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Chicago Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

When your son or daughter leaves to attend college for the first time, you undoubtedly hope he or she values the morals you instilled and make smart decisions despite you not being there to offer guidance. Unfortunately, though, many young students start to experiment with drugs or alcohol during the college years. In some cases, doing so can lead to serious long-term repercussions.

In addition to penalties your child may face from the criminal justice system following a drug-related criminal conviction, he or she can also face consequences that come from other, outside sources. For example, a drug conviction has the capacity to make your child lose his or her federal financial aid eligibility.

Picking a jury for your Illinois criminal case

If you face state criminal charges, you are likely to feel a loss of control. After all, you may have had to deal with both investigators and prosecutors who have a job to do. Eventually, you may have to put your fate in the hands of a jury of 12 of your peers. 

In the United States, criminal defendants have some say in which individuals appear on a jury. That is, your defense attorney has an opportunity to ask potential jurors certain questions. He or she may also remove some jurors who may be apt to convict you. In the leadup to your case, you should understand how jury selection works. 

Why do innocent people confess to crimes?

In theory, the criminal justice system exists to punish those who commit offenses. Unfortunately, it does not always work out this way. Innocent people often end up with criminal records. One way this happens is by false confessions. In fact, about 30% of wrongful convictions overturned because of DNA evidence involve false confessions. 

The idea of an innocent person confessing to a criminal offense may sound strange, but it happens frequently and for understandable reasons. Here are some explanations behind wrongful confessions. 

Common robbery defenses

Receiving a conviction for robbery in Illinois can have severe consequences for the defendant. All forms of robbery are felonies according to the Illinois criminal code. Whether someone faces charges for "plain" or "armed" robbery, he or she is looking at potentially thousands of dollars in fines and multiple years in prison. 

But not all robbery cases end with a prosecution. If the defendant can successfully challenge the charges, the case may end in an acquittal or lesser charge. Here are some common ways to defend against robbery charges. 

Common ways to defend against drug possession charges

Criminal charges for drug possession are serious in Illinois. From cocaine and heroin to marijuana and opioids, you may face jail time, thousands of dollars in fines and restricted access to student aid. Being convicted of drug possession may alter your life forever. Even once you are out of jail, it may impact your reputation and career. 

But just because the police handcuff you and prosecutors bring charges against you does not necessarily guarantee things will end in a conviction. There are plenty of possible strategies for challenging drug possession charges, depending on the details of your situation. Here is a look at some of the most common defenses for drug charges. 

New report shows 85,000 cops under investigation for misconduct

Police officers have a duty to keep communities safe. Unfortunately, some law enforcement officers pose a danger to communities. This is evident in the recent release of records that show 85,000 officers partake in some type of misconduct. 

Law enforcement misconduct is a widespread problem that society must address. Here are some of the most common types of unlawful and unethical behavior that some officers commit.

Was I falsely arrested?

Police officers exist to uphold and enforce the law. Unfortunately, this does not always work out. There is a wide variety of police misconduct, including false arrests, illegal searches, excessive force, false imprisonment and police brutality. All of these instances are unlawful. 

When you get arrested or detained by police, you may have questions about whether it is lawful. It is helpful to understand the definition of a false arrest and what justifies an arrest.

Unconscious bias is a real factor in criminal cases

America is supposed to be the land of justice and equality, where everyone receives the same treatment under consistent interpretation of the law. Unfortunately, that ideal is not realistic simply due to the nature of humans.

People like to think that they are fair and reasonable, and even if their intentions are good, they may not realize they still operate under unconscious bias. Research shows that this implicit prejudice has a real impact on your case, reports the Washington Post.

What exactly counts as police brutality?

Even if you hear about police brutality frequently, you may be unclear on what that term actually means. It is an important legal term to know if a police officer ever mistreats you. If you are a victim of police brutality during a stop, arrest or detention, you may be able to bring legal charges against the officer and get your case dismissed. 

But before you start accusing a law enforcement official of excessive force, it is vital to have an idea of what those words entail. Here is an overview of what society tends to consider as police brutality. 

What to do when you witness police brutality

While most police do their jobs well, there are plenty of instances around the country where cops take advantage of their position. Many police officers use excessive force to deal with suspects. Unfortunately, many of these officers get off with a slap on the wrist. A report from Mic showed that 98 percent of cops accused of excessive force never got a formal charge for committing a crime. 

You may witness such an event when walking down the street. It is easy to mind your own business and move along, but it is vital to try to hold officers accountable for their actions. Here are some vital steps anyone can take when they see an officer abusing his or her position. 

Notable Results

  • Accusation: Attempt First Degree Murder
  • Facing: 30 years in prison at 85%
  • Result: Post-conviction petition granted
  • Accusation: Solicitation of a Prostitute, Obstructing Justice, Battery
  • Facing: 365 days in jail, loss of legal residence
  • Result: All charges but battery dropped, one year expungeable supervision
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