Questions tagged [criminal-law]

For questions about laws related to crime. Please add a location tag if the question is specific to a particular jurisdiction.

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13
votes
2answers
759 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
4k views

Can killing be "self-defense" if you are committing a crime yourself?

Kyle Rittenhouse has been charged with murder. I believe that the facts of the incident are not in dispute, because of ample video evidence: Rittenhouse was attacked, tried to escape, and when he ...
13
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3answers
5k 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 https://freevideotomp3.com//, ...
22
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3answers
3k 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We just had a question about what happens to convicts if a law is repealed.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 ...
13
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4answers
3k views

Could all participants of the recent Capitol invasion be charged over the death of Officer Brian D. Sicknick?

Prosecutors in the US Attorney's office plan to open a federal murder investigation into the death of Brian D. Sicknick, a US Capitol Police officer who died Thursday night, a law enforcement official ...
12
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1answer
5k 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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2answers
1k 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 ...
12
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2answers
2k 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
11k 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 ...
31
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3answers
11k 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 ...
18
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4answers
10k 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 ...
18
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3answers
48k 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?
12
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4answers
1k 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 ...
10
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2answers
16k 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 ...
6
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2answers
8k 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 ...
5
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2answers
3k views

What crime did Walter White commit against Jane in Breaking Bad?

In an episode of the famous series Breaking Bad, the main character, Walter White, is responsible for the death of Jane, the girlfriend of Jesse. The main question is, from a legal point of view, how ...
4
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3answers
16k 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
10k 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 ...
3
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2answers
340 views

Am I legally responsible for being a developer of a code, if my customer uses it illegally?

I am from an Europe country, I work online and get orders on freelancer websites. Few months ago, I had a customer hiring me to do some Bitcoin-related coding, I'm one of their developers for 6-7 ...
2
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2answers
11k views

Can you be convicted of both first- and second-degree murder?

A TV show reported a case where a man killed two teenagers and was convicted of both two counts of first degree murder and two counts of second degree murder. Is this possible? I know that you can ...
63
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9answers
15k views

Why is murder considered a more serious crime than attempted murder?

By its sentencing guidelines (the world over?), murder is considered a more serious crime than attempted murder. If intent to kill has indeed been proven, does the latter crime reward incompetence ...
46
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4answers
12k 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 ...
95
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5answers
29k 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 ...
6
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3answers
573 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 ...
9
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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 ...
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3answers
7k 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 ...
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5answers
12k views

Why are private game servers illegal?

Over on Arqade we were discussing a question which was asking about private servers for a game called World of Warcraft. The discussion was about if using and/or hosting a private server is illegal ...
3
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1answer
2k 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 ...
21
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2answers
6k views

Can a vaccine be required by law?

This question came up because I read that Bolsonaro, Brazil's president, was criticized by the opposition for saying that COVID-19 vaccinations won't be mandatory. The opposition said that the vaccine ...
8
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2answers
4k 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
4k 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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1answer
247 views

Is one liable if illegal material is found on one's own server?

This question was prompted by a news article I read earlier today, in which a person described the dilemma they faced on discovering illegal material had been stored by an unidentified third party on ...
2
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2answers
3k 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 ...
12
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3answers
4k 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 ...
8
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6answers
899 views

Can a lawyer subject the court to a (temporarily) ruse for a legitimate purpose?

This question is about the legality of a possible defence tactic that might be used in a criminal trial. It is a variation on things you see in lawyer movies fairly commonly. Suppose that a criminal ...
6
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2answers
2k 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 ...
6
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1answer
3k 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 ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Any solid research on error rate of criminal conviction system: jury vs judges?

To my knowledge most countries use one of two systems for determining the guilt of the accused in criminal cases: “jury of your peers” (who don’t have to justify their decision) vs “judg(es), possibly ...
3
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1answer
320 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 ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Is it justifiable to disarm a policeman who is tasing an unhealthy person?

Is a citizen justified in disarming a policeman who is applying a taser to a suspect who committed a misdemeanor, but who is at an elevated risk of dying due to health conditions of which the police ...
3
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3answers
207 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
573 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
499 views

Temporary theft, or, removing someones property to deliver it to their home or office

If I take somebody's property without consent, with the intent of keeping it, it is theft. If I take somebody's property without consent, but return it to them immediately, what law am I violating? ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Who prosecutes the crime of opening someone else's mail?

Opening or throwing out mail addressed to someone else, such as a previous tenant, is a felony with possible jail time and a statute of limitations of five years. But when is this ever prosecuted? If ...
2
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1answer
146 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
171 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
3k 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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3answers
316 views

What are the laws for trespassing in Germany?

Bobbi, national or equivalent of Germany, after admitted to enter, refuses to leave from public (government) premises at the close of business hours despite being given due notice. What laws and ...
1
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0answers
164 views

Is there any jurisdiction where this booby trap is legal?

It's been well established through other discussions here that booby-trappping one's property is both tortious and illegal in the United States. My question is whether it's known to be legal in any ...