In 1987, the United States Congress passed the first sentencing guidelines to end the sentencing disparity seen throughout the federal system. These guidelines stripped the district court of most of their discretion in sentencing federal criminal defendants. This post looks at the 2016 Sentencing Guidelines with a focus on criminal tax and child pornography cases.
The Supreme Court brought the Obstruction statute for criminal tax cases in line with existing federal law in Marinello v. United States (2018)
The Internal Revenue Service fears the cryptocurrency market has given birth to large scale tax fraud in the United States. As previously discussed, the anonymity, decentralized nature of crypto currency trading, and large gains in the last five years, make crypto investments an obvious focus for the IRS.
Cryptocurrencies began with the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009. Bitcoin is a form of currency crypto investors can hold in an online wallet to make payments for various items. Bitcoin can be used to pay for goods online, pay other Bitcoin wallet holders or as a currency to initiate trades for other crypto assets.
The Supreme Court of the United States opened the door to the good faith defense in their landmark decision in Cheek v. United States. This opinion makes ignorance of the law a valid defense in a tax fraud prosecution.
Brian T. Hobson changed the law surrounding the 4th Amendment as it relates to searching passengers in a vehicle stopped by law enforcement. The First Court of Appeals ruled a passenger cannot be searched solely on the presence of a strong odor of marijuana in the vehicle. This blog breaks down the court’s decision, and the resulting change in the law.
A criminal defendant’s right to a speedy trial in the state of Texas is governed by the Supreme Court’s decision in Barker v. Wingo. Texas case law makes it imperative that lawyer’s take appropriate steps to preserve this right throughout the criminal process. This blog post examines the state of the speedy trial right in Texas, and the case law that details its scope.
The United States Constitution is a document which aims to limit the power of the federal government. In order to achieve this goal, the Constitution limits what the federal government can do by establishing a base line of rights for all persons in the United States. In criminal law, one of the most important base line rights given to persons by the Constitution is found in the 4th amendment. This blog post examines the fundamentals of the 4th Amendment.
The following cases highlight the threshold the prosecution must meet to justify a conviction for distribution of child pornography in cases involving the defendant’s use of a peer to peer network. The ultimate question is at what point does a person move from possession of child pornography to distribution of child pornography when using a file sharing program? This blog post examines that fine line, and the consequences for crossing it.