Questions tagged [criminal-law]

For questions about laws related to crime.

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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. ...
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2answers
514 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 ...
5
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2answers
902 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 (...
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2answers
1k 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”...
4
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1answer
179 views

Is it permissible to collect counterfeit currency?

I know that making, or preparing to make, counterfeit bills is illegal. I also know that if you use counterfeit currency you can have problems whether you were aware of it or not. I would like to ...
3
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1answer
302 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 ...
2
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1answer
187 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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1answer
326 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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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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262 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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1answer
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Is presenting a play showing Military characters in a bad light a crime in the US? Or does the First Admendment prevent this?

This is a followup to Is it illegal to wear military surplus clothing? US Law 10 USC 771 provides that only members of the US military may wear: ...the uniform, or a distinctive part of the ...
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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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Are there penalties for withholding self-exculpatory evidence during a trial?

Suppose a person is put on trial for a crime, but he has video evidence showing his innocence. Out of malice or spite of a personal nature towards his accuser, he allows the trial to proceed, and ...
8
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371 views

Can a US state be charged with a crime in federal court?

Like the title asks: I know that US states (and their agencies) can be sued by the United States in federal court (this is an exception to their normal sovereign immunity). Does this exception extend ...
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Is is possible to be prosecuted for lying about race on the US Census?

Lying on a US Census is a federal crime. But according the US Census online docs about race: An individual’s response to the race question is based upon self-identification. The Census Bureau does ...
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Why are there distinct burdens of proof in civil and criminal cases?

In a criminal case, in all common law jurisdictions that I know of, an accusation must be proven to a high level which is commonly stated as being "beyond reasonable doubt", whereas in a civil case ...
7
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2answers
325 views

Is there any way to bring a criminal case before the grand jury without the support of the Prosecuting Attorney?

Is there any way to present a case to the grand jury if the prosecuting attorney is unwilling to do so?
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4answers
306 views

What criminal laws apply only to certain sectors of the populace on account of their biology?

I realise that laws vary by country and by jurisdiction within a country. I would therefore invite answers according to the preference and expertise of the person answering. If I have to specify more ...
6
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3answers
384 views

Why hasn't Hastert's blackmailer been charged with a crime?

Under U.S. federal law, blackmail is a crime. We know that former US Congress member Dennis Hastert was being blackmailed by someone, and we also know he commited the crime he was being blackmailed ...
5
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2answers
363 views

If police collected evidence based off of a call they suspected, but couldn't prove, was fruadulant would the evidence be upheld?

I'm asking this hypothetical situation mostly as I was considering writing a story with the premise and want the story to be legally accurate, but also because I'm frankly curious how the law would ...
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2answers
1k views

Can someone get protection under Double Jeopardy for a crime by arranging to be put on trial with fake evidence that is then disproven?

Lets say I just killed Bob (I'm doing a lot of that today). The police suspect me but currently have little evidence that I killed Bob. However, I haven't hidden the murder weapon and body well and ...
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4answers
5k views

Can you sue yourself for wrongful-death without admitting manslaughter?

Prompted by a comment in another question, the story of a woman suing herself came to my attention. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/02/19/utah-appeals-court-allows-woman-to-sue-herself-over-fatal-car-...
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1answer
214 views

What qualifies as “violent” and “assault”?

I was reading the following news: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150719/local/update-3-veteran-actor-john-suda-charged-with-violent-indecent-assault.577272 Essentially a person is being ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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If one leaves the US to commit an act illegal in the US but legal in the country they travel to are they guilty of a crime?

Before anyone asks this is part legal curiosity, part proving for 'loopholes' that I could have villains in a story exploit, I don't need 100% accuracy so much as general guidelines, and any unique ...
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1answer
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Why was Charles Manson convicted of murder?

Charles Manson's sentence is for first-degree murder. This is defined as "any intentional murder that is willful and premeditated with malice aforethought. " How can this be the case if he did not ...
3
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1answer
974 views

After being pardoned, can one be forced to testify in civil and criminal cases?

After being pardoned, can one be forced to testify in civil and criminal cases with no protection against self-incrimination? My example is how Trump has pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio; ...
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1answer
155 views

Can defense request findings of fact before resting?

Hypothetical scenario: A victim is identified with documented injuries consistent with having been struck with a weapon. The police find and charge a person (now "Defendant") that they claim ...
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3answers
300 views

Can a person pay a fine to avoid imprisonment?

Per U.S. laws, can a person ever pay a fine to avoid imprisonment?
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1answer
213 views

Is it legal to publish a review of a travel service without letting the service know?

Say I review things for people to read, such as on a website or blog. Is it safe to say it's legal if my intention is, say, book a flight to Phoenix with some pre-conceived intention of critiquing the ...
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1answer
5k views

Why did double jeopardy not apply in the O.J. case?

On 1995 O.J. was found not guilty in the famous murder case. This was in criminal court and after that he was tried for the same thing in civil court - except this time it was called wrongful death ...
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2answers
438 views

Can results from a criminal conviction be transplanted into a corresponding civil case?

There is some overlap between crimes and torts, for example deliberately smacking a person in the head is the crime of battery and the tort of battery. If a person deliberately smacks another in the ...
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1answer
529 views

Is evidence from a vigilante 'sting' operation accepted in UK courts?

This is a hypothetical question based on a trend seen on Facebook. Sometimes vigilantes will set up a 'sting' operation. For example, they may pose online masquerading as a child to catch pedophiles. ...
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3answers
1k views

What is strict liability (US)?

What is strict liability in US law? Is it really possible for a person to be held liable who did not intend to do harm or violate a law, and who was not negligent? (This question is in response to ...
2
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2answers
798 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 ...
2
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1answer
180 views

Can anything be done when people admit to crimes through an online game?

When playing an online game recently, I heard two players on voice chat discussing how they've raped women before. Over the years, I've heard many awful things said through voice chat, but nothing ...
2
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2answers
501 views

Does US criminal law recognize objective elements that don't require mens rea?

In German law, there is a legal construct called "Tatbestandsannex" or "objektive Bedingung der Strafbarkeit". These are necessary conditions for criminal liability for which no corresponding mens rea ...
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2answers
445 views

Legal consequences for crime in a non-extradition/hostile country?

We all know that Russia (and China,Iran,etc) refuses to extradite or punish cybercriminals, no matter how bad, as long as they don't attack their country. Is the reverse also true? In other words, ...
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Can physical force be used to protect your property?

When can physical force be used outside of personal self defense? If you see someone repeatedly kicking your car can you chase him away? Say someone is at your door step and pushes past you inside, ...
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1answer
329 views

Could Ross Ulbricht from Silk Road not get life sentence?

Ross Ulbricht was the creator and operator of Silk Road, the first modern darknet market, best known as a platform for selling illegal drugs, until his 2013 arrest. From the criminal complaint, Ross ...
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1answer
1k views

If your friend takes you against your will is it still Kidnapping

I know that kidnapping refers to unlawfully taking a person. I also know a friend is someone you know well, love, trust, and hangout with. But if your friend grabs you, forces you in their car and ...
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2answers
221 views

An (undetermined) fraud in the terms of use

Before asking this question, I should say some words. Because this question seems similar to another question I asked, I worry someone may mark this as a duplicate without understanding - In fact, ...
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3answers
192 views

Is it rape if someone goes by a pseudonym and gave fake facts about themselves?

Let’s say Person A, an adult male, meets Person B, an adult female online. They develop a close relationship and talk on the phone on numerous occasions, but never meet in person. Finally Person B ...
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1answer
138 views

What are the alleged perpetrators convicted of after being caught by a paedophile hunter?

Paedophile hunting seems to be on the rise (eg: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37708233), and I'm surprised that it seems to lead to convictions (eg: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-...
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204 views

s 4(3) Theft Act 1968 — Why is picking wild produce on another person's land not theft?

I don't understand this law. Surmise that a wild berry shrub grows on my back yard that's unfenced. I don't cultivate it or do anything – no watering. I invite my piano student to my house – thus no ...
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1answer
140 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,...
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2answers
131 views

Can NGROI defense be argued after a guilty verdict?

tl;dr: In the U.S., can a "not guilty by reason of insanity" (a.k.a., NGRI or NGROI) defense be offered after a guilty verdict but before sentencing? In criminal prosecutions in the U.S. it is common ...
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1answer
2k views

Can a jury find a defendant guilty on a charge for which the defendant was not arraigned?

Can a jury find a defendant guilty on a charge for which the defendant was not arraigned? For example, if a defendant is indicted on a charge of manslaughter can the jury convict him of murder?
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4k views

Can whatsapp messages be an evidence?

Please first read this question She sent me messages over whatsapp, Is those messages are valid in Indian and Canadian courts?
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302 views

(How) Can Person A grant immunity to Person B for ending Person A's life?

In the US, some states are "death with dignity" states. In such a state, suppose resident A wants to die earlier than allowed by that state law, and perhaps even before A becomes terminally ill. ...