Questions tagged [criminal-law]

For questions about laws related to crime.

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11
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are there so many youtube to mp4 and mp3 download websites online when it is illegal?

If it is illegal to download videos and audios from youtube due to copyright reasons, why are there so many youtube to mp4 and mp3 download websites online? For example http://youtube-mp3.org/, one ...
13
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2answers
596 views

How exactly does civil asset forfeiture work in the United States?

Civil asset forfeiture is a concept that frequently crops up in the news, e.g. the recent Washington Post article "Drug cops took a college kid’s savings and now 13 police departments want a cut". ...
11
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2answers
1k views

What exactly are an officer's requirements in order to demand ID in the US (New York)?

I watched a YouTube video recently which depicted the following situation, and I'd like to learn more about what peoples' rights are and what an officer's obligations are in a situation like this: A ...
6
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2answers
6k views

Does the President's Pardon authority extend to crimes not committed at the time of the pardon?

Does the U.S. Constitutional power of the President to pardon extend to crimes not yet committed? I know Ford gave Nixon a blanket pardon, but he did so for acts that (might have) been committed in ...
5
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2answers
5k views

Are NDA's that include illegal activity legally binding?

With the recent outpouring of sexual assault allegations, I've been hearing the phrase "Non-disclosure agreement," thrown around quite frequently. Suppose a woman is sexually assaulted at work, and ...
3
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2answers
480 views

Can I be tried for something that's a crime in another state?

Florida Criminal Code 893.13(2)(a) says that Except as authorized by this chapter and chapter 499, a person may not purchase, or possess with intent to purchase, a controlled substance. and if I ...
31
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3answers
10k views

Why does the victim have to press charges?

Case in point that was in the news: "BART identifies man in viral video of racist attack on train", East Bay Times A California man attacked a stranger while expressing his hatred of the victim's ...
13
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3answers
882 views

What methods exist to provide relief in criminal cases where the state refuses to prosecute?

In this question it was shown that it is not possible to bypass the States Attorney before the grand jury. But what relief exists in cases where Prosecutorial Discretion might be used to protect ...
11
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1answer
4k views

How far does the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine extend?

Suppose that an individual has been arrested, multiple times, for possession of controlled substances (i.e. illegal drugs), but has managed to get the charges dropped or dismissed by a court after a ...
4
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3answers
6k views

International sexting: how often is sexting overseas prosecuted? (Please read details)

I am asking for someone dear to me. This will be a hypothetical example. Hypothetically, if a 19 year old male (living overseas, say in Turkey) sexts/exchanges nudes with a female who says she is 18 ...
4
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1answer
8k views

Defendant compensation after not guilty verdict

My friend is currently a defendant in a criminal case. In my opinion, based on what I know about the case, it's likely the verdict will be 'Not Guilty', and that the evidence is based on faulty ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Can a cop direct a pharmacist to fill a known fraudulent prescription in order to convict a subject of a higher crime?

If a cop is responding to a known fraudulent prescription, ask the pharmacist to stall the subject until they arrive so he can arrest the subject, but, instead of making the arrest for attempt to ...
5
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3answers
459 views

Can you keep illegal information?

This answer to the question Can numbers be illegal? makes a good argument, and AFAIK it comports with the law. It follows other answers in observing that any piece of information can be encoded by ...
21
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3answers
5k views

If you escaped from prison for a crime you did not commit, would you still serve the increased sentence once exonerated?

For example: you were convicted of murder and escaped and were then sentenced to years on top of your original sentence, but you were later exonerated of the crime of murder; would you still have to ...
18
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4answers
7k views

At what point does refusal to report a crime make one an accomplice to a crime?

This is a question out of curiosity only, indirectly inspired by my last question post. I'm wondering at what point not reporting a crime is itself a crime. I know that if someone happens to witness ...
16
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3answers
17k views

If an adult is raped by a minor, is it statutory rape?

Say an adult is raped by a minor, and does not give legally applicable consent regardless of knowledge of age of the minor. Do statutory rape charges against the adult still apply?
16
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2answers
1k views

When a criminal statute is struck down as unconstitutional, what happens to people who were convicted under it?

We just had a question about what happens to convicts if a law is repealed. However, that question's example of homosexual behavior wasn't decriminalized in the US by legislative action, but rather by ...
7
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2answers
2k views

If two individuals who are too drunk to give consent have sex are both guilty of rape?

Hypothetically let's say that two individuals are heavily drunk, to the point that their ability to give consent is questionable. They have sex, both of them either don't remember the details of the ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Is defending someone being physically attacked self-defence or assault?

Suppose one day a vicious attacker (let's call him Thug) assaults Emily in the street. A bystander (let's call him Paul) rushes to Emily's aid, attacking Thug in her defense. After a few minutes, Thug ...
2
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2answers
2k views

If you commit a crime on the border of two different countries, which will you be charged in?

If you commit a crime on the border of two different countries*, which will you be charged in? In addition, for the sake of argument: Both countries want to separately trial the criminal The ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Does a police officer have to get permission to break the law?

Does a police officer require permission before breaking the law? Justice Brandeis states: Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Borrow something and return it considered stealing?

So I was thinking, if I rode a coworkers bike home and returned it early the next morning before he noticed, is that legally considered stealing? Would this be legally considered stealing in CA?
6
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1answer
600 views

Can a jury always convict on a lesser included charge?

There is a question on movie stack exchange regarding the Few good men movie (spoilers) regarding why some people were not found guilty of first degree murder but only of a factually fully different ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Is spousal immunity affected if one spouse dies?

Disclaimer: I'm a writer trying to figure something out for a story I'm working on, so forgive me if I sound totally insane. Okay. Spousal privilege/immunity. Protects someone from having to testify ...
4
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2answers
7k views

Is it legal to “shoot down” a drone on your property in the US?

18 U.S.C 32 states ... to include destruction of any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States or any civil aircraft used, operated or employed in interstate, overseas, or ...
3
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3answers
195 views

I just read this story about a lawsuit. Does it make any sense? [closed]

I read a fictional story about this assault/lawsuit, and I'm really stuck on some of the details. I'm trying to figure out if it was actually written correctly or not... So this guy assaulted another ...
3
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2answers
508 views

Why do the accused rarely plead guilty?

I notice that in the United States it seems like the accused rarely plead guilty in the case of a serious crime, even if the evidence is overwhelming. Not infrequently I will see cases in which the ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Getting courts to reconsider judgment when new evidence crops up

Say a District Court in New Zealand considers a proposed private prosecution and makes a ruling R that it will not go ahead because of insufficient evidence under s26(3)(a) of the Criminal Procedure ...
2
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1answer
215 views

Have there ever been any thought crimes?

Has there ever been anywhere a law criminalizing certain thoughts? The closest I can find is The Treason Act 1351, which is still in force in Britain today. This criminalizes compassing or imagining ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Are search warrants public records?

Are search warrants public records? Does it matter whether an investigation ended up resulting in a prosecution? If so, does it matter whether the case goes to trial? If so, does it matter whether the ...
2
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1answer
122 views

Is it really an abduction if the protest or resistance ends before the “victim” is “released”?

My friend ran into her ex-boyfriend at a store. They began arguing, he grabbed her and carried her to his truck, then drove off with her and didn't have her consent. She tells me that he was going to ...
0
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1answer
150 views

Michelle Carter the person who urged a man to commit suicide sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. Is this constitutional?

Earlier this year Michelle Carter was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter because she urged her a guy to commit suicide. The guy was already suicidal but actually told Michelle that he ...
46
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4answers
11k views

Course of action in a criminal case when there is no conceivable defense

I am not a lawyer or a law student; my work is in mathematics, but I like to learn about criminal law as a hobby. I have spent some time googling and searching to find an answer to my question but ...
51
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4answers
20k views

How do people publicly admit to criminal activity and not typically get arrested?

I've noticed that people on YouTube and even on TV would sometimes say things like "I used to take lots of coke a few years ago" or "I used to smoke weed daily until this and that" or "Yea, I smoke ...
85
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5answers
23k views

Stealing my own property back?

I have a guitar that I let my friend Joe borrow on the consensus that he would return it in a couple of days. Joe is a mutual friend of my ex Bob. Bob stole the guitar from Joe once he found out it ...
25
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4answers
9k views

Where can I report criminal intent found on the dark web?

I wasn't sure if I should ask this here or on the Tor site. I think it fits more here. I came across a Stack Exchange clone on the dark web. I won't go into too much detail or provide a link, but ...
44
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5answers
22k views

Why are people sentenced to prison for terms longer than life?

Albert Morake was sentenced to 1,535 years in prison. How can a person be sentenced to more than 1 life imprisonment?
21
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5answers
20k views

Why aren't athletes charged with assault?

Athletes get into brawls and whatnot all the time. Mike Tyson even bit a guy's ear off. Why aren't they charged for assault and sentenced to jail time? I understand that athletes might get hurt ...
17
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5answers
8k views

May a person accept and keep bribes so long as they act lawfully?

This isn't a situation I'm in, but rather something I'm curious about. If a private person (outside of any position of authority) is bribed to keep an illegal act they witnessed secret, but chooses ...
8
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3answers
7k views

Can an airline pilot be prosecuted for killing an unruly passenger who could not be physically restrained?

The 'Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act' (H.R.4635) '...shields flight deck officers from liability for acts or omissions in defending the flight deck of an aircraft against acts of criminal violence ...
3
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1answer
977 views

It is legal to save and index a copy of any leaked database?

I'm wondering if it is legal to use a copy of a leaked database like the leaked Adobe database containing email addresses, encrypted passwords and password hints. I can imagine it won't be legal to ...
2
votes
1answer
967 views

Major difference between criminal and civil law being that there has to be no specific victim in former?

Is it true that while for prosecution according to civil (private) law there has to be a party that has been wronged (I'm going to refer to as "victim" from now on) while for criminal law that does ...
16
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3answers
869 views

Are there any limits on the crimes a corporation can be convicted of?

In the United States, a corporation can be convicted of criminal offenses (example). Can corporations be charged with any criminal offense, or are there some that cannot apply to anything except a ...
15
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6answers
121k views

When is cursing illegal in the U.S.?

For example, I've heard before that it's actually illegal to swear at a police officer (I've also heard that's true in the U.K. as well, although that's not my question). However, what counts as "...
12
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4answers
5k views

Can you be convicted for being a murderer twice?

Germany has this weird specialty¹ in its criminal law's murder paragraph. While most paragraphs say something like “The person who does A is punished with B”, the murder paragraph (“Strafgesetzbuch § ...
11
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3answers
3k views

When a criminal statute is repealed, are those still held under it automatically freed?

How was this handled in the past when things were decriminalized, e.g. homosexuality? Is there an automatic process that guarantees freedom for those held under an abolished law, or does this have to ...
10
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2answers
920 views

Failing to mention when questioned something you later rely on in court

If you are arrested in the UK, you'll hear that your rights include a rider inserted by the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, after "you do not have to say anything": But, it may harm ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Self incrimination vs. obstruction of justice / destruction of evidence

Suppose a police officer has probable cause to arrest me based on evidence in plain sight. He wants to initiate a search pursuant to arrest. Before the officer can detain me, I put the (alleged) ...
10
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1answer
1k views

No probable cause found in NJ for citizen complaint of official misconduct by chairman of Port Authority. Judge ruled complainant has no standing

UPDATE: Common law was abolished in New Jersey in 1979. Another source. I am a journalist with minimal legal experience. Over the past three weeks I attended a probable cause "hearing" in New Jersey. ...
5
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2answers
699 views

Evidence found during police search of incorrect address listed on search warrant

A warehouse is a single structure with several divided units separated by concrete walls. These units have different sequential addresses; 1000 Fake St (unit A) 1001 Fake St (unit B) 1002 Fake St (...