Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerThe general term “federal child pornography charges” can refer to several different crimes based on the facts and circumstances of a case. These crimes are closely related, and you can be charged with multiple offenses at the same time.

Our firm treats those accused of federal child pornography charges with professionalism and dignity. We believe that everyone is entitled to a defense and to legal counsel that will argue zealously for your in court.

What Is Child Pornography and Related Offenses?

Child pornography is defined as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving someone under 18 years old.

Child pornography offenses include:

  • Possession of child pornography;
  • Production of child pornography;
  • Distribution of child pornography;
  • Receipt of child pornography;
  • Persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for purposes of producing visual depictions of that conduct; and
  • Buying, selling, or transferring custody of a minor for purposes of producing child pornography.

Also, anyone who attempts or conspires to commit a child pornography offense is also guilty of a crime under federal law.

Why You Should Understand the Differences Between These Crimes

Different charges carry different sentencing ranges. While even one count of possession can carry significant jail time, the law requires and judges typically sentence those found guilty of producing or distributing child pornography to harsher prison sentences.

In addition, it is important to fully understand what facts constitute what type of child pornography charges. The government must prove each element of the definition of the crime in order for you to be convicted.

Understanding the elements of child pornography charges as well as knowing the evidence the federal government has may lead to a plea deal. This reduced charge could be one with a less severe prison sentence or one that does not require sex offender registration.

Contact a Chicago, IL Child Pornography Charges Attorney

If you have been charged with child pornography in federal court, our attorneys can help. Our firm provides a supportive, non-judgmental environment to our clients.

Upon reviewing your case, we can advise you on the strength of the government’s case against you and what your options might be moving forward. Clients find that hiring an attorney gives them the confidence that they are getting the best representation possible, and our accomplished Chicago, IL child pornography charges lawyer offers years of experience of practicing in federal court. Call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel today at 312-629-0669.



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Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerCivil asset forfeiture is a mechanism federal law enforcement officials use to seize the property and possessions of people they come into contact with if they believe that the property is involved in criminal activity.

Authorities justify using this mechanism because they argue that a person is not entitled to profits from criminal activity. In reality, this process is used in a much broader manner. In fact, civil asset forfeiture can be utilized even when no one is charged or convicted of a federal crime.

How Common Is Civil Asset Forfeiture?

According to the ACLU, approximately $40 million annually in cash, automobiles and even homes is taken from Illinois residents through civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeitures are expected to be on the rise. In July 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that under his leadership, federal authorities will aim to increase civil forfeitures:

“With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.”

What Do Critics of Asset Forfeiture Argue?

Critics of asset forfeiture argue that it is wrong to permanently take the property of people who have not been convicted or charged with a crime.

In addition, forfeiture programs are set up so that the authorities that seize the property get to keep the property. Thus, this procedure is a source of funding, and authorities are incentivized to seize assets when the opportunity presents itself in the field.

What Steps Need to Be Taken If Your Property Has Been Seized?

To successfully get back your seized property, you must prove two things in a court proceeding. First, you must prove that you were not involved in criminal activity. Second, you must prove that you either had no knowledge that your possessions were being used to enable criminal activity or that you took every reasonable step to end such use.

Contact a Chicago, IL Federal Asset Forfeiture Lawyer

If you have been affected by civil asset forfeiture, you are not entitled to a lawyer as you would be if you were charged with a crime. This means you must retain counsel or represent yourself.

By hiring an effective Chicago, IL federal crimes attorney, your best arguments will be made in court. Your challenge to a civil asset forfeiture must be brought within a certain period of time. Call our firm today by dialing 312-629-0669.


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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois criminal lawyer,If you have been charged with a federal crime, you may wonder what options you have. You may also have already decided that you wish to plead guilty.

There are many reasons why people choose to plead guilty. Maybe you feel like the evidence paints an open and shut case against you. Maybe you believe that you will get a lesser sentence if you plead guilty and avoid trial. Whatever your reasons, pleading guilty is a choice only you can make, and an attorney can help you in that decision-making process.

Some people believe that one benefit of pleading guilty is that they will not need to retain counsel. This, however, is a misconception, and failing to hire an attorney is likely a mistake.

Here are four ways an Illinois federal criminal attorney can help you in pleading guilty.

Determine if the plea is fair. An attorney will examine the evidence the government has against you and assess if there is enough to find you guilty of the crime. Often the state does not have enough evidence, especially early in the case. It may be possible that they have enough evidence to convict you of a lesser crime, however. In these cases, an attorney can tell you what an appropriate charge to plead guilty to would be.

Negotiate a better plea deal. Besides evaluating the strength of the case against you, an attorney may be able to get you a better sentence or punishment. Federal criminal defense attorneys see what other defendants who have pled guilty have received.

Ask for a diversion program. It may be possible that your charges are eligible for diversion programs. There are often creative sentencing or punishment options available, but the government or a court must be asked for these options.

Advise you on your plea. There are different types of guilty pleas, and you can reserve certain issues as part of your plea. This can make a big difference as to your options on appeal, for example.

Contact a Chicago, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are considering pleading guilty, it is generally worthwhile to speak to an attorney. Even though pleading guilty seems like a simple process, there are numerous considerations and decisions. An attorney will be looking out for you and making sure you get the best possible outcome under the law.

Our skilled Chicago, IL criminal defense lawyer can be reached at 312-629-0669. Call today to schedule your initial consultation.


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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois criminal lawyer,If you have been charged with a federal crime – or even if you believe you are suspected of a crime — your next step should be to meet with an Illinois criminal attorney. Your attorney is your advocate in court, so you will want your first meeting to be productive and set the right tone for the entire attorney-client relationship.

Preparing for your initial meeting with an attorney will not only set you up for success, but it could also help you minimize costs. Here are five things you can gather to prepare for your first criminal attorney meeting:

  1. Your personal information. You may be asked for your contact information, birth date, employment information, and next of kin information. Depending on the type of case, your attorney may also need your driver’s license number, license plate number and Social Security number.
  2. A narrative of what happened. Writing down your recollection of the events leading up to the situation is a critical step in the preparation of your case with your attorney. You do not have to state if you committed any crimes. Think about how you would explain what happened to someone who had no knowledge of the situation. You should be as detailed as possible. You may not need to show this document to your attorney, but getting your thoughts organized will help you.
  3. Police and court documentation plus other evidence. Any documents you have received from the police or court should be brought to your attorney. Such documents include: police reports, warrants, indictments, search warrants and court filings. These documents are important for the attorney as he will be able to see something about the strength of the case against you by reviewing them. Also, any other evidence you have or can obtain is often helpful. This could include photos of the crime scene area, screenshots of text messages of social media posts, security camera footage and receipts. In many instances, security camera footage is taped over quickly, so getting a copy of the footage while it exists can be crucial.
  4. Your goals for the representation. You should also have an idea about what you want to get out of your representation. Some clients want to maintain their innocence and go to trial. Others want our firm’s assistance in a plea deal.
  5. Questions for your attorney. Writing down a list of questions for our attorney can make your meeting more productive. You may be curious to know if our firm has represented people charged with similar crimes. You may want to know about our attorney’s experience with plea bargains. Other common questions relate to fees and billing.

Contact a Chicago, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

As a client at our firm, you will be treated with respect, and we promise to take your case seriously. We understand what is on the line. By preparing before your meetings with us, you will be helping your case move forward productively and efficiently. To schedule an initial meeting with a helpful Chicago, IL criminal defense lawyer, call 312-629-0669 today.



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