lawyer

Is this justice?

The DA's office failed to prosecute the father, and laid all the blame on the mother. The lead investigator admitted that the investigation was influenced by the initial statements made by the parents, but the father then told the jury that he lied not once, not twice, but three times to police. Is this justice?

Fox 23 News

Jury Trial - Not Guilty

Hard fought trial results in a Not Guilty Verdict

Brian Boeheim and Ciera Freeman successfully defend this young man who was facing decades in prison.

Tulsa Man Acquitted Of Rape, Sexual Assault: The Latest

A Tulsa man is making plans for the future after a jury found him not guilty of rape and sexual assault.

FOX23.COM

 

Robbery in Oklahoma

If you are accused of robbery, there could be very significant penalties at stake. While most theft crimes are considered property crimes, robbery is considered a violent crime against the person.  Depending on the type of robbery with which you are charged, you could be facing up to life in prison.

What is Robbery?

Someone who discovers their property missing may say they have been “robbed.”  This is actually larceny or burglary.  While larceny and burglary generally depend upon stealth, robbery is about the force or fear used to commit the crime.  Robbery is defined by Oklahoma law as “a wrongful taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear” (21 O.S. § 791).  The state divides robbery into several classifications, including first degree, second degree, conjoint, and armed robbery.

First Degree Robbery

Defined in 21 O.S. § 797, first degree robbery occurs under one or more of four specific circumstances:

1.    inflicts serious bodily injury upon the person;

2.    threatens a person with immediate serious bodily injury;

3.    intentionally puts a person in fear of immediate serious bodily injury; or

4.    commits or threatens to commit a felony upon the person.

First degree robbery is a felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison. It is also an “85 percent crime,” under O.S. 21 § 13.1, a person convicted of this crime must to serve a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence before the possibility of parole.  With that said, there is case law that brings the minimum down to 5 years, but judicial notice should be invoked.

Second Degree Robbery

Second degree robbery does not carry the same requirement that the force results in serious bodily injury or that the fear is the intentional threat of serious bodily injury.  Second degree robbery is a lesser offense than first degree robbery, and it is not an “85 percent crime”.  Robbery in the second degree brings a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Conjoint Robbery

Conjoint robbery, or robbery committed by two or more people conspiring or acting together to accomplish the robbery is a serious felony where each person involved faces 5 to 50 years in prison.  Like first degree robbery, conjoint robbery is an “85 percent crime”.

Armed Robbery

Robbery or attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon or imitation firearm (21 O.S. § 801) carries a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.  It is important to note that this law also includes failed attempts.  It does not matter if the gun was not loaded, or even if the “firearm” used was a fake.  Because the motive behind the use of an unloaded or imitation gun is still “force or fear,” it is considered armed robbery even with a toy gun.  Robbery or attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon or imitation firearm is an “85 percent crime”.  

Robbery is a Serious Felony

Robbery charges are very serious and the DA’s office prosecutes these cases aggressively.  You or your loved one could be facing decades in prison, mandatory minimum sentencing, and even registration with law enforcement for placement on the Oklahoma Violent Offender Registry.  Call us today at 918-884-7791 to discuss how we can defend you or your loved one from a Robbery charge.

Does Trump’s Executive Order affect my criminal case?

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS

On January 25, 2017, President Trump signed two executive orders (EOs) on immigration policy. These orders directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enlarge the deportation dragnet and further militarize the southern border of the U.S.  The administration expanded the group of people who will be priorities for deportation, specifically noting “removable” immigrants who have been accused or convicted of committing criminal offenses. The EOs also reflected a focus on having local law enforcement agencies perform the functions of immigration officers through formal agreements and by denying federal funds to “sanctuary jurisdictions” that do not comply with requests to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detain and deport immigrants.

Do the EOs change who is legally subject to deportation “removable”?

No. The existing immigration laws dictate who is legally “removable.”  Current law allows the federal government to deport people who lack lawful immigration status (i.e. undocumented people) as well as those with status (e.g. green card holders, refugees, visa holders) who have certain criminal convictions.  The President cannot redefine who is legally “removable” without an act of Congress.  However, for people who are “removable” under existing law, the policies announced can and do expand whom immigration authorities will target for deportation.

Do the EOs change whom ICE will seek to detain and deport?

Yes.  Some individuals who would not have been ICE enforcement priorities before may now be high priorities for removal, even pre-conviction.  Of note, any “removable” person who has been previously accused or convicted of a crime is now a priority for deportation.

Immigration authorities will prioritize deporting the following categories of “removable” people:

  • Those with any criminal conviction(s);
  • Those with previous criminal charges – even if such charges have not been resolved;
  • Those believed by immigration officers to pose a threat to public safety or national security;
  • Those who have a final order of removal; and
  • Those who have engaged in fraud/misrepresentation in applications to government, or who have “abused” public benefits.

For those currently in the criminal legal system, it is important to note the EO makes no distinction between the types of crime or level of offenses that will make a person a target for deportation.  Also, it is likely ICE will prioritize people with prior convictions regardless of how long ago the conviction occurred or the level of the prior conviction.

Should I bother hiring a good Criminal Defense Attorney?

Yes! The executive orders confirm that immigrants with convictions will be targeted as a top priority for deportation.  It is crucial to not just negotiate dispositions, but fight them to dismissal in order to minimize immigration consequences and exposure to enforcement agents. This applies to immigrants with and without lawful status!   Make sure to hire a Criminal Defense Attorney that understands that any conviction even one that includes a deferred sentencing, probation, and expungement can still make you a priority for deportation.

Am I safe if it is a Municipal case?

No!  Dispositions considered to be minor or even “non-criminal” can make your client a priority or deportation. For example, DHS considers municipal violations to be misdemeanor convictions. It is important to hire a attorney who is well versed in criminal law and understands that the only way to keep you in the United States is to fight your case and have it dismissed.

What does this mean?

Whether you are documented, or are here without papers, it is important that you stay out of the legal system.  Don’t drink and drive, stay away from illegal controlled drugs, walk away from fights, and don’t carry a gun.   But, if you are arrested, your first call is to a highly qualified criminal defense attorney who is not afraid to fight your case, because the only chance you may have to stay in this country is to challenge the charges and get them dismissed.

Brian J. Boeheim, Esq. --- Boeheim | Freeman PLLP --- 918-884-7791

 

The 14th Amendment Protects Illegal Immigrants

With the Presidential primaries beginning, one of the hot topics is whether  “immigrants without papers” have the protection of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  The 14th Amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court say YES!:

The 14th Amendment, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The key word in this Amendment is the word “person”.  There it is as clear as day right after the term citizens.  This leaves little doubt that the Amendment was clearly meant to include every person living within the jurisdiction.  That means everyone, including those without papers, and the U.S. Supreme Court seems to agree.  In Zadvydas v. Davis (2001) the U.S. Supreme Court said that "due process" of the 14th Amendment applies to all aliens in the United States whose presence maybe or is "unlawful, involuntary or transitory."  Twenty years before Zadvydas, the Supreme Court ruled in Plyler v. Doe (1982) that Texas could not enforce a state law that prohibited children without papers from attending grade schools.  Specifically they said, “no state shall 'deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.' Whatever his status under immigration laws, an alien is a 'person' in any ordinary sense of the term ... the undocumented status of these children does not establish a sufficient rational basis for denying benefits that the state affords other residents.”  In Almeida-Sanchez v. United States (1973) they concluded that all criminal charge-related elements of the Constitution's amendments (the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and the 14th) such as search and seizure, self-incrimination, trial by jury and due process, protect non-citizens, legally or illegally present.

Even as far back as the late 1800’s the U.S. Supreme Court was clear about the rights of immigrants without papers.  In Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886), the court ruled that: States cannot deny equal justice is still under the Constitution.   And, in Wong Win v. United States (1896), the court ruled that all persons within the territory of the United States are entitled to the protection by the 5th and 6th Amendments, even aliens.

In summary, immigrants without papers have the full protection of due process under the U.S. Constitution by way of the word "persons" in the 14th Amendment.

The Police Can Lie to You

The law allows a police officer to use deception in an investigation.  This means that during an interview by police, they can make false claims about what witnesses have seen or evidence they have recovered.  They can say just about anything they want in order to get a confession as long as the deception does not result in what would be considered coercion sufficient to make someone confess to a crime they did not commit.  Let’s be clear, this means that they can get away with almost any lie just short of telling you a loved one has died.

For instance, a detective might tell a burglary suspect that they have a witness who saw them enter a house, or that they found the suspects fingerprints inside the house.  If the suspect knows he had never been in the house, then you might think there is little chance of getting a confession.  But, recent studies have shown that suspects often confess to crimes they did not commit under the false impression that cooperating, even by admitting to something they did not do, will benefit them in the long-term, only to realize that they have created far greater problems for themselves.

Here is another example of how this might play out: A detective might tell a woman that her children will be taken from her and placed into foster care if she does not confess to a crime.  The threat of losing her children is sufficient to make some people admit to doing something they didn't do.  This borders on coercion, but once you have confessed it is hard to put that genie back in the bottle, because the police will begin to look through your life with a fine tooth comb trying to find anything to corroborate the confession they believe they just got.  Also, the confession will be used against her in any hearings to take away her children.

Should police be allowed to blatantly lie to suspects?  On the one hand, it is a very persuasive and efficient method to motivate a guilty person into confessing.  It would also seem that an innocent person would see through these lies and quit talking to the police immediately.  On the other hand, people who have something to fear can be intimidated and potentially pressured into confessing to something they did not do.  This is especially true of non-residents without papers, people with difficulty speaking English, and those who have little or no education.

What should you do?  If the police are interviewing you, they probably are looking at you as a suspect.  Politely tell them you have nothing to say, and that you want an attorney.