October 29, 2012

Wiretap Orders Harder for Police to Get than Search Warrants

wiretap.jpgWe all know the police generally must get a warrant before they can search someone’s home and seize property. This means going before a judge and demonstrating “probable cause” that criminal activity is taking place at the location.

But judges have wide discretion in granting search warrants, and the criminal activity in question can be practically anything.

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October 22, 2012

"God Bless America": Marcus Musante Brings Justice to Mr. Bhatti

It’s October 15, 2012 and Los Angeles County criminal defense attorney Marcus Musante is yet again burning the midnight oil. Mr. Musante is midway through a trial involving the unlawful brandishing of a weapon (see Brandishing a Weapon, Gun or Firearm | California Penal Code 417 PC) and impersonation of a police officer (see California "False Personation / Impersonation" Laws; Penal Code 529 PC).

The charges in the case are nothing new to Mr. Musante, who has handled much riskier and higher-profile trials ranging from murder to torture. However, due to the unique circumstances of his client (Mr. Bhatti), the consequences surrounding a potential guilty verdict go well beyond any time spent in jail. As an immigrant from Pakistan, Mr. Bhatti is facing deportation from the land that he so dearly loves.

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October 4, 2012

Demystifying the Public Haze Surrounding Hazing

Out of all the crimes on the books, public misconceptions surrounding hazing perhaps loom the largest. While many confine the practice to rowdy college fraternities and sororities, the crime of hazing goes well beyond “Greek Life”--- athletic clubs, religious organizations, and the military alike have all fallen victim to frequent incidents of friendly torture.

Although hazing is often viewed publicly as merely involving “foolish pranks” with no “malicious” intent and therefore no “serious” criminal consequences, the punishment frequently handed down by the government against its perpetrators is far from a simple slap on the wrist. As we dissect in California “Hazing” Laws in Penal Code 245.6 PC, the criminal consequences of Hazing may entail serious time behind the slammer.

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