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Questions tagged [criminal-law]

For questions about laws related to crime.

13
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2answers
545 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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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 ...
11
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2answers
796 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
3k 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
411 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 ...
13
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3answers
810 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 ...
12
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1answer
3k 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 ...
5
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1answer
6k 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
430 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 ...
16
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3answers
13k 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?
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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 ...
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. ...
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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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?
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 ...
6
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1answer
439 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 ...
5
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2answers
5k 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 ...
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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2answers
455 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 ...
3
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1answer
95 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 ...
3
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3answers
4k 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 ...
2
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1answer
191 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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1answer
118 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 ...
2
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2answers
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
109 views

In reference to a citizen's complaint of official misconduct, in what rule is “proximity” to the crime specified?

This is a followup to No probable cause found in NJ for citizen complaint of official misconduct by chairman of Port Authority. Judge ruled complainant has no standing I forget the exact terminology,...
0
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1answer
127 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 ...
26
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4answers
8k 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
20k 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
17k 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 ...
3
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1answer
810 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
860 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
789 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 ...
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 ...
15
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6answers
109k 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 "...
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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1answer
1k 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) ...
5
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2answers
578 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 (...
5
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2answers
369 views

Counterfeit vs. pirated goods

What is the difference if any between pirated, contraband and counterfeit goods? "Smugglers usually smuggle contraband into and out of a country for commercial gain" a shipping line can as well be ...
3
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1answer
195 views

Can getting medical marijuana prescribed prevent you from owning or buying a firearm?

The federal law governing possession and ownership of firearms is 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3). This prohibits possession or ownership by a person who is “…an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled ...
3
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2answers
603 views

Are police legally required to stop a crime they see being committed?

Say that a police officer walks down an alleyway and very clearly sees a crime being committed; say a mugging or a rape. Is the officer legally obligated to try to stop the crime? By “legally required”...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

How are the Localbitcoins.com founders safe from money laundering laws?

There are lots of news regarding localbitcoins.com seller arrest against money laundering laws. I know it is seller or buyers responsibilities to follow their local AML laws. But how localbitcoins ...
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2answers
3k views

What is the charge for minor hit and run?

A car scratches one parking and one standing car slightly (with less then 5mph speed) and drives off. Afterwards the police come and inspect the vehicle and take samples of the scratches. The person ...
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1answer
256 views

Is this passive induction of suicide?

Today we were arguing about induction of suicide, the theme was the following: if you pretend to commit suicide and your girlfriend\boyfriend didn't know it was fake and consequently commits suicide ...
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2answers
162 views

Texas District Attorneys - Law Is Merely A Suggestion?

Art. 2.01. DUTIES OF DISTRICT ATTORNEYS of the TEXAS CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, CHAPTER 2. GENERAL DUTIES OF OFFICERS states: It shall be the primary duty of all prosecuting attorneys, including ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “murder”, “manslaughter” and “homicide”?

Do "murder", "manslaughter" and "homicide" have different legal definitions? Or are they just terms referring to the same act used in different jurisdictions?