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Archive for the ‘charges’ tag

New Legislation Pending for Driving with Google Glass

December 26th, 2013 at 8:29 am

drivingGoogle Glass is being tested by a select number of people in anticipation of a roll out in 2014.  The concept of device is that it is a smartphone display that is worn on your face and looks like a pair of glasses.  It allows you to take pictures, view social media, make phone calls and even get directions by the sound of your voice.  While it is not for sale to the general public, legislators in Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia have introduced legislation that seeks to ban driving while wearing Google Glass frames.

Lawmakers in Springfield are also interested in stopping distracted driving on the streets of Illinois.  Certain laws are already in place to accomplish this gial.  Currently, it is illegal to text while operating a vehicle.  Another law which will be effective in 2014 will outlaw the use of any handheld device behind the wheel.

Illinois State Senator Ira Silverstein, a Democratic representative from Chicago, recently filed a new bill that extends the law banning handheld devices.  Silverstein said that using these new Google Glass is “another way people will be distracted.  People’s attention to the road should not be interrupted.”

Detractors of this legislation point to the possible use of Google Glass which gives you turn by turn directions similar to a GPS device.  Even if your eye would drift to the small screen on your face, it is no different than checking other instruments in your car.

But the debate centers on the capabilities of Google Glass which has the ability to cause distractions to drivers with Facebook or YouTube videos.  The author of a similar bill in West Virginia, state Delegate Gary Howell, said that “it is incredible technology, but it doesn’t belong on the road.  There’s no way law enforcement officers can tell whether you’re watching a cat video or using your GPS system.”

If you have been accused of committing a crime behind the wheel, then it is important to seek legal representation.  Receiving too many moving violations can even result in the suspension of your license.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows who can protect your rights.

Decrease in Speeding Tickets in Cook County

December 22nd, 2013 at 8:24 am

speeding ticketOver the last few years, there has been a decrease in the number of speeding tickets issued in and around Chicago.  Based on data from 2010 to 2012, there was a quarter fewer tickets both in the city and in segments of the surrounding counties.

There are a couple of possible reasons for this decrease.  An analysis completed by reporters from the Chicago Tribune has shown that the state police department is very lenient on the state’s expressways.  Most tickets are written when a motorist is going at least 20 miles over the posted speed limit of 55.  Provided that high threshold, it is not likely to find people to give speeding tickets.

Another reason for the decrease in speeding tickets is state-wide budget cuts.  There are fewer troopers on the road which means there are fewer people to give out tickets.

Illinois State Police Commander Patrick Murphy, who is in charge of training troopers, has his own theories.  He said that there are fewer drivers on the road.  In fact, from 2007 to 2011 there was a near 4 percent decrease in miles driven by vehicles in Illinois.  There was also an almost 2 percent decrease in the number of registered vehicles on the road.

Murphy also said that the fines for speeding have increased so much that drivers are taking notice.  The current fee for speeding up to 20 miles over the speed limit is $120. If a driver is caught driving between 20 to 30 miles over the limit, the fee increases to $140. Over that speed and drivers can face fees of $160. In 2014, those fees are set to increase although the penalties are yet to be settled.

Although the amount of tickets has decreased over the years, that doesn’t mean that it is safe to speed.  Law enforcement agencies are looking at other ways to police highways.  They are using air details that hover over traffic and communicate vehicle speed and license plate numbers to local squad cars.  Parked vans are also placed on roads to catch speeders and mail tickets to their homes.

Speeding tickets are very serious.  If you have more than three moving violations during a year, then you can have your license suspended.  If you have been accused of a crime, then seek legal assistance.  Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Cook County today.

City to send Police Patrols Overnight in Chicago Parks

December 6th, 2013 at 11:26 am

family in parkOfficials in the city of Chicago are aware of the prevalence of violent crime in Chicago parks.  Four days after the FBI claimed that Chicago was the murder capital of the United States, more violence broke out in the city.  An outburst of shooting occurred on September 20th at Cornell Square Park on the south side of Chicago.  Waves of gunfire left 13 people wounded including a couple of teenagers and three year old boy.  The shooting was considered to be gang-related as some of the victims were known gang-members.

In response to these violent crimes, the police department of Chicago started paying overtime to officers in high crime neighborhoods of the city for an initiative called “Operation Impact”.  Overtime pay for 2013 is estimated to be around $100 million.

More recently, the police department instituted a new plan to keep the parks safe through the night.  Off-duty police officers are to be paid overtime wages for patrolling 20 of the city’s most dangerous parks.  The names of the parks have not been released yet, but will be decided based on the last three years of crime statistics.   This new initiative started in November of 2013.  Paying overtime to existing officers seems cheaper than hiring a large amount of rookie officers according to a statement by Chicago police chief Garry McCarthy.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has agreed that the safety of Chicago’s parks is a top priority of his.  He even stated that “The parks in the city of Chicago belong to families of Chicago, the streets of the city of Chicago belong to families of Chicago, the front stoops of our homes belong to the families of the city of Chicago.  You go out there and enjoy our city.”

If you have been arrested for a crime then it is important to have a legal professional to protect your rights.  Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, the effects can be life altering.  You could lose your job, be rejected by colleges, or worse spend time in prison.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Cook County today to review your case.

Use of Polygraph Tests in Chicago Crime Cases

December 3rd, 2013 at 11:05 am

police investigationWhen arrested for a crime in Chicago, the normal procedure is to be questioned by an officer.  Occasionally, a member of a department’s polygraph unit would examine the suspect with the help of a lie detector test.  Yet, a couple of convictions have been overturned lately, such as the murder charge against Nicole Harris.  Harris was convicted of murdering her four year old son in 2005 after being coerced into a confession with a false polygraph test.  In June of 2013, this conviction was overturned by a federal appeals court based on evidence uncovered by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

The use of polygraph examinations has decreased significantly over the past couple of years.  In 2011, around 400 tests were administered to suspects of crime compared to only 50 over eight months in 2013. The reason that the Chicago Police Department gave for the drop was that polygraph units have been reassigned from forensics units to the human resources department.  Their new orders include interviewing potential officer candidates.  “The temporary detail was made to address the backlog in pre-employment screening needs.  There hasn’t been a move away from polygraphs as a part of criminal investigations,” according to police spokesperson Adam Collins.

This change seems to coincide with an investigation by the Chicago Tribune into false confessions obtained by polygraph departments.  It was uncovered that examiners did not follow the proper procedures for giving polygraph examinations.  Rather the polygraph teams saw the examination as an opportunity to coerce a confession with possibly false information.  These departments also did not follow the standards of administering or scoring the tests they received.  Polygraph tests are supposed to be scored based on a numerical scale, but one examiner even said that they scored the test simply by “eyeballing it”.

If you have been arrested for any crime, it is important to have a defense attorney review your case.  They can make sure that the investigation follows the proper guidelines without violating your rights.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Cook County today.

Family Files Suit for Lock up Death in Drug Arrest

November 11th, 2013 at 1:09 pm

jail timeMay Molina was a community activist for many years in the city of Chicago.  Even with her diabetes, asthma, and inability to go anywhere without a wheelchair, she still voiced her opinion against the Chicago Police Department.   She was especially adamant her son’s wrongful lockup for a crime he did not commit.  In 2004, her voice was silenced after being locked up for drug possession.

For 24 hours in lockup at the police station, Molina was without her medicine.  Other inmates at the time as well as her attorney notified the police on duty that Molina was becoming breathless and confused.  No one acted on their warning and within a few hours, Molina was found dead in her cell.

Recently, the surviving family of May Molina has decided to filed a civil suit against the Chicago Police Department.  When May was arrested, she had asked the officers to bring her medicine but she was denied.  May’s family is claiming in the suit that the city normally denies medical requests of inmates at holding cells of Chicago police departments.

During the trial they had an expert corroborate their claim.  Former assistant police chief of Seattle Michael Brasfield is an expert in police practices.  He told the jury that Chicago departments hold people longer than other cities, permits unqualified officers make medical decisions neglects calling in a medical staff even when those who were arrested were in critical condition.  Brasfield said that as a department “you are supposed to err…unequivocally on the side of overresponding, on the side of well-being and safety.”

The police offered a counterclaim that Molina never asked for medical attention.  The fact is that Molina’s autopsy showed that there were tinfoil packets of heroin in her throat that she may have swallowed prior to arrest.  The medical examiner’s office ruled that the death was accidental.  Proving that the police department is responsible for the death of Molina may change the care for others being processed in the system.

Another way to protect yourself in the judicial process is to have the support of a legal professional.  A lawyer who will look out for your best interest.  If you need that kind of a lawyer, reach out to an experienced Cook County criminal attorney today.

Chicago Man Ends Up in Prison for Selling Drugs

March 24th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

LeeviA 21-year-old man has been sentenced to six years in prison for selling drugs to undercover Naperville police, according to a recent story in the Naperville Sun. Jermaine N. Moore was found guilty of a Class 1 felony charge of the manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance on February 25. Drug charges should always be taken seriously. An experienced criminal defense attorney can significantly improve your chances of achieving success in the courtroom.

Moore and his sister, Kymtika D. Moore, were arrested two years ago. The arrest took place in a parking lot near McDowell Road and Route 59 on the city’s far northwest side. According to police, the arrests were made by a special police unit ending a month-long investigation concerning Moore’s criminal activities in Naperville.

Police said Moore was arrested “after he brought approximately 20 grams of heroin with an estimated street value of $4,000 to sell in Naperville.” Kymtika Moore helped her brother by driving him to and from the locations where the drugs were sold. She was sentenced “to four days in DuPage County Jail on a charge of unlawful possession of less than 15 grams of cocaine” in December 2011. In addition, she was placed on two years of probation, had to serve 15 days in the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program, and had to pay $1,370 in fines and legal costs.

If you have been charged with drug possession or another drug crime, it is in your best interests to contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer who will defend your rights and make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Contact an Illinois drug charges attorney as soon as possible.

 

Cases Dropped Involving Schaumburg Police Officers

February 20th, 2013 at 8:29 pm

 A drug bust of a storage locker in Carol Stream has led to further arrests of police officers from Schaumburg.  The storage locker belonged to an informant who worked with the police.  When he was taken into custody, he had a very interesting story to tell.  He claimed that the police were supplying him with drugs seized from other drug dealers to sell on the streets.

The Carol Stream police investigated further and found that this was true.  DEA agents arrested the cops outside of the Woodfield Mall on January 16th.  John Cichy, Matthew Hudak and Terrance O’Brien were all tactical officers in the division that deals with drugs, gangs and other issues that require undercover work.

The police officers took drugs like marijuana, cocaine and cash from legitimate busts to make more money.  Now the men are facing a multitude of felony charges which could mean decades in prison.  The charges include manufacturing and delivering of illegal drugs, official misconduct, armed violence, theft, and criminal drug conspiracy.

Since these officers were arrested, Cook County prosecutors have dropped three felony drug charges against defendants who were arrested by the trio.  The state’s attorney has also decided that out of 19 cases that the officers worked on, 15 will be dumped.  It is assumed that the testimony of the officers would not hold up in court.

These people benefited from the crimes of their arresting officers.  It is not typical to have this happen, but the constitutionality of the arrest is something that legal professionals look at to limit the use of evidence.  Contact an experienced drug crime lawyer in Oakbrook who can review the particulars of your arrest.

Three members of new Illinois legislature facing criminal charges

February 5th, 2013 at 11:29 am

Three members of new Illinois legislatureMembers of Illinois’s newest General Assembly recently took the oath of office. As the state still struggles to rebuild its reputation as two consecutive governors went to prison, Illinois set another precedent of sorts; three sitting lawmakers are currently facing criminal charges.

Most recently in headline news about politics and crime in its highest office, former governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted for attempting to sell Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat. Comparable circumstances cannot be recalled by experts or capitol veterans since the early 1970s, when several were rounded up for a bribery trial relating to cement trucks.

The allegations against each of the three lawmakers vary greatly from bribery, to bank fraud to trying to bring a gun onto a plane. Experts say, however, that although the charges differ, the accumulation and timing is very damaging to the state as it is already struggling to combat some of the most serious financial problems in its entire history.

The similarities of the three legislators, Rep. Derrick Smith, Rep. La Shawn Ford and Sen. Donne Trotter, end after the obvious facts of them all being Chicago Democrats who were all recently sworn into office.

Only one of these cases involves political corruption, unlike Blagojevich and former Gov. George Ryan, who were both accused of abusing their powers.

Smith was expelled from office in August on bribery charges, the first expulsion of that kind in over a century. Voters put Smith back in office in November, however. He pleaded not guilty to accepting a bribe in exchange for supporting what he had though was a day care center’s grant application.

According to state law, Smith cannot be expelled again for the same charges.

Smith has not made a public appearance since the charges, but did briefly say to reporters that being cleared of charges gives him the opportunity to “continue on doing what I was set out to do, work with my constituents.”

Each of the other two cases do not involve public office.

Ford is being faced with bank fraud charges. Allegedly, he made false statements to a bank so that he could get an increase on a line of credit. He claimed that he would use the money to fix investment properties, however, he used to funds for expenses including car loans and his 2006 campaign. Last month he pleaded not guilty, saying the incident was a mistake.

Veteran lawmaker Trotter was arrested in an airport after security workers found a gun in his bag. He pleaded not guilty as well after claiming that he simply had forgotten that the gun was in his bag.

Criminal records never look good on anyone, especially those in public office. If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal attorney for assistance to fight it. Criminal attorney Chris Cosley in Rolling Meadows, Illinois can help you fight for yourself today.

Prosecutor Gets Stabbed and Battered by Convicted Felon

October 2nd, 2012 at 6:28 pm

On September 14th, a Cook County prosecutor intervened in a quarrel between four men which nearly cost him his life, reports the Chicago Tribune. He was on his way to meet a friend at Diversey Harbor to go fishing when he saw two men being chased by two guys in a park. The men were screaming for help, so the prosecutor intervened. He yelled to the chasers and told them to stop, but instead of stopping, they attacked the prosecutor. He managed to grab one of the attackers and tried to keep use him as a shield between himself and the second attacker, but he lost his footing and fell to the ground. The attackers hit him with a beer bottle and stabbed him several times.

The wounded prosecutor was helped to a nearby hospital by his friend who arrived near the park not long after the attack. The prosecutor had suffered injuries to his side, face, and under his right arm. The injuries were not severe, however, and he is recovering from the attack at home.

One attacker, Edgar Diaz, 21, was arrested a few days after the incident. He has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery. Diaz has been convicted before of unlawful use of a weapon and he has also been involved in other felonies, for example, armed violence and drug crimes. Diaz’s bond court was held on September 24.

Diaz is looking at a long prison sentence. His best option is to get legal help from experienced lawyers who can build a strong defense. Although Diaz probably cannot avoid a conviction, his penalties have the potential to be reduced. If you or anyone you know has been charged with a similar crime, contact a skilled and knowledgeable felony defense attorney in Chicago, Illinois.

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