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July 28, 2017 By Jeff King

  • Texas Appeals Court Clarifies Probable Cause Standard
    The Fourth Amendment One of the great rights we enjoy thanks to the U.S. Constitution is the right to remain free from unreasonable searches and seizures, by the police. This right comes to us from the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, and puts stiff requirements on the police and other state actors before they meddle into the lives of private citizens. Search Warrants & Probable Cause One of those requirements, and a protection for us, is that the police seek out and get a warrant before conduct a search of a person’s belongings, or before making an arrest. Now there are exceptions ...
  • Controversial Harris County Rape Case
    Recently, a Harris County rape victim was held in jail for nearly a month because lawyers feared that the victim would not speak against her attack unless she was forced to by a court. While the woman’s attacker was eventually convicted and sentenced to life in prison, the woman’s time in court result in substantial damaging circumstances. The woman, who is afflicted with mental health issues, was jailed for twenty seven days after breaking down on the witness stand. Due to this emotional breakdown, prosecutors feared that the woman would run from the case and not return to court. While ...
  • Supreme Court Ruling Gives Prosecutors More Leverage
    Some might say that the last thing federal prosecutors need in their large toolbox of potential charges was more leverage in prosecuting federal cases. But following a recent Supreme Court ruling on the scope and applicability of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), that is just what has happened. Reading just the headlines of the result in RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community may not lend someone to come to the conclusion that it expands federal prosecution. A closer reading however shows that part of the court’s holding increases the availability of the RICO Act to federal prosecutors. ...
  • Sharing Password Ends With Jail Time
    Prosecutions involving computer crimes have increased dramatically over the last decade or so. The reason is obvious, there are many more computers today than ever before. But a problem with many of these prosecutions is that when federal laws were written to prevent crimes using computers, the technology involving computers was simple compared to today’s computers. Computer Fraud & Abuse Act One of those laws is found in 18 U.S.C. § 1030, et al. Known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act or CFAA, this law is very broad in what it considers a crime. Under the provisions of this federal ...
  • Understanding Standards of Proof in Criminal Cases
    The legal universe people most commonly come into contact with are divided into two different worlds: criminal and civil. While both worlds exist within the justice system, there are many differences in how criminal and civil law are applied, though those differences are mostly known by lawyers and not lay people. One of the big differences between civil and criminal court cases is the standard of proof that is needed to get a final result from a jury. Famously, the standard of obtaining a conviction in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt. And for a civil case that ...

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