Criminal Law Articles
Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Criminal Law.
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?
The vast majority of criminal cases never go to trial. These cases are either disposed of by a plea bargain or dismissed outright. This article explains two common ways by which criminal cases are disposed of in a plea bargain that may also result in a dismissal upon completion.
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?
A few weeks ago, we discussed the criminal consequences of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge in Texas. This article covers some of the civil (i.e. non-criminal) consequences that you might face as a result of a DWI charge.
The disclosure of student records can be important an issue in litigation, including cases involving students and educational matters, child custody and support cases and other areas of civil litigation.
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.
The first consequence that most people think of is, of course, jail time. The amount of jail time that can be imposed varies, depending on the level of the offense and the circumstances of the offense.
Like expunctions, orders of non-disclosure can prevent the disclosure, from the general public, of the existence of a criminal record.
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.
In Florida, domestic violence is defined as any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
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.
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.
A criminal record can have far-reaching consequences, even if the criminal charges do not result in a conviction. Fortunately, Texas law provides an opportunity for expunction to people who were arrested but their cases were dismissed or they were found not guilty after trial. However, you will not be eligible for an expunction if you were placed on probation, deferred adjudication, or you finished your case by doing jail time.
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.
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?
A good divorce lawyer can be a tremendous resource during the divorce process. However, it can be difficult to find an attorney when there are often so many to choose from and only limited information that you have about prospects. Use this guide to help you retain a lawyer who will assist you throughout the divorce process.
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.
Simply put, burglary involves entering a house, structure, business, or vehicle without the consent of the owner and with the intent to commit a criminal offense once inside. Burglary is an invasive property crime that can have some very serious, life altering consequences for the accused person.
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.
The Dallas police department dropped charges against a Texas civil court judge after a month-long investigation. According to investigators, the lack of evidence presented in the case meant the charges would never hold up to a conviction in court.
Holiday weekends are known for increased DWI arrests and tragic alcohol related traffic fatalities. In an effort to thwart this trend, Texas increased no-refusal checkpoints across the state for the 2014 4th of July Weekend.
Did you know that in Texas, DWI offenses do not always involve driving under the influence of alcohol. Also, in Texas a DWI is not the same thing as a DUI. There are many driving under the influence and operating while impaired laws unique to Texas.
It is against the law for police or law enforcement officers to search you and your property without a warrant or consent. However, in some cases this does not stop them. That doesn't mean that the evidence obtained against you illegally cannot be used in court though. In some instances, evidence obtained in an illegal or warrantless search can still be used in Texas courts.
When you get a traffic ticket, consider the following issues before deciding whether to fight the ticket:
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is zeroing in on boaters and watercraft operators driving under the influence of alcohol. Local task forces have been developed in various high volume boating and recreation areas across Texas.
Did you know you can get a DWI for driving a golf cart while intoxicated? Driving a golf cart under the influence of alcohol is a crime in Texas, depending on your speed and where you are driving the cart.
When an individual is sentenced for a specific crime and is out on probation, it is absolutely essential that he or she complies with the terms of that probation. Terms of probation can include refraining from using illegal drugs, consuming alcohol, possessing a weapon or even committing a new crime. If the defendant violates their probation, the probation officer can file a document that is called “Petition to Revoke Probation” and can issue a warrant for the person’s arrest.
Many states are legalizing marijuana, but in Texas the possession of marijuana is still a crime. Still farmers continue to grow the valuable cash crop along Texas' fertile farmlands. Learn what the penalties and fines are for possessing marijuana in Texas, and what the future may hold for the legalization of marijuana in Texas.
Arizona law includes punishments when someone violates an order of protection in the state. A judge will usually issue an order of protection or restraining order in response to a person’s fear of possible harassment, assault or domestic violence. The defendant might not know that a person has requested an order until they are served with papers. Once the defendant receives the order, it is in effect for a full year.
Child pornography offenses are one of the fastest growing crimes in California, with a 150% increase in detection and arrests each year. As more and more people are caught in police stings as a result of Task Force operations, it is increasingly apparent that people accused of this crime come from all walks of life.
This question comes up more and more often as the United States continues to increase enforcement and lower Blood Alcohol limits. The short answer is No, you can’t get into Canada with a DUI, a DWI, or any state’s equivalent charge. At least not without jumping through a series of hoops set up by the Canadian government.
Along with facing criminal penalties and fines, a person who is arrested for DUI may also face the possibility of losing his or her job. Whether this possibility becomes a reality depends on a number of specifics, including the type of job you have and the terms of that employment.
Florida Sentencing Enhancements Pt. 2: Habitual Felony Offenders & Habitual Violent Felony Offenders
This article presents an overview of the Habitual Felony Offender and Habitual Violent Felony Offender statutes. Unlike the PRR statute, which precludes the court from imposing a sentence that is less than the statutory maximum, these recidivist provisions increase the statutory maximum and, in the case of an HVFO, impose certain minimum mandatory prison terms as well.
The San Francisco Bay Area has seen a recent change in way prostitution is being prosecuted. Traditionally, prostitution and solicitation of prostitution were charged as low level misdemeanors. However, defendants are now being charged with serious felonies. It is important to understand who can be charged with these crimes and why the authorities are changing their policies.
It seems that we're hearing more and more about children being left in cars on a hot summer day as the parent goes shopping or to a hair salon, but is their a legitimate surge in these cases or is the media covering them more often?
Injured victims of crime can use civil lawsuits to seek justice, hold responsible parties accountable, prevent future crimes, and obtain the financial resources victims need to rebuild their lives.
Posting a bond can be an intimidating procedure, especially if a loved one is sitting in jail and you’ve never had any experience with the criminal legal system before. While the details can get confusing, there are essentially two ways to post a bond. An individual can post a bond for a family member, friend, or loved one, or a professional bondsman can post a bond for a criminal defendant.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published on the 4th of July 2014 an Opinion addressed to the EU Council, European Commission and European Parliament setting out the requirements that would be needed to regulate ‘virtual currencies'.
By Brown, PC
In 2008, when it was revealed that wealthy individuals around the world were utilizing accounts and trusts in Liechtenstein to evade taxes, the United States initiated a coordinated effort with foreign governments to combat tax evasion through the use of offshore trusts and accounts. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has since launched criminal investigations of several foreign banks, many of which are ongoing.
The summer is a time for BBQ’s and celebrations, but drunken driving arrests and accidents often increase during the summer months as well.
Enjoying a few drinks while socializing is a popular way to spend a Friday or Saturday night for many people. Frequenting a bar during happy hour with some friends after work is also quite common. A-list celebrities may be able to afford a driver to chauffeur them around to these types of events, but the majority of us instead get from point A to point B by driving.
If parents consent to a relation between a minor an adult, is it crime? The answer is more complex then it may seem at first.
A strict Voter ID law was struck down in Wisconsin, just as Virginia prepares to implement its own similar law.
When it comes time to try a case, there are sometimes a few options. In criminal cases, matters are almost always decided by a jury. But, in civil cases, one can often opt to have either a jury or a judge decide the case. So which is better? Are there any advantages to one over the other?
Florida has some harsh recidivist sentencing statutes, the most draconian of which is the PRR statute. This article outlines the circumstances under which the statute applies, and its implications for an accused person.
More and more people are being thrown in jail for petty reasons.
Attaining success in a criminal case is not an easy feat and requires close cooperation between the accused person and their attorney. The stakes are high considering the fact that your freedom is at risk with possible long term ramifications and legal financial implications. There should be high a level of communication exchange between you and the criminal lawyer assisting with your case.
For individuals dealing with internet crimes in Las Vegas Nevada or Larceny charges, here are a few details about what this means to you.
Many people travel to the state of Florida from other states as it is the home to many popular vacation spots. While on vacation, many people may consume alcohol while enjoying the beautiful beaches, plentiful clubs and bars, and luxurious weather. Sometimes an out-of-town guest can consume too much alcohol before getting behind the wheel of an automobile.
A brief overview of the jury trial process in the State of Florida.
Moneyval's Statement Calling for Enhanced Due Diligence Measures for Bosnia and Herzegovina Transactions
On 1st June 2014, the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL) issued a public statement about the persistence of deficiencies in the anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
By CTM Avvocati
New criminal offences under Italian Law - Commercial Bribery and Undue inducement to give or promise benefits - Corporations at risk of fines and disqualification sanctions if not compliant - Setting up or updating a compliance program.
Driving under the influence, called operating a vehicle under the influence in Ohio, is typically a misdemeanor of the first degree. The mandatory minimum penalties on a first offense OVI conviction include 3 days in jail or 72 hours in a driver intervention program, a $375 fine, and a driver’s license suspension for 6 months.
A practitioner must always be cognizant of the possibility of a defendant's Grand Jury testimony being used at trial. This article explains how it is that this can happen.
By CTM Avvocati
Italian law on corporate liability in Italy is more and more being used as a powerful tool to involve corporations in criminal proceedings in order to push them towards a new culture of ethical corporate governance. In this article Marco Cozza outlines the legal framework and considers its likely impact on companies, top executives and shareholders.
So I am going to be sentenced...what should I do?
You’re driving along, minding your own business, when suddenly you see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. Your stomach sinks and your heart beats faster as you tick through the possible reasons for the stop. No matter the situation, it is never good news. Wouldn’t it be nice to minimize the chances of being stopped in the first place? Here are 5 easy tips to dramatically decrease the chances of being stopped by the police.
We have recently blogged about the tragic DUI fatality case in which Ever Olivos-Gutierrez has been accused of driving drunk and killing Juan Carlos Dominguez-Palomino, a 17 year old boy. Olivos-Gutierrez is an illegal immigrant with several prior DUI and Driving Under Suspension convictions. His blood alcohol content was 4 times above the legal limit, and he attempted to flee the scene after the collision.
FBAR and FATCA are two important abbreviations for those who have overseas financial interests. Failure to file the FBAR report, in view of the IRS’s continuing application of FATCA, can get you into what old military veterans used to call FUBAR.
The payment of the cheque (check in American English) should not be conditional. Whereas, if the payment of the cheque was related to some conditions, and those conditions were not fulfilled, the cheque will still remain due on its date
Cheque (Check in American English) is a replacement for money. It is one of the most common methods to execute payments especially in commercial transactions. Since a cheque is meant to replace money, people must have trust in it. Therefore the UAE penal law levied a punishment against anyone issuing insufficient funds its due date. Such a crime is known as the bounce cheque crime.
Tax cases are document-intensive cases. As any white-collar criminal defense attorney knows all too well, summonses and grand jury subpoenas routinely seek documents. And there is a good reason why. If the government cannot get the requested documents, it often cannot make a case. It is for this reason that the seminal issue in document production cases is whether the taxpayer has a Fifth Amendment privilege with respect to documents that he possesses.
Most clients ask me, after being arrested (or questioned by law enforcement about the commission of a crime), what they can expect next. What follows is a brief overview of the process by which cases are prosecuted in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco Counties, Florida.
Recently we posted a story about how Colorado has chosen to regulate its now legal edible marijuana industry. Alongside gourmet goodies are the issues of safety and protection of consumers. Starting in June all edible marijuana goods must contain less than 100mg of THC. Meanwhile, just a few states away in Texas, a 19 year old caught with hash brownies faces a potential life sentence. What a difference a few hundred miles can make.
Be absolutely free from the driving rules - is the most popular "law" in the Egypt for car holders. There are probably only women drive carefully but that fact doesn't decrease the count of accidents with people on the streets. Car accident may happen with anyone in any country. Here an a real example of financial fraud according to the car troubles.
Mistakes foreigners make in Egypt when theft has happened to them.
Foreigners in Egypt often have to deal with unpleasant situations, from minor annoyances like stolen change to serious instances like vehicle thefts, beatings and perhaps even real threats to life. In most, if not all cases, an international lawyer should be involved immediately. It’s not because some Egyptians (i.e., criminals in Egypt) have a rather vague notion of ‘just’ and ‘right’, but rather so that you always know how to come out on top of a situation and are protected at every step.
Peer-to-peer networks are commonly used in child pornography investigations. It's important to understand what they are and how they are searched. From a defense standpoint, it is important to understand whether the accused was knowledgeable about the network's settings as that can impact the charges filed.
The United States Sentencing Commission recently released its 2014 first quarter report. The report indicates a continuing trend regarding child pornography sentences.
United States v. Tweel is the most famous example of a motion to suppress in a tax case. In Tweel, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that it constitutes trickery, fraud, and deceit for the IRS to conduct a criminal investigation under the guise of a civil examination. Because of how fact-sensitive the holding of this case is, a recitation of the facts is necessary.
A large portion of the whistleblower lawsuits that are filed are related to the healthcare industry. The government funding of Medicare and Medicaid has lead to the large number of complaints related to healthcare fraud.
A financial advisor was recently arrested at a seminar in Los Angeles on financial elder abuse charges.
Theft occurs when immovable property is involuntarily handed over to another person and he, knowingly retains it. As for all crimes, it needs the presence of mens rea and actus rea.
Californian criminal defense is a complex field, involving numerous state and federal statuses, as well as other regulations. Thereby, if you happen to need a criminal defense, it’s imperative to make an informed decision when choosing an expert attorney.
Currently serving as the state Representative for the 49th District in the Texas House, Elliot Naishtat made his seventh attempt at bringing medical marijuana to the lone star state earlier this week. While the proposed bill does not suggest legalization of medicinal or recreational marijuana, it could offer an alternative to criminal charges for certain users.
Since legalizing, Colorado’s marijuana industry has grown up over night with plenty of potential for growers and sellers. Everyone is looking for a piece of the proverbial pot pie, even the bakers and chefs.
Do you know what are your rights if you are related into some crime or illegal things in China? You may know what you can do in USA, but here in China things are totally different.
Law That May Reduce Tax Evasion Goes Into Effect On July 1 The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) became law in the United States in 2010, but the clock is still ticking on its implementation. The clock will stop ticking on July 1, 2014.
Contrary to popular belief, the IRS doesn’t want to throw you in jail. Criminal investigations consume a lot of resources, take time, and are expensive. For most taxpayers, a criminal investigation isn’t a first step, but rather the last step in a lengthy process to get you to resolve your tax debt. In other words, it’s rare that an agent will show up on your doorstep one day with cuffs in hand.
Nominated for the Supreme Court in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, when Justice Stevens retired in June 2010 he was the third longest-serving judge in United States history. Justice Stevens was born on April 20, 1920 and to call him an old-timer would not be an understatement.
It should come as no surprise that the IRS has authority to assess FBAR civil penalties. However, what might come as a surprise is that an FBAR violation doesn’t automatically mean that a penalty will be asserted. Why not?
United States citizens, residents and other persons must annually report their direct or indirect financial interest in, or signature authority over, a financial account that is maintained with a financial institution located in a foreign country if, for any calendar year, the aggregate value of all foreign accounts exceeded $ 10,000 at any time during the year.
Nothing can ruin a great vacation in sunny Florida like getting arrested for a DUI offense. What happens when you are arrested out of your home state for a DUI and what can you do about it? Here's how you can do everything you can to make sure what happens in Florida doesn't come back to haunt you in the future.
Wherever you have been for the past year, the issue of Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law has been a hot topic all around the country.