Were You Charged With Criminal Activity During Nationwide BLM Protests?

It’s hard to avoid the fact that police have recently been generalized for causing the very criminal activity they are tasked with preventing. And that generalization certainly rubs some people the wrong way. But those people should keep in mind that African Americans have been generalized the same way for hundreds of years — and it makes far less sense to judge someone based on the color of their skin than it does to judge them based on their own chosen profession.

Police are acting out with violence against protesters, the vast majority of whom have been completely peaceful. That’s not an opinion. It’s a fact. There have been literally hundreds of cases documented with video over the past two weeks alone. Hundreds of arrests have followed lawful activity. This is incomprehensible for the leaders of the free world — and we won’t tolerate it. 

Have you been charged with a crime while present at a nationwide protest? We want to hear your story. While we understand that many protesters also stand accused of civil disobedience, not everyone is guilty of it. You have the right to legal representation when accused of a crime, whether you are guilty or not. Find yourself a qualified criminal defense attorney to discuss the details of your case.

There are alternative options available as well. 

The LAPD is currently under civil suit for its arrest of over 2,600 peaceful protesters. Many of those arrested were detained for long periods of time in cramped buses without proper access to bathrooms or even medical care for injuries sustained — and all this during a pandemic. The suit also alleges that the Los Angeles Police Department is guilty of using excessive force to arrest many of these individuals. 

BLM-LA said that “the LAPD used force to terminate the protests, including the indiscriminate use of ‘less lethal’ weapons that caused injury.”

Why Is It So Difficult To Prosecute Rapists?

The numbers are staggering. For every 1,000 sexual assault or rape crimes, only four or five perpetrators will actually spend time in felony convictions and subsequent prison time. The crime itself is one about power and control. The victims are hammered with deep emotional shame after being subject to this kind of criminal act — and perhaps that is why so few come forward to tell their story or make sure the people responsible are held accountable.

The sad statistics regarding sexual assault don’t end there. Only 230 of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to the authorities. Only 46 of those reports result in an arrest. If that weren’t bad enough, prosecutors will only ever see a shockingly low number of these cases: nine.

Young women of college-age are slightly less likely to report the crime than their elderly counterparts. Women who are working as members of the United States military are about twice as likely to report. Men who experience sexual assault almost never come forward.

The reasons why people choose not to report the crimes help to shed some light on the overall frame of mind they experience. Many victims fear retaliation, or they don’t think the police can or will help — even if they could. Many have a personal relationship with the attacker and don’t want him or her in legal hot water. A shocking eight percent of victims don’t believe the crime is important enough to report!

Rape cases are also difficult to prove. Many activists even believe that “rape culture” in the United States promotes a criminal justice system that protects the abuser instead of the victim.

One issue is word of mouth. Many victims who choose to come forward are inevitably put under the microscope, not just by lawyers and prosecutors but also by friends and family. They’ve already been traumatized by the assault — but then they go through it all over again when people they’ve trusted their entire lives begin to question their experiences as a victim. Evidence gathering can be nearly as painful and traumatizing as the rape itself.

One of the biggest reasons that rape cases aren’t prosecuted, even when evidence exists, is one of the most mind-blowing: they call it the “CSI effect.” Prosecutors think that American jurors who have been spoon-fed procedural TV shows like CSI expect that real cases will play out similarly or the same — and that means that prosecutors should have plenty of reliable physical evidence to make a slam dunk when closing a case.

Unfortunately the real world does not work like CSI and victims are left behind because no one accepts that fact.

Ponzi Schemes: How They Work

A Ponzi Scheme is a type of fraud that promises high returns with little risk to investors. New investors’ money is then used to pay off early investors. So on and so forth. Early investors get suspicious because they don’t continue to see returns, this means that even more investors need to be added to keep the cash flowing. Eventually, there isn’t enough money to go around and the scheme usually unravels.

A Ponzi scheme is not the same thing as a pyramid scheme. The main difference is that in a Ponzi scheme, you are just asked to hand over your money. There is no more action required on your part. The schemer is in charge of shuffling the money around and making it look like profits. In a pyramid scheme, you often have to recruit more people like yourself, sell to them, and then they have to do the same. Then you get paid a portion of the profits that you bring in. While the difference seems slight, it’s important to note that a Ponzi scheme is ALWAYS illegal because the shuffling of money from one account to another is a form of securities fraud. It requires deceit to convince a person to invest money that won’t actually be invested into anything.

The biggest Ponzi scheme finally unraveled in 2008. Bernie Madoff admitted that his company Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities was not a real company. He took roughly $65 million dollars from investors over the course of two decades. He conned famous celebrities such as Steven Speilberg, Kevin Bacon and Zsa Zsa Gabor as well as banks and charities. Madoff pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 150 years in prison in June of 2009. But how could this Ponzi scheme last for two decades before unraveling?

1) Madoff helped create the NASDAQ and was considered a financial expert
2) He didn’t promise huge returns. Instead, he provided consistent returns to his investors
3) He was also running a legitimate business at the same time
4) Whenever an investor requested a withdrawal, they received their money promptly.

Is It Time For Trump To Hire A Criminal Defense Lawyer?

The walls are closing in around the Trump Administration’s possible collaboration with high-ranking government officials in the Russian government to take down Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign season. It sounds like a story straight out of FOX’s 24, but it’s real–just without the body count that Jack Bauer usually racks up, and sadly over a much more extended period of time.

At this point it seems beyond any reasonable doubt that President Trump has committed a number of crimes both before and during his time in office, and that he could be indicted for his crimes any day now (although it’s probably far more likely that prosecutors will hold off for a couple years to hammer him when he leaves office). Does Trump need a criminal defense lawyer?

The answer to that question is a resounding: YES. Maybe a better one than he’s already got. When you break the law and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to win the marathon he’s been running to collect information about this scandal, you definitely need a qualified attorney to start poking holes in his story (even though the task is nigh impossible). Of course if you look at FOX news going back for months, it’s all just a witch hunt. Trump seems to agree.

He even goes so far as to say that the recent Cohen documents dumped by Mueller’s team actually vindicate him, when they couldn’t more clearly implicate him. That seems to be Trump’s currently legal strategy. Claim his opponents said the opposite of whatever they really say.

On the flip side of the fringe political entities, CNN seems to believe that Mueller should seek a one on one interview with Trump. The reason for this is simple. Right now, it’s up in the air whether or not Mueller’s team will use its authority to press charges and try to prosecute Trump for the crimes we already know he’s committed, potentially in addition to a long list of others.

What Mueller can do is sit Trump’s ass down in a chair, provide him with a laundry list of all the damning evidence, and let him predictably and inevitably lie through his teeth. If nothing more, we’ll be left with a sitting president under indictment for a hell of a perjury scandal. Trump’s lawyers know that this card could be played, and they’ve stonewalled the Mueller investigation in every possible way to ensure that Trump never sits down for such an interview.

What will happen in the coming weeks? It’s anyone’s guess, but a list of crimes is probably forthcoming.

8 Types Of Common White-Collar Crimes

We don’t often hear about white-collar crimes unless they occur at the highest level, but you should be familiar with what they are in case you are ever accused of committing one. White-collar crime is a branch of non-violent criminal activity that includes financial gain as its primary motivator. The crime is most often committing by individuals with a strong background in business or government.

Here are a few different types of white-collar crimes:

Fraud. This type of crime is committed with simple deception for any sort of gain. The motivation is usually monetary, but perhaps the perpetrator wants travel documents, land, or other legal rights that aren’t easily obtained.

Ponzi Scheme. This is a type of fraud. If you find an investor for a falsified business plan only to use the initial investments to acquire more investors while you reap the monetary gains, you’ve constructed a Ponzi scheme.

Insider Trading. If you base decisions about trading your own company’s stock based on information that hasn’t been made public, you’re conducting insider trading.

Bribery. It’s similar to something in the legal world we call quid pro quo. You give me something, I give you something in return. The biggest difference between the two is that quid pro quo generally involves favors between two people on equal footing, whereas bribery involves the unfair influencing of officials who are in charge of a particular station.

If you’re not sure if something is a favor or if it is bribery, then check with a lawyer.

Embezzlement. If you were to siphon off a company’s money into your own account without the company’s awareness, you’re embezzling the cash.

Cybercrime. It is any criminal activity using computers and the internet to pull off. Cybercrime isn’t always motivated by monetary gain. Sometimes the perpetrator wants to damage the reputation of an individual or a company.

Copyright Infringement. This crime is often referred to as piracy by the media and those who commit it, and it’s one of the most common types of white-collar crimes. If you steal a work protected by copyright, you’ve infringed on the copyright. This occurs when you illegally download a work of art without paying for it. Other examples include the reproduction or dissemination of the stolen work.

Racketeering. These crimes are part of organized criminal activity. There is a “legitimate” cover for the underlying activity, such as a business.

If you have been accused of a white collar crime, then your best option is to contact a defense attorney. However, in the event of your untimely death, a Houston estate planning attorney will be able to help your loved ones with their financial future.

What Are Some Of The Consequences Of Registering As A Sex Offender?

Sex offenders face serious consequences even after they have completed their sentences. If someone has to register as a sex offender, they will be subject to a number of rules and restrictions. Read on to learn more about some of the consequences that registered sex offenders face.

Limits On Where A Person Can Live Or Work

There are strict limits regarding where a sex offender can live or work. Obviously, a sex offender will not be eligible for a job that requires them to work with children. Many employers will choose not to hire convicted sex offenders.

Sex offenders are typically banned from living near schools. In many areas, landlords can also choose to refuse to rent to sex offenders. In some areas, sex offenders also have restrictions on where they can travel. For example, a sex offender may not be permitted to come within 100 feet of a school.

Obligation To Report Sex Offender Status

In some areas, sex offenders have to report their status to people that live in their area. Offenders are not necessarily required to report their status in person. In most cases, flyers or letters will be distributed so that people in the area are informed. Typically, registered sex offenders are also required to be a part of a searchable database.

Restrictions On Access To Websites And Social Media

It’s common for sex offenders to groom children through social media and other websites. If a registered sex offender has engaged in this sort of behavior, they may be banned from accessing these sites in the future. Examples of sites that sex offenders have been banned from include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Sex offenders may also be banned from using apps like Snapchat.

Monitoring From Law Enforcement

Because sex offenders are more likely to re-offend than many other criminals, they are often monitored by law enforcement. A sex offender may be required to check in with officers in their area on a regular basis. If a sex offender is on probation, they will have to check in with their probation officer as well.

Bans On Activities Involving Children

Many convicted sex offenders are banned from participating in activities that involve children. For example, a sex offender may not be able to volunteer at events or take certain types of classes.

Religious activities are also included in these bans. In some cases, a sex offender may no longer be able to attend their church or participate in religious celebrations.

Informal Consequences

Sex offenders face numerous legal consequences, but they also face societal consequences. People judge sex offenders very harshly, even if they don’t know the specifics of the crime. It can be difficult for convicted sex offenders to find communities that will welcome them.

Registered sex offenders should be fully aware of the restrictions they are supposed to abide by. Failure to comply with these restrictions could lead to additional jail time. Anyone with questions about these restrictions should contact a seasoned lawyer or their local law enforcement offices for more information.

What Are The Penalties Of A Sexual Assault Conviction?

Not everyone that is convicted of sexual assault suffers the same consequences. There are many penalties for a sexual assault conviction. Read on to learn more about these penalties and the things that can influence them.

State Penalties For Sexual Assault

Every state has its own laws regarding sexual assault sentences. In New York, sexual assault is a class D felony. In other states, like New Hampshire, sexual assault can be a misdemeanor.

Most states have a minimum and maximum sentence for sexual assault. For example, in Minnesota, the mandatory minimum for a first-degree sexual assault charge is 12 years. The maximum sentence is 30 years and a fine of $40,000.

In many states, offenders will be subject to additional penalties on top of their sentence. For example, many sexual assault offenders are subject to conditional release. This means that the offender may have to submit to monitoring and other restrictions even after they have completed their sentence.

The Penalties At The Federal Level

Federal sexual assault penalties are often more severe than state charges. At the federal level, the maximum sentence for sexual assault is 20 years in federal prison. In addition to prison time, the convicted may face additional penalties. For example, federal law allows someone to be fined and sentenced to prison.

Someone that is convicted of federal sexual assault charges will be required to compensate their victim for any expenses that are related to the crime. This could include medical bills, the cost of therapy, and attorneys fees.

Other Factors That Can Influence Sentences

Not all sexual assaults are treated equally. Sentences are much harsher for repeat offenders, and sentences are also more severe for offenders that were in a position of authority over the victim.

Sentences are typically more severe if the victim is under 13 of age. An offender that brandishes a weapon or causes physical harm to their victim could be subject to additional charges on top of their sexual assault charge.

What To Do If You’ve Been Charged With Sexual Assault

It’s crucial to talk to an attorney if you have been charged with a crime like sexual assault. As a matter of fact, your best option is to contact an attorney as soon as you are arrested. Your chances of a favorable outcome will increase if you get in touch with an attorney early on.

While any criminal defense attorney will be able to help you with a case like this, you’ll get better support from someone that specializes in sexual assault cases. Research some of the attorneys in your area so that you can find your best options.

If you or someone you know has been charged with sexual assault, you will want to learn more about the penalties of sexual assault in your state. Even if you intend to fight the charges, it is important to be aware of the obstacles that you are facing. Talk to a lawyer so that you can learn more about the punishments for sexual assault cases like yours.

Public Indecency

Public indecency in general terms refers to the acts involving nudity or sexual activity in the eye of the public many times with the intention to shock the masses, offend or even arouse them. It encompasses offenses criminal in nature such as indecent exposure and lewd conduct. Some states however make use of the term public indecency to mean other offenses related to nudity in public which includes the display, promotion or sale of obscene materials. The right of states to outlaw acts of public nudity was affirmed by the Supreme Court in the United States, insisting that the state has its interests set on protecting order in society and morality among the citizens and that nudity in public is not a free means of expression protected by the first Amendment Rights.

What Is Considered Public Indecency?

Any form of sexual activity in a public setting is considered illegal throughout the United States and in many countries altogether. However, different states differ in what is considered illegal nudity in public. This is determined by which body parts that are considered indecent, should they be exposed, and whether the particular state must make it proven that a perpetrator had a specific intention.

Other states are more lenient for instance the state of Vermont does not have strict prohibition on simple nudity in a public setting, with its only addressing statute towards public indecency applying to open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior. Similarly, a state appellate court ruled in the year 2000 that the indecent exposure statute  which specifically requires proof that a defendant acted willingly and lewdly- is only applicable should the defendant have had an intention to arouse his own self or another person.

Legal Exceptions

Breastfeeding which is a form of exposure, is however not considered as indecent exposure under the United states law but establishments such ass restaurants and businesses have no obligation to allow breast feeding in their premises but still must have policies that are applied consistently.

Lewd Conduct Statutes

Lewdness, from a more legal point of view, has a higher level of offensiveness that it gives as compared to indecency. Though indecent exposure statues refer to the public exposure of the more offensive parts of the body such as private parts, the anus and in some cases even the female breasts. Lewd conduct statutes on the other hand are concerned with sexual activity undertaken disrespectfully in public settings which could involve the obvious two people engaging in sexual activity, or any other kind of contact from the sexual organs in the public’s view. As such lewd conduct is a more severe crime as compared to acts of public indecency or exposure.

The distribution and display of materials that are considered obscene by many states is termed to be a form of public indecency. Their broadcasting on television and radio is prohibited by federal regulations. To learn more about public indecency, contact an experienced sex crimes attorney.

What Are The Penalties Of A Prostitution Charge?

Are you facing criminal charges for prostitution or solicitation? If you’ve been charged with a crime, you’ll want to make sure you are fully aware of the potential consequences. Here’s what you should know about the punishments associated with prostitution.

Prostitution Laws Vary From State To State

The punishments associated with prostitution and solicitation aren’t the same across the country. Every state has its own laws regarding these kinds of crimes. If you want to know what you are facing, you will want to learn more about the laws on the book in your state.

In Kansas, prostitution is classified as a misdemeanor if the defendant has no prior offenses. If someone has two or more offenses, however, they will be charged with a felony. In Ohio, prostitution is a third-degree misdemeanor. In Virginia, it is a class-1 misdemeanor. The more you know about the laws in your area, the better.

The Penalties For Solicitation May Be More Severe

The majority of states have similar penalties for prostitution and solicitation. That said, there are a handful of states in which the penalties for the customer of the prostitute are a lot more severe. Colorado, Massachusetts, and Nebraska are among the states that have laws like this on the books.

It’s important to know exactly what you are charged with if you are facing a prostitution charge. The more you know about the charge, the more likely it is that you will be able to obtain accurate information about sentencing.

What Are The Most Common Penalties?

Most states do not require first-time offenders to serve prison time. It’s common for people to be fined and sentenced with community service or probation. If someone re-offends while they are on probation, they could receive a more severe sentence. It’s also possible that the offender will be ordered to receive counseling.

Repeated offenses are far more likely to lead to jail time. In Florida, someone that has 3 or more offenses on their record could serve up to 5 years in prison. In South Carolina, a person with three or more offenses must serve a minimum of 1 year in prison.

Dealing With Prostitution Charges

Anyone that is charged with either prostitution or solicitation should meet with an attorney that specializes in handling these kinds of cases. The more experience an attorney has, the better. A lawyer will be able to look at the specifics of the case and come up with a course of action.

In many cases, your attorney will be able to negotiate with the judge and prosecutor so that the sentence you receive is less severe. Your attorney may be able to push for a specific type of sentence, like a fine. Set up an appointment at a law firm today so that you can talk over your case with a qualified professional.

There are many penalties associated with prostitution and solicitation. Some areas have very severe consequences for these crimes, while other areas have penalties that are a lot more severe. It’s best to talk to an attorney so that you can receive advice that is specific to your case.

How Is Manslaughter Different From Murder?

If you have ever watched a crime show, you might be wondering what the difference between manslaughter and murder is. Manslaughter and murder are both related to the killing of another human and are both serious crimes. However, the difference is in the intent of the killing.

The Difference In Intent

Manslaughter is considered a killing which was committed without forethought. This means that there was no pre-determined intent to kill, seriously harm or recklessly disregard human life. The absence of malicious forethought means that manslaughter is viewed as having less moral blame than murder. This makes manslaughter a serious crime, but one which has a lower punishment level compared to murder.

With murder, there is clear forethought which goes into the crime. This means that the perpetrator was planning to kill, seriously harm or has a complete disregard for human life. Murder will generally be charged when there is evidence that the killing was premeditated.

The Different Types Of Murder And Manslaughter

While murder and manslaughter are different, they also have different levels which can muddy the water a bit. There are 2 main variations of manslaughter which are voluntary and involuntary. They both refer to the killing of another person, involuntary manslaughter is very close to second-degree murder.

Voluntary manslaughter will generally be linked to crimes of passion where a person is seriously provoked and kills something in the heat of the moment. The situation which provokes the person will need to be one that would similarly provoke a reasonable person. If this is found to not be the case, the killing will be considered murder and charged as such. Additionally, if there was a cooling off period between the situation and the killing, it will be considered murder.

Involuntary manslaughter generally refers to an unintentional killing due to reckless conduct or criminal negligence. This form of manslaughter is where the subtleties between manslaughter and murder reach their peak. This is due to the fact that an accidental killing from extreme recklessness is considered second-degree murder.

Example Cases

There is an entire body of law which is dedicated to the differences between second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. The determination which is used in this body of law will generally come down to how morally blameworthy the defendant is found to be. An example of this would be when person A is driving a car and runs over person B killing them.

Person A may be convicted of involuntary manslaughter is the fact finders believe they acted recklessly. This means that he was more than generally negligent. This could include driving while drunk and in many states, this is known as vehicular manslaughter.

However, person A may also be convicted of second-degree murder if they exhibited behavior which is felt to be an extreme disregard for human life. This is often seen as malice aforethought and ensures that the charge is murder instead of manslaughter. This could happen if person A was driving under the influence after their license had been revoked for previous drunk driving offenses. Contact an experienced attorney to find out more details about such cases.