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Charges of Illegal Insider Trading

Charges of Illegal Insider Trading

What is Insider Trading?

Illegal insider trading is defined as follows: “the illegal use of information available only to insiders in order to make a profit in financial trading” – Merriam Webster

‘Illegal Insider Trading’charges can result in a maximum fine of $5,000,000 for individuals ($25,000,000 for companies) and a federal prison sentence of up to 20 years! With all charges, if you have been accused of this, the first thing to do is to speak with a white collar crimes attorney.


Why is Insider Trading Illegal?

Insider trading is considered illegal for a few reasons. First, when an employee or a broker for someone is a fiduciary of said person, corporation, government, etc., he or she gives his or her trust and loyalty, acting in the best interest of the person, business or government he or she is representing. Giving clandestine information to someone for financial gain that conflicts with one’s fiduciary duties is not only illegal, but also unfair.

Second, the stock market is supposed to be an even playing field for everyone (hence the term, “gone public”). For someone to have secretive information that no one else has and use it for their own financial gain is very unethical. Stephen Cutler, who is the Director of Enforcement of the SEC eloquently made the following statement in reference to the Martha Stewart case:

“It is fundamentally unfair for someone to have an edge on the market just because she has a stockbroker who is willing to break the rules and give her an illegal tip. It’s worse still when the individual engaging in the insider trading is the Chairman and CEO of a public company.”

It is similar to being the only person to have the answers to a major test, and you win a scholarship to an Ivy League university because of it. It is cheating, unless it cannot be proven.

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What are the Types of Arizona Felony Classes

Types of Arizona Felony Classes

Felony Class Types in Arizona

There are six levels of felony classes in Arizona. Each class has its own guidelines for punishment if convicted. When looking at sentencing, the law presumes that everyone will start at the presumptive sentence however, this sentence can be increased or decreased if mitigating or aggravating factors are found by the Judge or jury. The following sentencing ranges apply to a person with no prior felony convictions.

  • Class 1 – The only crime that falls under a Class 1 felony is murder. Murder charges are divided into two categories: First or Second Degree. First degree murder is punishable by the death penalty or by life in prison without parole. Second degree murder requires a minimum prison sentence of 10 years up to a maximum sentence of 25 years.
  • Class 2 – A Class 2 felony allows for a minimum sentence in the Department of Corrections of three years. This can be increased to up to 12.5 years for aggravated. Probation, with up to one year in jail, is also available.
  • Class 3 – Class 3 felonies allows for a minimum of two years in prison with an aggravated sentence of up to 8.75 years. Probation is also available.
  • Class 4– If sentenced to prison on a Class 4 felony, you face anywhere between 1 to 3.75 years. Again, probation is available.
  • Class 5 – A Class 5 felony provides for a minimum of six months in prison however, can be increased to up to 2.5 years. Probation is available.
  • Class 6 – Although a Class 6 felony, an example could be a DUI in Phoenix, also allows for a probation sentence, if sentenced to prison the range allows for anywhere between .33 – 2 years.

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New Supreme Court Cases That Affect Your Constitutional Rights

The following is a Guest Post from Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law  Firm.

The Supreme Court of the United States has handed down two separate opinions that radically impact your constitutional rights.

The first case, Alleyne v. United States, deals with sentencing and the second case, Salinas v. Texas, affects your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences

In October of 2009, Allen Ryan Alleyne and two accomplices robbed the store manager of a Mapco/East Coast convenience store in Petersburg, Virginia as he was dropping off the nightly deposit at the bank.

After an extensive investigation, the authorities arrested Mr. Alleyne and a grand jury indicted him for robbery and possessing a firearm. After a week-long trial, he was convicted and sentenced to 130 months in prison.

Not going down without a fight, Mr. Alleyne appealed. However, the appellate court rejected all of his arguments. Eventually, the case made its way to the Supreme Court of the United States.

In an interesting twist of events, Justice Thomas broke ranks to join Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. According to their final ruling, if an element of a crime increases the mandatory minimum punishment, it must be submitted to the jury and found to be true beyond a reasonable doubt. Likewise, a defendant cannot be found guilty of a crime not included in his indictment.

 

What does all of this mean for you?

If you are charged with a crime and your conduct could lead to your mandatory minimum prison sentence going up (e.g. brandishing a gun during a robbery), proof that you in fact did such a thing must be decided by a jury, not a judge.

If you were recently charged with a crime, this is good news for you. This brand-new precedent creates an additional check on judicial power while giving your criminal defense attorney a new route to argue for you to get the lowest possible sentence.

 

Fifth Amendment Right to Silence

Unfortunately, the “hand that giveth can also taketh away.” In Salinas v. Texas, a criminal defendant’s right to not incriminate himself was severely narrowed and curtailed.

Justice Alito along with Justices Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, and Kennedy held that the Fifth Amendment’s self-incrimination clause does not protect a defendant’s refusal to answer questions asked by law enforcement before he has been arrested or read his Miranda rights.

Before understanding how this affects you, it is crucial to know the basic facts of the case.

In the case, Houston police officers found two homicide victims and an investigation led officers to Genovevo Salinas. Mr. Salinas agreed to accompany the officers to the police station where he was questioned for about an hour.

Salinas was not under arrest at the time and had not been read his Miranda rights. Salinas answered every question until an officer asked whether the shotgun shells found at the scene of the crime would match the gun found in Salinas’ home. According to the officer, Mr. Salinas remained silent and demonstrated signs of deception.

A ballistics analysis later matched Mr. Salinas’ gun with the casings at the scene and a witness emerged claiming that Mr. Salinas admitted to killing the victims. Eventually he was convicted of murder. During the trial, and over an objection by his criminal defense lawyer, the prosecution was allowed to use the evidence of Mr. Salinas’s silence against him as proof of his guilt. Mr. Salinas was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $5,000. Mr. Salias appealed his case, but he lost.

Eventually, his case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, and they delivered a bombshell that has the potential to hurt criminal defendants everywhere.

According to the ruling, if you stay silent during an interrogation where you were not officially arrested or informed of your Miranda rights, that silence can be used against you in a later criminal proceeding unless you directly state that you are invoking your right to remain silent.

This has far reaching effects and is a wake-up call to anyone charged with a crime. From now on make sure to specifically say, in no uncertain terms, that you are invoking your right to remain silent. Do not just sit there silently!


Vast Majority of Americans unable to name any SCOTUS Justices

Vast Majority of Americans unable to name any SCOTUS Justices

In 2012 the US Supreme Court has made pivotal rulings on President Obamas health care law and Arizona SB1070 immigration law leading to numerous arm chair legal experts around the country. Even with all of this attention on the court and its rulings 2/3rds of Americans are unable to name a single justice, according to a recently released survey.

Of the Justices that people can name the most is Chief Justice John Roberts, but he only comes in correctly 20% of the time.

The least recognizable member is Justice Stephen Breyer with 3% with Kennedy(10%), Alito(5%), and Kagan(4%) also coming in with less than 10% of respondents identifying them.

Even Justices in the media spotlight are somewhere between nobody and the coat checker:
Antonin Scalia (16%)
Clarence Thomas (16%)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (13%)
Sonia Sotomayor (13%)

The study polled 1,000 American adults by telephone with a demographically diverse sample. The margin for error was around 3%.

It could be argued that is SCOTUS was televised then there would be a better understanding of the court. Of course then we would probably be talking less about the case and more about the style of their robes or the courts wood choice.

We have started giving our visitors more information about various Judges in Arizona: Tempe Judges and Scottsdale Judges.


U.S. Supreme Court will Hear “Obamacare” Debate

U.S. Supreme Court will Hear “Obamacare” Debate

Picture of the US Supreme Court Building from Outside

Image Credit to dbking

The Supreme Court has granted cert. to hear oral arguments about the constitutionality of the new healthcare law, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”). The country is divided about the appropriateness of the law, and the Supreme Court will perhaps become the final decision-maker in determining whether this bill is allowed to stand. Both supporters and criticizers of the law are pressuring the Supreme Court to allow the debates to be televised, citing national importance as the justification. However, this would be a first for the Supreme Court and looks unlikely. Justice Kennedy is forecasted to be the deciding vote in this case when it is argued for a record 5.5 hours in March.
Shoutout to LegalTimes


Supreme Court Rejects Appeal from Phoenix Shooting

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal from Phoenix Shooting

Picture of guy getting arrested

Image Credit to ElvertBarnes

In 1991, Jonathan Doody was convicted of lining up numerous Buddhist priests, robbing them, and shooting them in the head. He was sentenced to multiple life sentences in prison. He was just 19 at the time. However, after years of incarceration, in 2008 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Doody’s confession to the crime based on the police officer’s violation of the Miranda requirement. Doody’s conviction rested solely on his confession to the police.

The Court threw out the confession because although the police had given Doody his Miranda warnings, they did not cease questioning when he refused to answer and did not allow him access to his parents or an attorney. Doody was questioned for 6 hours without any break, and finally at 2:30 in the morning he confessed. His attorney, and many others, claim he falsely confessed because at that point he had no other option.

The Court of Appeals ordered that Doody’s confession be thrown out of the case, and Doody receive a new trial without the confession. The prosecution appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court who rejected to hear that argument, allowing the 9th Circuit decision to stand. However, it is unlikely that the prosecution will be able to convict Doody without that confession, and he likely will be released. He has served almost 20 years in prison already.


Supreme Court tells 9th Circuit Tie Will Not go to Defendant

Picture of the US Supreme Court Building from Outside

Image Credit to dbking

Despite the 9th Circuit’s third determination that there was not enough evidence to convict Smith of killing her infant grandson based on Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered that Smith’s conviction be reinstated.

In the late 1990’s, during the trial of Smith, the Prosecution presented 3 expert witnesses who stated that the death of the infant was due to SBS. The defense presented two experts, one who testified that SBS was not the cause of death, and another who testified that SIDS was instead the cause of death. Despite the conflicting testimony, the California jury concluded that there was enough evidence of SBS and convicted. Upon a federal appeal, three times the Circuit Court in California ruled in favor of the defendant, finding that there was “no evidence to permit an expert conclusion one way or another.” Twice the Supreme Court overruled the Circuit Court and required them to review their decision. This third time, the Supreme Court ended the back and forth, and required that her conviction be reinstated. Smith, who has been living in a run-down shack in Los Angeles for five years, must now return back to prison. The Supreme Court cites the reason for the reversal as “the Circuit Court’s duty not to disturb the jury verdict simply because it would have weighed the evidence differently itself.”

While the role of the American jury is one of the most important and something that we hold sacred to a free society, we must not forget that juries, who often have never heard in detail gruesome facts about a crime or a death, sometimes think with their emotions rather than with cool intellect. Judges hear all sorts of cases and have trained themselves (usually) on how to judge the facts in an unbiased manner and put all the emotions to the side. Thus in a case like this, where the medical facts of an innocent child’s death are at issue, I would rather have my fate governed by a judge who is used to hearing details of this sort rather than a jury. No doubt that Smith would agree with me. However, in her case, the Supreme Court has spoken and is letting the jury’s verdict stand, regardless of any judge’s opinion to the contrary. In this case, with two decision-makers each coming out a different way, the tie has not gone to the defendant.


To Tase or not to Tase, Still Uncertain

Police officers often use tasers to, in the words of an officer, “subdue an aggressive suspect” or to “protect the officer’s safety.” However, there are many situations where members of the general public find the use of the stun gun unjustified, and a result of the officer’s “power-trip” or laziness. As more and more officers are equipped with tasers, there are rising numbers of “excessive force” claims occurring against police officers. Recently, the Ninth Circuit (which embraces Arizona) held in Brooks v. Seattle and Mattos v. Agarano that the use of tasers to subdue suspects was excessive. In Brooks, the suspect was tased because she refused to get out of her car after being arrested for refusing to sing her speeding ticket. In Mattos, the suspect was tased because she stood between her husband and an officer who was trying to arrest him for domestic violence. However, it is still unclear when and where the tasing of suspects will be appropriate. To see if your tasing might be a violation of your 4th Amendment rights, contact us.


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