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Archive for the ‘Entrapment’ Category

Solicitation and a Sting in the Suburbs

January 14th, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, prostitution, When we think of undercover police work we often think of narcotics cases. Police go undercover to buy or sell drugs and catch people who do the same. But this is certainly not the only area where police work under cover. Sex crimes like prostitution and solicitation also provide undercover work for police and lead to arrests in the suburban area. If you have been arrested for a sex crime in the Rolling Meadows area, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney immediately.

A Sting in the Suburbs

The Chicago Sun Times reports that 14 men were recently arrested after meeting police officers in an undercover solicitation sting in the west suburbs. Undercover police officers placed ads for prostitution services on an adult classifieds website called Backpage.com. The men then allegedly went to a hotel to meet with the advertised prostitutes only to instead find undercover cops. In 2014, more than 130 men were arrested by Cook County Sheriff’s officers using this Backpage sting method. The unit has arrested around 700 people using this method since 2009. The men caught in this sting were charged with a violating a local Cook County public morals nuisance ordinance.

Solicitation Laws in Illinois

The public morals ordinance applied to these men has been around for a few years. It decriminalized being a john in a sense, in that it removed jail time from the picture. However, being punished under this ordinance can result in substantial fines, community service, and even the impounding of vehicles. These fines may be substantially greater than the punishments that were actually doled out back when these cases were prosecuted in criminal court. The upside, though, aside from no risk of jail time, is that prosecution under this ordinance does not result in an actual criminal conviction. This ordinance only applies in certain parts of Cook County.

State criminal law also addresses solicitation of a prostitute. The crime is called “solicitation of a sexual act.” Under the law, any person who offers someone money or anything of value to perform any act of sexual penetration or touching or fondling of the sex organs commits solicitation of a sexual act. This is a Class A misdemeanor normally, but if the prostitute is a minor or is severely or profoundly intellectually disabled it becomes a felony. Class A misdemeanors can be punished by up to a year in jail. The fine can be anything up to $2,500 per count.

Criminal Defense Attorney

When you or someone you love is charged with a crime, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley and we will schedule a free consultation.

Juveniles Are More Likely to Be Bullied into False Confessions

January 8th, 2015 at 8:32 am

Illinois defense attorney, police bullying tactics, Illinois criminal lawyer,The television news show 60 Minutes called Chicago the false confession capital of the United States just a couple of years ago. This is because there are twice as many documented cases of false confessions in the Chicago area as there are in there are in any other city in the country. A false confession is what happens when an innocent person commits a crime he or she did not commit. It may seem like no one would ever do this, but unfortunately it happens regularly, even in serious felony cases. While adults sometimes confess falsely, false confessions are even more common amongst juveniles.

Study Shows False Confessions More Common Amongst Juveniles

The Innocence Project is the organization that is responsible for using DNA evidence to prove that hundreds of prisoners in the United States were actually innocent. Last year they reported on a new study that shows false confessions are more likely among juveniles. The study was conducted by Florida International University, and was funded by the National institute of Mental Health. A psychologist, Lindsay C. Malloy, examined the interrogations, confessions, and guilty pleas of 193 teenage boys between the ages of 14 and 17 who were convicted of serious crimes. The results of the study showed that these teens were much more likely to falsely confess than their older counterparts.

Of those wrongfully convicted and then later proven innocent by DNA evidence, roughly 30 percent of the innocent defendants confessed to some degree or even pled guilty. Part of the reason that juveniles are so likely to fall into this trap is that they can be easier for interrogators to manipulate and they sometimes do not fully understand their situation. While even adults often times do not understand that they should not talk to police about a crime they are suspected of committing without having an attorney present, young people have an even worse understanding of this concept. They often believe if they say they are guilty (even if they are not) that investigators will let them go home.

A Video Taped Coerced Juvenile Confession

CBS San Francisco reported last year on a video taped coerced confession by a teenager. The interrogation started with the 15-year-old boy insisting to police that he “wasn’t there” as they questioned him about a gang shooting. The cops responded to him by saying, “That’s not really going to work, and its not going to be to your benefit to lie about what happened out there…” The cops told him that he was going to jail and that he needed to help himself by telling the truth. They even said that two witnesses had picked him out of a photo lineup. It is unclear from the CBS report whether witnesses actually had picked the juvenile out, but even if they had not, police are legally allowed to lie about such things.

The boy kept insisting he was innocent for an hour, until the cops left him in the interrogation room. He cried. The cops came back and kept pushing him, telling him that he was making a mistake by sticking to his story of innocence. After four hours, he cracked and told the cops he was involved in the crime, but that he was drunk so he didn’t remember the details. The state then convicted him of being an accomplice in the shooting. Now numerous experts who have reviewed the tape of the confession agree that it was coerced. And after 10 years in prison the prosecution’s star witness against the teen admitted his story that the boy was involved in the shooting was a lie. The hope is that these developments will lead to the release of the teenager, who is now in his mid-20s.

Criminal Defense Attorney

If your child is accused of a crime, you will need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. This is especially true if the young person in your life has made incriminating statements to police. Contact the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley and schedule a consultation. Whether its a traffic matter or a serious felony, we can help.

The Defense of Entrapment in Illinois

December 17th, 2013 at 8:20 am

Some criminal defendants find themselves charged with a crime as the result of police “encouragement,” which may involve an undercover officer or confidential informant interacting with the defendant in the commission of the crime. When a defendant in this situation discovers the extent of the circumstances surrounding his or her arrest, there are usually serious concerns and questions that arise almost immediately concerning the legality of the police conduct.  Illinois law provides guidance on this issue.

entrapmentThe law in Illinois provides for the affirmative defense of entrapment, which is meant to provide protection against law enforcement’s use of aggressive or reprehensible tactics in inducing criminal conduct. According to the relevant statute, a person is not guilty of a criminal offense if his or her conduct is incited or induced by the police or their agent for the purpose of obtaining evidence against them. See 720 ILCS 5/7-12.  However, this defense is not available if the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime and law enforcement’s actions merely afforded the defendant the opportunity or ability to commit the offense. Typically, the defense of entrapment is relevant in “vice” crimes, such as prostitution or drug deals, since these crimes are committed privately with willing victims who will not otherwise report the crime, which makes normal detection exceedingly difficult.

It is the defendant’s burden to raise the defense of entrapment and prove it to the necessary degree in order to be successful in getting the charges dismissed by the court.  Essentially, in raising the affirmative defense of entrapment, the defendant is admitting to the crime, but arguing to the court that the reason they did so was because law enforcement induced them into committing the illegal act.  On the other hand, if the government suggests the defense should not apply due to defendant’s predisposition, they must prove the same beyond a reasonable doubt in order to overcome the affirmative defense of entrapment. In order to prove disposition, the government may attempt to introduce evidence such as prior convictions or prior conduct, readiness of acceptance, admissions made by the defendant, and evidence as to the defendant’s reputation.

Properly and successfully arguing the defense of entrapment requires thorough legal knowledge and skill. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in connection with government involvement, speaking with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney about the facts of your case is critical. We can provide expert guidance in the defense of your charges, and advise you of and protect your rights while fighting for your best interests. Contact us today for a consultation.

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