Law Enforcers and Public Records

Aside from being public servants who are tasked to protect the general public, did you also know that the police departments can likewise be a good source of a lot of useful information? Yes, they could be. If you will visit the local law enforcement offices in your area, you can actually access a lot of public records from them that you could use in many situations.

For example, let’s say that you are someone who has a new business and you are looking forward to dealing with a lot of people for future expansion. You will surely need to encounter a lot of different individuals to do that such as employees, clients, suppliers and even prospective business partners. In order for you to determine the reliability and trustworthiness of people you deal with, you should use public records for your references too.

There are actually a lot of records that you can use. For example, you can check court records, arrest records and criminal records to see if any person in consideration really has an unquestionable character. You could check the mentioned public records so you could be aware of any wrong doings that a person may have done in the past. This isn’t about being suspicious all the time and being paranoid about the people that you will need to deal with but this activity is being done by many people so they could make wise decisions.

You would surely not want to do business dealings with someone who has been arrested in the past for embezzlement charges. That could really be risky for you. Aside from that, you surely wouldn’t want to be being close to someone, much less work with a person who is a registered sex offender. You and those other people would constantly be in danger and you will feel nervous about it all the time. Through those public records, it will be possible to that have criminal records.

These days, you wouldn’t have to go to the actual police department offices when you want to obtain access to those documents. You can actually go to the online websites that offer people with access to the records you need. What you will need to do is to look for public records sites since there are a lot of them out there. You might even choose between free sites and paid providers.

White-Collar Laws Are Best Understood by White-Collar Criminal Attorneys

White-collar laws and crimes differ a lot from any other laws or crimes which you may face. White-collar crimes are not violent and are usually performed by people who have a public office. This kind of crime can also be performed by a business which is using deception to commit the crime. The victim of such crimes might may not be able to understand what has happened even after the case, never mind getting justice for. In such cases it is best to hire a white-collar attorney.

There’s no violence. There is no weapons.

Generally speaking the crimes which we call white collar crimes do not involve using a weapon of any sort and are usually performed without exercising any violence. This makes the evidence to be a lot harder to obtain, it also takes a lot of time to determine if such a crime has actually been performed. People who are put under investigation for white-collar crimes have to make sure that they hire a very good white-collar criminal attorney.

The first thing that a white-collar criminal attorney is going to do is he is going to inform his client about their rights and privileges that the client has. He will also present all the necessary options which the client has to be aware of. Because of the fact that the criminal process for such a crime is very complicated and complex, it is important for the white-collar criminal attorney to actually understand all the ends and the outs of this specific kind of law.

The white-collar criminal attorney will be well informed as to the different kinds of the crimes that are performed. Be it bribery or embezzlement, or any other white-collar crime, the best thing you can do is you can hire a good white-collar criminal attorney to represent you and deal with your case. Anything you want to know and to get done which pertains to white-collar law, or white-collar crime, his best executed by professional white-collar attorneys.

It really does depend which law a specific person is broken, that information has to be clearly presented to the judges before they can decide on the actual punishment that the person is going to have to face. It may be that the person guilty of the crime will have to serve time in jail, maybe they are going to have to face huge fines which will in turn ruin them financially. Maybe those people will have to face dealing with restitution. When such circumstances are at stake, you really want to have a good white-collar attorney that will be able to present your case favorably to the judges so that you don’t have to deal with the consequences of one mistake which you have done in your life for the rest of her life.

A special kind of lawyer called DUI will have to be higher if you are charged with driving your car while being drunk. Many of such attorneys are ready to represent you and your case. It is not all that hard to find them, all you have to do is find a correct person for a correct kind of job.

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 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.