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Detroit Criminal Law Blog

White Collar Crime: Money Laundring

white collar crime.pngOne of the best ways to pursue criminal organizations, white collar crime, and terrorist groups is to follow the money. That's why the FBI is prioritizing investigations of third-party money laundering facilitators. Money laundering is when alleged criminals turn "dirty money" into "clean money" by making it seem like it has derived from legitimate sources. It allows alleged criminals to hide and accumulate ill-gotten wealth, avoid prosecution, evade taxes, and multiply profits through reinvestment. It's also a major crime in large part because it helps to fund more major crimes. However, this doesn't mean the FBI is just going after secretive Swiss banks, corrupt foreign governments and shadowy virtual currencies. Instead, the Bureau has found targets closer to home: attorneys, accountants, investment managers, trust companies, and real estate professionals.

Protecting Your Rights - Cellphone Snooping

Thumbnail image for Stingray.jpgWhen it comes to protecting your rights, are cellphones a good or a bad thing?  It's plain to see how cellphones have improved our lives, not only by making sure we never miss a call, but also by putting the internet, including GPS navigation, email, Google searches, and all of our other favorite apps, right in our pocket. However, the benefits of our Information Age also come with a downside. Since our phones track everything we do, the temptation is high for law enforcement to get their hands on that information. The federal government has already been caught secretly collecting email and phone communications in its effort to fight terrorism, but now, scrutiny is being focused on local and state law enforcement. A recent article in the American Criminal Law Review Online, discusses how police are secretly using devices in public, known as StingRays, to pull information out of cellphones without the phone owner's knowledge.

Is The Justice System Impartial?

Fairness iii.pngDo you believe that the justice system is not fair? That it helps some while hurting others without any rhyme-or-reason to it all? These are common complaints because, admittedly, the justice system is imperfect. Plus, it will always feel unfair when you get the short end of the stick. That's why its important that those individuals who are a part of "the system," police, prosecutors, and judges, not only make sure to be impartial and objective, but also to work hard to remove the appearance of favoritism and subjectivity. It's because of these rules that the recent actions of four Wayne County prosecutors set off alarm bells.

Narcotics and Drugs: Causing Death Means Life in Prison

overdose.jpgIt's a profoundly bad idea to do Narcotics and Drugs. This cannot be overstated. We have all heard stories of lives and families destroyed by drugs. As a result, the state has an obligation to its citizens to try to reduce drug use for the public health and general welfare of the people of the state. So, society demands legal consequences to stop the use of illegal drugs. Still, it would be naive to think people will stop using drugs altogether just because of the laws; after all, drugs are addictive and people do manage to get caught in its trap. Still, the State of Michigan has a tool in its criminal law toolkit to use against illegal drugs. But this one isn't for drug users themselves, it's for those who who give drugs to OTHER people.

Self Defense & Guns: Justified or Not?

Concealed-carry.jpgWhen it comes to Self Defense & Guns, do you think a responsible gun owner defending his house from home invaders has nothing to worry about from the law? If so, think again. A 65-year-old Minnesota man shot a burglar at his home, but is now being charged with manslaughter. How could that be? It all comes down the facts and how the law sees them.

The Justice System: Top 10 For Client Satisfaction

The Justice System - The Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC is pleased to announce that the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys has honored Mr. Freeman as one of the "10 Best Criminal Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction in Michigan".

The Justice System Worked: Murder Charge Against Client Dismissed

Murder Charge Dismissed.jpgThe justice system worked - Murder charge agaisnt Firm's client dismissed!

Forensic Evidence - Not So Scientific

What if forensic evidence was not so scientific? What if investigators could use DNA found at a crime scene to put together a sketch of a suspect that includes bone structure, hair and skin color, other facial features, and even ethnic origin? If it sounds like something you would see only on CSI, you might be surprised. DNA phenotyping is a new technique being used by law enforcement agencies to create a physical likeness based simply on genetic material. Police naturally see the potential of this technology to put away bad guys, but what if it isn't as scientific as it sounds? And worse, what if it's convicting innocent people? In a recent National Geographic article, critics say that this technique and many others that have long been used, like fingerprints, bite-mark analysis, and hair analysis, are not scientific at all. What's worse, they may be no more reliable than eyewitness testimony and sketch artistry, likely suffering from the same issues of vagueness and inexactitude that routinely prove to be fatal flaws for those techniques.

Marijuana and Gun Sales: ATF's New 4473 - "Just Say No!"

marijuana and gun laws.jpgMarijuana and guns?  ATF says "No!"  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or ATF, has issued an important notice about changes to Form 4473, the Firearms Transaction Record. Form 4473 is the federally mandated form that must be filled out by any person who acquires a firearm from a federally licensed dealer.  The notice of changes is extremely important for FFL's, customers, and gun owners generally.  It is particularly important for persons trying to strike a balance between gun rights and medical care - expecially when it comes to the use of marijuana as medicine.