Articles Tagged with criminal defense

raban-haaijk-118657-copy-225x300It is no secret that the number of carjackings is on the rise in Chicago. Along with this increase comes an increase in juvenile arrests. Younger people are participating in this crime at alarming rates. In 2016, only 35% of carjackings were attributed to juveniles; now, it is 60%. It is important to note that this statistic could be skewed, as less than 10% of carjackings end in arrest. Still, this rise in juvenile crime is a cause for concern for many citizens. There is no shortage of debate on how this issue should be handled.

Current law tends to favor giving the juvenile a second chance. As of 2016, no minor can be tried as an adult for carjacking in Chicago. Additionally, many minors receive lesser charges, including in instances of car theft. Car theft differs from carjacking based on the threat to the driver. If you are charged with carjacking, that means you either physically harmed a driver or made the driver fear for his or her life. Because of this, a carjacking charge typically accompanies a harsher sentence. Being aware that many want this current law changed is important. The increase in crime is not helping defuse the situation, either.

How the Community Feels

tim-graf-202490-copy-300x200A continuous system for offering services to sex offenders from the time of incarceration to the time of discharge and then parole is being actively advanced by the Illinois Department of Corrections. For these continuous services to be facilitated, the department realized that all services related to sex offenders need to be overseen. This led to the establishment of the Sex Offender Services Units.

This shows an effort on behalf of the Illinois Department of Corrections to protect of the Chicago community. This will hopefully be achieved through the management of re-offense risks by facilitating the identification, evaluation, treatment, and supervision of sex offenders.

Sex Offender Sentencing in Chicago

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225If you have had to serve a prison sentence, then you know the significant emotional and psychological toll you and your family have had to endure, not to mention the loss in terms of time and money. In Chicago, unfortunately, too many citizens are being jailed for crimes they did not commit. The city currently is dealing with dozens of cases from the past in which citizens were wrongly convicted and imprisoned. At the same time, innocent victims, with the help of experienced attorneys, can pursue justice and potentially receive lucrative payouts from the city for having their rights violated years or even decades prior.

The Implications of a Wrongful Conviction

Legally speaking, when police officers arrest and prosecute someone for a crime in Chicago, the law requires probable cause. Yet, too often, the city’s law enforcement officers engage in false arrests, malicious criminal prosecution, and wrongful convictions. As a result, too many innocent people end up spending months and sometimes years in prison for crimes they did not commit.

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.