Category: Federal Criminal Procedure

August 23, 2017

How Poking the Bear Gets Your Assets Kicked

For many decades, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals was viewed as a very conservative place, where prosecutors were usually quite comfortable with the status quo, a largely “law and order” kind of venue.  During the Obama presidency, the Court’s makeup changed dramatically, with a batch of younger, more liberal judges joining the “old guard”… Read More

August 11, 2017

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Prosecutors Can Use Pleas to Skirt Constitution

While the endless portrayal of jury trials in media might indicate otherwise, trials are actually quite rare in the U.S. criminal justice system. With 97% of federal cases ending in pleas, the Atticus Finch conception of American justice has been largely confined to books. Ordinarily, when an accused enters into a plea agreement, he waives… Read More

July 19, 2017

You Can’t Run From Justice

Just last week, a Kentucky lawyer by the name of Eric Conn was sentenced to twelve years in prison by a federal judge for bribery and theft of government money.  Though similar sentences are doled out around the country on a daily basis, this was unique because the defendant was not even in the courtroom. … Read More

March 2, 2017

When A Threat Becomes A Crime

A Miami Beach man was recently accused of threatening President Trump on Twitter. He sent the threat directly to Secret Service, challenging them to stop his Inauguration Day surprise. They did, and Dominic Puopolo, who used the screen name of Lord Jesus Christ, is now in federal custody. Sending a threat to the President, to an ex-wife,… Read More

January 17, 2017

Alexa: Play Confession

It sits in your house, passively recording everything you say.  It knows what you like.  It knows what you listen to.  It knows what you buy.  It knows who’s in the room with you.  And now, it might tell the police all about it. “It” is the Amazon Echo, a revolution in the “internet of… Read More

June 8, 2016

This Man Is Dodging Wall St.

Rather than confront accusations of baseless zeal and prosecutorial overreach, New York federal prosecutor Preet Bharara would rather spend his energy dodging accountability. In 2010, Bharara launched a crusade against Wall Street, prosecuting several hedge funds he suspected of insider trading. Highly publicized raids followed. In the wake of the financial meltdown, Bharara was hailed… Read More

April 28, 2016

Feds Open The Gates and Seize the Domain Names

Does the federal government have the right to seize a domain name without notice? With growing frequency, the feds have seized the domain names of thousands of websites for alleged criminal wrongdoing. The latest example is the seizure earlier this week of 67 website domain names for the alleged illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit… Read More

April 15, 2016

Good News: The Feds Can’t Freeze Your Assets to Stop You from Hiring a Lawyer

Republished with permission from FEE.org, originally published April 12, 2016 There are limits to what the government can take from you. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Constitution forbids the government from freezing a defendant’s “untainted” assets in advance of prosecution. The ruling is a significant victory for those caught in the government’s crosshairs. It… Read More

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