Criminal Defense Facts and Information – Know Your Rights

Surprisingly, compared to civil law, criminal law comprises a much smaller portion of the legal system. This means that finding a qualified criminal attorney can be more difficult than one may imagine. From traffic tickets to DUI’s many people feel that they are the mercy of the court system and are fighting a losing battle when trying to defend their record unless they hire an experienced attorney.

There are many more television shows about criminal law than civil law. This is because what is most at stake, a person’s liberty and freedom, is much more dramatic.

Determining a person’s guilt or innocence and subjecting him or her to jail time is a huge responsibility upon judges and juries. This is why criminal law has a much higher burden of proof than civil law. While individuals may be able to recoup the financial losses of civil litigation, a person may never regain the time they have spent inside the walls of a prison or repair the damage caused by a criminal record.

“Proof beyond a reasonable doubt” and “innocent until proven guilty” are terms that most people have heard before but the full gravity of these words isn’t felt unless they have faced trouble with the law. Failing to hire an experienced criminal law attorney could jeopardize your innocence and ability to present an effective defense in court.

“Criminal law” is refers to crimes that fall under the classifications of felonies and misdemeanors, summary offenses. Manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, burglary, arson, embezzlement, perjury, conspiracy, solicitation, forgery, assault, and murder are a few felonies. A felony is a crime in which the punishment is more than a year of incarceration. Most criminal law cases end in plea bargains where the defendant will plead to a much lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence.

Is Your Business Ripe For Embezzlement?

Most successful small business people have one thing in common. They excel at running the production of the business, be it products, services, or being value added retailers, but they hate to manage their business.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), if you have reached the 4 year mark, you are in the 50% Club. At 6 years, you are in the 40% club of businesses that have been successful.

So here’s the scenario: you are making money, but the management of the business is getting in the way of expanding. You decide to hire a financial person to run the routine stuff necessary for any business to function. You hire a “miracle worker” who takes over accounts receivable, starts getting your customers to pay their bills, keeps your suppliers happy and fires the payroll service as they can handle it, saving you money.

You are ecstatic, and you get to do what you love – build your business.

Believe it or not, you are ripe for embezzlement. Here is what can happen.

Your “miracle worker” gets you to sign over signature authority for the checkbook. Initially, this is just for checks for $500 and under; then, you come up with the brilliant idea of allowing this person (who after all, is doing such a great job) to sign all checks regardless of amount.

The miracle worker is so good that answering the phone and mail sorting and handling become their added responsibilities. It relieves you of that chore, saves you time and brings organization to your office. All is right with the world, you are told everything is great-it’s a banner year.

Then, one day your miracle worker is out ill. You end up answering the phone, and are startled by creditors’ calls telling you the bills are not getting paid. You open the mail, and it is full of overdue notices from creditors, the IRS, and your biggest account.

When the miracle worker returns to work they explain it all. The other companies are overreacting to checks lost in their internal processing. They’ll get it all straightened out and have a full report upon your return from a business trip. However, instead of a full report, you find the financial records, computer, checkbook, receipts, tax records, and personnel folder for your miracle worker have vanished. You immediately try to reach your miracle worker, but they cannot be located.

You then call the local law enforcement and file a report. They do the best they can, but it is now your word against the “miracle worker” who has hired a lawyer. The attorney sends a threatening letter stating you have no proof of wrongdoing and they intend to sue if any action damages their client’s professional reputation. Local law enforcement is already swamped with white collar crime investigations, and it will be at least a year before they will be able to act on your complaint.

Now where do you go for help?

Most small businesses just give up as they figure they will never recover the embezzled funds anyway and they become busy just trying to save their remaining business. Do not be silent – criminals are counting on that!

There are multiple levels of investigation beyond filing a report with your local law enforcement division.

Report the crime to the US Post Office as there is a better than even chance that the US mail was used in this criminal action. Postal Inspectors have their own investigative methods.

Report the crime to the county sheriff and prosecutor’s offices. They are a separate law enforcement entity, and may be looking at other activities involving your “miracle worker” that local law enforcement has no knowledge of. Also, within certain constraints, the FBI will investigate white collar crime. There is a dollar limit that needs to be crossed before federal officials will get involved, but it costs nothing to ask for their help.

Get every level of tax officials from the IRS down to the city (if applicable) informed of your problems. They have their own investigators and access to records that others do not have.

Be sure to include your banker in any fraud investigation. Banks have their own internal investigation resources and while they may not release any internal audit information to you personally, they do cooperate with law enforcement.

Also, call your local SCORE office or go to SCOREWorks.org and ask for free business counseling. SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. They will help get you back on your feet, and will give you advice that will help prevent this from happening again.

Now, what exactly can you do to prevent this problem? Several very easy steps will save you a ton of headache later.

1. Run your business! Look at and understand the weekly financials.
2. Have someone other than your miracle worker open ALL the mail and review it. Instruct that any late notices from vendors be brought to your attention immediately.
3. Have someone other than your miracle worker answer the phones. Keep a phone log of all incoming calls so you can track vendor relations.
4. Force your miracle worker to take vacation at least twice a year.
5. Implement internal controls by having duplicate paper.
a. One copy follows money to receivables file or cash sale.
b. The second copy goes to bookkeeping to record the transaction.
c. Periodically, compare these records to ensure the numbers match.
6. When delegating, check writing authority, limit the amounts to $500 or less.
7. Do not give payroll advances. It is too easy to skip the repayment.
8. Watch for duplicate payments to the corporate credit card bill.
9. Spend the money on an external audit by a different accounting firm than the one you are currently using, if you are using one at all. If your miracle worker says this will be a waste of time and money, change the locks on the door and call an auditor ASAP!

There are many more items you can and should implement to safeguard your business, but this list will give you a good start. If you recognize yourself or a friend’s business here, call and get help immediately.

Theft – A Crime in Many Forms

Theft usually describes any situation where one person takes another person’s property illegally. Although theft is almost universally regarded as a crime, it comes in many different forms: shoplifting, embezzlement, and burglary are all considered theft. Some forms of theft are taken more seriously than others, and the range of punishments can vary greatly.

Shoplifting is the crime of taking merchandise from a retail store without paying.While it is considered by some to be a lesser form of theft, it can still carry stiff legal penalties. The severity of a shoplifting offense, as with many types of theft, depends on the value of the merchandise taken. Shoplifting is often punished with fines, community service, or probation, but it can also result in time behind bars, especially for repeat offenders.

Burglary and robbery are two more serious forms of theft. Burglary is technically defined as the illegal entry into a property with the intent to commit a crime of any sort, but most often it burglary is done with the intent to steal. Robbery is theft involving the use of violence or intimidation tactics. Armed robbery, which involves the use of deadly weapons, is a more serious offense.

There are other types of theft that do not involve stealing property or money in person, but instead happen at a distance. This includes a number of “white-collar crimes,” so called because they can usually only be committed by people in managerial positions.

Embezzlement, for example, is the illegal taking of financial assets you have been trusted with. In order to embezzle money, it is necessary to be in a position where you are trusted with large sums of money in the first place. There are other crimes that can be committed by people with fewer resources, such as fraud and identity theft.

People who have been charged with theft, no matter what the form, are entitled to effective legal defense. Regardless of the charges, everyone in the United States is to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

For more information on subjects related to crime and criminal defense, visit the website of the Houston criminal defense lawyers of Johnson, Johnson & Baer, P.C.

False Billing and Embezzlement

Embezzlement charges are given to employees of businesses who create false invoices for their own financial gain. This is a crime that is harshly punished in the courts. Because of the severe consequences of this crime, defense attorneys are used to help defendants fight to overturn the charges against them or secure reduced sentences. Proper evidence that the crime was committed is the only way for the prosecution to succeed in their case. If found guilty, at the very least, the person will be held responsible for the financial damages they caused an individual or business.

Many people in high positions have access to the accounting records of their company. This is why it is often referred to as a “white collar” crime–because it is typically associated with individuals who are in managerial or supervisory positions.

One example of false billing includes an individual sending false invoices to the clients of their company. They may fraudulently make claims on the invoices that the bills are to continue a company’s service or simply try to take advantage of their client’s careless bookkeeping. These invoices will instruct these clients to send checks to P.O. boxes. Individuals then pick up these checks and deposit the money into different accounts.

Discovery of this crime will lead to an arrest and could result in a trial. In order to convict a person of this crime it must be proven that they intended to cause financial damage, took advantage of their position, and misappropriated the funds for personal financial gain. If these things cannot be convincingly demonstrated by the prosecution, it may be possible for a person to have the charges against them dismissed altogether.

If you have been charged with embezzlement, visit the website of the San Jose embezzlement defense attorneys at The Jensen Law Office for more information.

Criminal Law and Its Scope for Defense of a Country

Criminal law includes the rules and regulations related to crime. It includes all the jurisdictions that are imposed by the government because it may be harmful for the welfare of common people. The people who commit such crimes are punished whether capital punishment, physical or corporal sentence or imprisonment. All such policies and prohibitions are made by sovereign or any separate department responsible to manage these affairs. Criminal law is different from civil law as it is based on totally different objectives. If in a country the law is properly implemented and practiced then there is hardly any exploitation or corruption in the economy. There are different types of crimes white collar crime, healthcare crime, internet crime, tax crime, economic crime, etc.

Criminal lawyers may deal with people whose business reputation, goodwill, social status is at stake. Cyber crimes may charge you to serious penalty. If anyone is charged to offences relating tax liability, nonpayment of tax, tax evasions, etc the lawyers deals with such cases very professionally to protect the clients. The crimes related to merchantability or wholesomeness may render the criminals to heavy penalty. The cases may be referred to appellate tribunal for hearing of appeals and verdict announcement. The lawyers are well qualified and are approved by passing bar examination. The lawyers must be selected by thorough examination of their background and their skills regarding the specialties. If there are situations related to business insolvency, bankruptcy, or firm liquidation, auditors misfeasance, etc all such cases are very sensitive and requires a detailed care and diligence on part of the lawyer to protect the plaintiff. The convict whose crime has been proved in the court the lawyers also tackle their cases very professionally. The technicalities of lawyers and their defending power prove very useful for their clients. No matter what the case is the lawyers handles the situation very professionally.

If the plaintiff or defendant is wrongly accused in any case the criminal lawyers tackle the case very competently. Murder, assault, insolvency, embezzlement, burglary, stock misrepresentation, etc these are some cases of crimes. In the criminal law there are two types of lawyers one is criminal defense lawyer and the other is prosecutor. The defense lawyer provides direction to their clients regarding legal proceedings and they defend the case of those who have been accused of crime. On the contrary prosecutor is the lawyer who works to prove the guilt or fault of the defendant. Prosecutors may gather strong testimonies, proofs, witnesses, evidence to prove the guilt. If a person is accused of theft or any serious crime he must be very careful while finding a loyal and competent lawyer for his safety and freedom from the sentence. The criminal lawyers have to pass a bar exam and many years of training under seniors to be capable of practice. The criminal lawyers are playing their vital role in regulating the security and defense of a country.