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Greenville Criminal Law Law Blog

Critics of “Back the Blue” worry police would not be accountable

A bill in Congress called “Back the Blue” is intended to protect police officers who put their lives on the line. But the proposed legislation would not only enhance penalties for killing or assaulting officers, but broaden immunity to cops who are sued for brutality or using deadly force.

Opponents are concerned that “Back the Blue” would turn a blind eye to police misconduct or give police carte blanche to shoot first and ask questions later. Do you think police need insulation from lawsuits? Would this law go too far?

Drug Arrests Of The Rich And Famous

Celebrities used as an example by law enforcement

Despite their fans and the importance placed on them in our society, celebrities can also get arrested for drug crimes. In many situations, as with other citizens, officers make these arrests based on simple possession - especially of marijuana. 

Do police always need probable cause?

Most of us have heard the phrase “probable cause” used by police officers and prosecutors on television shows. The first thing any good criminal defense lawyer will do is investigate whether the police had right and reason for searching a person’s property, or even questioning a person before making an arrest. In this post, I will explain the concept of probable cause and why it is such an important component of our criminal justice system.

Constitutional rights

Noncompliance with ACA could trigger IRS audit, prosecution

Many business practices can attract scrutiny as possible tax fraud 

Obamacare is still the law of the land. Failure to extend coverage or make Affordable Care Act payments can result in a tax audit and civil penalties or even charges of tax fraud.

Avoiding ACA obligations joins the long list of red flags that might cause your business and/or your personal finances to be audited. If the IRS concludes that you are willfully noncompliant, it may pursue civil and criminal sanctions.

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New York passes "Raise The Age." North Carolina next?

Juveniles belong in juvenile court

The governor of New York just signed a bill called "Raise the Age." That leaves North Carolina as the only state that still automatically charges 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. The good news is that North Carolina appears poised to also raise the age of criminal prosecution to 18.

However, such laws don't guarantee justice for youths accused of crimes. In South Carolina and elsewhere, prosecutors can petition to have youthful offenders transferred to adult court. Juvenile courts can also incarcerate youths indefinitely until age 21. It is still important to have legal representation even in the juvenile justice system. 

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Helping To Hide A Crime Is A Crime

Recovering the money is often a chief priority in fraud investigations

Just like the proverbial person who helps bury a body, a person who helps conceal a white collar crime can likewise be charged with fraud, wire fraud or conspiracy.

Five former executives of a credit card processing company are accused of siphoning more than $11 million through accounting fraud. While the two high-ranking masterminds likely face felony charges, one of the others has settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid prosecution. In many fraud and white collar cases, the priority for authorities is recovery of the ill-gotten gains.

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Texas judge set bail at $4 BILLION dollars!

She called attention to a system that unfairly keeps people in jail while awaiting trial. 

The purpose of bail is to make sure suspects show up for court. The higher the bond, the less likely the person will skip town. A Texas judge took this to the extreme recently when she set bail at 4 billion dollars. A four and nine zeroes.

The patently absurd bond amount was the judge's way of highlighting a disturbing trend. Prosecutors either request exorbitant bail (citing flight risk) or request bail be denied entirely (menace to society). In this case, bail was lowered appropriately after the judge made her point. But all too often, defendants sit in jail for months because they can't afford the unreasonable bail amount.

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A second chance ... to commit crimes?

D.C. lawmakers say leniency in youth sentencing has not deterred crime

Youthful offender laws offer lenient sentences and a clean record. Many juveniles squander the opportunity, committing new and escalated crimes. Some are sentenced a third, fourth and fifth time under such "second chance" laws.

Lawmakers in the District of Columbia are pushing to repeal or scale back the Youth Rehabilitation Act, whose alumni have committed hundreds of robberies, rapes and murders after release. Advocates urge fixing the program rather than scrapping it.

What do you think? Should teenagers and young adults get a second chance, knowing that some will re-offend?

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There is no 'dope-alyzer' for driving while high

Any marijuana in a driver's blood can trigger DUI charges 

Marijuana possession has become legal in nine states and a lower priority for law enforcement elsewhere. But driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs remains illegal in every state, including South Carolina.

Unlike alcohol, there is no blood or breath test for marijuana intoxication, and no legal threshold that corresponds to the .08 limit for drunk driving. DUI-Drugs (DUID) can be charged for any marijuana in one's bloodstream, even if the person was totally sober and hadn't used marijuana that day.

A good DUI defense lawyer will know how to challenge the underlying basis for DUID charges.

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The suspect was innocent, the 'victim' a con artist

A worst nightmare -- framed on felony charges, jailed for 88 days. Fortunately, the accused had a good defense lawyer.

In a stranger-than-fiction story, a California woman found herself facing a possible life sentence for crimes she didn't commit. Crimes that never even occurred! Michelle Hadley spent 88 days in jail before police and prosecutors eventually realized she was in fact the innocent victim of an elaborate frame-up.

The accuser, Angela Diaz, told police she was sexually assaulted after someone posted a fake Craigslist ad inviting men to her house to fulfill a "rape fantasy." The trail pointed to her husband's ex-girlfriend -- Hadley -- who was soon arrested and charged with multiple felonies. But as the investigation unfolded, it turned out Diaz was not a victim but a master con artist who fabricated the crime and staged the evidence to get her romantic rival out of the picture.

It's a cautionary tale for everyone involved. For police and prosecutors, things are not always as they appear. For the accused, a skilled and earnest criminal defense attorney is priceless -- even if you are completely innocent.

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Awards & Accolades Over my career, I have earned a number of honors reflecting my professionalism and commitment to my clients. These awards include:
  • 10 best 2016 client satisfaction American institute of personal injury attorneys | Ryan L. Beasley Has Been Nominated and Accepted as a 2016 AIOPIA’S 10 Best in South Carolina For Client Satisfaction
  • 10 best 2016 client satisfaction American institute of criminal law attorneys | Ryan L. Beasley Has Been Nominated and Accepted as a 2016 AIOCLA’S 10 Best in South Carolina For Client Satisfaction
  • rated by super lawyers ryan l. beasley superlawyers.com
  • legal elite of the upstate 2013-2015
  • nationally ranked superior dui attorney by the nafdd 2013

    Recognized as one of the top 75 DUI Attorneys in South Carolina by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense, LLC (NAFDD) 2013

  • america's most honored professionals ryan l. beasley
  • greenville business magazine 2015 legal elite of the upstate greenville's top attorneys
    • member of the national trial lawyers top 100 trial lawyers
    • For Ethical Standards & Legal Ability AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell From Lexis Nexis
  • client distinction award
  • Top Young Attorneys 2014 Rising stars selected by peer recognition and professional Achievement
  • national academy of criminal defense attorneys