Articles Tagged with criminal defense

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

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.