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Federal Crimes Archives

What are immigration offenses?

Countless people from all over the world seek to gain entry into the United States every year. Millions of immigration applications are received for a limited number of visas, which means that many people will be left without means of lawful entry. This has led to a wave of people entering the country illegally. If you have been accused of this very action (or assisting another currently in New York in doing so), it is important that you understand exactly what constitutes an immigration crime and what potential penalties you might face if convicted. 

Self-incrimination and the Fifth Amendment

If you are like most people in New York, you are aware that the criminal justice system recognizes alleged crimes based on varying degrees of severity. It also identifies crimes in part based on jurisdiction. Some crimes are prosecuted at the local or municipal level while others are prosecuted at the state or the federal level. Regardless of whether you are accused of petty theft, murder or treason, you are guaranteed some very important rights under the law.

Embezzlement allegations result in probation sentence

People in New York who are accused of white collar crimes like money laundering or embezzlement may well know that they might be forced to spend time in prison if they are convicted of these types of offenses. However, a prison sentence is not always an automatic outcome as many factors can go into what determines a person's sentence in these matters.

How are hate crimes defined?

While criminal wrongdoing is always taken seriously by law enforcement, hate crimes combine criminal wrongdoing with a motivation spurred by a bias towards another group. As a result, they cause a ripple effect that can potentially impact all members of a certain group, whether united by race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or country of origin. For this reason, hate crimes often entail harsher penalties than other types of crimes, even those that involve violence.

Examples of tax avoidance

You have likely heard how serious the federal government treats cases where people have not paid their taxes. At the same time, you have probably also seen advertisements detailing programs that teach you how to avoid having to pay tax. You might hear these and immediately dismiss them as scams aimed to take advantage of the general public's collective unfamiliarity with the tax code (some indeed are). Yet many come to us here at Sapone & Pertrillo LLP questioning whether the actions they have taken to avoid paying taxes are indeed legal. You may be surprised to hear that some actually are. 

Understanding campaign contribution limits

With activities related to the next presidential election already underway, it is not uncommon for many people in New York to be giving consideration to which candidate they would like to support. In addition to voting for a particular candidate, many people opt to provide financial support to assist with their preferred candidate's campaign. Before jumping in to donate money to someone running for political office, however, it is important to learn a bit about the laws that govern political campaign contributions.

Mail fraud and the internet

When a crime of deceit crosses New York borders through the use of a private interstate carrier or the U.S. Postal Service, it becomes mail fraud. One of the most common federal criminal charges, it includes a variety of schemes intended to defraud victims.

What does U.S. Customs and Border Patrol do?

If you are like a lot of people in New York, you may at times get confused between the various federal agencies that may be involved in immigration activities. There is the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement office but there is also the United States Customs and Border Patrol. While these two entities may work together, they are separate and have distinct purposes. Interactions with either may involve or contribute to federal criminal charges.

How does the law treat community mailboxes?

You have likely seen examples in film or other popular media of kids destroying mailboxes for fun. While such images do typically represent delinquent behavior, few would likely the seriousness with which the destruction of mailboxes is treated by authorities. Indeed, the fact that vandalizing or destroying mailboxes is a federal crime has been detailed on this blog before. Recent years, however, have seen individual mailboxes become less common as communities are adopting the practice long utilized in apartment buildings of utilizing a community mail receptacle. These units make it easier for postal carriers to complete their rounds, and are built to be more secure than a standard mail box. Yet that added security does not necessarily mean they are immune from vandalism and theft. 

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