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.

Is Adultery a Crime in Illinois?

Adultery | Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

Is Adultery a Crime in Illinois?

Adultery | Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Adultery touches upon moral, ethical, and religious issues but most people don’t realize that cheating on your spouse is also a crime in Illinois. Adultery is a Class A misdemeanor and the criminal sentencing options include any combination of one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. Court supervision is also an option.

What Constitutes the Crime of Adultery in Illinois?

The crime of adultery punishes sexual intercourse with someone that is not your spouse. Additionally, because it takes two to tango, the laws in Illinois also prohibit an unmarried person from having sex with someone that the person knows is married.

The laws exempt a person from prosecution if the person admits to having an extra-marital affair during the process of obtaining child support.

What is Open and Notorious for Purposes of Illinois’ Adultery Law?

To constitute adultery in Illinois, the behavior has to be “open and notorious.” Open and notorious is a legal phrase that is most commonly used in property law. For the purposes of Illinois’s sex crime laws, open and notorious is defined as behavior that is known by the public, which runs counter to the community’s accepted moral values.

Conclusion

Illinois is still one of the few states in the country that punishes adultery as a crime. Although it is punished in the same sentencing category as domestic battery, possession of cannabis under 30 grams, Illinois DUI, and aggravated speeding, it is an antiquated crime that is rarely charged in Illinois. In fact, I have never seen anyone actually charged with adultery in the Chicago area.

If you are charged with a sex crime in Illinois, the Chicago criminal lawyer at Jaleel Law P.C. has the ability to make a difference in your case. Contact us to discuss how we can help.

Family Based Green Card

family based green card

family based green card

Family Based Green Card

Family based immigration is a common way to obtain an immigrant visa and a green card. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their relatives for a family based green card. However, permanent residents can only sponsor their very close family members.

Who is Eligible for a Family Based Green Card?

U.S. citizens can file a family based green card for:

  • A Spouse
  • A Son or daughter
  • A Parent
  • A Brother or sister

Permanent residents can file an immigrant visa petition for:

  • A Spouse
  • An Unmarried son or daughter

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration

What are the Two Family Based Green Card Categories?

Not all family relationships are treated the same. Under U.S. immigration law, two different family based immigration categories exist: immediate relatives and family preference. The biggest difference being that immediate relatives do not have to wait for a visa number because an unlimited number of visas are made available to immediate relatives. Whereas, only a limited number of visas are available for the family based category.

What are the Different Types of Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas?

A family based green card through the immediate relative category includes close family relationships with a U.S. citizen. Immediate relative visa types for family based immigration include:

  • IR-1: Includes the spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • IR-2: Includes a U.S. citizen’s unmarried children who are under 21 years of age
  • IR-3: Includes orphans adopted outside the country by a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-4: Includes orphans who will be adopted in the country by a U.S. citizen
  • IR-5: Includes the parents of U.S. citizen who are at least 21 years old

What are the Different Types of Family Preference Immigrant Visas?

Family preference based green cards are given to more distant relatives of U.S. citizens and to the spouses and children of green card holders. The family preference visa types are:

  • F1: Includes the unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children
  • F2: Includes the spouses, minor children, and the unmarried adult children of permanent residents. At least 77% of all F2 category are given to spouses and children and the remainder is allocated to unmarried sons and daughters.
  • F3: Includes the married children of U.S. citizens, their spouses and minor children.
  • F4: Includes the siblings of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children, if the U.S. citizens is at least 21 years old

How Long Does it Take to Get a Family Based Green Card?

Immediate relatives are able to get a family based immigration in a very short period of time because an unlimited number of visas are available for immediate relatives. Family preference immigrant visa cases take additional time because a visa needs to become available. However, the length of time varies from case to case. Of course, any mistakes in the petition will delay the process even more.

Conclusion

U.S. immigration laws are some of the most complex in the world and one mistake can cause significant problems when petitioning for a family based green card. The Chicago Immigration Attorney at Jaleel Law P.C. can make the family based green card process painless. Contact us today to see how we can help reunite your family.

Possession of Cannabis in Illinois

possession of cannabis in illinois

possession of cannabis in illinois

Possession of Cannabis in Illinois

Possession of cannabis is still a crime in Illinois despite the General Assembly acknowledging that cannabis is widely used within Illinois especially after you go to Missouri Green Team for permission to use medical marijuana. Despite marijuana being legalized or decriminalized in a dozen or so states and medical marijuana being legal in Illinois, the State’s official policy is that cannabis use carries with it physical, psychological, and sociological damage and that it deserves to be criminally punished.

What is Possession of Cannabis in Illinois?

Possession of cannabis and Kratom from  kratom connection, prohibits the actual or constructive possession of marijuana. The Illinois marijuana laws define cannabis very broadly. Under Illinois’ marijuana laws cannabis includes:

  • Marijuana;
  • Hashish;
  • Any part of the Cannabis Sativa plant whether growing or not; except for the mature stalks;
  • The seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant; and
  • Any substance created from the plant, seeds, or resin of the Cannabis Sativa plant.

What are the Penalties for Possession of Cannabis in Illinois?

As you learn more about medical marijuana, you will learn that cannabis Control Act was to create a “reasonable” penalty system that punished marijuana possession while not unnecessarily imprisoning a large segment of the population. The Illinois marijuana laws are meant to punish commercial traffickers and large-scale suppliers of cannabis. Possession of marijuana can either be a misdemeanor or a felony.

Misdemeanor Possession of Cannabis

  • Possession of not more than 2.5 grams of cannabis, from any source like kushiebites, is a Class C misdemeanor;
  • Possession of more than 2.5 grams but not more than 10 grams of cannabis is a Class B misdemeanor;
  • Possession of more than 10 grams but not more than 30 grams of cannabis is a Class A misdemeanor.

Felony Possession of Cannabis

  • Any subsequent possession of more than 10 grams but not more than 30 grams of cannabis is a Class 4 Felony;
  • Possession of more than 30 grams but not more than 500 grams of cannabis a Class 4 felony,                                                                                                               Any subsequent offense is a Class 3 felony;
  • Possession of more than 500 grams but not more than 2,000 grams of cannabis is guilty of a Class 3 felony;
  • Possession of more than 2,000 grams but not more than 5,000 grams of cannabis is a Class 2 felony;
  • Possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis is a Class 1 felony.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, Illinois still punishes possession of cannabis like any other criminal offense. Like any other crime, possession of marijuana can land someone in jail or even in prison.

The Chicago criminal defense attorney at Jaleel Law P.C. has the experience to defend your possession of cannabis claim. If you have been arrested for possession of cannabis contact us today to discuss how we can help.

Domestic Battery in Illinois

domestic battery in illinois

domestic battery in illinois

Domestic Battery in Illinois

Domestic Battery in Illinois is considered a violent crime that carries with it not only severe criminal penalties but also significant collateral consequences faced in the court of law by Long Island domestic violence attorney.

What is the Definition of Domestic Battery in Illinois?

Domestic violence in Illinois occurs when a person knowingly and without legal justification causes bodily harm or makes physical contact of an “insulting or provoking nature” to a family or household member.

The physical contact can be minimal and does not have to leave a mark or cause permanent injury.

Who are Family or Household Members Under Illinois Domestic Battery Law?

Family or household members are defined by Miranda Rights Law Firm as:

  • Family members related by blood or by present or prior marriage;
  • People who are married or used to be married;
  • People who share or used to share a home, apartment, or other common dwelling;
  • People who have or allegedly have a child in common or a blood relationship through a child in common;
  • People who are dating or engaged or used to date, including same sex couples; and
  • People with disabilities and their personal assistants and caregivers.

However, a simple casual acquaintanceship or an ordinary friendship between two people in business or in social contexts does not constitute a dating relationship.

What are the Possible Penalties for a Domestic Battery Charge in Illinois?

Generally, domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. Like all Class A misdemeanors, domestic violence can be punished by a maximum sentence of 1-year in jail and a fine of $2,500. Supervision is not a valid sentencing option in domestic battery cases in Illinois.

In addition to any other sentence imposed, a person who commits, in the presence of a child, which is defined as a person under 18 years of age, a felony domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated battery, unlawful restraint, or aggravated unlawful restraint, against a family or household member must serve a mandatory minimum imprisonment of 10 days or perform 300 hours of community service, or both. The person is also responsible for the costs of any counseling required for the child.

When Can a Domestic Battery Be Charged as a Felony?

Although most domestic battery charges are misdemeanors, in certain situations domestic violence is a felony offense. Domestic battery is a Class 4 felony if the person has any prior convictions for a violation of an order of protection. A prior conviction for certain offenses that are committed against a family or household member can also turn a domestic violence charge into a Class 4 felony. These offenses are first degree murder, attempt to commit first degree murder, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated battery, heinous battery, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated battery with a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a silencer, aggravated battery of a child, aggravated battery of an unborn child, aggravated battery of a senior citizen, stalking, aggravated stalking, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, unlawful restraint, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated arson, or aggravated discharge of a firearm.

Domestic battery can also be a felony in Illinois based upon prior domestic battery convictions.

  • Domestic battery is a Class 4 felony if you have one or 2 prior convictions
  • Domestic battery is a Class 3 felony if you have 3 prior convictions under this Code for domestic battery
  • Domestic battery is a Class 2 felony if you have 4 or more prior convictions

In addition to any other sentencing option, any second or subsequent conviction for domestic battery carries with it mandatory minimum sentence of 72 consecutive hours of imprisonment. The imprisonment cannot be a suspended sentence and probation cannot be used to reduce the sentence.

What are the Collateral Consequences to a Domestic Battery Conviction?

As mentioned previously, court supervision is not a valid sentencing option for domestic battery, as a result, domestic violence is not subject to expungement. Additionally, a domestic battery conviction cannot be sealed. The only executive clemency that is available is a pardon, which is very difficult to get. Therefore, once you are convicted for domestic battery it will likely stay on your record forever.

After entering sentence for domestic battery, the court is required to admonish the defendant that a conviction for domestic violence will subject the individual to federal violations if the person ever possesses, transports, ships, or receives a firearm or ammunition. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, a person convicted of domestic battery in Illinois gives up their 2nd Amendment rights to own a firearm.

What are the Defenses to Domestic Battery in Illinois?

All Chicago criminal defense attorneys must understand that each case is different and a defense that was successful in one case may not work in another. That said, domestic battery cases usually fall under two big categorizes. The first involves cases where the main defense is to discredit the alleged victim of the domestic battery by exposing the person’s biases, prejudices, or motivations to either lie or exaggerate the truth. The second main category involves cases where the affirmative defense of self-defense is raised. Without a doubt, an experienced criminal defense attorney will increase your chances of success at trial.

Conclusion

Domestic battery is regarded as a serious violent crime in not just Illinois but throughout the country. As a former prosecutor, I can tell you first-hand the contempt that judges feel towards defendants charged with domestic battery. If the State has a cooperative victim, then it is almost certain that the prosecutor will ask for a significant period of jail time.

Domestic battery is not a crime to take lightly and a crime that requires you to hire the best attorney that you can afford. With the publicity surrounding domestic violence today, even one domestic battery conviction can result in you being fired from your job. Don’t take the chance of having the stigma of being convicted of a violent offense attached to you.

The Chicago criminal defense attorney at Jaleel Law P.C. has the experience and knowledge to handle even the most complex domestic battery case in Illinois. We aren’t afraid of the prosecutor because we know what it takes to walk in those shoes and we will defend you aggressively and we will leave no stone unturned in your defense. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.

Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests in Illinois?

can you refuse field sobriety tests

Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?

Field sobriety tests are one of the tools a police officer uses before arresting someone for driving while under the influence. Field Sobriety tests are far from being accurate and a person should always refuse field sobriety tests if asked by a police officer. This is especially true considering that there is no penalty for refusing field sobriety tests. Unlike a breathalyzer test, a person’s driving privileges will not be suspended under the statutory summary suspension law for refusing field sobriety tests.

Should I Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?

Aside from a Breathalyzer, the results of field sobriety tests are typically the most compelling pieces of evidence that are offered by the prosecutor in a drinking and driving case. However, Illinois DUI laws do not require or penalize anyone for refusing field sobriety tests. While someone may feel compelled and persuaded by the police officer to submit to a Breathalyzer and avoid the longer suspension period, that similar compulsion does not exist for refusing field sobriety tests. In fact, no one should submit to field sobriety tests; unfortunately most people perform field sobriety tests even when they ultimately refuse the Breathalyzer.

What Field Sobriety Tests Can I Refuse?

Every field sobriety tests can be refused. This includes the standardized field sobriety tests such as the Walk-and-Turn test, the One-Leg Stand test, and HGN test; the non-standardized field sobriety tests; and the field sobriety tests for cannabis such as the Near Point Convergence test and the Romberg Balance test. Portable breath tests (PBTs) can also be refused without fear of receiving a statutory summary suspension.

What Will Happen If I Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?

Unfortunately, refusing field sobriety tests likely will result in you being arrested for a DUI charge. However, in my experience I have never seen someone be let go after submitting to field sobriety tests. Essentially, if an officer is asking you to perform field sobriety tests you are already being arrested for a DUI and your job is to give the prosecutor the least amount of evidence as possible. Breathalyzer test | DUI Attorney

If you didn’t refuse the field sobriety tests and you submitted to them, all hope is not lost. An experienced DUI attorney can still beat your DUI case by having the results of the field sobriety tests excluded from evidence or to have the officer’s testimony discredited.

Jaleel Law P.C. is led by a former prosecutor and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney who has won DUI cases for his clients even if they did not refuse field sobriety tests. Contact us today to discuss how we can do the same for you.

Eyewitness Testimony in Illinois

eyewitness testimony in illinois

Eyewitness Testimony in Illinois

Eyewitness testimony is one of the strongest pieces of evidence that the State can present against someone charged with a crime. Illinois courts have consistently held that a single witness can be sufficient to overcome the presumption of innocence. In fact, eyewitness testimony does not need corroboration by other evidence and the eyewitness testimony doesn’t even need to be unequivocal to be believed by a jury. The only thing required for eyewitness testimony is that the person  giving the testimony must have been in a position to give a positive identification that isn’t vague or doubtful.

Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony

Whether eyewitness testimony is reliable is decided on a case-by-case basis. However, the United States Supreme Court in Neil v. Biggers cited to certain factors that are important when evaluating the reliability of eyewitness testimony. These factors are:

  1. The opportunity the victim had to view the criminal at the time of the crime;
  2. The witness’s degree of attention;
  3. The accuracy of the witness’s prior description of the criminal;
  4. The level of certainty demonstrated by the victim at the identification confrontation;  and
  5. The length of time between the crime and the identification.

The Neil factors are nothing more than a guide and the most important considerations are whether the person giving the eyewitness testimony was in the position to make a correct identification and whether the identification was the result of improper suggestion by the police.

Conclusion

As former Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan said, eyewitness testimony is evidence that “juries seem most receptive to, and not inclined to discredit.” However, even though eyewitness testimony is one of the most powerful pieces of evidence in the State’s arsenal, it is also “notoriously unreliable.” The Chicago car accident law firm agrees and abides by this.

An experienced criminal attorney can attack and discredit the eyewitness testimony by establishing that it was unreliable or that it came about as the result of improper police tactics. If you or your family member is charged with a crime, the Chicago criminal defense attorney at Jaleel Law P.C. has the experience to make a difference in your case. We will sit down with you in a free no-obligation consultation where we will discuss your options and tell you how we can attack the eyewitness testimony in your case.

Domestic Violence Based Asylum

Domestic Violence Based Asylum

Domestic Violence Based Asylum

For the first-time, domestic violence based asylum is a viable means to gain lawful immigration into the United States. Asylum for victims of domestic violence is now possible because of a new ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

On August 26, 2014, the Board ruled that a Guatemalan women suffering from domestic violence could be eligible for asylum. The Board’s decision can be found here. The case that established domestic violence based asylum involved a Guatemalan woman who was married to a man that savagely beat her. The women attempted to run away to a different city in Guatemala and even involved the local police all to no avail. The Guatemalan authorities would not protect her even after the husband broke her nose because the authorities claimed that they would not interfere in domestic disputes. The woman was eventually able to escape with her children to the United States.

In seeking domestic violence based asylum, the women claimed that she had a reasonable fear of persecution for being a member in a particular social group, “married women in Guatemala who are unable to leave their relationship.” Initially, the immigration judge ruled that the women did not qualify for asylum even though she was a victim of domestic violence because domestic battery is a criminal act. The immigration judge held reasoned that domestic violence was not persecution resulting from being a married Guatemalan woman. However, the Board reversed the immigration judge’s decision and held that domestic violence based asylum is a viable option.

The Board found that the woman established that married women who are unable to leave was a recognizable social group because it was comprised of women who shared an immutable characteristic that was defined with particularity while being socially distinct within the society in question. The requirements to establish asylum based upon being in a particular social group. Therefore, the Board held that the victims of domestic violence are eligible for asylum.

What Does Domestic Violence Based Asylum Mean for Me?

Although the Board’s ruling was limited to the social group consisting of Guatemalan women who are unable to leave their marriage, the implications of the Board’s ruling is huge. If properly argued, the Board’s ruling could be used to obtain asylum for victims of domestic violence throughout the world. The Board specifically held that a woman’s ability to leave an abuse of relationship can be “informed by societal expectations about gender and subordination, as well as legal constraints regarding divorce and separation.” Important evidence in this regard includes the criminal laws in place to combat domestic violence, the enforcement of those laws, and any other sociopolitical factors in the society in question. These factors will likely apply to most victims of domestic violence especially those that come from societies that do not adequately protect women and their rights.

Summary

This ruling should be a tremendous weapon for women who are treated as property because of sociopolitical factors in their home country. It is likely that domestic violence maybe the first step in the reformation of our immigration laws. Under this ruling it maybe possible for women from countries that deny them basic rights to seek asylum even if they don’t suffer domestic abuse.

If you are woman suffering from domestic violence you maybe eligible for asylum based upon the abuse you suffered. However, even if you aren’t eligible for domestic violence based asylum you still may have other options. Contact Jaleel Law P.C. to discuss what your options are, we are available to help people throughout the United States and abroad with their immigration matter.

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.