Articles Posted in Criminal defense

aidan-bartos-313782-copy-300x200Various crimes happen every day in Chicago, Illinois. Citizens caught violating the law, will, of course, be charged. Depending on the crime and circumstances, some may face minor charges, while others will face more serious charges. One of the crimes that takes years to clear in Chicago is racketeering.

What is Racketeering?

Racketeering is organized crime in which illegal business takes place. Rackets may refer to illegal businesses or dishonest services offered to steal and collect funds. This form of crime runs various groups assigned in different places to maintain profits for the business. This group of criminals may even use fake products and documents. They know how to get your trust and sympathy. They can even look like an innocent individuals. They are often heard about through community news reports.

maique-madeira-256088-copy-300x200Retail theft in Chicago, Illinois is a serious topic. It should not be taken lightly because it can lead to severe penalties. However, with the help of a qualified retail theft lawyer, you can take a step forward to lessen or most likely even drop the charges against you.

What is Retail Theft?

Retail theft refers to the stealing of merchandise from a shop. Additionally, retail theft also includes the removing, altering, or changing of a price tag, label, or other such actions aimed toward robbing the retail value of the store’s property or merchandise. Under Illinois law, a retail theft is a felony or misdemeanor as per the criminal background of the defendant and the value of the items stolen. The retail theft can be expunged if some conditions are fulfilled.

tim-graf-202490-copy-300x200In Chicago, the government has pushed legal help for juveniles involved in murder cases. This means that whenever the police interrogate juveniles, a lawyer should be present. This includes the juveniles who are younger than 15 years of age and are involved in sex or murder offenses. Illinois lawmakers believe that this will diminish the cases of false confessions. This law was proposed only last year. Before, the state only necessitated legal representation for kids younger than 13 years of age in the cases of murder or sex. This was applicable even when the juveniles were not the criminal investigation targets.

Governor Rauner propagated justice for children when he signed SB2370 on August 22, 2016. Public Act 99-0882 came into effect on January 1, 2017. The new bill was sponsored by two Democratic legislators. They said that juveniles aged 14 and 15 years old should certainly get legal protection. The bill included the following stipulations.

  • Videotaping is required by police officials in all the questioning sessions of youth under 18 years of age for any felony, sexual offense, or misdemeanor cases. The court will not permit the confession if it is not recorded on videotape.

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225Recently, it has been announced that there is a bill that will allow convicts in Illinois to be released at the 85% point of their sentence. The IDOC Releases 2017 has been long discussed by Congress and in legal circles. Some people will have less time in prison as a result of this change. Others might find that there are much stricter rules for getting released. The change follows a recommendation by the Commission on Criminal Sentencing. The new program is meant to reduce offending over the long term.

Just like any other laws, the people who are already in prison might be affected. Those who are going to commit crimes in the future will definitely be affected. These changes work together with all the other reforms that the government has been putting in place. An example is the gun law reviews, which affected those that are repeat offenders for gun crimes.

Things to Watch Out for if You are Convicted

elliott-stallion-105205-copy-300x200Many people in Chicago, Illinois want to know if they can vote in the state if they are already imprisoned or held for a felony conviction. This query is generally made during election time. A lot of people are not cognizant of the laws when it comes to voting from jail.

In the United States, the voting rules for incarcerated individuals differ from one state to the other, which adds to the confusion. This is why it is imperative that people educate themselves about the rules. There are specific rules regarding voting after a felony conviction in Illinois.

What is the Law in Illinois?

raban-haaijk-118657-copy-225x300The carjacking was one of the trendiest criminal activities in the 1990s. But, recent Chicago City data shows that after many years of steady decline, the crime of taking other people’s vehicles by force is soaring back into favor. The data revealed that through August, vehicle hijacking crimes increased by 30%. This is equivalent to 183% compared to 2015 crime rate.

The Loop experienced a 1200% increase in vehicle hijacking crimes as compared to 2015. River North’s vehicle hijacking rate went up by 500%. The popular 19th Police District includes Uptown, Lakeview, the north end of Lincoln Park and North Center. It experienced a 200% increase in vehicle hijacking crimes as compared to two years ago.

According to the Chicago Tribune, carjacking began to spike in 2016 when shootings and homicides skyrocketed. Crime in virtually every category rose. While the cause of this sudden spike was unclear, some security officers felt the furor over the viral video clip revealing police shooting a teen Laquan McDonald 16 times fueled the activity. This resulted in most security officers becoming less aggressive on the streets. This, in turn, emboldened criminals.

sawyer-bengtson-279792-copy-200x300Serious crimes like murder make the news headlines. However, crimes like assault and theft are far more common in Chicago, Illinois. In fact, your chances becoming a victim of these non-index crimes might be higher than the police and the security department are telling you.

Reports of “non-index” crime on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) are on the rise. They seem to surpass the rate of such reports for the last two years. Some of these non-index crimes are cases involving criminal sexual abuse. They include sexual harassment without any physical contact and inappropriate touching.

Since early 2015, there has been reported 145 cases of criminal sexual abuse on the CTA. Surprisingly, in 2015, only 44 cases of criminal sexual abuse were reported. This data was released by the Chicago Sun-Times after analysis of the Chicago Police Department’s data on non-index crimes. Note the non-index crimes are ones perceived as less than the index crimes such as rape, robbery, and murder.

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240Police reform in Chicago is not only a matter of public importance for the city’s residents; it also has an impact on other cities and states. If Chicago gets it right, this might turn out to be the blueprint for reform in other places. If it goes wrong, then other states and cities may be reluctant to implement their own police reform initiatives.

At the moment, there is a difference of opinion between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Hall. There are many interested parties, including members of the public, the law enforcement agencies, the courts, and even the politicians. The mayor had originally picked a watchdog group to oversee the process, but others think there should be more involvement from various community organizations. A federal judge has been called in to oversee the process. Some see this as a way to avoid working with the Trump Administration and the US Justice Department.

New Convictions and Cases

a-l-117960-copy-300x198If you are living in Chicago, Illinois, you might have your own car to get around the city. You need to drive to work, back home, and to different spots around town. Driving on your own to any destination is convenient. But, what will you do if your driver’s license is suspended? Have you violated any traffic rules? If so, do you know what the consequences are?

If your license has been suspended, it means that the authorities have taken away your privilege to drive. You can find the law about driving with a suspended license in Chicago, Illinois pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/6-303. Your penalty will depend on your reasons for having a suspended license.

Reasons Why You Might Have Your License Suspended

Gallaecia_petrea_02-57c-200x300Many people can not afford to post bail when they are arrested. This has caused a lot of Illinois prisons to be overcrowded. Legislators in Chicago has taken several measures to try to lower the cost of bail.

This summer, the Governor Rauner signed legislation allowing bail relief to non-violent offenders at a local Chicago Baptist Institute. This will create the opportunity for those who are detained for low-level crimes to pay a lower fee to be released. The Governor believes that this is “an important step in improving our state’s criminal justice system. Our system must work equally for all our residents, in every community, regardless of their income,” Rauner said. “We should be focused on putting people in jobs, not jail.”

Knowing When and How to Post Bail