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Top News in Criminal Law – October Recap

Top News in Criminal Law and Criminal Defense

Criminal law is always changing, and without an experienced criminal defense attorney who is aware of how these changes affect defendants, you could find yourself on the short end of things during a trial. Here is a roundup of some important criminal law cases and trends throughout the country.

O.J. Simpson Released From Prison

Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson was released from a Nevada prison on October 1.

Simpson served nine years after being convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery, but was granted early release after a parole hearing.

One interesting wrinkle in Simpson’s post-prison plans is that Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi wrote a letter objecting to Simpson’s intention of moving to Florida in the foreseeable future.

But Simpson is legally able to move to Florida based on what is known as an ‘interstate compact,’ which refers to an agreement regarding parolee transfers between states.

Gun Seller Charged With Felonies For Sales To Serial Killer

Dustan Lawson, a gun seller in South Carolina, has been indicted on federal weapons charges for giving weapons to Todd Kohlhepp, a convicted serial killer.

The 36-count indictment includes details on weapons that were seized from Kohlhepp’s home that match the serial numbers of guns that Lawson formerly owned.

Police also said that Kohlhepp mentioned Lawson’s name when he was asked how he obtained the guns he used in some of his murders.

Lawson had identified the initials ‘T.K.’ as the person to whom he gave the guns, but has not admitted that those initials stand for Todd Kohlhepp.

Judge Will Not Throw Out Case Against New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez

U.S. District Judge William Walls refused to throw out a bribery case against Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, despite the defense team’s assertion that the Senator’s criminal charges did not meet the Supreme Court’s narrower definition of bribery.

Menendez is on trial for accepting free flights on the private jet of a rich Florida eye doctor in exchange for interceding in an $8.9 million Medicare billing dispute.

In 2016, the Supreme Court narrowed the legal definition of bribery by ruling that a bribe must be offered in exchange for an official taking action, or agreeing to take action on a specific question, cause, suit, proceeding or controversy.

The prosecution had argued that a stream of benefits that was given to an individual over a period of time did not have to be made to coerce them to perform a specific action. But the defense said that the defense had not proven that the gifts Menendez received were given in exchange for a specific action.

Walls ruled that the gifts Menendez received as a public official were given in exchange for a pattern of official action on an as-needed basis.”

This means that the prosecution did not have to show a direct link between the gifts Menendez received and an official action taken after the gift was received.  

Criminal Defense Is a Right

After you’ve been arrested on federal charges, you need an experienced criminal law firm such as the team at Elden Law Group. If you need help, call us at (888) 991-9353 to schedule a free consultation.


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