Articles Posted in Criminal defense

benjamin-voros-160962-300x200The internet has been a useful platform for people to conduct business, keep in touch with their friends and family, and to communicate with people across the globe. Yet, not everyone who has access to the internet uses it with good intentions. If such use results in breaking laws, one stands to face charges of committing cyber crimes.

The Illinois state law stipulates unlawful cybercrime actions to include wire fraud, extortion, child pornography, credit card fraud, indecent solicitation of minors, identity theft, phishing, and infringement of copyrights, among others. Conducting such criminal activities could result in punitive measures on the perpetrators. This follows the rule of the Computer Crime Prevention Law. Criminal penalties are described for convicted perpetrators of cybercrime.

The Scope of the Law

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225In the news in Chicago recently, you may have seen a promising development about imprisoned citizens getting justice and their freedom after spending many years of their lives behind bars. These individuals received life sentences at an extremely young age. In fact, some were barely 14 years old when they were sentenced to life for crimes committed. As a result, they have spent more years of their life in a prison than in free society.

Yet, with the help of a United States Supreme Court ruling, you have the right to appeal for a reduced sentence for the sentencing you received. Discover below how you can begin the process to have your life prison sentence overturned.

How Appealing a Life Sentence Works

andrew-pons-51711-copy-300x200A recent report by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) reveals an astonishing number of pets exposed to life-threatening situations, especially in confined spaces such as cars. According to the association, a significant number of pet injuries and deaths are as a result of being trapped in cars. In more than one occurrence, pets, especially dogs, have been found to suffer from breathing problems. In some cases, death from heatstroke occurred because they were trapped in hot cars.

In fact, breaking into cars to save these pets has been a contested topic over the past few months, especially with the ever-increasing number of car theft and burglary cases. Furthermore, a lot of concerned citizens have found themselves in compromising positions with the law after breaking into cars all in an attempt to rescue pets. As a result, it is important for legislators to define statutes that not only protect animals trapped in cars, but also the people twho break into such cars in an attempt to rescue trapped animals.

Illinois Laws on Animals in ‘Hot Cars’

kristina-flour-185592-copy-300x192For years, the practice of forced confessions was used to offer some sort of relief to cases that appeared to be complex in nature. The justice systems in quite a significant number of states conspired with law enforcement to convict suspects who were deemed defenseless or who did not invoke their rights. With the advancement of human rights legislation and conventional justice systems, the practice of forced confessions is gradually being brought under regulation.

All things taken into consideration, forced confessions in many justice systems assume a common practice where the victim is either tortured or forced to give false confession under some form of pressure. A recent report from the Chicago Sun Times illustrates why coerced confessions can be costly not only on the victims but also detrimental to the legal system.

The illegal detention of Gabriel Solache and Arturo DeLeon-Reyes for almost two decades in prison without sound evidence from the prosecutor, for example, demonstrates how the justice system can impact innocent victims. More importantly, lessons from this case have also exposed loopholes in the legal system.

a-l-117960-copy-300x198Vehicle searches can be lawfully carried out in Chicago with or without your consent. The penal code in Chicago gives the police many powers so that they can stop criminals and prevent crime. The law specifies the situations in which the police can search a car. Normally these situations arise if there is a strong suspicion that the vehicle contains an illicit substance or a criminal. The search might also be done if there is suspicion that the car has been used or is about to be used to commit a crime. Failure to follow procedures can be grounds for a criminal defense.

Failure to stop and submit to a lawful vehicle search can be a crime. If there is a court case, the fact that the defendant refused the search can be used by the judge and jury to assume that they must have been doing something wrong. This is what is known as an “adverse inference” and can turn a case against the defendant. The evidence that has been found during a vehicle search can be used in a court case such as for drug charges.

Understanding the Rules on Consent

sawyer-bengtson-279792-copy-200x300It is one thing to formulate a law, it is another thing to interpret, understand and execute that law. Over the past few years, various arms of the justice system have been at the forefront of ensuring that all instituted laws are not only comprehensive but also effective when it comes to fighting crime. In this case, law reforms have become a central pillar towards formulating laws that are humane as well as tough enough to dissuade people from committing crimes.

The push to institute tough measures towards countering crime is one that the administration in Chicago values a lot. For instance, the reforms on the armed robbery guidelines have been revamped to curb the ever rising armed robbery cases, especially in the past decade.

The armed robbery guidelines in Chicago are enshrined within the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. The code defines an act of armed robbery as one where the perpetrator is armed with a dangerous weapon during robbery. In addition to being a Class X felony, armed robbery in Chicago carries a prison sentence of between five and 25 years in prison with fines not exceeding $25,000.

hajran-pambudi-403848-copy-300x199The recent arrest in January 2018 of a man in Racine County, Chicago has created a big stir. The police apprehended him for threatening to kill the people who were on board a bus. The Wisconsin State Patrol and Sheriff’s department assisted in nabbing the man. Threats to kill can occur in different forms. In June of 2017, a 45-year-old man was charged with a hate crime when he threatened to kill a Muslim-American Civil Rights Lawyer via telephone.

Death threats are frequently made anonymously. Either a single individual or an entire group can threaten to kill a person or a group. Such threats aim at intimidating the victims. The accused in such cases try to manipulate the behavior of the victim. They use the threat as coercion.

Threats may occur via newspaper, letters, phone, email, or social media, just to name a few. Threats to kill such as the above mentioned cases are often considered a Class I felony charge. Such cases may also come under disorderly conduct and misdemeanor. The offense may carry a sentence of 18 months and an extended supervision of two years. Or, the person will have to pay a fine of $10,000. This is all dependent on the severity and circumstances of the case.

matthew-henry-35963-unsplash-copy-300x200White collar crimes in Chicago are serious and often result in felony charges for the accused. Although you may have an idea of what white collar crimes are, you may not know some of the activities and sentences under this category of crime.

What is White Collar Crime?

White collar crime is a term used to describe an array of criminal acts that are committed in a professional or business setting. This type of crime mainly involves the theft of financial assets or data, which is used for financial gain. You will be surprised to learn that in most cases, the criminal does not come into contact with the victim. Some victims are unaware that the offense even took place.

fabian-grohs-396734-copy-300x240Social media serves the useful purpose of encouraging individuality and creativity in users. Although a majority of the content on social media is harmless, it can turn lethal when it turns abusive. Crimes on social media are on the rise. This includes abuse of a specific group of people or a specific person.

Posting videos of torture and other crimes is another instance of social media abuse. The recent Chicago crime of a woman, Brittany Covington, and her accomplices who abused a mentally disabled man with racial insults and torture is one such instance.

Overstepping Social Boundaries

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240The Brandon Whitehead case has brought to the forefront the potential for police misconduct in Chicago. The city is already notorious for its violence and gun crime. However, there is an even more disturbing trend where law enforcement agents are actually breaking the law themselves. Because the police are given the power to gather evidence, they can sometimes abuse this power in order to hide their own misconduct.

The courts are also sometimes too willing to listen to everything that the police officers say without questioning whether or not they are true. This means that defendants who have a criminal record may not find it easy to convince the judge and jury that they were the victims of a crime committed by the police. This is not something that is just unique to Chicago. It happens in many other cities across the country. Only the best lawyers are able to overcome these challenges.

Victims of Police Corruption and Violence