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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerIt is widely known that when a person is convicted of certain sex crimes, they must register on either a state or federal sex registry, or both. It is natural for people to want to avoid this registration. It can be embarrassing and make people feel ashamed, even if they were innocent of the crime and wrongly convicted. However, few people wonder what the consequences are for failing to register on a sex offender registry. A recent story involving a celebrity highlights just how serious this action could be.

Legal Troubles for Nicki Minaj’s Husband

It was in early March that Nicki Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, turned himself over to federal agents for failing to register as a sex offender after moving to California. In July, Petty had moved to California from New York to be with Minaj, but court documents state that he intentionally failed to register as a sex offender. This is a requirement outlined in the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). According to the Act, convicted sex offenders must register in each jurisdiction that they live in, reside in, or work or attend school in.

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Posted by on in Criminal Justice System

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerWhen a person has been charged with a federal crime, there are many consequences they will face. These include jail time, high fines, and a permanent criminal record. However, some individuals may be able to get a pardon. Pardons are available at the state and federal level. When someone is granted a pardon from the state, they are given by the governor of that state. Under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, federal crimes can only be pardoned by the President of the United States. Below is some information about presidential pardons and how they work.

Requesting a Presidential Pardon

The President may decide on their own to pardon someone of a crime. Most often though, pardons are only granted once a person applies for one. Applications are submitted to the Department of Justice and the Department then reviews the application. No one can apply for a pardon until at least five years after they have been released from prison.

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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerRecently, a man in Birmingham pleaded guilty to tax evasion for failing to pay $1.3 million in taxes. John P. Cooney filed false returns in 2011 and the returns were for the three years prior. Cooney was accused of failing to pay $780,000 to the IRS and instead, created a fraudulent company that he then used to conceal his salary and returns from his investments. In addition to facing up to five years in prison, he is also now required to pay $1.3 million in penalties.

The story is an interesting one and a good reminder as Americans head into tax season. It is important everyone understands what tax evasion is, and the serious penalties associated with the offense.

What Is Tax Evasion?

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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyer, IL hate crime lawyerIn early February, a man entered a plea deal after being accused of setting fires to three different churches in Louisiana. Now he faces a number of state and federal charges. Among the federal charges he is facing, one is intentional damage to religious property, which is a hate crime under the Church Arson Prevention Act.

Damaging Religious Property Defined

According to Title 18, U.S.C., Section 247, damaging religious property is defined as damaging, defacing, or destroying property due to its religious nature. This last element of the offense is very important. In order to be considered a hate crime, the prosecution must prove that the defendant damaged property intentionally, and specifically due to its religious nature.

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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerThere is a lot that happens in a federal investigation and much of the time, a person does not even realize they are being investigated until they receive a target letter in the mail. Target letters are very intimidating and can strike fear in the hearts of anyone that receives one. After receiving a target letter, it is also natural to wonder what you should do next. So, what is a target letter and what does it mean for you?

What Is a Target Letter?

During a federal investigation, there are three categories federal agencies will place people into. These are witnesses, subjects, and the target. The target is the person federal investigators are targeting and believe has committed a crime such as embezzlement or a drug crime.

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