We Will Fight to Stop the Misuse of Law by Police and Prosecutors
Police and prosecutor misconduct results in wrongful convictions, unjust sentences, and malicious prosecutions. The only check on the system is criminal defense lawyers who will do whatever it takes to ensure their clients are protected.
An Example of Government Overreach
In 2002, Congress passed a law known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, designed to discourage people from engaging in the sort of evidence-destruction frenzy that took place in the waning days of Enron and other corporate scandals. The federal government uses this law to prosecute a commercial fisherman accused of destroying undersized fish caught in the Gulf of Mexico. Why is this important to you? Because if the United States Attorney’s Office gets away with warping criminal statutes to prosecute unintended conduct, the flood gate can open to any innocent person’s wrongful prosecution. Cases like this cause many to ask, “prosecutors misusing the law – who will stop them?”
Yates was busted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for having 72 undersized red groupers on his board and was issued a ticket. When he returned to port, there were only 69 fish on board. He was accused of throwing three of the undersized fish overboard – an act which the United States Attorney claims is the same as “shredding evidence.” A jury found him guilty of two felony criminal counts of knowingly destroying, concealing, and covering up undersized fish with the intent to impede the investigation and proper catching of red grouper under the legal minimum in violation of the anti-shredding statute. No shredder needed to be involved.
The 11th Circuit Court upheld Yates’ conviction, and he was sentenced to supervised release (a federal form of probation). The trial court even had doubts that the throwing away of fish is a falsification of a record. Yates argued that “tangible object” is vague that no one could have notice of what would put them in jeopardy of violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Supreme Court has said that due process requires a person to have “fair notice” their behavior would be a criminal violation before being convicted. Using surprise tactics is one example of prosecutors misusing the law.
However, the United States Supreme Court accepted the fisherman John L. Yates’ appeal from the lower federal courts. It sided with the fisherman’s motion, thus reversing the lower federal court’s decision, finding that fish are not considered “tangible objects” for the purpose of the statute.
Shutting Down Prosecutors Who Misuse the Law
Federal and state prosecutors are very creative and crafty when it comes to using our criminal laws to prosecute a person when the law, on its face, does not even appear to apply to the case’s facts. They enjoy trying new angles in which to start prosecutions and gain convictions. Examples of prosecutors misusing the law include Resisting and Obstructing the Police, Obstruction of Justice, Conspiracy, RICO, and fraud.
It would be best to have a law firm that will protect you and counteract the frequent shenanigans of the prosecutors who are inclined to misuse the law. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are vastly experienced in dealing with anything and everything a federal and state prosecutor can throw at you. We are never intimidated by the government, and we will fearlessly do whatever it takes to turn the tables and get you the advantage in court.
If you are dealing with a criminal investigation or charged with a crime, the lawyers at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are ready to help you. We have decades of experience in successfully all criminal matters. If you feel that you are not being treated fairly, the government is being overly harsh or falsely accused; the stakes are too high to trust your fate with the lowest bidder.
Free Consultation with a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you call us for a free consultation and case evaluation, we will take the time to patiently listen to your story, help you figure out the best strategy to proceed, and tell you how we will go about building a solid defense. We treat our clients with respect and dignity. If you call or email an attorney at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., you can count on a prompt and informative response. Anyone charged with a crime or under investigation will be dealing with terrible stress. Your lawyer should not be a source of additional stress. They should be a source of comfort, confidence, and reassurance. This is what you can expect from our lawyers. We will do whatever it takes to win your case, including calling out and fighting prosecutors who are misusing the law to convict or wrongfully punish you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.