Criminal Law Articles
Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Criminal Law.
Many criminal cases start before a person is arrested for an alleged crime. The actions of accusing a person are often what lead to an arrest, but they have to start with someone telling someone else that a person committed a crime.
The world has started changing its views on certain drugs. Of these, marijuana has been considered by citizens of the United States for several years as less of a drug and more of an herb. Many individuals have used this substance to assist in medical treatment for pain, aches, swelling and many similar issues a person often faces with certain ailments or conditions.
The distribution and selling of drugs are rampant throughout the world. These criminals provide and cause addiction in thousands of people each year. When large quantities are distributed to other areas or individuals, multiple crimes are often charged if they are caught by law enforcement.
The laws of the United States have started to change when dealing with some drugs. One particular drug that has a change of regulation and law governance is marijuana. While some states have legalized the use and manufacture of this substance, other states have started to become stricter in dealing with those consuming this product.
Crimes of slavery have been perpetuated for hundreds of years in one form or another. Throughout history, these crimes have been accompanied by physical violence and oppression. As times have changed, slavery in its pure form was abolished through most of the world in the form of various laws or treaties.
Kidnapping is the instance when someone abducts another person for various reasons. The abductor often takes the victim to a remote or far-away place to ensure the person taken is not easily recognized or able to get away.
The taking or attempting to take something of any value through the use of force, threats of force or through intimidating and fear has been determined to be a robbery by most states. It has also been defined through the removal of someone’s property or belongings with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the property or belongings.
Crimes of theft have been around for hundreds of years to include the greater crimes of stealing large or expensive property and possessions. However, laws have become harsh when expensive vehicles are stolen by alleged thieves.
The supply and transporting of illicit substances are growing issues within the world since the war on drugs failed. Criminals purchase drugs from one place where they are cheaply bought or grown and sell them in another at a higher price to provide thousands of drug users each year.
Firearms are associated with a right to carry in the United States with the belief that every person should be allowed one in his or her home. When the purchase process is legal, it usually requires an individual to complete an application, wait a period of time and then become permitted to own and use a firearm.
Abduction and kidnapping cases often go hand in hand. In most cases, abduction is considered to be the illegal holding or transporting of a person without consent and against his or her will. Most instances of this crime include force, threats against the victim, intimidating the person usually through proposed violence or through words or some sort of deception.
Most states have laws regarding kidnapping as a criminal act. The victim is taken and transported usually to a great distance away from his or her original location, often crossing state lines in the process to impede a criminal investigation.
The goal of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) is to protect children from abuse and neglect and work to provide a safe and stable home environment.
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Some drivers journey from one place to another with only short jaunts and may forget to bring a driver’s license. Others have had their licenses suspended after facing other traffic crimes such as too many speeding tickets or driving under the influence.
Drug addiction is rampant among Americans of all ages and backgrounds. For decades, the war on drugs has failed to eradicate this issue. These substances have overtaken lives to the point friends and family no longer recognize who these addicted individuals are any longer.
Penalties for drug charges are extremely severe for those convicted of these crimes. Starting in 2014, acts have been proposed to provide a reduction in consequences for these crimes as well as a retroactive allowance for those convicted from the point the acts were proposed originally. These acts are to update the minimum sentencing to keep with the years as laws and sentencing shift and change.
The issue with theft has dropped throughout the United States as the economy improves, but major thefts are still an issue. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been committed to the various major thefts of art, gems, retail and other types of greater robbery. Through their efforts, many heists have been foiled.
Many families have access to drugs lying around the house from previous prescriptions that were not completely used. In many situations, one person or another in the family may give these drugs to another person even if he or she does not have that prescription or may require a different dose.
The punishments for possession, distribution and the manufacture of drugs are often harsh and severe. When multiple counts are applied to a person’s case, he or she may see life behind bars. Combine violence with these crimes, and the person may face other penalties often more severe than if violent acts were not added to the charges.
Many drivers have purchased and installed radar detectors in many states. The question of legality has risen at different points in time, and some states have created stipulations regarding these devices. For those that have these legally, the question remains how long until they are outlawed entirely.
In the years after 2000, marijuana has been considered less of an illicit substance and more of a common drug found everywhere. Healthcare professionals have found many individuals use it to soothe pain with medical problems. The medical aspect of the drug has become so widespread that several states have attempted to legalize the drug for at least medicinal purposes.
The term “white collar crime” is typically used to describe illegal actions that are not violent in nature. Typically, these behaviors are motivated by financial gain with the intent to deceive in order to acquire funds that do not rightly belong to the perpetrator.
White collar crimes are committed every year. Sometimes the perpetrator is discovered. Other times, such actions go undetected. In other cases, the defendant may be targeted by someone who actually committed the crime and is trying to avoid detection.
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides citizens with the right to bear arms. They often exercise this right by keeping a gun or several guns in the home for protection. However, this can be a dangerous scenario, especially when children are present.
Identity theft is a serious crime that results in serious consequences. Identity theft cases continue to increase as new technological advancements make it easier for people to pretend to be someone else.
Money laundering regards the financial transactions in which individuals participating in criminal activity try to disguise the proceeds or sources from these transactions. For example, a person may attempt to hide drug dealing money by investing in a business.
White collar crimes vary in their severity and application. They may include nonviolent crimes like antitrust violations to complicated money laundering schemes. In some cases, aggressive and ambitious law enforcement officers and prosecutors attempt to crack down on white collar offenses through special programs targeted at this demographic.
Many people are charged with white collar crimes every year. They often have a number of questions about a charge of this nature, including:
A white collar crime is a crime that is often committed by a professional that involves some type of fraud or deception that results in financial gain to the perpetrator or others. White collar crimes are serious offenses that must be taken seriously. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon in the process as possible to help protect the defendant’s rights. Being aware of white collar crimes and their implications can aid in the defense.
White collar crimes are becoming increasingly common due to the technology that exists and makes it easier for individuals to get a hold of other people’s personal identifying information. Given the expanse of white collar crimes, it is likely that you know someone who has been affected by a white collar crime. These crimes range from identity theft to fraud.
When someone commits a crime in which a weapon is involved, he or she may be subject to an additional penalty. Because weapons have the easier ability to cause bodily harm or death, law enforcement takes a firm stance against weapons by punishing criminal defendants more severely.
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.
Many traffic violations may cause the suspension of a driver’s license. When multiple crimes have been accumulated, when some violations have not been resolved and other similar situations, the state licensing agency often suspends the person’s license as punishment.
A nolo contendere plea is offered in some states as an alternative to pleading straight guilty or not guilty. This plea can sometimes lead to confusion as whether a nolo contendere plea constitutes a conviction depends on the penalty or the sentence imposed in some jurisdictions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.