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Archive for the ‘probable cause’ tag

Police Brutality

December 21st, 2018 at 2:21 pm

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.

Contact a Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Illinois has a long history of police brutality, just like every other state in the country. For justice and to clear your name of wrongdoing, you need to work with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/30/us/st-louis-officers-undercover-assault/index.html

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/long-painful-history-police-brutality-in-the-us-180964098/

 

What Are Your Rights at a DUI Checkpoint?

October 27th, 2016 at 7:00 am

DUI checkpoints, Rolling Meadows DUI attorneyDUI checkpoints are common in Rolling Meadows and the surrounding areas. Law enforcement will set up a checkpoint—a temporary stop—to see if a driver is intoxicated on drugs or alcohol while driving. However, the problem with DUI checkpoints is that the police officers who man these stops may take too many liberties when it comes to investigating potentially intoxicated drivers. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights if you are stopped.

You Do Not Have to Answer Questions

Often, drivers do not realize that they are not required to answer a police officer’s questions when stopped at a DUI checkpoint. When a police officer asks where you were earlier in the evening, or where you are going, you do not have to answer. Police officers ask these questions to gather evidence against you, and you do not have to incriminate yourself. If you are not under arrest, then the police have no right to interrogate you. As such, you can politely decline to answer their questions at a DUI checkpoint.

You do, however, need to comply with their commands such as providing your driver’s license and registration upon request. Use common sense when you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint if law enforcement ask you a few initial questions. You can always say that you will not answer any questions without your lawyer present.

Police Cannot Search Your Vehicle Without Probable Cause

While law enforcement officers have the right to briefly stop you at a DUI checkpoint, they do not have free reign to search your vehicle without permission. A law enforcement officer has to have probable cause in order to conduct a search of your vehicle during a DUI check under your 4th Amendment protections. Police often develop the necessary probable cause to conduct a search of your vehicle if they observe something during the DUI stop that suggests you may be intoxicated behind the wheel. Common examples of evidence that supports the police officer having probable cause includes smelling alcohol in the vehicle or on the driver’s breath, or witnessing an open alcohol container in the vehicle.

Arrested at a DUI Checkpoint? Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you were arrested for DUI during a DUI checkpoint, it is important that you contact a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney who can review your case and explain your rights. Do not delay when it comes to getting the legal defense that you need. Call 847-394-3200 today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

Probable Cause: When Are Police Allowed to Search a Vehicle without a Warrant?

July 15th, 2015 at 3:45 pm

your rights, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney,Two of the most common types of criminal charges are drug charges and weapons charges. These two types of cases have something in common. They often involve a police officer searching some area (like a car or a home or a person) and finding an item that is the very basis of the crime, like a gun or drugs. Of course, many people understand that in most situations the police need a warrant to go in and search someone’s home. This is ultimately because of the Fourth Amendment. However what many people do not understand is that, because of some United States Supreme Court decisions, the police usually do not need a warrant to search a vehicle.

Occasionally the Police Need a Warrant to Search a Car

Very often police do not need a warrant to search your vehicle. Certainly, however, there are some exceptions. For example, if your car is being stored in your garage at your home and none of the warrant exceptions apply that would allow the police to search your home without a warrant, then they probably cannot search the car without a warrant (or your permission) either. This is because without your permission or a warrant, they cannot go into the garage. However, if your car were parked on a public street in front of your house, then a warrant likely would not be required.

Most of the Time the Cops Do Not Need a Warrant

Most of the time police officers do not need a warrant to search a car that you are out driving around. This exception to the Fourth Amendment dates back to a case almost as old as automobiles, known as Carroll v. United States. In this case from 1925 the United States Supreme Court ruled that an officer can search an automobile without a warrant so long as the officer has “probable cause” to believe that either evidence or contraband is in the automobile. Probable cause is one of the lowest burdens of proof in our legal system. The reasoning behind this ruling is two-fold.

First of all, since by their very nature cars are movable, there is a real threat of evidence destruction if officers have to wait for a warrant. Secondly, the Court theorized that there is less of an expectation of privacy in a car then there is in a home since cars are operated on public roadways under state regulations. Motor homes that are readily mobile, trailers pulled by trucks, boats, house boats, and airplanes are also covered by this exception.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are the suspect in a crime, or if you have already been charged, you will need help. There are many issues to consider beyond just whether or not you are guilty. In many cases there are important constitutional issues at stake like issues regarding the Fourth Amendment. In these cases you need someone on your side who has an in depth understanding of the law. You will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847)394-3200.

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