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parenting time interference, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyCrimes where children are the victims carry stiff penalties and are among the type priorities of federal, state, and local law enforcement. The crimes of kidnapping and parenting time interference often overlap, but they also have some important differences.

What is Parenting Time Interference?

While most parenting time disputes are handled within the family court system, sometimes actions cross the line from civil issues to criminal issues. The crime of custodial interference is known as Unlawful Visitation or Parenting Time Interference.

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

new laws, law changes, Illinois criminal defense attorneyThe Illinois State Legislature has had a busy 2015. There have been several criminal law changes that are scheduled to take effect January 1, 2016. Many of these changes work in the favor of criminal defendants.

Aggravated Speeding

Illinois is still fine-tuning its aggravated speeding law. Currently, if you are driving faster than 26 miles per hour over the speed limit, but less than 35 miles per hour of the speed limit, you can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor. The current maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $2,500 fine. You are also left with a criminal record.

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criminal defense, testify, Illinois criminal defense attorneyOne of the most important and difficult decisions to make in many criminal trials is whether or not the defendant should testify. There are many strategic and ethical factors that go into this decision. Before you and your lawyer decide what is best for you case, you need to understand what goes into making the choice.

Your Constitutional Rights

Under the United States Constitution, you have a right to testify on your own behalf in a criminal trial. Neither a judge nor the prosecutor can prevent you from testifying.

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wrongful conviction, criminal law, Illinois criminal defense attorneyA man who spent more than 27 years in prison for crimes he did not commit has agreed to a $16.9 million settlement with the District of Columbia. The settlement was announced a federal jury was preparing to determine damages in the case. Earlier this week, the same jury found that two D.C. homicide detectives fabricated at least part, if not all, of the confession the man allegedly made to a police informant, leading to the man’s conviction in the 1981 rape and murder of a Georgetown University student. The detectives were also found to have withheld evidence in the cause, prompting many to call for an investigation into their handling of other criminal cases.

In 2009, the man’s original conviction had been overturned, when DNA evidence exonerated him of the crimes. The exoneration has already prompted internal reviews by the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney’s office. The case marks the first federal civil rights ruling over a wrongful conviction in D.C., but is similar to a 2012 Illinois verdict that held the city of Chicago liable for $25 million in damages as the result of a wrongful murder conviction.

Common Causes of Wrongful Convictions

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

wrongful conviction, false conviction, Illinois criminal defense lawyerIn many high-profile criminal cases, the court of public opinion will decide on a defendant’s guilt long before a trial ever begins. In fact, you can probably think of several examples in which you “knew” a famous suspect was guilty or not guilty of a violent crime simply based your impressions. American society, however, places a great deal of faith in the criminal justice system and, for the most part, if a defendant is convicted in court, the general public tends to believe he or she committed the crime. But what if he or she did not and was convicted anyway? Sadly, wrongful convictions sometimes ruin the lives of innocent people, and some of the reasons behind flawed verdicts may surprise you.

Factors of Wrongful Convictions

A recent study funded by the National Institute of Justice and conducted by a team from American University in Washington, D.C., looked at more than 450 cases to identify the factors that could contribute to a defendant being wrongfully convicted. In each case, the defendant, whether convicted or not, was later found to be factually innocent of the crime of which he or she was accused. The researchers, led by Dr. Jon B. Gould, J.D., director of the Washington Institute for Public and International Affairs Research at American University, compared the cases of wrongful convictions with those in which an innocent suspect was found not guilty or had the charges dismissed.

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