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criminal defense Archives

Supreme Court ruling protects privacy of cell phone location data

Cell phone users in Illinois and nationwide gained a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the privacy of their cell site location information. Privacy advocates view the 5-4 decision as a landmark ruling that updates the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures for the 21st century.

Problem of false identifications

In Illinois, some people have been exonerated after being wrongfully convicted of crimes that they did not commit. Some of these people were convicted after being falsely identified by witnesses. The problem of false identifications in criminal cases is widespread, affecting innocent people across the U.S.

New law may favor Illinois defendants

Passed in the summer of 2017, the Bail Reform Act took effect in Illinois on Jan. 1. The new law requires courts within the state to consider a defendant's financial situation when determining if he or she should post bail to be released. It also requires that the court consider the threat a person may face before requiring bail as a condition of release.

Black people may face harsher punishments than whites

In Illinois, black people who are charged with crimes are likelier to be convicted of the charges that carry jail time and to receive harsher punishments than those who are white. While the disparate treatment of suspects by law enforcement officers has long been studied, a new study analyzed the treatment of defendants by prosecutors and the courts, finding that the disparate treatment continues within the court system.

The elements of a tampering with evidence case

Illinois residents can be charged with tampering with evidence if the authorities believe that the accused individuals attempted to conceal, alter, falsify or destroy the evidence. This evidence can include any object or documentation that could potentially be useful to a police investigation or inquiry.

Man awarded $13 million for wrongful conviction case

On April 12, it was reported that an Illinois man who spent 21 years in prison received a $13 million award for a wrongful conviction. The man was convicted and incarcerated after he signed a murder confession that was allegedly drafted by Cook County prosecutors and officers with the Chicago Police Department.

New Body Cameras Bring Yet Undetermined Consequences

In the wake of numerous publicized police shootings of civilian suspects, the public outcry has resulted in police officers in many cities being required to wear body cameras. These cameras record the actions of police officers as they respond to calls and conduct traffic stops. The Chicago police department began using body cameras at the beginning of 2015 in the Northwest Side Shakespeare District. There are now 2,000 body cameras spread across about a third of the city's police sectors. It was recently announced that the police department would expand their use. 

When prosecutors hide evidence during a trial

When a defendant in Illinois is first handed charges, the investigation into their case is usually not complete. In fact, a lot of evidence may be discovered up to the date of the final ruling. If prosecutors find evidence that may point to the defendant's innocence, they are obligated to reveal it to the criminal defense attorney.

Being charged as an accomplice of a crime

Illinois residents who are accused of helping or encouraging another person to commit a crime could potentially be charged as an accomplice. Someone who is accused of being an accomplice can potentially face a prison sentence and other serious consequences.

What impact will the recent Supreme Court decision have on DUI investigations?

We’ve been looking in recent posts at a recent Supreme Court decision which held that states may not impose criminal penalties upon DUI suspects who refuse to submit to blood testing. Taken together, the recent ruling and the McNeely decision mean that law enforcement officers must ordinarily have a warrant before taking a blood draw, and may not criminally punish a DUI suspect for refusing to submit to blood testing.

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Law Offices of Damon M. Cheronis
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