Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal defense attorney

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

boris-debusscher-485536-copy-207x300U.S. courts are facing many criminal cases that are somehow associated with robbery or theft. When these two almost identical crimes are coupled with an uninformed population, the result is a high number of convicted felons who do not know their rights based on their crimes.

While these two forms of crime may sound the same, they are different in nature. Many law enforcement units across the country report drastic reductions in cases linked to robberies and thefts, but the numbers are still high. A recent report by the Chicago Police Department shows a slight decrease in theft-related crimes over the past decade when compared to robbery incidences. This raises the question as to what is the difference between these two types of crime?

What You Should Know About Robbery Laws in Chicago

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225Recently, it has been announced that there is a bill that will allow convicts in Illinois to be released at the 85% point of their sentence. The IDOC Releases 2017 has been long discussed by Congress and in legal circles. Some people will have less time in prison as a result of this change. Others might find that there are much stricter rules for getting released. The change follows a recommendation by the Commission on Criminal Sentencing. The new program is meant to reduce offending over the long term.

Just like any other laws, the people who are already in prison might be affected. Those who are going to commit crimes in the future will definitely be affected. These changes work together with all the other reforms that the government has been putting in place. An example is the gun law reviews, which affected those that are repeat offenders for gun crimes.

Things to Watch Out for if You are Convicted

elliott-stallion-105205-copy-300x200Many people in Chicago, Illinois want to know if they can vote in the state if they are already imprisoned or held for a felony conviction. This query is generally made during election time. A lot of people are not cognizant of the laws when it comes to voting from jail.

In the United States, the voting rules for incarcerated individuals differ from one state to the other, which adds to the confusion. This is why it is imperative that people educate themselves about the rules. There are specific rules regarding voting after a felony conviction in Illinois.

What is the Law in Illinois?

sawyer-bengtson-279792-copy-200x300Serious crimes like murder make the news headlines. However, crimes like assault and theft are far more common in Chicago, Illinois. In fact, your chances becoming a victim of these non-index crimes might be higher than the police and the security department are telling you.

Reports of “non-index” crime on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) are on the rise. They seem to surpass the rate of such reports for the last two years. Some of these non-index crimes are cases involving criminal sexual abuse. They include sexual harassment without any physical contact and inappropriate touching.

Since early 2015, there has been reported 145 cases of criminal sexual abuse on the CTA. Surprisingly, in 2015, only 44 cases of criminal sexual abuse were reported. This data was released by the Chicago Sun-Times after analysis of the Chicago Police Department’s data on non-index crimes. Note the non-index crimes are ones perceived as less than the index crimes such as rape, robbery, and murder.