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Chicago Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

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. 

Who is eligible for a Certificate of Innocence?

A Certificate of Innocence will go a long way in helping you put your life back together if you face wrongful conviction of a crime.

Attorneys used this document earlier in the year for the release of two men who had served decades in prison for a murder they did not commit.

Is there a difference between murder, homicide and manslaughter?

Colloquially, many people interchange the words murder, homicide and manslaughter. In all instances, someone has died. But, is there a legal difference between the three? In fact, the words all mean slightly different things. This post will dive into the nitty gritty of both terms.

 

What to expect when you’re facing criminal charges

The legal process that follows criminal charges involves many more steps than your run-of-the-mill traffic citation. The first thing to do after being charged with a crime is to understand the necessary legal procedures you’ll need to take.

Take a look at these steps to better set your expectations for what’s to come and how to handle it.

Do you know your Miranda rights?

Many Americans have heard a fake or real police officer reading someone his or her Miranda rights. It could have been either from movies and TV or from hearing it in-person. If you are still not familiar, Miranda rights begin with an officer saying, “You have the right to remain silent.” 

Here is a brief explanation if you don’t know what Miranda warning rights are or how they can protect you.

Why you should reconsider self-representation

If you are facing criminal charges, it may seem daunting to figure out how to handle the case. Finding legal representation is the first and perhaps most critical step to ensuring your case goes forward in the best way possible for you.

You may feel temptation to skip this step and represent yourself. Self-representation may seem like a simple solution to your legal needs, but it rarely – if at all – is as effective as having the help of a trained and experienced attorney. If you are worried about the cost or time constraints of finding legal counsel, know that you can find a qualified attorney without sacrificing your finances.

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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