Archive for July, 2012

Hit and Run Could Result in Prison Sentence

July 29th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Sergio Nava, 51, was ordered to be held on $150,000 bond after being charged with leaving the scene of an accident that caused an injury, driving without a license and several other traffic-related crimes.  The victim, whose name was not released by police, was left in critical condition with injuries that included brain hemorrhaging, as well as bruised lungs and fractured ribs.Nevawas driving a minivan. The 53 year old victim was on foot.

The Chicago Tribune reported that witnesses told police they saw Nava, in an attempt to go around another vehicle, swerve his van and hit the victim, who was walking his bicycle at the time. The impact of being hit with the van propelled the victim into the air. Neva drove off in his van but then turned around and drove by the scene again before permanently leaving the scene. Neva claims that he saw the victim fall but didn’t think he had hit him.

Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-401 states that the driver of a vehicle which is involved in an accident that results in the injury or death of a person must stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident. Failure to do so could result in a conviction which the state has classified as a Class 4 felony. The punishment for a conviction carries with it a prison term of one to three years. The court may also impose a fine of up to $25,000.

If you have been accused of leaving the scene of a crime, or any other serious crime, make sure that you retain the services of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. Our traffic attorneys will advise you on how to best avoid a conviction and the negative consequences that come with it. Contact us today!

Police Find Suspect Hiding in Attic

July 26th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

A 31 year old man is in critical condition after being shot in the back several times. One of those bullets just missed the victim’s spine. Police say that the victim’s girlfriend walked outside of her house and saw him being held with a gun pointed to his head by a man she later identified as Christopher Boyd, 30. She begged Boyd to let her boyfriend go and he lifted the gun away. As the victim began to run into the house, Boyd began shooting at him.

According to a report on CBS Chicago, police received a tip later in the day from someone who claimed that the person who committed the shooting was hiding out in a nearby home.  Police received permission from the residents of the house to enter and search inside. As police were looking around, they noticed paint chips falling from the ceiling. They could also hear movement coming from upstairs in the attic. When they looked in the attic, there was Boyd, attempting to hide. He complied when told by officers to come down from the attic and was arrested.

The victim is expected to survive his injuries. Prosecutors did not release a motive for the shooting. Boyd was arraigned on a charge of aggravated battery with a gun, the judge denied bond, basing his decision on Boyd’s multiple felony convictions, which included prison time served for resisting arrest in a 2010 incident that injured an officer. He was paroled for that charge in May.

A felony conviction could mean a prison sentence, among other consequences that can last for years. If you’ve been charged with a felony, you need to hire an experienced, Cook County criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights.

Ex- Lake County Chief Judge Cleared of DUI Charges

July 24th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that former Lake County Chief Judge David Hall was found not guilty of DUI charges that arose from his April 2008 arrest in Vernon Hills. However, Hall, who now suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, which caused his retirement earlier this month, was found guilty of resisting arrest in a manner that caused the arresting office to spray him with pepper spray. Hall received the minimum sentence of 100 hours of community service, 18 months of conditional discharge, which is a form of probation, a $1,000 fine, and court costs.

In this case, Hall was taken to the hospital following the 2008 traffic stop when he complained of chest pains after being pepper-sprayed. A doctor who examined him at the hospital testified that he appeared intoxicated at the time of the incident. However, a blood sample that was drawn at the time of the incident was thrown out of evidence by the court on allegations that the sample had been mishandled. Therefore, this case contained no blood alcohol content test levels, which is usually standard evidence in a DUI case.

To further complicate matters, the arresting officer, who also witnessed Hall’s alleged actions in resisting arrest and sprayed him with pepper spray, passed away only a few weeks after the incident occurred in 2008. The officer’s death left the prosecution with a lack of testimony from a crucial witness to their case.

This case illustrates that even what seems to be a routine DUI case or resisting arrest charge may not be as straightforward as it initially appears. When important evidence is mishandled by law enforcement officials or medical personnel, or when significant witnesses become unavailable for any reason, the state’s case can be greatly weakened, as was the case here. With the help of a seasoned criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, you can expect a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your case, as well as the development of a strategy and defense designed to minimize the consequences of any criminal penalties that you might face.

Fatal Rollover Crash Case finally solved from 2011

July 21st, 2012 at 4:00 pm

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the Riverside police have cracked the case about a car crash that left one man from Woodbridge dead and one woman from Cicero slightly injured.  Back on December 7th of 2011, Magali Padilla, 24, and Cesar Ramirez, 26, were on their way home from dinner.  Police supposed that from the scene of the crash, the 2003 Mercury Mountaineer was moving at a high rate of speed when it hit a curb and proceeded to roll over multiple times.  The force of the crash ended up ejecting Ramirez from the vehicle as the SUV came to a halt on someone’s front lawn.

When police arrived at the scene they noticed a strong smell of alcohol from both Padilla and Ramirez.  Padilla was given a breathalyzer test and registered a .017, which is two times the legal limit in Illinois.  Both Padilla and Ramirez were transported to Loyola University Medical Center where Ramirez was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival.  Yet from the date of the crash up to July 7th of this year the authorities in Riverside were not sure if they could charge anyone.

Police Chief Thomas Weitzel assured the public that his department was working non-stop since the alcohol-fueled car accident.  The officers were responsible for reviewing scene evidence, hospital records, witness testimony, and hours of video surveillance.  It was by reviewing the video camera tape that the Riverside police finally solved the case.  Padilla and Ramirez were driving from a restaurant as caught on tape at 11:40 pm on December 7th, 2011.  The video revealed that Padilla was driving the vehicle and not Ramirez.

This revelation resulted in Magali Padilla being charged with reckless homicide and aggravated drunken driving.  On July 8th, 2012 Cook County Criminal Court Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. ordered Padilla to be held on $35,000 bail.  DWI defense is complicated and often requires the finesse of a skilled DWI defense attorney in Cook County, IL.  If you have been affected by a DWI charge do not wait another day.

Video Posted on Facebook leads to 62-year-olds’ Murderers

July 18th, 2012 at 8:00 am

62-year-old Delfino Mora of the 6000 block of North Washtenaw was collecting cans to support his 12 children when he was beaten to death.  He was attacked on the 6300 block of North Artesian Avenue early Tuesday morning, the 10th of July.  A man discovered him three hours after his beating with blood streaming out of his nostrils and vomit by his head.  When authorities found him he was unconscious but still breathing.  He was beaten so badly that he died the next day from blunt force head trauma.  A doctor at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston pronounced him dead at 3:30 on Wednesday.

A week after the attack occurred, Chicago police had started piecing together what happened to Mora.  The attack was recorded on a cell phone and that video ended up being posted to one of the attacker’s Facebook page.  16-year-old Malik Jones was identified in the video by someone who passed on the video until it reached the victim’s son.  It was then that the police were notified of this video and Malik, who authorities say is a gang member, was taken into custody.  He faces being charged as an adult with murder in the first degree.  Jones was with two of his friends, Nicholas Ayala, 17, and Anthony Malcolm, 18, who took turns filming the attack.  They also have charges brought against them for their involvement.

These three teens were allegedly playing a game called “pick ‘em out and knock ‘em out”.  The premise of the game is to choose a random person to beat up and then rob.  Jones asked Mora what he had in his pockets and then connected with the man’s jaw.  The resulting hit made Mora hit the ground with such a force that more than likely knocked him unconscious.  This was the third time just this year that an attack in Chicago was taped and shared on social media websites.  These other instances also led to the arrest of atleast one teen, if not more.

If you have been accused of assault or even murder, there is no time to waste.  Charges can escalate when there is social pressure in highly publicized cases such as this one which involves juveniles being tried as adults.  Please contact an accomplished criminal defense attorney in Cook County, IL.

Man Found With 90,000 Illegal DVD’s

July 15th, 2012 at 8:28 am

Joseph Palmisano was receiving an awful lot of packages from Hong Kong. All these deliveries caught the attention of the Department of Homeland Security. It caught enough of their attention that they began an investigation that has resulted in Palmisano’s arrest.

Palmisano, of Bartlett, is currently being held on $25,000 bond.

According to Bartlett Police Commander Michael McGuigan, authorities found an estimated 90,000 DVD’s at Palmisano’s home. In an interview with WGN News, McGuigan said that there were boxes of DVD’s that went from the floor to the ceiling in both the garage and living room of the house. He described little pathways that Palmisano had made to walk through.

Prosecutors are alleging that the DVD’s are all pirated copies of movies that were made in Asia. They are accusing Palmisano of selling the DVD’s online, and claim he made $220,000 selling the illegal products. They claim that the DVD’s included films, HBO programs and other television shows.

Palmisano has been charged with unlawful use of unidentified sound, with bond set at $25,000. Illinois law says that if a person intentionally, or knowingly manufacturers or sells audio visual products for profit, it’s a class 4 felony. But the law also states that if the offense involves more than 100, but not exceeding 1000 unidentified sound recordings or more than 7 but not exceeding 65 unidentified audio visual recordings during any 180 day period the authorized fine is up to $100,000. If the offense involves more than 1,000 unidentified sound recordings or more than 65 unidentified audio visual recordings during any 180 day period the authorized fine is up to $250,000.

If you are arrested, ensure that you have the best defense possible. Consult with an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney. Pirating movies and DVD’s may be common, but it is illegal. A criminal defense lawyer can help you through the legal process and towards the best possible outcome.

Man Charged in Shooting Death of Alleged Accomplice.

July 12th, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Tevin Louis, 19, is being held on $1 million bond. He has been charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of armed robbery and one count of disorderly conduct in the shooting death of 19-year-old Marquise Sampson. But Louis did not fire the gun that killed Sampson. Police did.

According to a report in the Chicago Sun Times, prosecutors told Judge Laura Sullivan that Louis and Sampson, armed with guns and wearing masks and gloves, robbed two employees at King Gyros. It is alleged that after taking money from the store’s cash register, they also took cash and a cell phone from the two employees, as well as cigarettes from the store’s inventory. The victims told police that the stolen items were thrown into a backpack, which Louis took with him when he left the store, and that Sampson left right after.

Sampson was spotted running by Gresham district by beat patrol officers. The officers reported that they ordered Sampson, who they say was holding onto his side while running, to stop. Instead, he kept running, with the uniformed officers chasing him. Sampson then pulled a gun and pointed it at one of the officers. The officer shot him twice. Sampson was later pronounced dead at the scene. The coroner has ruled the death a homicide. None of the officers present were injured.

When Louis showed up at the scene of the shooting and tried to make his way past police, he was quickly arrested for disorderly conduct. Prosecutors are alleging that he admitted his involvement in the robbery. They also stated that Louis told a third party he was involved with Sampson in the robbery and that they have the surveillance tape from the store that show the robbery taking place.

First degree murder is one of the most serious crimes a person can be charged with. A guilty verdict can mean life in prison. If you are charged with a serious crime in Chicago, contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney immediately to defend you.

Chicago Crime Wave Hurting Tourism

July 10th, 2012 at 4:11 pm

According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, the city’s ongoing efforts to revitalize its tourism industry might be damaged by the crime wave that is hitting the neighborhoods. Don Welsh, president and chief executive officer of Choose Chicago, told the Tribune that he hopes the crime wave is contained in a reasonable period of time, or it will have a negative effect on all the work being done at the moment. Choose Chicago is constantly getting calls from concerned people who have read the news reports of unprovoked attacks in the Michigan Avenue corridor and of the surge in murders in some impoverished parts of Chicago.

The issue has gained national attention after an article in the New York Times, and Welsh says that  meeting planners are calling Choose Chicago and asking if the city is safe. Choose Chicago is maintaining a map of where violent crime is happening, and Chicago police have increased patrolling along the Magnificent Mile and its surrounding areas since the attacks. Even officers assigned to other parts of the city are patrolling the area.

Welsh also pointed out that most of the crime happens outside the downtown area, and that Chicago has a very safe, clean downtown.

A lot of crime brings a lot of court cases. If you find yourself or a family member accused of a crime, do not hesitate to get all the help you need. To get this help, you should immediately contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer for legal guidance and advice.

Teens Attack and Rob Vietnam Veteran

July 5th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

According to the Chicago Tribune, two Chicago teens are accused of attacking and robbing a South Side 65-year-old man near Stroger Hospital as he was picking up his cousin from a doctor’s appointment. One of the teens allegedly hit Vietnam veteran Willie Haynes in the head, causing him to fall to the ground. The 18-year-old and 17-year-old teens robbed the victim of $100 and fled. Haynes was unconscious for a brief period of time before he was able to regain consciousness and get up. The two teens have been charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated battery to a senior citizen, and the court set bail for each teen at $100,000.

Each of these teenagers face potentially severe penalties for their alleged crimes. For instance, because the victim in this case was a senior citizen, the crime is a felony of a different class than general aggravated battery under Illinois law. As a result, if convicted, the teens may face jail and even prison time, even though one of the teenagers is still a minor. Given the gravity of these charges, a strong defense by an accomplished criminal defense lawyer will be necessary to minimize the negatives consequences that these charges are likely to bring if a conviction occurs for either teenager.

If you or a family member are accused of committing a serious crime such as aggravated robbery, aggravated battery or another type of crime, you should immediately contact an experienced Rolling Meadows lawyer for legal guidance and advice.

Supreme Court Endorses Verdict of Chicago Rapist

July 2nd, 2012 at 1:21 pm

On June 18th, the Supreme Court voted on a controversial issue concerning in-court procedures.  The Justice’s decision was split 5-4 in conflict with the high court’s ruling that any defendant should have the opportunity to question the expert testimony of a DNA analyst.  The issue was presented by a Chicago-area man named Sandy Williams who was convicted of rape but was not allowed to question the reliability of the claims which influenced his sentencing.

Williams was convicted of raping a 22-year old woman in Chicago who was returning home from work and raped by a man in his car.  The genetic material was sent for genetic testing to a laboratory in Maryland.  With the results of that DNA profile, an analyst from the Illinois state crime lab named Sandra Lambatos testified at the trial and was cross-examined by Williams’ defense attorney.

The DNA expert’s testimony swore that William’s DNA matched a sample taken from the victim, which led to the conviction of Williams.  The problem is presented by the fact that the expert played no role in the testing of the samples of William’s DNA. The 3rd party company, named Cellmark, who did the actual tests, was not present to defend their findings.  Courts had previously ruled that criminal defendants have the privilege to interrogate the analyst who prepared the results of testing.

The 6th amendment of the Constitution grants that the “accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”  This is termed the “Confrontation clause.”  Many instances of previous crimes were overturned due to the lack of an analyst’s testimony to the vigor of the testing.  A conviction of a drunk driver in New Mexico was overturned because the analyst didn’t testify in the courtroom.  Constitutionality plays a vital role in the procedures of court in all aspects of criminal law.  An experienced defense attorney will work tirelessly to ensure your rights as an American are held sacred.  Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows, Illinois today.