Articles Posted in Criminal defense

devin-avery-517271-unsplash-copy-300x200The personal relationships you once had that were so strong and prominent in your life can take a major hit if you are charged with a crime in Chicago. It is important to know that a lot of people in your life might stop contacting you or even wanting to interact with you once they learn of your criminal history. This is not uncommon. There are always ways you can go about repairing those personal relationships. Let us take a look at how you can repair personal relationships that were damaged when you were charged with a crime in today’s post.

Make Initial Contact

It will be up to you to make the initial contact with all the people with whom you lost touch while in jail following a criminal charge. It is best to avoid handwritten letters, emails, and text messages right now. You will make more of an impact by calling or visiting the people with whom you want to reconnect. This shows them how important they are to you and how serious you are about reconnecting and rebuilding your relationship. It does not matter if it is your sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle, lifelong friend, neighbor, or even parent or spouse. The first impression you make will go a long way toward repairing the relationship.

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225Having a loved one incarcerated can cause a lot of strain on your relationship, whether you are married, dating, or even if you are divorced. Knowing how to deal with such a circumstance in Chicago can mean the difference between a stressful life and one that is a little bit easier to handle. Today, we will discuss how you can handle dealing with an incarcerated loved one so you can make the proper adjustments for yourself and your family.

Avoid Treating it as a Loss

One of the worst things you can do for yourself and for your loved one in jail is treat this as a loss. You did not lose your loved one. He or she is still alive. You can still talk on the phone, write letters, and physically visit him or her in prison. You cannot mourn this situation like you would the death of a loved one. There is one thing you must know: Others might not offer much support when a loved one is in jail like they would if your loved one had died.

matthew-henry-35963-unsplash-copy-300x200Facing criminal charges is a daunting task. It becomes even more daunting when you do not have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side from the very beginning of your case. An attorney brings a lot to the table when representing a client facing criminal charges. That is why you need the most experienced attorney on your side. In today’s post we will discuss the five reasons to call a lawyer immediately after a criminal charge.

Speak to Law Enforcement on Your Behalf

One of the most important reasons why you should always call a lawyer immediately after being charged with a crime is so the lawyer can speak to the police on your behalf. The police might want to speak with you prior to placing you under arrest. This can be done on the phone, at your home, or at the supposed scene of the crime. You do not legally have to say anything to the police, even if they have not read you your Miranda Rights. This is where an attorney can be extremely helpful. They can answer the questions posed by the police on your behalf.

brandon-mowinkel-211936-unsplash-copy-300x200Facing criminal charges in Chicago is frightening. You likely are not sure where the case will go and if you will ever see your freedom again. Not every criminal case is open and shut. There might not be enough evidence to secure a conviction on the part of the prosecution. Maybe the expert witness testimony is not convincing enough for the jury. Or, maybe your testimony helps convince the judge or jury that you were not as involved in the commission of the crime as the charges suggest. No matter what, you need to build a strong defense to criminal charges.

Understand Your Rights

One of the most important steps to take in building a strong defense to criminal charges is understanding your rights. Everyone should know that they are protected by the Fifth Amendment in that they do not have to incriminate themselves when speaking to police officers or other investigators in regards to a crime. You are to be read your Miranda Rights by the arresting officer so that you know what you say can be used against you in court. With this in the back of your head, you should refrain from saying much when in custody.

kristina-flour-185592-copy-300x192Even though a police officer is required to read you your Miranda Rights, that does not mean that you have to speak to the officer arresting you. It is the officer’s job to read you your rights. You then have the right to remain silent. It is the very first right that is read to you when the officers Mirandize you. Today, we will take a look at why you should invoke your fifth amendment rights and remain silent when being arrested for a crime in Chicago.

How can I Invoke My Rights?

Ironically, the best way to invoke your right to remain silent is to speak up and say as much to the police officer arresting you. Some examples of what you could say to the officer include the following:

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240Getting arrested is never easy. Even if you were arrested for a minor infraction, it is still a stressful process that can have you worried about your rights and how long you will be held. Many are under the assumption that if they were arrested and not read their Miranda rights that they can have the charges dropped. This is not the case. The charges can still be filed against the defendant, but there are some things that the prosecution will not be allowed to do, which we will discuss below.

What are Miranda Rights?

First, we should define what Miranda Rights are so that you understand your rights and what a police officer is supposed to read to you when placing you under arrest for any crime. During every arrest you must be read the following:

quentin-kemmel-445082-copy-300x200As controversy surrounding gun violence and the Second Amendment ramps up across the country, both the federal and state governments are feeling pressure to crack down with tighter gun regulations. From the outside, Illinois appears to be ahead of the curve. Historically, Illinois boasts some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States. Illinois is one of seven states that requires permits or licenses in order to buy any class of firearm, along with California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Furthermore, and maybe more surprisingly, Illinois is one of only five states that require a waiting period to buy any type of firearm. According to The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks gun laws nationwide, Illinois earned a “B+” for its gun laws. However, California scored even better than Illinois, earning a grade of “A” with what are considered to be the strictest gun laws in the country.

The Illinois gun laws are largely attributed to the high volume of crimes committed with firearms in and around the Chicagoland area. From an outsider’s perspective, the number of crimes committed with guns in Chicago in comparison to the strict requirements for ownership do not add up. However, it is important to note that several surrounding states, including Indiana, have some of the weakest firearm laws in the country. Chicago’s proximity to these states makes it easier to bypass the Illinois regulations and obtain illegal firearms.

In Chicago, statistics show that homicides account for a large number of crimes committed with a firearm. After taking a closer look, it would seem that an overwhelming majority of homicides committed with a firearm come at the hands of repeat gun offenders.

william-stitt-162589-unsplash-copy-300x200The minute you are charged with a crime in Chicago, your rights are in jeopardy. You might be facing decades in prison or thousands of dollars in fines. Either way, you will want to do everything possible to begin building a defense to the charges levied against you. If you have never been charged with a crime before, you likely will not have an attorney in mind to call. This first step in the defense process is arguably the most important one. You must pick the right criminal defense attorney. Let us take a look at the traits of a strong criminal defense attorney in this post so you know what to look for when you need a lawyer.

Ability to Research

Research is one of the most important keys to defending against criminal charges. When an attorney has a strong ability to perform excellent research, you will notice how in-depth they dive into your case. Research involves more than just scouring the internet, putting your nose in a book, and interviewing witnesses. Attorneys who know how to research will know where to turn to find the answers they need, no matter where they have to look or with whom they need to speak.

kevin-gent-219197-copy-300x200Kidnapping is a serious crime in the United States that is most often defined as taking someone against his or her will to another location or holding that person in a controlled environment. It is possible that in some instances there must be an illegal activity associated with the act of kidnapping, in order for charges to be filed, such as extorting the victim or a relative or facilitating another type of crime. There are also times when parents have been charged with kidnapping their own child, especially if they do not have primary physical custody of the child. Today, we will take a look at kidnapping laws in Illinois and throughout the country.

Federal Kidnapping Laws

Federal kidnapping laws govern this crime all across the United States, not just in one state or another. This means that being charged with kidnapping in Chicago can come with federal charges if the crime meets the federal requirements. The federal laws governing kidnapping make it a serious felony charge that could result in up to 20 years or more in federal prison. The sentence issued for a federal kidnapping case depends on the prior record of the defendant and other circumstances surrounding the crime.

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225When faced with a murder charge in Chicago, you have options. You do not have to immediately admit to the crime. You also do not have to take your chances with a jury to see if it will convict you. Murder is a serious charge, if not the most serious charge, so you need to have a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side to craft a strong defense to the charge. Today, we will examine the common defenses to second degree murder charges so you can fight for your freedom.

Claim Insanity

You have likely heard it on the news before and it might be a good defense for you to attempt if charged with second degree murder, and that is to claim insanity. Even if claiming insanity is permitted in your jurisdiction, it does not mean that it will clear you of the responsibility associated with second degree murder. You could be issued a guilty verdict with mental illness attached to it, which means you still knew what you did was wrong. In other jurisdictions that permit full insanity, if you can prove your mental illness, then you will not be held accountable for the crime.