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Archive for the ‘defense attorney’ tag

Illinois Supreme Court Discusses Cook County Court System

April 7th, 2014 at 7:00 am

basic court services, Chief Judge Timothy Evans, Cook County court system, defense attorney, Illinois Supreme Court, overcrowded prisons, Supreme Courtrecent article revealed that the Illinois Supreme Court is not pleased with the way criminal suspects are handled in the Cook County court system. The Supreme Court’s report said that those who are charged with a crime needlessly await trial behind bars due to a lack of leadership within the county’s court system and a misunderstanding of basic court services.

Pretrial Services

The report mainly discussed pretrial services, which is a division within the adult probation department. The original purpose of this division was to alleviate the issue of overcrowded prisons by helping determine if defendants should be kept in custody or released pending trial. Pretrial officers are responsible for screening defendants who are brought in by Chicago police in order to make this determination.

The pretrial officers are tasked with interviewing the defendants about their criminal history, mental health, and living arrangements. Their report is then given to the bond court judge, who uses it to decide whether the defendant will appear at future hearings and avoid being arrested again if released. This contributes to the judge’s decision on bail.

The System’s Shortcomings

The report by the Supreme Court of Illinois revealed that the pretrial reports were often unreliable due to time constraints, access to information, and training issues which prevented the bond judge from relying on them too heavily, as they were limited and usually unverified.

Specifically, the report by the Court stated that the work done by pretrial services is either dismissed entirely, or relied on only minimally due to a lack of confidence in the credibility of such work.  This results in defendants, some of whom would have been released, remaining in jail while their case proceeds through the court.

Changes to Come

The Cook County Circuit Court Chief, Judge Timothy Evans, said that some of the problems with pretrial services are due to the department being understaffed and underfunded, although he did say that some changes to the department have already begun. While officials debate where the ultimate blame for the problem lies, one thing is certain: many men and women who have been charged with crimes have suffered because of the flawed system.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s report made 40 recommendations to improve pretrial services in Cook County, and plan to appoint an administrator to oversee the implementation of their plan. The plan focuses on making changes to the existing structure before approving the hiring of additional staff.

Criminal Defense Attorney

It is always imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney when charged with a crime, but it is especially required when flaws in the court system are apparent. A dedicated defense attorney will not only protect your rights, but will fight for justice in instances where an issue in a criminal case may have otherwise been overlooked.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for a consultation. We have successful experience representing clients in Cook County and the surrounding area.

Mount Prospect Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault

February 14th, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Herbert Burgess, 58, was convicted in early February in a Cook County Circuit Court of a Class X felony and sentenced to 24 years in prison. Burgess was accused of sexually assaulting a youth who worked for him, “the son of friends he had known for years,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Burgess was a former executive for a Buffalo Grove printing firm, and the assault of the young man occurred in Burgess’ residence on Lexington Drive. The 24-year sentence will be served concurrently, according to the Tribune, and includes 15 years for criminal sexual assault and three years for unlawful restraint. One of the key witnesses in the trial was a male who claimed on the stand that Burgess had molested him in 1978 after having been plied with alcoholic beverages. Mount Prospect Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault IMAGE

According to the United States Bureau of Justice, sexual assault can be described for “a wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape.” They usually involve attacks or attempted attacks, and usually involve unwanted sexual contact. Sexual assault can also refer to verbal threats. According to a Canadian Justice Department publication, a perpetrator of sexual abuse will “most likely be a friend or family member.” The specifics of the sexual assault in the Burgess case were not revealed to the media, though it was clear that he was an old acquaintance of his victim.

The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) is a group that works with and for survivors of sexual victimization in the state. According to the ICASA, in 2012, the organization served 18,092 adult, adolescent, and child survivors of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and sexual harassment. The number was significantly lower than the 2011 figure of 18,896.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a sexual assault crime, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area criminal defense attorney today.

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Chicago Man Charged in Wife’s Murder

January 2nd, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Margarito Valdivia, 44, a Chicago man “with a history of domestic violence arrests has been charged with the murder of his estranged wife in Munster, Indiana, early New’s Day,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Valdivia is being held without bail for the alleged slaying, in which he’s said to have driven to his estranged wife’s home and attacked her and her boyfriend. Valdivia is alleged to have hit his wife’s boyfriend in the head many times, driving him from her home, and then went back inside to beat his wife. According to the Tribune, police were called to the home at 5:45am only to find that “Valdivia had barricaded himself inside. After a SWAT team was called, police sent a remote-controlled robot into the home, and he surrendered.”

Erica Valdivia was found in the bathroom with “major trauma” to her head including her face. She was declared dead at 10:04am that morning. Mr. Valdivio has been charged with murder and felony battery, and it’s not the first time that he’s facing assault charges. He has Cook County arrests dating back to 1990, according to the Tribune, “when he was arrested on a domestic violence charge and an order of protection was lodged against him.” He was also charged in 1994 with domestic battery, in 1997 for criminal damage and having a firearm, in 2000 for domestic battery, and in 2012 was found guilty of battery.

According to, Erica Valdivia is not alone. Every day in the U.S. “more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends,” and “every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman is assaulted or beaten.” Domestic violence, such as what Mrs. Valdivia suffered over the years, is the number one leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

If you or someone you know has a case against domestic violence, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois criminal lawyer today.

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