Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal defense attorney

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.

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

mingyue-sun-153025-300x169You have probably familiar with the concept of parole. Chances are, you have also come across someone serving their sentence on parole, as well (but you may not have known it). Basically, parole means releasing the prisoner into the community before his or her actual sentence is completed, provided that the prisoner agrees to certain terms and conditions as prescribed by the parole board. As long as they adhere to the law and follow all the rules, the parolees can complete the rest of their sentences while living on the outside.

While life on parole is certainly a lot better than life in prison, it is certainly not without limitations. Parole is only granted to inmates who have completed at least the minimum amount of their sentence and have demonstrated ideal behavior during their time in prison. After acquiring parole, parolees still have to follow strict rules in order to maintain their parole. Any violation of any law in any jurisdiction during their time on parole can send them back to prison.

Life on Parole is Quite Limited

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-fauth-239221-unsplash-copy-300x225After being elected, President Trump vowed to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records. A series of executive actions taken by him in his inaugural year suggest that the president will widen the net to all immigrants, regardless of whether or not they have a criminal history. President Trump’s plans have led to huge uncertainty for thousands of undocumented people living in the US.

While a few of them may be facing criminal charges, it is likely that many fear that they could be deported from the country they call home. Let’s discuss the plight of such undocumented US residents in detail.

Afghanistan Veteran Faces Deportation Over Drug Conviction

fabian-grohs-396734-copy-300x240The law in Chicago is catching up to the reality that social media is a normal part of our daily lives. Currently there are new laws and rules of procedure that are designed to ensure that social media evidence can be used in court. The problem remains that evidence gathered from social media posts can be unreliable. There have been cases in which postings from Twitter and Facebook have been presented as evidence of crime, but the court has rejected them because they are not reliable.

From a personal point of view, all the posts that you make on social media can potentially be used against you in criminal trials. Even employers are now allowed to view your social media posts when they are made using their official equipment at work. The person who is posting can make use of the privacy options on the social media account in order to reduce the risk of being exposed later on when the police agencies are trawling for evidence. The Stored Communications Act (the SCA) of 1986 is a federal law that tries to provide some protection for posters.

Social Media Postings and Criminal Trials

joe-perales-117891-copy-300x198Our judicial system is no doubt one of the best, but the truth is that it is not always perfect. This is why the state has set up an appeal system at both state and federal court levels. Usually, mistakes during the criminal defense process are the cause of all the wrongful convictions in Chicago. Under the Illinois law, defendants are allowed to file direct or post-conviction appeals.

Direct appeals apply when a defendant requests an appeal at the end of the trial. The law allows the defendant 30 days to file a direct petition for a criminal case in Illinois. A defendant can also file a post-conviction appeal, which allows the petitioner to seek other legal solutions. These include requesting a new trial, a pardon, or correct sentencing errors. When requesting post-conviction relief, a petitioner is required to convince the court that there was a violation of his or her state or federal constitutional rights during the initial trial.

How to Appeal Court Errors in Chicago

quentin-kemmel-445082-copy-300x200A gun owner’s card (FOID) may be confiscated or seized if one is convicted of a felony or becomes a subject of an order of protection. This is why it is crucial to consult an experienced lawyer if you believe you have a legal case. Following a seizure, you will not only need a reliable defense lawyer on your side, but you will also need someone who understands how to protect your gun possession rights.

Police seize firearms from people who fail to follow the law. However, they sometimes face opposition from firearm owners. Currently, gun control advocates are trying to remove firearms from dangerous offenders while avoiding any activity that might offend the rights of a gun owner. This can obviously cause complications between gun control advocates and those who believe in the right to bear arms. Since 1968, it has been a requirement in Illinois to apply a FOID card to own a firearm. Only law enforcement and military members own firearms without FOID cards.

Generally, a FOID card denial occurs if you get convicted of domestic violence, charged with a felony, for those addicted to narcotics, previous patients in a mental health facility in the past five years, mental or intellectually disabled people, or if one is a subject of court restraint order. FOID cards can also be withdrawn if the owner seems to be able to cause harm to others or to him or herself.

drew-hays-206414-copy-200x300Although DNA has become an important part of criminal prosecutions, there are many who really question whether it is a perfect source of evidence. Recently, the Daniel Holtzclaw case highlighted some of the problems that are associated with DNA evidence. In that case, an ex-cop was convicted of rape. The defense attorneys argued that the analysis of the DNA in the case was faulty.

It is imperative for DNA evidence to be handled, stored, transmitted, and analyzed correctly in order to avoid a mistrial. Sometimes, convictions are overturned based on faulty evidence of this kind due to bad science. The services of a police lab analyst are required in order to ensure that the results of the tests can be independently verified. If the case involves a law enforcement officer, an independent expert witness may be called to support the defense team.

Some of the Problems of DNA evidence

hajran-pambudi-403848-copy-300x199The Charlottesville incident in August of 2017 is one instance of hate crime that brought about great destruction. It caused the death of a paralegal and two of the state troopers and the injury of several others. Racist undertones formed the root cause of the Charlottesville violence, and it is not an isolated incident.

The incidence of hate crime seems to be on the rise in the past few years, especially in the wake of the 2016 election results. Based on Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) statistics, the rate of hate crimes rose to an all-time high in 2016. Racial discrimination is a common reason behind the crimes, and this includes crimes against Jewish and Muslim people. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), there has been an increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the country, including vandalism, harassment, and assaults.

Laws to Help Hate Crime Victims