Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerWith the simple click of a button, one can commit a federal crime by making a baseless threat to a school or other public space. The FBI reports that hoax threats have seen a recent uptick in frequency. Most hoax threats a type of internet crime as they are made through text messages, by email, or on social media.

The FBI believes that these hoax threats are incited by major recent tragedies like school shootings. According to the FBI, these threats are fully investigated when the FBI learns of them. It cautions that hoax threats are not funny and can have immensely negative consequences for all involved.

Hoax threats are considered to be a federal crime because they often utilize interstate communication. People who post or send such threats may receive five years in prison. Perpetrators can also face state or local charges.

Hoax threats are often carried out by young people who do not fully understand the ramifications of their actions. Also, because making a hoax threat can be done quickly and with little effort, there is not much time to self-reflect and back out of committing this crime. Indeed, it is unfortunate that a young person could start out their adult life with a felony conviction for such a serious crime.

Hoax threats also affect the public at large. They waste limited government resources when law enforcement agents are required to respond to the threats. Threats can also upset students, those who work at schools and parents.

Get in Touch with a Chicago, IL Hoax Threat Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are being accused of making hoax threats, you should immediately retain counsel. Having an attorney will mean that your rights are fully protected and that you will have the best chance for a favorable outcome.

As someone accused of a crime you have many rights including the right to remain silent and not speak to police or investigators. The law says that using this right cannot be used against you, meaning that a judge or jury cannot assign any weight as to your guilt based on the fact that you are uncooperative in this way with police. As a defense law firm, we typically encourage all our clients to use this right.

Allegations of crimes involving computers can involve highly technical details, and not all attorneys have in-depth knowledge of these matters. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, our attorney not only understands how computer-based crimes are carried out, but we also have a network of experts who can look at the technical aspects of your case and, if necessary, explain them in layman’s terms to a jury.

Call a reliable Chicago, IL computer crimes defense attorney today at 312-629-0669. Our attorney offers appointments at night and on the weekends.



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Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerAddiction has always been a factor in many cases in the criminal justice system. Approximately 65 percent of those in jail are known to have a substance use disorder.

However, the opioid epidemic has created higher stakes due to the dangerousness of the drug and the potential for relapse once someone is no longer incarcerated. A new study shows just how many people addicted to opioids end up with drug charges or unrelated criminal charges.

About the Opioid Epidemic

The statistics about what a deep hold opioid addiction has on the United States is alarming. Perhaps the driving factor behind the epidemic is the increase in prescription painkillers. The United States has seen the number of opioid prescriptions triple from 1991 to 2011. In 2011, there were 219 millions prescriptions for opioids written in this country.

It is telling that this country comprises about 5 percent of the world’s population and consumes about 80 percent of the supply of these painkilling drugs. In 2012, 12 states had more opioid prescriptions than residents: Alabama (142.9 per 100 people), Tennessee (142.8), West Virginia (137.6), Kentucky (128.4), Oklahoma (127.8), Mississippi (120.3), Louisiana (118), Arkansas (115.8), Indiana (109.1), Michigan (107), South Carolina (101.8) and Ohio (100.1).

Opioid Epidemic and the Criminal Justice System

A recent study shows the strong link between opioid use and being charged and convicted of a crime. The study found that a mere 3 percent of the population that does not use opioids has been recently arrested or is on parole or probation.

Among who abuse prescription opioids, nearly 20 percent had criminal justice involvement. For heroin users, that number was 40 percent. Those who use prescription opioids and/or heroin were up to 13 times more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system.

Contact a Chicago, IL Drug Charge Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love have been charged with a drug related offense, the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel can help. We have successfully represented many clients who are defending drug charges in a variety of circumstances. Our attorney is very familiar with what options someone who abuses or is addicted to drugs has in the criminal justice system such as rehabilitative services and diversionary programs.

Call a skilled Chicago, IL drug charge defense lawyer today at 312-629-0669. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day.



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Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerIf you answer a knock at the door of your home, and a police officer or other law enforcement agent is on your front steps, do you know your rights? Over the years, we have seen many people expose themselves to criminal liability by not requiring law enforcement to present a warrant before allowing entry.

The Fourth Amendment Protects Citizens from Police Searches

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been interpreted to mean that searches and seizures inside a home without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable. This means that a court will likely throw out any search of a home without a warrant as it violates the Fourth Amendment.

There are exceptions to this. One exception is if the occupant of the home gives consent for police to enter and search. If the police ask you if they can search, you do not have to say yes.

Other exceptions include if the police have “exigent circumstances,” which means that police believe that they must enter the home to prevent physical harm to others, the destruction of evidence or the escape of a suspect. In these situations, the police do not need a warrant before entering a home.

But Won’t You Look Guilty If You Require a Warrant for Entry?

Sometimes people justify consenting to these intrusions by saying that they did not want to “look guilty” to police. Perhaps they hope that police do not find contraband. Other times people may believe that they have nothing to hide, so they should let the police search their homes.

A decision to allow police to enter a home based on either of these two scenarios is often in error. It is your right as an American to demand a warrant. A judge or jury cannot use your refusal against you to infer that you have something to hide.

Contact a Chicago, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are accused of a crime, you have enumerated rights under state and federal law. At our firm, we protect those rights fully.

Our attorney will examine every detail of your case to make sure that your rights have been respected and that law enforcement agents acted in accordance with the law. We will also review your case, examine possible plea deals and formulate your best defense.

To get in touch with our skilled Chicago, IL federal criminal defense lawyer, call us at 312-629-0669.



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Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerOnline solicitation of a minor is a crime that is aggressively tried by federal prosecutors. If you are convicted, you could face many years in prison. You also may be facing personal consequences like marriage difficulties and social ostracization.

For these reasons, you need to retain counsel that will take any and all steps to investigate your case and what evidence the government has implicating you in the crime. This will likely involve having the computer and other hardware seized by the government cloned so that the defense attorney and defense forensic experts can review the data.

Online solicitation of a minor is a federal crime set forth in 18 U.S. Code § 2422. That section states that using the internet to knowingly persuade, induce, entice or coerce any minor to engage in any unlawful sexual activity or to attempt to do so is illegal.

It is important to note the contours of this law. An accused does not have to have sex with a minor in order to be convicted. Furthermore, the person contacted does not actually have to be a minor for a conviction to result. In many cases, the person contacted is a government officer operating a sting and pretending to be a younger teenager.

On the other hand, one can be convicted if he or she believes the person contacted is a minor. While many people caught in an internet sex sting will believe they have a viable entrapment defense, this is often not the case. Unless an officer initiated contact with the accused and began the sexual discussions, it is likely not entrapment.

Contact a Chicago, IL Internet Sex Sting Lawyer

If you are facing charges involving solicitation of a minor through online means, you should contact an accomplished Chicago, IL federal crimes  attorney. These cases can be difficult because they combine the law with technology.

Your attorney must understand the intricacies of computer hardware and software and how social media works. Also, a complete knowledge of the federal law implicated in child exploitation or solicitation of minors is required. With the ever-evolving nature of social media platforms, these types of cases are always presenting novel issues.

When it comes to arguing novel issues, you need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. Our firm’s attorney has been defending people accused of crimes for nearly 20 years. Also, our attorney is a former prosecutor, so he knows how prosecutors will handle your case and will plan accordingly.

Call our firm today at 312-629-0669. We offer free consultations.



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