Is Our Legal System the Best Alternative to Justice?

The main objective of the criminal law is to protect the society from the different sorts of wrong commitments like robbery, theft, fraudulence, counterfeit and heinous criminal activities like murdering. Our so called legal institution has been empowered through the constitution to cross examine the suspect and the accused to divulge the ill intention and wrong mindset. The court has been set up for punishing the criminals and the accused after proving the accused guilty by showing evidence and facts.

However, there is much controversy regarding the true effectiveness of the legal framework which has been set up for the correctness of the society. To what extent, does our legal machinery perform correctly and accurately for the betterment of the society? How fantastically will it work for the minority community? Is the law applicable to all sorts of people coming from the elite society and the downtrodden class? On the other hand there is another important issue of concern. For instance suppose you have purchased a medication for your own usage. Now you have a doubt about its authenticity.

Therefore under the suspicion, you have decided to sell it to other persons. Now is it a crime to think? What do the legal experts say? Just thinking the wrong commitment will it bring the risk of being criminal offence in the eyes of the law? The legal representatives will say it is a crime and criminal offence to think negatively which can boost up the possibility of the occurrence of the criminal activity.

To be frank, criminal law has been designed to minimize the degree of criminality by offering the punishment to the accused who have done severe damage to the society. Now, the government and the intelligentsia class will highlight the issues in relation to the extensive periphery of the law to directly interfere into the private life for changing the behavioral pattern of a particular person. That means before doing a crime, the law will manipulate your behavioral pattern to prevent you from thinking wrong. Suppose, a person has purchased a country revolver with the ill purpose of killing his friend, now how will you stop him from firing the revolver when he decides to hold the person at the gunpoint?

There are two ways which are surfaced in this regard. On one hand, the chance of excessive interference of the government and the law to directly monitor or manipulate the personal life of common persons and on the other hand, the hidden ill purpose of the gunman to shoot the person mercilessly. Therefore, the government as well as the legal experts are in confusion to find the best ways which will be beneficial to stop the crime and simultaneously convenient to change the mindset of the people.

Frankly speaking, they are doing the research to make the proper utilization of their legal machinery to upgrade the behavioral pattern of men and put an end to the spread of criminal activities. There must be such a sophisticated legal setup in which the crime and the possibility of the occurrence of wrongdoings will be meticulously controlled.

Church Courts, Hate Crimes and Moral Decay

1 Corinthians 6 calls attention to a long lost social function of the church — church courts. First, some history. Before Rome fell it was choked with a backlog of civil disputes in the Roman legal system. It could take years before a particular case came before a Roman judge. The Roman legal system was choking on the rampant immorality and illegality that contributes to the rot of empires by generating social conflict. Great nations are more often destroyed from within by moral decay long before they fall victim to invading armies. And Rome had been rotting for hundreds of years before it was sacked by the Visigoths in 410 A.D.

At the same time, Christianity had inherited the elder rule system from the Old Testament, in which the local court overlapped the ecclesiastical court. We must remember that, while Rome had a great and powerful legal system, it pales in comparison to the Modern Western legal system in terms of its effectiveness and bureaucratization. Yet, even on the Western Frontier in early American history, civil courts were often few and far between. And in that context necessity required another way to solve disputes between people.

The structure of the Christian church, until the Modern era, had a system of courts to adjudicate matters between Christians, precisely because of Paul’s admonition to avoid civil courts run by unbelievers. In the Modern era these church courts have, for the most part, fallen into neglect. As unbelievers (or non church members) began to outnumber believers in a given area, the unbelievers were hesitant to use church courts to solve their problems. Unbelievers usually think that church courts are biased against them. And often it was true, but it should not be true on the basis of personalities. We should not be biased against unbelievers because we don’t like them. It doesn’t matter whether or not we like them. Justice is not a function of personal preferences.

All courts are subject to jurisdiction, the territory in which they are able to operate. We often understand jurisdictions as regional — city, county state and national. Church jurisdiction is completely separate, and includes only church members. Thus, the first issue is that church courts only have jurisdiction over church members. And when a member is an unbeliever, someone who is backslidden or unregenerate, Christians are commonly biased against such a person in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons, some of which may be biblical and some of which are most certainly not. We are cautioned in Scripture against holding a bias with regard to personalities.

Deuteronomy 1:17 reads, “You shall not respect persons in judgment. You shall hear the small as well as the great. You shall not be afraid of the face of man, for the judgment is God’s. And the cause that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.” This was Moses speaking to the recently freed Israelites. Does this apply to Christians? Peter said, “Truly I see that God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). Paul said, “your Master also is in Heaven. There is no respect of persons with Him” (Ephesians 6:9). Paul also said, “whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men; knowing that from the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance. For you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong shall receive justice for the wrong which he did, and there is no respect of persons” (Colossians 3:23-25). James said, “But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin and are convicted by the Law as transgressors” (James 2:9).

What does it mean to have no respect to persons? It means that we should not judge or evaluate people on the basis of their personalities or circumstances, which is exactly what we are always tempted to do. We make all sorts of judgments and evaluations about other people all the time. It cannot be avoided. It is part and parcel of ordinary living. Nowhere does Scripture advise people to suspend all judgment. Rather, Scripture advises people to avoid judgments that are based on personalities and circumstances, that are based on personal preferences or the circumstances of providence. Personal preferences are our likes and dislikes. Circumstances of providence are the social attributes of birth — money, social position, health, geography, nationality. None of these things enter into God’s judgment, and neither should they enter into ours.

Church courts are charged with keeping the peace and purity of the church. And that is no easy job because the very things that contribute to the purity of the church often disturb its peace, and those things that contribute to the peace of the church often contribute to its impurity. An emphasis upon right doctrine disturbs many Christians. And an emphasis on “going along to get along” often pollutes right practice.

Most of the things that church courts deal with are matters of doctrine and morality (or life style). But moral concerns can easily degenerate into civil matters rather quickly. The point is that morality and illegality are related, but not always matters of the same jurisdiction. Some things are immoral, but not illegal, and that is the way it should be. The converse of this is that some things that are legal are immoral. The point is that church courts are to adjudicate cases that pertain to doctrinal and moral concerns of church members, with the hope that dealing with them as moral issues will keep them out of civil courts as legal issues.

But over the last hundred years or so church courts have fallen into utter disregard, except for a few small (usually) Presbyterian denominations. At least this is the case in principle.

Civil courts make an effort to deal only with breaches of civil law — criminal activity. However, current American jurisprudence has been creeping into the area of what are called “hate crimes.” Legislation has been enacted that adds additional punishments for crimes that are motivated by hate. The problem with hate crime legislation is that it is encroaching into areas of morality rather than illegality. It is not illegal to hate because any law against hate in and of itself cannot be adequately defined or effectively enforced. Laws that cannot be defined or enforced are not laws at all, but only moral injunctions. And, indeed, hate is a moral issue. Nonetheless, such law requires the correct identification of personal motivation. And a person’s real motivation is privy only to God. Let me say only that hate crime legislation has the potential to undermine the genius of the American legal system, in my opinion.

Paul’s point in these verses is to encourage and legitimize church courts by recommending that church members abide by them, and avoid civil courts. Christians should make every effort to avoid civil courts, period. Paul even goes so far as to say that it is preferable to be wronged and defrauded by a church court than to appeal to a civil court. And that’s a strong statement! While it is true, in the litigious mania that has captured Modern Western people this sentiment has decimated all semblance of church courts, as those less concerned with biblical faithfulness took advantage of those who believed and acted upon Paul’s admonition. Often those who are willing to be wronged and defrauded as a testimony of obedience to Jesus Christ, are taken advantage of in this fallen world. Like so many things biblical, Paul’s admonition only works when those involved are faithful. In the wake of unfaithfulness biblical morality and the social structures it engenders tend to break down.

Phillip A. Ross, author of many Christian books, has been a pastor for over 25 years. He founded in 1998, which is loaded with information about historic Christianity. Demonstrating the Apostle Paul’s opposition to worldly Christianity, he published an exposition First Corinthians in 2008. Ross’s book, Arsy Varsy — Reclaiming the Gospel in First Corinthians, shows how Paul turned the world upside down.

Security and Organized Crime

The historical process of combating violence, is crime prevention and control and minimization of risk.

Within this context, studies originated and developed by the military and civilians tried to achieve the state of the art necessary for combating violence can be efficient and thus achieve tolerable levels for the welfare of the community.

In the international arena from the 1960s, there was the emergence of various initiatives to combat the increasing violence and the consequences resulting from this situation. Among several attempts, it was observed that the solution was increasing police-community interaction, specially focusing on respect with society.

The new idea of a police connected directly to the needs of stakeholders, seeking further integration and recognizing that the citizen who lives in an area of social risk, should be seen so respectful. Community policing was born then.

Technological innovations, operational base of economic globalization, were quickly adopted by criminal organizations.The mafias have held its own “globalization”, in which the labor force comes from the preferential migration, sometimes clandestine, possibly in working conditions similar to slavery. Two factors contributed decisively to the new world order of organized crime.

The unification of the European Community (EC), which is materialized in the 1990s (now called the European Union – EU), and the end of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR ).

The end of borders, in countries that joined the EU and the absolute lack of political and military control over the vast territory of the former Soviet Union, opened a corridor from the Baltic to the Pacific, for the disposal of the products of organizations as the Sicilian Mafia (Cosa Nostra), the Russian Mafia, the Chinese Triads, the Yakuza (Japanese) and the Colombian Cartel.

This movement, the world, involved agreements and understandings, taking into account a “support bank” already prepared by the ‘tax havens’, and prospered in the financial markets under the brand of three circumstances:

a) The fall in business profitability of traditional products;

b) the excess of dollars from the existence of payments deficit and domestic debt increased in the U.S. for at least 50 years, the same extent as the dollar took over the condition of world currency.

c) The process of privatization of the economy of the former USSR in the 1990s under the government of Boris Yeltsin, through which the Russian mafias began to dominate 70% of the financial system of the Russian Federation.

Holders of equity, available, opened the Russian mafia a ‘gateway’ extremely relevant in the global financial system. The crossing with the global activity of organized crime in its version less shocking occurred in successive operations, balance sheets and accounts of fraud. Other two also note the phenomenon: the deployment of a system of e-commerce, based on operations of the Internet and the privatization of postal services international – in which the largest is FedEx, based in the U.S..

In this context there are other macro-elements to be considered: the issue of patents and control of biodiversity – from the battle scenes of international diplomacy to the ends of the Amazon.

The shadow of the state, officials criminals operate a policy of biopiracy strongly linked to organized crime circles. From a geopolitical view, Miami and Los Angeles (USA) appear as’ capital ‘of organized crime strategy for Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia, especially in the two most relevant aspects: – the trafficking of drugs and weapons.

Among the countries that are more wash money the U.S., where they give 50% of all financial transactions that have as source drug trafficking, terrorism, kidnapping, smuggling, corruption and other illegal activities. The different global networks and connections, which operate with the support of ultrasound technology flee, even for now, the scope of calls of Financial Intelligence Units (FIU – Financial Intelligence Unit), which act globally articulated in the so-called Egmont Group.

In its last report, the group notes: the delay in investigations of money laundering means that were presented few settings involving new technologies or techniques – such as washing Internet, smart cards (smart cards) or banking transactions online. We anticipate that, over the years, more and more cases involving these technologies come to the knowledge of the forces of repression against crime.

The available literature on organized crime are only now beginning to meet the cases of laundering of capital ‘dirty’ schemes based on high tech. As the money grows in volume transactions in the real economy, more organized crime networks and we passed by the vast network of virtual money. Precisely at that size there are difficulties in identifying the “dirty capital”, obtained through the sale of drugs and weapons, for example, that is” washed “daily and receive the blessings of the market, breaking the economies of countries of central capitalism, and so-called emerging countries, without being bothered by anyone.

The money laundering activity is presented as either mean performance of acts concatenated in time and space, perspective is reached determined purpose. These actions are linked to concealment and integration. From a strategic action of organized crime, conceal and disguise are movements background the action of integration, when the ‘dirty money’ return in the economy as a legitimate investment market. In this stage, is rarely possible to recover the assets generated by illegal activities.

In a worsening of the socio-economic conditions of countries classified as ” emerging” on all continents, there are three elements that can be highlighted:

a) The fall in profitability of traditional businesses, a world in which products are produced and services are provided, so-called real economy;

b) The increase in poverty in world, with the deconstruction of the growing world of work;

c) Lack of control of financial markets and the flow of capital, by states and multilateral bodies such as the World Bank (IBRD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO) and of multilateral organizations tied to the United Nations (UN).

Drug Trafficking comes in first rank hierarchy in markets controlled by organized crime the first is that drugs, mainly cocaine, heroin and synthetic, such as ecstasy and amphetamines. It is estimated that the business moves from $ 300 to 500 billion.

The second is the trafficking of weapons. Further, trafficking in human beings for prostitution, organ trade, slave labor. Then there are other sectors such as corruption and money laundering that permeate all the work of organized crime. A very acceptable number, calculated by the United Nations, is 400 billion dollars (more than the global oil industry), employing nearly 20 million people and serving 70 to 100 million consumers.

Perhaps half of these consumers are in the United States, the largest market for drugs in the world – and the largest market for everything else. Authorities and experts that deal with different ways of combating organized crime, from multilateral bodies such as the United Nations (UN) bodies, intelligence and repression of democratic, non-governmental organizations see the “lords of crime ‘with a kind of ‘holding’. The concept is taken from the modern theory of government and was appropriated by mafias and cartels to manage and maintain the mega-business in high.

And all this, regardless of the war and repression still concentrated in the hands of the state, today extremely weakened by the reduction and dismantling of the state machinery, the world, a result of the policies led to the end of the 1980s by the U.S. and Great Britain.

It operates as a holding company. The group that comes to drugs is often linked to arms trafficking, mainly because it is a business that involves no money, only goods: I give you 20 kg of cocaine in exchange for a gun. This happens on the border between Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay, especially with the proceeds of the theft of cargo, cars and trucks. Often there is no money in the middle. Therefore, organized crime operates as holding more than as a business sector.

The Trafficking of Weapons The smuggling of weapons, the operation part of a perfectly legal transaction (the purchase of weapons in trade for export), is a hidden level, but still ‘legal’ and returns to the country illegally, smuggled by criminal organizations engaged in the resale slums and outskirts of large Brazilian cities. There is also an aggravating factor in the world of trafficking in weapons, the arsenal of Russia, whose economy is totally dominated by the mafia: ‘According to the Minister of Interior of the Russian Federation, approximately 5,700 mafia groups control 70% of the banking sector of the country and most of its exports of oil, natural gas, of strategic minerals and raw materials.

We must distinguish, preliminarily, the trafficking of weapons of illicit arms trade.

The first, practiced by drug traffickers linked to criminal organizations, and has assumed the sale in bulk, or in quantity and type (quality) that involves big money. But the illegal trade, typically retail, thrives in the shadow of their own unconventional bodies and authorities responsible for public safety, more than the arms trafficking, illegal arms trading business is nonsense. The police seized a 38 to someone, a small gun, near the heavy weaponry that exists today. This gun remains lodged in the judiciary, the police for years, and the state often loses control over it.

The scheme of trafficking in weapons operates in reverse of the drugs, in general: first a purchase is made, legally, then the product is exported to finally return smuggled in the country, going directly up in the hands of criminal organizations. In early 1991, a fact revealed to the international community the size of the problem, especially the control exercised by the Russian mafia in such sensitive sectors of the economy of that country, such as the financial system.

The nuclear issue – never be emphasized enough – is one of the most serious problems. In 1991. For $ 250 thousand he could buy a nuclear warhead for medium size (approximately 700 pounds). ” What probably prevents the use of nuclear weapons by organized crime is on the one hand, the volume of destruction caused and possible violent retaliation, and, secondly, the lack of a strategic reason.

The main risk, therefore, involves groups and religious fanatics. The numbers of world production of weapons, despite the secrecy surrounding the trade war industry, for alleged reasons of state, indicate that the five permanent members of UN Security Council United – United States, China, Russia, France and the UK – totaling nearly 85% of the world stock of weapons. The United States exports nearly 15% of its production, the United Kingdom and France, 25% and 20% respectively.

Nearly 80% of sales go to smaller and poorer countries, especially for problem areas in the developing world.

Legal Marketing

Overview Of The Legal Industry

Going back to 2009 the legal industry did face quite serious cut backs with 1 in 10 solicitors facing redundancy. Of the 200,000 practicing solicitors, 10,000 were set to be made jobless as the recession set in.

The legal sector takes up around 0.7% of the nations workforce – so nearly 1% of the nation work within the legal sector. This could be directly for the courts, solicitors, barristers or any of the support businesses that fall into the legal industry.

Over the last couple of years, there has been growth as the recession has set in, crime has gone up and population numbers have also gone up. Divorce numbers have also gone up with 1 in 5 marriages ending in divorce after just 10 years. Crime figures have also gone up with anti-social behaviour, car crime, domestic violence and violent crime. Great news for the legal sector as it all adds to legal support and more business.

Marketing In The Legal Industry

Growth in the legal industry is great, good for jobs, good for economy growth and good for entrepreneurial companies providing support services such as website directories, magazines, troubleshooting, consultancies etc. However as the industry grows, so too does the competition and the need to stand out.

As with any commercial sector, all businesses need to grow and market themselves in order to stand out and pick up paying clients. It so happens that paying clients are people/criminals that are looking for legal support.

The legal industry uses a wide range of marketing services both in its internal communications/work with the government, but also with promotion/advertising.

Websites And Brochures

Websites are a big part of exposure and promotion in the legal sector. Due to the professional nature of the industry, image and reputation are very important. Having a good website that is attractive, informative and professional is very important for legal companies whether government focused or private. Equally having corporate brochures, informative literature about legal requirements (which regularly change with the changes in the legal system) is important and essential for many legal firms.

PR for Legal Companies

PR is a bit marketing tool for many legal companies, not just for marketing but for Crisis avoidance. With the legal sector being so close to the government and national media topics and situations daily come into the public eye. The need therefore for the legal sector to be responsive is important not just for their own reputation but the sector as a whole. As the nation is governed by law, the industry needs to appear to be in total control to prevent panic.

Telemarketing For Legal Companies

Many legal companies are looking towards telemarketing as a way of both handling incoming enquiries, doing follow up/research work but also in terms of lead generation. Both inbound telemarketing and outbound are used within the legal industry to handle both workload and research, but also for the pro-active selling side of marketing.

Advertising For Legal Firms

TV advertising does seem to have more and more legal companies offering their services. This does seem to cover a range of legal topics and they do tend to run throughout the day – as they do seem to target both young professionals and older people for some of the following areas:

Will Writting
Accident Claim
Car Accidents
Professional/work topics
No Win No Fee Claims

TV advertising does seem to be becoming more and more popular for legal companies (of mixed types as above) to promote themselves. Despite TV advertising being the most expensive form or marketing, for legal marketing purposes it does seem to fit well (as it is a targeted way of reaching consumers en mass).

Legal companies do use other forms of marketing (such as e-marketing and mailing) however the marketing disciplines would generally be the main ones that are used by 90% of legal businesses around the nation.

Organized Crime


The inherent common denominators THE STRUCTURE, SAFETY and FINANCING of the criminal organizations already allowed characterizing the organized criminality.

Still in relationship to a large part of the organized crime (except partly, the terrorist organizations), we can find another common element: the type of Operational Development.

The Operational Development of the activities of organized criminality settles down, usually, according to the following vectors:

a) Extent of national, international and transnational action;
b) Permanent Operational and stabilized, with concerns of tactics and of strategic order;
c) Conjugation of legal businesses and illicit businesses;
d) Chronological Interface and multiple accomplishments of crimes.

The operational development of the organized criminality has these factors.

a) – the reason of being of this criminality type is inside the enlarged extent of territorial activity and permanent organization and stabilized in the prosecution of the criminal activities;

b) – the reason of effectiveness of the organizations, for besides the execution of their objectives I (namely, the economical profits), is into in their flexibility face the deterrent circumstances, in dynamics of tactical and strategic articulation in the capacity of dissimulation of the illicit financing sources (illicit businesses), through the creation and maintenance of licit businesses (real or simulated) that, allow to justify and to “clean” the obtained global profits.

At the level of the businesses illicit/crimes, are strategies those that, best allows the “normal” prosecution of the activities of financing of the organization. The practices of the corruption, covering, a traffic of influences and control of the authorities are usual and typical.
The organization strategically to mislead difficulties and to avoid (larger) threats to the operational development of the activities chose as tactics for the organization to obtain profit, by e.g. traffic of drugs, the extortion and kidnappings, traffic of weapons (or, now, also, the one of nuclear products), smuggling, among others.

The legal businesses more “sought” by the criminal organizations are spread in several sectors, as: the finance market (e.g. detention and/or participation in credit institutions, leasing societies, brokers.) and the market of capitals – preferred by excellence for practices of bulky operations of money laundry -, the casinos a, hotels, the building societies and other businesslike import – export firms (often based in taxes paradises – off – shores).

Actually, the infiltration of the organized crime in legal businesses constitutes an additional tactic for effective reduction of the risk of detection of the net, for the covering and legitimating the incomes produced that, like this, less suspicions get up as for it’s ownership. Still, the insert in activities and legitimate commercial operations, namely at the international level, offers to the criminal organizations the possibility to use the legal circulation and transport of products for part of their illicit cargo.

c) – The criminological reason of the organized crime is partially, in the multiple accomplishment of illicit and, the criminal interaction.

The operational development of the nets of organized crime give priority to the practice of multiple illicit criminal, be in the optical of safety expressed in:

– crimes of corruption;

– traffic of you influence;
– threats;
– crimes of homicide, corporal offenses, coactions and threats;
– Drainage of incomes;
– crime of money laundry;
– falsifications ;
– Tax frauds.

Drug Crimes and Drug Crime Charges in America

Drug crime charges in New York City are among the most common charges facing individuals in the system. This is true all over the country. After drunk driving charges, drug chages and petty theft are flooding courts. This is possibly due to the poor economy. It seems the crimes of weakness and vice usually go hand in hand with bad economies. Drug crimes are classified as anything from possession of marijuana to trafficking of heroin and other illicit substances. Obviously if you’re picked up on pot charges your chance of having a non-custodial disposition, ie “jail time” are greatly reduced, whereas being charged with something like criminal sales of a controlled substance will have jail time associated with the drug charges.

Finding the right drug crimes lawyer when charged is critical to the outcome of your case. Every attorney has their own individual style. Some drug crimes lawyers have more courtroom experience than others and will press for trial in drug trafficking cases. When preparing for a trial, these drug crime lawyers will attempt to dig out and find those incidents of police misconduct, areas where evidence can be suppressed due to 4th Amendment violations so that by the time the case goes to trial there is little evidence to be used against you. Others prefer negotiating with the state or feds to find a compromise in the drug charges that will reduce the charges and/or sentence or even conclude your case with probation. This may or may not include cooperation with the state and government in future drug crimes cases. Finding an attorney who will work with you, not overrule you is critical.

Understanding your drug charges is always helpful as it allows you to understand the severity of your case and thus find the right attorney. New York has published it’s penal code online and can be found HERE.

As you will see when reviewing the laws associated with your drug charges there are mandatory minimums associated with each. This can be detrimental to finding a good disposition for your case. Currently in the Senate, Rand Paul and Patrick Leahy are working to have minimum mandatory sentencing laws for drug crimes repealed but until such time you will have to work within the confines of the current laws.

It goes without saying that finding the right attorney can make all the difference in the world of a drug crimes case’s outcome. Many people are left wondering whether or not to pay for a private attorney, drug crimes lawyer, or move forward with a public (Legal Aid) lawyer. Most Legal Aid lawyers are very good drug crime lawyers, but they are over-loaded and cannot always devote the type of time to your case that they would like. It is for this reason that they often receive a bad reputation. Private attorneys have fewer cases and more incentives to make things happen and make it happen quickly (especially if they are retained using a flat fee).

Whichever route you choose, understand what your options are and then find the appropriate attorney accordingly. Ask yourself what you wish to achieve. Is it to have your day in court, to be proven innocent? Or do you wish time outside of prison?

Whichever path you choose for yourself or a loved one, understand that you have options. Even if you have current counsel and are dissatisfied you may choose to replace him or her with another one that fits your goals and style better. It is up to you to decide what you want in your drug crimes lawyer.

If you are looking for an experienced drug crimes lawyer for your state drug charges or federal drug crime then you should certainly make use of the resources available to you. Utilize legal libraries, review sites such as AVVO, and call attorneys who offer free consultations.

The Offices of Saint-Pre and Associates currently offer free phone consultations about criminal charges. Drug crimes are especially scrutinized in New York and you will need someone with experience in handling these types of cases. Attorney Mike Saint-Pre used to be a prosecutor at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office before going into criminal defense and can assist you with better understanding your case from the perspective of both sides of the aisle.

Insanity As a Legal Defense in Criminal Cases

There are several ways on how a person can excuse himself from a certain crime. A person who is charged with a crime, need to have a highly regarded criminal defense attorney to help him get through the case. Right after the accused seek counsel, the next step is to think of the defense that they must use on the court proceeding, to prove their innocence. There are various defenses that they can use. Some of it includes the presumption of innocence, establish an alibi, proclaim self-defense and using insanity as a plea.

When the presumption of innocence is used, it is the prosecution who has a bigger task in finding evidences and witnesses to prove that the accused committed the crime. In the court of law, any accused person is presumed innocent until they are proven to be guilty of the crime. When the accused establish an alibi, there must be al least a witness or evidence that you are not indeed around when the crime happened. In using self-defense as an excuse, you must prove to the court that you were able to commit the crime out of the need to defend your life because you are in danger. The last defense will be discussed further.

Today, regardless of what state a person is or what part of the world they are at, insanity as a legal defense in court proceedings is now taken with full seriousness and careful examination. Why is legal insanity being used by many people as an excuse for a crime? This is because an insane person does not have the ability to think right and act right. An insane person does not know the law. The insane people do not even think of themselves or the other people. A person is said to be insane when they have severe mental disease. They are totally excused from the crime that they have committed once they are proven by certified medical personnel.

In cases wherein the client of a defense attorney is legally insane, they must prove to the court that the accused person is insane. Several tests and examinations as well as testimonials can prove that the accused is truly insane. If the accused person, resides in Utah, he can have a Utah Defense Attorney, Utah criminal defense attorney, Utah criminal attorney, or defense attorney Utah that can help them prove the insanity of the accused person. A UT Defense Attorney can gather facts, examination results and medical records that his client is legally insane.

Over the years, the way how the court sees legal insanity as a defense in court proceedings vary from time to time. However, today, almost all went back to the strict definition of legal insanity. The way how the court rules towards an insane person before are automatic excused of the crime that was committed; but now, everything became stricter. In general, a person is said to be legally insane when they do not know what is right and what is wrong. This also means they do not know what is moral and immoral. Although many cases were dismissed because the accused is legally insane, the defense attorney must prove to the court the validity of insanity during the time that the crime was committed.

In any court proceeding, we cannot held a legally insane person to be responsible of his conduct because as we have mentioned, they do not know that what they are doing at the time of conduct is right or wrong. A legally insane person cannot think logically, in this regard, he is acquitted of the crime. After the case, what happen usually is that the insane person must undergo psychiatric treatments. They are placed in a mental asylum for treatment. In cases that the insane person truly committed the crime but is not aware that he or she did it because of insanity, they are required to be held in a mental institution until they can no longer be a threat to anyone. Again, they can only be acquitted once a psychiatrist or a psychologist testifies his mental illness at the time of offense and a series of tests or mental evaluation.

On the other hand, the defense of having temporary insanity is hard to defend in the court of law. It will be extremely hard for the defense attorney to prove that his client is insane at the time that the crime was committed. The legal system finds it moral to submit the insane person for a medical and psychological treatment regardless if they are proven to commit the crime or not, because legal insanity as a defense means the person does not have the ability to think properly, they do not know right from wrong, and what is moral or not.

Defending People Charged With Internet Crimes

According to reports published by the United States Federal Government, in the mid-1980s, trafficking of child-pornography within the United States was nearly eradicated through successful campaigns by federal and state authorities.

In the 1980’s, producing child pornography was difficult and expensive, however, with the advent of computers and the internet, child pornography has become easier to acquire, reproduce and store.

Digital cameras and the ease in which images and movies can be posted on the internet, combined with a world wide web which has no borders, has made it easy for distributors and collectors of child pornography to obtain the illegal photographs and videos. Although most people have some knowledge about the vast amount of pornography located on the internet, The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has estimated that 20% of all internet pornography involves children.

Legally speaking, 20% of the pornography located on the internet is illegal to possess in the United States.

As a result of the increase in the availability of child-pornography, federal and state convictions for crimes related to child-pornography has increased. Recently, the United States Department of Justice announced a national strategy for eliminating child pornography. The effort includes nationalized databases allowing states to share information and the hiring of 38 assistant U.S. Attorneys across the United States to prosecute child pornography crimes.

A person must merely open a newspaper or watch the television to find a news article or picture of a person whose name and reputation is ruined by state or federal charges related to possession of child pornography.

Instead of focusing on the people producing child pornography, efforts have shifted and law enforcement is now targeting people who possess child pornography. In order to help prosecute regular citizens, the federal government has partnered with internet search engines to find people searching for, downloading and possessing child pornography.

Computer crimes are not limited to simply possession or distribution of child pornography.

Many people have seen television shows where law enforcement uses a computer to lure unsuspecting people into illegal situations (e.g., NBC’s documentary, To Catch a Predator, etc.).

In such situations, a law enforcement officer poses as a minor and lures a unsuspecting person to a location; the location is usually portrayed as the minor’s home. When the unlucky person arrives at the minor’s home, television cameras record the subsequent conversation between the surprised adult and law enforcement.

Sometimes, the unlucky person believes (or hopes) he or she may be able to “talk their way out” of a potential arrest; however, the statements made by the person is recorded and likely used by a prosecutor as the basis for a criminal prosecution.

In short, sex crimes, internet crimes and computer crimes are a primary focus of state and federal law enforcement throughout the country.

Examination of the Computer

In any case involving a computer, it is critical to use a computer expert in any child pornography case. The use of such experts can help establish a defense to the crime by showing some of the following:

• When an illegal file was downloaded;
• Which computer program was used to download an illegal file;
• Which computer user downloaded an illegal file;
• Whether the illegal file was placed on the computer as a result of a computer virus;
• Whether the illegal file was placed on the computer by somebody “hacking” into an unsuspecting user’s computer, and;
• Whether the people portrayed in the images and/or movies are actually “children” or models above the legal age of consent who are “posing” as a minor.

Unfortunately, most attorneys do not have sufficient knowledge about computer technology to even consider the use of computer experts. Most attorneys without sufficient computer background simply believe that if child pornography is found on a computer, the person is “guilty”.

Examples of Common Situations

Throughout the United States, prosecutors can file variety of different charges against a person for using a computer for what may appear to be legal activities.

Three common examples are provided:

Example #1: A suspect looks for pornographic material on the internet and subsequently downloads both legal and illegal materials (e.g., child pornography, etc.). The illegal materials actually come from a website which is operated by the federal government for the sole purpose of finding and arresting people who download child pornography. Once the illegal materials are downloaded from the law enforcement computer, a warrant is requested from a local court and the computer is seized and searched.

The person is arrested even if they didn’t know the materials downloaded onto their computer were illegal.

Many people believe that if a website looks “legitimate”, the materials that come from that website must be legal to possess (e.g., pictures, videos, etc.); however, such an assumption is not true.

As indicated, the federal government has set up “legitimate” looking websites which provide child pornography. The sole purpose of the website is to lure a person into committing illegal acts (e.g., downloading an illegal movie and/or picture, etc.) and then arresting that person for downloading and possessing the illegal item provided by the federal government.

Example #2: Similar to the example above, a suspect uses a “peer-to-peer” file sharing program to download pornography (e.g., LimeWire, Bittorrent, BearShare, etc.). Unbeknownst to the suspect, some of the pornography downloaded is actually child-pornography, and it comes from a computer owned and operated by law enforcement. Once the illegal materials are downloaded from the law enforcement computer onto the suspects computer, a warrant is requested from a local court and the computer is seized and searched.

Another example is when law enforcement uses those same “peer-to-peer” file sharing programs to “search” for illegal child-pornography. Once law enforcement finds illegal materials, a computer program determines the TCP/IP address of the computer which houses the illegal materials. With the TCP/IP address, law enforcement can issue a warrant to determine the location and address of the suspect computer. Once law enforcement knows the physical location of the suspect computer, another warrant is obtained allowing the search and seizure of the computer.

Example #3: A suspect contacts a person believed to be a minor through a chat room on the internet. The minor is actually law enforcement. Through several conversations, the suspect is either encouraged to send naked pictures, or, in the worst-case scenario, the suspect is badgered into a personal meeting with the minor only to arrive at a pre-arranged destination and have law-enforcement waiting to arrest the suspect.

The three examples are common situations where people are charged in either federal or state court, however, the examples provided are not the only actions which can result in criminal charges.

Federal Charges relating to Child Pornography

Federal law makes it a crime to possess or distribute child pornography. Specifically, Title 18, section 2252 and 2252A of the United States Code criminalizes possession or distribution of child pornography.

Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction (pictures, video, data stored on a computer, etc.) which involves a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Title 18, section 2256 of the United States Code contains several definitions relating to crimes involving child pornography; the following simplified definitions are provided:

Minor: The term “minor” as used in the federal law, means a person under the age of 18.

Sexually Explicit Conduct: The term “sexually explicit conduct” as used in the federal law, means any sexual act, including material which simply shows a child’s genital area.

Visual Depiction: The term “Visual Depiction” includes film, videotape, or other data stored on a computer, or computerized data or any data able to be converted into a picture or film.

Common Legal Penalties For Computer Crimes

Computer technology is becoming increasingly more advanced and there is a lot of money to be made surrounding it. Where there is more money to be made, there is more criminal activity, punishable by law. The Information Act of 2000 states that there should be different penalties for different types of technological crimes. The following are common legal penalties for computer crimes.

Telecommunication service theft involves the unlawful obtainment of any telecommunications technology. This crime is punishable with a heavy fine and an undefined term of imprisonment. The legal consequences vary depending on the severity of the theft. Communications intercept crime is a Class-D crime that involves the interruption of communication technology. It is punishable by one to five years in prison along with a fine and can include other infractions such as offensive material dissemination, telecommunication piracy, and other cyber frauds.

When someone changes a source code on a computer program or website, this is called computer source tampering. Those found guilty of this crime can face up to three years in prison, or a fine. Computer hacking also carries a prison sentence of up to three years.

Though all technological crimes are taken seriously, government computer systems hold the most serious consequence when violated. Trying to obtain access to a system protected by the government is a very serious crime that can have major consequences on government operations. Anyone found guilty of tampering with a government computer faces ten years in prison and a major fine.

Protecting computer technology crimes is extremely important because the world now relies heavily on the use of computer systems to operate. With one of the most common legal penalties for computer crimes being a prison sentence, the legal system has been very effective in putting new laws in place with the changing technology. Technology crimes are taken very seriously and punished harshly.

Examples of White Collar Crimes and Wire Or Mail Fraud

The term “white collar crime” describes a variety of conduct. The term was first used by Edwin Sutherland when he addressed the American Sociological Society in 1939. Dr. Sutherland presented the position that corruption among affluent business and government officials caused as much harm to society as what is commonly referred to as “street” or “blue collar” crime. Thus, society should take action to identify and punish individuals involved in such conduct.

Perhaps “white collar crime” is best defined as property crimes associated with business that do not result in physical injury to any person. This broad definition can apply to complex investment schemes such as those publicized in the Enron scandal, or insider trading allegations such as those brought against Martha Stewart. The definition can also apply to more direct criminal activity such as telemarketing schemes, Internet fraud, and embezzlement.

Some examples of “white collar crimes” are: access device fraud, bank fraud, blackmail, bribery, cellular phone fraud, computer/Internet fraud, counterfeiting and forgery (not only currency but also certificates, documents of authenticity, licensing documents, identity, contractual agreements, etc.), credit card fraud, futures speculation schemes, copyright infringements, embezzlement, environmental regulation violations, extortion, fraud involving the health care industry, insider trading, insurance fraud, investment schemes, money laundering, securities fraud, tax fraud and evasion, telemarketing schemes, fraud involving illegal attainment of government services or benefits, bait and switch schemes, price fixing, false advertising, improper weights and measures for marketable goods, etc. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the conduct that could be characterized as “white collar crime.

Often, subjects of investigations of “white collar crimes” are accused of committing wire or mail fraud, obstruction of justice, or for making false statements to federal investigators. Wire and mail fraud prosecutions are very common in the arena of “white collar crime.” The difference between wire or mail fraud is that with wire fraud, the defendant used the “wires” (i.e., phones, fax, radio, etc.) to further the scheme to defraud, whereas with mail fraud, the defendant uses the United States Postal Service. See 18 U.S.C. yy 1341, 1343. The wire and mail fraud charges are very serious charges. The two carry a statutory maximum penalty of twenty (20) years imprisonment!

You may wonder why you or your company may be charged with wire or mail fraud for conduct that is more specifically addressed in other statutes. Especially in light of the fact that in today’s marketplace, businesses of all types are highly regulated. Perhaps it was explained best in a Second Circuit case from New York: “To federal prosecutors of white collar crime, the mail fraud statute is our Stradivarius, our Colt 45, our Louisville Slugger, our Cuisinart–and our true love. We may flirt with RICO, show off with 10b-5, and call the conspiracy law ‘darling,’ but we always come home to the virtues of 18 U.S.C. y 1341, with its simplicity, adaptability, and comfortable familiarity.”

United States v. Pisani, 773 F.2d 397, 409 (2nd Cir. 1985) (citing Rakoff, The Federal Mail Fraud Statute (Part 1), 18 Duq.L.Rev. 771, 771 (1980)) (footnotes omitted).

In other words, due to the simplicity of the wire and mail fraud statutes and because of the fact that oftentimes prosecutors are unable to identify violations of more specific statutes, the prosecutors simply rely on their “sweetheart” statutes, Mail or Wire Fraud. The prosecutors twist the facts in an attempt to satisfy the elements of the Mail or Wire Fraud statutes.

If you have been charged with Mail or Wire Fraud, or conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud (which carries the same penalty as Mail or Wire Fraud), you are facing very serious charges. The author HIGHLY recommends that you obtain COMPETENT legal counsel IMMEDIATELY. If you anticipate that you may face Mail or Fraud charges, or conspiracy to commit Mail or Wire Fraud charges, the author recommends that you obtain COMPETENT legal counsel AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If you are aware that you or your company is being investigated as a result of your business activities, the author recommends that you obtain COMPETENT legal counsel AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Competent legal counsel is very important from the moment that you realize you may be the subject of an investigation for any conduct that may constitute “white collar crime.” Often, legitimate business people find themselves prosecuted for unintentionally making false statements to investigators (just ask Martha Stewart), or for other unintentional actions that can be construed as an attempt to obstruct justice. The risk of such prosecution necessitates the acquisition of legal counsel as soon as possible.