Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bond Violation: What You Need to Know


Violating the conditions of a bond is a serious crime in the state of Illinois… but what is a bond, and what types of restrictions and conditions could you be facing?

What is a Bond?

In Illinois, the court can do one of two things when you’re awaiting trial: they can hold you in jail or they can release you upon your promise to come back to court for further proceedings.

If the court chooses to release you, they can require you to pay of certain amount of money and abide by certain conditions. The money you pay to get out of jail is typically called bail, and the court holds it until you show up to court—it’s a sort of insurance for the court that you’ll be back.

If you don’t show up to court, the court will keep your money and issue a warrant for your arrest; you’re going back to court either way, but if you’re arrested for not showing up, you’re going back to jail as well.

Most people must comply with Read more . . .


Monday, June 6, 2016

Accused of Battery in Rolling Meadows? Here's What You Need to Know


Battery is a serious crime in the state of Illinois, and it’s one that can land you behind bars. If you’ve been accused of battery in Rolling Meadows or the surrounding communities, including Chicago, your best bet is to talk to a Rolling Meadows battery defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can explain the entire court process to you, answer your questions, and ensure that you get the best possible outcome in your case.
Read more . . .


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Assault in Chicago: What You Need to Know


If you’re like most people, you’ve heard the term “assault and battery.” The two words are often used interchangeably—but they’re actually very different crimes (and each has its own set of consequences, as well). Most people choose to talk to an assault lawyer in Chicago after being accused of this crime, because the consequences can be severe.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Were You Charged With DUI Over Memorial Day Weekend?


With Memorial Day just behind us, many people are now facing DUI charges in the state of Illinois. Whether police pulled you over in Chicago, Rolling Meadows, Skokie or Schaumburg, the fact is that if you had a blood-alcohol content as low as 0.05, you can be convicted of DUI if there is evidence to prove that you were actually impaired while you were driving.

For most people, the best thing to do is call a Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Misdemeanors and Penalties in Illinois: Chicago Misdemeanor Defense


In Chicago (under Illinois state law), misdemeanors are classified according to their severity. Misdemeanors are punishable by less than a year in a local or county jail—unlike felonies, which are punishable by a year or more in prison.

If you’re being accused of committing one of these crimes, it may be a good idea for you to talk to a Read more . . .


Monday, May 23, 2016

Punishments for Felonies in Illinois: A Chicago Felony Defense Lawyer Tells All


In the state of Illinois, a felony is typically a more serious offense than a misdemeanor is. Felonies are crimes that are punishable by either Read more . . .


Monday, April 25, 2016

Do You Have to Let Police Search Your Property (Or You)?


If you’re like many people, you’re a little bit unclear about your rights when it comes to police searches.

Do you ever have the right to tell police they can’t search your property or your person? If you do, will they just assume you’re guilty and arrest you?

Do You Have to Let Police Search Your Property?

The Fourth Amendment to the U.
Read more . . .


Monday, April 11, 2016

Admissions vs. Confessions: What You Need to Know


Both admissions and confessions are used by lawyers as formidable sources of evidence given the weight they can carry in the minds of jurors. Though both typically occur during a police investigation, usually as a result of interrogation, these terms are not interchangeable as they each have very different legal ramifications.

What's an Admission?

Many police interrogations result in an admission rather than a confession. For example, a suspect in a case of auto theft might make a statement saying: “I was in the car—but I didn’t know it was stolen.”

Because the suspect has acknowledged the fact that he was in the car, this would be considered an “admission.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 28, 2016

Miranda Rights Explained

If you’re like most people, you know that when you’re arrested, police read you a Miranda warning, which can also be called Miranda rights.

But what are your Miranda rights, and what do they mean?

The Miranda Warning: What You Need to Know

Police only have to give you the Miranda warning if they intend to question you while you’re in custody. They don’t have to Mirandize you if they’re simply asking you questions on the street. For example, if you’ve been stopped and frisked in Chicago, and the police choose to ask you questions, they don’t have to read you your Miranda rights.

What the Miranda Warning Says

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

What the Miranda Warning Means

The Miranda warning is very clear when it comes to your rights.

You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to talk to police if you don’t want to do so. You can invoke your right to remain silent at any time—even during questioning. If you realize that you shouldn’t be answering questions halfway through an interrogation and you indicate that you want to remain silent and that you want a Chicago criminal defense attorney, the interrogation has to stop.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Remember that police are keeping track of everything you say and do, and they can (and will) use it in court. The things you say and do could be used to prove the prosecution’s case against you.

You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. If you request a lawyer, all questioning has to stop until you have a lawyer. If you can’t afford a Chicago criminal defense attorney, the court will appoint a public defender for you. If you request an attorney, be clear about it. Don’t say, “I think I need an attorney.” Say, “I want to talk to my lawyer before I answer any other questions,” and then use your right to remain silent.

Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me? You always have the right to stop answering questions. In most cases, it’s best if you talk to an attorney—even if you’re completely innocent—before you answer any questions coming from law enforcement.

Do You Need an Attorney?

If police have arrested you for any reason, or if they’ve indicated that they suspect you of committing a crime, it’s a good idea to talk to a Chicago criminal lawyer who can help you.

Call us at 847-920-4540 or get in touch with us online for a free case evaluation before you answer any questions. Your future could be at stake.

 


Monday, March 14, 2016

Is Stop-and-Frisk Legal in Chicago?

Many people call their Chicago criminal defense attorneys after they’ve been stopped and frisked by the Chicago PD – and if that’s happened to you, here’s what you need to know.

By law, Chicago police must have "reasonable suspicion" to stop somebody on the street and search them. But who defines what "reasonable suspicion" is, and how do cops decide who looks suspicious and who doesn't? Allowing for such discretionary interpretation of the phrase "reasonable suspicion" makes the legality of stopping and frisking anyone who is not visibly engaged in criminal activity a point of contention for many native Chicagoans.

It is legal for Chicago PD to stop you on the street and ask you where you're going, what you're doing and whether you have identification. If a police officer stops you on a Chicago street but doesn't make an arrest, he or she is supposed fill out a "contact" card that contains information about you and why you were stopped.

A 2000 Supreme Court ruling gave police even more latitude by stating that they’re are justified in stopping and frisking anyone walking in these neighborhoods who appears to be "evasive" or "nervous.”

Recent Lawsuit Over Stop and Frisk Laws in Chicago

In April, 2015, six men filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Chicago and 14 police officers alleging that stop and frisk procedures are unconstitutional. Seeking class action status on behalf of anyone subjected to stop and frisk tactics in Chicago, the lawsuit claims that these men were stopped without probable cause and asked for an injunction prohibiting police officers from stopping and frisking innocent individuals.

As it turns out, the racial breakdown of stop-and-frisk stops in Chicago includes:

  • 72 percent black
  • 17 percent Hispanic
  • 9 percent white
  • 1 percent Asian or Pacific Islander

What Should You Do If You are Stopped and Frisked?

If you are stopped and frisked by a Chicago police officer, the best thing to do is answer the officer’s questions and cooperate. Because it is legal in Chicago for officers to stop and risk you if they have "reasonable suspicion,” resisting can cause more trouble than it’s worth.

As with any encounter with police, remember:

  • Everything you say can (and will) be used against you
  • You don’t have to speak; you can simply say “I would like to remain silent”
  • You can ask if you are under arrest or if you’re free to leave
  • Stay calm and remain in control of your words and your body language
  • Do not argue with police
  • Don’t touch a police officer
  • Don’t resist, even if you are innocent
  • If you are arrested, ask for your lawyer immediately

If you need help, we are always here. Call us at 847-920-4540 or get in touch with us online.

Image courtesy of VictorGrigas


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