Criminal Law Newsletters

Conduct & Causation

A defendant's conduct does not constitute a criminal offense unless the conduct is prohibited by a statute, a municipal ordinance, or a rule. The word "conduct" means an act or a failure to act. The word "conduct" also includes the defendant's mental state. The word "act" is defined as a voluntary movement of the defendant's body. The word "act" includes speech.

Duress as a Defense

If another person compels a defendant to commit an offense, the defendant may claim that he or she committed the offense under duress. The defense of duress means that the defendant did not have the necessary mental state to commit the offense or to be criminally responsible for the offense.

Red Flags and Mortgage Fraud

Due to the popular refinancing boom of the last few years, mortgage fraud has been on the rise. Unfortunately, borrowers tend to be the victims of the offense. The parties involved in mortgage fraud may include mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, appraisers, or borrowers.

Release on Bail Pending an Appeal

Whether a defendant is entitled to be released on bail pending his or her appeal depends upon the type of offense of which the defendant was convicted and the length of sentence that is imposed on the defendant. If the defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor, the defendant is generally entitled to reasonable bail pending his or her appeal. If the defendant is convicted of a felony, the length of the defendant's sentence generally determines whether the defendant is entitled to bail.