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Posted on in Violent Crime

IL defense lawyerWith all of the political talk about illegal immigrants coming into the country who may be criminals, it brings another question to mind: what rights do illegal immigrants have when it comes to being protected by the law? Are crimes against illegal immigrants punishable, and if so, are perpetrators penalized to the same extent that they would be had the victim been a U.S. citizen?

Undocumented Immigrants and Workers Fear Retaliation

The National Immigration Project reports that immigrant victims are in fear of “reporting violent crimes and labor violations to law enforcement and working with the criminal justice system will expose them to deportation.” These victims also fear that they will be separated from their children and banished from the U.S. permanently if they do seek traditional victim support systems through law enforcement.

Senate Bill 34 VOICES Act Now Law

Senate Bill 34, the Voices of Immigrant Communities Empowering Survivors (the VOICES Act), is now law after the Illinois Senate and House both passed over Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto. The law states that police must investigate complaints of abuse and assault in a timely manner when the victim or alleged victim is an undocumented immigrant. By filing a report, immigrants can use them to work towards citizenship and visas. Opponents of the law argue that some undocumented immigrants will report crimes simply to further their chances of receiving citizenship. On the other side, proponents argue that undocumented immigrants and workers suffer fear of retaliation from their employers and fear of being deported if they speak up about a crime that was committed against them or a crime that they witnessed happen to another person and that this law will help remedy those fears.

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IL defense lawyerVoluntary manslaughter is the intentional killing of an unborn child or acting in a way that would cause harm or death to an unborn child. It is not to be confused with involuntary manslaughter, which is the unintentional killing of another person, not a fetus. Voluntary manslaughter in Illinois was formerly one and the same as second-degree murder: the intentional killing of another person on-the-spot or in the heat of passion (meaning that the killing was not premeditated). However, the law currently recognizes this type of homicide simply as second-degree murder, not voluntary homicide. Today’s law is such that voluntary manslaughter is only charged when the victim is an unborn child. It is akin to second-degree murder of an unborn child, a very serious crime.

Definition of Voluntary Manslaughter

As per Illinois 720 ILCS 5/9-2.1, voluntary manslaughter is:

  • Causing the death of an unborn child by acting “under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation” by another person whom the defendant tries to kill, but in so doing the defendant “negligently or accidentally causes the death of the unborn child”; or
  • Intentionally or knowingly causing the death of an unborn child.

Example of Voluntary Manslaughter Vs. Involuntary Manslaughter

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burglary, crimes against the elderly, criminal offender, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, sexual assaultA man accused of committing a series of crimes on both sides of the Illinois-Indiana border is facing various charges for which, if convicted, he will likely receive increased penalties because he targeted the elderly during his crime spree. The Chicago Sun Times reports that the alleged offender is being held in jail on multiple charges of sexual assault, burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and burglary resulting in bodily harm. The victims of these alleged crimes were predominantly elderly men and women and included a 97-year-old-woman and a 73-year-old man who were robbed outside of their home, and an 81-year-old woman who was robbed and sexually assaulted, among others.

Crimes Against the Elderly

Under Illinois law, crimes committed against the elderly (or the disabled) are considered to be more morally egregious than those committed against other people, and therefore are often punished more severely. In fact, when a crime is committed in Illinois against an elderly adult, the maximum prison sentence permissible for the crime committed can be extended. In some instances,prison sentences are doubled.

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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, lawful justification,Many people base most of their knowledge of the criminal justice system on what they see on television. Some of the information on television is accurate, particularly when it comes to news reporting on police misconduct and other related issues. But many people’s beliefs about criminal justice come from fictional crime procedural shows, and often the information provided by these shows is inaccurate. People do not realize that their understanding is mistaken until they find themselves in need of the help of a criminal defense attorney. One such common misconception regards what constitutes first degree murder.

The Misconception: First Degree Murder Requires Premeditation

Television shows, books, and conventional wisdom leave many Americans with a mistaken belief regarding first degree murder. Most people believe that in order to be convicted of first degree murder the prosecutor must prove that the murder was premeditated — that the defendant planned it out or thought it out ahead of time. A perfect example of a premeditated murder would be one where a person hired an assassin to commit a murder for profit. This sort of premeditation is absolutely not required in order for someone to be convicted of first degree murder in Illinois. Premeditation may very well be required in some states, but each and every state has its own criminal code and its own definition for each crime.

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Chicago crime rate, Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyerDay after day we hear the rhetoric about how bad crime is today and about how much worse crime is now than it used to be. Stories pop up about Chicago being the murder capital of America. Citizens are left to believe that there is some mass criminal class that is much worse than it has ever been before. The problem with all of this is that it simply is not true. In fact, violent crimes rates are the lowest they have been since the 1970s.

Violent Crime is Down

The Chicago Tribune reports that violent crime in the United States fell 4.4 percent in 2013, bringing the violent crime rate to its lowest level since the 1970s. Fewer violent crimes were reported last year than have been reported in any year since 1978. This trend rings true for all types of violent crimes including but not limited to murder, rape, and robbery. The violent crime rate has fallen every year since 1994 and has fallen by roughly 50 percent since 1994. Property crimes were also down last year.

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