Picture of attorney David L. Freidberg,

fabian-fauth-239221-unsplash-copy-300x225After being elected, President Trump vowed to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records. A series of executive actions taken by him in his inaugural year suggest that the president will widen the net to all immigrants, regardless of whether or not they have a criminal history. President Trump’s plans have led to huge uncertainty for thousands of undocumented people living in the US.

While a few of them may be facing criminal charges, it is likely that many fear that they could be deported from the country they call home. Let’s discuss the plight of such undocumented US residents in detail.

Afghanistan Veteran Faces Deportation Over Drug Conviction

jaanus-jagomagi-377699-unsplash-copy-200x300Burglary denotes illegal entry into a building with the intention of stealing property or money. In reality, burglary covers several possible circumstances. The recent burglary attempt in Naperville is one such instance. An 18-year-old and three other teens were involved. Charges of burglary can result in serious charges, depending on the situation.

Burglary as a Criminal Offense

Illinois law has listed several situations that constitute burglary. For instance, illegal entry can signify gaining entry under false pretenses. Normally, Class 2 felony is the sentence given for burglary. This can lead to a prison term of three to seven years, depending on the case.

hajran-pambudi-403848-copy-300x199Proving a hate crime occurred in Chicago means proving motivation. The victim assistance team will always investigate the possibility of a hate crime if they are involved in the prosecution case. The court will normally make inferences or conclusions about the true motives of the accused depending on what they said and did. Ideally the court might want to be able to know what they thought as they planned and committed the crime, but this is not yet possible.

Because it is hard to tell what a human being is thinking, the hate crime legislation has sometimes gotten into trouble with constitutional experts. Some of these experts feel that the laws end up preventing freedom of speech and expression. Others argue that just because someone is a racist or bigot, does not mean that every crime he or she commits is motivated by racism and bigotry.

Court Principles for Understanding Testimony

israel-palacio-463979-copy-300x200It is believed that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, affects as much as 7.7 million American adults. The Department of Veteran Affairs estimates that 20% of those suffering from PTSD are Iraq war veterans. There are 20.4 million veterans living in the United States today. Their services span the last 100 years. With a population this large, it is not uncommon to meet veterans who have served in multiple wars, meaning that of those 7.7 million Americans who suffer from PTSD, a large number could be multiple war veterans.

PTSD is described as a disorder that can occur after having suffered a traumatic event. Symptoms can arise shortly after the traumatic event but some have reported symptoms manifesting several months to years later. Symptoms include reliving the event that induced trauma, avoiding situations reminiscent of the trauma, depression, and hyperarousal (being jittery, always on the alert, irritability, aggression). Considering the events that may occur during war, it is no surprise that war veterans may show symptoms of PTSD. Life for veterans who have been discharged or served out their time of duty can be difficult enough without PTSD; adding the disorder can make life complicated, and as a result, these affected individuals sometimes turn to activities that are in conflict with the law.

Behaviors such as alcoholism and public outbursts due to triggers are only some of the actions that can mark a veteran as a target of the police. For example, upon returning from duty in Iraq, veteran Christopher Lee Boyd grew irritable and paranoid. In an attempt to protect his family, he began to carry a gun. He became prone to drinking himself to sleep in order to avoid nightmares related to his memories of the war. After having spent one entire day drinking, he remembers waking up in a police car headed to prison. Boyd was told by the cops that he ended up at a party and shot one of his friends in the chest. Luckily, his friend survived, but Boyd was sentenced to five years behind bars.

jomar-thomas-271602-copy-300x200The United States is one of the few countries with a judicial system founded on the principle of democracy. This system of justice offers us an orderly and peaceful way to decide criminal cases. Additionally, the judicial system punishes the ones found guilty, resolves civil disputes, and protects our civil rights. Thus, the judges in Chicago have to uphold the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Illinois. This is by interpreting and enforcing laws in individual cases. These judges and staff are always ready to do what it takes to maintain a court system that meets the highest standards of judicial performance.

One of the most notable changes and commitments is the introduction of electronic court systems in Chicago. This is not a new thing, especially for the federal court system, which went paperless more than 15 years ago. But, switching to the electronic court system is still a change that has dragged on in most circuit courts. Currently, you might even see some Chicago Circuit Court clerks spending their time carrying stacks of folders.

After years of relentless lobbying by frustrated attorneys, Chicago was able to take a step forward and join other counties in the digital world. This is ensuring that most of the businesses of the courts are done online, embracing electronic court systems.

maique-madeira-256088-copy-300x200Although most ordinary people talk about “drug crime” as if it were one giant part of criminal law, there are many important distinctions between different drug-related crimes. One of them is the difference between drug dealing and drug trafficking. Let us take the case of David Price, who faced life imprisonment after being found guilty of running an illicit drug empire.

Drug dealing often happens on the streets when middlemen and low-level distributors try to offload the controlled drugs onto the street. They are the people who sell on a one-to-one basis or who provide small shopping facilities for drugs. This is a different crime from trafficking, which often includes international routes. The failure to make these distinctions clear has meant that many people are serving sentences that are longer than they would ordinarily be if the right procedure was followed.

Why is the Distinction Between Dealing and Trafficking so Important?

antonio-grosz-148540-copy-300x200Many people in Chicago find it hard to believe that criminals involved in any mass shooting have a chance to defend themselves. This is because of the seriousness of the offenses that result from this crime and the restrictive nature of Chicago gun laws. With the right legal advice, however, an individual charged with a mass shooting can successfully defend his or her case.

With the United States facing the worst mass shootings in the modern history, it is likely that these incidences might stir action on gun control. If you look at Chicago, there were over 4,000 victims of crimes related to guns in 2016 alone. This means that we have to come up with measures that will actually bring a real impact.

History has shown that mass shootings mainly happen in places where victims cannot defend themselves. These include churches, learning institutions, and other places where people are not allowed to carry guns. According to research, all the public shootings in the US have occurred in locations where citizens are banned from carrying guns, except for two cases. In Europe, all the mass shootings have taken place in areas where citizens are banned from carrying guns.

jakob-owens-96965-unsplash-copy-200x300The Office of Jury Administration is in charge of producing qualified teams of jurors for trials in Chicago. Jurors play a big role in ensuring that all citizens’ rights are protected during trial. Jury service is a crucial and serious responsibility that all US citizens share.

The aim of the court is to ensure that the jury’s service is easy and reliable. To attain this, the jury administration’s office implements smooth and innovative exercises aimed at making the jurors’ convenience and comfort a priority. Jurors can sometimes be summoned for direct service in criminal cases or as part of a reserve of jurors.

When jurors report for a service, they are expected to serve for at least one trial. A juror is given a random panel number. The panels are also divided into random groups of six or 18 jurors. The juror then takes part in the orientation process while outlining the trial process, which includes watching a video with pertinent information. When a case is ready to begin, a deputy sheriff is sent by the judge to summon the appropriate and applicable jurors in the jury room. These are usually determined by previously answered questionnaires. By the end of the first day of service, a juror will be in the jurors pool, or still in a court for jury selection. If this does not happen, then one is often excused from additional services.

esteban-lopez-234052-copy-300x200Like every other state, Illinois is debating whether or not to make recreational marijuana legal, even after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made it a priority for federal prosecutors to enforce drug laws. According to Sessions, marijuana is causing serious health issues to citizens and anyone found in possession of it should be convicted.

However, Illinois leaders do not agree with Sessions. State Representative Kelly M. Cassidy and state Senator Heather Stean have plans to come up with revised statute in the legislature’s new session to permit recreational marijuana. They have been carrying out town halls and meeting with constituents and key stakeholders to come up with a bill.

The first approach of making recreational marijuana legal in Illinois might take place in March 2018 in Cook County. In the same month, an advisory referendum will ask voters whether adult use of cannabis should be lawful. It will be placed in the primary ballot. It is crucial to note that there is still a lengthy process. The vote is part of the strategy by state-wide legalization, hence not binding or affecting the current law.

fabian-grohs-396734-copy-300x240The law in Chicago is catching up to the reality that social media is a normal part of our daily lives. Currently there are new laws and rules of procedure that are designed to ensure that social media evidence can be used in court. The problem remains that evidence gathered from social media posts can be unreliable. There have been cases in which postings from Twitter and Facebook have been presented as evidence of crime, but the court has rejected them because they are not reliable.

From a personal point of view, all the posts that you make on social media can potentially be used against you in criminal trials. Even employers are now allowed to view your social media posts when they are made using their official equipment at work. The person who is posting can make use of the privacy options on the social media account in order to reduce the risk of being exposed later on when the police agencies are trawling for evidence. The Stored Communications Act (the SCA) of 1986 is a federal law that tries to provide some protection for posters.

Social Media Postings and Criminal Trials