Criminal Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Criminal Law.
In recent years, incidences of public nudity have increased. In some instances, this is innocent fun, like ritual moonings in Orange County, California, and worldwide naked bike riding events.
On February 20, 2011, a teenage driver was sending a text message when he accidentally swerved across the middle line and killed the driver of a vehicle heading in the opposite direction. The incident was clearly an accident, but was the teen's action of composing text messages while driving so wanton and reckless that it could amount to criminal homicide?
America's largest banking institution is facing charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for a practice of hiring the children of foreign officials. The case will test how broadly the federal law can be applied to practices as common as hiring an influential person's children in order to gain a small advantage in negotiations.
We are all familiar with the idea of individuals committing crimes and facing the consequences of those actions. But, what happens if a corporation commits a crime? Who is responsible?
On a Saturday night in September, 2013, an emotionally disturbed man ran through Times Square in New York City mimicking the action of firing a gun at police. Believing in the heat of the moment that they may actually be under fire, the officers responded with actual bullets, hitting two innocent bystanders. Just a few months earlier, nine bystanders were hit by police bullets during a shootout with a disgruntled man who shot a former coworker in the financial district.
In September, 2013, a man from Missouri was charged with child sex trafficking in the case of a developmentally delayed girl from Massachusetts who disappeared a few days before week and was later found safe in Rhode Island. Cases such as these raise a number of questions, including which state has jurisdiction, which laws apply, and what can be done.
It seems like the headlines are constantly filled with new stories of politicians quite literally caught with their pants down in scandals with prostitutes. This often raises the question of why we do not treat prostitution in the same was as pornography. Why is sex for money okay in one setting and not another?
Those with sick and elderly loved ones forced to live out the end of their lives in pain have often wondered why physician assisted suicide is illegal and what laws prevent it. The answer is a mix of politics, historic legal precedent, and the black letter of the law.
On September 12, 2013, a New York City driver reportedly hit the accelerator instead of the brake as he pulled into a parking space. The result: he ran over 5 teenagers standing on the sidewalk. Fortunately, none of the teens was seriously injured. But, to the shock of many, officials announced they did not intend to press charges in what they considered a purely accidental incident.
George Zimmerman: Domestic Violence Raises Questions About Use of Violence and Florida Stand Your Ground Law
On September 9, 2013, George Zimmerman, infamous after his slaying of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and subsequent acquittal, made headlines again over a domestic violence dispute. Shellie Zimmerman, George Zimmerman's wife, told a 911 operator that her husband George "was going to shoot" her and her father at their Florida home. So, would she have had the right to shoot George Zimmerman had he threatened violence?
We all know the dangers of intoxication or drug use before getting behind the wheel of a car, but when else can intoxication be against the law? It might surprise you to know that there are ways to commit DUI without even being in a car. In fact, there are many laws affecting intoxication and being aware of some of the more unusual ones could be the difference between a fun night out and a legal nightmare.
For those who have either been injured by a hit and run driver, or those who have lost a loved one, it is clear that hit and run accidents can turn an already unpleasant event into a truly horrible one. For those who caused the accident then fled the scene, usually in a panic, the consequences can be severe.
Much has been made over the last few years about a push to legalize marijuana. In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, making it the first in the union to allow for the medical use of marijuana. Since then, 19 more states, and the District of Columbia have enacted similar laws, for a total of 20 states and the District of Columbia with public medical marijuana programs.
Gun laws are largely a matter of state law. Although certain federal laws regulate some guns, like automatic weapons, states are generally able to control the issuance of concealed weapons permits.
Many have questions regarding whether it is legal to carry a knife (or a particular type of knife) in their location. There is a good reason: laws vary widely from state-to-state and from municipality to municipality. As a general rule, most states will allow the carrying of small utility knives, but even then they can only be carried in certain places. Following is a quick primer on common knife carrying laws.
Sadly, the news is constantly filled with reports of various sex crimes, like rape, teachers having sex with underage students, and child pornography rings. Another frequent story is that of the sex offender or predator who offends again and hurts somebody. But what is the truth behind sex offenders and predators? Which crimes will result in registration? How can you find out about sex offenders near you? Just how big of a threat do these people pose?
In our modern digital age, even having a mug shot, let alone a conviction, can create difficult and embarrassing circumstances. Employers may be unwilling to hire, potential romantic partners may be hesitant to even meet, and landlords may not be willing to rent to you. So what can you do about getting a conviction expunged from your record?
Both DUI and DWI have made their way into our common speech, but often we forget exactly what they mean. Moreover, there is often confusion over the distinction between a DUI or a DWI that can be enhanced by the variations between differing jurisdictions.
Credit card fraud is a form of identity theft that involves an unauthorized use of someone's credit card information for the purpose of charging purchases to the account or removing funds from it. State and federal laws both come into play with relation to credit card fraud, as may your agreements with your credit or debit card issuer.
In criminal prosecutions, one often hears various drugs referred to by different schedules. But what are the schedules, which drugs are on them, and what do they mean?
You have been stopped, either in a car, in a public place, or walking down the street, and an officer asks you to do something you do not think you should have to do. This would probably be a request to search your person or vehicle. So, when an officer asks you to empty your pockets, allow a search of your car, or for some other consent to search, how do you say “no” without bringing on more suspicion and a possible arrest?
A common topic on spy shows and mobster movies, money laundering may be an unclear concept for many. What is it? Is it illegal? If so, why? What are the elements of this crime?
Few sex crimes bring more negative connotations to mind than those related to child pornography. In our computer age where information, images, and videos can be rapidly and easily accessed, this has become a growing area of concern. Although search engines have become better at filtering out inappropriate materials, it is still possible to occasionally come into contact with these matters, either intentionally or not.
By far, one of the most common class of crimes to pass through the American legal system is the drug case. Whether possession or distribution, drug cases have gotten a lot of attention from both the media and legislators since the 1980's and the beginning of the “War on Drugs.” However, these laws are changing for some substances, like marijuana, so it is important to get a basic understanding of the state of the law related to controlled substances.
It is a difficult topic to discuss or even think about, but rape is a real part of every civilization. Although improvements have been made in the legal system, prosecution of a rapist can still be a drawn out and painful process, and often the victims of rape have no idea what to expect. This article will discuss what rape is and what a victim should expect from the prosecution of the crime.
Computer crime is one of the fastest-growing types of illegal activity, both in the U.S. and abroad. Indeed, much of the computer crime Americans face is from foreign sources, making regulation of these activities by police authorities exceedingly difficult. While the Internet links people together like never before, it also provides endless opportunity to criminals seeking to exploit the vulnerabilities and trusting nature of others.
As many judges are fond of saying, ours are courts of law, not courts of justice. “Justice” is an often subjective term that fails to take into consideration the best practices for society at large. Laws are generally intended to create the best outcome for all people in all situations. But, what happens when the best intentions go awry?
Arson is the malicious burning of the dwelling of another. Some states also include other places and things in the scope of items that can be burned and constitute arson, such as cars, businesses, churches, etc. In any event, arson is usually considered a second degree felony and is very serious.
Child abuse is never acceptable. Of course, what constitutes child support and what is discipline may sometimes be a gray zone. While the government stays out of our personal relationships in most instances, when it comes to child abuse and domestic violence there can be serious legal consequences. Thus, it is important to know what type of behavior is considered abusive and against the law, and the legal consequences those accused of abuse may face.
In most states, crimes are classified in one of two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Sometimes, there are also a third class of crimes called petty crimes or violations, and are usually punished by a fine with no jail time (these often include traffic infractions). Understanding the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor can be critical in understanding charges against a person, terms of plea agreements, and potential punishments.
Prostitution is one of those legal issues that creates an intense debate and will likely remain an issue in America for years to come.
RICO stands for the “Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations” Act. It was a groundbreaking piece of legislation passed in the United States in 1970 with the goal of financially crippling the Mafia. However, it has evolved to have a variety of applications today against many organizations aside from the Mafia.
Juvenile crimes are the fastest growing area of criminal activity in America. Juvenile crimes are considered those crimes committed by people who are under the age of eighteen. Juvenile offenders, or “juvenile delinquents,” as they are sometimes referred to, are usually handled differently than adult offenders, but an increasing trend toward harsher sentencing may erode this distinction in the near future.
Extradition refers to the transfer of an accused criminal by one state or nation to another. The recent Snowden case has brought this issue to the forefront again, as the American government has expressed its desire to regain jurisdiction over Edward Snowden for leaking top-secret information about American intelligence gathering efforts.
A Texas City man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a drunk driving accident that occurred in 2011.
California domestic violence law has changed a lot over the years. The author explains how things have changed as well as the influences that spurred changes.
You have been pulled over but you are not sure why. You do not think you did anything wrong, but you get a ticket anyway. How do you fight it?
Homicide is the taking of a human life. Every state in the US has its own unique classifications of homicide, but these classifications generally fall into three general categories. Those general categories are murder, manslaughter, and justifiable homicide.
Have you ever heard someone talk about larceny and wondered why they called a theft by that name? What about robbery? How about fraud or embezzlement? What's really the difference between all these different types of theft? It can be an important question if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges or have been the victim of a crime. Following is a description of eight (8) different types of theft and what their respective elements include.
The majority of enterprises nowadays rely on information technology as an essential tool for meeting their business objectives as well as safeguarding their intellectual property, financial information and the Company’s reputation, amongst others. Concurrently, critical digital assets are being targeted and the potential impacting businesses has never been greater.
Anyone who has ever had to rely on the testimony of others, whether in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding, has probably felt the cold knife of panic and disgust slice through their gut as someone testified in a manner they considered untruthful. Of course, many people can have many different interpretations of the same event, including some that seem wildly different than your recollection, simply because they had a different perspective.
How often do we hear the compound term “assault and battery” thrown around in courtroom television dramas or the nightly news? Were you aware that assault and battery are actually two different things? That they can have both civil and criminal implications? So what exactly is the difference between them, and why is this distinction important?
When thinking of shoplifting, you may think of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables who stole bread for his starving sister and was imprisoned for five years. But not everybody who shoplifts steals food because they're hungry. It doesn't matter what was shoplifted, or who did the shoplifting, it is still a crime, and is the most common type of theft happening today in the United States.
Regardless of where you live, driving under the influence is a serious offense with serious consequences, but California drunk driving laws can be especially confusing and difficult to maneuver. The best way to approach them is to work with a lawyer that is well versed in what the laws are and what they mean for you.
One very often used tool in the law enforcement tool box is the power to intimidate citizens into voluntarily giving up their rights, usually without even realizing they are doing it.
This is a step-by-step guide as to what you should do if you get pulled over for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or a DWI (Driving While Impaired). This is not a substitute for using common sense and avoiding behavior that might put you in jeopardy of being stopped for a DUI or a DWI. It is also not a substitute for getting assistance from a qualified, competent attorney. When in doubt, contact your lawyer.
Let's face it, being arrested can be a terrifying, stressful, confusing experience. From that point forward, things can move fast, get very complicated, and it may be very hard to know what to do or who to turn to.
Breathalyzers have had a long history of controversy over their effectiveness and validity when used as evidence in a court of law. The author details their history of failure and malfunction as well as their current problems.
Any activity involving the cannabis plant is a criminal offense. In all the jurisdictions, it is an offense to possess marijuana, transport marijuana, drive under the influence of marijuana, sell marijuana and grow cannabis. But scientific evidence verifies that marijuana has the following therapeutic effects:
Individuals convicted of drunk driving in Florida are often required to install Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) in their vehicles as part of their sentences. IIDs require drivers to take a breath test before their vehicles will start. Learn about IID laws in the state of Florida.
You have just been arrested for a DUI, oh how your world is going to change. If you are convicted you will face fines, possible jail time and loss of your driving privileges. Will you lose you job as well? Anything is possible, if you need to be able to drive to do your job, it could be in jeopardy. Consult an experienced DUI attorney if you are arrested, you have so much to lose, make sure that you aren't convicted.
A careful review of your case may find critical mistakes. Each may work in your favor and result in a dismissal of your case
What happens after you've been arrested for a OUI in Boston?
On the 15th July 2013, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a Notice for the purpose of formally notifying all Financial Services License Holders of the recent publication of the Malta Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) Annual Report for 2012, issued in terms of Article 42(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (Chapter 373, Laws of Malta).
Each state has unique laws governing drinking and driving. Continue reading to learn about Arizona’s DUI administrative and criminal statutes.
The European Central Bank ("ECB") and the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee ("ECON") have issued opinions following the adoption by the European Commission, on 5th February 2013, of a Proposal for a Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and a Proposal for a Regulation on Information Accompanying Transfers of Funds, to reinforce the EU's existing rules on anti-money laundering and fund transfers.
The “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” is set to go into effect on October 1, 2013 and has already come under criticism for being too weak, leaving a lot to be desired in the realm of enforcement.
The Hamburg Labor Court recently ruled that the strong suspicion of credit memos belonging to a business being used for private purposes can justify an extraordinary dismissal.
Sometimes jail just isn’t the answer. To help combat criminal activity in a more effective manner, alternatives to the standard criminal sentencing are being used, namely, drug courts.
The Florida Community Control Program places offenders under house arrest or electronic surveillance as an alternative to a traditional incarceration sentence.
A recent program has been initiated by the National Traffic Safety Board, and it is referred to as the “Sniffer.” The “Sniffer,” has been overshadowed by another proposal to decrease BAC levels from 0.08% to 0.05%; however, if enacted, it may have just as serious implications to drivers apprehended for driving under the influence.
Unlike speeding tickets, which are considered to be civil violations a reckless driving charge is defined as a criminal offense and comes with more, and more severe penalties. One will not be able to simply pay a fine and move on with their life if they are charged with a willful or wanton act.
Pursuant to the Illinois Driver License Compact (625 ILCS 5/6-700), the ‘home state’ of a driving license holder is the state which has issued and has the power to suspend or revoke the use of the license or permit to operate a motor vehicle.
One of the more recent technological advancements in the criminal justice world is DNA analysis. More and more frequently, especially in Texas, DNA evidence gathered from a crime scene is used to identify someone who may have been present. It is also used to exclude someone from consideration as a suspect or to save him or her from a wrongful conviction.
Becoming the subject of an Internet investigation related to the online solicitation of a minor is life altering. Not only are there criminal penalties, but also if convicted sex offender registration rules apply and jobs and housing can be hard to come by with required background checks.
The Michigan MIP law allows Courts to dismiss the case if the minor successfully completes a probationary period. Deferred prosecution protects the underage drinker from jail and a permanent criminal record. On the other hand, the repeat offender faces potential jail time, costly probation conditions and a mandatory license suspension.
Minnesota DWI Laws can be very difficult for drivers that choose to drive under the influence of alcohol. But, they can be especially harsh for those individuals that possess a commercial driver's license.
If you have received a careless driving ticket in Broward or Miami-Dade County, you probably got the ticket due to being involved in an automobile accident where the officer investigating the accident found you to be at fault or the cause of the crash. A careless driving charge in Florida carries a four point penalty against your license. If you pay the ticket outright, these points will be assessed on your license, which will cause your car insurance rates to increase.
Employees who are wrongly accused of theft or who made an innocent mistake that is interpreted as fraud have even more on the line than the businesses themselves.
Every criminal defense in Michigan rests on the strength of the Prosecutor's evidence. Discovery is essential to a successful criminal defense strategy. Discovery is the stage where your Defense Attorney submits a written demand to inspect the evidence, and get copies of all reports. If the Prosecutor refuses to comply with the Discovery Demand, the Court may issue and Order Compelling Discovery, which directs the Prosecutor to release the evidence.
Several banking giants, such as HSBC and Standard Chartered, are currently being investigated by US regulators for alleged failings in anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. All fingers point to lapses involving outsourcing units operating without adequate oversight.
Internet solicitation of children and teens has been a persistent problem following the immense popularity of the Internet as a means of information and communication. The state of Florida has put in place adequate laws to deal with this problem firmly and reduce the risk of Internet surfers becoming victims of such online solicitation.
People with a one drug possession conviction lose Student Financial Aid eligibility for one year from conviction date. People with two drug possession convictions or one drug sales/delivery conviction lose eligibility for two years. Those with three drug possession convictions or two drug sales convictions are ineligible indefinitely.
When a motorcycle accident is caused by drunk driver crash the consequences for the victim may be more serious.
What do I do if I get pulled over and have had a little bit too much to drink and think I’m about to be arrested for driving under the influence?
In the United States, the US Constitution's 4th Amendment provides protection for US citizens from unreasonable search and seizure.
In January 2013, a pilot was arrested after failing a breathalyzer test in the cockpit. The pilot was about to take off with more than 50 passengers aboard the plane.
A DUI in Oregon is actually a DUII, which stands for driving under the influence of intoxicants. Drivers who are found operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher are considered legally drunk, whether they have shown impairment of driving abilities or not.
The Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse reports that approximately 16,000 alcohol-related traffic accident deaths occur every year in the United States. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol plays a role in about one out of every three traffic fatalities.
In any situation, and for any alleged crime, police and other government officials have guidelines and limitations on their power to gather evidence against a suspect.
Most people are very aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, but texting while driving is becoming just as serious a threat on our public roadways.
From the tragic Station Night Club fire came a decision from the Rhode Island Supreme Court discussing R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-28-5. See Derderian v. Essex Ins. Co., 44 A. 3d 122 (R.I. 2012).
Felony traffic offenses are the most serious type of criminal traffic offenses.
Imagine finding the job of your dreams-only to be told you don't qualify because of a conviction from many years ago. Or imagine being able to get rid of that cloak of doubt that fills your head every time you see a checkmarked box that asks if you've been convicted of a crime. By expunging your criminal record, you can honestly answer “no” to this question, and employers outside of government agencies will not be able to see any past offenses.
Sex offender registries exist in one form or another across the nation, but there are differences state to state. However, most (if not all) state registries are public in nature.
Privacy is a thing of the past, and in a matter of minutes potential employers can have the ability to access public arrest records. In fact, in 2010 73% of companies conducted a criminal background check for all candidates.
Drug manufacturing offenses can be charged for the cultivation, production or possession of items necessary for the creation or growth of illegal drugs.
The driver of a semi truck got lots of attention on the morning of March 18th, 2013 when he drove for about 10 miles in the wrong direction on an interstate. Police dispatchers were first alerted to the wayward semi a little after four in the morning, when motorists began calling in handfuls to report the truck, which many reported forced them to swerve in order to avoid a collision.
While the Internet, email, smartphones, and the widespread usage of social media sites have improved our lives in many ways, they have also unfortunately become the breeding grounds for new types of crime.
This article describes the most common defenses used when facing a criminal charge. It's important that the accused are made aware of their rights so that they can properly defend oneself. Briefly describes self-defense, statute of limitations, alibis, entrapment, and insanity defense strategies.
An August 2011 sexual assault case that brings into question the validity of drunken consent to sex, is still being debated in Steubenville, Ohio. Members of organizations that work with victims of sexual assault across the country are pleased with the national attention this particular case is receiving, and regardless of the outcome, anticipate that the publicity will deter related crimes.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely caught wind of the viral news story about Miami’s bad girl du jour: the foul-mouthed, bird-flipping teen Penelope Soto. Here’s a recap of the infamous February 2013 courtroom incident:
In imposing sentences in Federal Court judges are required to consider the advisory sentencing guidelines adopted by the United States Sentencing Commission.
The state of Arizona has extremely harsh penalties for DUI convictions. Starting in 2012, the Arizona legislature passed a bill to lessen some of those penalties.
A mugshot is a photographic portrait taken of a defendant by the police department after the defendant has been arrested and is in police custody. Typically, the arrestee will take one front-view photo and one-side view photo. The purpose of a mugshot is to provide law enforcement with a photographic database of all arrested individuals, which is then often used by victims and investigators for identification purposes.
The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division serves the American public by conducting criminal investigations regarding alleged tax violation and various money laundering statutes. The IRS is the only federal agency that can investigate potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code. There is a long, complicated investigation process involving many levels of personnel that goes into prosecuting these types of criminals.
A cab driver was taken to the hospital after being assaulted and battered by a customer who didn’t want to pay his fare. According to reports, the driver of the cab had just finished dropping off four customers when one of the customers pulled a handgun and used it to strike the cab driver in the head.
Law enforcement officials agree that intoxicated driving during the day is a rising problem.
The Hawaii Department of Taxation has announced its goals for 2013, and the #1 goal is to increase voluntary compliance. The Department is going to focus its outreach and enforcement efforts on non-compliant groups, including non-residents and persons "new" to the tax system.