Double Jeopardy: What it is and when it doesn’t apply

Fifth Amendment double jeopardy

We hear the term “double jeopardy” thrown around a lot in courtroom dramas and there’s even a 1999 movie of the same name. Despite—or perhaps because of—the fact that the term is so prevalent in popular culture, the true meaning is not well understood outside of the legal profession. Double jeopardy, which is referenced in…

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Criminal law: What you see on TV vs. reality

television crime drama

Crime TV has been entertaining us for generations. From the black and white Perry Mason courtroom dramas to the dark and gritty episodes of Law and Order, we’ve been educated on how the criminal justice system works—or have we? These shows are so engaging and well-written that it’s easy to forget that they only imitate…

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Your digital privacy is now before the Supreme Court

supreme court

At the end of November, the Supreme Court heard opening arguments in Carpenter v. United States, a landmark digital privacy case. At issue is whether or not the police require a warrant to track the location of a smartphone. The case involves Timothy Carpenter, who was accused of joining several friends in robbing Michigan and…

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Is sharing your Netflix password really a federal offense?

password computer / internet

Have you ever logged into your parents’ Netflix account? Let your brother use your login while he was visiting? Then you may have committed a federal crime. In July 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that it was illegal to use another person’s password to access a service without the approval of the company…

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Revenge porn: New York City’s newest crime

woman at computer sees crime

For many people, it’s a phenomenon that has gone unpunished for far too long. Seductive and even sexually explicit images or videos of men and women are regularly posted online, usually as an act of revenge by former sexual partners. Dubbed “revenge porn,” it has  caused embarrassment, distress and depression that some victims find impossible…

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Equifax breach highlights cyber crimes

computer hack crime

The recent Equifax data breach has been cited as one of the biggest incidents of its kind. It highlighted the alarming reality that every person and company can have their sensitive information stolen by hackers at any time and spawned dozens of class action lawsuits filed by both consumers and shareholders. Lawmakers are now reconsidering…

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How does the pardon system work?

Gavel pardon concept

President Donald Trump’s recent pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio has drawn public attention to the pardoning process in general. What is the basis of such a decision? Is there a difference between a presidential and gubernatorial pardon? Are there some offenses that cannot be pardoned? This post will explain how the pardon system works…

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New York Blindfold Law: What it means for your case

criminal evidence

Although the law in New York requires both sides to disclose their discovery material prior to trial, civil and criminal proceedings have vastly different timelines in that regard. In a civil case, attorneys for each side can interview the other’s witnesses for depositions and in general benefit from complete and total discovery. Criminal cases are…

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Unreasonable search and seizure: Specificity is key

criminal search warrant illustration

While the U.S. Constitution guarantees your right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, there continue to be instances where law enforcement officers violate that right, either through negligence or simple and willful disregard. The result is a huge—and growing—body of law that focuses on interpreting when and under what conditions a search and seizure…

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