In West Virginia, mail-related crimes are treated seriously regardless of what carrier was used by the perpetrator or what fraudulent act was committed. But just how are crimes of mail fraud treated in court? What are the potential consequences you could end up facing if you are convicted of a mail fraud charge?
People who live in West Virginia and hear about defendants being put on trial for serious crimes such as rape or murder may often wonder what type of chance those defendants really have at getting fair treatment or consideration by juries. In some cases, media stories and reports seem to make it feel all but impossible that a defendant will be found guilty of the charges against them. A recent case in Kanawha County, however, illustrates that this is not always the case.
Many may think that the definition of sexual assault has become open to interpretation. Whereas at one time, many might have thought "sexual assault" only meant rape, today the term is seemingly applied to any offense of a sexual nature. The fact of the matter is that sexual assault was never simply limited to rape, but always included any assaulting actions related to sexual activity. You should also know that West Virginia law also distinguishes between sexual assault and sexual abuse. The question is what category of offense the crime you were accused of committing in Wheeling falls under?
Most people in West Virginia and around the nation likely heard accounts over several days about suspicious packages that had been mailed to multiple high-profile politicians or other prominent figures. In less than a week after the first package was apprehended, a man in Florida had been arrested in connection with the events.
While bombing incidents remain relatively uncommon in the United States, including West Virginia, a series of suspicious packages containing explosive devices addressed to several prominent individuals in the fields of politics and media is of concern for law enforcement from local to national levels.
One of the most common questions that people facing criminal charges in Wheeling ask is how does the law differentiate a misdemeanor from a felony? One might hear that the crime they stand accused of is considered a misdemeanor, from which the penalties that may result are often viewed as the proverbial "slap on the wrist." Yet it is difficult to classify some types of criminal activity as being exclusively considered felonies and misdemeanors. The reason for this has to do with the concept of aggravating circumstances.
You may have heard of court cases where someone is charged with murder in the first degree or where a person is charged with manslaughter. You might wonder how these charges are different. After all, in both cases someone was killed. West Virginia law specifies different types of murder and how those charges are handled.
Were one to ask anyone who has been convicted a felony, the person with said conviction can attest to the fact that the stigma that accompanies it can make life very difficult in Ohio County. For this reason, many who have such felony charges in their pasts often wonder if any records related to them can be expunged. An expungement will typically eliminate any record related to an offense from any official database that might be queried when decisions are being made regarding employment, housing and other matters. However, not every felony charge (or every person convicted) is eligible for expungement.
Many in Wheeling may wonder what separates a felony charge from a misdemeanor. Some might guess that it is the intent behind the alleged crime that results in more serious charges, while others still might say that the outcome of a supposed offense makes that determination. While those factors may come into consideration in some cases, more often than not it may be the means of commission which determine whether one faces felony or misdemeanor charges. The intent behind an alleged offense (or even lack thereof) may ultimately be viewed as being irrelevant given the crime's supposed conditions.
Any case in which you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Wheeling should be taken seriously. Having said that, not every DUI offense is created equal. Many come to us here at the Scott C. Brown Law Office after having been arrested for DUI concerned that they could be facing jail time. While there are certainly serious consequences to can accompany any DUI conviction (some of which maay fall outside of the realm of criminal law), the penalties that you might face vary depending on what form of DUI you are charged with. This begs the question of when is a DUI a misdemeanor in West Virginia, and when is it a felony?