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The right of free speech is guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution. That’s a concept that most of us learn in grade school. What might often be glossed over, or overlooked, is that there are limits.

The fact is that the amendment doesn’t guarantee free speech at all. What it does is prohibit government from making any law “abridging the freedom of speech.” Over the course of hundreds of years, however, laws and courts have established prohibitions of certain types of speech. Opinions vary on the scope of the list, but most experts agree it includes such things as:

  • Use of obscenities

Each year, everyone must file income taxes with the Internal Revenue Service. Tax codes are complex, and may cause some Georgians to question whether their taxes are correct. Individuals are responsible for approximately 75 percent of the country’s tax fraud.

Tax fraud can result in felony charges, steep fines and jail time. Everyone should understand what the government considers tax fraud to clearly distinguish an honest mistake from a criminal offense. What constitutes tax fraud?

Knowingly evading taxes

A big-name company is under fire after claims arose that they have been defrauding investors out of millions. Elizabeth Holmes, who serves as the CEO and founder of Theranos, is one of the people at that center of the charges. Standing by her side is the company’s former president, Ramesh Balwani. The two have been accused of securing investments under false pretenses for the purposes of growing their blood testing technology.

Here’s a look at the accusations and the strategies they plan on using to combat the charges.

The Justice Department’s allegations against Holmes And Balwani

While they hardly ever garner headlines, the prosecution of computer crimes has grown exponentially over the past five years. This should not be surprising considering how online commerce has revolutionized the way we do business in the United States and across the world. Because of this, so many more computers are connected through the Internet, and so many more potential victims are at risk.

At the same time, outdated federal statutes dealing with computer crimes may criminalize otherwise legal actions. This post will include the most common statutes that alleged hackers could be prosecuted under.

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act – Committing fraud through a computer should seem straightforward. Unfortunately, the plain language in this statute may seem confusing because of the strained definition of what type of computer access or actions can be criminalized.

The State of Georgia has passed legislation, effective May 6, 2013 , that makes it illegal to charge a fee to remove booking photographs of exonerated people from websites. Please see

http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/display/20132014/HB/150

I can’t tell you how many clients have called me and said that prospective employers saw their mugshot on line and declined to hire them or current employers got wind of an arrest and fired them. Or, worse yet, family members, friends, etc have seen their mugshots and even though their cases were ultimately dismissed, the mugshot and accompanying charge lives on forever damaging their reputation. I have several clients that have had mugshots remain on the internet EVEN AFTER PAYING MUGSHOTS.com AND having their cases expunged.

I hear this question often.

The problem is that once you are charged with some sort of domestic violence charge, you are now facing charges from the State, not the alleged victim. As a result, your spouse cannot simply “drop the charges” and the case will go away. Even if your spouse chooses not to cooperate with the State and not testify, the State can still proceed with the case. The State can use the alleged victim’s statements made on the day of the incident. The 911 transcripts, photos taken and the statements made by law enforcement that responded to the 911 call can also come in as evidence against you.

There are, however, ways to still combat a domestic violence charge. Feel free to contact us and we can explain what can be done to avoid a conviction.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 26,2013 in Florida v. Jardines (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-564_5426.pdf )

that the use of a drug-sniffing dog to investigate the front door of a home was a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruled this way – or we’d have police trolling apartment complexes, buildings, public spaces, etc with an army of intrusive sniffing dogs. The justices ruled that having a dog sniffing at one’s door was indeed a search, and thus subject to the limitations of the Fourth Amendment.

Whether a police officer bringing a drug dog to sniff the door to a residence constitutes “trespassing” is an interesting issue brought up in this case. We will see how this court’s ruling will be played out as time progresses. The court found it unnecessary to determine whether the officers violated Jardines’ “reasonable expectation of privacy”, instead they focused on whether the officers’ physical intrusion on the porch established that the search had occurred.

LEGAL BATTLES ON TWO FRONTS

WHEN CRIMINAL LAW AND CIVIL LAW COLLIDE

Throughout human history, military planners have obsessed over one of the greatest military challenges their nation could face against an enemy: the two front war. That is, where their nation was attacked by enemies on two geographically separate fronts. For criminal defense attorneys and civil lawyers practicing today, it is important for them to keep in mind that their client may face criminal and civil legal battles on two fronts simultaneously. In other words, they and their client may have to fight their own two front war: one concerning civil law and the other concerning criminal law. These two front legal battles are becoming more and more common, as the criminal law and the civil law become more and more intertwined with one another.

On January 28, 2013, the United States Atttorneys Office for the Northern District of Georgia published a “press release” describing how four people were arrested “for operating a Pill Mill”. See www.justice.gov/usao/gan/press/2013/01-28-13.html

And on February 11, 2013, HB 178 passed a key House committee in Georgia. It aims to put pain management clinics under the regulation of Georgia’s medical board, and that as of June 30th, any new pain clinic would have to be physician owned – a requirement similar to other states.

The federal government has also recently been quoted as saying prescription pain killers are the nation’s number one drug epidemic.

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