Criminal Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Criminal Law.
Going to prison should not mean the end of someone’s potential. However, upon re-entering society, many released prisoners find fewer opportunities than when they entered the prison system.
Quick, who’s the top white collar criminal of all time? If you said, “Bernie Madoff” you’d be wrong, at least as far as sentences go. You wouldn’t be too far off—Mr. Madoff’s 150-year-sentence is impressive, but he only ranks fifth in the list of sentences imposed on high-dollar scammers. Here’s the list of the five most notorious “businessmen” of all time, beginning with that fifth-place notable crook:
The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that more than 216,000 people are sexually abused in the US detention system every year. Although there is sufficient proof to believe that the abuse rate against immigrants is much higher than previously thought, there are no such comprehensive reports detailing each case.
This article talks about an important U.S. Supreme Court decision issued in the case of U.S. v. Castleman, 12-1371. This was a unanimous opinion dealing with the ability of an individual convicted of domestic violence to possess a firearm.
Around midnight on March 24th, tragedy struck. According to the charging document, Ever Olivos-Gutierrez, an undocumented illegal alien, was driving a Ford Exposition near the intersection of Dayton Street and Colfax Avenue in Aurora just east of Denver. He did not have a valid license. Police say he had been drinking and ran a red light. His vehicle collided with a Chevrolet Camero driven by 17 year old Juan Carlos Dominguez-Palomino. The young man was killed.
Is Double Jeopardy Violated If a Court Increases a Sentence More Than Once, Resulting in a 495 Year Sentence?
Under the Habitual Sexual Offender Law (Penal Code § 667.61, 667.71 and 667.6 (d)), the minimum sentence for someone convicted of certain sex offenses under certain circumstances is 25 years to life. Under Penal Code § 1170.1, the court may only increase a sentence once due to a prior serious felony conviction. Under the Three Strikes Law (Penal Code § § 667 (e) and 1170.12), however, multiple sentence increases are allowed.
With the changing political landscape of marijuana legalization nationwide, activism in the Dallas Fort Worth area has grown more visible and popular. With over 400 new members since 2011, DFW NORML has been one of the fastest growing chapters in the country.
Medical marijuana is a very controversial topic. Recently, there have been 16 states with pending legislation or ballot measures on medical marijuana: Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Fighting The Post-Bankruptcy Survival Of Federal Tax Liens On Property Excluded From The Bankruptcy Estate
The federal tax collection system is founded on the concept of voluntary compliance. The United States government expects taxpayers to compute and timely pay all taxes owed. Most taxpayers fulfill this obligation. However, a minority refuse to comply. Those falling within the latter category are subject to forced collection and various penalties.
There are many reasons as to why you were in possession of the property and why you would have never stolen it.
Almost half of all American adults, 48% to be exact, have experimented with marijuana at some point in their life. While many of those staunchly opposed to marijuana legalization argue that weed is a gateway drug for harder, more dangerous substances, many scientific studies have frequently discredited this theory. Marijuana’s label as a gateway drug is likely more a case of mistaken identity of cause for correlation.
The main center of the criminal justice system is that all persons are innocent until proven guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the only way you can be found guilty is if prosecution is able to prove it.
Reports of drugs having washed up on the shores has been going on for many years. Just in the last 20 years, major headlines have been made by the billions of drugs that have been confiscated - and this is just the drugs that are found.
This past week the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4138 ENFORCE the Law Act with a simple majority, 233-181. The act, an acronym for Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments, was written to ensure that the president upholds his constitutional obligation to execute the laws that legislature enacts.
Primaries have come to a close in Texas, many Texas politicians are supporting marijuana reform. Wendy Davis, democratic candidate for governor, and Jerry Patterson, lieutenant governor candidate, along with Kinky Friedman, agriculture commissioner candidate, have all shown support for decriminalization or medical legalization.
Marijuana alters a person’s ability to perform certain functions, including operating a motor vehicle. According to a new study, fatal car crashes involving marijuana have tripled during the past decade, which may be responsible for the increase in impaired driving accidents in recent years.
According to Bob Ferguson, the Attorney General of the state of Washington, it’s completely legal for cities and other local governments that don’t want marijuana to be legal in their area to enact laws banning it.
There were 87 exonerations last year—more than have ever been recorded in the past 25 years. In 27 of those cases, it was determined that no crime even occurred, and in 15 cases, it was revealed that defendants had falsely confessed to a crime they never committed.
This article is a comparative legal analysis, which points out the adaptability of the legislation in Turkey and the international agreements on corruption and bribery, whereas also points out the differences of the legislation between Turkey, India and United States of America on the contemplated subject.
Theft carries a punishment of imprisonment from 6 months up to 3 years or a fine. Attempted theft, which is also a crime, carries the punishment from 3 months up to 18 months or a fine.
Theft under the UAE laws is a crime and is regulated by Federal Law No. 3 for the year 1987 on passing Penal code.
On 21st February 2014, the MFSA issued a Notice to Financial Services Licence Holders informing them on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) identifying jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies, as outlined in the recent publication of two public documents. These countries are considered to have strategic deficiencies regarding anti-money laundering& and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
While reading can aid in learning, there is no substitute for doing. Reading about what steps should be taken to solve a tax problem is no different than reading about how to ride a bicycle. In the same way that the only way to learn how to ride a bicycle is by experiencing it firsthand – i.e., by physically getting on it (and perhaps falling off it more than once) – the only way to become proficient at solving tax problems is by trudging through a multitude of hypotheticals.
The cycle of violence is hard to break. Problems can occur when a child that was abused becomes the caregiver for the parent that did the abusing. Elder abuse can be the result when a child that was abused is forced to take care of a parent later in life.
Drunk Driving accidents are continuing to occur. What you may not know is that you can be held criminally liable for a death even if you are not physically at the scene of the crime.
There have formulated a number of theories to explain, at least partially, the national decline of violent crime. The first plausible reason – and one embraced by many – is that a lot of American cities have increased the number of law enforcement per capita, and that police officers are getting more skilled at their jobs.
A federal jury recently convicted three people on charges related to Medicare fraud. The fraud took place during the time frame of 2006 - 2011. The defendants in the case operated a durable medical goods company out of the Los Angeles area.
Six California residents have been arrested for scams that targeted senior citizens. The suspects were arrested in southern California.
A series of federal and local laws were developed with the purpose of regulating relations and ensuring the stability of transactions and the safety of society.
It is a serious crime that is punishable with a long jail sentence to carry a concealed weapon in the State of Florida. But, there are ways to legally carry a firearm in Florida, which will keep you from being arrested and thrown in jail.
Usually when people think about “resisting arrest” they imagine a suspect physically resisting the arresting officer who try to restrain them. It should surprise no one that this act is illegal and comes with additional charges. You may not be aware that a person can face resisting arrest charges whether they touch the officer or not.
It is considered a serious crime to carry a concealed weapon in Florida, a crime punishable by a long prison sentence. However, there are ways you can carry a firearm in Florida legally so as not to subject you to getting arrested and put in jail. If you live in Florida and own a firearm, it is vital that you know and understand how and when you can carry your firearm without being arrested.
Someone who drinks excessively and then commits a domestic violent crime probably isn’t thinking about the legal consequences of their actions.
Why Swiss Bank Clients Who Can’t Stand the Heat Are Getting Out of the Kitchen.
Everyone knows that domestic violence is a significant problem in our country, mainly for women. Things have slowly been getting better in recent years due to changes in the law and raising awareness about the issue, but there’s a long way to go, and part of the conversation needs to involve the effectiveness of the methods we use to punish offenders.
A Malaysian perspective on White-Collar Crime. A daunting task it has failed to curb, yet.
As with California State Route 138, the major problem with U.S. 431 in Alabama is that it consisted mostly of two narrow lanes until 2010 and had dense traffic. The good news is that the highway was expanded to four lanes from Phenix City to Dothan.
Nary a day goes by that a client doesn’t ask me the question, “Why am I being charged criminally with failing to file my tax returns? Lots of people get behind on their taxes and fail to file their returns for a few years, but they are not prosecuted. Why me?”
Recently, I received a panicked call from a client being detained at a major metropolitan airport. The client, a nonresident U.S. taxpayer, owed money to the Internal Revenue Service. Upon investigation, I learned who was responsible for detaining him: none other than the IRS. Under what authority? A two-year-old program designed to target nonresident delinquent taxpayers who travel to and from the United States.
New Jersey Notice of Federal Tax Change Requirements
In the heat of a domestic argument or in an effort to gain advantage in divorce, one party may call the police to falsely accuse another of domestic violence.
Utah law is harsh on crime. However, it also offers a generous policy for sealing past criminal records, known as expungement.
No one is perfect, and even police officers can be caught driving under the influence. Such is the case for a 28 year-old off-duty police officer of the NYPD.
In California, senior citizens have been a target for con-artists and scammers. A recent scam has affected seniors in the state and officials want the public to be aware of the scam. This scam has been called the "free inspection scam."
Congress enacted section 6050I to attack and unearth the underground economy. As enforced, however, section 6050I has been used as a weapon in the IRS’s criminal arsenal.
Last month, a Texas father was charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol. The man, F. J., was driving an SUV from Texas to Chicago.
Over two thirds of present inmates and people locked up right now in the United States are those awaiting trial, not convicted criminals. Many of these people are locked up because they can’t afford to bail or they have no means to pay bail. A bail amount is the amount of money to be paid to secure that the accused will return to trial, and failure many times results in imprisonment in a justice system that embraces the term “innocent until proven guilty”.
Criminal charges are defined as charges brought against someone for an illegal act or an act flouting society's rules. There are instances, however, when innocent people are charged for something they don't understand. Do I need a lawyer usually follows the question "what did I do"? The second question should be given some thought, because the definition of criminal charges has wide latitude. To hire a lawyer well versed in criminal law could result in dismissal of charges.
It may seem as though you are standing at the edge of a cliff and are getting ready to fall off, or maybe the feeling you are getting is one of claustrophobia, or something much worse. When the biggest concern on your mind is “what do I do if I have a warrant of arrest” issued for me, the first response should be to find a good lawyer and get some help.
The Internal Revenue Service takes great pleasure in auditing individuals who own their own small businesses. Why target these “moms and pops?” For the simple reason that they often deal in cash and keep two sets of books. Add in possible sales tax violations and before you know it auditors from the state revenue department have joined in the action.
Rescued From the Brink of Insanity: Practical Advice for Making the Decision to Opt Out of the OVDI - Part II
Hypotheticals demonstrating when opting out is detrimental to the taxpayer.
Rescued From the Brink of Insanity: Practical Advice for Making the Decision to Opt Out of the OVDI - Part I
Opting Out: The solution for the non-willful OVDI taxpayer? Hypotheticals demonstrating when opting out is in the best interests of the taxpayer.
When discussing unsafe driving in the context of traffic accidents, the lines between criminal and civil liability can often get blurred. The purpose of this article is assist readers in understanding both the criminal and civil legal issues that can arise from a Colorado traffic accident.
When facing a contested divorce situation, husbands and wives are tempted to record each other with the hope to improve their individual divorce outcome. This article is a reminder that while your high tech gizmo may enable you to intercept some valuable dirt on your ex, privacy law likely prohibits it.
With the march of modern technology ever forward, interesting new gadgets find their ways into our pockets. Take, for example, the rise of recent gadgets to help keep intoxicated drivers off the road. Of course, when technology makes its way into our lives, the law is often not far behind. So how will pocket breathalyzers affect the law?
Most of us have probably heard or been told that anything we tell our doctor is confidential. While this may be reassuring, it may have left you wondering why it was true and what the reason for that confidentiality was? How far does it extend? Would it hold up in court?
In our modern, connected age, it seems everyone has a tablet or laptop computer that they use on a daily basis. These computers usually have built in webcams and microphones which, while very useful for legitimate purposes like video calls, can also be a vehicle for embarrassment, identity theft, and spying on your most intimate moments. So, what does the law have to say about using someone's webcam or computer microphone to spy on them?
We are all well aware of the dangers of driving intoxicated or while otherwise impaired. Not only can you seriously injure or kill someone (including yourself), you may also face jail time, fines, and loss of your license. What other possible consequences exist for getting a DUI?
When it comes to intellectual property, many of us think of copyrighted works of art, patented products, or trademarked logos. All of these items are intellectual property, but infringing on someone's intellectual property rights is usually handled as a civil matter, not criminal. So, is it ever possible to commit the crime of theft with regard to intellectual property?
Every year, millions of Americans use the services of psychics, mediums, palmists, and others who claim supernatural abilities. While most see such activities as entertainment and not to be taken too seriously, there are many who believe it wholeheartedly and, as a result, often find themselves out thousands of dollars before they realize they have been had. This leads many to wonder whether there are any laws that regulate psychics.
What has been perceived as a rash of inappropriate teacher-student relationships has led to some interesting new legal territory. Concerned about interaction between teachers and students, a number of jurisdictions have passed laws variously prohibiting social media contact to physical contact (such as hugging or spanking). So, how much contact should children and teachers have with one another?
A recent new concept has entered the legal lexicon: “Affluenza.” It was first used in the case of a Texas youth accused of stealing beer, driving intoxicated, then killing four people with his car. So what is “Affluenza,” and how was it used in a legal setting?
Kids will be kids, or so the saying goes. As such, children often roughhouse and get into small fights in the schoolyard. Most parents, teachers, and administrators, while not pleased by such conduct, know that it is an inevitable part of life in the school system and for many, a rite of passage for the children involved. But legally, when does it go from a simple schoolyard brawl punished by detentions or suspensions to a battery that could be punished by jail or a civil lawsuit?
Some believe bomb threats to be an extravagant prank, others use them to avoid responsibilities like exams or bills, and still others use them to hide some other nefarious purpose. Whatever the reason, making bomb threats is a very serious crime with heavy criminal penalties. So what are the consequences for making bomb threats?
Bitcoin has become increasingly popular as an alternative form of currency over the last several years. The digital currency offers interesting new options for secure and private transactions, for earning money through “Bitcoin mining,” and, unfortunately, for money laundering. What is the threat of Bitcoin and money laundering and what is being done to stop it?
Prom, homecoming, and other formal dances are rites of passage for millions of American youth. So, it is perhaps surprising to many that such an activity may be regulated by the law, but in many jurisdictions it is. And, we are not talking about exotic or belly or other suggestive types of dancing. These laws apply to any kind of dancing, including the stuff your grandparents were doing. So, what are some of the more unusual laws against dancing?
Just as with real world dating, sometimes Internet dating can be dangerous. People may not be who they say or may actually be dangerous. Online dating services may use your personal information and photographs for purposes other than what you had intended. Internet dating sites may actually put tracking software on your computer or expose you to identity theft, computer viruses, or other harm. So, if you have been injured by a dating site in some way, it is common to wonder whether you can sue?
Have you been charged with driving under the influence of drugs in Arizona? Are you wondering what the penalties are for an Arizona drug DUI conviction? In Arizona you can be convicted of DUI if you operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any illegal substance, or any legal substance if you were impaired at the time of driving.
Over the last few years there have been a number of television shows regarding the polygamist lifestyle. This has led some to wonder whether polygamy may be legal anywhere in the U.S. It also raises questions about why bigamy is outlawed and whether this is a trend that may be changing.
Many remember a time before 9/11 when using a fake ID was almost a rite of passage, and those caught doing so were usually subject only to having their ID confiscated, a thorough scolding, and being sent home to answer to likely irate parents. While still prevalent, using fake ID's is no longer considered a harmless practice and those caught making or using them can face very severe criminal punishments.
Movies and television shows often glamorize the world of espionage. But, in reality, is it quite so exciting? Aside from the lack of martinis and frequent shoot outs to save the world, the reality is that espionage is a crime in the United States.
As more and more states are opting to pass laws authorizing either medical (or in the recent case of Colorado) recreational marijuana use and sales, it has become increasingly common to wonder what the new legal limitations are on the product.
Much of what most people know about the American justice system is derived from television and movies. Unfortunately, these are entertainment and not as focused on conveying the truth about the legal system as delivering a compelling story. Even the news has a tendency to “spin” the truth in a way that makes it more interesting to the audience in order to increase the audience. As a result, here are 5 common myths about the American justice system:
Over the last few years, a number of unscrupulous websites have developed around Americans' increasing comfort with sharing private, intimate photos with one another. While the photos are usually not intended for public consumption, often after a rough breakup or other event in which the recipient is left unhappy, that person will post those photos for the world to see. But is this legal? More importantly, can the site where the photos are posted legally charge you to take them down?
Whenever cold weather approaches, there is an increase in the number of people who leave their cars running unattended in an effort to warm them up before driving anywhere. While this might be good for the engine and make for a toasty commute, it may not always be legal.
Although according to European Union reports, all Member States must deal with the regulation of bullying with top priority, the Romanian legislature has not included in the new Criminal Code provisions criminalizing bullying. The need of integration was stated in the Romanian doctrine to adjust legislation and regulation of moral harassment at work by making it consistent through all national laws and regulations.
It is an ugly reality, but it is known to happen: petty people misusing the very serious charge of rape as a way to gain an upper hand, get revenge, or otherwise harm another person. The results of such a false accusation can be devastating, even if the person wrongfully accused is ultimately acquitted. So, what can the innocent person do in such a case? What are the consequences to the false accuser?
The arrival of 3D printing technology has led to some amazing new possibilities for things like replicating broken parts, creating amazing works of 3D art, and manufacturing entire items from patters found online. But, as is usually the case with any new technology, someone finds a way to use it for something sinister. Several creators invented 3D printed plastic guns and made plans available online. But, are these 3D printed plastic guns legal?
The Securities and Exchange Commission has saved money to spend on it's whistleblower rewards program. It is likely that there will be larger rewards in the future as tips have increased recently.
Everyday, millions of people login from all over the world to experience various virtual worlds. Some are part of a video game, others are intended to allow for social interactions, and still others include elements for commercial dealings. Whatever the purpose, any environment in which people interact can lead to friction and disagreements of various sorts. This has led many to ask whether the laws of the real world can or should apply to virtual world problems.
Social media is everywhere today; from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, it would be almost impossible for an employer not to have someone working for them that has some form of social media presence. While you might be able to keep an employee from updating their Facebook status from the office, can you do anything about what they say or do about you or your company on their social media in their own time? Indeed, can you fire someone for their social media complaints about work?
In order to find ways to prevent terrible acts of violence from guns, and to reconcile those acts with our deeply-ingrained gun culture, we must first make steps to understand that culture.
Have you ever wondered why, in a system of justice that relies so heavily upon people telling the truth, every witness is not strapped to a polygraph machine (i.e., a lie detector)? It is a logical question that leads to others about how interrogations and investigations are conducted when polygraphs are used. So, is a polygraph test admissible as evidence?
A "felony" is generally defined as a serious crime usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death. Accordingly, the grade of the offense is fixed by the punishment.
With the rise of social networking, many have lost some of their concerns about personal privacy. Indeed, millions of Americans share the intimate details of their lives with an audience of dozens to thousands to sometimes even millions of people everyday, and think nothing of it. But what happens when someone begins to use this information against you? Are they violating any laws by following you online or bothering you on the Internet?
Recently, I was approached by someone asking me about a situation that occurs all too often. Her grandmother's estate had been bled dry by someone who was supposed to be taking care of her. My friend wanted to know what the legal rights and responsibilities of the parties were in this situation and what could be done about it.
Whenever jobs become scarce, one of the first industries to see a boost is higher education. In order to compete, many job seekers return to college (or go for the first time) to get a degree in a particular career field in order to better be able to compete for jobs. Unfortunately, there are a few unscrupulous institutions that take advantage of those in this position, selling replica degrees from actual universities or offering degree programs despite lacking any accreditation.
Solicitation Of Prostitute in Virginia - Has the Substantial Act been Completed?
It is a nightmare scenario that occurs all too often: after a breakup or divorce, your ex picks up your kids when they are not supposed to or disappears with them after a visitation. Sometimes this is done to hurt the other parent, sometimes it is done out of a sincere desire to spend time with the child(ren). Whatever the case, the effect is the same: terror, confusion, concern, and often a nagging question about what one should do. So, what do you do when your ex kidnaps your kids?
Imagine this: you go to the car dealership, financial information in hand, ready to buy a car. A few weeks later you discover that someone has stolen your identity. Based on the information stolen, you realize that it was taken from the car dealership. Maybe you get some of the damage undone, maybe not. Aside from the actual thief, who you may never be able to identify, can anyone else be held responsible?
A recent decision by the United States Supreme Court could have a large impact on state laws relating to drunk driving. Many states, including Massachusetts, have what is known as an implied consent law. This law basically gives law enforcement the right to use blood tests or some other kind of test to determine drivers’ blood alcohol content. The reasoning behind the law is that drivers have given their consent simply by obtaining a driver’s license.
The arrests of two chemists at two separate Massachusetts crime labs earlier this year have raised a lot of questions over the validity of hundreds, if not thousands of convictions in the state. In the most recent case, a chemist is alleged to have tampered with evidence in drug cases, replacing illegal drugs with non-illegal substances according to Reuters. Apparently the chemist used the drugs for her personal consumption.
Psychologists and sociologists will tell you that humans have a natural tendency to want to trust one another. Unfortunately, there are many who would exploit that natural tendency for illegal personal gain. Whether the famous “Spanish prisoner” scam or the phony charities that seem to pop up after natural disasters or around the holidays, fraudulent activity is an unfortunate reality of the modern world. So, how can one avoid those scams?
If you have been charged with drunk driving in Arizona you have (15) fifteen days from the date you were served with either an Admin Per Se or Implied Consent form to request a hearing with the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD); otherwise, your license is automatically suspended.
After a DUI arrest, a suspect will need defense for two cases that are entirely independent from one another; one is from the DMV and the other from the criminal court. The DMV is focused on the suspension of a license by looking at the legality of police detainment and your blood alcohol level. The criminal court, however, will look at all aspects of the case and provide a sentence that can bring penalties of imprisonment, fines, and more.
Over the last few years, a number of drugs have made it to the market that, while not technically illegal, had the same effects as taking other, outlawed narcotics. Unfortunately, many of these drugs only made the news after something unfortunate happened, like an overdose, an accident caused by someone intoxicated by the alternative drug, or a celebrity disclosing their addiction to it.
Of all the concepts in the field of criminal law, few are more hotly debated, and more subject to constantly inconsistent results, than the concept of constructive possession. But what is it? How can someone be held responsible for possessing drugs or guns that are not on their person (especially if there is a perfectly reasonable explanation of who may actually be the owner)?
A Message from Uncle Sam to Taxpayers Who Have Undisclosed Foreign Bank Accounts: the Clock Is Ticking
OVDI: Is the IRS playing unfair? Read on...
Everyone has seen a few cents on the ground, likely dropped while someone pulled a ring of keys from their pocket. While we would probably not think twice about picking up a penny, what if it was a bank envelope full of $100 bills? It may seem like a dream come true, but there are certain legal obligations when one finds misplaced money.
It is an age old question that many of us have debated at one point or another: should executions be legal? Are they an effective deterrent and means of punishment, or is it an expensive and anachronistic practice from a less civilized time? Regardless of where you come down on the debate, one key factor that always seems to come up is cost. So, which is cheaper: execution or life in prison without parole?