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58 votes
Accepted

Why and when would an attorney be handcuffed to their client?

My impression, and the plausible explanation in the absence of the actual facts, is that this was something that the attorney agreed to, in order to allow a skittish client to reveal information ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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48 votes
Accepted

Why did this US prosecutor keep asking whether documents would refresh a witness's memory?

united-states Witnesses are generally confined to giving testimony from their own personal memory; most of the time, they can't read a statement into the record or just tell the jury to go look at ...
bdb484's user avatar
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30 votes

Can a person plead guilty without being charged?

united-states If a person has committed a crime punishable by a fine and was not caught, but wants to pay the fine for moral reasons, is it possible to plead guilty and pay the fine without being ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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29 votes
Accepted

What if Miranda rights aren't read?

If a person is arrested and not apprised of their rights, anything that they say cannot be used in court, but perhaps conviction does not depend on the defendant's statements. Even without the warning,...
user6726's user avatar
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28 votes
Accepted

When did criminal discovery rules substantially form?

When did the discovery/disclosure rules as we know them today substantially form? In the United States, the constitutional right to criminal discovery was established in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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26 votes
Accepted

To what extent can US police lie to a suspect?

united-states For the most part, U.S. police are allowed to lie to suspects to obtain information, even if they are not undercover. This goes pretty far although the exact boundaries are a matter of ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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23 votes
Accepted

Can you ever be certain that you will not be tried for an alleged crime?

united-states The general rule Is a person in one of those two scenarios forever in purgatory where theoretically charges are always potentially pending? In the first scenario, yes. In the second ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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21 votes
Accepted

Unpacking "If they have a question for the lawyers, they've got to go outside and the grand jurors can ask questions." from former US Fed. prosecutor

The witness can go outside and ask questions of the witness’ lawyers So if, for example, Mr Trump chooses to testify to the grand jury he goes in alone - no lawyers. If he wants to consult his lawyers ...
Dale M's user avatar
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18 votes
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Introducing evidence into trial in the US

How does one introduce evidence into trial? Do all evidences have to be introduce into trial before trial starts? Can I bring evidences on the day of the trial and introduce them on the fly to the ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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15 votes
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Does Trump have the right to waive a jury trial and request a bench trial in the classified documents case?

While the right to a jury trial is waiveable, in order to have a bench trial in a federal district court, the court and prosecutor generally must agree. before any waiver can become effective, the ...
Jen's user avatar
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13 votes

Why did this US prosecutor keep asking whether documents would refresh a witness's memory?

Witnesses cannot refer to documents or notes australia That’s because witness testimony is supposed to be what the witness remembers, not what they are prompted to remember. This is covered by s32 of ...
Dale M's user avatar
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13 votes
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Was Hunter Biden's legal team legally required to publicly disclose his proposed plea agreement?

For the plea deal to be considered by the judge, it had to be disclosed in court to the judge. Only in extremely extraordinary circumstances would court proceedings be closed to the public. However, ...
Jen's user avatar
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13 votes

Can a person plead guilty without being charged?

germany You can't just plead guilty, but you can file charges against anyone, including yourself. This will, at first, be treated just the same way as if someone else filed charges against you, with ...
Guntram Blohm's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Why is theft triable either way?

See section 17 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980: The offences listed in Schedule 1 to this Act shall be triable either way. Schedule 1 of that Act, para. 28 lists: All indictable offences under ...
Jen's user avatar
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13 votes

Does a judge have discretion in their verdict when it seems beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is factually guilty of the charged offences?

While your understanding of the Human Rights Act is broadly correct, by section 3 of the Act, legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights. This ...
sjy's user avatar
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12 votes

Why does so much time elapse between guilty verdict and sentencing?

Sam Bankman-Fried's sentencing reflects the fact that a pre-sentencing report has to be prepared and a sentencing hearing has to be prepared for. These tasks aren't done or scheduled before there is a ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 217k
12 votes

An attorney can't afford to pay for professional services to search & retrieve required documents for civil & criminal proceedings, what happens next?

As a general rule, failure to comply with a court order is not contempt of court if compliance is impossible. In the unusual scenario you describe, the outcome will depend on the specific legal ...
sjy's user avatar
  • 9,178
12 votes

Can a person plead guilty without being charged?

canada A court has no jurisdiction to deal with a guilty plea unless it is dealing with an indictment of the accused. Without a charge, there is no criminal proceeding, and any guilty plea would just ...
Jen's user avatar
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12 votes

Are there countries where defendants are fully compensated for their time if they’re found not guilty?

france As explained in another answer at this site to a related question, there is some provision for compensation in France. The answer said: "Losses suffered through pre-trial detention . . . ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 217k
11 votes

Victim Anonymity in Criminal Proceedings

canada The charging document must identify the complainant / victim to the accused with sufficient particularity to give the accused the ability to mount a full answer and defence. For an assault, ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 56.9k
10 votes
Accepted

Pleading Not Guilty when you are guilty

A "not guilty" plea is not a statement of fact, it not made under oath, and is not subject to an ethical obligation that it be supported by a belief that the client is factually innocent of ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 217k
9 votes
Accepted

On what basis are Miranda rights enforced?

The U.S. Constitution, as the U.S. Supreme Court held in the year 1966 in the Miranda case, provides that introduction of evidence obtained without a Miranda warning in a criminal trial is ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Discovery of Evidence - Context, Significance and Meaning?

canada The Crown's duty to disclose all materials and information, inculpatory or exculpatory, unless clearly irrelevant, does not extend to Crown "work product." The "work product"...
Jen's user avatar
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8 votes

To what extent can US police lie to a suspect?

canada Any confession made subsequent to those lies is at risk of being inadmissible. However, no particular lie, taken out of context, necessarily leads to a confession being rendered inadmissible. ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 56.9k
8 votes

Are there countries where the defendant has the right to be absent from their trial?

In the U.S. the Supreme Court has ruled that the defendant must be present at the start of their criminal trial in order for it to be valid. Are there countries where the defendant has the right to ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 217k
7 votes

Are there lines of reasoning that can only be introduced into a case via an expert witness?

You'll generally need an expert witness to testify to anything that requires "scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge" beyond the knowledge of the average person. So although a ...
bdb484's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

Can the government compel a witness to testify against an accused criminal?

united-states There is no general right to avoid testifying in court on any matter. There are some protections for defendants, victims, and minors, and for material that's confidential in some way (e....
Cadence's user avatar
  • 953
7 votes

Could Judge Merchan put Donald Trump on house arrest during the current criminal trial?

Judge Merchan can revoke Trump's pretrial release, for failure to abide by the conditions of that pretrial release, or could sanction him for contempt of court (e.g. violation of the gag order in the ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 217k

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