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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19
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4answers
6k views

What would be Julian Assange's expected punishment, on the current English criminal law?

Currently, the only charges form the British side against him are, that he avoided the criminal procedure (he was, on the British law, a fugitive) by his "visit" on the Ecuadorian Embassy. Meanwhile, ...
12
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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?
11
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3answers
7k 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 ...
10
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1answer
973 views

Are leading-witness rules applied equally to prosecution and defence?

Preamble I'm a scientist, not a lawyer, so please excuse this if it's obvious. Background In watching the Chauvin trial, I've noticed that the defence lawyer tends to ask questions by stating the ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Can I surprise the prosecution with an alibi defense at trial?

Let's say I've been accused of a murder. Throughout the investigation I've plead the Fifth as to where I was when the crime happened. Eventually I'm put on trial, still pleading the fifth as to my ...
9
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4answers
3k views

Alternative systems without the Right to Remain Silent

As I understand it, the "Right to Remain Silent" errs on the side of innocence in the USA justice system. Jurors are usually supposed to rule as if the defendant testified in the manner ...
8
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3answers
5k views

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 ...
8
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2answers
387 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?
8
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4answers
6k views

Can someone who does not consider himself a US citizen be extradited and punished for a US felony crime due to a US citizenship?

based off of the answer to this question: 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? My first bizarre loophole ...
8
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2answers
409 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 ...
7
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2answers
4k views

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
522 views

Are there any legal systems where "guilty until proven innocent" is actually a thing?

Related: What different legal-systems are there? The idea of "innocent until proven guilty" is sometimes thrown around as an example of American exceptionalism, but it turns out that this is ...
7
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1answer
5k views

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 ...
7
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3answers
831 views

If police collected evidence based off of a call they suspected, but couldn't prove, was fraudulant 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 ...
6
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4answers
699 views

Were Nazi atrocities legal according the German law of the time?

I have recently had a discussion with a German who claims that Nuremberg trials were entirely based on ex-post-facto laws, and all the atrocities Nazis did were legal according Germany's and ...
6
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3answers
430 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 ...
6
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4answers
336 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 ...
5
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4answers
6k 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-...
4
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2answers
17k views

Did Zoey Tur assault Ben Shapiro?

Alleged Facts On this video (at time marker 5:32-5:36), Ben Shapiro alleges Zoey Tur committed the crime/s (and/or tort/s) of assault and/or battery against Shapiro. (I believe) the incident occurred ...
4
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3answers
318 views

Why must victims of 'sex-for-rent' arrangements be legally defined as prostitutes to seek justice?

This Morning Star article describes attempts by Labour politicians to make it easier to prosecute 'sex-for-rent' arrangements, where landlords "demand sex from tenants in lieu of rent". The ...
4
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1answer
437 views

Powers of Entry when it is summary-only offence

I was watching this YouTube video by Crimebodge. At 10:10 he explains that the police only have powers of entry to arrest somebody for indictable offences (like rape), and not for summary offences (...
4
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2answers
559 views

Could vigilante anti paedophile sting operations actually result in a conviction?

There is a lot in the news in Ireland currently about vigilante groups posing as children online in order to catch paedophiles "grooming" and ultimately meeting with the fictional child, which turns ...
4
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1answer
264 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 ...
4
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2answers
499 views

Is it legal to have someone dispose of garbage for you?

I have a bunch of miscellaneous stuff in my garage I want to get rid of. I have been meaning to take it to the dump but just haven't found the time. Items include old sink old toilet miscellaneous ...
4
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6answers
53k views

What options does a lawyer have if a client admits he is guilty but doesn't want to admit it to the court?

This question is inspired by this question. If a client tells his lawyer he is guilty of the crime but does not want to admit it to the judge, what options does the lawyer have? Must the lawyer admit ...
3
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2answers
242 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 ...
3
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1answer
676 views

If I ask a police officer if I am compelled to do something do they have to answer me honestly?

Let's say that I'm being questioned by police as a suspect, and I'm too stupid to have asked for an attorney I could trust to be there. The police are going to try to get me to do things that may be ...
3
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2answers
9k 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 ...
3
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2answers
281 views

Elements of bribery: what is a "thing of value"?

There is lately some suggestion that a US president who withholds aid to a foreign country on the condition that the foreign country investigate a political opponent constitutes bribery. The ...
3
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3answers
433 views

Can a person pay a fine to avoid imprisonment?

Per U.S. laws, can a person ever pay a fine to avoid imprisonment?
3
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4answers
5k views

Carrying a Sgian Dubh - UK

There is a LOT of conflicting information on this subject online, mostly revolving around whether or not traditional dress is "sufficient reason" to carry what is essentially a knife in public. My ...
3
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1answer
237 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 ...
3
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1answer
2k 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; ...
3
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1answer
472 views

Would you be convicted of assault, etc. for defending the passenger in the United incident?

I'm wondering what would have happened if one of the passengers who was witnessing the United incident unfold had stepped in and tried to defend the doctor, by force. Note that I'm assuming the ...
2
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1answer
163 views

Can phone conversations be used in court as defense?

I live in California where all parties involved in the phone conversation have to give consent before phone conversation can be recorded. My question is - how the information discussed over the phone ...
2
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2answers
532 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 ...
2
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2answers
194 views

Does pleading guilty circumvent the 'corpus delicti' rule?

The corpus delicti rule states, if I understand it correctly, that there must be evidence that a crime occured (other than a confession) before anyone can be convicted of that crime. I have found ...
2
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1answer
3k 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?
2
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1answer
696 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. ...
2
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3answers
196 views

What measures are taken in very famous trials to ensure that the jury is not influenced by what emotions they assume to be stirred up by the verdict?

Derek Chauvin's current trial seems to be one of the most followed and most emotionally significant trials. Feelings and opinions are strong on both sides. Many consider it an open-and-shut case (some ...
2
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1answer
74 views

Follow-up question about summary only offence

I am following on from a question that I posted here. Person A: Reported suspect for one indictable offence. Person B: Reported suspect for several summary only offences. I understand based on the ...
2
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3answers
258 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 ...
2
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1answer
185 views

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

Paedophile hunting seems to be on the rise (see e.g.: Paedophile hunters: Should police be working with vigilantes?, BBC News, 9 December 2016), and I'm surprised that it seems to lead to convictions (...
2
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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
465 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 ...
2
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1answer
256 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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3answers
153 views

Can a country put a foreign criminal on trial, without catching them?

I'm thinking about a few scenarios here. One scenario is a Pablo Escobar scenario, or a Don Eladio scenario if you're a BCS fan like myself: A drug kingpin operating outside the United States, ...
1
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2answers
5k views

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, ...
1
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1answer
28 views

Surrogate Court for Petition of Probate New York-Last Will Date Witness

On page 1, #3 of the below form/link. I have the will. It has the date. There are no fields for printed names, witness, etc. It just has 2 signatures. One of the attorney and one I assume was the ...
1
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2answers
856 views

IP addresses in criminal cases

Are IP addresses enough to convict someone of criminal activity? So for instance, if someone was using their home WiFi network, which would have one IP address, then they use their mobile network ...