How to Remove Sex Offender Registration- Petition to be Removed from Sex Offender Registry

sex offender registery name removal

How to Remove Sex Offender Registration- Petition to be Removed from Sex Offender Registry

Removing your name from the sex offender registry is not an impossible task but it is certainly not easy. In Illinois, removing your name from the sex offender registry is only possible for people who were convicted of a sex crime as a juvenile and sentenced as a juvenile offender.

Who Can Remove His or Her Name from the Sex Offender Registry?

The procedure to remove your name from the sex offender registry applies only to offenders who were found to be delinquent in a juvenile proceeding. All adult offenders are currently unable to petition a court have their names removed from the sex offender database; however, other options such as a pardon may exist. The Illinois Sex Offender Laws also prohibit juveniles convicted as adults from petitioning a court to have their names removed from the sex offender registry.

What is the Waiting Period Before Filing a Petition to Remove Sex Offender Registration?

The time period that a juvenile must wait before petitioning a court to terminate the sex offender registration requirements varies depending upon the nature of the crime committed by the juvenile.

Felony Offenses

Remove Sex Offender Registation If the juvenile was found delinquent of an offense that would have been a felony had an adult committed it, then the waiting period is 5 years. What that means is that a juvenile must register as a sex offender for a minimum of 5 years before petitioning a court to terminate the sex offender registration requirements.

Misdemeanor Offenses

A juvenile adjudicated delinquent for an offense that would be a misdemeanor offense if committed by an adult is treated differently. Instead of requiring a waiting period of 5 years, a juvenile adjudicated a delinquent of a misdemeanor offense can apply to have his or her name removed as a sex offender after waiting only 2 years.

When Will a Court Remove Someone’s Name from the Sex Offender Registry?

To be successful, the person filing the petition to remove the sex offender registration requirements must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she no longer poses a risk to the community.

What are the Factors a Court Considers Before Removing Someone from the Sex Offender Database?

At the hearing on the petition to terminate the sex offender registration the court will consider the following factors:

  • A risk assessment performed by an evaluator licensed under the Sex Offender Evaluation and Treatment Provider Act;
  • The juveniles’ sex offender history;
  • Evidence of the juvenile’s rehabilitation;
  • The age of the juvenile at the time of the offense;
  • The juvenile’s mental, physical, educational, and social history;
  • Any victim impact statements;
  • Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.

Based upon these factors a court will make a determination if the person is more likely than not to pose a risk to society. This decision is appealable to an appellate court.

Conclusion

Being successful in a petition to remove sex offender registration is not an easy task. It requires you to establish that it is more likely than not that you pose “no risk” to the community. Overcoming this burden is no easy task and it requires an attorney who has the experience and the know how to win. If you were adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent that now requires you to register as a sex offender, we can help. We will prepare a petition to remove sex offender registration that will give you the best chance to win. Contact us today to discuss what we can do for you.

Know Your Rights: Can the Police Make You Get Out of Your Car?

Can a Police Officer Order You Out of Your Car

Can a Police Officer Order You Out of Your Car

Know Your Rights: Can the Police Make You Get Out of Your Car?

Most encounters with the police occur after a traffic stop and while most traffic stops are routine, the cops are trained to view traffic stops as a potentially dangerous or deadly situation. That view sometimes can result in terrible outcomes, which is why it is imperative that everyone knows their rights.

A situation that arises more often than not is a police officer asking someone to get out of his or her car following a routine traffic stop. While common sense says that being asked by the police to get out of your car after being stopped for something as trivial as an expired registration sticker or not using a turn signal is unreasonable and an invasion of someone’s rights, the United States Supreme Court held otherwise. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court held that the police can make you get out of your car after a valid traffic stop. This ruling applies to the driver and all the passengers in a car. Because of this ruling in Pennsylvania vs. Mimms, a person must exit their car if ordered to do so by the police.

Background of Pennsylvania vs. Mimms

Mimms involved a case where two Philadelphia police officer stopped a car being driven by Harry Mimms for driving with expired plates. After stopping his car, the police ordered Mimms to step out of his car, which was common practice for the police department. After Mimms complied with the officer’s order, the police observed an unusual bulge in Mimms’s jacket. The police then searched Mimms and discovered a handgun.

Mimms unsuccessfully sought to have the gun and bulk ammo suppressed on the grounds the police violated his 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the police did not have probable cause to order Mimms out of his car and reversed the conviction against him. However, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to take the case on appeal to answer the question whether the police order to Mimms for him to get out of the car, which was given after Mimms was lawfully stopped for a traffic violation, was reasonable and thus permissible under the 4th Amendment?

In a 6-3 per curium opinion, SCOTUS held that the police routinely asked drivers who were being ticketed to exit their cars for the safety of the officer. The police stated that it would diminish the chance that person could get something from the car while the police officer is writing the ticket and attack the officer. Also if the stop was executed in a high traffic area, having the driver stand between the police car and the driver’s car allows the police to conduct the traffic stop away from moving traffic.

Why Can the Police Make You Get Out of Your Car?

The Mimms Court held that allowing the police to make a driver exit his car is a nothing more than a “mere inconvenience” to the driver especially when compared to the safety benefits to the police. The Court reasoned that since the car was stopped after a valid traffic stop and ordering the driver to get out of the car was a “minimal and reasonable intrusion” of his freedom. The Court further held that the search would have occurred regardless if the Mimms was out of his car or seated because the bulge in his jacket was visible while he was seated in the car. The Court held that the bulge allowed the police to assume that Mimms was armed and posed a danger to the police. Under these circumstances, the Mimms Court held that any cop of “reasonable caution” would likely have conducted the “pat down” of Mimms.

The dissenting opinions in Mimms that were written by Justices Marshall and Stevens argued that the new rule created by Pennsylvania vs. Mimms greatly expanded the police officer’s right in searching an individual that they stopped. The dissenting opinions predicted what would happen, the police were limited in searching an individual only to the extent they could an invent a justification for the search based upon officer safety.

After a traffic stop it is imperative that you do everything possible to protect your rights and that can only begin if you know your rights. If stopped by the police for a traffic stop, the officer can order you out of your car without violating your constitutional rights. However, that doesn’t prevent you from doing everything to protect your rights. Remember the interaction as best as you can and write it down, better yet record the interaction.

However, the most important thing you can do is hire a criminal defense attorney who knows what he or she is doing. Not all criminal defense lawyers are fully versed on the 4th amendment and search and seizure law. Contact Jaleel Law today to discuss how we can help win your case.

Conclusion

The current state of search and seizure law allows a police officer to order a driver and the passengers out of vehicle that is stopped for even a minor traffic violation. However, the law does not require you to answer any questions or to consent to a search of your vehicle. If a police officer orders you out of your car, you must comply and do what the officer orders but remember to not answer any questions and don’t allow the police officer to search your car.

If you have been arrested following a traffic stop, contact the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Jaleel Law P.C. to discuss your options. We have successfully had the evidence against our clients suppressed because the police violated our clients’ 4th Amendment rights. Call us today to discuss what we can do for you.

At Jaleel Law P.C. we can help you appeal your case if you have been wrongfully accused of a crime. Contact us today via our Appeals website

The Crime of Embezzlement in Illinois

The Crime of Embezzlement in Illinois

Embezzlement in Illinois is a specific type of a white-collar crime that falls under the theft statute codified at 720 ILCS 5/16-1. While all theft crimes involve taking something from another person what makes embezzlement in Illinois unique is the relationship between the person taking and the person whose property was taken. In all embezzlement cases, whether under federal or Illinois law, requires that the defendant in the embezzlement case to have legal access to the victim’s property.

Legal Access to Property in Embezzlement

Embezzlement in Illinois According to this article, embezzlement requires a relationship between the defendant and the victim where the defendant has access to the victim’s money or property but legal ownership still remains with the victim. Most often these types of situations arise when a fiduciary duty exists between the parties or at the very least the defendant is in a position of trust. For example, embezzlement can occur when an elderly person signs a power of attorney to a family member to manage his or her affairs and instead the family member spends the elderly person’s money on personal items. Embezzlement can also occur when a home buyer gives her realtor money as escrow but instead the realtor deposits the money in his personal account.

Embezzlement can occur in every imaginable situation. However, what distinguishes embezzlement from other theft crimes is always the fact that the victims provided access to their property to the defendant and the thief uses that access for personal gain.

Sentencing in Embezzlement Cases in Illinois

The type of punishment available to a court in sentencing an embezzlement defendant varies depending upon the nature of the offense but most importantly about the dollar value of the amount embezzled and the defendant’s prior criminal background.

Embezzlement in Illinois of less than $500

Embezzlement of less than $500 is generally a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois punishable by a sentence of up to 1 year in a county jail. However, if the embezzlement was committed in a school or place of worship or if the theft was of governmental property than the embezzlement charge would be a Class 4 felony punishable up to 3 years in prison.

A person convicted of embezzlement could also face a Class 4 felony regardless of the amount embezzled if the defendant has a previous conviction of any type of theft, robbery, armed robbery, burglary, residential burglary, possession of burglary tools, home invasion, forgery, any crime relating to the possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle, or any violation of the Illinois Credit Card and Debit Card Act. 

Embezzlement of $500-$9,999

A person convicted of embezzlement of property between $500 and less than $10,000 is guilty of a Class 3 Felony that is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. However, if the victim was a school or place of worship than the punishment is enhanced to a Class 2 Felony that is punishable by up to 7 years in prison.

Embezzlement of $10,000-$99,999

Any one convicted of embezzlement of property valued at $10,000 or greater and less than $100,000 is guilty of a Class 2 Felony. However, if the victim was a school or place of worship than the punishment is enhanced to a Class 1 Felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Embezzlement of $100,000-$499,999

Embezzlement of property described by wilkes-barre workers compensation lawyer says is a Class 1 Felony when the defendant is found guilty of embezzlement of $100,000 or more but less than $500,000. Again, if the victim is a school or place of worship than the punishment is increased to a Class X offense which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Embezzlement of $500,000-$999,999

Embezzlement of property in excess of $500,000 but less than a million dollars is a non-probationable Class 1 Felony.

Embezzlement of one million dollars or more is a Class X offense.

Any one convicted of embezzlement in excess of $1,000,000 is guilty of a Class X felony punishable between 6-30 years in prison.

Conclusion

A charge of embezzlement in Illinois is a very serious matter that requires an attorney that is proactive and aggressive. Whether at trial or on appeal, Jaleel Law P.C. has the experience to win.

Failure to Register as a Sex Offender and Other Violations of the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act

failure to register as a sex offender in Illinois

Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

failure to register as a sex offender in Illinois Failure to register as a sex offender is a serious felony offense in Illinois. A significant prison sentence is certainly a valid sentencing option for anyone convicted of failing to register as a sex offender. The sex offender registration laws require anyone convicted or adjudicated of certain sex offense to register as a sex offender. The Sex Offender Registration Act punishes sex offenders who fail to register as a sex offender and individuals who help a sex offender avoid arrest for a charge of failure to register as a sex offender.

What is the Penalty for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender?

Failure to register as sex offender is a Class 3 felony in Illinois. Like all Class 3 felonies, failure to register as a sex offender is punishable by 2-5 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. Court supervision is not available but a sentence of probation is possible. However, anyone who does get probation must serve a mandatory minimum period of 7 days in jail and pay a mandatory fine of $500 to the Sex Offender Registration Fund.

A second or subsequent violation of failing to register as a sex offender is punished much more severely. A second or subsequent violation of the failure to register as a sex offender statue is a Class 2 felony, which is punishable by 3-7 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

What Court has Venue in a Failure to Register as a Sex Offender Charge?

Most crimes are prosecuted in the county where the crime occurred. For example, if an armed robbery occurs in Du Page County the crime would be prosecuted in Du Page County; likewise, a Chicago DUI would be prosecuted in Cook County. The crime of failure to register as a sex offender is different. The Sex Offender Registration Act allows for a sex offender or sexual predator to be arrested and tried in any Illinois county where the sex offender can be located not just the county where the person failed to register. Additionally, the local police department or sheriff’s office are not required to determine whether the sex offender is living within its jurisdiction prior to arresting a sex offender for a violation of failure to register as a sex offender.

What are the Penalties for Giving False Information When Registering as a Sex Offender?

The sex offender registration laws create extensive reporting requirements for all sex offenders and sexual predators. During this annual registration with the local police, the sex offender must provide detailed information about him or herself. If any of the information provided is incorrect, the sex offender faces a Class 3 felony, if the prosecutor can establish that the person knowingly or willingly gave false information.

Sex Offenders Cannot Change Their Name

Article 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure creates a mechanism for a person to legally change his or her name. However, sex offenders and sexual predators cannot change their name while they are required to register as a sex offender. The sex offender laws are so strict that any sex offender who even attempts to change his or her name can be charged with a Class 3 felony.

What are the Penalties for Aiding a Sex Offender?

The sex offender registration laws in Illinois punish people who aid sex offenders in certain situations. Aiding a sex offender is a Class 3 felony. To fall within the law, a person first must have a reason to believe that the sex offender is not complying with the registration requirements of the sex offender laws and the person must intend to assist the sex offender in eluding the police by:

1)    Providing false information to the police department that is responsible for maintaining the sex offender’s registration;

2)    Harboring, attempting to harbor, or assisting another person to harbor or attempt to harbor the sex offender; or

3)    Concealing, attempting to conceal, or assisting another person in concealing or attempting to conceal, the sexual predator.

Attorneys and other professionals who have a duty of confidentiality cannot be guilty of aiding a sex offender. Additionally, no one can be found guilty of aiding a sex offender if the sex offender is incarcerated or in a psychiatric hospital.

Conclusion

Failure to register as a sex offender is a charge that cannot be taken lightly. The consequences for pleading guilty to the charge of failure to register as a sex offender carries with it the potential of years behind bars and it simply doesn’t make sense to hire an inexperienced attorney.

Jaleel Law P.C. knows what it takes to properly defend a failure to register as a sex offender charge and we have the experience to make sure that the State is forced to meet its tremendous burden of proofing you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are charged with failing to register as a sex offender, contact us to discuss how we can help.

7 Important Things About the Sex Offender Registration Laws in Illinois

sex offender registration laws in illinois

sex offender registration laws in illinois

7 Important Things About the Sex Offender Registration Laws in Illinois

The Sex Offender Registration Laws in Illinois are complex and severe.

In fact, the sex offender registration laws are so severe that they may require a person to register as a sex offender even if they haven’t been convicted of a sex offense.

Once the government forces someone to register, the sex offender registration laws require the sex offender to  register with the local police department on an annual basis for as long as the law requires. Often times, the hardest part of registering as a sex offender are the severe restrictions on where a sex offender can be, the people he or she can be around, and the places the sex offender can live.

This comprehensive guide will explain all the important things that someone needs to know about the sex offender registration laws in Illinois. Of course, if you prefer contact the Criminal and Immigration lawyers at Jaleel Law directly  by phone or email.

1.      What Crimes Require Someone to Register as a Sex Offender?

Illinois’ sex offender registration laws are meant to protect individuals, especially juveniles from sex offenders and sexual predators. Therefore, anyone adjudicated of a “sex offense” or the attempt of a sex offense must register as a sex offender. The Sex Offender Registration Act, which is found at 730 ILCS 150 et. seq., defines a sex offense as any violation of:

  • Child pornography
  • Aggravated child pornography,
  • Indecent solicitation of a child,
  • Sexual exploitation of a child,
  • Custodial sexual misconduct,
  • Sexual misconduct with a person with a disability,
  • Promoting juvenile prostitution,
  • Soliciting for a juvenile prostitute,
  • Patronizing a juvenile prostitute,
  • Keeping a place of juvenile prostitution,
  • Juvenile pimping,
  • Exploitation of a child,
  • Grooming,
  • Traveling to meet a minor,
  • Criminal sexual assault,
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault,
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child,
  • Criminal sexual abuse,
  • Aggravated criminal sexual abuse,
  • Ritualized abuse of a child.

Certain other crimes also require registration in the sex offender registry. The sex offender registration laws also require  someone convicted for kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, unlawful restraint, aggravated unlawful restraint, and luring a child into a car to register as a sex offender if the victim was under 18 years of age, the offender was not a parent of the victim, and if the defendant was sexually motivated to commit the crime. A conviction for first-degree murder also requires someone to register as a sex offender if released from custody.

2.      The Sex Offender Registration Laws Don’t Require a Conviction for a Sex Offense

The sex crime laws in Illinois require anyone convicted of a sex offense to register as a sex offender. However, a conviction is not the only finding that can require someone to register as a sex offender. The other adjudications requiring registration as a sex offender include:

  • Anyone found not guilty by reason of insanity of a sex offense;
  • Anyone who is the subject of a finding not resulting in an acquittal of a sex offense;
  • Any juvenile who is adjudicated delinquent for any offense that would require an adult to register as a sex offender; or
  • Any person who is adjudicated as being sexually dangerous or sexually violent.

 3.      How Long Must Someone Remain Registered as a Sex Offender?

Once convicted of a sex offense, a person is required to register annually for a period of 10 years. The person must register in person within 3 days of moving into the municipality or within 1-year of his or her last registration. The 10-year period begins immediately if the person receives a sentence of probation or it begins upon release from incarceration. A violation of probation can result in the 10-year period beginning anew.

A person convicted of failure to register as a sex offender is required to register every 3 months for the remainder of his or her registration period. The 10-year period can be extended for another 10-years following a conviction for failing to register as a sex offender.

Individuals convicted of first-degree murder or those adjudicated as a sexual predator, sexually dangerous or sexually violent must register every 90 days for his or her natural life.

4.      How Do You Comply With the Registration Requirements of the Sex Offender Registration Laws?

Anyone adjudicated as a sex offender or as a sexual predator must register with the chief of police of the municipality in which he or she lives. The person must register in person and must provide:

  • A current photograph;
  • Current address;
  • Current place of employment;
  • Current telephone numbers, including cellular telephone number;
  • The telephone number of any employer;
  • The name of any school attended;
  • All e-mail addresses, instant messaging identities, chat room identities, and other Internet communications identities used by the sex offender;
  • All Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) registered or used by the sex offender;
  • All blogs and other Internet sites maintained by the sex offender or to which the sex offender has uploaded any content or posted any messages or information;
  • Any prior extensions given to register as a sex offender including the reason why the extension was granted and the date the sex offender was notified of the extension;
  • A copy of the terms and conditions of parole or release signed by the sex offender and given to the sex offender by his or her supervising officer or aftercare specialist;
  • License plate numbers for every vehicle registered in the name of the sex offender;
  • Information on the offense that requires registration including:
    1. The county where the offense occurred;
    2. The age of the sex offender at the time of the commission of the offense;
    3. The age of the victim at the time of the commission of the offense; and
  • Any distinguishing marks located on the body of the sex offender.

5.      What are the Time Limits to Register as Sex Offender?

The sex offender registration laws in Illinois require a sex offender to register every place that he or she will live in for 3 days or more in any calendar year. If the sex offender plans on moving, he or she must inform the local police where the sex offender lives that he or she is planning on moving and then the person must re-register with the local police within 3 days of completing the move.

Sex Offenders Moving to Illinois

The sex offender registration laws distinguish individuals who have moved to Illinois prior to 2012 and those who moved to Illinois after 2012. A person who moved to Illinois prior to January 1, 2012, is required to register as a sex offender in Illinois if the offense in the prior state is substantially similar to a sex offense in Illinois that would require registration. The length of the registration period is governed by the registration required by the Illinois offense.

All individuals who moved to Illinois after January 1, 2012, are regarded as sexual predators and they are subject to lifetime registration.

6.      What Restrictions are Placed On Sex Offenders?

Aside from the onerous registration requirements of the sex offender registration laws, sex offenders cannot live near a school, be in a public park, or be on a social media site.

Restrictions on Being Near a School

Sex offenders cannot be present in any school building or property, or be within 500 feet of school property without the permission of the superintendent or school board unless the sex offender is a parent of a child at that school, and the parent is on school grounds for one of the following reasons:

  1. To attend a conference at the school with school personnel to discuss the progress of his or her child academically or socially;
  2. To participate in child review conferences in which evaluation and placement decisions may be made with respect to his or her child regarding special education services;
  3. To attend conferences to discuss other student issues concerning his or her child such as retention and promotion.

Restrictions on Being Near a Public Park

Sex offenders and sexual predators are also prohibited from being in a public park or any building on a public park. A public park is defined Illinois’s sex offender registration laws as any park, forest preserve, or conservation area under the jurisdiction of the state or any unit of local government.

Restrictions on Being on Social Media

The Illinois sex offender registration laws prohibit anyone who is convicted of a sex offense after 2010, from using a social networking website during the time the sex offender is on probation, parole or mandatory supervised release.

No Restrictions on Living With Children

The sex offender registration laws in Illinois do not forbid a sex offender from living with a child. However, the sex offender must report to the local police department within three days of moving into a home that has a child younger than 18 year of age who is not the sex offender’s child.

7.      Retroactive Registration Requirements of Illinois’s Sex Offender Registration Laws

In 2012, Illinois adopted retroactive registration requirements for sex offenders or sexual predators. Under the new law, individuals who were never required to register as a sex offender maybe required to register if convicted of any new felony. Under the new law, a person who has successfully completed a 10-year registration period must begin registering again if:

  1. The person has been convicted of any felony offense after July 1, 2011, and
  2. The offense for which the 10-year registration was served currently requires a registration period of more than 10 years.

Conclusion

The sex offender registration laws in Illinois can be a maze to navigate through and even figuring out whether a certain offense requires registration as a sex offender can require significant research. However, once a person is required to register as a sex offender that person’s life drastically changes. All sex offenders are obligated to follow the sex offender registration law’s difficult registration requirements. Not only are sex offender’s required to register, the sex offender registration laws forbid sex offenders from living near a school, being in a public park, or anywhere else that is designated for children. In fact, sex offenders cannot even be on social media while probation, parole, or MSR.

If you are facing charges for a sex crime, the Chicago criminal attorney at Jaleel Law P.C. has the experience to fight your case and get you the result that you deserve. Don’t take the chance with an inexperienced attorney who doesn’t understand the Illinois sex crime laws or the sex offender registration laws or how they affect you personally. Contact us today to discuss how we can help in your case.

What is a Jury Trial?

what is a jury trial?

what is a jury trial?

What is a Jury Trial?

The right to a jury trial is one of the most important constitutional rights enjoyed by criminal defendants. A jury trial is where a group of individuals, known as the jury, decide the facts of the case and decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the charged crime. Usually, https://www.gibsonhugheslaw.com/general-practice-attorney/ mentions that the jury is not responsible for sentencing the defendant if they reach a guilty verdict. A jury trial is different then a bench trial where a judge makes the factual findings as well as deciding the Amicus Law Firm – Elder Law process.

 The History of a Jury Trial

The use of a jury trial, as you can see here, to decide someone’s guilt comes to us from ancient history. Jury trials were used in both ancient Greece and ancient Rome. In fact, one of the most famous jury trials in history was the Trial of Socrates where Socrates was summoned by Archon to appear before a jury of Athenian citizens to answer Meletus’s allegations that Socrates was corrupting the Athenian youth.

The use of a jury trial to decide the fate of defendants after the government has charged them with a criminal offense comes to the United States, like most of our legal traditions and procedures, from English common law. The American colonists fully understood the power of a jury trial to prevent government oppression by having your fate decided by a jury of your peers.

Before the Revolutionary War, King George suspended the colonists right to a jury trial and hauled those charged with a crime to England to stand trial for the The colonists saw first-hand of how the government could capriciously suspend their right to a jury trial and force them to face trial in England as a method of denying the colonists their right to a trial by jury. The impact of King George III’s decision was so great that it was listed as a grievance favoring independence. In fact, the Declaration of Independence says that the among the reasons for independence was because of the English crown “depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury” and for “transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences.”

King George III’s decision to eliminate the right to a jury trial was a direct result in the creation of the 6th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees,

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Jury Trial in Illinois

In Illinois, all defendant facing a criminal offense, even minor traffic offenses that are punishable by fine only, have a right to a jury trial. The jury can be comprised of 12 people selected from the county where the crime allegedly occurred who are charged with the decision of whether the defendant committed the charged crime. The jury must be impartial and they must return a unanimous vote whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. Know how to get the best lawyer like the DUI defense lawyers in Woburn, if you are ever in an accident.

The right to a jury trial is a right controlled solely by the person charged with a crime. According to a domestic violence defense attorney, the prosecuting attorney, the judge or the defendant’s criminal defense attorney cannot force the defendant to proceed to a trial by jury or to waive his right to a jury trial.

Waiving a Trial by Jury

Like most constitutional rights, a defendant can waive the right to a trial by jury. You can view site to see that a waiver of a jury trial can occur only if the defendant makes a knowing and intelligent waiver of the right to a trial by jury. Although, the decision to waive a jury trial is the defendant’s decision to make alone, he or she should discuss the pros and cons of proceeding to a jury trial versus proceeding to a bench trial.

Once a defendant waives his or her right to a jury trial it cannot be undone without the judge’s permission. Most judges will not allow a defendant to withdraw his or her waiver of a jury trial unless the defendant shows that he or she waived the right to a trial by jury without knowing the consequences of the waiver.

Conclusion

Proceeding to a jury trial is a risky proposition in any criminal or DUI case. The penalties if you lose after a jury trial will certainly be more than they would have been before trial. When the risks are this significant it doesn’t make sense to retain an attorney who is scared to death of the thought of trying your case before a jury. Most people including most attorneys dread speaking in front of strangers and when your life and future are on the line, the stress of public speaking coupled with the stress of having your future in their hands maybe too much for some attorneys.

At Jaleel Law P.C. we live for trying cases before a jury. The prosecutors do not intimidate us because our principal attorney used to be a prosecuting attorney and we are not afraid of arguing before a jury because our principal attorney has successfully won numerous cases after a jury trial. When you need an attorney that thrives in a jury trial, contact Jaleel Law P.C.

Withdrawing a Guilty Plea in Illinois

withdrawing a guilty plea in Illinois

withdrawing a guilty plea in Illinois

Withdrawing a Guilty Plea in Illinois

Withdrawing a guilty plea in Illinois is not easily done. The United States Supreme Court has held that entering into a guilty plea is a “grave and solemn act” that is not a “temporary and meaningless formality” “reversible at the defendant’s whim.” Entering into a guilty plea is your decision alone to make. While you should certainly consult with an attorney before pleading guilty, an attorney’s job is to advise you about the pros and cons of pleading guilty versus pleading not guilty.

When Can You File a Motion to Withdraw a Guilty Plea?

Withdrawing a guilty plea in Illinois begins with the filing of a motion to withdraw a guilty plea. The motion seeking to withdraw your guilty plea must be filed with the court that took the guilty plea. The motion to withdraw guilty plea must list all the reasons why you want to withdraw your guilty plea.

A court will grant a motion to withdraw a guilty plea only to correct a manifest injustice, as you can see in this link. Withdrawing a guilty plea based upon a manifest injustice occurs only when the guilty plea was not knowingly and intelligently given.

Withdrawing a Guilty Plea Based Upon a Lack of a Knowing and Intelligent Guilty Plea

Withdrawing a guilty plea based upon a lack of a knowing and intelligent guilty plea typically occurs under one of two circumstances. If you read the article first the circumstance occurs when the defendant does not know the consequences of the guilty plea before pleading guilty. The second major circumstance occurs when the quid pro quo of the guilty plea doesn’t materialize. What that means is withdrawing a guilty plea maybe possible if the defendant’s reasonable belief that the sentence he or she would receive after pleading guilty doesn’t occur.

To ensure a knowing and intelligent guilty plea, the Illinois Supreme Court Rules require courts to warn defendants about the rights they are giving up by pleading guilty and the the potential sentencing options they are facing by pleading guilty. The court is required to ask the defendant before accepting his or her guilty plea whether they are pleading guilty of his or her own will, whether anyone promised, threatened, or forced the defendant to plead guilty, and whether they understand the maximum and minimum sentences that are facing. The court will also tell the defendant how he or she can go about withdrawing a guilty plea in Illinois.

What If I Wasn’t Warned About the Consequences of Pleading Guilty?

Withdrawing a guilty plea in Illinois becomes significantly easier if it is a based upon a claim that the judge did not properly warn you about the rights and consequences of pleading guilty. However, inadequate warnings alone do not always result in victory on a direct appeal or in your motion to withdraw a guilty plea. Instead, the main issue in a motion to withdraw a guilty plea is whether the guilty plea was voluntarily given after the person is fully apprised of the rights and consequences of pleading guilty.

Illinois courts have held that a guilty plea is voluntary if the defendant knows about the direct consequences of the guilty plea. A direct consequence of the guilt plea includes only the punishment that the court can impose. The court does not need to warn individuals about collateral consequences, which are the penalties that may be imposed by other entities on the person. Collateral consequences include the suspension of a person’s driver’s license as a result of pleading guilty to an Illinois DUI. In Illinois DUI cases, a judge is only required to tell a person the criminal penalties for the DUI but not the penalties that the Secretary of State will impose.

Conclusion

Once a guilty plea is entered into it is very difficult to undue. As such, pleading guilty to any charge should be done only after a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Furthermore, collateral consequences are a very serious ramification of a guilty plea and any knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will fully explain not only the direct consequences of a guilty plea but also the collateral consequences that will surely follow.

If you have plead guilty because of bad advice or because you received ineffective assistance of counsel, contact Jaleel Law P.C. to discuss you options that you have in withdrawing a guilty plea in Illinois.

Miranda Warnings: What are your Miranda Rights?

Police officer reading a person's Miranda rights

Miranda Rights

Miranda Warnings: What are your Miranda Rights?

Miranda rights are based upon the United States Supreme Courts decision in Miranda v. Arizona. Miranda rights protect a person’s 5th and 6th Amendment rights against self-incrimination and right to counsel.

What are Your Miranda Rights?

The exact language used by the police when giving Miranda rights is different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. At a minimum the Miranda warnings given by the police must advice an individual that he or she:

1)   Has a right to remain silent when questioned,

2)   That anything said will be used against the person in a future prosecution;

3)   Has a right to consult with an attorney prior to answering any questions;

4)   Has a right to have an attorney present during any questioning;

5)   That an attorney would be provided if the person cannot afford an attorney; and

6)   He or she has a right to stop the questioning at anytime and request an attorney.

The police officer must also ask the individual whether they understand their Miranda rights and whether they wish to answer questions without an attorney present.

When Do the Police Have to Warn You About Your Miranda Rights?

Not all police-citizen encounters require a police officer to issue Miranda warnings. For example, Miranda rights are not required during a traffic stop.

Miranda warnings are only required when the police are gathering testimonial evidence during a custodial interrogation, which in a nut-shell it means that the Miranda warnings must be given when the police are questioning an arrested individual in an attempt to gather evidence.

            What is Testimonial Evidence?

Testimonial evidence is communications that make a factual assertion or disclose information. In its most basic form, testimonial evidence includes answers to questions at a police station after being arrested. Miranda rights do not need to be given before a police officer attempts to elicit non-testimonial evidence such as a writing sample or a blood sample.

            What is a Custodial Interrogation?

A custodial interrogation is a police interview that occurs after a person is arrested. Voluntary conversations with the police do not require the police to issue Miranda warnings. Additionally, a volunteered statement that is made without police questioning is not subject to Miranda rights.

How Do You Invoke Your Miranda Rights?

Miranda rights are only invoked when a person makes an unequivocal statement that he or she wishes to remain silent or that he or she wants an attorney. Anything short of an unequivocal statement is insufficient. Simply remaining silent during questioning does not invoke your Miranda rights. Only an actual verbal demand for an attorney or a demand to remain silent will invoke your Miranda rights.

What is the Effect of a Miranda Rights Violation?

A violation of Miranda by the police could result in the exclusionary rule suppressing the statement obtained as a result of the Miranda violation, which would result in the statement being suppressed. However, evidence obtained as a result of a Miranda violation could still be used against the person in a future prosecution. For example, if a person makes a statement to the police telling them the location of a body, the police would be able to use the statement to recover the body. The police could then run forensic testing on the body and use the results of the tests against the person.

Conclusion

Miranda rights protect a person’s 5th and 6th Amendment rights against self-incrimination and a person’s right to counsel. Miranda rights warn an individual during a custodial interrogation that they are not required to provide testimonial evidence against themselves. Miranda rights also guarantee a person a right to have an attorney present with them during the questioning.

If the police have questioned you or the police want you to come in for questioning, know full well that the only reason why the police want to talk to you is to gather evidence. It is imperative that you hire an attorney that is experienced with the Miranda warnings and has the knowledge to guide you during this difficult time. Miranda rights are complicated and most attorneys struggle with the concept and the endless exceptions to the general rule. We know Miranda and we know how to use to gain you an advantage in your case. Contact us today to discuss what we can do.

How to Get a Federal Pardon

How to get a federal pardon?

How to Get a Federal Pardon

A federal pardon is one of several remedies that are included in the President’s power to grant executive clemency. Aside from a federal pardon, executive clemency includes a reprieve, commutation, or remission of fine. The President is the only person who has the power to grant or deny a petition for a federal pardon. Additionally, the President’s decision to deny a request for executive clemency is final and cannot be appealed. Federal pardons are typically granted to people who have been law-abiding members of society for a substantial period of time after completing their sentence.

Who is Eligible for a Federal Pardon?

A person who has been convicted of a federal offense is eligible for a federal pardon. Individuals who have not been convicted of a federal crime cannot receive executive clemency. However, convictions for state offenses still maybe eligible for expungement or sealing under Illinois law.

A person applying for a federal pardon must complete a five-year waiting period before filing a petition for executive clemency. The five-year waiting period begins to run when the person is released from federal custody. An individual sentenced to federal probation, a sentence that is limited by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, can file a petition for a federal pardon five years from the date of the sentence.

What Is Considered Before Granting a Federal Pardon?

Aside from living a productive and crime-free life after completing their federal sentence, individuals seeking a federal pardon must also establish financial stability, a stable work history, responsibility towards their family, and their participation in their community. These factors are considered on an individual basis and what is considered an extraordinary post-conviction life for a person who comes from poverty may not be for another person who comes from a more fortunate environment.

Serious felony violations are less likely to receive a federal pardon unless a significant period of time has elapsed from the offense. Old violations of minor crimes are the most likely to receive a federal pardon. People who have accepted responsibility and have made restitution to the victims are also more likely to receive a federal pardon. That being said, federal pardons are granted in very limited situations to individuals who claim actual innocence or a denial of due process; however, those claims are best raised in a direct appeal or a habeas corpus petition.

The reasons for the federal pardon also play significant role in the President’s decision. Everyone convicted of a federal offense loses significant rights under Illinois and federal law such as losing a federal license or the right to vote. The most compelling reasons for a federal pardon are employment based. Even marginal cases have a great chance of success if the individual can establish that a federal pardon would remove a significant barrier to the person regaining employment and continuing their rehabilitation.

What Needs to Get Submitted to File for a Federal Pardon?

The applicant needs to file the proper application, which is available at the Department of Justice’s website. The completed application should be mailed to the Office of the Pardon Attorney except for military pardons. There is not a fee to file the application for a federal pardon. Aside from the official application, a person may submit any other documentation or recommendations when the file their application for a federal pardon.

Conclusion

A federal pardon or any other form of executive clemency is an extraordinary remedy that is rarely granted. The Obama administration since taking office has received over 15,000 petitions for executive clemency but it has only granted less than 1% of the petitions it has received. These numbers only highlight the fact that to be successful requires extensive planning and organization to present a compelling argument that warrants a federal pardon.

Jaleel Law P.C. can help you navigate the complex maze of executive clemency. If you have served your time and fulfilled your debt to society and you are ready to start fresh, contact Jaleel Law P.C. to discuss how we can help you get a federal pardon.

Aggravated Speeding

aggravated speeding in Illinois

Aggravated Speeding

Aggravated speeding in Illinois is a misdemeanor offense that can be punished by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. Aggravated speeding is defined by 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5.

What’s the Difference Between Aggravated Speeding and Petty Speeding?

Petty speeding tickets are ordinary speeding offenses that can be punished with only a fine. Speeding tickets where the speed is less than 25 miles an hour over the speed limit are petty speeding tickets. Aggravated speeding includes all speeding offense where the speed of the offender’s vehicle is over of 26 miles per hour.

Petty speeding tickets carry with them at most a hefty fine and traffic school. Supervision is a valid sentencing option in petty speeding offenses. However, supervision is not an option in aggravated speeding cases.

What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Speeding?

The sentencing options available for aggravated speeding depend largely upon the actual speed cited in the traffic violation. Aggravated speeding between 26-35 miles per hour is a Class B misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $1,500.

Aggravated speeding in excess of 35 miles per hour is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500.

Aside from the criminal penalties that are available for aggravated speeding, a conviction for aggravated speeding also has the potential to cause a suspension or revocation of an offender’s driving privileges.

Conclusion

Aggravated speeding is a serious traffic offense that has the potential to land you in jail or suspend your driver’s license. Jaleel Law P.C. has successfully handled aggravated speeding offenses throughout Chicago, Skokie, Maywood, Markham, Rolling Meadows, Bridgeview, and in Du Page, Lake, Will, Kendall, and Kane counties. If you have been charged with aggravated speeding contact Jaleel Law P.C. we have the experience and the know-how to save your driver’s license and how to protect you from a misdemeanor criminal conviction.