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June 29, 2010

Supreme Court White-Collar Crime Ruling

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 2:08 am

How the Skilling Ruling Limits White-Collar Cases

Prosecutions for mail and wire fraud are a staple of white-collar crime cases, and many involve the deprivation of the “right of honest services.” In Skilling v. United States, the case brought by Jeffrey K. Skilling, Enron’s former chief executive, the Supreme Court narrowed the scope of honest services fraud, making it more difficult for prosecutors to pursue criminal cases against corporate executives for misconduct that does not involve lining their own pockets.

Under the court’s analysis, evidence that an executive had a conflict of interest or acted against the best interests of the company and its shareholders is now insufficient to make out a case of mail or wire fraud.

SKILLING v. UNITED STATES

The Supreme Court upholds gun rights

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 1:54 am

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individual’s right to bear arms applied to state and local laws.

The case, McDonald v. City of Chicago, involved Chicago’s longtime ban on handguns. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the 5-to-4 majority, said the decision does not imperil every law regulating firearms, like those prohibiting gun possession by felons or bans on firearms in schools. But the court left unanswered just what other types of gun control laws — beyond an outright ban on handguns — might also violate the Second Amendment.

MCDONALD ET AL. v. CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Ignition Interlock Bill Passes in California

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 1:25 am

Guest Author Blog Article

Ignition interlock devices function similarly to breath analysis machines in that the driver must blow into a tube to have his or her breath alcohol content analyzed. If the driver’s reading is above legal limits, the car will simply lock up and the driver will be unable to turn it on.

California DUI defense attorneys have been waiting for the new, pilot Ignition Interlock Device (IID) law to take effect, requiring even first offenders to install an IID in four counties only.This pilot program goes from July 1, 2010, to January 1, 2016, in only the Counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare.

It requires, as a condition of being issued a restricted driver’s license, being reissued a driver’s license, or having the privilege to operate a motor vehicle reinstated subsequent to a conviction for a violation of DUI offenses (California Vehicle Code Section 23152), a person to install for a specified period of time an ignition interlock device on all vehicles he or she owns or operates unless exempted (see attached DMV notices). The amount of time the ignition interlock device would be required to be installed would be based upon the number of convictions, as prescribed.

The statute specifies IID terms below in the target counties

(7) A person is required to install an ignition interlock device for the applicable term as a condition of being issued a restricted driver’s license, being reissued a driver’s license, or having the privilege to operate a motor vehicle reinstated subsequent to a conviction for a violation or a suspension of a person’s driver’s license, as follows:

(A) A person convicted of a violation of Section 23152 shall be required to install an ignition interlock device, as follows:
(i) Upon a first offense, the person shall install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles owned or operated by that person for a mandatory term of five months.
(ii) Upon a second offense, the person shall install an ignition interlock device in  all vehicles owned or operated by that person for a mandatory term of 12 months.
(iii) Upon a third offense, the person shall install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles owned or operated by that person for a mandatory term of 24 months.
(iv) Upon a fourth offense or any subsequent violation, the person shall install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles owned or operated by that person for a mandatory term of 36 months.

(more…)

June 3, 2010

United States Supreme Court Holds No Prosecution For Sex Registrants Who Traveled Before 2006

In Carr v. United States, the Supreme Court held that §2250 of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) does not apply to sex offenders whose interstate travel occurred before the effective date of the Act. Having reached that conclusion, the Court found that it need not address the ex post facto question raised in the case.

SORNA, which was enacted in 2006, the makes it a federal crime for any person (1) who “is required to register under [SORNA],” and (2) who “travels in interstate or foreign commerce,” to (3) “knowingly fai[l] to register or update a registration as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.” 18 U.S.C. §2250(a).

Carr holds that a sex offender may not be prosecuted for failure to register under §2250 if that person’s interstate travel occurred before SORNA’s effective date. The Court explained: “Once a person becomes subject to SORNA’s registration requirements, which can occur only after the statute’s effective date, that person can be convicted under§2250 if he thereafter travels and then fails to register.” Slip Op. at 7.

CASE CAN BE FOUND AT: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1301.pdf

June 1, 2010

United States Supreme Court Holds that You Must Speak Up If You Want to Remain Silent!

The Supreme Court held, 5-4 (Kennedy for majority, Sotomayor for the
dissent) that a suspect being interrogated must “unambiguously invoke” the right to remain silent or the right to counsel” for questioning to stop.

Summary:       Silence during the interrogation does not invoke the right to remain silent. A suspect’s Miranda right to counsel must be invoked “unambiguously”, just as the right to counsel, see Davis v. United States, 512 U. S. 452, 459. If the accused makes an “ambiguous or equivocal” statement or no statement, the police are not required to end the interrogation, or ask questions to clarify the accused’s intent. There is no principled reason to adopt different standards for determining when an accused has invoked the Miranda right to remain silent and the Miranda right to counsel at issue in Davis.

By choosing to speak to the interrogators, a suspect is “waiving” the right to silence.  Once the government establishes Miranda warnings were given (and understood), an accused “uncoerced” statements establish an “implied” waiver of the right to remain silence.

The majority says, “Had he wanted to re-main silent, he could have said nothing in response or unambiguously invoked his Miranda rights, ending the interrogation. That he made a statement nearly three hours after receiving a Miranda warning does not overcome the fact that he engaged in a course of conduct indicating waiver.”

Dissent concludes: Today’s decision turns Miranda upside down. Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent—which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak. At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so. Those results, in my view, find no basis in Miranda or our subsequent cases and are inconsistent with the fair-trial principles on which those precedents are grounded. Today’s broad new rules are all the more unfortunate because they are unnecessary to the disposition of the case before us.

BERGHUIS, WARDEN v. THOMPKINS

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