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tertia-van-rensburg-37121-copy-300x224Assault and battery cases occur on a daily basis in Chicago. If you are ever charged in such a case, it is important for you to know what you face moving forward. For starters, you should never defend yourself in court when it comes to even minor or misdemeanor charges. There is no reason you should mess with your freedom or your rights. Let’ us take a look at assault and battery cases in today’s post so you know what to expect if you ever face these charges.

Definition of Assault

The most common definition of assault is when one person threatens to harm another or incites the fear of harm in another person. It could also include the intent to injure another person. For the most part, contact with the victim is not necessary for someone to be charged with assault. That is why you do not need battery to be present for assault be a charge, while on the other hand battery requires assault for both charges to be issued.

amritanshu-sikdar-253730-unsplash-copy-300x200Drug charges are some of the most common criminal charges issued in the Chicago area. Even if you are no stranger to drug charges, you will want to know the different defenses you can use to fight the charges levied against you. It does not take much to fight a drug charge in Chicago, but you should always protect your rights with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your freedom is something you should never take for granted by nonchalantly accepting whatever charges were filed against you. Let us take a look at the most common defenses to drug charges in today’s post.

Someone Else’s Drugs

One of the most common defenses to a drug charge when caught in possession of drugs is that the drugs belonged to someone else. So many people use this defense as soon as the police officer initiates the contact. They carry this defense with them to their criminal defense attorney’s office and then in front of a judge if the case gets that far. This will require quite a bit of evidence to prove.

ben-white-194220-copy-300x200Being charged with a crime brings a lot of stress and worry with it. You never know what will come of your case, especially if it goes to trial. Should the case go to trial and you are convicted of the crime, you will then need to attend a sentencing hearing in front of the judge. This is an important hearing because you are learning your fate. You will find out how long you will be sentenced to jail, if any fines will be levied, and if you can avoid any jail time. Here is what you can expect at a sentencing hearing.

The Length of the Hearing

For the most part, the sentencing hearing will not take very long. This is a process that should only last a handful of minutes. All the judge needs to do is read through the pre-sentence report that was created by the probation office. The judge will then listen to arguments made by the criminal defense attorney, the prosecutor, and sometimes the defendant and/or family members of the victim.

matthew-henry-35963-unsplash-copy-300x200Facing criminal charges in Chicago is always a scary situation, even if you have been charged with a crime in the past. Each instance is different because you never know what could come of the charges. One of the most important things you need to know is that representing yourself in a criminal case is never a good idea and you will see why with the reasons explained in this post.

Lack of Law Knowledge

First and foremost, you will not have the depth of knowledge of the law that a criminal defense attorney has. This is one of the most important skills you should have if defending yourself in court. It is likely you have no legal education, which means you will have trouble with legal terminology, court proceedings, how to introduce evidence and what to argue in defense of your rights in order to remain a free person. Your lack of knowledge of the law will not be tolerated in the least bit by the judge.

esteban-lopez-234052-copy-300x200In June of 2018, Chicago police discovered over 1,500 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop. The street value of the drugs is just over $10 million. The use of a drug dog from the narcotics unit helped police make this discovery.

The vehicle was stopped for suspicion of trafficking narcotics, which is why the drug dog was on hand. The drugs were en route to Chicago from California. The driver was charged with possession of over 5,000 grams of cannabis. Now, many people are raising issue with the legitimacy of the traffic stop.

The Issue

sebastian-pichler-25154-copy-300x200At an arraignment, the crimes that you are charged with will be formally read aloud in court. In the Illinois Justice System, you will have this hearing no matter what degree of crime you were charged with (misdemeanor or felony). Here is what you should expect to happen at most standard arraignments.

The Basics

Arraignments should be held within a reasonable time frame, as dictated by the sixth amendment. If an arraignment is set for six months or more after the time of your arrest, your attorney may petition for dismissal.

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240Aggravated battery of a police officer is a serious crime. Chicago judges and law enforcement are especially harsh on these cases. If you were recently charged with this crime, it is important to know your defense options. It is also crucial that you look at recent cases to understand how harsh the judge could be at your arraignment and potential trial.

Recent Cases

On July 4, 2018, Chicago police responded to a domestic dispute at a party. A woman told police that her boyfriend had physically assaulted her. She had left the event, but her child was still there. When the police attempted to arrest the boyfriend, he became violent and used the child as a shield against them. Two of the man’s relatives then assaulted the officers in an attempt to free him.

fabian-grohs-396734-copy-300x240Hate crimes are crimes committed against a person who is targeted for a specific reason. This can be due to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or other factors. If you have been arrested for this type of crime, it is essential that you understand what the prosecution has to prove for you to be found guilty.

You may also want to know what type of sentence you could be facing if found guilty. Remember, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help eliminate or reduce these sentences.

Hate Crimes and Assault

ben-white-194220-copy-300x200In Bloomington, a verdict hangs in the air around a 2016 home invasion case. An armed robbery occurred in the home of a Bloomington couple, and the defendant is being charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, home invasion, and a weapons charge. One member of the group of three posed as a pizza delivery man and made his way into the home, at which point the group demanded $40,000 in cash from the couple. While the details of the cash remain contested, and the total number of men involved and their degree of involvement is debatable, what remains clear is that home invasion happens all too frequently. When it does, victims need an attorney with a history of fighting criminal issues in Chicago.

How to Find a Good Attorney

If you are facing a similar situation, or you too have faced a home invasion case recently, whether as the victim or the defendant, you need legal help. Hiring just any attorney will not do. You need an expert in Home invasion laws. Expert attorneys know the latest changes that Illinois lawmakers have put into effect regarding home invasions. By definition, home invasion differs from other violations in that it only covers entering an inhabited dwelling and causing injury. However, it can also cover entering an inhabited dwelling and using or threatening to use force while armed. In the case of the latter, you might need an expert in weapons cases to lead the charge in your favor after a home invasion.  

alyssa-kibiloski-195807-copy-300x200Recent studies show that hate crimes in Chicago have increased by 20% between 2015 and 2016. New police data show that hate crimes are at a five-year high and have outpaced previous years. In fact, data show that since the last election, the number of victims of hate crimes has increased. People are treated differently, and the social dynamics of the city are shifting. Most hate crimes reported in the city have historically been toward gay men and blacks, but now they are increasingly toward Arabs, Muslims, and Hispanics. News reports continue show videos of city dwellers confronting women and men for wearing shirts that support other nations, other religions, and other races.

What Constitutes a Hate Crime?

Legally, hate crimes are any crimes motivated by some form of bias. Hate crimes are violent acts that target groups or individuals based on an identifier such as nationality, race, sexual orientation, or religion. Someone can be charged with committing a hate crime when he or she acts violently against a religious establishment or house of worship based solely on the nature of that institution. Expert attorneys know the latest changes that Illinois lawmakers have put into effect regarding these violent crimes.