Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal attorney

emiliano-bar-1266993-unsplash-copy-300x199James Gibson, the man who was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of a double homicide, is finally a free man. After an appellate court tossed a conviction against him, the district attorney’s office dropped the charges. It was unclear if they were going to retry Gibson for the case, but it did not appear likely. Gibson was convicted on a confession made under duress during which he claimed he was tortured over the course of two days into admitting to the slayings. Gibson later recanted the confession and pleaded not guilty at trial. The prosecution leaned heavily on that confession in order to make their case against Gibson.

In addition to the confession, the prosecution had two witnesses that later recanted their testimony. The appellate court vacated the conviction and James Gibson waited to find out what the prosecution would do. Had they wanted, they could have tried Gibson again for the same charge. However, lacking sufficient evidence, they decided to let Gibson go which seems like the right thing to do.

How an Innocent Man Goes to Prison for 28 Years

For the past 28 years, James Gibson has maintained his own innocence. For 28 years he has remained behind bars. This is despite the fact that Gibson ostensibly confessed to the murders of an insurance agent and his friend. Gibson has always said that, over the course of two days, he was beaten by former Chicago police officer Jon Burge and the confession elicited during interrogation was coerced. Burge was accused of torturing confessions out of at least 200 suspects during his 19 years on the force. While the statute of limitations had elapsed on many of Burge’s crimes, he was eventually convicted in 2008 of obstruction of justice and perjury. He was sentenced to four and a half years, but released in 2014 after serving less than three.

As Burge’s crimes became public, Governor George Ryan pardoned four of those who had been convicted of crimes with confessions obtained by torture. Still, there are many behind bars who were convicted on phony confessions. James Gibson is among them. After 28 years, an appellate court threw out his conviction and ordered a new trial. Nonetheless, Gibson will likely remain behind bars until his friends and family raise the $20,000 necessary to release him on bail and will require electronic monitoring for the duration of the trial. 

Gibson Has Always Maintained His Innocence

joanna-kosinska-61432-unsplash-copy-300x200Is it ever worth it to take a plea? Not if you are Robert Kraft, the owner of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. The prosecution offered Kraft a sweetheart deal on two misdemeanor solicitation charges. If Kraft agreed to state that “he would have been proven guilty had the case gone to trial” then the prosecution would drop all the charges. But Kraft and his attorney, smelling blood in the water, wants to force the prosecution to actually prove their case in court or dismiss the charges outright. Why?

Everyone knows that Kraft did exactly what he is being accused of, but the problem is not that he did it, it is how the prosecution came by the evidence that he did it. Essentially, police officers have Robert Kraft on video receiving sexual favors from working girls at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. So, why is he not dead to rights, and why is the prosecution extending him such a great deal?

In order to understand that, we have to delve a little deeper into how they came by that information.

jordan-andrews-401745-copy-300x200The Chicago Tribune recently published a report on the new Illinois laws that went into effect starting January 1, 2019. In all, more than 250 pieces of legislation are now on the books, ranging from gun control to sexual harassment to synthetic marijuana. One particular law will affect anyone with a driver’s license and a smartphone: There are now stricter penalties for anyone caught texting while driving, though many of the same prohibitions remain the same. An Illinois criminal defense attorney can explain how the new sanctions may affect your rights if you are cited for texting while driving, but an overview of the law may help you avoid a ticket.

Illinois Current Prohibition on Cell Phone Use While Driving

Before getting to how the new law changes the penalties for texting while driving, it is important to understand what types of conduct are unlawful. Currently, any driver under the age of 18 years is barred from any cell phone use while behind the wheel. Drivers 19 and older can use a phone while driving, but only via voice-activated and hands-free functions.

drew-patrick-miller-4560-unsplash-copy-300x111In the state of Illinois, it is illegal to exchange a sex act for anything that has value. The charges brought against the defendants in prostitution cases are determined by their role as promoter, seller, or buyer.

For example, on November 1st, a man from Bellwood was accused of forcing a woman into prostitution in 2016 and 2017.

The crime of prostitution is only applicable to a seller who agrees to perform or knowingly offers sex acts for anything of value, which is cash in most cases. For the buyer, the criminal charges of solicitation and meaningfully patronizing a prostitute are applied.

nik-macmillan-280300-unsplash-copy-300x200Facing a criminal charge in Chicago is never an easy task, even if you have gone through the experience in the past. Each instance is different, especially if the charges or crimes are different. There is quite a bit you might not be prepared for when it comes to dealing with a criminal charge, which is why we have compiled this list of important questions to ask your criminal defense attorney after a criminal charge has been filed against you.

What Actions Should I Take?

Even though you were the person charged with the crime, you can still help the attorney move forward with your case. It is important to ask your attorney this question because he or she might have a list of things for you to accomplish or provide them as part of the defense strategy. For example, you might need to provide the attorney with documents that could help your alibi or other parts of the case. Do you need to enroll in a drug or alcohol abuse class? Find out as soon as possible what you need to do to aid the attorney working your case.

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.

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.

matthew-henry-35963-unsplash-copy-300x200A fair trial is one in which the jury or judge imparts judgement without any partiality towards anyone. The various rights linked with a fair trial are explained in Article 10 of the Declaration of Human Rights, in the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Any government’s key role is to maintain law and order in society. It is their duty to give fair punishments to a criminal while delivering justice. All of this comes with a great responsibility since convicting someone of an unlawful act is a serious step that will impact the rest of that person’s life.

Thus, the right to a fair trial ensures that people can feel protected and safe. They can know that the law is certain and fair for everyone in the nation. This also means that the government cannot abuse its power and thus can separate the guilty and the innocent.