are many situations where the stakes are so high that you might desperately need an attorney even though you have no way to pay. So, how do you hire an attorney when you have no money?

Fact: Ketosis Can Cause You to Fail a Breath Test

Ketosis is where the body starts breaking down “fat” for energy, instead of the regular “glucose”. This happens when a person is on a “low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet” or if the body lacks insulin or is diabetic.

Are Bars and Clubs Responsible if Their Customers Get a DUI?

People injured in DUI cases often sustain life-changing injuries. Frequently, these injuries mean the victims will require expensive medical attention, either for a short period of time or for the rest of their lives. Of course, individual drunk drivers may not have the resources to fully compensate victims in these situations.

The Federal Sentencing Battle

The overhaul of federal sentencing law with the enactment of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, (U.S.S.G.) , had a noble but flawed goal The basic idea was that sentencing uniformity and therefore fairness could be achieved by reducing the myriad acts of criminal behavior and offender characteristics to a number.

Victims of Human Trafficking Charged with Prostitution

Too often women are charged and convicted of prostitution, when they could more accurately be described as victims of human trafficking.

Illinois' New Photo Lineup Law

Wrongful convictions can destroy lives. Being convicted of a crime one did not commit can land an innocent person in prison, saddle him or her with fines and legal fees, and destroy his or her career and relationships while the truly guilty party lives free.

Civil Claims Contrasted to Criminal Proceedings in Fraud Cases

If a fraud has been committed against your company there may be general desire to get justice by seeing the perpetrator sentenced for their crime and sent to prison. However, commercially astute businesses realise that the use of civil proceedings may be more advantageous.

Data Thief Falciani is Closing a Deal with India’s Government Officials

The Indian government suspects millions of untaxed money from Indian High Net Worth Individuals in Switzerland. That’s why they made a lucrative offer to famous data thief Hervé Falciani.

Underage Drinking Liability: Illinois House Bill 4745

Minor in possession. Open container violations. Driving under the influence. Minors are particularly susceptible to committing these alcohol-related crimes in peer-driven situations while still underage. Some parents have resigned to the fact that their children will drink regardless of their efforts, and will do everything they can to keep them safe—even if that means breaking the law themselves.

Can a Minor Be Charged with Statutory Rape?

Children seem to grow up faster today than ever before. As a result, many teens feel the pressure to enter into sexual relationships with their peers at younger and younger ages. This has created an interesting dilemma in the law regarding whether one minor can be charged with statutory rape for having a sexual relationship with another minor.

Sexual Assault Prevention on College Campuses

For high school seniors and their parents, Spring can mean the excitement of learning which colleges and universities they have been offered admission to, and which new campus communities they may become a member of in the Fall.

What Do I Do If Attacked In A Public Place?

Many find it surprising to know that violence has actually been on a steady decline for decades. Unfortunately, it does still happen. Often, altercations occur in a public location, such as a bar or club, a store, or a park or public street. When an attack occurs, what can you do to defend yourself and who is liable for any harm you suffer?

What Are the Rules for Police Lineups?

Having an eyewitness testify that he or she saw the suspect commit the crime or some act associated with the crime can be powerful evidence for a prosecutor. Realizing this, the United States Supreme Court and state courts across the country have established strict guidelines regarding police lineups.

Couple Uses Tax Payer Money to Fund Dream Wedding

A married couple have been convicted of benefit theft after it was revealed that they had used the overpayments to pay for their wedding abroad.

How to Stop Domestic Violence

Black eyes, broken bones, missed days from school or work. For some, these may seem familiar. Whether they are occurring to you or someone you know, it is important to know that we can all help stop domestic violence.

Someone Hacked My Phone or Computer, What Can I Do?

There are few things that feel more violating than finding that someone has hacked into your phone or computer. When this happens, the first reaction may be to call the authorities and report the breach. But, many are surprised to find that police are not always terribly interested to hear about the event. So, what can you do if someone hacks your computer or phone?

Where Is It Legal to Put Surveillance Cameras?

In an increasingly surveillance-based society, it may seem that cameras are everywhere around us. If you look around, you may find cameras in unexpected places that you pass on a daily basis. But, how far can all of this surveillance go? Are there places that cameras are not allowed? Where is it legal to put surveillance cameras?

Is Graffiti Art Legal Under the First Amendment?

Many cities around the US deal with the problem of graffiti art everyday. Sometimes it may be a name, a threat, an image, a symbol, or a brilliant canvas of the graffiti artist's imagination. Whatever the case, it usually involves painting something on someone else's property. So, whose rights should win out? The artist's right to free speech or the property owner's right to the quiet use and enjoyment of their own property?

What is an Involuntary Civil Commitment?

Most people are familiar with the concept of a criminal commitment (i.e. a prison or jail sentence). But not everyone has heard of the concept of an involuntary civil commitment. So, what is this, how does it fit into the American legal structure, and when is it used?

What Can I Do About a Stalker?

Sometimes, infatuation can turn into something more dangerous. A person may have such a strong connection in their mind to someone else, even if they have never met them in person, that they can being to act very irrationally. When that person crosses a line, he or she may become a stalker. So, what can one do about a stalker?

Wisconsin Marijuana Laws and Penalties

Wisconsin Marijuana Laws and Penalties for Possession, Paraphernalia, Growing and Intent to Deliver/Sell/Distribute

Jail Populations

A recent study by the Vera Institute of Justice, in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation, reports that there are over 3,000 jails in the United States.

Defenses to Eyewitness Testimony in Criminal Cases

Hearing that there is an eyewitness to a crime can cause a great degree of apprehension in a criminal case. However, there are several ways that a criminal defense lawyer can challenge such eyewitness testimony.

How to Avoid Fraud Adopting a Child from the Ukraine

The procedure of adoption of a child from Ukraine is complicated, expensive and long. Ukrainian legislation makes the process of adoption transparent as much as possible, candidates must prove their welfare and reputation (in the broadest sense of these words) to exclude the possibility of adoption by dishonest and careless parents.

Virginia Credit Card Theft Forgery Fraud Penalties Laws

The following are the different laws regarding credit card crimes in Virginia.

MD vs. VA Child Pornography Solicitation Of Minor Laws & Federal Court

Two of the most commonly prosecuted computer sex crimes laws in the US are child pornography sex crimes and solicitation of minor sex crimes. These two charges have different statutes that make this kind of activity criminal in VA, MD & in the Federal Courts.

What Are Miranda Rights?

Anyone who has watched an American crime show (and even some in other countries) probably have heard someone “read their rights.” But, what are these, why do police always say them, and how do they work?

Are Cults Legal?

It seems like every year another cult ends up in the media, having amassed weapons, engaged in child sex crimes, or after killing or abducting someone. This has led many to ask how cults remain legal in the United States.

When Is It Okay to Shoot Someone?

The use of deadly force is an extremely sobering event. Despite dozens of expressions that joke about shooting somebody, choosing whether or not to actually use potentially lethal levels of violence against someone is no laughing matter. If you need to make this decision, it is important to understand when it is okay to take such action and when it is not.

Dos and Don’ts after Being Arrested

Some of the most critical mistakes in a criminal case occur after a suspect is arrested. Here is a list of things to do and not to do if you find yourself in this predicament.

When Do I Need a Lawyer?

With a variety of self-help forms and resources available to individuals today, it may be tempting to attempt to do legal work yourself and avoid the often expensive endeavor of having to hire a lawyer. However, many tasks are better suited for a professional.

New Scam from Phone Number (425) 206-5635 Regarding Government Grants $9,000

We just received a phone call from a scammer informing us that we were entitled to $9,000 of Government Grants.

Robbery Law in Washington - Things you Must Know

Know the real meaning of robbery as per law in Washington. Also, know the categories of robbery, and discover how it differs from burglary.

Should I Hire a DUI Lawyer?

Although some individuals may opt not to hire an attorney to handle their DUI case, there are several situations in which a defendant can benefit from having a private attorney. Here are some issues to consider when making this important decision.

Sex Crime Cases in Texas: How They are Prosecuted, Defended, and Carried Out

Texas has unique sex crime laws, and each case can "go federal" for different reasons.

What Happens When a Person is Charged with Illegal Reentry?

Returning to the United States after being deported or removed is a violation of federal law. Alleged offenders could be sentenced to prison before being returned to their home countries—where they could face additional consequences as well.

Scammed by Someone from Another Country, What are My Legal Options?

They are a routine part of our modern, online world: Internet scams are a daily annoyance for many. Often found in annoying emails, website popups, and other dark corners of the web, these digital scam artists seem to be everywhere today. And, with many of these scams operating overseas, it has left many to wonder what they can do if they fall victim to the tricks of someone from another country.

Appealing Criminal Convictions for Unfair Trial

Eddie Ray Routh was recently convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Navy Seal, Chris Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield.

Preliminary Screening for DUI

Traffic stops by law enforcement are serious business. More often than not, motorists are pulled over because of driving infractions and/or traffic violations.

New York DWI FAQs

If you’ve violated DWI in NY, the repercussions can be staggering; a negative impact on your career, increased insurance premium costs, personal and family embarrassment and a ruined driving record which can take years to repair. We’d like to share some of the common DWI questions.

How Do Subpoenas Work?

While a summons may require another party in the case to appear, a subpoena can require that a particular person appear in court or for other proceedings. Additionally, this legal tool can be used to acquire information that one of the party desires.

Ban the Box Law and Criminal Convictions' Effect on Employment

For decades, virtually every employment application included the common question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” It did not matter if it was a misdemeanor or perhaps a more serious offense that resulted in spending time in prison.

My Dog Just Bit Someone, What Do I Do?

Most people see their pets in a light similar to their own children. So, when a dog misbehaves it may be easy for an owner to overlook the bad behavior and forgive the errant puppy. But, what if the dog bites someone? Are there legal ramifications? What should an owner do?

Why You Need a DUI Attorney When Pulled Over for Suspicion of Driving Under the Influence

Have you recently been pulled over for suspicion of DUI? Have you been charged with DWI or DUI? If so, it's imperative that you retain the services of an experienced DUI attorney right away.

An Experienced Attorney Can Help Protect Your Rights When Charged

It's not easy being charged with a crime. If you're innocent, of course, it's a complete shock; if you're guilty, perhaps you've known this has been coming for a while – but it's still a very difficult situation to go through once the justice system has in effect taken hold of you and your life.

Three Giant Steps Forward for Federal Criminal Law

While the country has been focused on ISIS and issues with domestic espionage, the current administration under United States Attorney General Eric Holder has made three major changes in federal sentencing law.

What Conditions Apply to Probation?

Probation is a conditional sentence, meaning that if the defendant does not comply with the conditions, the probation can be revoked and the suspended jail sentence can be imposed. Probation conditions vary widely by geographic region, as well as the type of court that entered the probation. In some cases, a judge may impose specific provisions, while in others, a probation officer may impose certain conditions.

What Can I Do About My Noisy Neighbors?

It is late at night, you have to work in the morning, but all you can hear is the thumping of your neighbor's stereo next door. You have asked them to turn it down before, but they do not seem to get it and the racket continues. Now, it is time to take things to the next level. So, what can you do about a noisy neighbor?

Major Changes to DUI Laws in New Jersey

A proposed bill that will drastically change current DUI penalties has passed New Jersey’s state Senate and needs only to be approved by Governor Christie before becoming law.

What Are the Rules Regarding Miranda?

Anyone who has seen a cop show has probably memorized a person’s “rights.” The common warnings regarding the right to remain silent and the right to consult a lawyer are well known. However, citizens may not be aware of the implications of what happens when these rights are not read or given to them.

Someone Is Trying to Blackmail Me, What Can I Do?

Blackmail is a term often thrown around somewhat loosely. Often it is used to mean that someone is making you do something you would prefer not to. That is not technically the definition of blackmail. True blackmail is a serious crime. It can have devastating financial and social consequences, subjecting the victim to intense psychological trauma. That is why it is important to know that if blackmail is happening now, or has happened in the past, there are things you can do about it.

Scam Using Logo and name of Lawyer Ramon Pérez Lucena in Portugal

Updated March 2015 - If you received a letter from this scammer, please contact at We are gathering information about a scam using the logo. The letters are sent by a scammer using the name of lawyer office Ramon Pérez Lucena. The letters are mailed from Valencia, Spain. The scammer requests 50-50 split on €7.5 million left in an account.

Bill Cosby's Latest Sexual Assault Accusations

Comedian and actor, Bill Cosby, is no stranger to the spotlight, but his recent media attention has not been favorable.

The Law of Self Defense

Most Americans believe that they can legally use force to protect themselves in the event of an attack, or the threat of death or bodily injury by another. What most Americans don’t realize is that the law of self defense is not always applicable as a defense.

New Rules for UVA Frat Parties Aim to Boost Campus Safety

The University of Virginia has issued strict guidelines to its fraternities in effort to improve safety at parties. The move was made following a highly publicized and controversial rape scandal that led to a mandatory suspension of all Greek social activities at the university.

New Jersey Statute of Limitations for Criminal Charges

Each state has its own statute of limitations in which to formally charge an individual with a crime.

If My State Has Legalized Marijuana, Can I Smoke it in Federal Housing?

Although some states permit marijuana use for medical or recreational reasons, federal housing is based on federal laws. At the time of publication, marijuana use was still outlawed by federal law. However, guidance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows the nuances in laws that federal housing projects are currently laboring under.

Colorado's Felony DUI Bill

Under Colorado law a DUI or DWAI offense is a misdemeanor. Circumstance surrounding the offense could lead for felony changes; but the drunken driving offense itself is always a misdemeanor. Legislation currently in the Colorado House of Representatives looks to change that.

Your Rights When Stopped by Police

When an individual is stopped by the police it can be an overwhelming experience, especially when there is the possibility of criminal charges.

Collateral Consequences Continue to Impact Individuals

Everyone makes mistakes. Those of us who have made impulsive or uniformed decisions in our lives may have suffered severe consequences for them, such as being arrested or serving time in jail.

Warratless Blood Draw in DUI Investigation

In Missouri v. McNeely, the United States Supreme Court decided that a blood draw is a search which is protected under the Fourth Amendment.

What is the Fundamental Attribution Error?

The fundamental attribution error is a term, which refers to the common human error in which people tend to underestimate situational influences and overestimate individual personality factors, when explaining behavior.

What Privileges Do I Have that Will Prevent People from Testifying against Me?

While many individuals are aware of their right not to incriminate themselves, they may also be able to prevent another person from testifying against them. The law recognizes several privileges that prohibit certain individuals from testifying against a person.

How Do I Present Evidence If I Am Pro Se?

Even though you do not have a legal education, a pro se plaintiff or defendant is still expected to comply with the same rules of evidence as seasoned lawyers. In federal cases, the federal rules of evidence must be followed. In state cases, state and local court rules must be followed to ensure that the judge receives relevant and reliable information.

When Can I Assert My Fifth Amendment Right?

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides individuals the right not to serve as a witness against themselves. Through this amendment, a witness may prevent the disclosure of evidence that can ultimately be used against him or her in a criminal case. There are a variety of situations in which a person may assert this privilege.

How to Avoid Trouble During a Traffic Stop

Millions of Americans fear what can happen during a traffic stop. The names “Ferguson” and “Rodney King” have taken on a significance in the national psyche that will not soon be shaken.

New Illinois Eavesdropping Bill

Following the deaths of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Mike Brown, Americans began to start asking more critical questions about transparency in law enforcement. Many groups and individuals called for increased surveillance and some municipalities in the United States went so far as to equip police officers with body cameras so all their actions on the job could be monitored.

Is Marijuana Really Legal? What Should I Know?

Marijuana has made headlines for the last few years in a new and, to some, unexpected way. Rather than reports of massive drug busts and seizures, the latest news has been about more and more states legalizing the drug. But, this has led many to rightly question just how legal marijuana really is. Has the federal government legalized it? If not, do states have the right to make the drug legal? Is this change permanent?

Federal Sentencing: Follow the Yellow Brick Road

When I think of a judge imposing a federal sentence, my mind often drifts to the Wizard Of Oz and that little masked man standing behind the curtain.

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