Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal defense

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.

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240Getting arrested is never easy. Even if you were arrested for a minor infraction, it is still a stressful process that can have you worried about your rights and how long you will be held. Many are under the assumption that if they were arrested and not read their Miranda rights that they can have the charges dropped. This is not the case. The charges can still be filed against the defendant, but there are some things that the prosecution will not be allowed to do, which we will discuss below.

What are Miranda Rights?

First, we should define what Miranda Rights are so that you understand your rights and what a police officer is supposed to read to you when placing you under arrest for any crime. During every arrest you must be read the following:

tertia-van-rensburg-37121-copy-300x224Assault and battery cases occur on a daily basis in Chicago. If you are ever charged in such a case, it is important for you to know what you face moving forward. For starters, you should never defend yourself in court when it comes to even minor or misdemeanor charges. There is no reason you should mess with your freedom or your rights. Let’ us take a look at assault and battery cases in today’s post so you know what to expect if you ever face these charges.

Definition of Assault

The most common definition of assault is when one person threatens to harm another or incites the fear of harm in another person. It could also include the intent to injure another person. For the most part, contact with the victim is not necessary for someone to be charged with assault. That is why you do not need battery to be present for assault be a charge, while on the other hand battery requires assault for both charges to be issued.

dmitry-ratushny-64773-copy-300x199The insanity defense is one of the oldest defenses in the book. Recently, it was used by Elzbieta Plackowska. She was accused of stabbing her son (5) and daughter (7) to death in 2012. The court rejected her defense. It found her guilty and sentenced her to life without parole. The legislation on this has specific requirements.

A mother killing her own young children is an unusual crime. But, that does not automatically mean it can only occur because someone is insane. Illinois has strict requirements for accepting this kind of defense. They include a mental assessment by a competent person with the right qualifications and experience.

Key Thing to Consider for Review in the Insanity Defense

tim-graf-202490-copy-300x200The most serious crime on the statute books of Chicago is murder, although international terrorism is also getting right up there in terms of seriousness. Quite often, the case hinges on three major components:

  • The actual commission of the crime
  • The motives behind the crime

zjrupeakpzi-aidan-meyer-300x200Some defendants who are deemed to be indigent might be debating whether it is worth their while to get an attorney to represent them in a criminal case. They might rationalize their decision on the basis that there is a good alternative for making use of the public defender or any other court-appointed attorney for legal advice. That is not something that we would advise. You should have legal representation of some sort in any case . If you can, make sure that you hire one because someone whom you have paid is within your control. You can motivate or demotivate them using the payments that are advanced. The public defenders are only there due to a service calling and their obligations as professionals. That means that their work is mainly guided by the strictures of the institutions within which they operate.

Those strictures may not necessarily be in the best interest of the defendant. For example, following an outcry about authorities that are lenient on criminals, there have been significant budget cuts that tend to target the public defense fund. The problem with such an arrangement is that it leads to reduced services and even impaired quality in terms of delivering a standard of defense that is in the interests of justice. There are many people who are convicted and sentenced for no other reason than the fact that they have committed the cardinal sin of not having sufficient money to pay for a good lawyer. This is a situation that defendants should avoid because a conviction can have significant and unintended consequences.

Making the Best Use of the Legal Resources Available

3scbuulajgg-matthew-hamilton-300x200Chicago has stringent accident laws that are designed to punish those who leave the scene of an accident without exchanging their information with the other parties involved. Although some members of the public consider this to be an intrusion, the reality is that it is one of the tools designed to enhance public safety. It means that hit-and-run incidents will be few and far between. Moreover, the fact that the police are summoned means that there is less room for disagreement about the nature of the interventions at a later stage. Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense in Chicago and may land the defendant in jail if he or she cannot provide a convincing explanation for that behavior. The best thing to do when involved in an accident is to wait for the police and call your lawyer.

The lawyer will ensure that the defendant does not say anything that is unduly incriminating or even harmful to his or her cause. The rationale is that accidents happen. If the individuals are properly insured, then there is no question about costs because those will be met by the insurer. Running away from the scene raises doubts as to whether there are other underlying factors that the defendant is not addressing in terms of his or her criminal culpability. The police may decide to investigate further as a means of understanding what has happened and why it has happened. It helps to travel with your driver’s license or even some reference to your insurer so that they can be reached in case you are unconscious.

Classification of the Offense and Possible Consequences

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The city of Chicago actively pursues those it believes to be guilty of corporate fraud. It is an offense that has the potential to affect many citizens as well as provoking the interest of federal agents. The complexity of such cases means that the use of a suitably qualified defense attorney is important to any defendant. The multiplicity of victims and perpetrators can make it difficult to decipher a single line of defense. For example, the whistleblowers may also become potential victims. The case management also incorporates a lot of research, particularly of a technical nature. The law as it stands calls for a high level of specificity before the charge can stick. That means identifying not only the defendant but also the modus operandi.

Intent is an important indicator of guilt, and its absence can make a case collapse. That is why the defense attorney will often try to portray his or her client as being well-meaning but rather incompetent. By contrast, the prosecutor will often seek to portray the defendant as being calculating, cunning, and sophisticated. Needless to say, the level of sophistication is critical in determining the severity of the punishment at conviction. The courts will consider the victim impact statements, which might be diverse depending on who was affected by the alleged crime.

Applying the Complex Strictures of the Law

800px-Handcuffs01_2008-07-27-300x200Nobody really likes to get arrested unless they are running away from an even greater threat to their lives. Therefore, the crime of resisting arrest in Chicago is not as uncommon as one might first assume. Currently this is considered to be a misdemeanor which is a follow-on offense that is separate from the original reason why the person is being arrested in the first place (see People vs Wishard). The law requires complete compliance with the law enforcement agencies unless there are some other compelling reasons such as a health emergency. Some over-zealous officers use this law in order to intimidate and then implicate citizens for purposes of blurring some other type of evidence. Quite often when an officer is caught up in dubious shooting episodes, he or she invariably come up with a defense to the effect that the shooting was justified because the suspect was resisting arrest.

Legal Implications and Strictures

Needless to say, an attorney is important in such cases, not only because he or she is able to challenge the version of events that is presented by the government agency, but also because an attorney can help the panicked suspect not implicate him or herself further. You would be amazed at how many criminal cases are effectively surrendered by the defendant on the first night in a cell precisely because he or she volunteers information through disorganized semi-confessions. One of the problems with the law relating to resisting arrest is the fact that it is so vaguely worded that it can encompass a wide range of behavior that would in some instances be reasonable and in others less reasonable. Similarly, the sentencing guidelines for the misdemeanor are extensive and varied. They include fines, probation, community service, and custody. The criminal record can provide some challenges in the future with respect to employment prospects.  

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Local agencies in Illinois are getting concerned about the increasing use of designer drugs, particularly as it relates to driving offenses. Incidents of bizarre behavior that is clearly out of the ordinary are being reported regularly. It is almost as if there is something in the water but the truth is much simpler; drugs are to blame and the law enforcement agencies are of the view that it is about time someone did something about it. The clinicians call it Alpha-PVP while the street-smart call it Flakka. Although this is a relatively new drug, it is noted for its highly addictive qualities. Some have compared it to Bath Salts, but it is much worse. Dozens of overdose deaths are being reported or suspected, and the strange behavior that it induces in its fans includes running around the streets in the nude.

Worse still, Flakka is a combination and co-dependency drug which is preferred by those that are already heavily addicted. The challenge for the law is whether to deal with production, consumption, or distribution or all of them together; the latter being a complex and resource-heavy task. To make matters worse the designer drug trade is based on the ability to create permutations and versions of the same drug using various combinations of the active ingredients. Consequently these research drugs are outside the current specifications of the law and yet they are as dangerous (or even more dangerous) than their parent counterparts. The shipping trail starts all the way to Asia before making its clandestine journey all the way to Illinois. A lot of disguise and misrepresentation is involved since the narcotics and stimulants are disguised as legal products, hence evading the legal controls.

Should the Federal or Local Government Crack Down?