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Let me begin with a question. Did anyone in the government at any time believe that law enforcement would reduce drug availability and drug use? Was it believed that more arrests and more convictions would make a real difference? I say no. And if anyone did believe as such, they were either ignorant or exceptionally naive. The fact is this: directed law enforcement operations (and related necessities) since 1971 have cost US taxpayers over $1Trillion. And guess what? There has never been a reduction in drug use or availability; the numbers have been only going up. In this respect the…
My new My first felony client was in custody at the local county jail. He began passing around my business card to fellow inmates. Then my phone really began ringing. Unlike in Chicago, inmates here can call me directly if they have “money on their phone.” This just means that they (someone on the outside, really) have prepaid for their phone calls. Going to the Sangamon County jail is much, much easier than getting into that gigantic jail in Chicago. Here there is only one entrance. I sign in, they tell me on which floor the inmate I need to…
My new criminal defense practice in Springfield, IL is still in its infancy. I began renting an office on March 1 but didn’t sign up my first client until mid-April. This was really all right with me. During that six weeks I had time to rebuild my law library, refresh my criminal procedure and catch-up on changes to the law since I left the practice in 2013. My first felony client was in custody at the local county jail. He began passing around my business card to fellow inmates. Then my phone really began ringing. Unlike in Chicago, inmates here…
There is a common misconception that What I do is represent defendants in criminal court to make sure the law is applied to them correctly. You might want to know what this means. Let me explain. I can break down my felony clients into one of three basic categories. 1. Likely to plead guilty: these clients are typically factually guilty and the police work that led to their arrest was proper. There’s not much a criminal defense attorney can do with these cases, so you negotiate as good a plea deal as possible based on the facts of the case…
There is a common misconception that criminal defense lawyers spend all their time in court getting guilty people off. Because of movies and television shows that so often inaccurately depict what we really do this is understandable. What I do is represent defendants in criminal court to make sure the law is applied to them correctly. You might want to know what this means. Let me explain. I can break down my felony clients into one of three basic categories. 1. Likely to plead guilty: these clients are typically factually guilty and the police work that led to their arrest…
I have “Give me them Jordan’s,” the man waiting for the bus heard. He looked up and saw a pistol in his face. “I ain’t giving you my Mike’s, but I got a Gucci watch over where I stay. You can come with me and I’ll give it you.” “All right, then. Let’s go.” “Yeah, it’s at my grand mama’s house just a few minutes away. I don’t wear it out much, because someone might try to take it. And I ain’t getting myself killed over no Gucci watch.” “But them Mike’s is different, huh?” “Hell yeah.” The two boys…
My last Chicago jury trial was a murder case. I briefly mentioned this case not too long ago in a Read on. The man who would become my client was about thirty-years-old. He had a series of intimate encounters with a certain young woman who was the frequent lover of another woman. Read that again. The other woman turned out to be insanely jealous and was at the time living somewhere in Iowa. From there she made several threats via phone, text and social media to the man who had slept with her ‘girlfriend.’ A month or so passed and…
I have represented many defendants accused of armed robbery with a firearm. But there was one case in particular that was so unexpected as to be unforgettable. My client, who plead guilty to these facts and was sentenced to a few years in prison, approached another teenage boy who was sitting at a bus stop and happened to be wearing brand new Air Jordan basketball shoes, which in certain Chicago neighborhoods (and elsewhere) are like the Rolls Royce of footwear, and give to their wearer a certain status shared by few. “Give me them Jordan’s,” the man waiting for…
My last Chicago jury trial was a murder case. I briefly mentioned this case not too long ago in a different blog post. The trial ended in a guilty verdict, but it was actually a win for the defense. How? Read on. The man who would become my client was about thirty-years-old. He had a series of intimate encounters with a certain young woman who was the frequent lover of another woman. Read that again. The other woman turned out to be insanely jealous and was at the time living somewhere in Iowa. From there she made several threats…
The purpose of bail is to ensure the presence of the defendant at future court dates. How the amount is set depends on many factors, such as the defendant’s criminal history and biographical information (living situation, level of education, employment status and so forth). The allegations of the current crime are also heavily considered, along with any prior failures to appear in court. Conceptually, bail, except for the most serious of allegations where the defendant poses a significant risk to the public should they be released, is supposed to be set within the financial means of the defendant. This was…
The purpose of bail is to ensure the presence of the defendant at future court dates. How the amount is set depends on many factors, such as the defendant’s criminal history and biographical information (living situation, level of education, employment status and so forth). The allegations of the current crime are also heavily considered, along with any prior failures to appear in court. Conceptually, bail, except for the most serious of allegations where the defendant poses a significant risk to the public should they be released, is supposed to be set within the financial means of the defendant. This was…