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Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal defense

As we all know, the quarantine has reduced the crime rate quite a bit. In places like Georgia, where the stay-at-home order never really went into effect, some interesting (although infuriating) cases are still being prosecuted. 

A father and son duo is charged with shooting and murdering an unarmed jogger by the name of Ahmed Arbery. Now that the case is in the news, it offers a rare insight into how things operate elsewhere in the country.

The two men charged with Arbery’s murder, Greg and Travis McMichael, appear to have ties to racist organizations like the KKK. However, two prosecutors have recused themselves from the case over ties to the McMichaels and a third stepped down for unknown reasons. McMichael was a former police officer and prosecutorial investigator. 

mak-uNx7p3R1MEA-unsplash-copy-200x300Jose Vilchis is facing charges that he sexually abused one of his students at I&M Gymnastics Academy. In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice is suing to revoke his citizenship. Vilchis is a naturalized U.S. citizen, meaning that he came to this country on a green card and then applied to become a full citizen of the United States. Even though the crimes for which Vilchis are charged are heinous, the government does not have the authority to revoke citizenship unless they can prove that a naturalized citizen committed some subversive act, joined an enemy of the state, or committed fraud in order to get citizenship. So even though Vilchis is charged with a sex crime, that alone is not enough to strip a naturalized citizen of citizenship.

Did Vilchis Lie on His Application for Citizenship?

The U.S. Department of Justice is claiming that he did. They say that Vilchis unlawfully concealed three other instances of sexual abuse of minor girls beginning in 1985 when he was a green card holder. However, Vilchis was never arrested or convicted of these crimes. Nonetheless, U.S. immigration asks those who are petitioning to become full citizens if they ever committed a crime for which they were not convicted. Vilchis, apparently answered ‘no.’ 

Kelly is currently facing a 13-count indictment claiming that he sexually assaulted several underage girls. According to The Chicago Tribune, he has brought in veteran criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Steinback, who is well known as a “plea bargain guy.” Plea bargain guys occupy an essential place in criminal defense and ensure their clients are not overcharged given the evidence. Steinback said that he was brought into the case as “another set of eyes” simply to lend his expertise—not (necessarily) to resolve the case before it goes to trial.

Kelly has been held in Metropolitan Correctional Center without bond since July. 

How Plea Bargain Guys Work

rawpixel-1055781-unsplash-1-300x201A 1991 case involving Reynaldo Guevera has been overturned amid allegations of misconduct. Indeed, there are attorneys right now who only handle cases related to disgraced Chicago detectives and their shoddy and criminal police work.

Most recently, Demetrius Johnson will be allowed to move forward with a new trial after an appellate judge granted his request. Yet this time, Cook County prosecutors will move forward with retrying the case as opposed to dropping the charges against Johnson. 

The defendant’s criminal defense attorney express confusion over the decision to press forward with the trial. Not only is it a major cost to the taxpayers, but it also depletes the resources of the prosecutor’s office. Any evidence that was presented by Guevera will be considered tainted. This will require the prosecution to present evidence at trial that is either not linked to Guevera or is linked to Guevera, but the defense will have the opportunity to attack the credibility of that evidence.

2204277278_cbf43f4146_b-300x200Federal agents are accusing Illinois state representative, Luis Arroyo, of paying a $2,500/month in kickbacks to a state senator for his vote to support legislation involving video gambling sweepstakes that would benefit one of his lobbying clients. I know what you are thinking: That is illegal? Does that not happen every day in politics? Is that not how American politics works?

Yes and no. Suffice it to say, there is a correct way of going about it, but directly paying bribes to state senators is not it. 

Senator Not Named in Complaint

maarten-van-den-heuvel-KSQgzzn3dW0-unsplash-copy-300x200Chicago police have arrested and charged Alicia Newby who allegedly stole the identities of several people, purchased thousands of dollars of merchandise online, and had the merchandise mailed to dummy addresses. One of the people whose identities she stole was Taraji P. Henson, who is a star in the hit television series Empire. 

Alicia Newby is also the mother of six and has another child on the way. Newby is being represented by a court-appointed attorney. She is being charged with one count of continuing a financial crime enterprise. She has been released on $10,000 signature bail but is being monitored electronically and has been forbidden from contacting either victims of her alleged crimes or witnesses whom the prosecution intends to call.

Prosecutors Say Newby Managed to Hack Henson’s Email

chris-liverani-552652-unsplash-copy-300x22510 of 12 jurors did not believe that the state had proven its case against Jitesh Thakkar, but the remaining two refused to budge and thus the criminal trial resulted in a hung jury. The federal government had accused Thakkar of “spoofing,” which, in the context of illicit trading and finance, means utilizing algorithms to place trades for the sole purpose of manipulating stock prices. The spoofers place bids on stocks and then cancel the trade. The traders can then time trades to maximize their own profit while disrupting the market.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, spoofing is defined as “the illegal practice of placing a bid with the intent to cancel before execution.” The legislation outlawing spoofing was passed in 2010 and outlines some of the pitfalls of market trading in a post-machine-learning world that allows algorithmic trades.

Spoofing is closely tied to the practice of layering. As an example, a trader may offer a number of stocks below asking price to drive the cost of stocks down. They repeat this process as the price of the stock becomes lower and lower until they place a legitimate bid at far below the stock’s value.

michael-d-beckwith-579345-unsplash-copy-300x253In another case of a high-profile defendant being able to buy his way out of felony charges, Aaron Schock has been offered a plea in which the prosecution will drop all the corruption charges against him if he pays the IRS tens of thousands of dollars and repays his campaign committees. Schock came under fire when he spent what seemed like exorbitant amounts of money redecorating his office in the style of Downton Abbey—a show he must really, really like. He was indicted on two dozen counts of fraud and falsification of election commission filings. He faced up to 20 years in prison.

The plea, which was offered by federal prosecutors, allows them to drop the charges against Schock if he repays the IRS within six months, but also allows them to pursue charges if he does not repay the $68,000 that he owes. Schock failed to report earnings on his income taxes and hence became the target of the IRS. Schock was accused of selling world series and super bowl tickets for $42,000 in profit and misreporting mileage that was a part of his campaigning.

Shots Fired

david-von-diemar-745969-unsplash-copy-200x300Any case involving the use of a deadly weapon like a knife, shotgun, or other firearm is taken quite seriously in Chicago. In 2016, there were over 1,400 deaths in Illinois that were the result of firearms. The use of a deadly weapon during the commission of a crime inevitably increases the severity of the sentence given to the accused. This will include criminal acts of domestic violence, assault, rape, and sexual assault.

A criminal defense attorney in Chicago can discuss the laws that relate to weapons charges and provide counsel about the ideal strategy for your defense.

New Gun Laws in Illinois

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.

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