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Posted on in Criminal Defense

Will County Criminal Defense LawyerIllinois has become the first state in the country to eliminate cash bail for defendants who are arrested for a crime under the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act, which was part of the state’s larger criminal justice reform bill. The new law is being lauded by defendant advocacy groups, who say that cash bail requirements penalize poorer defendants but benefit wealthy ones. Law enforcement officials have been vocal in their stance against the act, saying that it will ultimately put the general public at risk because of criminals being allowed to remain free pending trial.

Illinois Cash Bail System

When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, a judge determines how much bail a defendant will need to post in order to be released while awaiting trial. In Illinois, the current system is a cash bail system. This means that the defendant is required to pay a certain percentage of the amount of bail the judge sets in order to be released. In most cases in Illinois, the bond amount that needs to be posted is usually 10 percent of the bail amount the judge set. For example, if the judge sets bail at $10,000, the defendant would have to post $1,000 cash to be released.

Proponents who pushed for the no cash bail law say that requiring people who have no financial resources to sit in jail until their trial concludes is cruel and unfair. If a person cannot make bail, they are forced to sit in jail until their trial is concluded, often forcing them into making plea deals just so they can get out of jail.

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Will County Gun Possession LawyerGun violence in the city of Chicago has reached almost epidemic proportions. The issue is not only well known throughout Illinois but continues to consistently appear in national headlines, as well. Last year, Chicago had more than 3,200 shootings, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Homicides also increased by 50 percent from 2019. And while there has been a slight decrease so far this year, the numbers of shootings are still high.

Chicago Mayor Announces New Gun Program

So far in 2021, Chicago police have confiscated more than 6,300 illegal firearms and anticipate that they will collect more than 12,000 illegal guns by the end of the year, even more than last year’s record-breaker of 11,000 seizures. In an effort to combat these numbers, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced a $1 million rewards program to get illegal guns off the street. In her announcement of the program, the mayor said the number of illegal guns seized in Chicago is more than double the illegal firearms confiscated in both L.A. and New York City combined.

Details of the plan are still being finalized, including when the plan will be launched and how much individual rewards will be. All calls will go through the Chicago P.D.’s tip line.

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joliet criminal defense lawyerYears ago, when a person wanted to take a photo, they needed to have a camera with film. They then had to take or send that film somewhere to be developed into hard copy prints. Today, smartphones, electronic devices, social media, text messaging, and emails have all changed the way we take and share photos. This also includes photos and videos that could be considered “racy” or inappropriate for public viewing. This has led to materials that were meant to be private shared without the subject’s permission by another party whose intention is to cause harm. This has become such a problem that it has resulted in many states, including Illinois, to pass revenge porn laws.

Revenge Porn

Revenge porn is a type of digital abuse where one party distributes intimate material of another party without their consent. It often occurs between couples who break up – hence the “revenge” description – but can also be involved in blackmail attempts.

In 2015, the state of Illinois confronted revenge porn issues head-on and passed a law that made the act a Class 4 felony. Penalties if convicted include up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. In addition, the victim can file a civil lawsuit against the defendant for financial damages.

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joliet traffic violations lawyerWhile traffic violation fines can be a nuisance, they can also mean losing your license if those fines are unpaid. Under current Illinois law, if a driver has five or more unpaid camera tickets, their license can be suspended. If a driver has just one unpaid traffic ticket, the state can put a hold on their license that stops the driver from being able to renew it. But a new Illinois law about to go into effect July 1 will put an end to all that.

Illinois SAFE-T Act

Several months ago, Illinois lawmakers approved a massive criminal justice reform omnibus, the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity – Today (SAFE-T) Act. Included among the many issues the bill addressed were:

  • All Illinois police officers will be required to use body-worn cameras by January 1, 2025.

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joliet defense lawyerIf you are a fan of television crime shows, you have likely watched a scene where police characters play the “good cop, bad cop” roles. This is where one officer comes off as aggressive and menacing to the person who is being interrogated, while the other officer acts as their ally, encouraging them to tell the truth about what they know regarding the crime being investigated. Police officers are allowed to use many tactics like this in order to get a suspect or material witness to confess what they know. But just how far is too far and what law enforcement actions violate a person’s constitutional rights?

False Confessions

The Fifth Amendment grants several rights to protect individuals during a criminal investigation or proceeding, including guaranteeing the individual due process of law, prohibits double jeopardy, and protects the individual against self-incrimination. Unfortunately, the Fifth Amendment does not always protect an individual from any of the many deceitful tactics that police officers use to coerce a confession from a suspect. The ability for law enforcement to use these tactics has even been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court (Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731).

One of the more frequent ploys that police use in order to get a suspect to confess to a crime is to lie about the evidence they actually have. They may tell the suspect that they have DNA evidence linking them to the crime when they actually do not have that evidence. They can also lie about another suspect’s “confession” that the person they are interrogating helped in the commission of the crime.

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