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Attorney challenges criminal charges against California senator

It’s no secret that having a job in the public eye also means that your life is often scrutinized heavily by everyone. Sometimes, your life can even be scrutinized by the people you think are there to protect you, such as law enforcement agencies. In the end, this scrutiny can sometimes lead to criminal accusations that can leave you fighting for your rights.

This is the case for California Senator Leland Yee whose lawyer is currently fighting to protect his rights after the FBI charged him with serious criminal charges this month. According to the FBI, the senator allegedly accepted bribes from undercover agents. He is also accused of agreeing to connect an undercover agent with an international arms dealer. But Yee’s attorney noted something peculiar about the charges against his client that led to his challenge in a California court.

Yee’s attorney noted that the scope of the investigation, which is reported to have started back in 2011, shifted greatly from accusations of accepting bribes to alleged connections with arms dealers. Were investigators simply grasping at straws because they did not have enough evidence to charge the senator in their cash-for-influence case?

This was the question that Yee’s lawyer raised as well as questions about fairness. As some of our San Diego readers may know, federal investigations like this can sometimes go on for years, often concluding when investigators have enough information to charge a person. But in Yee’s case, as his attorney points out, there may not been that much evidence for the original charges, which may have led to the allegations of connections with arms dealers. But was this practice fair? That’s another question that will need to be answered by the courts when the senator goes on trial at a future date.

Source: ABC News, “Lawmaker Yee's Lawyer Questions FBI Investigation,” Paul Elias, April 1, 2014

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results