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Articles Tagged with criminal defense attorney in Chicago

A Chicago Heights man has been charged with the death of 18-year-old Jacquise Baylock. The 18-year-old was fatally shot near a boys and girls club. 25-year-old Jason Hinton is the second man to face charges for the death of Baylock. LaQuan Tolliver is also named in an indictment and there may be as many as two other men who are believed to be involved in the shooting, although their names have not been released by police. 

Police say that a woman confessed on behalf of all the men involved. She told police that she had lured Baylock to her residences where Tolliver, Hinton, and others lied in wait for an ambush. When Baylock got there, the men killed and robbed him. 

Love Triangle Gone Wrong?

A week or two ago, we discussed the situation of a Chicago man who was being charged in connection with the Capitol riot that left one police officer and a couple of participants dead. It is important to understand that this individual was so divorced from reality that he actually posted photos of himself online outside Nancy Pelosi’s office. However, he later came to his senses and removed the photos. By that time, federal authorities had already caught up with him. They demanded that the man turn over video footage of the riots, which he gladly did. The charges against him have now escalated and include felonies.

New Felony Charges

Kevin Lyons of Chicago now faces three additional felony federal charges after turning over his phone to federal authorities. Those include:

elti-meshau-208526-unsplash-copy-300x199A former Elgin resident has pled guilty to attempted murder and aggravated arson charges stemming from a 2017 incident. She was accused of entering her ex-boyfriend’s house in Roselle and then stabbing and attempting to suffocate a woman she found there. She then attempted to set the townhouse on fire. The woman she attacked and another man in the home were injured when they jumped out of a second floor window to avoid the fire that had been set. She then was accused of stealing a car to flee the scene. She has been held on $2 million bail since her arrest in July of 2017. She entered her plea in DuPage County court with the knowledge that she would be sentenced to 28 years in prison, according to The Daily Herald. At the time of her arrest, she was also facing additional charges of home invasion and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Attempted Murder in Illinois

Attempted murder in Illinois is a very serious charge. It is considered a Class X felony and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

jomar-thomas-271602-copy-300x200The United States is one of the few countries with a judicial system founded on the principle of democracy. This system of justice offers us an orderly and peaceful way to decide criminal cases. Additionally, the judicial system punishes the ones found guilty, resolves civil disputes, and protects our civil rights. Thus, the judges in Chicago have to uphold the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Illinois. This is by interpreting and enforcing laws in individual cases. These judges and staff are always ready to do what it takes to maintain a court system that meets the highest standards of judicial performance.

One of the most notable changes and commitments is the introduction of electronic court systems in Chicago. This is not a new thing, especially for the federal court system, which went paperless more than 15 years ago. But, switching to the electronic court system is still a change that has dragged on in most circuit courts. Currently, you might even see some Chicago Circuit Court clerks spending their time carrying stacks of folders.

After years of relentless lobbying by frustrated attorneys, Chicago was able to take a step forward and join other counties in the digital world. This is ensuring that most of the businesses of the courts are done online, embracing electronic court systems.

sebastian-pichler-25154-copy-300x200When the need for a criminal lawyer arises, time is of the essence. Before you go ahead and hire just any criminal defense attorney, there are specific and important questions that one should ask. Here are some things to consider when consulting with an attorney.  

Discovery, Evidence, and Investigation

It is the responsibility of your lawyer to obtain and review all the items in discovery. That includes reports from the police, statements of the witnesses, audio and video tapes, photographs, and any other material that might have been provided by the prosecutor through discovery. Your attorney should also make copies of all material. The attorney should not only consider having you aware of the evidence that is there but also any other evidence that is probably missing. Who are the witnesses that should be interviewed, and what are they likely to say in court? What type of defense investigation is likely to be conducted in order to find the evidence that can disprove your guilt?

raban-haaijk-118657-copy-225x300The carjacking was one of the trendiest criminal activities in the 1990s. But, recent Chicago City data shows that after many years of steady decline, the crime of taking other people’s vehicles by force is soaring back into favor. The data revealed that through August, vehicle hijacking crimes increased by 30%. This is equivalent to 183% compared to 2015 crime rate.

The Loop experienced a 1200% increase in vehicle hijacking crimes as compared to 2015. River North’s vehicle hijacking rate went up by 500%. The popular 19th Police District includes Uptown, Lakeview, the north end of Lincoln Park and North Center. It experienced a 200% increase in vehicle hijacking crimes as compared to two years ago.

According to the Chicago Tribune, carjacking began to spike in 2016 when shootings and homicides skyrocketed. Crime in virtually every category rose. While the cause of this sudden spike was unclear, some security officers felt the furor over the viral video clip revealing police shooting a teen Laquan McDonald 16 times fueled the activity. This resulted in most security officers becoming less aggressive on the streets. This, in turn, emboldened criminals.

a-l-117960-copy-300x198If you are living in Chicago, Illinois, you might have your own car to get around the city. You need to drive to work, back home, and to different spots around town. Driving on your own to any destination is convenient. But, what will you do if your driver’s license is suspended? Have you violated any traffic rules? If so, do you know what the consequences are?

If your license has been suspended, it means that the authorities have taken away your privilege to drive. You can find the law about driving with a suspended license in Chicago, Illinois pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/6-303. Your penalty will depend on your reasons for having a suspended license.

Reasons Why You Might Have Your License Suspended

markus-spiske-153537-200x300Terrorism is the current concern of the cyber security community. The key legal principles are laid out at a national level. However, there are many other forms of cybercrime which are largely downgraded yet quite capable of harming people. This is not just a problem for Chicago, but for the entire world at large. As is often the case in these instances, the argument is about establishing the right parameters for upgrading a simple cybercrime into cyberterrorism or cyberwar. For example, internet trolling is rarely capable of meeting the standards of terrorism, yet it is also a serious crime that is often prosecuted by the authorities. Others have decided to define cyberterrorism as any form of cyber crime that involves nations or entire communities.

Some of the worst offenders under this law are not pariah states but individuals who have used their expertise in order to hack into government agency databases before strategically leaking the resultant data in order to cause maximum embarrassment to the government. Although WikiLeaks and Snowden might argue that they do not meet this criteria, the reality is that the US government considers their actions to be a threat to the state. Therefore, the prosecution process and the indicative sentencing might be a lot harsher than would be the case for other types of cybercrime. We might then argue that it is the state that determines the fine line between cybercrime and cyberterrorism.  

Investigating and Classifying the Crime

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Healthcare fraud has been raised as a matter of concern not only in Chicago but in the country as a whole. It raises the costs of providing healthcare and also means that vulnerable people who need support are left behind. The cases in this category are unique because they often provide a corporate entity that is tasked with the role of distributing healthcare services. The large scale Medicare fraud occurs within the modalities of overcharging the state or alternatively charging it for services that were never delivered. In either case, the consequences for those involved can be dire. They could lose the license to practice and may be banned from government contracts for a considerable period of time.

Over time, a number of fairly consistent patterns of offending have emerged. First of all, there are three main modalities including Medicare Fraud, Medicaid Fraud, and Kickbacks. Each of these modalities are united by deceit and illegal benefits. For example, overbilling has been a persistent problem in Medicaid and Medicare programs, despite the stringent protective measures that were adopted by Congress and local legislatures. In some cases, the service provider is so overwhelmed by paperwork and bureaucracy that they end up making inadvertent mistakes. Obviously the courts will take into consideration both the act and the intention behind it before passing judgement.

Damaging the Integrity of the System

igor-ovsyannykov-208345-300x200It used to be that currency creation and distribution was the sole responsibility of state agencies, such as the central bank. However, the advent of non-official and bespoke currencies has meant that there are many people who are inadvertently breaking the law. The definitions of currency have expanded so much that the law sometimes appears to be contradictory. Some of the industries that are affected in Chicago include staffing agencies and factories. Moreover, there are some online currencies such as Bitcoin that lie outside the traditional strictures of currency controls. In the worst case scenario, there is an actual factory of illegal tender. Some of these crimes can lead to significant terms of imprisonment.

Key Ingredients of the Crime

The first criterion relates to how the currency was manufactured or distributed. As stated earlier, the expectation is that only the state can make currency. It is for this reason that the federal agencies might be involved since states do not currently have the right to make currency. The case law indicates that currency schemes are sometimes considered to be a much more serious offense than counterfeiting of even forgery. Some of the constituent aspects of the crime are legislated under the instrument number 720 ILCS 5/17-0.5, but that instrument also talks about other forms of deception and fraud which may not necessarily relate to currency schemes.

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