Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal defense attorney

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225When you are facing felony charges in Chicago, you will likely be scared about what is to come. Even if you have been charged with a crime in the past, facing a felony charge can be life changing. A felony conviction can lead to years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, restitution, and many other penalties. Even after you have served your time, you could very well still struggle to return to a normal life. Today, we will take a look at how a felony conviction can change your life.

Post-Conviction

Once your trial is complete and you are found guilty of the felonious crime, you will begin your post-conviction life. This is one of the more difficult parts of life as a convicted felon. This part of your life starts with sentencing. You could very well wind up with the maximum recommended sentence from the judge. Or, you could be sentenced to a handful of years in prison. The judge will take into account statements made by the plaintiff, the victim’s family, and any statement you make.

chris-liverani-552022-unsplash-copy-300x194Plea bargaining is an important part of the legal system. It is one of the most common, if not the most common way cases end. Not every case will end in front of a judge and a jury. A large number of them are dropped or end with a plea deal. So, what is a plea deal? A plea deal is an agreement between the prosecutor on the case and your criminal defense attorney. Let us take a look at plea bargaining and how it can help your situation.

Two Types of Plea Bargaining

There are two types of plea bargaining that attorneys talk about – charge bargaining and sentencing bargaining. Charge bargaining occurs when your attorney negotiates with the prosecutor to reduce the charges or drop some of them in exchange for your guilty plea to a different charge. Sentencing bargaining occurs when your attorney and the prosecutor negotiate a lighter sentence in exchange for you pleading guilty or no content to the charges levied against you.

amritanshu-sikdar-253730-unsplash-copy-300x200Drug charges are some of the most common criminal charges issued in the Chicago area. Even if you are no stranger to drug charges, you will want to know the different defenses you can use to fight the charges levied against you. It does not take much to fight a drug charge in Chicago, but you should always protect your rights with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your freedom is something you should never take for granted by nonchalantly accepting whatever charges were filed against you. Let us take a look at the most common defenses to drug charges in today’s post.

Someone Else’s Drugs

One of the most common defenses to a drug charge when caught in possession of drugs is that the drugs belonged to someone else. So many people use this defense as soon as the police officer initiates the contact. They carry this defense with them to their criminal defense attorney’s office and then in front of a judge if the case gets that far. This will require quite a bit of evidence to prove.

ben-white-194220-copy-300x200Being charged with a crime brings a lot of stress and worry with it. You never know what will come of your case, especially if it goes to trial. Should the case go to trial and you are convicted of the crime, you will then need to attend a sentencing hearing in front of the judge. This is an important hearing because you are learning your fate. You will find out how long you will be sentenced to jail, if any fines will be levied, and if you can avoid any jail time. Here is what you can expect at a sentencing hearing.

The Length of the Hearing

For the most part, the sentencing hearing will not take very long. This is a process that should only last a handful of minutes. All the judge needs to do is read through the pre-sentence report that was created by the probation office. The judge will then listen to arguments made by the criminal defense attorney, the prosecutor, and sometimes the defendant and/or family members of the victim.

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240Aggravated battery of a police officer is a serious crime. Chicago judges and law enforcement are especially harsh on these cases. If you were recently charged with this crime, it is important to know your defense options. It is also crucial that you look at recent cases to understand how harsh the judge could be at your arraignment and potential trial.

Recent Cases

On July 4, 2018, Chicago police responded to a domestic dispute at a party. A woman told police that her boyfriend had physically assaulted her. She had left the event, but her child was still there. When the police attempted to arrest the boyfriend, he became violent and used the child as a shield against them. Two of the man’s relatives then assaulted the officers in an attempt to free him.

ben-white-194220-copy-300x200In Bloomington, a verdict hangs in the air around a 2016 home invasion case. An armed robbery occurred in the home of a Bloomington couple, and the defendant is being charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, home invasion, and a weapons charge. One member of the group of three posed as a pizza delivery man and made his way into the home, at which point the group demanded $40,000 in cash from the couple. While the details of the cash remain contested, and the total number of men involved and their degree of involvement is debatable, what remains clear is that home invasion happens all too frequently. When it does, victims need an attorney with a history of fighting criminal issues in Chicago.

How to Find a Good Attorney

If you are facing a similar situation, or you too have faced a home invasion case recently, whether as the victim or the defendant, you need legal help. Hiring just any attorney will not do. You need an expert in Home invasion laws. Expert attorneys know the latest changes that Illinois lawmakers have put into effect regarding home invasions. By definition, home invasion differs from other violations in that it only covers entering an inhabited dwelling and causing injury. However, it can also cover entering an inhabited dwelling and using or threatening to use force while armed. In the case of the latter, you might need an expert in weapons cases to lead the charge in your favor after a home invasion.  

alyssa-kibiloski-195807-copy-300x200Recent studies show that hate crimes in Chicago have increased by 20% between 2015 and 2016. New police data show that hate crimes are at a five-year high and have outpaced previous years. In fact, data show that since the last election, the number of victims of hate crimes has increased. People are treated differently, and the social dynamics of the city are shifting. Most hate crimes reported in the city have historically been toward gay men and blacks, but now they are increasingly toward Arabs, Muslims, and Hispanics. News reports continue show videos of city dwellers confronting women and men for wearing shirts that support other nations, other religions, and other races.

What Constitutes a Hate Crime?

Legally, hate crimes are any crimes motivated by some form of bias. Hate crimes are violent acts that target groups or individuals based on an identifier such as nationality, race, sexual orientation, or religion. Someone can be charged with committing a hate crime when he or she acts violently against a religious establishment or house of worship based solely on the nature of that institution. Expert attorneys know the latest changes that Illinois lawmakers have put into effect regarding these violent crimes.

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.

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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