Frank, Juengel & Radefeld, Attorneys at Law
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A drug conspiracy charge can involve as few as two people

When a news item about a drug conspiracy turns up, it often involves a "ring" or a large group of conspirators, and thousands if not millions of dollars in potential profits.

However, a drug conspiracy may only involve as few as two people willing to act as partners in the crime. Anyone else charged may simply have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A wire fraud conviction is more serious than you might think

Wire fraud refers to the use of various kinds of telecommunications equipment to carry out a fraudulent scheme. Some fraud is rather sophisticated and involves millions of dollars.

A recent court case illustrates that wire fraud is a charge you cannot take lightly.

Indictment results in multiple drug charges

People in Missouri might often wonder how a person ends up being charged with a particular type of crime. There are many factors that can go into these situations and the process is not the same for everyone. One thing that contributes to the process is whether or not an alleged crime is in the municipal, county, state or federal jurisdiction. Some drug crimes are under the jurisdiction of federal authorities and may include a review by a grand jury.

A grand jury is not a group that determines a defendant's guilt or innocence. Instead a federal grand jury reviews evidence to determine whether or not a defendant can or will be officially charged with a crime. If that happens, prosecution may follow. Nine people in Missouri have recently undergone a grand jury review and all nine were indicted on a series of charges related to drug activity.

How accurate is eyewitness testimony?

As a Missouri resident facing a criminal charge, it may unnerve you to hear that there were witnesses present when the incident occurred who plan to speak out about what they believe they saw. It may unnerve you even further, however, to know just how often eyewitness accounts wind up being inaccurate.

According to the Association for Psychological Science, eyewitness accounts have historically played a massive role in the convictions of many people, with some believing that only signed confessions contain more damning evidence of a crime. The problem, however, is that, while eyewitness statements may frequently help convince others of a suspected offender’s guilt, they are not as accurate as many people assume.

How Missouri law treats felons and firearms

Firearms have played an important role in the history and development of the United States. As such, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution safeguards the right to keep and bear arms. Further, in a landmark case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that citizens generally have an individual right to own firearms.   

As with many other liberties, the right to bear arms is not absolute. Government officials may limit an individual’s ability to possess guns in certain circumstances. In Missouri, any person who has a felony conviction on his or her record is usually ineligible to own or possess a gun. 

Important facts about mail fraud

An individual who uses a mail delivery service as part of a scheme to engage in fraud may face prosecution for mail fraud. Mail fraud is a federal offense that comes with harsh consequences. 

However, defendants can challenge the evidence against them. The best defense starts with an understanding of mail fraud laws and cases. Here are a few important facts to know about mail fraud.

What happens if you fail to register as a sex offender?

When you receive a conviction for certain types of sex crimes in Missouri, you may have to register as a sex offender, and failing to do so can lead to considerable consequences. In addition to registering as a sex offender in the district where you reside, you may, too, need to do so in the district where you received your conviction, if they differ. If you do not register as a sex offender within the appropriate areas, and within a certain timeframe, you could potentially face a lengthy term of imprisonment.

Per the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act requires that, once you become a sex offender, you make your jurisdiction aware of your whereabouts at all times. You must also, under the terms of the act, notify the proper authorities within three days of changing your name, home address, job or student status.

A closer look at drug court in Missouri

Many people who commit drug-related crimes in Missouri do so because they are struggling from drug addiction, themselves. If you count yourself among them, you may be able to avoid having to serve time behind bars by doing something that can also help you kick your addiction for good. At Frank, Juengel & Radefeld, Attorneys at Law, we understand that if you meet certain eligibility requirements, you may be able to enroll in drug court as an alternative to spending time in jail. While drug courts hold you accountable for your actions, they also provide you with important resources you can use to help abstain from drug use moving forward.

Per StLouisCo.com, attending drug court in St. Louis County requires following a strict compliance plan with regard to treatment, probation requirements and the drug court judge’s orders. Typically, by enrolling in the program, you are agreeing to undergo periodic drug testing and participate in any number of other efforts aimed at helping you improve your life.

Can a federal drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

Federal drug convictions bring with them serious consequences, not all of which come directly from the criminal justice system. Depending on the circumstances and details surrounding a drug crime, a person could face a mandatory prison sentence, among other harsh repercussions. If you are a college student, your criminal act can potentially prevent you from returning to school.

How? According to U.S. News & World Report, those convicted of state or federal drug charges may lose their ability to retain financial aid. In other words, if you face drug charges and also use student aid or grant money to pursue your higher education, your criminal conviction could leave you on the financial hook by eliminating your ability to utilize federal assistance.

3 emotions you may feel if you are facing a criminal charge

Unless you are a judge, prosecutor or criminal defense attorney, you have likely not spent much time inside a courtroom. If you face criminal charges, however, the mere thought of stepping foot inside one may cause you to panic. 

Every criminal defendant is different. You may be struggling with a variety of emotions. Rather than let your emotions control your decision making, work to understand how you feel. Here are three emotions you may have to address during your criminal case.

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