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Questions tagged [criminal-law]

For questions about laws related to crime.

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A student slipped a drug into my coffee — what are the legal ramifications of this situation?

I am a high school Chemistry teacher. This morning, while my back was turned to write on the board, one of my students (age 17) slipped a pill into my coffee mug. This is a thermos-style mug that has ...
79
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5answers
21k 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 ...
68
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8answers
32k views

Why shouldn't a bank robbery without threats be legal?

So say a bank robber walks into a bank and hands the teller a note saying simply "please give me $1,000" (or maybe even just verbally saying "I need $1,000 please") and if the teller accepts, which ...
67
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2answers
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Daughter dies at party

My 19 year old step daughter attended a party in Illinois. One kid slipped a pill in her drink which caused her to have a heart attack and die. After watching this play out, this boy didn't even ...
50
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4answers
17k views

A man killed my son and married one of the witnesses. Can the witness's statements still be used in court against him?

In Florida a career felon, who is a complete stranger to my son, killed my son. He is being prosecuted for this crime in a state court in Florida. There are two witnesses. One of them is the the ...
46
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4answers
10k 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 ...
46
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4answers
17k 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 ...
43
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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?
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6answers
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Do I have the right to enter into someone house without permission if my child is in there?

Here's the situation Main persons: my daughter Maria, 16 years old my daughter's friend Mario, over 18 years old My daughter was asked by her friend Mario to hang out at someone's ...
30
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3answers
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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 ...
29
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3answers
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In the US, is it legal to lie to a business such as a hotel to obtain a discount?

Let's say a hotel chain or a restaurant provides a 50% discount to anyone aged over 70. Would it be legal (as in, no criminal charges could arise from that action) for a patron to lie to the hotel/...
26
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4answers
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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 ...
24
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2answers
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Self incrimination during medical examination

If, during a medical examination, an alleged accused says anything that might incriminate himself, it should be neither recorded nor reported.[emphasis mine] source: Synopsis of forensic medicine and ...
22
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2answers
7k views

Is murder in Washington, DC pardonable by the President?

In most cases murder is a state crime. However, Washington, DC is not covered within any state's jurisdiction. My question is whether the President can pardon someone for committing murder if the ...
21
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2answers
11k views

Someone has a video of me doing drugs. Is there legal protection against its release?

It's a bit like slander, except there is no false information. I wanted to Google whatever this may be called to see what my options are if this video is ever released. I'm stumped as to what to ...
21
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3answers
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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 ...
21
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5answers
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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 ...
18
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2answers
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Is there a law in the UK that makes possession of specific publications illegal?

I just read the following in an article in The Guardian (emphasis mine): In prison they met their co-defendant Rahman, 32, one of nine men prosecuted in connection with a plan to attack the London ...
18
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3answers
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What is the legal take on the trolley problem?

From the Wikipedia page on the trolley problem: There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley ...
17
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3answers
7k views

No evidence is required for an indictment by a grand jury?

I just read the indictment of Christopher Collins, a congressman, for relaying insider information on a company with publicly traded stock, and for "lying" to a federal agent, ie for denying he ...
17
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5answers
7k 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 ...
16
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6answers
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What does it mean to “pirate” a game, app, or other digital resource?

I've heard the term "pirate" many times before, but I have never really understood it. How do people do it and why?
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4answers
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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
726 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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3answers
11k 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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2answers
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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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2answers
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Do the police need probable cause or a search warrant to search a rental car being driven by someone who didnt rent the vehicle?

I'm not seeking legal advice, but rather I'm seeking others thoughts and reasoning on a case that has been disposed of already, which seems to be a violation of constitutional rights afforded to ...
15
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6answers
103k 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 "...
14
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3answers
3k views

Order of precedence in cases where more than one nation has an interest?

... Disclaimer first: This is a hypothetical that came up during a discussion elsewhere. No real people were harmed during the creation of this question, and any resemblance to current or past events ...
13
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3answers
759 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 ...
13
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2answers
835 views

Is there any way of having sex without risking jail in the United States?

I recently read a story about a 19 years old boy sentenced to jail and to be registered as a sex offender for 25 years for having sex with a 14 year old girl who lied about her age. The girl and her ...
13
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2answers
513 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". ...
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3answers
4k views

Can prosecutors change or add additional charges once you plead guilty?

Suppose you are charged with theft of trade secrets. If you decide to plead guilty, can the government add further charges or change the existing ones after seeing that you've pleaded guilty? For ...
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1answer
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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 ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Is it a crime to take out a loan with no intention to repay?

This question on Money.SE concerned a person who had taken out a number of loans. He didn't intend to repay these loans in full, planning instead to default and leave the country. Several posters on ...
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2answers
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Does killing witnesses before trial suppress them?

If a witness is killed, or dies, before formally testifying at a criminal trial in what manner, if any, can his relevant statements be admitted or used against a defendant? For example, if sworn ...
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 ...
11
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2answers
54k views

Why do prisoners spend so long on death row?

In the USA, once appeals have been exhausted, why do prisoners spend so much time on death row? My personal opinions on death penalty aside, I would expect that once the sentence is final, it should ...
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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4answers
401 views

Are there any kinds of laws that prohibit personally harmful speech?

In response to this article from The Economist, I was wondering if there are any other countries that prohibit this type of speech? Not libel, since that relates directly to issues of the "right to a ...
11
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2answers
658 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 ...
11
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2answers
3k views

Are there any laws against adding a second lock to a bicycle that isn't yours? [duplicate]

Imagine placing your bike in a bicycle parking rack and using your own cable lock to protect it from being stolen. What if someone came and added another cable lock that you don't own the key to or ...
11
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2answers
3k views

Has a verdict of 'not proven' ever had a different effect to one of 'not guilty'?

In Scotland there are three verdicts available in criminal trials: guilty, not guilty, and not proven. In modern use there is no practical difference between not guilty and not proven: the defendant ...
11
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1answer
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Are Captcha solver farms illegal?

Let say that captcha is a picture that prevents automated programs to do a certain task. Now imagine that we have a service in which some people works to solve some captchas. These captchas are sent ...
11
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1answer
150 views

What happens if the Indonesian Constitutional Court rules in favor of an executed person?

Prior to the executions of drug smugglers in Indonesia earlier this year, Australian officials had pressed for a delay in the executions, due to a last-ditch appeal in the Constitutional Court of ...
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?
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What can happen if the US President has violated campaign finance laws?

There has been recent news about President Donald Trump possibly breaking campaign finance laws due to a repayment made to one of his lawyers. NPR: Trump Admits To Authorizing Stormy Daniels Payoff, ...
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1answer
527 views

Arizona laws regarding ownership of ground glassware for chemistry usage

I was watching a YouTube video that included an interview with a Clandestine Chemist, and at the 8:50 mark, he states: In Arizona, mere possession of ground glassware is a felony, if you're not a ...
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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?
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2answers
722 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 ...