Criminal Laws

Under the Law, A Person is Innocent until Proven Guilty

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Criminal Laws | 0 comments

Every year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) makes more than 30,000 drug-related arrests. Despite these, plus the continuous surveillance and operation of law enforcement agencies to bust criminals and free streets of drug-related activities, including drug trafficking, distribution, possession and use of illegal narcotics (like cocaine, heroin, marijuana and 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) otherwise known as Ecstasy), illegal drugs continue to be a major problem in the country.

The use of illegal drug is linked to several major causes of death in the US, including homicide, suicide, violence, HIV infection, motor-vehicle injury, hepatitis and mental illness. This is why the US Federal Government has never stopped, but, rather, still intensified its war against illegal drug trade which heightened during the 1970s when various criminal groups from Mexico started smuggling marijuana, heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, amphetamine and methamphetamine in the US through various routes.

Many non-violent individuals suffer years of jail term due to the very wrong thought that smuggling drugs into the US is too easy money to pass up. Obviously, they willingly take the risk of being caught and being made to face heavy penalties in exchange for the big cash they believe thy will get in return.

A drug-related activity, most especially drug trafficking, is a serious federal crime with harsh mandatory sentences. For possession of drugs, for instance, most states carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 to 40 months imprisonment plus steep fines (other states also include many hours of community service, which will serve as additional penance for the crime). For drug trafficking, penalties can include: years of jail sentence; fine amounting to thousands of dollars; loss of right to vote until the completion of the entire felony sentence; loss of the right to carry a gun; and, loss of certain academic and professional opportunities.

Drug trafficking generally refers to the importation, exportation, production, sale, distribution and possession of prohibited drugs – a definition that is applied to all types of illegal substances. In its website (http://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ftp3.shtml), the U.S. DEA has posted a table that shows the federal trafficking penalties for illegal drugs falling under schedules I, II, III, IV, and V. It details the number of years in jail and the amount of fines based on the type and quantity of substance seized, and the number of offenses committed.

Criminal defense law firms, such as Truslow and Truslow, know that the effects of a conviction can ruin a person’s future even years after his/her conviction and despite having completed the terms of his/her sentence. Thus, though a person may be caught with illegal drugs in his/her possession, he/she stays innocent until proven guilty. Due to this, he/she is very much entitled to the most competent legal defense available which can help prove that he/she may not really be guilty of a crime after all.

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What is the Difference Between Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance?

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Criminal Laws | 0 comments

Tax evasion and tax avoidance tend to be misconstrued by a mass audience, thanks to the similarities in the connotations. To evade something is to escape it and to avoid something is to stay away from it. Those are pretty much the same thing, right?

That is where most people go wrong – and this is a mistake that could very well result into a criminal conviction.

Ask Westchester white collar crime lawyers and they’ll be the first to tell you that one of these terms is perfectly legal while the other is a federal offense. Tax evasion is willfully falsifying records in order to refrain from paying taxes or not paying taxes entirely. Tax avoidance is the difficult but legal way some people can avoid paying a large tax. There are many financial tricks and techniques in order to save money through lawful tax avoidance.

Evasion is illegal through the means of falsities. Tax evasion is also known as tax fraud and there are many ways to commit this crime such as unlawfully applying for benefits or deductions that you are not eligible for or not complying with the submission of your income report. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are not too keen to let this pass and so, if you are accused of tax evasion for actions that constitute as legal tax avoidance, it is so important to immediately consult with a defense attorney before giving any sort of statement.

Chances are that, if you have been approached by IRS agents on the grounds of tax evasion, there is a high probability that you have already been monitored for a long time. That gives you quite the disadvantage in terms of preparation. However, it is well within your constitutional rights to refuse to answer questioning without the counsel of your legal team.

It is then recommended to contact your chosen legal team immediately as soon as you are questioned for tax evasion.

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Your Rights when Dealing with Law Enforcement

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Criminal Laws | 0 comments

There may be quite a few ideas rattling around in your head when you think about what your rights are when dealing with a police office, most of which came from all the cop shows you watch when there is nothing else more interesting. Some may be right, but some may be wrong. You can get into a whole lot of trouble if you don’t know the difference. According to the Kohler Hart Powell, SC website, you need to be very careful about what you do and say, as it can be used against you. While this might sound as common sense, it is easy to forget about it when the situation occurs. Here are some of your basic rights when dealing with the police.

You don’t have to answer their questions

It is true. If you have done nothing wrong (or at least the police officer does not appear to suspect you of anything), you do not have to answer their questions or let them do a search of your clothing, cars, or bags. You can, of course, if you want to, but in general, it would be better to find out what they want first before consenting to anything. They may find something that you do not want them to, and the fact that you consented to it means whatever incriminating evidence they find can be used against you. They will not need a warrant if you waive your right against search-and-seizure.

You do have to show identification

While you do not have to answer their questions, you generally do need to show identification, especially when you are stopped by police for a traffic violation or if they have probable cause i.e. reckless driving. This is based on a stop-and-identify statute that many states have. In Wisconsin, however, the police can ask for ID, but you don’t have to give them one, although you must give your name.

You can get in trouble for talking too much

If you are stopped, but not arrested or compelled to stay, then you do not need to have your Miranda rights read to you. However, anything you say at this point may still be used against you, so it would be best to say nothing until they tell you what you need to know. If they refuse to tell you, you can simply walk away. If they take you into custody, then they have to read you your Miranda rights. At this point, you will probably want a lawyer.

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The Process of Expunction: Getting Past Criminal Records Sealed

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 in Criminal Laws | 0 comments

After receiving a criminal charge, starting over can be a real challenge. A criminal record can have significant effects on different aspects of your life, especially your employment status. Criminal charges can do a lot to a person’s reputation. Even if you were never formally convicted, bouncing back from established perceptions will take a lot of effort. One way you can mitigate these devastating effects is through the process of expunction.

Expunction is an option available for individuals looking to start over after a criminal charge. Through this legal process, an individual can ask the court to have past criminal records sealed from access of the general public. In some states, the court may even decide to allow certain individuals to answer no to questions regarding previous arrests or conviction that are typically asked during job interviews and other formal applications.

Circumstances that qualify for expunction vary from state to state. Most of the time, expunction is only granted to individuals who were charged or convicted of misdemeanors. However, based on specific circumstances, some states do seal criminal records that involve more serious charges. However, crimes such as murder, rape, and sexual battery are typically not eligible for the process. In some cases, certain states also require individuals to fulfill a specific waiting period before they can file an expunction case. Generally, as pointed out on the website of Ian Inglis: Attorney At Law, expunction is granted to individuals whose situations fall under the following conditions:

  • Acquittals
  • Arrests without conviction
  • Pardoned convictions
  • Juvenile offenses

Depending on the circumstances of your criminal charge, a few other factors might also need to be considered before you can file for an expunction. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is the only way to ensure that expunction is the right option for you.

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