Articles Posted in Criminal defense

sebastian-pichler-25154-copy-300x200Recently, a Chicago judge was charged with a Class B misdemeanor offense. Cook County Judge Joseph Claps was walking in the courthouse lobby when a gun fell out of his jacket pocket. The judge proceeded to pick up the gun and place it in his pants. Security cameras caught the incident on tape and the Sheriff’s office took a report.

Although Judge Claps’ weapon was registered, he was carrying the gun in a restricted area. Even though he has a concealed carry license, he is not permitted to have the weapon in the courthouse. He has since been placed on non-judicial duties pending investigation and trial. This means that Judge Claps will be confined to routine tasks, such as legal research and marriage ceremonies.

This incident has sparked a lot of questions regarding the security and regulations that take place in our courthouses. While some may blame the security guards for letting the gun pass through the scanners, this case is not that simple. There are several complex regulations that impact courthouse security. If you will be entering a courthouse in the near future, it is important to be up to date on these procedures.

raban-haaijk-118657-copy-225x300It is no secret that the number of carjackings is on the rise in Chicago. Along with this increase comes an increase in juvenile arrests. Younger people are participating in this crime at alarming rates. In 2016, only 35% of carjackings were attributed to juveniles; now, it is 60%. It is important to note that this statistic could be skewed, as less than 10% of carjackings end in arrest. Still, this rise in juvenile crime is a cause for concern for many citizens. There is no shortage of debate on how this issue should be handled.

Current law tends to favor giving the juvenile a second chance. As of 2016, no minor can be tried as an adult for carjacking in Chicago. Additionally, many minors receive lesser charges, including in instances of car theft. Car theft differs from carjacking based on the threat to the driver. If you are charged with carjacking, that means you either physically harmed a driver or made the driver fear for his or her life. Because of this, a carjacking charge typically accompanies a harsher sentence. Being aware that many want this current law changed is important. The increase in crime is not helping defuse the situation, either.

How the Community Feels

chris-liverani-552022-unsplash-copy-300x194The success or failure of the legal services offered by law firms on criminal cases depends on the process used to hire outside counsel. This is because the individual seeking a criminal defense lawyer has a greater ability to mold the legal services provided. Besides, he or she is in a better bargaining position when hiring outside counsel than any other time during the engagement. The individual may specify the particular lawyers within a given law firm who will work on the case during the selection process. Moreover, the individual will also specify the billing method and the billing rates. He or she can determine other vital components that relate to legal representation.

It is also important for an individual seeking criminal defense representation to define the requirements of each legal engagement by applying a logical and goal-oriented process. Moreover, the individual should also use an extra process to identify the type of lawyer that will best work on the matter. Finally, the individual should use an objective process to determine the right law firm to handle the criminal case.

What are the Differences in the Current Approaches to Hiring Outside Counsel?

tim-graf-202490-copy-300x200A continuous system for offering services to sex offenders from the time of incarceration to the time of discharge and then parole is being actively advanced by the Illinois Department of Corrections. For these continuous services to be facilitated, the department realized that all services related to sex offenders need to be overseen. This led to the establishment of the Sex Offender Services Units.

This shows an effort on behalf of the Illinois Department of Corrections to protect of the Chicago community. This will hopefully be achieved through the management of re-offense risks by facilitating the identification, evaluation, treatment, and supervision of sex offenders.

Sex Offender Sentencing in Chicago

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240The cash bail system has drawn flak from all quarters for many decades. The system’s insensitive handling of people with criminal charges needs proper revision. The instance of Lavette Mayes is a telling example. Mayes could not pay the huge bail amount that the judge charged her with. Only with the help of her defense attorney and a local bail funding organization, Mayes managed to free herself from custody.

Benefits of Chicago Bail Law Reforms

The Illinois bail reform passed in 2017 is a big boon to residents of the state. According to the reform bill, cash for bail will not be necessary anymore. Most of the inmates languishing in the state prisons are there because they cannot pay bail. With the reform, you need not spend time in jail for nonviolent or misdemeanor charges, or some low-grade felonies.

a-l-117960-copy-300x198Although crime has been on the decline in Chicago as of late, carjacking is still a common occurrence throughout the city. Due to the nature of a city/urban environment, many people live in close quarters who are using vehicles for their commute, leading to the prevalence of this particular crime. Car jacking crimes can take on many different forms. For example, carjacking is nearly always more of a serious offense than car theft due to the vehicle being taken by force or intimidation, or sometimes both. Certain actions leading up to the illegal obtainment of the vehicle may qualify as an aggravating factor to your offense.

Under Illinois law, an aggravated carjacking is sentenced as a class X felony, which is a mandatory six to 30 years in prison, while a plain carjacking offense is a class 1 with a four-to-15-year minimum sentence.

Armed and Dangerous

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225If you have had to serve a prison sentence, then you know the significant emotional and psychological toll you and your family have had to endure, not to mention the loss in terms of time and money. In Chicago, unfortunately, too many citizens are being jailed for crimes they did not commit. The city currently is dealing with dozens of cases from the past in which citizens were wrongly convicted and imprisoned. At the same time, innocent victims, with the help of experienced attorneys, can pursue justice and potentially receive lucrative payouts from the city for having their rights violated years or even decades prior.

The Implications of a Wrongful Conviction

Legally speaking, when police officers arrest and prosecute someone for a crime in Chicago, the law requires probable cause. Yet, too often, the city’s law enforcement officers engage in false arrests, malicious criminal prosecution, and wrongful convictions. As a result, too many innocent people end up spending months and sometimes years in prison for crimes they did not commit.

jaanus-jagomagi-377699-unsplash-copy-200x300Chicago is notorious for its growing crime rate. This has resulted in strict Illinois laws to curb violent crime enacted in the recent past. While the crime rate does not show any signs of abating, it has led to a surge in vigilantes in the region. Vigilante justice is the action taken by a single person or a group outside of the police department to enforce law and order. While vigilantes like Superman and Batman are welcomed on screen, they are not so welcomed in real life.

Vigilante Justice for Protecting Neighborhoods

In a city known for its rampant crime, having vigilantes makes sense, but this is acceptable only when the vigilantes limit themselves. Resorting to violent retaliatory crime is a surefire way to be punished.

diana-feil-226524-copy-200x300Gun control laws have been in a considerable state of flux for many years. Although in Illinois you are allowed to exercise your second amendment right to possess a firearm for self-defense, many still get in tangles with the law (see here for details on what warrants a charge of an unlawful use of a firearm or here for details regarding more serious affairs).

There are many reasons for this, but an undoubted central source would have to be the many changes to the laws governing guns over the years. More specifically, the last couple of decades have seen significant changes. The following are sections of significant change within the last 20 years of gun law history.

1998

heather-maguire-571439-unsplash-copy-300x208Effective betting control acts and legislation involve a lot of moving parts within the sporting business, IRS, and in the judicial system. These acts call upon players, judiciary, and most importantly the general public. They require the active participation of all these key players in order to make betting safe and profitable to all involved parties. As a result, it is important for legislation to clearly highlight what qualifies as a legal bet and what does not.

Traditional Gambling or Online Gambling

Over the past few years, online gambling has grown out of the shadows to dominate over traditional gambling. This skyrocketing trend of online betting is largely attributed to technological advancements that allow young gamblers to place their bets from virtually anywhere in the world. An example is the futuristic stock market-like platforms that are fueled by massive networks of internet devices ranging from microchips to smart devices that crunch real-time data and present it to the potential gambler.