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Posted on in Your Rights

IL defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerBeing arrested is a very scary thing. Law enforcement in Rolling Meadows arrest people every day, and these individuals often do not know what to do when it happens. Just as there are certain things you should do, there are also things you should never do. Taking the wrong steps at this point could hurt your case in the future. Below are the five things you should never do if you are arrested.

Do Not Say Anything

If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent and that is exactly what you should do. When police read you your Miranda rights, they will tell you that anything you say could be used against you, and they mean it. The chances are very good that they will take your words out of context and use it to hurt your case in court. Do not say anything to police officers except that you want to speak to an attorney.

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Posted on in Your Rights

searchImagine police pulled you over in a traffic stop. Maybe they suspect you of a DUI, or maybe they want to cite you for having a broken taillight. Whatever the reason, they approach your window and begin to question you. They may even become aggressive and demand that you hand over your phone. Perhaps they even order you to unlock it for them or provide them with your password. This is a scary situation, as everyone has personal and confidential information on their phones these days. The question is, are police allowed to search your phone?

U.S. Supreme Court Decides on Cell Phone Searches

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Riley v. California. The defendant had been stopped by police for expired registration tags on his vehicle. During the stop, the officer also learned that the defandant’s driver’s license was suspended and that he was carrying a number of firearms in his car. The officer also took his phone, which the officer claimed had further incriminating evidence on it.

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Posted on in Your Rights

warrantDuring a criminal trial, the prosecution’s case often rests on evidence seized by law enforcement officers during a search. In order for that search to be lawful, the owner of the property must voluntarily agree to the search, or law enforcement officers must have a valid search warrant. When police officers have a search warrant, the owners of the property must never interfere with the search. However, this does not mean that the search cannot be contested in the future.

Challenging a search warrant during a trial is a very common defense for those accused of committing a crime. If the defense can prove a search was unlawful, any evidence obtained during that search is deemed inadmissible in court. This can lead to the entire case being dismissed.

So, how does one challenge the validity of a search warrant? In Rolling Meadows, there are three possible ways to do it.

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Posted on in Your Rights

IL defense attorneyMost law enforcement officers conduct themselves professionally and treat those who they are arresting with as much respect as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Police brutality affects people of all demographics, though minorities are disproportionately the victims of unnecessary police violence. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was hit more than 50 times by police batons, and the police who administered the beating were acquitted. A black undercover police officer himself fell victim to police violence when he was disguised as a protester — his duty being to monitor illegal acts within the crowd to make arrests later — during a St. Louis demonstration in 2017.

Residents had taken to the streets in a planned protest over the acquittal of a police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man, then planted a weapon on him after he was dead. The undercover officer, who was wearing a shirt that revealed his waistband — indicating that he was not armed — was beaten with batons for no reason by three police officers. Earlier text messages between the officers revealed that they had planned on carrying out such beatings. When they discovered that the man they had chosen to beat with riot batons was an undercover cop, they destroyed his phone, tried to contact witnesses to influence their testimony, and lied to a federal grand jury. The officers are facing four offenses, one of which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence, while the other three crimes carry sentences of 20 years each.

Were You the Victim of Police Brutality?

In situations where you were arrested without probable cause or police used unnecessary violence to subdue and handcuff you, your civil rights were violated. In such scenarios, you stand a good chance to have the charges placed against you dropped, depending on what those were for. It all depends on what you were arrested for. In many cases of police brutality, law enforcement was simply carrying out a routine traffic stop, was performing a stop and frisk, or was trying to disperse a crowd during a protest. In such instances in which you, both the defendant and the victim, were not arrested for a crime of violence, charges may be dropped if there is enough evidence to support your claims of police brutality. A Cook County criminal defense lawyer can help you compile evidence to submit a compelling case that police brutality did occur. Cell phone footage, police body cameras, surveillance cameras, and witnesses can all be used to prove the truth.

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incriminationWhen you are arrested, your primary objective should be to defend your case to reduce your chance of being convicted as much as possible. Simply being innocent of a crime does not guarantee you will not be convicted. We can estimate the number of Americans who are wrongfully convicted each year, but we cannot know for sure just how many innocent people head to jail and in some cases, die by execution. But we do know that it does happen. Your criminal defense lawyer’s job is to protect you from being convicted. But there are ways you can reduce your chance of being convicted, too. Take some time to educate yourself on ways to avoid self-incrimination.

Choose Not to Talk with Law Enforcement

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees you the right to avoid self-incrimination. During interactions with law enforcement, you are under no obligation to answer officers’ questions or to even make small talk with them. After you are arrested, tell the police that you do not want to talk to them. Follow that statement by saying that you would like to speak with your attorney. Officers are required to stop questioning you when you request your lawyer.

Retain a Lawyer as Soon as Possible

The sooner you start working with a lawyer, the more effectively he or she can help you defend your case. This is because by retaining a lawyer shortly after your arrest – or if possible, retaining a lawyer before your arrest – gives your lawyer time to coach you through interactions with law enforcement and gather the evidence you will use to support your position in court.

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