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Federal criminal defense

What Is the Federal Crime of Structuring?

Under the federal Bank Secrecy Act, banks must report deposits, withdrawals, or transfers of more than $10,000. This doesn’t mean it’s illegal to make them, only that the federal government gets an alert when they see you do it.  Some people try to divide up their transactions in an effort to evade the requirement. Some…

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How Discovery Works in Federal Criminal Cases

Upon a defense lawyer’s request, federal law requires prosecutors to give the defense copies of all the materials and evidence they intend to use at trial. This includes any evidence which may tend to support the defendant’s innocence, called exculpatory evidence.  Federal prosecutors have an obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence whether or not the defense…

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What is a “Geofence” Warrant?

A geofence warrant is a warrant that goes to any company capable of tracking your location data through your cellphone.  Law enforcement gets a warrant from a judge, then serves it to Google or Apple. The warrant specifies a physical location and a time period.  The company then gathers information about all the devices that…

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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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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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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 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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