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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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 ...
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2answers
2k views

How do I file a criminal complaint in Germany?

How can I lay a criminal complaint before the governmental prosecutor according to § 158 (Strafanzeige; Strafantrag) StPO? Need I follow a particular format? where do I send it? Can I submit an ...
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1answer
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Do boxers have a different legal status if they get into fights in public?

Do criminal prosecutors, or judges and juries, view charges or sentencing for fighting and/or injuring someone in public differently if the person facing the charges is a trained fighter like a ...
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1answer
533 views

If a witness refuses to answer 'Has the defendant done this before?', then why can the jury appeal to ignorance?

Source: p 186, The Art of the Advocate (1993) by Richard Du Cann QC (called to the Bar of England and Wales).   Until then great attention will be paid to any question asked by the jury on the ...
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1answer
80 views

What motion follows a failure to show cause?

I am representing myself. I filed a motion to terminate probation on April 8th, the motion was received by a judge on the 11th and he issued an order of rule to show cause to the district attorney's ...
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6answers
36k views

Received a sticker on my car window on a private company car park

Quick story: I parked in my company car park (so I guess its private land), in a place where 'the bay is not marked'. I see many people parking in the same spot, and never have I seen a sticker on ...
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2answers
118 views

Burden of proof at customs

I am not a law professional at all but I all of a sudden realized something to which I cannot find a reasonable answer. In customs (or in similar law-enforcement acts), why is the burden of proof on ...
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1answer
121 views

Can “it was an accident” be a defense?

Is the crime of theft committed if it was proven to be an accident? For example you moved houses and somehow accidentally took your neighbors lawnmower? What if you returned it quickly, what if they ...
2
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2answers
380 views

Giving a fake name in a government contact form: illegal or no?

Say I want to contact a government agency from the U.S. This agency can be in any country/territory/state or province. For example, I want to contact the Nova Scotia government regarding zoning laws ...
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3answers
545 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 ...
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2answers
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How is plea bargaining not illegal extortion?

How does that work? Is there a certain setting where extortion is legal? Do certain government officials have immunity? Is extortion permissible inide a court room? Can a police officer on the ...
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1answer
100 views

When is it blackmail?

In what cases may I threaten to publish disparaging information about a corporation if certain demands are not met? For example 1) Suppose my HVAC contractor overbills me and demands payment. I ...
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1answer
139 views

Which laws apply on the world wide web?

This might be a very widely scoped question. I suspect by using common sense, that each country has different laws that might apply on internet use in that specific country. But nevertheless, I'm ...
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1answer
108 views

Is it legal to send animals for near spaceflight research?

For research purposes, is it legal to use animals as flight test subjects? Like using crickets and mouse as subjects to be sent near space (Upper Stratosphere) High Altitude Balloon
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1answer
260 views

How are the interests of civil and criminal justice served when in conflict?

Tom made an interesting observation: It is very common to have a civil lawsuit brought that implicates criminal laws, but not have the criminal violations be charged. For example, if you steal ...
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2answers
390 views

Are the USA the only country with multiple, “competing” penal codes (Dual sovereignty doctrine)?

As a German, I was surprised to learn that in the United States, there are penal codes (and prosecution) at two levels of government, namely at the state level, and at the federal level ("federal ...
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3answers
405 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 ...
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1answer
113 views

Is a thief liable of paying the victim for the losses? How often this happens?

When someone is convicted of theft, is the criminal liable to pay all the losses and expenses to the victim, including burden to the victim to report the crime, loss due to being deprived of the ...
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1answer
176 views

How to provide probable cause to police to get a search warrant for a suspicious individual?

For the past two YEARS, there has been a van parked on my street that only moves twice a week: once for street sweeping on monday, again for street sweeping on thursday. In other words, it only moves ...
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2answers
11k views

If a fight escalates, do both parties get charged with assault?

Many fights start out benign but evolve into something more dangerous. For example someone responds to a shove with a punch to the gut, and he responds with a punch to the fight, and it escalates. ...
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2answers
3k views

Is dog meat illegal in USA?

I want to know if dog meat is illegal in USA. Is its sale banned? Is there any criminal law against it? Is a fine of any kind imposed? Note: I don't in any way support dog meat. I just want to ...
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1answer
2k views

Is a highschool diploma a legal document?

Often places, especially colleges/universities, ask to see high school diplomas prior to enrollment. Employers or certifiers may ask to see one too, regardless of the type of job. My question is, is a ...
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2answers
345 views

Why do criminal defendants routinely plead innocent? [duplicate]

When I read of criminal cases in the news, it seems like the defendants routinely plead innocent even when the evidence against them is overwhelming and conviction seems like a near certainty. Why do ...
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3answers
396 views

In Canada, is there an individual cause of action against a perjurer or police?

Consider the situation where a person commits perjury by falsely asserting a material fact in court that goes against your case.1 In Canada, could you sue the perjurer? Suppose you lost your job, ...
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2answers
522 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
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, ...
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2answers
613 views

How do lawyers get people out of custody?

On TV and in books, you often see someone getting picked by the police, held/interrogated for several hours, until a lawyer appears and forces the police to release them. Is this realistic? How do ...
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2answers
10k views

Is it a crime to send a photocopy of a copy of my birth certificate?

I'll make this as short as possible. Feds want proof of identity. I have a copy of my birth certificate. They want photocopies mailed to them. Birth certificate states that any reproduction of it is ...
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3answers
18k views

Why are documentary crews allowed to be a party to illegal activity?

I was recently watching a documentary that was about underground firearms trade. The crew found themselves in the Philippines where Colt .45 1911 knockoffs were being manufactured and stamped with ...
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2answers
4k 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
144 views

Is it legal to use pictures I take of places on a website without the property owner's permission?

First off, this question could probably be worded better. Here's my situation: I'm a web developer and am creating a template to sell on a popular online marketplace called themeforest.net. The demo ...
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2answers
4k views

Is it illegal to pay someone to investigate another person if they're not a licensed detective?

Say Bob wants to know more about Jack, so he pays 'X' (service, company, or person) and they provide Bob will everything he asks for about the person, which could include private info (personal ...
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6answers
47k 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 ...
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1answer
172 views

Can a court decision be appealed by a sheriff?

A case recently came up in my area of Kentucky in a district court where a man had been convicted of growing and selling marijuana. The sheriff had drove by his residence on a hot day and smelled ...
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6answers
2k views

Against the law to create a social media account of a deceased person?

Is it illegal to create a, say, Facebook/Twitter account under the full legal name of a deceased person and try to mimic or imitate their living likeness, such as using it as if you were them (like ...
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1answer
124 views

How does a poor bombing fugitive suspect afford a 200 dollars an hour lawyer?

A suspected jihadist who fled Paris on the night of the Paris attacks and hid for 4 months in Belgium as a fugitive, has recently hooked up with a prominent high profile Belgian lawyer, the kind that ...
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0answers
117 views

If a crime victim is a member of the US military, must local law enforcement defer jurisdiction to the military?

I was watching a cop show the other day, and city police were at the scene of a one-victim crime. It was determined that the victim was a service member. The lead detective then muttered, "which means ...
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1answer
128 views

Soliciting a Criminal Action

If I approach a person and offer to pay them to assault a third party and the assault took place, I assume that I would be guilty of some crime myself. If, however, I approach a person and offer to ...
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1answer
9k views

What is Official Oppression?

Maine lists "official oppression" as a crime. A person is guilty of official oppression if, being a public servant and acting with the intention to benefit himself or another or to harm another, he ...
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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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1answer
229 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
88 views

Is it legal to create a program intended to gain unauthorized access?

If I make a program which is unquestionably intended for other people to use to gain unauthorized access to a network, but I do not use the program myself except on my own network for testing, have I ...
2
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1answer
483 views

Are there laws regarding boarding cruise ships while at sea?

I don't know the technical term for it, but some people actually have told me a thing exists where people board cruise ships from the middle of the sea without paying. Given that there's no jail/...
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1answer
150 views

Is hacking and stealing punished more harshly than solely hacking?

Which of the following crimes generally has a more severe punishment: Unauthorized bank account access (e.g. hacking in to view information), or Unauthorized account access and taking money from that ...
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2answers
386 views

Is it illegal to mention the name of an illegal website in a message/email in the UK?

Just out of curiosity: is it illegal to mention the name of an illegal website via a private messaging service on a website? Assuming just the name of the website is mentioned and no links or any ...
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1answer
277 views

Does 18 U.S.C. § 1462 Only Apply to Commerce?

I am writing a research paper, and am confused regarding the exact wording of the law. As I understand it, 18 USC 1462 criminalizes the transportation and receipt of obscenity: Whoever brings into ...
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2answers
7k 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 ...
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1answer
886 views

How would a city police agency get a fugitive extradited from another country?

I was watching a fake cop show on Netflix. There was a suspected murder, and the prime suspects lived in Russia. The original plan was for them to call Russia. Makes me now wonder. Suppose an actual ...
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1answer
45 views

Is there a criminal database for my city Calgary

About 15 years ago while my father was working 55 hour weeks being paid $8/hr, he completed his taxi license and started working more hours a week as a taxi driver. On the highway, one of his ...
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1answer
104 views

Does the UK prohibition of 'dishonest' electricity 'abstraction' extend to other utilities?

The Theft Act 1968 prohibits the 'Abstracting of electricity' under s.13. What about other utilities? e.g. A neighbour secretly connects their hosepipe to a neighbours tap that is easily accessed (...

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