Criminal Law Articles
Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Criminal Law.
Drivers may operate a vehicle in a manner that causes both stress and peril on the road for others attempting to travel safely to their destination. In many of these instances, citations and tickets are issued. However, not all of these drivers are stopped before they may cause injury or property damage to others on the road or in traffic.
Traffic offenses occur daily around the country by every type of person. These may range from simple speeding violations to the more serious driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives a defendant the right to confront his or her accuser. This includes any witnesses who speak out against him. The interpretation of this right has changed over time.
Polygraph or lie detector tests attempt to discern if someone is being dishonest. Every test is different, offering different features and being conducted in a different manner. Some machines are more sensitive than others and are able to detect the smallest variation of a person’s vitals. After the test is analyzed, a determination is made as to whether someone was telling the truth or not.
Many criminal defendants receive probation as part of their criminal sentence. During this time, they must be on their best behavior or suffer serious consequences.
Many deaths occur on the road or in traffic due to numerous factors. In many instances of death, the fault is due to a driver either through intentional acts, negligence, accidents or similar situations. Some of these accidents result in the death of someone by reckless or dangerous driving. Some crimes are classified as manslaughter, homicide or murder.
Most traffic violations are classified as lesser offenses such as a municipal violation. When a driver commits a particularly egregious crime in traffic or on the road, it may be deemed a felony offense.
When facing the accusation of murder or homicide charges,defendants confront some of the most severe consequences, including the death penalty or life behind bars.
Evidentiary privileges concern confidential communications, such as those between spouses or between a lawyer and his or her client. The United States Supreme Court has dealt with evidentiary privileges more than any other part of the Federal Rules of Evidence, indicating the importance that society has on these privileges.
A prosecutor has the duty to disclose certain information to the defense. This helps aid the defendant in being able to lodge a proper defense.
When most people think of the right to bear arms, they think about guns. However, there are other weapons that may be used for self-defense, such as a dirk, dagger or knife. There may be laws that infringe on the general right to bear arms when it comes to these weapons as well as guns.
Many criminal defendants receive an additional charge pertaining to a weapon in connection with another crime, such as burglary or assault. If a person is found to have used or possessed a deadly weapon while committing another crime, he or she may face serious consequences. Most significantly, he or she may be subject to sentence enhancements.
Shoplifting occurs when someone goes into a store and takes something that does not belong to him or her. Many businesses have to carefully monitor shoplifting because it causes so much monetary loss to a business. This is why many people have had the experience of going in a store and being followed around because they are being suspected of shoplifting.
Police brutality in the United States has always been a huge problem, though it is more visible now that widespread ownership of handheld electronic devices gives ordinary people the unprecedented power to record instances of police using extreme force against the unarmed and the powerless.
Manslaughter, self-defense and murder are often closely tied together. It can be difficult to determine when self defense changes things so that a person is not criminally culpable for manslaughter or murder. Being aware of principles related to self defense can help make important distinctions.
When a person is facing federal charges, he or she must be concerned with the federal sentencing guidelines. In the event that he or she is found guilty of a federal crime, he or she will be subject to the guidelines.
Today, there are higher risks of being victimized of identity theft than ever before. This is due to the easy access that many culprits have due to technology. Various mechanisms exist in which a criminal can get a person’s personal information and credit card information through computers and other devices.
Arson is a serious criminal offense. As such, it can have serious implications. It is vital to involve a qualified criminal defense lawyer in the case as soon as possible in order to avoid serious penalties. A criminal defense lawyer can help explain the charges against a defendant.
Sometimes a person may happen upon stolen property. There may be many innocent reasons for why he or she is in possession of such property. There may be many reasons to support why he or she never would have stolen the property. In many cases, stolen property may wind up at a pawn shop or other second-hand store. Such stores have risen in popularity during the last several years. There are even prominent television shows based on the pawn industry.
One of the most notorious stand your ground cases involved George Zimmerman. The Florida case made national news, not the least of which occurred after Zimmerman was found not guilty by a Florida jury after they determined that he had used legitimate self-defense under the law. The Michael Dunn trial resulted in a hung jury.
As the number of people texting has steadily increased, so have the number of cases involving motor vehicle accidents caused by texting while driving. The use of cell phones while driving leads to many avoidable accidents every year.
Many individuals are stopped for speeding in certain areas known for speeding. Often, law enforcement establishes a speed trap in these locations. Knowing how speed traps function and the different defenses that may be available if a person receives a speeding ticket in such a trap can be helpful.
Many DUI and drug-related arrests start as a simple traffic stop until law enforcement observes signs of impairment or other criminal activity. However, in many cases, such stops could have been avoided and the negative consequences of an arrest or conviction could have been averted.
In self-defense cases, there are generally two different approaches that states take. The first is the duty to retreat. The second is stand your ground. The rules that the state follows can have a significant impact on the defendant’s case.
There are a number of privileges that criminal defendants have that protect certain communications. These privileges include clergy privilege, spousal privilege, doctor-patient privilege and the attorney-client privilege.
Many states enact a number of privileges in order to protect criminal defendants. These privileges help prevent certain people from testifying against the defendant based on things that he or she revealed. These privileges include attorney-client privileges, doctor-patient privileges, spousal privileges and clergyman-penitent privilege.
Your criminal record does not have to impact your life forever. Depending on your circumstances, such as the number of years since your conviction, the nature of the offense, and whether you have been convicted of other offenses since, it may be possible for you to have your conviction expunged.
When someone is suspected of committing a crime, one of the most effective ways to convict the individual is to present a confession from him or her admitting to the crime.
In the United States, all criminal defendants have the right to receive a fair trial. There are numerous constitutional safeguards in place to help protect these rights.
The insanity defense is one of th emost controversial defenses. Additionally, it has one of the lowest success rates among all criminal defenses. Knowing about the insanity defense and when this defense may apply has the potential to help a criminal defendant who may be able to assert this defense.
While your life, liberty and reputation may be on the line in a criminal case, there are certain aspects of your criminal defense that may be better left for your lawyer to handle.
After a person has been found guilty either by pleading guilty, accepting a plea agreement or being found guilty by a judge or jury, the next phase of the criminal case is sentencing. The sentencing phase determines how much time a person will be ordered to serve as well as any other sentences that will be imposed. It is important that the defendant through his or her lawyer take certain steps before he or she is sentenced.
One of the most common pieces of advice that a lawyer gives to his or her client is not to say anything. This is especially true when dealing with statements made to the police.
In criminal cases, it is common for there to be a number of confusing terms, such as arraignment, indictment, information, constitutional rights and other legal jargon that only experienced lawyers understand. One term that many criminal defendants are not often aware of is a Static-99 report.
At civil trials, both parties may present evidence and testimony to prove their side of the story. In many cases, the most effective way to convince others of a party’s side is by presenting physical evidence or documentary evidence. However, getting rid of evidence before it can be used in court can have a significant impact on a case and important implications.
One of the biggest public policies in the United States is protecting the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is considered by many to be a sacred bond. As such, the privacy between spouses to be able to talk about nearly anything is also held sacred. This truism also operates in many courts of law. In most jurisdictions, it is difficult or impossible to force one spouse to testify against another spouse. This concept is referred to as marital privilege.
Many individuals may find their driver’s license revoked, suspended or made useless along with driving privileges removed for various reasons. These results may occur because of the commission of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, hit and run crimes, driving in a reckless manner, driving well over the speed limit or running from an arrest.
When a person is facing criminal charges, there are high stakes. His or her liberty may be at stake, along with his or her standing in the community and his or her profession. A criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the circumstances involving the case and find critical mistakes that were made by law enforcement to help improve the defendant’s chance at a successful defense.
When individuals are convicted of crimes, they often face a number of punishments. One such punishment that is often imposed is probation. It is important for a criminal defendant to understand the restrictions that probation imposes, including limitations on the ability to travel.
Every US citizen has the right to a speedy trial as provided by the United States Constitution. Many state constitutions also contain similar provisions that guarantee that a person’s criminal case will be handled expediently. Looking at how this right can be treated in a particular state can give a criminal defendant a better sense of his or her rights and possible arguments that can be asserted to get criminal charges dismissed.
When one or both spouses are in legal trouble, the question of privileges and testimonial exceptions may arise. This is an important concept as it may prohibit one spouse from talking out against another.
A plea bargain is a negotiated agreement for a criminal defendant whereby he or she agrees to plead guilty in exchange for a more favorable outcome. This outcome may be the dropping of additional charges, a reduction in the sentence or being charged with a lesser crime.
A criminal defense lawyer may be able to negotiate an agreement between a criminal defendant and a prosecutor. This agreement is referred to as a “plea bargain” or “plea agreement.” There are a number of benefits of plea bargaining.
Individuals who are facing criminal charges have a number of key rights that must be honored throughout the process. By being aware of this information, criminal defendants can take necessary steps to protect these important rights.
Many individuals have heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.” This means that all criminal defendants are presumed to be innocent. The only thing that overcomes this presumption is if the prosecutor proves that the defendant is guilty by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the issuance of excessive bail. However, courts have found that excessive bail does not simply mean that the defendant cannot afford bail. When bail is too high, a defendant may not be able to pay it and may need to look into other arrangements.
Rather than trying every criminal case, the prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer may resolve a case by agreeing to a plea agreement. Many criminal cases are disposed of through this type of agreement. Some of the common questions related to plea bargains include:
Given the significant number of exonerations that have been issued in recent years, it is important to consider what events led to these exonerations and the flaws in the American criminal justice system. Many exonerations were the result of false confessions.
In many cases, a criminal defendant can leave police custody by posting bail. The amount that bail is ordered at is different in each case depending on a number of factors.
One of the most egregious criminal charges a person may face involving a vehicle is the traffic violation of vehicular manslaughter. This crime is usually in conjunction with other traffic criminal acts such as reckless driving, driving under the influence or other similar acts.
A vehicle is impounded often when tickets issued by law enforcement officers go unpaid or other crimes such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs occur. When an owner’s vehicle is impounded, he or she often finds it difficult to make it to work, pick up children or make trips to get groceries and pay bills.
The American criminal justice system is one of the most complex, making it difficult for many criminal defendants to navigate this system alone.
When a person has been convicted of a crime, he or she usually acquires a criminal record which can be accessed by landlords, potential employers and members of the general record. In order to conceal this record of past indiscretions, some criminal defendant decide to have their criminal record expunged.
Drug trafficking charges are extremely serious with the potential to carry some of the stiffest penalties in the country. For this reason, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible
Assault charges and aggravated assault charges differ in a number of important ways. An assault charge may be elevated to an aggravated assault charge when certain factors are at play. Whether a charge is considered assault or aggravated assault also affects the potential punishment that a defendant can face.
Assault and battery charges are very serious in nature. Being convicted of a crime of this nature corresponds with potentially life-altering consequences. Due to the potential consequences, a person should immediately seek legal representation in order to have the best chance at avoiding a conviction.
Individuals who have been charged with a violent crime may wish to seek immediate legal counsel in order to help combat the potential consequences of such charges. Having a firm understanding of these crimes and the charges associated with them can help provide a better defense.
Domestic violence is taken seriously in jurisdictions throughout the country. In some areas, domestic violence is considered a felony. In others, it is considered a misdemeanor. This classification has a dramatic impact on the potential sentences that a defendant may face.
Domestic violence instances continue to run rampant throughout the country. Learning about the laws related to domestic battery and the potential penalties that a conviction can mean is the first step that a defendant who is facing domestic battery charges may take.
Many states are taking proactive steps to make choking a more serious offense by elevating it to a felony charge. Choking is a criminal act that is often associated with domestic violence. Despite this association, many states do not currently consider this offense to be a felony. Like many aspects of domestic violence issues, this elevation of the crime is a highly debated topic.
Domestic violence is an act that has been difficult to categorize legally in some states, but it has been increasing in occurrence throughout the entire country. It is often defined as the actions of an offender through violent or aggressive conduct towards those at home. These individuals at home may be family members, a spouse, children or those residing in the house.
When domestic violence ensues, the person that perpetrates the acts and is convicted may find himself or herself on the receiving end of many harsh punishments. This conviction usually occurs when the prosecution is successful at proving the accused has harmed the victim in a violent and intentional way.
Individuals accused of crimes of sexual abuse often face serious consequences when the allegations become public. Various areas of their lives are affected in negative ways. Even relationships may end from the mere mention of possible sex abuse towards another person. The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives a criminal defendant the right to confront his or her accuser.
When a person is accused of a crime, the consequences at stake are significant. A conviction can mean the loss of freedom with years behind bars. Having a criminal record can impact the rest of a person’s life and limit career and educational opportunities. Due to these possibilities, many criminal defendants seek legal counsel.
Any citizen in the United States who is facing criminal charges is guaranteed the right to legal counsel. If he or she cannot afford his or her own lawyer, one will be appointed to him or her. Despite this fundamental right, many individuals are not aware of this right, how far this right extends, the rights associated with the right to legal counsel and when a person qualifies to have a lawyer appointed by the court.
If a defendant is convicted of a crime in a trial court, he or she has the right to appeal this decision to the appellate court. In order to make a successful appeal, it is necessary to be familiar with the process involved.
When someone imagines someone else resisting arrest, they often have a mental image of a person violently thrashing around and physically resisting an officer who is simply attempting to handcuff him or her. Many people equate this scenario with resisting arrest and realize that this can often be a criminal act.
Criminal offenses are typically classified into categories: misdemeanors or felonies. Felony charges are considered more serious than misdemeanors. The penalties for felony convictions are also more severe than those of misdemeanors.
The discovery process involves the parties sharing information about the case so that a proper counter-argument can be presented. In a civil case, the plaintiff and the defendant may ask for information from the other side, including answering certain questions, producing certain documents and making certain admissions or denials under oath.
Many individuals believe that they have the legal right to protect themselves. However, there are times when self-defense laws do not apply. If a person uses self-defense in an instance when this defense does not apply, the person executing self-defense may face criminal charges of his or her own.
When a person is facing serious criminal charges, he or she needs to develop a strong defense. A criminal defense lawyer can advise a defendant of his or her rights so that the defendant does not do anything to self-incriminate. Additionally, a criminal defense lawyer can discuss the process of a criminal case, the prosecutor’s role and the potential defenses that may apply.
In order to avoid a conviction, it is necessary to build a defensive strategy in a criminal case. This strategy is based on the particular circumstances involved in the case.
It is not uncommon for a person to happen upon a law enforcement officer. He or she may be stopped by the law enforcement officer and asked questions. If a person runs into this situation, it is important that he or she understands his or her rights.
The term “stop and frisk” refers to a law enforcement officer’s limited right to detain a person momentarily and inspect him or her for weapons. While this right seems to be at odds with constitutional protections, the United States Supreme Court has upheld this practice as constitutional.
While many people are aware of the frequency of being pulled over by law enforcement when driving, fewer individuals may be aware of law enforcement’s ability to conduct a stop on a pedestrian. Similar to drivers, pedestrians may be stopped by law enforcement officers when they commit a traffic offense.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures. Despite this important freedom, there are limitations to it. For example, stop and frisk allows a law enforcement officer to briefly detain a person when no probable cause exists.
Restraining orders are an important tool for victims of domestic violence. They limit the interactions that the victim is subjected to when involving the alleged abuser. They have proven to have a direct impact on the reduction of domestic violence crimes. However, a restraining order can sometimes be taken out based on false allegations.
When attempting to get a protective order when family violence is involved, victims are often confronting a complex issue. However, it is important to steadily pursue this goal in order to receive the myriad benefits that this tool provides.
Although abuse may be inflicted on anyone, young or old, male or female, there is a disproportionate number of incidences involving elderly women. Abuse takes on many forms, and it is important to be able to recognize the signs of elder abuse in order to stop it.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act is an extension of the Violence Against Women Act, which was passed in 1994. This important law served to combat domestic violence, sexual abuse and stalking.
In some family law cases, a no contact order may be issued. This order prohibits the defendant from having any contact with the alleged victim. A no contact order is a tool that has often been effectively used to assist victims of domestic violence.
A no contact order is a civil order that instructs a person not to have contact with another person, often because the other person has alleged physical abuse, sexual assault, stalking or harassment.
Criminal law and civil law are two different types of law that vary based on their purpose, potential punishments and the process in which cases are presented to the court. In some instances, a defendant may be subject to criminal charges and a civil complaint.
When a person is the aggressor in a battery case, he or she may be subject to criminal charges. He or she may also be subject to a civil complaint.
When people think of domestic violence, they often visualize the image of a distressed woman who has been mistreated by her boyfriend or husband. However, women are far from the only victims of domestic violence.
The number of United States residents who are deemed to be Limited English Proficient (LEP) has substantially increased in the recent decades. A (LEP) person is one who does not speak English as his or her primary language, and who has limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand the English language.
Domestic violence affects every socioeconomic level, culture and race in the United States. Due to the prevalence of domestic violence in the United States, safeguards have been put in place to help the victims of domestic violence escape this situation and to have prompt access to the court system.
Victims of domestic violence can secure a protection order so that the alleged abuser cannot be around them. This is a court order that instructs the defendant not to have contact with the victim and to cease any abusive behavior toward the victim.
Every year, victims of domestic violence are seriously injured and some are even killed. Victims of domestic violence can take a step toward protecting themselves by requesting a protective order. A protective serves as an injunction, an order by the court for someone not to do something.
Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States. It often affects every segment of society. Whether you are a victim of domestic violence, someone accused of domestic violence or a witness to what you suspect is domestic violence, there are many things for you to know about this subject.
What is the Victim Compensation Fund and can it help you or your clients? Many people have no idea the Victim’s Compensation Fund exists, nor do they know its purpose.
Along with the criminal charge of assault and battery, the person affected may have a personal injury claim. It is important to know which charges may be filed against a person based on acts he or she committed.
Domestic violence is a serious violent crime with aggressive behavior from one person often injuring another. Bodily harm to various degrees is the outcome of these crimes, and the perpetrator may be arrested, charged with a violent crime and possibly convicted.
When a child’s safety, health or wellbeing is in danger of being compromised while, a person causing this danger may be prosecuted for child endangerment. This is the case for any driver that is drinking and driving with these children in the vehicle.
When a person is convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses, they are typically subject to greater penalties. When a child under sixteen is present during the trip with a driver that is drunk, substantial penalties are enacted with conviction in most states. Some states have different ages such as fourteen where penalties increase.
When a commercial driver is convicted of a DUI, he or she may face a one year disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Any subsequent DUIs may cause a life-long ban of driving these vehicles. The severity of these crimes is reflected in how a driver’s CDL license suspension lasts in time.
Probation In Colorado In the state of Colorado, after a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of an offense, they are often placed on probation.
Individuals who are not United States citizens risk being removed from the country if they are convicted of certain crimes. A conviction for a domestic violence crime can affect the ability of an immigrant to remain in the United States. It can also impact his or her ability to re-enter the country after leaving or traveling.
A common question that prosecutors are asked is if a case will be dismissed if the victim decides not to testify against the alleged abuser. The answer to this question depends on the state and the particular circumstances involved in the case.
When children are involved with a driver that has been drinking, the crime becomes more serious than normal DUI offenses. These crimes may end in an aggravated DUI with penalties for endangerment. Severe consequences may be incurred through these activities no matter if any injuries are the result of the trip.