Baton Rouge Criminal Defense Law Blog

How to defend yourself against drug possession charges

All states in the U.S. have laws governing the possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS). Louisiana law divides CDS into five Schedules with Schedule 1 being the most dangerous and Schedule 5 being the least dangerous. A conviction of possession of CDS can lead to significant fines and even jail time.

 

What elements must exist for an embezzlement charge to hold?

The thievery of "assets" by a person who has been granted access to said assets along with the capacity to operate or manage them is classed as embezzlement. It most commonly takes place in a corporate environment. Embezzlement is not in any way limited to the theft of physical assets; it can also come in the form of alteration of files and databases to cover up any theft of finances, this is classed as accounting embezzlement. If a person is given access and authority to operate the assets of a client or company strictly for the use of the former's best interest but instead misuses said assets for personal gain and interest, then this shall also be classed as embezzlement.

Depending on the skill of the perpetrator, embezzlement can be extremely hard to track down or even notice, that is because skilled embezzlers cover up their tracks with frightening skill. They have a distinct advantage in that they often have access to documents, files, and databases along with the assets themselves; this puts all the pieces in their hands. In the case of the major multinational companies, catching the perpetrators can be even harder as the records and cash flows are so vast that if the embezzler makes use of the multiple avenues, he can become incredibly hard to catch. Even if patterns get noticed, suspicions alone cannot prove anything and actions cannot be taken without proof.

How do the courts handle sentencing for sex offenses?

There may be no other area of law that's as stigmatized as sex crimes. The mere accusation of sexual misconduct can besmirch reputations, ruin careers and destroy lives. Sex offenses have brought down some of the most powerful people in the world, some of whom were completely innocent. Sex crime charges also carry severe penalties with them, whether you're a first time offender or you've been convicted before.

A normal case would go like this: once a conviction has been handed down, the presiding judge will examine a number of factors to determine an appropriate sentence. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The defendant's criminal history and previous convictions for sex offenses.
  • The extent of the damage caused by the defendant.
  • Whether the offender displayed extraordinary cruelty in his crime.
  • The defendant's mental state at the time the crime was committed.
  • >Whether the defendant shows remorse for his or her actions.

Types and elements of insurance fraud

Insurance fraud is commonly classified as an act which involves a fallacious insurance claim in the hopes of monetary compensation in exchange for damages that never actually took place. Insurance fraud is not just committed by insured customers. The roles may be reversed, and in some scenarios, the customers are the victims. The customers might be sold false insurance that has no real coverage, or their insurance returns might be stolen.

Insurance fraud is generally categorized into two types. Hard fraud is the variant of fraud where the person has purposeful intent and causes a dubious accident, damage or loss with the sole purpose of gaining false compensation from the insurance companies. Hard fraud is often performed by sole perpetrators but can also involve groups.

Common forms of defense for second-degree murder charges

Second-degree murder is classed as an unlawful killing committed with a clear intention to take the target's life but without prior planning or deliberation. Any slaying caused by the reckless and hazardous activities of the culprit will also be classed as second-degree murder.

The most basic form of defense against second-degree murder is that of innocence, and it is also the most recurrent. The defense can claim that the defendant did not commit the crime and is innocent but must provide evidence to back this claim. This evidence can be in the form of an alibi or through other evidence that disputes the claims of the plaintiff. The plaintiff must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime and if the defense can present enough evidence to provide reasonable doubt then most likely the charges will be dropped. Insanity is another form of defense used in many states, but it is not allowed in all. The defense claims that the defendant was not capable of making rational decisions at the time of the crime either due to mental illness or insanity thus cannot be held liable for the crime committed. Even if mental illness is proven, it does not mean that the culprit will not be held accountable for his actions, under most states the charges will remain though some leniency may be given to reduce the sentence. Where allowed, if full insanity is clinically proven, then the defendant cannot be held accountable for his actions.

Common forms of defense against sexual assault charges

Sexual assault is generally defined as the act of touching or feeling another person's body in a sexual manner without their consent and includes acts that range from simple unwanted touching of the body and groping to attempted rape. While sexual assault is no doubt a heinous crime and victims do deserve justice, it is also true that false allegations are common. There is a number of defenses that are used to protect the defendant.

The most basic form of defense used in court is innocence. The defense claims that the defendant did not commit the crime by either presenting an alibi or by claiming misidentification on the part of the plaintiff. In the case of an alibi, the defense must provide proof that the defendant was not present in the vicinity at the time of the crime. The defense can also claim that the plaintiff confused them with someone else and failed to identify the culprit correctly. The defense has to provide reasonable evidence as proof. The fact is that the defendant can generally only be convicted of the crime if it is proven beyond doubt that he committed the crime, if there is reasonable doubt then normally a conviction will not take place. 

Proving the elements of bribery

The influence exerted on public servants or employees through the offer of anything of value is called bribery.  It involves the offer and acceptance of gifts or payment of cash to get a favorable treatment. The bribe offered can take various forms.

The intention of the person who gives the bribe is to alter the decision of the person being offered the bribe. There is no requirement of a formal agreement between the person giving the bribe and the person accepting the bribe. However, an essential element is to show the existence of 'corrupt intent'. It is only in this way that both, the person accepting and the person offering the bribe, can be liable for bribery. Despite there being no requirement for formal agreement, the prosecutor must establish that there was an agreement in place. For example, video evidence of a politician accepting cash may suffice to prove the existence of an agreement.

What elements must exist for an embezzlement charge to hold?

The thievery of "assets" by a person who has been granted access to said assets along with the capacity to operate or manage them is classed as embezzlement. It most commonly takes place in a corporate environment. Embezzlement is not in any way limited to the theft of physical assets; it can also come in the form of alteration of files and databases to cover up any theft of finances, this is classed as accounting embezzlement. If a person is given access and authority to operate the assets of a client or company strictly for the use of the former's best interest but instead misuses said assets for personal gain and interest, then this shall also be classed as embezzlement.

Regulating money laundering in the United States

Money laundering entails transferring money originating from an illegitimate source, in order to make it seem legitimate. Money obtained from bribery, corruption, drug deals, terrorist financing and other offenses are all viewed as originating from illegitimate sources. The aim is to disguise the illicit nature of the funds.

Common defenses to sexual assault charges

Sexual assault refers to any non-consensual, offensive and unwanted sexual touching by the alleged offender. There are several different types of sexual offenses ranging from rape to assault and battery. The elements of sexual assault require it to be proved that:

  • There was sexual contact
  • Sexual contact was involuntary, and
  • The offender used force or coercion.

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