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Articles Tagged with Felony

eBay has become a haven for sports card enthusiasts and other collectors acting as a veritable stock exchange for valuable collectibles. However, not everything that happens on eBay is legal. For example, if you place a bid on your own item or bid up items you have no intention of purchasing, you are committing a felony known as shill bidding. As another example, if you try to sell vaccination cards on eBay, you can be charged with 12 counts of stealing government property.

Chicago pharmacist Tangtang Zhao sold 125 vaccination cards to 11 buyers for about $10 per card. While not quite as lucrative as a Mantle rookie, Zhao pulled in roughly $1,000 from the fraud and will now face charges before a federal magistrate.

When discussing the charges, federal authorities were appalled at the low price Zhao got for the vaccination cards. According to a spokesperson for the FBI, “To put such a small price on the safety of our nation is not only an insult to those who are doing their part in the fight to stop COVID-19, but a federal crime with serious consequences.”

A Chicago police officer who instructed other Chicago police officers in the use of force was recently arrested in relation to an off-duty police shooting. The officer shot the man in the hand. 39-year-old Kevin Bunge is charged with aggravated battery and the unlawful use of a weapon. Both are felonies. Bunge was held on a $10,000 bond.

Police say that Bunge was on his way home from the police academy where he taught when a vehicle pulled up behind him. Bunge was parked, listening to a book on tape when the vehicle approached. The two men were going to meet a friend. The one man was providing directions to the other man using Google Maps. The driver did not believe that the directions were accurate, so they pulled their vehicle over. 

At this point, Bunge exited his vehicle with his gun and his badge. Although neither man was armed, Bunge fired into the vehicle. Both men inside the vehicle have filed a personal injury lawsuit against Bunge. Meanwhile, Bunge is facing criminal charges related to the incident.

A man who was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery grabbed for the arresting officer’s gun, police say. Unsurprisingly, Mario Castro appeared before the criminal court judge with a black eye and his arm in a sling. The judge entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of the defendant and assigned him a public defender. 

According to the police report, Castro body-slammed his girlfriend and punched her in the face over an argument concerning a phone. Police were called to the home at 7:30 p.m. The victim told police that Castro made “rude comments” about her children so she demanded that he leave. She told police that Castro responded by body-slamming her in front of her children. 

Castro left the apartment before police arrived but returned later and the police were called again. At about 8:10 p.m., they arrived at the scene, again too late. This time, Castro had taken the woman’s cellphone and punched her in the face. Castro came back a third time, and police found him hiding in a pantry closet. Castro was asked to step out and did but he pulled away from police when they asked him to put his hands behind his back. Castro was taken down, still struggling. He managed to grab a gun magazine and strike the officer in the arm with it. He then attempted to remove the gun from the officer’s holster but was repelled in the attempt. Eventually, the police tased Castro, but the taser was not enough to prevent him from continuing to struggle. Eventually, police were able to get him in handcuffs, but Castro continued to struggle, so they sprayed him with pepper spray. 

A man known as “Dreadhead Cowboy” is facing felony charge of animal cruelty after riding his horse down the Dan Ryan Expressway on Monday. The cowboy, whose real name is Adam Hollingsworth, is facing one count of aggravated animal cruelty. 

Hollingsworth was facing charges of using a non-highway vehicle on the highway, obstruction of traffic, criminal trespass, disobeying an officer, and reckless conduct. 

Dreadhead was riding his horse up and down the highway yelling “kids lives matter.” for some reason. This appears to be a part of the QAnon conspiracy that has blossomed in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein suicide. Numerous motorcycles and other vehicles flanked the cowboy as he did his thing.

The man whose videotaped murder of a defenseless detainee resulted in several months’ worth of protests is now facing felony tax evasion charges. Chauvin will now face charges of second-degree murder and multiple felony counts of tax evasion

Chauvin and his wife are accused of hiding income streams on their taxes including more than $95,000 in income from his side job providing security. 

Is His Wife Also Guilty?

smn-bcc-601011-unsplash-copy-300x200If you are facing a felony charge in Chicago, you are likely worried that your life will be turned upside down, and rightfully so. There is no way to pinpoint what is going to happen if the case goes to trial and you wind up with a conviction and subsequent sentence. The even more unlikely assumption is what will happen to you once you have served your time. How will you assimilate back into society? Will your friends and family accept you with open arms? Here are some tips for restoring your life and reputation following a felony conviction.

Narrow Employment Search

One of the first things you need to do once you are released from prison is begin your search for employment. Depending on the crime you were convicted of, it could very well leave you with a narrow search. For example, if you committed any type of white collar crime, you likely will not be able to get a job in the banking, finance, or securities industries. If you committed a sexual offense, you will not be able to work in the education field.

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225When you are facing felony charges in Chicago, you will likely be scared about what is to come. Even if you have been charged with a crime in the past, facing a felony charge can be life changing. A felony conviction can lead to years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, restitution, and many other penalties. Even after you have served your time, you could very well still struggle to return to a normal life. Today, we will take a look at how a felony conviction can change your life.

Post-Conviction

Once your trial is complete and you are found guilty of the felonious crime, you will begin your post-conviction life. This is one of the more difficult parts of life as a convicted felon. This part of your life starts with sentencing. You could very well wind up with the maximum recommended sentence from the judge. Or, you could be sentenced to a handful of years in prison. The judge will take into account statements made by the plaintiff, the victim’s family, and any statement you make.

o_498v1-nbc-rachel-paprocki-300x201The felony charge sits just below terrorism and treason when ranking the criminal offenses that are known in the Chicago statues. It is a step up from the misdemeanor and carries a lot of serious consequences for the defendant including the loss of their liberty and a debilitating criminal record. As a rule of thumb, an offense becomes a felony if it is capable of attracting a punishment that exceeds one year in jail. Some jurisdictions have gone as far as setting mandatory sentencing for certain felonies in order to control the court process in such a way as not to dent public confidence in the system. Others have classified obsolete felonies as being non-prosecutable.

There is considerable public debate as to whether the classification of felonies is appropriate for this century. For a start, the idea of a permanent criminal record might sound good in terms of retribution and public safety. However, the reality is that people who are unable to find work will inevitably turn back to crime, which means that the vicious circle will never end. Nevertheless, the trial judge tends to take into consideration a number of factors at the sentence hearing including:

  • Previous known criminality,

gunFirst-degree murder carries the highest sentence of any single crime in all of Illinois and is subject to the mandatory minimum statute. This means that those convicted are almost guaranteed at least a 20-year prison term, and if a gun is used the mandatory minimum jumps to 45 years. Felony murder is a one type of first-degree murder.

If someone dies during the commission of a forcible felony, those committing the felony can be charged with first-degree murder. You can be charged with felony murder even if the person died accidentally or was killed by someone else, as long as a forcible felony was being committed at the time. Illinois prosecutors have even successfully brought felony murder charges in situations where a co-felon was killed by the police. A forcible felony is defined as sexual assault, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, aggravated battery, and any other felony that involve the use of or threat of physical force or violence.

Self-Defense Claims are Unavailable

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled in People v. Aguilar, 2013 IL 112116 that Illinois’ gun statute (UUW) 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(A)(1) is unconstitutional in that it violates the right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the second amendment to the United States Constitution.  As a result, the Cook County States Attorney’s Office is dismissing a number of these cases!  There is still the issue as to whether a FOID (firearm owners identification) card is a requirement for these dismissals. At the moment, the State is only dismissing cases where the defendant was in possession of a valid FOID card.  We are starting to argue that a FOID card is not necessary.  Waiting to see how that plays out.

Additionally, my office is actively combing through our old files to locate those who have been previously convicted of Aggravated UUW under this specific statute provision.  Once located, we will be filing motions to vacate these convictions as well.  The statute doesn’t “become” unconstitutional as a result of this new ruling.  The ruling states that the statue is unconstitutional on its face, meaning it was always unconstitutional from its inception. Continue reading

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