Articles Tagged with criminal defense

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

israel-palacio-463979-copy-300x200It is believed that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, affects as much as 7.7 million American adults. The Department of Veteran Affairs estimates that 20% of those suffering from PTSD are Iraq war veterans. There are 20.4 million veterans living in the United States today. Their services span the last 100 years. With a population this large, it is not uncommon to meet veterans who have served in multiple wars, meaning that of those 7.7 million Americans who suffer from PTSD, a large number could be multiple war veterans.

PTSD is described as a disorder that can occur after having suffered a traumatic event. Symptoms can arise shortly after the traumatic event but some have reported symptoms manifesting several months to years later. Symptoms include reliving the event that induced trauma, avoiding situations reminiscent of the trauma, depression, and hyperarousal (being jittery, always on the alert, irritability, aggression). Considering the events that may occur during war, it is no surprise that war veterans may show symptoms of PTSD. Life for veterans who have been discharged or served out their time of duty can be difficult enough without PTSD; adding the disorder can make life complicated, and as a result, these affected individuals sometimes turn to activities that are in conflict with the law.

Behaviors such as alcoholism and public outbursts due to triggers are only some of the actions that can mark a veteran as a target of the police. For example, upon returning from duty in Iraq, veteran Christopher Lee Boyd grew irritable and paranoid. In an attempt to protect his family, he began to carry a gun. He became prone to drinking himself to sleep in order to avoid nightmares related to his memories of the war. After having spent one entire day drinking, he remembers waking up in a police car headed to prison. Boyd was told by the cops that he ended up at a party and shot one of his friends in the chest. Luckily, his friend survived, but Boyd was sentenced to five years behind bars.

maique-madeira-256088-copy-300x200Although most ordinary people talk about “drug crime” as if it were one giant part of criminal law, there are many important distinctions between different drug-related crimes. One of them is the difference between drug dealing and drug trafficking. Let us take the case of David Price, who faced life imprisonment after being found guilty of running an illicit drug empire.

Drug dealing often happens on the streets when middlemen and low-level distributors try to offload the controlled drugs onto the street. They are the people who sell on a one-to-one basis or who provide small shopping facilities for drugs. This is a different crime from trafficking, which often includes international routes. The failure to make these distinctions clear has meant that many people are serving sentences that are longer than they would ordinarily be if the right procedure was followed.

Why is the Distinction Between Dealing and Trafficking so Important?

antonio-grosz-148540-copy-300x200Many people in Chicago find it hard to believe that criminals involved in any mass shooting have a chance to defend themselves. This is because of the seriousness of the offenses that result from this crime and the restrictive nature of Chicago gun laws. With the right legal advice, however, an individual charged with a mass shooting can successfully defend his or her case.

With the United States facing the worst mass shootings in the modern history, it is likely that these incidences might stir action on gun control. If you look at Chicago, there were over 4,000 victims of crimes related to guns in 2016 alone. This means that we have to come up with measures that will actually bring a real impact.

History has shown that mass shootings mainly happen in places where victims cannot defend themselves. These include churches, learning institutions, and other places where people are not allowed to carry guns. According to research, all the public shootings in the US have occurred in locations where citizens are banned from carrying guns, except for two cases. In Europe, all the mass shootings have taken place in areas where citizens are banned from carrying guns.

hush-naidoo-382152-copy-300x200The government is trying to review and reform the healthcare system, but there are still some people in Chicago who are committing Medicaid fraud. There are many fraud prevention measures that have been put in place. Yet, there are people who work to see how they can deceive the government.

This is a serious offense that can lead to serious jail time. Recently, Santila Terry, a 45-year-old woman who lives in Chicago, was facing charges for committing both identity and Medicaid fraud. The total estimated loss in the case was almost $1 million. This case is typical in terms of how frauds of that nature are committed.

A service provider bills the government for services that were never delivered right up until they are discovered. According to reports from the Attorney General, Santila was claiming to provide speech therapy to people who did not exist. Another part of the case was identity fraud. Special Therapy Care Chartered used the personal information and Medicaid service provider ID of a previous employee to falsely bill the government.

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240If you are a fan of TV crime drama, you have probably come across this phrase: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, an attorney will be appointed for you.” These are a part of the Miranda Rights that the police are supposed to read out for you in the event of an arrest.

What Exactly are Miranda Rights?

The rights come from the Fifth Amendment right to be free from self-incrimination and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The name “Miranda” is derived from a case that was held in the Supreme Court known as Miranda V. Arizona. The Miranda Rights include the following:

aidan-bartos-313782-copy-300x200Various crimes happen every day in Chicago, Illinois. Citizens caught violating the law, will, of course, be charged. Depending on the crime and circumstances, some may face minor charges, while others will face more serious charges. One of the crimes that takes years to clear in Chicago is racketeering.

What is Racketeering?

Racketeering is organized crime in which illegal business takes place. Rackets may refer to illegal businesses or dishonest services offered to steal and collect funds. This form of crime runs various groups assigned in different places to maintain profits for the business. This group of criminals may even use fake products and documents. They know how to get your trust and sympathy. They can even look like an innocent individuals. They are often heard about through community news reports.

kristina-flour-185592-copy-300x192In a case of double jeopardy, a Chicago cop pleaded the Fifth at trial involving friend’s shooting at his home.

A police officer recently refused to answer questions regarding a baffling shooting that took place near his house almost seven years ago. The officer, following advice from his counsel, pleaded the fifth in a federal court regarding his integrity and wrongful shooting attempts. Patrick Kelly, a veteran patrolman, declined to give answers to a number of questions on the mysterious shooting and his puzzling record before Judge Harry Lienenweber. The United States District Magistrate dismissed the police officer as a witness during the hearing of the domestic case. Anthony Monaco, the attorney defending Kelly, did not give any reasons as to why his client did not testify.

On the 12th of January, 2010, Kelly and his childhood friend, Michael La Porta, were at Kelly’s home on the South Side. Michael was shot in the back of his head by Kelly’s service gun. They had been drinking heavily that night. According to Chicago police, the shooting was classified as an endeavored suicide. This decision was reached based on Kelly’s account since he was the only one at his place during the incident.

sebastian-pichler-25154-copy-300x200After a conviction for any type of criminal offense in Chicago, the defendant is given the chance to post a criminal defense appeal. It is the right of the defendant. Often, excluding certain cases, this appeal takes place in an intermediate appellate court. Every defendant in Chicago who is condemned of a crime has the right to put in an appeal. The appellate court cannot deny hearing the case.

Let’s say the appeal is unsuccessful in the intermediary court. The defendant is convicted of the crime yet again. As such, the defendant’s further petition is not sanctioned. This was proved in one recent case. In it, the defendant filed an appeal to disqualify the trial judge from future post-conviction proceedings. But when the motion was filed, the defendant had no pending cases. The defendant’s petition was thus denied since the motion was void ab initio.

That being said, a defendant can put forward a request to appeal to the Supreme Court of Illinois in hopes that the court will accord his or her request. Such requests are rarely granted. Often, the court accedes to appeals in cases in which interesting legal topics have been settled in different ways by several intermediary courts hearing the case.

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225There has been a preliminary hearing to consider whether the civil rights of a prisoner who has been in solitary confinement for eight years were violated. This was not a final ruling but rather permission to proceed with the case. That means that there was either probable cause or serious constitutional issues that had to be dealt with by the court on the case.

The full court reversed a summary judgement that had earlier been passed against a federal inmate. The prisoner had brought a petition about his constitutional due process and rights. Aaron Isby had been convicted of robbery as well as serious bodily harm in 1989. He was imprisoned at the Pendleton Correctional Facility.

When an inmate, Isby had had an altercation with a counselor. He was gassed and apprehended by a cell-extraction team. A dog died during the incident. The inmate actually stabbed two officers. This led to a charge and conviction of attempted murder as well as battery. Another 40 years were added to his sentence.