Criminal Defense Lawyer – Finding the Best Defense Lawyer for You

There are a number of reasons that someone may need the help of a criminal defense lawyer. A good one is not cheap, but a conviction on your record can cost you over and over for the rest of your life. First of all are the very real possibilities of large fines and time behind bars. However, even misdemeanor convictions can keep you from getting a good job. Although many potential employers will tell you that they will only check back through 7 years of your criminal history, that is largely a myth. When a criminal history report is generated your ENTIRE criminal history will be visible. Whether an employer admits it or not, your history will influence your chances of being hired no matter how far back the charges or convictions may have occurred. Many offenses will keep you from being able to rent an apartment or condominium.

Prior convictions will cause law enforcement to scrutinize you more closely if you are suspected of or charged with a crime in the future. It may influence sentencing in future cases and can wreak havoc in your life in many ways. These days, people even check criminal history reports before going on a date for the first time. In other words, if the need arises you need to defend yourself vigorously to achieve the best outcome possible and the best way to do that is to hire the best defense attorney you can find and can afford.

The most common areas where people may need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney are:

  1. Domestic Violence– In some domestic violence cases, false accusations are made out of spite or to further the alleged victim’s own agenda. In a divorce proceeding, for example, a mother may claim spousal abuse in order to harm her husband’s credibility in a custody battle.
  2. DUI and DWI CasesWhen are stopped by a law enforcement official for suspicion of drunk driving, there are defined rules which must be followed prior to and during the stop. A violation of procedures may be a violation of your rights and might significantly weaken the prosecution’s case against you. Look for a defense attorney who specializes in this area of criminal law. They will look for the following:
    • Was there probable cause to stop you
    • Was a breath test properly administered
    • Was the person administering the test qualified to do so
    • Was the test equipment accurate and functioning properly
  3. Juvenile Crimes – In the case of juvenile charges, a criminal defense attorney is needed who knows how to work within the juvenile system. You need a good negotiator and someone who is skilled at getting the charges reduced or dropped.
  4. Federal Charges – The time to hire a good attorney in federal cases is ideally while an investigation is under way prior to charges being filed. Federal charges are generally serious and carry stiff penalties. An attorney who is experienced with the federal criminal justice system and understands the investigative process and procedural steps is critical to initiate a good defense. Some of the most common legal problems associated with federal charges include:
    • Medicare and Medicaid fraud
    • Drug conspiracy
    • Mortgage Fraud
    • Money laundering
    • Tax fraud
    • RICO Act and Racketeering Crimes

When you are faced with criminal charges or under investigation, an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help you protect your rights. A criminal defense lawyer who understands the law, the process and has experience in the area of criminal law which applies to your situation can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

The Differences Between Theft and Robbery

Colloquially, robbery and theft are often referred to as if they were more or less the same thing. A robber and a thief both take things that are not theirs, and thus these words can be used interchangeably most of the time. Legally, however, robbery and theft are different crimes with very different punishments. Let’s look at these laws in more detail.

Theft

This is actually a broad term referring to any occurrence when a piece of property is taken without its owner’s permission. It is usually classified as a crime against property, along with property damage and arson. Theft is prosecuted on the state level, with a few exceptions. Because Congress has the constitutional right to control interstate commerce, which has been interpreted very broadly over the years, some acts of theft that affect the interstate economy can be tried on the federal level.

In the US, most state governments use the term larceny in their criminal code because it is more specific. The word “theft” can cover looting, robbery, mugging, shoplifting and a wide variety of other offenses. Larceny, on the other hand, refers to the very specific act of physically moving an object that belongs to someone else, without their permission, and with the intent to deprive the person of that object permanently. It does not matter if the person committing larceny intends to keep the object for their self, but it does matter if they are only temporarily borrowing the object.

Larceny can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the total monetary value of whatever objects were stolen. In Wisconsin, for example, stealing objects or money worth up to $500 is a misdemeanor. Any amount more than that is a felony, with the class increasing with the value of the stolen property.

Robbery

Legally, this term refers to the act of taking property away from its owner through the use of violence or intimidation. Unlike theft, the owner of the property must be present as it’s being taken, or else the crime does not qualify as robbery. This crime is always a felony, although the class varies depending on the amount and type of force used.

If a person physically assaults or threatens another without using any kind of weapon in order to steal anything, this is a Class E felony, and can be punished by up to 15 years in prison. Additional years may be added if the convicted person is a repeat offender. A person who steals property while using a dangerous weapon, such as a gun, has committed a Class C felony, punishable by up to 40 years in prison. Again, more years can be added for prior convictions.

For more information about the legal distinctions between different crimes, contact Milwaukee theft defense attorneys Kohler & Hart.

Best Distance Learning Programs For Criminal Justice

Over the past few years criminal justice has emerged as one of the broad fields in the United States that encompasses many functions in society’s efforts to control crime. It is one of the few professions that have constantly demanded well trained specialists, who can enforce laws, prosecute and rehabilitate adult and immature offenders, assist victims, and prevent crime from occurring through successful security and deterrence. Consequently, in last few years the demand for criminal justice programs has boomed drastically. It is one of the few degrees that can start or advance your career in this exciting field by qualifying you for diverse profile like: Law Enforcement Officer, Criminal Forensic Specialist or Investigator and Special Agent at the local, state and federal level.

One of the best benefits with an education and career in criminal justice is the knowledge that you can contribute to protect your community and country. Once you make a start in this profession, you can be proud of the role you play in keeping this world safe every single day. There are many career paths available to those who go to school for a criminal justice degree. Apart from this, there are numerous online criminal justice courses and distance learning programs that are being offered from leading universities. The best thing about these courses or distance learning degrees is that they are affordable and comparatively easy to learn. These distance learning programs cover a broad spectrum of subjects. Here, are just few of them that can let you select:

Cyber Security Distance Learning Program — This is one of the few programs that can provide you an exciting career opportunity in criminal justice. In recent times, the demand for cyber security has increased and will increase as per the FBI. Now selecting an online degree program of Cyber Security can help you learn how to be responsible for managing network information system security, including criminal investigation and database protection. Besides this, the program will help you gain skills on issues such as internet security assessment, security preparation and creating plans for the effective and rapid response to security breaches. This program will enable you to resolve security gaps, apply and use layered security models and investigate cyber crime.

Disaster Medicine & Management Distance Learning Program — This program is meant for medical, public-safety and defense professionals working in the public and private sectors. Offered in a flexible and distance learning format, this program generally aims to prepare graduates with the skills needed to practice disaster mitigation, attentiveness, reaction and long-term recovery activities within a complex technological society such as the United States. The degree program also aims to train graduates with problem solving and management skills essentially required for the co-ordination of complex situations following technological and natural disasters. It is one of the few comprehensive online graduate-degree programs encompassing all facets of disaster management. Emergency & Disaster Management Distance Learning Program — The nature of disasters and large-scale disastrous emergency events requires professionals with the background and education that deal with natural and man-made hazards. The degree in emergency and disaster management is just one of the few programs that can prepare you manage emergency and public safety properly. From the smallest incident to the largest catastrophe, this emergency and disaster management can introduce you to important areas such as emergency and disaster management phases, risk assessment, prevention and management, mitigation, and recovery. The unique feature of this course is its wider scope that includes both pre and post disaster event responses. Apart from this, today it is one of the few programs in criminal justice domain that let you enjoy good salary. Hence, if you are interested in disaster management career, it is a good opportunity for you to get start your career now.

Forensic Science Distance Learning Program — In last few years, scientific advances, such as the utilization of DNA to decisively tie suspects to a crime scene, have expanded the applications of science and technology in law enforcement and private security. This in turn has increased the demand for a variety of forensic specialists. An online degree in criminal justice with a specialty in forensic science can help you qualify you to meet this demand. Once you attain a degree in forensic science you may work as forensic specialists or crime scene investigators who generally examine fraud and embezzlement. Apart from this, an online forensic science degree is not limited to a career in criminal justice. The courses also provide a strong background in chemical analysis, as well as biology, and anatomy. As such, you may even provide ideal preparation for work in medical examiner or coroner’s offices, clinical chemistry laboratories, and the pharmaceutical industry as well.

These are few online criminal justice programs that can let play some of the important job responsibilities that may result in managing a crime or any disaster in an effective manner. Earning any of the above mentioned degrees through a distance learning program can be a good decision provided that you select a program from an accredited online institution.

The Fight Against Computer Crime

Computer technology has attracted its fair share of criminal activities from those looking to exploit and capitalise on people’s reliance on the computer to run their daily lives. After all, author Jolly John singled Singapore out for being ‘the most network-ready country’, signifying both our dependence on new-age technology and the capabilities of the talent we have. However, there are dire consequences to be dealt with should the intentions of those with the ability to manipulate the systems deviate to malice.

In their efforts to safeguard against computer crime, the Singapore Government has set up various measures through a multi-pronged approach. The first step is to keep up governing laws with the fast changing developments of technology and the opportunities for dismeanour it presents by passing new legislation. Singapore passed the Computer Misuse Act in 1993, which has since been amended four times.

The Computer Misuse Act punishes perpetrators of computer crime, rather than cyber crime. Computer crime refers to crimes against a computer through acts that attack a computer system. The Act covers unauthorised access to a computer, or computer material without authorisation, modifying the contents of a computer without authorisation, obtaining or intercepting any computer service or function, interfering with or obstructing the lawful use of a computer, impeding or preventing access to or impairing the usefulness or effectiveness of any computer program or data, or disclosing a password, access code, or other means of gaining access to a program or data. To take just the first example, any person who uses a computer to secure access to another computer without authorization shall be guilty of an offence.

On the other hand, the existing Penal Code governs cyber crime, which is traditional crime like fraud, theft or extortion abetted through the computer. As opposed to carrying out crime against a computer, perpetrators carry out their illegal acts through the computer.

Through the Computer Misuse Act, the law punishes and deters computer criminals by meting out harsh penalties including imprisonment and fines. Crimes targeting the bedrock of our nation’s critical industries like banking and finance, communications or transportation and public services warrants the harshest punishment – a fine up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 20 years. It is also noteworthy that a Court can order compensation to be paid by the offender for any damage that is caused, and such compensation which is ordered does not prevent or restrict a civil claim for damages which exceeds the compensation amount.

The next step it has taken is to set up agencies that ensure the enforcement of these laws. These specialised agencies include the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team, Computer Crimes Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Computer Forensics Branch of the Singapore Police.

Operated by professionally-trained tech experts, they can exercise their power with extra-territorial jurisdiction. They are trained in all aspects of computer investigation, one of which is the emerging field of computer forensics. This intricate process of investigation enables the retrieval of consequential data from computers, computer networks, data storage media and related equipment that may contain evidence which can be presented in court. They first analyse the data and meticulously document and preserve the evidence to be presented before court. This operation requires highly trained professionals as it involves delicate procedures where a single wrong move can destroy or modify the evidence.

If one suspects a breach but don’t want to bring it directly to the authorities, there is the option of approaching private forensic investigators like Adroit Data Recovery Centre (ADRC). Due to the increase in violations of the Computer Misuse Act, ADRC has set up a forensic investigation department to deal with the influx of such investigative requests.

With more than 10 years of experience in the data recovery market, ADRC is well equipped with certified computer forensic experts who are capable of securing and documenting digital evidence with full audit trail suitable for court submission and performing data recovery under all adverse situations. They also have their own class 100 clean laboratory. Without having to move evidence around, this minimizes the risk of evidence being contaminated.
Computer users should also adopt preventive measures to safeguard their computers against computer crime, which is a very real threat that has the potential to be even more damaging given our reliance on computers these days.
Adroit Data Recovery Centre (ADRC) Pte Ltd is South East Asia’s leading data recovery centre equipped with the first Class 100 clean laboratory in Singapore. It has an un-paralleled capability and the setup to acquire and collect the digital evidence from all kinds of working or damaged media while observing the strictest process of computer forensic investigation.

The team of qualified forensic experts is able to provide court-ready reporting of digital evidence for civil and criminal litigation through the installation of rigorous forensic methodologies in order to identify, acquire, preserve, analyze and document digital data (electronically stored information) for use as evidence in court or other legal or administrative proceedings.

Selecting a Criminal Defense Lawyer

In basketball, they say that a good defense is the best offense. The same goes when you have to go to trial because your life is on the line and the only way to prevent yourself from going to jail is by selecting a criminal defense lawyer who will be able to represent you when the evidence is presented.

Criminal defense lawyers are a special breed of individuals because they specialize in criminal law. Some of these people represent those who are guilty and will do everything in their power to make sure their client does not go to jail.

But how do you select a criminal defense lawyer? For that, you have to find someone who specializes in this field. If you don’t know any, ask your friends or family for help.

When you see them for the first time, this is not a social call but business. You should ask them straight out how long has he or she practiced criminal law, the number of cases that went to trial and how many times have they won.

Do a background check on the criminal defense lawyer. Find out if they belong to any legal organizations like the County or State Bar Associations. If this person is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, then chances are you are already in good hands.

But since this is not enough, find out if they will have the time to work on your case because you could lose it if they are not able to provide a good defense.

You should also find out how much they charge for their legal fees and if they will be the one who will personally handle your case. If they are asking you for a large sum of money up front, leave the office and find someone else right away.

If you find the rate reasonable and feel comfortable talking to this person, then by all means hire this individual to be your criminal defense attorney.

Now discuss your case and then follow whatever instructions are given. This person should be able to explain to you how things will go and what they will do.

The ideal criminal defense lawyer is the public defender because this is what they do day in and day out. Although they usually get a bad rap, they are very experienced when it comes to going to court which is why they are often used as consultants by private attorneys. Some have even left and established their own firms specializing in criminal law.

Will this guarantee that you will win your day in court? Of course not. Nobody can guarantee that even if you can afford hiring a very rich attorney.

This all boils down to how well this person will be able to cast doubt on the evidence used by the prosecution because you will only get a guilty verdict if they can prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are indeed responsible for the crime.

Selecting a criminal defense lawyer is crucial because not be able to get a good defense will likely get you a guilty verdict. You can prevent that form happening since you are given time to look for one before you are arraigned and asked how do you plead in front of the judge.