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St. Louis Criminal Defense Law Blog

Be wary of these criminal investigation tactics

Being the subject of investigation for a white-collar crime can be daunting, especially if you aren't sure what to expect. If you aren't careful, saying or doing the wrong thing can compound your woes.

The best way to prepare for the tactics investigators use is to understand them. Once you know what an investigator is trying to do and why, you can defend yourself more easily. Some of the most common tactics include:

Expungement versus appeal in criminal cases

Criminal cases can impact the entire future of the person who is facing the charges. It is necessary for anyone who is going through this situation to understand some of the differences in the types of proceedings that he or she might be able to go through. For some, the post-conviction process is a bit mystifying.

One important thing to remember is that appeals and expungements are completely different procedures and accomplish different things. An appeal is what you can make to the court if you feel that there were procedural errors made in your case. You might appeal based on ineffective counsel or if the prosecution hides vital evidence in the case that could have led to a different outcome.

What constitutes mail fraud?

Mail fraud is a common type of federal criminal charge. Individuals accused of using the mail to deceive and defraud recipients may face charges from federal prosecutors.

However, the legal definition of mail fraud is quite broad, so it can be confusing to know exactly what constitutes this type of white-collar crime. Here are some elements of mail fraud to help you understand this type of criminal charge.

Your appeal depends on your initial case

Filing a criminal appeal requires that you have some knowledge about the process. When you are getting ready to file, you need to determine what points in your initial case you need to address. You have to realize that you aren't actually getting a new trial. Instead, the goal of an appeal is to have the court look at your case to determine if the decision in the case is valid based on the facts that were originally presented.

There is chain of command that you have to follow when you are filing appeals. You can't just automatically take your case to the United States' Supreme Court. Even if you were able to do that, there isn't any guarantee that the Supreme Court would hear your case.

Introduce doubt into the prosecution's claims

Many violent crimes come with the inclusion of a weapons charge as well. If you are facing any type of weapons charge, you might be in a legal battle for your life. These charges are associated with considerable time in prison if you are convicted.

These penalties, along with the possibility of being branded a felon, can have a significant impact on the rest of your life. We realize that thinking about this isn't pleasant, but we are here to help you address the issues and come up with a defense strategy.

The criminal justice system is difficult to navigate

The criminal justice system is complicated when you first start to look at it. Eventually, you will see the order of everything but it can take time to do this. When you are facing your first criminal case, you won't have time to try to figure everything out. You will need someone on your side who can help walk you through everything.

One of the first segments of the criminal justice system that you will have to deal with is law enforcement. These are the detectives and police officers who will investigate criminal complaints or keep an eye on the streets to determine if there is anything amiss going on.

Man from St. Louis uses plea deal in murder case

A 24-year-old man from St. Louis was initially facing first-degree murder charges, but he recently agreed to a plea deal. As a result, he has pleaded guilty to armed criminal action charges and second-degree murder charges.

He'll go to jail for the next 12 years.

4 common cyberscams

The online world is full of scams. With how vast the World Wide Web is, this may come as no surprise. Online fraud is extremely common as society becomes more dependent on smartphones, tablets and computers.  

But not all internet scams are the same. Here is a rundown of some of the most prevalent scams that occur in the virtual world. 

White collar crimes can impact how you are perceived

White collar crimes are serious matters that can impact every aspect of your life from your work life to your personal life. Your integrity is one thing that is negatively impacted by this. People will perceive you as a dishonest person, sometimes based solely on the fact that you are facing charges. Society might not even wait for a conviction to throw proverbial stones.

We know that you didn't envision your life like this. You probably never thought it would come to this. Now that you are facing charges, you need to take action. You need to decide what you can do that will help you address those issues. You must create your defense strategy and work to show that you aren't a bad person.

Carefully consider plea bargains

Plea bargains are sometimes the way that a criminal case will be resolved. While these deals do play an important role in the criminal justice system, they are filled with controversy. There are a few important things that you need to consider if you are entertaining the idea of a plea bargain.

The first thing that you have to do when you are trying to decide if you are going to enter into a plea deal is make sure you understand that you are going to have to plead guilty. You should only do this if you acknowledge that you committed the crime. If you didn't do it, you shouldn't enter into the plea deal. This is one of the biggest issues with plea deals -- innocent people pleading guilty just so they can know what is going to happen with their case.

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    • Richard H. Sindel | Best Lawyers | Lawyer of the year | 2011 | Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar St.Louis
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    • U.S.News| Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | 2010
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