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Archive for the ‘human trafficking’ tag

Crimes Against Undocumented Immigrants

December 26th, 2018 at 2:20 pm

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.

What if I Have Been Charged with a Crime Against an Immigrant?

The most common crimes committed against undocumented workers include the following:

  • Human trafficking;
  • Robbery and theft;
  • Assault;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Battery;
  • Domestic violence; and
  • Workplace crimes.

If you have been accused of committing any of these offenses, you need to speak with an attorney. In some rare cases, alleged offenders are charged with hate crimes if there is evidence that the offense was committed because of the victim’s race or national origin. A hate crime can add potential serious jail or prison time to any offense that you are charged with.

Call a Cook County Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Crimes against undocumented immigrants are treated just as severely as crimes committed against U.S. citizens. As such, it is dangerous to enter the mindset that the allegations made against you are not serious. Make no mistake, you need to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Call 847-394-3200 to reach the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://rockrivertimes.com/2018/11/28/illinois-house-overrides-voices-act-veto/

https://www.nationalimmigrationproject.org/victims.html

 

New Program Treats Prostitutes as Victims Instead of Criminals

June 17th, 2015 at 7:41 am

Illinois sex crimes lawyer, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,Prostitution is a crime that has been handled and mishandled many ways by society over the years. During some eras it has been ignored, in other eras it has been harshly prosecuted, and in some parts of the country it has even been legalized. It is still against the law in Illinois and the people engaging in prostitution often find themselves in need of the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. Now, however, Cook County has created a new program that will treat the people engaged in prostitution, who are all too often not prostitutes of their own volition, as the victims they are, rather than treating them as criminals.

A New Cook County Program

The Chicago Tribune reports that a new court will change the way prostitution charges are handled in Cook County. This program was in part made possible by a 2013 change in the state prostitution law that required that all prostitution cases be charged as misdemeanors rather than felonies. The court will be called the “Chicago Prostitution and Trafficking Intervention Court.” Its goals are to give people working in prostitution the tools they need to leave that life while at the same time reducing the overcrowding of local jails.

Program Acknowledges Realities of Prostitution

While some people, both men and women, consciously choose to work in prostitution despite having other readily accessible options in their lives, that is simply not the case for many sex workers. Some are the victims of human traffickers, while others are trapped by issues involving substance abuse, homelessness, and/or mental health problems. These women and men often find themselves forced into sex work just to survive. This new program is designed to help solve these underlying problems rather than just punishing people for doing what they have to do in order to get by. One of the key elements of the program is that the defendants who are a part of it will actually be able to get their charges dismissed if they successfully complete the program. It remains to be seen, however, how realistic completion of the program will be. Drug courts have shown that when they are properly implemented they can be an excellent tool for rehabilitation, but when they are not run properly they can just be a way of setting defendants up to fail. Hopefully this court will be more like the former than the latter.

What Will the Program Include?

The men and women who engage in this program will have individual case managers. They will have access to HIV testing, and, if necessary, treatment. They will receive counseling. Depending on the participant’s individual needs they may also work with organizations that fight homelessness, that deal with human trafficking issues, and that provide mental health services.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are charged with prostitution, or any other crime, you will need the help of an experienced and passionate criminal defense lawyer. For help from a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, you should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. When you call us at (847)394-3200 we will schedule an appointment at your convenience.

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