A conviction for theft or shoplifting can have a long-lasting effect upon a person’s life, in a variety of different ways.
Criminal Law in General
Police will often ask a person for permission to search their home, car, or person. It is almost never wise to give such permission, for a variety of reasons.
When a person is suspected of a crime, the police will often raid the person’s home in search of evidence. More formally, this is referred to as the execution of a search warrant.
A consultation is the first step in retaining an attorney to represent a person in a criminal case. There are many matters that should be discussed during a criminal case consultation.
One of the most basic principles in the American legal system is that a person who is accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. This principle is the bedrock of our criminal justice justice system, and should be remembered by everyone who is involved in a criminal case.
After a criminal defendant has been convicted and sentenced and completed his or her direct appeal and state post-conviction relief proceedings, the defendant has one final means to challenge his or her conviction and sentence. This final proceeding is called a federal habeas corpus proceeding, which is found at 28 U.S.C. section 2254 (prisoners in state custody) and 28 U.S.C. section 2255 (prisoners in federal custody). Habeas corpus is defined as a writ requiring a person to produce a prisoner … Continued
In a criminal jury trial, it is the members of the jury who decide the guilt or innocence of the accused. Selecting the jury is an important part of a person’s defense.
In the United States Supreme Court case of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), the United States Supreme Court held that a prosecutor who suppresses evidence favorable to the criminal defendant upon request violates the defendant’s right to due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good or bad faith of the prosecutor. This is the law of the land in the entire United States, and applies to prosecutions in every … Continued
A person facing criminal charges can have either a jury trial or a bench trial. Depending upon the nature of the charges and facts of the case, it may be wise to opt for one type of trial or another.
A person who is charged with a crime relating to child abuse will often find themselves also facing a DHS or DCFS child abuse report, a custody case, and/or a juvenile abuse/neglect case.
In criminal cases, the prosecution will often make plea offers to the defendant. That process of negotiating is call plea bargaining. Deciding whether a person accused of a crime should accept a plea offer is an important decision that must be made carefully, as the ramifications are quite serious.
It is somewhat common for people to have warrants or pending criminals case in multiple states. This can complicate matters and lead to unfavorable outcomes, yet if handled properly can result in outcomes more favorable than might have been had with charges in a single state.
Those who have been banned from gun ownership due to a criminal conviction or other disqualifying event in Illinois or Iowa can seek a restoration of their gun rights. This is a somewhat involved process that must be handled properly in order to have the best chance of succeeding. My firm has represented many clients in Iowa and Illinois to seek such a restoration of their gun rights.
A Failure to Appear (FTA) is the legal term commonly used in Illinois and Iowa courts for a defendant not showing up to court as scheduled. An FTA can cause significant problems for a defendant.
For those who are out on bond after being charged with a crime, it is possible for bond to be revoked by the court. Bond revocation can happen for a variety of reasons in an Illinois or Iowa criminal case.
False accusations of domestic abuse are common in divorce and custody cases in Illinois and Iowa. Properly handling such accusations of domestic violence is of the highest importance.
Criminal history checks are becoming more common with each passing year, increasing the importance of maintaining a good criminal record.
A person who is out on bond during the pendency of a criminal case may find that the bond conditions originally set by the court are not longer workable, due to a change in circumstances. The solution is to seek a modification of the bond terms.
In many drug cases filed by prosecutors in Illinois and Iowa, part of the evidence will be an alleged controlled buy. Such cases can be difficult to defend against, yet also present useful opportunities that can make it easier to fight the case.
For pilots who have an OWI charge in Iowa or a DUI charge in Illinois, there are additional considerations and requirements that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposes. It is important to ensure
Often a person who is accused of a crime will learn (or suspect) that there is a warrant out for their arrest. Handling that situation the right way can have immediate and longer-lasting benefits.
There are laws at the Federal and State levels that prohibit certain people from possessing a firearm. These laws can be rather complex, and a person who is charged with unlawfully possessing a gun generally cannot avoid criminal liability by saying that they did not know they were prohibited. This article discusses the general categories of people who are barred from possessing guns, and some of the related situations that often arise.
Sometimes a person who is facing a serious criminal charge may feel afraid and compelled to do “something.” All too often, that urge to do “something” can lead a person to take action that is quite harmful to their case. An example of that that I see from time to time is when a person writes a letter to the judge as their case is pending, apologizing and asking the judge to let them out of jail. Such letters are … Continued
When accused of a crime, most people will naturally wish to express their innocence and explain exactly how they have done nothing wrong. It is only human nature to want to defend oneself against accusations. However, doing so can be disastrous from a legal perspective, which is why it is best to remain silent and seek an attorney at once.
In court, a defendant’s physical appearance can be of great importance. The judge, jury, and prosecutor will all form impressions about the defendant’s character, based upon
As an attorney whose caseload includes a good deal of criminal defense work, there is one recurring them that stands out: clients who spoke to the police when