Mistaken Identities in Criminal Defense Cases

There are many situations where a person is incorrectly accused of a crime, due to a mistaken identity issue.  Our firm has represented clients in both Iowa and Illinois who have been accused of a crime that someone else had committed.

A Person is Innocent Until Proven Guilty in Criminal Cases

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.

Federal Habeas Corpus

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

Jury Selection in Criminal Trials

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.

Brady v. Maryland and Exculpatory Evidence in Criminal Cases

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

Jury versus Bench Trial in Criminal Cases

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.

Plea Offers and Plea Bargains in Criminal Cases

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.

Gun Rights Restoration for Illinois and Iowa Residents

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.

Failure to Appear (FTA) in Criminal Cases

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.

Bond Revocation in Criminal Cases

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.

Dealing with False Domestic Abuse Accusations

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.

Seeking a Modification of Bond Terms in a Criminal Case

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.

Dealing with a Warrant for your Arrest

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.

Who is Prohibited from Possessing a Gun?

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.

Don’t Write Letters to the Judge

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

The Importance of Remaining Silent when Accused of a Crime

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.