Articles Tagged with criminal defense

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225When faced with a murder charge in Chicago, you have options. You do not have to immediately admit to the crime. You also do not have to take your chances with a jury to see if it will convict you. Murder is a serious charge, if not the most serious charge, so you need to have a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side to craft a strong defense to the charge. Today, we will examine the common defenses to second degree murder charges so you can fight for your freedom.

Claim Insanity

You have likely heard it on the news before and it might be a good defense for you to attempt if charged with second degree murder, and that is to claim insanity. Even if claiming insanity is permitted in your jurisdiction, it does not mean that it will clear you of the responsibility associated with second degree murder. You could be issued a guilty verdict with mental illness attached to it, which means you still knew what you did was wrong. In other jurisdictions that permit full insanity, if you can prove your mental illness, then you will not be held accountable for the crime.

sebastian-pichler-25154-copy-300x200Facing a criminal charge in Chicago can ruin your life if you do not know where to turn. Relying on the public defender will not always put you in the best situation. You need to consult with an experienced private criminal defense attorney so you can best fight the charges levied against you. Working with a criminal attorney who is experienced with the crime you have been accused of committing will help you build a defense that can lead to the charges being either dropped or reduced. Let’s examine the traits of a strong criminal defense attorney so you know what to look for when choosing an attorney to represent you.

Experience That Speaks for Itself

One of the first things you need to look for is the attorney’s experience. It is understandable that an attorney has to start his or her career somewhere, but do you want it to be with your case? Now is not the time to risk your freedom just to give a newly minted attorney a shot at winning his or her first case. The strongest criminal attorneys will have a track record that speaks for itself.

william-stitt-162589-unsplash-copy-300x200White collar crime is most common in the corporate world. It is a group of crimes that are typically committed by business people who have access to insider information, funds, assets, and other items. Those who commit a white collar crime can face years in prison if convicted and if they are not able to reach a deal with the prosecutor assigned to the case. Let us take a look at the different types of white collar crimes.

Securities Fraud

Securities fraud is one of the most common types of white collar crime committed today. This white collar crime occurs almost exclusively in the corporate world. The most common form of securities fraud is that of insider training. Insider trading occurs when a person who has information about the company for which they work and uses it to their financial advantage.

matthew-henry-35963-unsplash-copy-300x200Facing criminal charges in Chicago is always a scary situation, even if you have been charged with a crime in the past. Each instance is different because you never know what could come of the charges. One of the most important things you need to know is that representing yourself in a criminal case is never a good idea and you will see why with the reasons explained in this post.

Lack of Law Knowledge

First and foremost, you will not have the depth of knowledge of the law that a criminal defense attorney has. This is one of the most important skills you should have if defending yourself in court. It is likely you have no legal education, which means you will have trouble with legal terminology, court proceedings, how to introduce evidence and what to argue in defense of your rights in order to remain a free person. Your lack of knowledge of the law will not be tolerated in the least bit by the judge.

sebastian-pichler-25154-copy-300x200At an arraignment, the crimes that you are charged with will be formally read aloud in court. In the Illinois Justice System, you will have this hearing no matter what degree of crime you were charged with (misdemeanor or felony). Here is what you should expect to happen at most standard arraignments.

The Basics

Arraignments should be held within a reasonable time frame, as dictated by the sixth amendment. If an arraignment is set for six months or more after the time of your arrest, your attorney may petition for dismissal.

fabian-grohs-396734-copy-300x240Hate crimes are crimes committed against a person who is targeted for a specific reason. This can be due to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or other factors. If you have been arrested for this type of crime, it is essential that you understand what the prosecution has to prove for you to be found guilty.

You may also want to know what type of sentence you could be facing if found guilty. Remember, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help eliminate or reduce these sentences.

Hate Crimes and Assault

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