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                           Could Your Tax Return Land You In Jail?

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Death and taxes, two constants in life which are funny, but true. Tax season is upon us, and while some people are anticipating a refund, many are expected to owe Uncle Sam this year. Whether you owe or you are getting a refund, your taxes are a serious thing and but could get you into trouble if you are not careful.

Many Americans rely on a trusted accountant or CPA. While tax preparers are honest and know the tax laws, some are not so trustworthy. Below is a link to the Justice Department’s website with convictions of three individuals who operated Mendez Tax Services (MTS), a tax preparation business in El Paso, Texas. In the article below the Justice Department accuses MTS of maximizing their clients’ income tax refunds. Mendoza, Hernandez, and Duchene placed materially false items on the tax returns and at times, without the knowledge or consent of the clients. This includes falsified or inflated figures for unreimbursed employee business expenses, child and dependent care expenses, and education credits. Income tax returns prepared by the defendants also included false filing statuses and improperly claimed Earned Income Tax Credits.

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5 Things To Do (Not Do) If You Are Arrested

Most Americans are law abiding citizens and never dream of getting arrested,  let alone spending years in prison for a crime they did not commit. The reality is that getting arrested is far more common than people think.  If you find yourself in this situation, would you know what to do?

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In our last post we talked about the Steven Avery case and how he was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit. Click here to read the full article:

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Wrongful Conviction, Could It Happen To You?

You may of heard of a little documentary series on Netflix called “Making A Murderer”, its okay if you haven’t we understand you may have been a sequestered juror or do not participate in that little thing called social media.

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If you have heard about the series but are unsure of what it’s about, here is a quick synopsis: Steven Avery, a lifelong resident of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, was wrongfully convicted of a sexual assault and the attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen. After serving 18 years in prison, Mr. Avery was proven innocent when DNA testing was performed on evidence from the crime scene. A documentary team filmed Mr. Avery, his friends and family over the course of 10 years. During the filming Mr. Avery was accused and convicted of killing Teresa Haibach.

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3 Easy Ways To Protect Your Home This Holiday Season

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Most people have enjoyed the wildly successful movie from 1990, “Home Alone”, about a boy named Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) who is accidentally left behind when his family leaves for France over the holiday season. While left home alone he must fend off two criminals that are trying to burglarize his family home. This family movie is cute and has a happy ending but home burglary is not a laughing matter. Giving and cheer is increased this time of year, but so is crime.  Criminals play on people traveling, being busy and preoccupied. Many people are so overwhelmed with holiday cheer that they tend to let their “guard” down. Here are a 3 easy steps to protect your family and home, not only during the holiday season, but year around:

  1. Watch What You Say: We love to post what we are doing on social media. Posting, chatting and tweeting that we have “3 days until our holiday vacation starts” is just what some criminals look for. You may think just your close circle of friends and family have access to this information but remember once it is out there on the internet it is open for anyone to see. You can still post that you are going away for that much needed holiday trip but think about adding to your post that you are thankful to have such good friends watching your house when you are away.
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Is It A Crime To Have Unprotected Sex While HIV Positive In Nevada?

Charlie Sheen announced to Matt Lauer that he has been HIV positive for nearly four years. While the news is certainly shocking, I can’t say I’m surprised given the fact that he has publicly engaged in risky behavior for so many years. Interestingly, Charlie Sheen decided to reveal his positive status because he doesn’t want to pay any more hush money to those in the know to keep it quiet. In his interview, Charlie made it sound like he was paying off friends and colleagues who knew about his HIV status, but other media outlets are reporting that he has been paying off former sexual partners with whom he has engaged in unprotected sex. In Charlie’s home state of California, it is a crime to knowingly have unprotected sex with someone when you are aware of your own HIV positive status. It is a felony to engage in sexual conduct with someone with the intent to transmit HIV to him or her.

So is it a crime to have unprotected sex if one has HIV in Nevada? The short answer is: yes, it is a crime in Nevada to expose another person to HIV or to any other sexually transmitted disease. Nevada laws speak specifically of “communicable” or contagious diseases, which includes STDs, but it doesn’t list specific STDs unlike other states. Nor does Nevada provide a list of prohibited activities. Common sense dictates that exposure to STDs and HIV occurs through needle sharing and unprotected sexual contact.

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Does a Payoff Make Sexual Assault Okay? 

You hear it all the time Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby and other wealthy famous individuals paying off victims of alleged sexual assault to make the problem “go away”. What about our own government?

Here is an excerpt from Nevada Justice Episode 8 on a government payoff for sexual misconduct:  Now our own Clark County has approved a $2 million settlement in foster children abuse case. One of seven former foster children who sued Clark County alleging abuse and neglect while in the child welfare system views the two million plus settlement approved as a win/lose outcome. The victim of sexual and physical abuse, who asked not to be named, said children are set up to fail when they are given bad foster placements. Department of Family Services case workers also need to thoroughly investigate any allegations of harm made by foster children. The system failed the plaintiff in those two aspects. The 2.075 million settlement was approved by the Clark County Commission at its meeting. About 1.6 million will directly benefit the seven former foster children, while 500,000 will cover attorneys’ fees and costs. The suit cited numerous concerns with aspect of the County’s child welfare system including the use of psychotropic medications on children, reported sexual and physical abuse in foster homes and the adequacy of Child Protective Services investigations. The money will help change the lives of the seven former foster children. The settlement will provide the necessary resources for the former foster children to move ahead with their lives.

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When is police force warranted? According to the National Institute of Justice, www.nij.gov.com ” The use of force by law enforcement officers becomes necessary and is permitted under specific circumstances, such as self-defense or in defense of another individual or group”. This definition is very broad leaving many different interpretations, reactions and as we have seen over the years outcomes.

Lagomarsino Law has successfully represented many Civil Rights cases over the years, more recent is the Trevon Cole Case. Below is an excerpt  from the Nevada Justice Episode #3 discussing police misconduct.

MR. LAGOMARSINO: I remember I first became interested in police misconduct actually in law school when I took the class called criminal procedure and went in with all these grand expectations about all these rights that we had and then soon learned, probably in the first day, that those rights quickly become eroded through various means either the legislature, the Courts and even the police.