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May 2015 Archives

Building a solid defense around rape kit evidence

In our last couple posts, we’ve been speaking about rape kits, specifically how the evidence is gathered and stored, and about the issue of chain of custody. When a defendant faces rape charges, there are several things to keep in mind when building criminal defense case with respect to rape kits.

New law requires inventorying of backlogged rape kits

In our last post, we began speaking about rape kits and how the evidence is gathered with the use of these kits. We also mentioned the importance of maintaining chain of custody with respect to rape kits. What happens after a rape kit has been utilized depends on whether the victim reports the rape allegations to the police. If the victim does report those allegations, police take the kit to a crime lab for testing.

Changes coming to the federal sentencing guidelines on economic crimes, P.3

We’ve been talking about changes proposed to the federal sentencing guidelines, and particularly about how one basic aim of the changes is to give greater weight to the subjective intent of defendants when determining the appropriate sentencing range for economic offenses.

Changes coming to the federal sentencing guidelines on economic crimes, P.2

In our last post, we mentioned that changes may be coming with respect to how the federal sentencing guidelines deal with a defendant’s culpability for economic offenses such as fraud, theft and embezzlement. Overall, the recent changes proposed by the U.S. Sentencing Commission are intended to provide for a better measure of a defendant’s actual culpability.

Changes coming to the federal sentencing guidelines on economic crimes

When building a strong criminal case, it is important for defendants to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to highlight the aspects of their case which will go toward minimizing the penalties. This can include a variety of strategies, from challenging the sufficiency of the evidence to mounting procedural challenges. 

Experienced attorney can help highlight problems with evidence

In our last post, we spoke about the FBI’s recent admission that thousands of criminal cases may have been affected by faulty hair analysis testimony. As we pointed out, there are bound to be a significant number of appeals stemming from the scandal, which itself is a reminder of the importance of working with an experienced criminal defense attorney to carefully scrutinize the evidence brought by prosecutors.

FBI and DOJ: poor forensic science impacted thousands of criminal cases

Readers are well aware that the standard of proof for evidence in criminal cases is that of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The highest standard of proof in the legal system, it requires prosecutors to present evidence that would convince a reasonable person that there is no serious reason to doubt that the defendant committed the crime.

Conviction prompts Mosby to raise issue of prior accusations

Last month, we wrote about a proposal backed by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby which would prevent judges from excluding from trial evidence that a defendant committed prior sexual offenses when admitting such evidence would be unfairly prejudicial to a defendant. Under that proposal, judges would only be able to exclude evidence of prior offenses in cases where a specific finding is made by the court.

What is the defense of entrapment? P. 2

In our last post, we began speaking about the issue of entrapment, which is a legal defense that can be asserted in situations where an individual is induced to commit a crime during the course of a police investigation. Here we wanted to offer a couple more comments on the issue.

What is the defense of entrapment? P. 1

One of the points we made in our last post is that law enforcement officials have a great deal of resources at their disposal to investigate crime. Police not only have the ability to question suspects and search vehicles and homes, but also to go undercover, monitor internet activities, and wiretap phone lines. All of this, of course, in an effort to gather evidence of criminal activity.

Work with strong advocate in fighting drug charges

When law enforcement officials go after offenders, one of their goals is to gather as much evidence as possible for the most serious charges they can muster. Make no mistake, law enforcement is not out to do criminal suspects any favors in terms of leniency in charging.

What is the difference between rape and attempted rape?

In our last post, we mentioned a case in which a Maryland man was acquitted on a charge of attempted rape. In that case, the victim claimed that the man had attempted to sexually assault her, though there was not enough evidence to support a conviction.