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Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Blog

Judge gives Paul Manafort lenient sentence for tax and bank fraud

Oklahoma is physically distant from the courtroom where Paul Manafort received his sentence, but the judge described Manafort's criminal activities as theft from all taxpayers. The judge chose to apply a relatively light sentence to President Trump's former campaign chairman for convictions on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of not declaring a foreign bank account. His 47-month sentence fell short of the sentencing guidelines that called for a prison term between 19 and 24 years.

The federal judge explained his decision to sentence to Manafort to just under four years by saying that people convicted of similar crimes had been given shorter sentences. In addition to prison time, the court obliged Manafort to pay a $50,000 fine and $24.8 million in restitution.

Why are small businesses inclined to embezzlement?

When you own a small business, you are investing in your livelihood and future. The last thing you want is to lose your investment through the capsizing of embezzlement. Anyone associated with your business may turn against what is in the best interest of its clients. When backs are turned, that person might take advantage of pre-established trust.

Sometimes, small businesses are accused of embezzlement when in fact they are innocent to the accusations formed against them. What is important to understand is that a recent survey showed 80 percent of embezzlement charges were made against small businesses. Why are small businesses more inclined to embezzle money?

Tulsa pair charged with drug trafficking after raid

On Feb. 26, a man and a woman were arrested and charged with drug trafficking, according to an announcement by the Oklahoma attorney general. The defendants were allegedly stashing a large amount of drugs in their southeast Tulsa home.

Officers from the Tulsa Police Department executed a search warrant at the home and uncovered almost 4 pounds of marijuana, 3 pounds of ecstasy and almost 2 pounds of methamphetamine. They additionally found assault-style firearms and other guns, digital scales and various items of drug paraphernalia.

Can I Go to Prison For Accepting Bribes in Oklahoma?

The history of bribery is as long as the history of humanity; one has to look no further than the story of Judas taking 30 pieces of silver to hand over Jesus for prominent examples of bribery and corruption that have shaped our human story. But not all exchanges of money or other property for information, favors, or other benefits is considered illicit, and in our modern times we need to look at what our state and federal laws say in determining whether the receipt of a gift in explicit or implicit benefits constitutes a criminal act. In Oklahoma, you can indeed be convicted of a felony crime for bribery - bringing with it up to ten years imprisonment in a state prison - for certain acts of accepting cash or other benefits. Below we discuss two of the primary bribery crimes in Oklahoma: bribery of a public officer, and bribery of a fiduciary.

What is My Right to a Jury Trial in an Oklahoma Criminal Case?

Your right to be tried by a jury of your peers is enshrined in the Seventh Amendment of the United States Constitution, and, as such, this right is one that has been honored since the founding of our country. While our federal constitution preserves the "right of trial by jury" by all persons facing criminal charges, states have different ways of applying this right when state prosecutors bring felony or misdemeanor charges against individuals. Here, we take a look at what jury rights the state of Oklahoma offers to defendants facing either felony or misdemeanor criminal charges.

What is an Attempt Crime in Oklahoma and What is the Punishment?

Many times, a person attempting to commit a criminal act is somehow prevented from completing the crime itself. What stops that person could be any number of things. Perhaps the police came before a person could successfully break and enter into another person's house. Maybe an accomplice to the crime backed out during the crime preventing completion of the crime. It could even be that a person who had planned to commit a crime decided at the last second that the crime was a bad idea, and so left the scene before completing the crime. Just because a person did not complete a crime in Oklahoma - for example, they did not physically hurt another person or go through with a burglary or robbery - does not necessarily mean that they will not face criminal charges. Like all states, Oklahoma will bring criminal charges for an attempted crime, which can include jail time, criminal fines, and a criminal record.

Can a Landlord, Family Member, or Roommate Let the Police Search My Home?

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects us all from unreasonable government searches and seizures of our home. While many of our constitutional rights have developed over the years based on later Supreme Court decisions, the right to be free in your home from the government barging in is one that goes directly back to the days of our Founding Fathers who wanted to create a society in which government soldiers and police officers could not trample on the private domain of citizens, as the British had done to the early American settlers. Of course, the police do sometimes come into people's homes to collect evidence to be used against them, but they must have a legally valid justification for doing so. One such justification is obtaining a warrant signed off by a judge, which requires a showing of probable cause that the home contains evidence of a crime. But a far easier way for the police to come into your home is for them to get consent by a person inside the home to let them come in. It should go without saying that a person who knows he or she has evidence of a crime inside the home would often be acting against their own interests by consenting to such a search. But the police might ask anyone they meet at the door of a house or apartment - a roommate, a guest, a family member, or landlord - to get consent to come in and search around. This is where things get trickier.

What Are the Defenses to DUI in Oklahoma?

Make no mistake, a DUI is a criminal offense in Oklahoma, and the law in OK for what qualifies as a DUI is relatively strict. Furthermore, Oklahoma prosecutors frequently bring DUI charges against first-time offenders. Jail time is a possibility for an OK DUI conviction, and fines and damage to your personal reputation (not to mention the effect a DUI conviction will have on your insurance rates) are a far more frequent result of a conviction.   But there are potential defenses you and your criminal defense attorney can assert to the judge presiding over your Oklahoma DUI criminal trial to help protect your rights and your interests.

at his criminal defense team can do for you.

When Can the Police Search My Car?

One of the most common questions that criminal defense lawyers hear - especially when there has been a recent encounter with police - is "when can the police search my car?"   Roadside stops by the police are probably the most frequent one-on-one interactions that most people will ever have with law enforcement, so you might think this is a question which can be easily answered. You would be wrong, and, in fact, when the police can and cannot search your car is indeed one of the more complex issues in criminal law, and one that has evolved over the years.

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