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St. Louis Criminal Defense Law Blog

What does fraudulent misrepresentation mean?

The U.S. justice system comes many unfamiliar terms that confuse defendants. For example, the term fraudulent misrepresentation is just another way of saying that a defendant knowingly engaged in fraud. However, it is a serious allegation that could land the accused in a lot of trouble. In fact, it is one of the most commonly prosecuted white collar crimes in the nation.

Most people know that fraud means engaging in intentionally deceitful practices. Examples include the following.

  • Marketing valuable skillsets that you do not truly possess
  • Lying about what your product or service can and cannot do
  • Cheating innocent victims out of funds through fraudulent investment activities

Will you end up in jail for not paying taxes?

If you live in the United States and earn money, you're required by law to pay federal, state and local taxes. Even though you understand this, there may come a time when you fall behind.

This leads to an important question: will you go to jail if you don't pay taxes?

What types of firearms are illegal in Missouri?

Most people who own guns do so because they have an interest in self-preservation. Others may own weapons because they enjoy shooting safely on a practice range. Whatever the case, firearm laws exist to inform you about what is legal and what is not legal in terms of personal weapons. To help you avoid an arrest on weapons offenses, it is wise to stay up-to-date about these laws.

As you know, firearms can come in many sizes and shapes. Before you decide to purchase any gun, it is wise to make certain that it is legal to own the weapon of your choice. The following section includes a brief list of guns that are illegal in Missouri at this time.

  • Firearms resulting in explosive discharges
  • Federally banned gas guns
  • Firearms with exploding bullets or projectiles
  • Guns with shortened barrels also called "sawed-off" guns
  • Machine gun weapons
  • Silencers added to any firearm

Missouri man arrested after making and setting off bombs

A man from Cole County, Missouri, has been accused of creating homemade bombs and then blowing them up outside of someone else's house. He was arrested by the police, and he now faces charges for second-degree assault (two charges), unlawful manufacture and use of a dangerous weapon (one charge), a misdemeanor drug charge (one count) and a felony drug charge (one count).

The man is 40 years old. After his arrest, his bond was put at $21,000. He paid it and got out of jail.

How do attorneys improve the odds of successful criminal appeals?

There exists no guarantee that a criminal appeal will be successful. However, all good defense attorneys have developed strategies and techniques that help them win their cases. Your number one resource when seeking an appeal is finding a lawyer who is prepared to fight for you throughout the appeals process. For the defendant, this means retaining counsel with experience, skill and commitment.

The American Bar Association (ABA) always stands ready to help the justice system function as intended. This is just as important in helping defendants receive a fair trial as it is in making certain those charged with a crime actually deserve a conviction. For the criminal appeals process, the ABA serves as a source of guidance for attorneys. Below you will find several tactical steps the ABA recommends when seeking an appeal.

Factors that can impact Breathalyzer accuracy

When authorities pull you over in Missouri and think you consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel, you can anticipate that they will request that you blow into a Breathalyzer so they can get a better sense of your degree of intoxication. Depending on the results of your breath test, you may wind up facing a driving while intoxicated charge, and if that charge ends up leading to a conviction, you can plan on facing some harsh repercussions in the aftermath.

Jail time, steep fines and a loss of your driver’s license are just a few of the penalties you can face for drinking and driving, and because so much rides on the results of that breath test, it is imperative that you have faith that the test produced accurate results. Breathalyzers are not fool-proof devices, however, and there are a number of elements that can throw them off and lead to false results. 

Is it legal to own nunchucks and blackjacks in Missouri?

Nunchaku, also known as nunchucks, is a weapon used in martial arts training. It consists of two sticks of the same size and length joined together by a short chain or rope. If you are a fan of martial arts films, you have probably seen nunchucks in use many times.

Section 571.020 of the law describing weapons offenses in Missouri does not list nunchucks as a prohibited item. As such, it is reasonable to assume that one can own a set of nunchucks without facing legal repercussions. However, as with anything that is considered a weapon, how you use the item can make you accountable for its possession.

Do you understand the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act?

There are federal and state laws in place to regulate gun ownership. While most people have the legal right to purchase a gun, there are restrictions on doing so.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act states that you cannot have a gun for business or personal use if you fit into one of the following categories:

  • Are a fugitive from justice
  • Were convicted of a crime that was punished with a prison sentence of a year or more
  • Illegally use or are addicted to any type of controlled substance
  • Have been committed to a mental institution
  • Have been deemed mentally defective
  • Are an illegal alien unlawfully living in the United States
  • Received a dishonorable discharge from the military
  • Renounced your citizenship as a United States citizen
  • Were convicted of domestic violence

Think you have never committed a crime? Think again

If someone asked you if you're a law-abiding citizen, you would tell them that you are. You don't use drugs, rob banks or steal cars. You follow the law, you respect authority and you have never done anything that would put you at odds with the authorities.

But is that actually true? You may be surprised by some of these common crimes that most people commit:

  • Using a WiFi connection that you're not authorized to use. This is often referred to as piggybacking.
  • Lying about your name and identity when you create certain online accounts. This can violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
  • Downloading illegal content. This really started with Napster and music files, but it now includes movies, games and much more.
  • Holding an illegal poker game. You think it's just for fun, but you may be in violation of gambling laws if you play for money.
  • Giving someone else your password for a service that requires a subscription -- such as Netflix. As common as this is, did you know that it's a federal crime?
  • Letting someone else use your medication. Even if you don't sell it to them, if you got it with a prescription, sharing it is illegal. If you sell it, even just to cover your own costs, that's also illegal.

Famous people punished for involvement in white collar crimes

In our Missouri-based law firm, we are often surprised at how casually people view allegations of their involvement in white collar crimes. This is especially so when the accused is innocent of these allegations. We want you to know that any and all allegations of white collar crime involvement require a serious and immediate response, even if you are innocent of these accusations.

To help you understand why we suggest a serious approach to defense, we have put together a short list of famous people who incurred penalties for their alleged involvement in white collar crimes.

    • Richard H.Sindel | Best Lawyers In America | Best Lawyers - 2016
    • Richard H. Sindel | America's Most Honored Professionals | 2015
    • Top Attorneys in Missouri & Kansas | 2014 | Richard H. Sindel
    • Top Attorneys in Missouri & Kansas | 2013 | Richard H. Sindel
    • Super Lawyers
    • AV Peer Review Rated. Highest Rating For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
    • Richard H. Sindel | Best Lawyers | Lawyer of the year | 2011 | Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar St.Louis
    • MATA - Helping To Balance The Scales Of Justice
    • Member of the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    • Member of the National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers
    • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
    • U.S.News| Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | 2010
    • Charles M. Shaw Award
    • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers
    • The Missouri Bar
    • Top Listed in Best Lawyers | The world's premier Guide
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