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Greenville Criminal Law Blog

Insider trading – a brief FAQ

What do you think of when you hear the words “insider trading”? Quite likely, you think of white collar criminals who got wind of some juicy information, used it to make a killing in the stock market, then got caught and winded up in jail. But most insider trading is actually legal.

Corporate insiders trade stock all the time, and that’s good news for you if you get a job with a publicly traded corporation. It means you can still climb up the rungs to claim a position with a stock option and use those stocks to your advantage. You just need to know and follow the rules.

What you need to know when facing embezzlement charges

Facing charges of embezzlement can be overwhelming. While you may face significant penalties if convicted, even facing charges can come with substantial consequences for your career, reputation and future.

For those working in sales, finance, accounting or another industry involving close contact with company or client funds, understanding what embezzlement is and the penalties you could face is critical. South Carolina law is tough on white collar crimes and fraudulent activities. Whether your actions were intentional or by accident, you could find yourself entangled in a high stakes legal situation.

College scandal leads to fraud and conspiracy charges

The college admissions scandal has resulted in unprecedented – and extremely serious – felony charges. “Operation Varsity Blues” led to grand jury indictments of dozens of parents, coaches and administrators across the country.

Rich parents buying their kids’ way into elite schools is hardly new – why is it suddenly a federal offense? Will “Aunt Becky” and other jet-setter defendants really go to jail? Let’s take a closer look at the criminal charges.

Bias in field sobriety tests

Even if you have never been pulled over for a DUI before, you have likely seen some version of a field sobriety test on a movie or in other media. Some of them seem relatively easy, while others look impossible to complete even when sober.

When an officer pulls someone over for suspected drunk driving, they already have some reason to make the stop, but does that make an impact on how the officer scores the field sobriety test? With potentially complex tests and an officer who may be tired, overworked or otherwise in a poor position to make a fair assessment, it begs the question of whether the officer has decided on the outcome of the stop before you step out of the vehicle.

Is your phone private … or fair game for police?

Increasingly, law enforcement relies on “smoking gun” evidence from smartphones. Phones can either be a conduit for committing crimes or leave a trail of electronic bread crumbs for police.

The only barrier is accessing the content of the phones. A recent federal court ruling put new limits on how far police, prosecutors and judges can go in forcing citizens to unlock their phones.

Criminal charges are a wake-up for college students

College exposes you to a whole new world of people and ideas and experiences. It can also be your introduction to the unpleasant realities of adulthood … such as being accused of a crime.

Criminal charges are especially dangerous for college students. One incident can threaten your education or change the course of your life. If you ever find yourself in trouble with the law, bite the bullet and tell your parents. Or contact a lawyer yourself right away. Being proactive is your best hope for damage control.

Can you record the police? Yes, but there are limits.

Law enforcement has historically clashed with journalists who are recording live events. Sometimes reporters had their cameras taken away or their film destroyed.

In the smartphone era, regular citizens find themselves in confrontations with police over videos. What are your rights regarding filming the police? Can you secretly record law enforcement? Can they confiscate your phone?

Government’s tax evasion case did not add up

Sometimes prosecutors have the right guy but may not have all the facts right. This is a case where the government got just about everything wrong. Their math was bad. Their methods were sloppy. Their conclusions were wrong.

Tax fraud charges against a Seattle restaurant owner were originally announced as the largest sales suppression case in state history. But upon further review, the Washington Department of Revenue has dropped the case entirely. It’s a cautionary tale about the damage that a well-intentioned or overzealous prosecution can do to innocent citizens.

Sentencing reforms are aptly named – a first step

Congress appears poised to enact significant criminal justice reforms. The First Step Act would scale back harsh sentences for some drug crimes, improve prison conditions and provide more help for prisoners when they re-enter society.

It is a good first step. And a hopeful sign for bipartisanship in Congress. But it’s not an overhaul of the justice system. There is still much more work to do, even if this welcome legislation passes.

Is an anonymous tip grounds for arrest?

An appellate court in Illinois has tossed out the 2014 conviction of a motorist who was sentenced to jail as the byproduct of an undocumented “anonymous tip.”

The supposed concerned citizen reported that the motorist was drunk. He was not, but it turned out he was driving on a suspended license, for which he was arrested. The appeals court ruled that the tip was too vague and unreliable to be the sole justification for a traffic stop.

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
    • 10 best 2016 client satisfaction American institute of criminal law attorneys
    • Martindale-Hubbell | Distinguished | Peer Rated for High Professional Achievement | 2019
    • National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
    • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
    • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 40 Under 40
    • Top Young Attorneys | 2014 | Rising Stars selected by Peer Recognition and Professional Achievement
    • Rated By Super Lawyers | Rising Stars | Ryan L. Beasley | SuperLawyers.com
    • Nationally Ranked Superior DUI Attorney By the nafdd | 2013
    • America's Most Honored Professionals | Ryan L. Beasley
    • Martindale-Hubbell | Client Champion | Gold / 2019
    • Expertise | Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Greenville
    • 2015 Legal Elite of the Upstate | Greenville's Top Attorneys
    • Legal Elite of the Upstate
    • Legal Elite of the Upstate 2013-2018
    • Client Distinction Award | Ryan L. Beasley, Esq.

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