Category Archives: Criminal Defense

St. Charles crimes defense attorney

Being arrested and charged with a crime can be a shocking and overwhelming experience. In some cases, a person can be falsely accused of an offense. It is important to know that individuals accused of a crime are protected by the United States Constitution as well as other statutes. It is critically important for anyone who is facing criminal charges to remember that he or she is entitled to certain rights as a criminal defendant, in addition to being innocent until proven guilty. When a defendant’s rights are violated, it can dramatically affect the outcome of any future criminal proceedings.

Your Right to Remain Silent

If you have ever watched a true crime television show or movie, you probably heard the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent.” This right is specifically stated in the Miranda Warning, a list of notifications typically given by police to a criminal suspect upon arrest. The right to remain silent is protected by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S Constitution. The Constitution states that a criminal defendant cannot be “compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” Put another way, you cannot be forced to incriminate yourself. If you are arrested and taken into police custody, calmly tell police officers that you are utilizing your right to remain silent and then say nothing. Do not consent to any police questioning or interrogations until you have a lawyer present. Choosing to remain silent will ensure that you do not say anything that can be used against you in any resulting criminal proceedings. It also helps ensure that you are not tricked into saying something you do not mean during a stressful interrogation.

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Naperville criminal defense attorney

If you are arrested on suspicion of a crime, police officers will likely want to perform a search and seize any evidence which could be used against you. However, they must follow the laws when doing so. If you believe your rights have been violated by an illegal search and seizure, you should seek legal counsel immediately. The laws can be complicated, and there is often a fine line between what police can and cannot do when it comes to searching and/or taking your property. Even if the police found and seized drugs or other illegal contraband from your property or person, you may be able to have that evidence suppressed if it was not legally obtained. The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures, and an experienced attorney can determine whether your rights have been violated.

What Is Search and Seizure?

A “search” is a means through which government officials (usually police officers) go through a person’s house, vehicle, documents, and more, looking for evidence of illegal activity. In general, police will need a warrant to search a home or a car, but they can sometimes get around this if they have “probable cause.”

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St. Charles Defense Attorney

When you are arrested because you are accused of a crime, it can be a frightening experience. There is the uncertainty of what will happen to you, but also a feeling that you have no control of the situation. It is important to remember you do have rights as an arrested citizen. The United States Constitution gives each and every U.S. citizen certain rights when they face criminal allegations.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

In criminal trials, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff or prosecutor to prove the defendant is guilty, rather than the defendant having to prove they are innocent. It is presumed all defendants are innocent until they are proven to be guilty of the alleged crime. Guilt must also be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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St. Charles criminal defense lawyer rightsExcept for in certain cases where there is probable cause to believe you committed a crime, you cannot be arrested until the police have a valid warrant for your arrest. This does not mean you will not interact with law enforcement before being arrested – you likely will. And during these interactions, there will be numerous opportunities for you to incriminate yourself. Successful criminal defense depends largely on avoiding self-incrimination. Keep the following tips in mind during your law enforcement interactions to avoid incriminating yourself.

Do Not Speak with Law Enforcement

If you remember nothing else about avoiding incrimination during your initial interaction with law enforcement, remember this: you have the right to remain silent. There are a few circumstances under which you are required to identify yourself to police. They are:

  • If you are stopped while driving a car, you must show your driver’s license; and
  • If you are in a public space, and law enforcement has reason to believe you were involved in a crime, they may ask you to identify yourself. If the officers have identified themselves as police officers in this circumstance, you must comply with their request.

Beyond identifying yourself, you are not required to answer any questions.

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St. Charles child abuse defense attorneyAs a parent, one of the worst things you can face is an accusation of shaking your baby or other forms of child abuse. When you are accused of this type of offense, a lot is on the line, including substantial and possibly permanent changes to your parenting plan, potentially losing your parental rights to your child, and criminal penalties if you are convicted of child abuse. When you are facing this kind of accusation, it is best to be proactive and start working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to clear your name and ensure that you can keep your relationship with your child.

Get Legal Representation as Soon as Possible

Do not discuss the case with anybody without first securing legal representation, and do not take any legal action without working with your lawyer. Working with the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) can be complicated, so it is best to enlist an experienced lawyer to help you navigate its system.

Comply With All Court Orders

To protect your child, the court may temporarily remove him or her from your care. If this happens, follow the court’s orders. It can be painful and feel unfair to have your child removed based on an accusation, but refusing to cooperate with the court will only hurt your case.

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