Criminal Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Criminal Law.
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?
After a natural catastrophe, riots, terrorist attack, or other devastating event, it is not uncommon for some members of society to take to the streets and begin taking almost anything they want. Sometimes looters only take necessities, like food, water, and toilet paper, but more often than not, looters are taking items of value like televisions, computers, jewelery, etc. How does the law deal with this and what are a person's rights when trying to prevent looting?
In United States v. Nosal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to determine the boundaries of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. It ultimately concluded that violations of an employer's computer use policy did not amount to "exceeding authorized access" under the CFAA.
The term “insider trading” seems to pop up in the news with a fair degree of frequency. Celebrities have even been accused of engaging in it, like Martha Stewart. But what is insider trading and why is it illegal?
Every year, millions of Americans visit the little bodegas and shops, often located in ethnic ghettos of large cities, to purchase counterfeit or knockoff designer goods. Others buy these items online, at flea markets, or dozens of other locations. Wherever one goes, there is some question as to the legality of such transactions. After all, one is knowingly buying a product that is a copy of a trademarked and copyrighted work. Is this legal?
Michigan assault charges can be defended by asserting self-defense. There is a Michigan Self-Defense statute, MCL 750.951 and jury instructions which protect a defendant's right to self-defense. In many cases, there’s no legal duty to retreat from an attacker -- at home or out in public. This is known as the Stand Your Ground defense.
In this modern digital age, it is often common for romantic partners, particularly those in long distance relationships, to exchange revealing photos of one another. These photos are often intended for the eyes of the receiver only. But, how can you be sure? What happens if you break up or the other person turns out to be less discrete than you had hoped? Is it illegal for someone to share those photos with others?
Service of process must be done accurately and according to the rules of each jurisdiction. Generally, three methods of process are permitted: personal service, substituted service, and service by publication. Personal service, or hand delivery, is always preferred as it is seen to be most accurate. Substituted service is allowed when the defendant is unable to be contacted in-person. Service by publication is only used as a last resort, as it is quite unreliable.
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are used by judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys to determine the possible sentence, or the range of a possible sentence, for any federal crime. They are based on the concept that each type of offense should result in a sentence within a determined range – adjusted to the high or low end of the range – depending on certain known factors, including the defendant’s criminal history.[i]
A criminal investigation conducted by the IRS is different from a civil investigation. Criminal investigation of taxpayer returns or fraudulent activity is conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS (CI). CI is the heavy artillery of the IRS arsenal.
In an “eggshell audit,” you must walk on eggshells to represent your client effectively in the civil examination without exposing the fraud, all the while honoring your duties to the tax system not to mislead the revenue agent.
To File or Not to File an Amended Return to Correct an Original Return That Has Criminal Tax Dimensions
Your client has filed a fraudulent return underreporting his tax liability. He now has misgivings. He comes to you and expresses great concern. What should you do?
Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when the loss could have been avoided. Often in cases of medical malpractice, those who are left behind after a loved one's passing wonder why the doctor is not going to jail for murder. Is it possible for one to charge a doctor with murder when their treatment of a patient was so poor as to result in death?
Admit it, you have probably thought about it. What can you legally say to a cop and get away with it? Maybe an officer pulled you over on the wrong day, maybe you distrust cops, or maybe you just like living on the edge. Whatever your reasoning, you might be surprised to find out that getting a little mouthy is not technically an automatic one way trip to jail.
For those who have never been to prison, considerations of prison food are probably not high on the list of concerns about prison conditions. But, many a prisoner has suffered through daily rations of “nutriloaf” and probably has a very different take on the matter.
Obviously, going to jail or prison involves having one's rights curtailed. But, that does not mean inmates in the United States are without basic human rights. Even the most hardened criminal has basic rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. If you or someone you know may be facing incarceration, you should know your rights, or what your friend or loved one's rights are or will be while behind bars.
Incarceration of any kind is designed to be an unpleasant experience. But, the policies, rights, and daily life of an inmate can be very different between these two types of institutions. So, what is the difference between jail and prison.
Most people understand that piracy of copyrighted works is illegal. But, many do not understand what piracy is or whether their role in the act of downloading pirated materials is a crime. Immense amount of data are downloaded everyday using file sharing programs called “torrent clients.” That means that millions of Americans are using torrents to share files, often containing pirated materials, which may leave you wondering, “Is it legal to download torrents?”
Child abuse and neglect are ugly realities. Turning a blind eye to the act can doom a child to serious injury, emotional trauma, or even death. Children are the victims least able to stand up for themselves since they depend entirely upon their parents for food, care, and legal status. So what do you do if you suspect child abuse or neglect? How can you report it and protect a child in danger?
After the recent economic downturn, the news was filled with stories about various Ponzi schemes. Bernie Madoff became notorious for defrauding millions of dollars from high-profile investors through such a scheme. So what is a Ponzi scheme and why is it illegal?
Bitcoin is a form of electronic currency that functions without being backed by any governmental authority. Bitcoin is often called a “cryptocurrency” because it is decentralized and uses a complicated system of cryptography to prevent double-spending. This form of currency has become a matter of great public interest as authorities debate whether it is legal and, if so, how they can regulate its use in illegal transactions and monitor it for tax purposes.
Whenever someone dies it is normal for the survivors to want to find an explanation and a person to blame. Unfortunately, in some cases, nobody is to blame, and it was just that person's time. But, in other cases, when the death could have been avoided and someone else was in a position to prevent it, a wrongful death may have occurred.
All too often stories appear on the news of children in trouble with the law. Some bring guns or knives to school, others are shoplifting or stealing cars, and of course, there are always the ones who get into fights. Often, public outcry demands that something be done against the parents as well as the child. So, who is responsible when a child breaks the law?
Most of us are familiar with the concept of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI), but how do these translate to boating? Is it illegal to boat while drunk? If one is cited for boating under the influence, will that affect their driving license? Can you be given a breathalyzer on your boat?
Many have wondered whether body paint is sufficient covering to be considered clothing such that a person could not be arrested for public nudity. This question becomes popular particularly around holidays like Halloween, but has often come up with relation to art projects, political protests, and even sporting events. As with so many things in the law, the answer is unsatisfactorily vague.