If you’re like most people, you assume that when you’re arrested, police will ask you a few questions – and you think that you should answer them as respectfully and honestly as you can.
You’re right on the respectful part (it’s best to at least be polite, which your grandmother can confirm!).
But you don’t have to – and you probably shouldn’t – answer any questions until you have a Chicago criminal defense attorney with you.
3 Reasons You Should NEVER Talk to Police Without a Lawyer Present
Whether you’re innocent, completely guilty or you made some type of mistake, it’s in your best interest to keep silent when police want to question you. You have that right under the U.S. Constitution, and it’s there for a very good reason: to prevent you from saying something that gets you into trouble that you don’t deserve.
Here are three reasons you should never talk to police without consulting a lawyer first:
1. The longer you talk to the police, the more likely you are to confess to a crime you didn’t commit.
A 22-year-old soldier stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas, was interrogated for a whole day about a rape and murder he never committed. He professed […]
If you’re like many people charged with DUI or boating under the influence in Illinois, you’ve heard of an ignition interlock device – but what is it, and how does it work?
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is a type of breath-alcohol test that’s attached to your car. As a driver, you’ll have to blow into the mouthpiece on the device before you can start your vehicle. If there’s over a certain amount of alcohol on your breath, you won’t be able to turn the ignition.
Who Has to Get an Ignition Interlock Device?
If you’re a first-time DUI offender, the state of Illinois requires you to get an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle if you expect driving relief (that’s when the court allows you to drive despite your conviction). In our state, as well as many others, the device has to include a camera that captures the driver’s image as he or she performs the breath test.
Not everyone is eligible for driving relief, though. Talk to your Chicago DUI lawyer about whether you can ask the judge for it in your case.
What is a Running Retest?
A running retest occurs when the ignition interlock device […]
If you’ve been caught with prescription pills without having a prescription for them, whether you use them to treat a medical condition or you use them recreationally, you could be facing serious legal penalties – and you may need to get in touch with a Chicago criminal defense attorney who can defend you in court.
Drug Charges in Chicago for Prescription Pills
What Happens if You’re Caught With Prescription Pills?
If you’re charged with home invasion in Chicago, you could be looking at a Class X felony – and that means you probably need to talk to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
What is Home Invasion?
Under Illinois law, home invasion occurs when you enter someone’s home when you know that the person is home (or when you wait for them to get home), or if you falsely represent yourself (such as pretending to be working for the government, a utility company or something else) to get in.
Penalties for a Home Invasion Conviction
If you are armed with a dangerous weapon, use force or threaten to use force, or intentionally injure someone (not with a firearm), it’s a Class X felony – and if you have a firearm, the court can add 25 years to your sentence.
If you discharge a firearm during a home invasion, the court can add 20 years to your sentence; if you discharge a firearm and cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement or death, the court can add 25 years or more to your sentence (up to a term of natural life).
What Your Lawyer Needs to Know
When you’re charged with home invasion, […]
Do police need a warrant to search your house?
Sometimes – but in many cases, police can barge right into your home and begin searching for contraband or evidence that they can later use against you. In fact, most searches occur without a warrant. Police can search your house without your consent if:
- You provide your consent
- Evidence is in “plain view”
- You are arrested
- Police worry that the time it would take to get a warrant would jeopardize public safety or result in the destruction of evidence
When Police Need a Warrant… And When They Don’t
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Consent to a Police Search
When a police officer knocks on your door and says, “Can I come in and have a quick look around?” your first […]
Burglary charges are serious – and the penalties are harsh if the court convicts you.
So what makes up the crime of burglary, and what are the consequences of a conviction?
Here’s what you need to know.
Burglary Charges and Penalties
The police can charge you with the crime of burglary under 720 ILCS 5/19-1. That law says a person is guilty if they knowingly enter a place without authority to do so while intending to commit a felony or theft inside.
Burglary itself is a felony, and there are multiple charges that can stem from one incident – including residential burglary and possession of burglary tools. Plain burglary is a Class 2 felony that comes with a penalty of 3 to 7 years in prison.
Residential burglary, which is a Class 1 felony that carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison, is one of the more severe burglary charges. That one’s governed by 720 ILCS 5/19.3, and it requires that you enter a person’s residence (the law says “the dwelling place of another”) while intending to commit a felony or theft inside.
Possession of Burglary […]
Like adults, children have the right to an attorney’s defense – but sometimes parents aren’t aware of the scope of juvenile criminal defense available.
Juvenile Criminal Defense: What Parents Need to Know
When your child is accused of a crime, the first thing you do is start worrying. What if he’s convicted? What if she has to go to a juvenile detention facility? What do I do next?
The good news is that you can hire a juvenile defense attorney in Chicago or the suburbs to preserve your child’s rights and defend him or her in court.
What Does a Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
A juvenile criminal defense lawyer will talk to you and your child about the incident that led up to his or her arrest. He’ll get all the facts in the case from you, and he’ll examine the evidence the prosecution has. At the same time, he’ll begin preparing a defense that gets your child the best possible outcome in court; sometimes this even involves negotiating with the prosecutor to get a better outcome.
Your child’s attorney will also be present when police question you and your child about the […]
If you’re like most people, you’ve heard the term white-collar crime – but what is it, and what types of crime does it cover?
White-Collar Crime: What You Need to Know
White-collar crime isn’t an actual criminal charge. It’s a term that describes a wide range of crimes that people commit for financial gain, typically in a business or professional setting.
Anyone can commit a white-collar crime, which is characterized by concealment, deceit or a violation of trust. The main motivation for these types of crime is financial gain (or to avoid losing money).
Some white-collar crime involves corporate fraud, which can include:
- Falsely accounting for money
- Falsification of net asset values
- Fraudulent trading
- Illicit transactions performed to avoid regulations
- Insider trading
- Misrepresenting a company’s financial condition
- Misuse of corporate property for personal gain
- Some market timing schemes
- Tax violations
There are other types of white-collar crimes, too, including:
- Financial institution fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Healthcare fraud
- Intellectual property theft or piracy
- Money laundering
What if You’re Charged With a White-Collar Crime?
Your best bet when you’re […]
If you’ve been accused of a crime in Chicago, Skokie or Rolling Meadows, it’s probably a good idea to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. Your lawyer will be there to explain your rights, talk to you about possible outcomes for your case, and help you make the right decisions if the prosecutor offers you a plea bargain.
But what is a plea bargain, and why would a prosecutor offer it?
What is a Plea Bargain?
Many cases are resolved through plea bargaining, but not all. There’s no way to predict whether the prosecutor (the prosecutor is the state’s attorney) will offer you one, but just in case, it pays to know what it is.
A plea bargain, which is sometimes called a plea agreement or plea deal, the defendant (you) agrees to plead guilty to one or more charges in exchange for a more lenient sentence. In many cases, the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge than one that he or she could stand trial (for example, battery instead of aggravated battery) so the prosecutor still gets a conviction – […]
If you’ve been charged with robbery in Chicago, Skokie or Rolling Meadows, you may need tough legal representation from an aggressive Illinois criminal defense attorney – and here’s why.
Robbery Charges in Illinois
Robbery is the crime of taking property from someone else by force. There are three types: straight (or strong-arm) robbery, aggravated robbery, and armed robbery.
Robbery is different from theft, which occurs when you obtain or exert unauthorized control over someone else’s property, or deceive the owner or threaten the owner to get it.
Straight, Plain or Strong-Arm Robbery
Straight robbery, which is sometimes called plain robbery or strong-arm robbery, occurs when you force someone to give you his or her property. If you mug someone to steal a wallet or a purse, you have committed straight robbery.
Straight robbery is a Class 2 felony, unless the victim is 60 years of age or older; then it becomes a Class 1 felony. It’s also a Class 1 felony if it happens in a daycare center, a childcare facility, a place of worship or a school.
Aggravated robbery is larceny (stealing) that you commit by using a […]