FindLaw Blotter - The Findlaw Crime and Criminals Blog

FindLaw Blotter - Crime Blog - Crime News - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog


New Law Creates Special Sex Offender Passport

On Monday, President Obama signed a criminal justice reform bill and it contains a strange provision, an International Megan's Law. The new law will require people who have been convicted of sex crimes against minors to carry special passports that clearly identify their status as registered sex offenders, Slate reports.

The reasoning behind the law seems sensible enough -- it is intended to prevent sex tourism by people who have sexually abused children in the US. But because this takes the states' sex offender registries and make them the world's business, some question just how fair this law is, particularly given the controversy surrounding the domestic registry and residency requirements.

What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney

You were charged with a crime and you need a defense attorney. How do you know who to choose and whether that person will be any good?

Let's take it one step at a time and start with consultation. An initial meeting can reveal a lot.

Sadly, undocumented immigrants find themselves victims of crime on their way to the United States or upon their arrival. Often, they are targeted specifically because of their immigration status and fail to report crimes for fear they will be deported.

In response, many cities, states, and the federal government have begun offering temporary visas and a path to legal permanent residency for undocumented immigrants who are the victims of crime. Here's how these visas work:

You'd better start burying your Benjamins in the backyard -- the days of C-note might be numbered. In a recent academic paper, the former head of Standard Chartered Bank argues that high-denomination currency notes contribute to tax evasion, financial crime, and terrorism, and taking them off the market could deter criminals.

Wait, how can banning big bills battle law-breakers?

What's the Punishment for Distilling Alcohol at Home?

So you have a family recipe for moonshine, which your hipster friends find superb. Your people have passed down the secrets of distillation for generations, and you are proud of this tradition, especially when you see how popular your homemade spirits are with pals.

They insist you should go into business and are even willing to invest. Can you legally distill alcohol at home, or have you been breaking the law all along (which, considering the colorful history of moonshine in ths country, kind of fits the liquor)?

Are There Illegal Internet Search Terms?

You can search pretty much whatever you want online -- searching for information is not a crime. But certain searches are monitored and certain words will trigger suspicion and investigations, and if you engage in illegal activity online, that is a crime.

You can search the words "kiddie porn" for example -- how else will you find information on the topic? -- but you absolutely cannot download the stuff. People can and do get arrested for their illegal online activities. But it's important to distinguish between suspicious searches and illegal activities. Googling the word "murder" does not make you a killer, and this principle extends to terror, porn, and more.

D.C. Might Pay People to Not Commit Crime

You know the old saying, "crime doesn't pay," but did you know that there could come a time when you get paid to not commit crime? A bill under consideration in Washington D.C. proposes to provide stipends to 50 people annually to learn life skills and avoid crime.

The proposal is not the first of its kind. The D.C. proposal is modeled on an existent program and would create a new office to identify individuals "who pose a high risk of participating in or being a victim of violent criminal activity," reports The New York Times.

We're just over a month into 2016 and already New York City has seen a significant spike in knife attack numbers. The New York Daily News reports slashings and stabbings have jumped 24 percent over the same period last year, with 381 incidents in 2016 alone.

The rise in knife attacks comes at the same time the city's knife laws are under federal judicial review. So what are the knife laws in NYC, and why are they not working?

Until recently, the private sale of guns was largely unregulated. If you had a rifle and a friend who wanted to buy it, that was OK. And if you had multiple firearms for sale, you could simply take them to a gun show and sell them there, without the hassling of registering as a firearms dealer and performing background checks.

But selling guns privately isn't as easy, or legal, as it once was.

How One Man Went From Marine to Jail Break Mastermind

Last week, three men escaped from an Orange County jail, sawing through metal grates and using bed linens as ropes, according to the Associated Press. The dramatic escape was said to be led by one man with a military background, Hossein Nayeri, who served in the US Marines.

Nayeri's descent into hell -- from soldier to wanted fugitive -- was short and hard. And his story, while far from over, is fascinating and terrifying for this reason.