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Posts by Lee Koch

Does the 5th Amendment Let You Lie to Federal Agents?

Lying to federal agents is against the law, and the 5th Amendment will not protect you if you choose to do it. Under the 5th Amendment, you have the right to avoid incriminating yourself. At least, that’s the simplified version of the 5th Amendment you read about in novels and see on television. The reality…

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Could a Cyber-Crime Result in a Murder Charge?

This October, PBS reported on a ransomware attack that hit a county health hospital in Wisconsin.  “Campbell County Health reported systemwide crippling of their computers that affected its flagship hospital and nearly 20 clinics located in the city of Gillette. For eight hours, the hospital’s emergency department was forced to transfer patients even though the…

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Should You Take a Polygraph if You’re Accused of a Federal Crime?

Polygraphs are notorious for being “junk science.” The technology behind them hasn’t been updated since the 1950s, and they are only 80% to 90% accurate.  In fact, some experts say they don’t measure lies. They measure stress. Fear. Anxiety. In fact, the APA would tell you that’s all the machine is. A fear detector. In…

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It May Soon Be Legal to Collect DNA from Immigrants

A proposed rule would allow immigration officials to collect DNA from detainees. This information is then placed in a national criminal database. This decision will impact 748,000 migrants. Prior to the passage of this rule, the FBI was already collecting DNA from anyone who had been arrested, charged, or convicted of serious crimes.  If the…

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Here’s What You Need to Know About Appeals

On November 2, 2018, the United States Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Curtis Giovanni Flowers. Flowers was accused of murdering four employees of a Mississippi furniture store.  After three separate trials where he was convicted, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed the conviction and remanded the matter back to the lower court, where he then…

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What is a Writ of Habeas Corpus?

“Habeas corpus” is Latin for “you have the body.” A writ of habeas corpus can be an important tool in any criminal case. It is meant to protect your Constitutional rights. This writ is used to challenge any form of confinement or restraint which takes place in an unlawful manner, or to an unlawful degree. …

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How to Tell If Your Phone’s Been Tapped

A phone tap is one of the signs you’re under federal investigation. And since it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer as soon as you know something’s amiss, it’s not a bad idea to know some of the signs that someone is listening in on your calls. These can include: Beeps, clicks, or static…

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What is Criminal Copyright Infringement?

While even a single pirated movie or software package could result in civil penalties, it usually takes a lot more to spark a criminal copyright case. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take these seriously. When the FBI takes notice of intellectual property violations they are relentless, and if you are convicted you can face…

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What to Do if You are an Immigrant Accused of a Crime

Immigration law and criminal law have been entangled for over three decades. And an immigrant accused of a crime has two things to worry about: whether jail is a possibility, or whether deportation is. This makes the situation doubly stressful. Knowing what to do and what your rights are can improve your outcome. You still…

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What is Deferred Prosecution?

Deferred prosecution can be one of the better case outcomes either at the federal or state level, depending on what you’ve been accused of, how much evidence the prosecution has, and what your alternatives are. Under a deferred prosecution agreement, the prosecutor agrees not to pursue a conviction if you will agree to certain conditions.…

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