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Is it legal for police to track credit card activity without a warrant? Does bank have authority to give permission to do so?: My friend was being investigated as a suspect in a bank robbery where he also did his banking. He later discovered the police were tracking all his credit/debit card activity. Is this legal to do without a warrant? If not, would this situation be the exception since the victim happened to be the bank? Not sure if his financial information would be consider bank's property in which a warrant might not be necessary.

Asked over 6 years ago in Criminal Defense

Laura’s answer: First, I don't see a correlation between a bank robbery and his banking activity. Second, the police would need a warrant to see his specific information -- and that would only be issued if they were able to provide the judge with probable cause to connect the bank activity with the crime. Third, it is not necessary to repeatedly post the same question.

If/when your friend is arrested, his attorney will be provided with all the documentation that will be used to prove the charge -- including any warrants that were issued. At that point the attorney may have a reason to challenge either the warrant (if there was one issued) or the search without a warrant.

Answered over 6 years ago.


Can I write directly to the judge? Would I be in trouble? I won't mention any facts of the case, just want a fair trial.: I believe my husband rights are being violated. He has pending criminal charges. He's facing up to 30 years. He has a public defender & his lawyer has been changed for the 3rd time. Based on the dockets, this change has taken place with 18 days left before trial. So of course the new lawyers file a continuance & my husband sits in jail longer. I want to write the Judge to plead to him for help to find out or understand how this is allowed to happen? My husband only choices are take a plea, go to trial with an unprepared lawyer, or allow for another continuance. All land him in jail or prison for months to years. He's not getting a fighting chance. I didn't think lawyers were allowed to withdraw from a case so close to a trial? Why and how would this be allowed?

Asked over 6 years ago in Criminal Defense

Laura’s answer: DO NOT CONTACT THE JUDGE!!! I cannot emphasize this enough. No good can come from it but it can result in a lot of harm to your husband. I have had many well meaning relatives contact the judge and inadvertently disclose damaging information (a copy of the letter will be given to the State Attorney as well as the defense attorney).

The judge is the person who may ultimately sentence your husband if he loses at trial --- do you want to risk giving the judge more reasons to give him a longer sentence just to ease your frustration? Be patient and give the new attorney time to properly prepare for trial.

Answered over 6 years ago.


What can be done?: My Boyfriend was in prison and served 3 years with a release of community control for 2 years. He then violated and caught new charges, BUT he hasn't been convicted of them. There are no witnesses, and not enough evidence to blame him.He had court today and the state attorney told his lawyer and the judge that they came up with 15 years minimum for his vocc. He also said that if he decides to go to trial he will receive 25 years minimum if found guilty.The judge set another court date to next month because my boyfriends lawyer decided to ask for more time, but shes had 4 years of time and nothing. The judge also wants to work on the vocc before they work on the new cases. Is this allowed? If the saying is innocent until proven guilty how could he have violated his community control when he hasn't been found guilty?

Asked over 6 years ago in Criminal Defense

Laura’s answer: Think about it this way. When a person makes a deal with the court to go on probation it is a contract with the court. The person agrees to do what the court says, and the court agrees not to incarcerate the person, or to lessen the time the person is incarcerated. One of the main provisions of the contract is that the person promises not break the law or get new criminal charges. The fact that your bf was arrested for new criminal charges breaks the contract he had with the court. At that point, all deals are off. The court can then impose a prison sentence for the violation up to the amount of time that the person was initially facing (with credit for any time already served).

For a violation, there is no jury trial only an Evidentiary hearing before the judge. The State has to prove to the judge that it is "more likely than not" that he committed a new crime -- usually very easy for them to prove. At which point the judge will impose a sentence for the violation.

The strategic reasons the violation case will be handled first: 1) it is much easier for the state to prove a violation to the judge than a jury trial for the new charge; 2) if he is found to be in violation, and is sentenced by the judge, it is a means for the State to try force him to resolve the new charge with a plea deal for a concurrent sentence (to be served at the same time as the violation sentence - as opposed to a consecutive sentence - which would begin to serve after he completes the sentence for the violation).

He really needs to speak with a criminal defense attorney who can look at the specific facts of the new case and advise him accordingly.

Good luck.

Answered over 6 years ago.