Friday, August 21, 2015

When is the "Right" Time to Get a Lawyer?

If you’re like most people who have been accused of committing a crime, you probably aren’t sure when you should get an attorney.

The short answer is right now.

Whether police have detained you, you have received a summons or someone wants to question you about something, it’s usually a good idea to have an attorney you can call on to preserve your rights.

When Should You Call a Lawyer?

If police arrest you, you have every right to call an attorney. You’ll still have to follow police procedures, which may mean that they won’t allow you to use the phone the moment you step into the police station, but you certainly have the right to have your attorney present when police are questioning you.

In fact, you don’t have to answer any questions until your lawyer arrives and gives you guidance. It doesn’t matter how many crimes police are accusing you of committing; you have the constitutional right to an attorney.

You may need to call an attorney before you’re arrested, though. Although you don’t have to answer questions when police aren’t detaining you, the fact that police want to talk to you may mean that you’ll need an attorney.

This can be true even if you’re completely innocent.

Can a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Help My Loved One?

If the police have detained someone you care about, you can call an attorney on his or her behalf. You’ll need to provide whatever details you have, such as where your loved one is, and tell the lawyer what you know about the case.

Does Everyone Being Accused of a Crime Need a Lawyer?

Calling a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago is different from hiring an attorney for other reasons. Typically, criminal cases require you to act quickly; you don’t have the luxury of waiting, because you’ll be processed through the court system whether or not you have hired an attorney.

That said, it’s tough to say that everyone the state accuses of a crime needs a lawyer. Every case is different, so it can’t hurt to call a Chicago criminal defense lawyer if you’re not sure.

Friday, June 12, 2015

One Arrest, Multiple Charges: Do You Need a Lawyer?

It’s not uncommon for a single arrest to lead to multiple charges in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. For example, an arrest for burglary or driving on a revoked license could also lead to a weapons charge; even a simple traffic stop can lead to arrests and result in more than one charge. Other examples include drug-related arrests, which can lead to charges for manufacturing, distribution or possession.

What to Do if You’re Arrested in Chicago

Police can ask you questions without arresting you, but in some cases, it’s best to avoid answering – even if you’re completely innocent or had nothing to do with the incident they’re asking you about.

You can always ask police if they are arresting you; if they’re not, you are free to leave.

If police do arrest you, don’t answer their questions. You have the right to bring in an attorney when police want to question you, and you should use it. Remember that police are trained to get the answers they want, and without your lawyer in your corner, you could end up saying something that you’ll regret later.

Does it Matter How Many Charges Police Level Against You?

The number of crimes the state charges you with can have a direct impact on the amount of bail – if any – a judge will set for your release.

You’ll be formally charged at your arraignment, and it’s a good idea to have your attorney meet you there. He’ll be able to explain the charges, the potential consequences you’re facing and help you enter the appropriate plea.

Of course, it’s best if you can meet with your lawyer before your arraignment so he can begin building a strategy for your defense as soon as possible.

If police have arrested you or someone you care about, call me at 847-920-4540. I can help.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Want to Make a Bad Situation Worse? Run from the Cops.

Whether police suspect you of DUI, robbery or anything else, there’s one sure-fire way to make the situation worse: run from the cops.

They don’t look too kindly upon people that they have to chase, and neither do judges. That’s why it’s incredibly important that you contact a Chicago criminal defense lawyer who can help you deal with the situation.

Caught Fleeing: What Next?

People run from the police for a variety of reasons, and in many cases, it’s completely understandable. Maybe there was a warrant out for your arrest, or perhaps you had something illegal (such as drugs) on your person.

You’re likely to be charged with resisting arrest or obstructing a peace officer when you’re caught—and that’s in addition to the original offense.

What You Need to Know about Resisting Arrest

Resisting can include something as simple as pulling your hands away from the police officer who’s trying to detain you; refusal to put your hands behind your head or behind your back; or running and attempting to hide.

Resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.

Illinois law says that you can be found guilty of a Class 4 felony if your resistance was “the proximate cause of an injury to a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee.” If that’s the case, you could spend up to 3 years behind bars and end up paying fines of up to $25,000.

What to Do if You’re Charged with Resisting Arrest in Cook, Lake or DuPage Counties

Remember, when you’re charged with resisting arrest, you still have to contend with why police wanted to arrest you in the first place.

There are many ways the prosecutor can approach your case if you’ve resisted arrest. Most people find it incredibly helpful to work with a former prosecutor so they’re covered from all angles. The most important thing is that you use your right to remain silent until you’ve gotten case-specific advice from your attorney; you don’t have to say anything to police or investigators other than, “I want to talk to a lawyer.”


Friday, September 19, 2014

What to Do if Police Interrogate Your Child

Police can be intimidating, particularly to children – and many kids don’t know that they have the same right to remain silent that adults do. So what should you do if you find out that police interrogated your child without you?

Before you do anything else, call to a Chicago criminal defense attorney. He’ll start to do damage control and ensure that your child’s rights were not violated.

Do Juveniles Have Rights?

Like adults, kids have the right to have an attorney present when they speak to police after an arrest. Often, investigators take advantage of their youthful ignorance and press for answers and lead kids to believe that talking will help their case. (And just like with adults, it’s usually better not to say anything at all.)

Unfortunately, kids can accidentally say something that can be used against them in court—even if they’re completely innocent—and once they’ve said something, they can’t take it back.

The worst part is that children may feel like they’re being detained even when they’re not. They don’t know to ask, which can actually lead to an arrest if they stick around and answer questions.

As a parent, you have the right to be notified if your child is taken into custody.

What to Do if Police Interrogate Your Child

When you talk to your Chicago criminal defense lawyer, make sure that you provide him with all the details you have. Your lawyer will probably want to speak with your child, as well. If possible, get a copy of the police report so that your attorney can look it over and determine whether your child was illegally detained or whether his or her rights were violated.

Talking to Your Kids about Police Interrogations

The best time to talk to your children about how to deal with police is before it ever happens. Make sure that your kids know they can ask police if they’re being detained – and that if they’re not being detained, they’re free to leave the area. Tell them that they don’t have to say anything until you arrive with a lawyer.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Don't Be Fooled


When a police officer knocks on your door and asks to speak to you, it is almost never a good situation.  In many instances, an officer is requesting to speak to you because you are a suspect to a crime.  The purpose of the conversation is simple: The police want a confession. 

Most people are aware that they have the right to remain silent and are entitled to an attorney during questioning.  However, they are often too scared to request an attorney or feel that if they do, the police officer won’t be as lenient as he promises to be.  Clients constantly tell us, “the officer said he would tell the judge to take it easy on us because we cooperated.” 

The truth of the matter is the police will attempt to manipulate you in order to get the single best piece of evidence they can use in court – A Confession!

If a police officer is attempting to contact you it is always better to have an attorney represent you from the get go. At the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury, we proactively defend clients before they are arrested or even questioned by law enforcement to ensure their rights are protected.

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