Lawyer Monthly - July 2022

courts to discuss its merits. That has considerable importance on relevant decisions, such as trying the case or pursuing agreements to end it swiftly. Recently, leniency agreements and plea deals have been legalised in Brazil, so that is an option as well, and can be a perfect one depending on the case. The Brazilian legal frame is substantial, and sometimes an action taken by the client can be seen as illegal by prosecutors when it is in fact perfectly legal. It is usual for a prosecutor to say that there has been tax evasion when a client just used permissions granted by law to pay fewer taxes, for example. That often happens due to entirely different interpretations of tax provisions, depending on whether the person is from the revenue service or a lawyer who guides the client. Money laundering laws are also very non-specific, allowing the prosecutors to try cases when there is not enough ground to support charges on related crimes, mainly due to the impact of the FATF recommendations. Brazilian authorities accepted the latter without 63 JUL 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM THOUGHT LEADER - EDWARD ROCHA DE CARVALHO considering the legal and constitutional framework, which causes everyday issues before the courts since there is not a complete match between the law and the constitution, so to speak. How does maximum sentencing work in Brazil, and what effect does Brazil’s 30-year cap on prison sentences have on its ability to control crime? Year after year, maximum penalties are increased in Brazil, and procedures are hardened, with no corresponding effects on the ability to control crime. For what it is worth, the old saying is still valid: the most effective way to prevent crime is to know that (due and correct) punishment is inevitable. The problem is that recent criminal reforms allegedly tried to tackle relevant issues, such as corruption and money laundering. However, at the same time, they fragilised the need for sound evidence to convict someone and also broadened and facilitated the freezing of assets, making cases harder to try before courts. What aspects of your job do you find most challenging? What aspects do you find most rewarding? The hardest part is working in a nonEdward Rocha de Carvalho Partner, Miranda Coutinho, Carvalho & Advogados Rua Alberto Folloni, 1400 - Ahú, Curitiba - PR, 80540-000, Brazil Tel: +55 (41) 3072-2243 | +55 (41) 98876-4941 E: Brazilian prosecutors are strongly favored by the courts, with a few honorable exceptions, making the selection of one´s lawyer an essential part of criminal defence.

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