Articles Tagged with criminal defense

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225In the news in Chicago recently, you may have seen a promising development about imprisoned citizens getting justice and their freedom after spending many years of their lives behind bars. These individuals received life sentences at an extremely young age. In fact, some were barely 14 years old when they were sentenced to life for crimes committed. As a result, they have spent more years of their life in a prison than in free society.

Yet, with the help of a United States Supreme Court ruling, you have the right to appeal for a reduced sentence for the sentencing you received. Discover below how you can begin the process to have your life prison sentence overturned.

How Appealing a Life Sentence Works

andrew-pons-51711-copy-300x200A recent report by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) reveals an astonishing number of pets exposed to life-threatening situations, especially in confined spaces such as cars. According to the association, a significant number of pet injuries and deaths are as a result of being trapped in cars. In more than one occurrence, pets, especially dogs, have been found to suffer from breathing problems. In some cases, death from heatstroke occurred because they were trapped in hot cars.

In fact, breaking into cars to save these pets has been a contested topic over the past few months, especially with the ever-increasing number of car theft and burglary cases. Furthermore, a lot of concerned citizens have found themselves in compromising positions with the law after breaking into cars all in an attempt to rescue pets. As a result, it is important for legislators to define statutes that not only protect animals trapped in cars, but also the people twho break into such cars in an attempt to rescue trapped animals.

Illinois Laws on Animals in ‘Hot Cars’

a-l-117960-copy-300x198Vehicle searches can be lawfully carried out in Chicago with or without your consent. The penal code in Chicago gives the police many powers so that they can stop criminals and prevent crime. The law specifies the situations in which the police can search a car. Normally these situations arise if there is a strong suspicion that the vehicle contains an illicit substance or a criminal. The search might also be done if there is suspicion that the car has been used or is about to be used to commit a crime. Failure to follow procedures can be grounds for a criminal defense.

Failure to stop and submit to a lawful vehicle search can be a crime. If there is a court case, the fact that the defendant refused the search can be used by the judge and jury to assume that they must have been doing something wrong. This is what is known as an “adverse inference” and can turn a case against the defendant. The evidence that has been found during a vehicle search can be used in a court case such as for drug charges.

Understanding the Rules on Consent

sawyer-bengtson-279792-copy-200x300It is one thing to formulate a law, it is another thing to interpret, understand and execute that law. Over the past few years, various arms of the justice system have been at the forefront of ensuring that all instituted laws are not only comprehensive but also effective when it comes to fighting crime. In this case, law reforms have become a central pillar towards formulating laws that are humane as well as tough enough to dissuade people from committing crimes.

The push to institute tough measures towards countering crime is one that the administration in Chicago values a lot. For instance, the reforms on the armed robbery guidelines have been revamped to curb the ever rising armed robbery cases, especially in the past decade.

The armed robbery guidelines in Chicago are enshrined within the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. The code defines an act of armed robbery as one where the perpetrator is armed with a dangerous weapon during robbery. In addition to being a Class X felony, armed robbery in Chicago carries a prison sentence of between five and 25 years in prison with fines not exceeding $25,000.

hajran-pambudi-403848-copy-300x199The recent arrest in January 2018 of a man in Racine County, Chicago has created a big stir. The police apprehended him for threatening to kill the people who were on board a bus. The Wisconsin State Patrol and Sheriff’s department assisted in nabbing the man. Threats to kill can occur in different forms. In June of 2017, a 45-year-old man was charged with a hate crime when he threatened to kill a Muslim-American Civil Rights Lawyer via telephone.

Death threats are frequently made anonymously. Either a single individual or an entire group can threaten to kill a person or a group. Such threats aim at intimidating the victims. The accused in such cases try to manipulate the behavior of the victim. They use the threat as coercion.

Threats may occur via newspaper, letters, phone, email, or social media, just to name a few. Threats to kill such as the above mentioned cases are often considered a Class I felony charge. Such cases may also come under disorderly conduct and misdemeanor. The offense may carry a sentence of 18 months and an extended supervision of two years. Or, the person will have to pay a fine of $10,000. This is all dependent on the severity and circumstances of the case.

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240The Brandon Whitehead case has brought to the forefront the potential for police misconduct in Chicago. The city is already notorious for its violence and gun crime. However, there is an even more disturbing trend where law enforcement agents are actually breaking the law themselves. Because the police are given the power to gather evidence, they can sometimes abuse this power in order to hide their own misconduct.

The courts are also sometimes too willing to listen to everything that the police officers say without questioning whether or not they are true. This means that defendants who have a criminal record may not find it easy to convince the judge and jury that they were the victims of a crime committed by the police. This is not something that is just unique to Chicago. It happens in many other cities across the country. Only the best lawyers are able to overcome these challenges.

Victims of Police Corruption and Violence

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225Being one of the most populous cities in the United States, Chicago is home to some of the worst crime rates in the nation. Over the years, the crime rate has not shown any sign of diminishing. Instead, the steady increase has many lawmakers concerned. The recent passing of a bill to curb repeat offenders in Chicago is a stellar example. With this bill, harsher penalties are in store for repeat offenders.

Tougher Sentencing to Curb Violence

In the past two decades alone, Illinois has raised the gun offense penalty six times. This makes it a state with the harshest penalty in the country. In spite of this, the weapon offenders’ count in Illinois is much higher now than ever before.

a-l-117960-copy-300x198Law enforcement officers are cracking down heavily on carjacking cases in Chicago. The stiff sentence given to the accused in a violent November carjacking is a prime example. Another similar case of carjacking involved the car of a retired cop in Chicago. There have been several such cases in the past year alone.

Carjacking is increasingly becoming a menace in Chicago. The federal authorities are showing a keen interest in punishing the offenders. This further increases the conviction chances for the offenders.

Carjacking Crimes in Chicago

spenser-h-194645-copy-300x195There are two separate accountability offices in Chicago – one for judges and one for the police. The aim of putting these offices in place is to ensure that members of the public can make a complaint about a police officer or a judge without fearing that they would face retaliation. Moreover, the judge or police officer also get some protection because they know that the complaint will be carefully investigated and the right action taken to ensure justice. The Kalven case showed the importance of reporting early and accurately when an officer has acted in an illegal manner.

Previously, many members of the public were suffering in silence because they feared that the influential officers they complained about had the power to take actions against them. For example, some worried that their cases would not be heard fairly or that the police would plant evidence on them. There were even examples of police beating up and harassing people who dared to complain about them. All this has changed with the introduction of the two accountability offices and increased public access to the records.

Complaining About the Police

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