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What is the Electronic Communications Privacy Act?

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, or the ECPA, consists of three parts. The first, sometimes referred to as Title III, outlaws the unauthorized interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications. It also establishes a judicially supervised procedure to permit such interceptions for law enforcement purposes. The second, the...

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Can the Probation Officer Request Personal Information?

If you are charged with a federal crime, sooner or later you will meet the U.S. probation officer. The main task of the probation officer is to prepare the presentence report. The purpose of this report is to summarize the personal background of the defendant and the facts and allegations...

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I am accused of an Internet Crime – will I go to prison?

As the use of electronic media continues to increase, so does the number of crimes that are committed by using the Internet. When the Internet first emerged, there were no laws in place to govern behavior in cyberspace. Over the last two decades, however, legislation has begun to catch up...

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What Is the Importance of the Pre-sentence Investigation Report?

After conviction and before a sentence is imposed, a federal court will receive a pre-sentence investigation report about the defendant. While the judge ultimately decides on the proper sentence at his or her discretion, the pre-sentence investigation report  plays a vital role in the court’s decision-making process. The pre-sentence investigation...

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I’ve Been Convicted or Plead Guilty to a Felony: What Rights Have I Lost & How Do I Expunge My Criminal Record?

After being convicted of a felony, you may have lost certain rights, which varies from state to state. Generally speaking, you have lost the right to vote, the right to possess firearms, and the right to participate in jury duty.  In some states these rights may be restored after meeting...

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I’ve Been Charged with a Felony. What should I do?

In the United States, the federal government defines a felony as a crime punishable by death or by imprisonment for longer than one year.  A federal crime or federal offense is an act that is made illegal by federal legislation.  Many federal offenses are enumerated in Title 18 of the...

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I’ve Been Accused of Money Laundering. What Happens Next?

Generally speaking, money laundering is the practice of using a business to conceal cash or assets that are the products of criminal activity.  Federal law makes it illegal to conduct certain financial transactions with proceeds generated through specified unlawful activities.  See 18 U.S.C. § 1956, 1957.  "Specified unlawful activity" is...

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Government Investigations

In recent years, the government has increased its enforcement efforts against physicians, accusing them of a variety of offenses. Most commonly, the federal or state government investigates physicians for alleged fraudulent billing practices, including looking into the number of patients seen, the types of tests ordered, and any upcoding or...

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Physicians vs. Insurance Companies

One of the primary challenges facing physicians today is dealing with insurance companies. Increasingly, insurance companies have become aggressive in denying reimbursements for procedures that are covered by the physicians’ provider agreements. In some cases, the insurers even go so far as to demand that physicians return money that the...

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How Physicians Can Protect Against Former Employees

Physicians who are faced with the need to terminate an employee often worry about the repercussions of such an action. What if the employee steals from you or causes a scene on his or her way out the door? Worse, what if the employee sues for wrongful termination? In general,...

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