What Kinds of Environmental Crimes Could I Be Accused Of?

Environmental crime is a new kind of crime that has unfortunately been growing in our country over recent years. Large corporations may be found guilty of environmental crimes, but smaller businesses and individuals can also be charged with them. The number one most common type of criminal environmental act that anyone can commit is to improperly dispose hazardous waste material. In order to avoid serious penalties and prison time, it is beneficial to know more about these environmental crimes and how you can avoid them.

How Can Individuals and Companies be Charged with an Environmental Crime?

  • Illegal hazardous waste disposal: This kind of environmental crime can range from unintentional spills in vehicle accidents on freeways to planned illegal disposal. Leaving tank valves open to slowly release harmful gases and liquids into the air and ground is also included in this crime. Some planned acts can also include renting a truck, filling it with harmful gas, and abandoning it somewhere, or renting a storage unit and filling it with waste drums. Businesses should especially be careful when hiring haulers to transport their chemicals, because they could easily pocket the money and illegally dispose the material elsewhere.
  • Illegal disposal of tires, construction and demolition materials: If you dump your used tires in an improper or illegal fashion, the tires could catch fire and release toxic substances into the air, which damages the environment. Leftover materials from construction and demolition sites can have illegal debris dumped alongside the surrounding roads, which can result in community clean ups that then expose people to the dangerous toxins.
  • Abandoned household appliances: Before throwing away your household appliances, make sure you read the disposal instructions on the product. Mercury can leak from the appliances and expose humans to mercury vapors, which can be deadly for our health.

An environmental crime is a type of fraud that can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the result of damage and injuries from the crime committed. If you have been charged with an environmental crime and you are seeking legal representation in criminal court, now is the time to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Garcia, Schnayerson & Thompson today.

What Are the Current California Drug Possession Laws?

California is regarded as one of the more liberal states when it comes to drug possession, but it still has a few strict regulations. It is a state that allows widespread and legal recreational and medical marijuana, so there are some blurred lines when it comes to what is still legal and illegal throughout the state. As a California citizen, it is important that you know the current drug possession laws, so you can avoid being prosecuted and facing harsh penalties.

What Are the Drugs I Could Be Found Illegally in Possession of?

First, it’s crucial that you know what the definition of possession is. Possession of a controlled drug and/or substance is when you have drugs under your control. This applies when you have the drugs in your pocket or on your person, but it also applies if the substance is not on you. If drugs are found in your car, on the sidewalk next to you, or in your home, you could still face a drug possession charge.

Under the state’s Health and Safety Code Section 11350, almost all possessions of a controlled substance are considered misdemeanor charges. These controlled drugs include:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy, LSD, mushrooms
  • Meth
  • Prescription drugs, including narcotics and painkillers

Misdemeanor offenses mean you are at risk for more than a year of jail time. However, these charges could also be considered felonies, depending on the amount of drugs found and other key factors based on the circumstances at the time of an arrest.

What Are the Drug Possession Laws for California?

  • Proposition 47: Passed in 2014, this law reduced simple drug possession arrests from possible felony charges with state prison time to misdemeanor offenses.
  • Proposition 36: Passed in 2000, this law is intended to save California money and to keep people out of prison for minor drug offenses. If you qualify, you will be required to participate in drug rehab instead of jail time.

Our criminal defense attorneys at Garcia, Schnayerson & Thompson will represent you in criminal court for any drug possession charges you are facing. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How Do I Know If I Have Committed a White-Collar Crime?

There is a wide array of crimes that you could potentially be charged for, and many of these different crimes fall under different categories. One category of crimes is a white-collar crime. These types of crimes involve some sort of deceit, dishonesty or theft in order to achieve financial gain or security.

What Are the Different Types of White Collar Crimes?

  • Fraud: Many white-collar crimes are considered fraudulent crimes. Fraud is a very general type of crime that involves deceiving a person or entity in order to have monetary gain. Securities fraud (fraud involving the trading of assets) and insurance fraud (scheming around insurance policies) are the main types of white collar frauds.
  • Embezzlement: This type of white collar crime involves the act of improperly stealing money from someone to whom you owed some type of job or duty. A common example of this is when a company employee embezzles money from his or her employer in order to place it in his or her personal bank account.
  • Tax Evasion: Criminal tax evasion occurs when someone attempts to avoid taxes that they owe to the IRS. Filing tax forms with false information or illegally transferring property to avoid paying taxes are two common ways to commit tax evasion.
  • Money Laundering: This is a criminal act involving the filtering of illegally obtained money through various forms of transaction in order to fool others. This crime involves depositing money into a bank, then separating the money illegally through complex transactions, and then finally integrating this illegal money through the purchase or sale of other assets.

White-collar crimes consist of many individual crimes that can result in jail time, fees, and a criminal record. Our criminal defense firm can support you through court proceedings if you have been charged with a white-collar crime. Contact us today so we can get started on your criminal case.