Chicago federal criminal defense attorneyThe nation looked on in horror as a protest in the nation’s capital turned violent and destructive last week, leading to a number of injuries and widespread damage to one of America’s most iconic buildings. Thousands of protestors gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC, on January 6 as lawmakers were assembled to certify the results of November’s presidential election. According to various news outlets, the protest turned destructive as hundreds of people managed to get past Capitol security and into the building itself.

In the days that followed, authorities announced the filing of federal charges against a number of the people who were allegedly involved. Among the first 13 arrested on federal charges was the CEO of a Chicago-area tech company who is now facing at least three federal charges for his alleged actions last week. Several dozen others were arrested and charged with unlawful entry and curfew violations in Washington, DC Superior Court.

Federal Charges Lead to Termination

According to various news outlets, an Inverness man was charged last week with three federal crimes, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. The 52-year-old was the chief executive officer of a small data technology company based in Schaumburg.

On the evening of his arrest, the man issued an apology on Twitter. In his tweet, he said he “followed hundreds of others” into the Capitol through a set of open doors “to see what was taking place inside.” He went to apologize to law enforcement for his actions, calling them the “worst personal decision” of his life.

The next day, the Schaumburg data tech company announced that the man had been terminated and that another company officer would be serving as acting CEO. In a statement, the acting CEO indicated that the decision had been made because the man’s actions were not consistent with the company’s core values.

More Arrests Are Likely

Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin issued a statement in which he assured Americans that his office was not done with this case. He indicated that he would be working with law enforcement agencies at all levels and using “every resource to identify, arrest, and begin prosecuting” those who engaged in criminal behavior at the Capitol. Sherwin promised that those who have been or will be arrested for engaging in or inciting violence “will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Contact a Chicago Federal Crimes Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been arrested on any type of federal charge, it is critical to work closely with an attorney who has experience in dealing with federal prosecutors and judges. Attorney Hal M. Garfinkel has been practicing law for more than 30 years, including many years in the area of federal criminal defense. Contact our skilled Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel. Call us today at 312-270-0999 to schedule a free consultation. Phones are answered 24 hours a day for your convenience.



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Chicago IL federal criminal defense attorneyIt is normal to feel nervous before your appearance in court when you are facing criminal charges, especially if the case is being handled in federal court. It is important to prepare yourself for trial because judges will not take kindly to a defendant who is not acting in accordance with expected decorum or who comes unprepared. Preparing for a federal criminal trial requires prior planning, and working with an experienced attorney offers significant benefits. Here are a few ways you can get ready for your criminal trial:

#1. Prepare Your Evidence

One of the most crucial elements of your defense is evidence that you bring to the trial that supports your claim of innocence. Evidence can be in two forms: witness testimony and exhibits. Witnesses can be people who keep records relevant to the case, experts who are qualified to give an opinion about a certain part of the case, or any other people who have relevant information about the case. Exhibits are items that support your side of the case. These things can include documents or other items used to prove your point or disprove the prosecution’s point, records, or photographs. Your attorney will be able to help you prepare the evidence.

#2. Prepare Your Testimony

You should also practice what you will say when you are given the chance to present your side of the case. Your attorney will help you with preparing what you should and should not say during your time on the stand, or advise you as to whether taking the stand is even in your best interests. Your lawyer may advise you to refrain from certain things or to speak up about certain points. Remember that whatever you say can always be used against you.

#3. Plan Your Day in Advance

If there is one thing that looks bad at a criminal trial, it is when the defendant is late. Judges do not take tardiness very well, and it may even damage your case. Arriving late gives the impression that you do not care about the trial or the trouble that you are facing. Plan your trip to the courthouse in advance and leave early so you can arrive with time to spare.

#4. Dress for Success

Another thing that can hurt your chances at a successful outcome is to come dressed casually or sloppily. It is human nature to make judgments based on visual observations, which is why a judge could form an unfavorable opinion of you just based on your outfit. The best thing you can do is to avoid sweatpants and try to avoid jeans. If you must wear jeans, make sure they are a dark wash. Also, wear a top that conveys a level of professionalism. Depending on your style, you might also wear a tie or a dress, but never look like your choice of clothes was rushed.

#5. Contact a Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Facing criminal charges can be stressful for anyone, and for good reason. Being in trouble with the law can change your life forever if you are convicted and can affect your life even if you are not convicted. If you have been charged with a federal felony or misdemeanor crime, you need the help of an experienced and tenacious Illinois federal criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we have experience dealing with all sorts of criminal cases, including those involving federal sex crimes, drug crimes, and online crimes. Contact our office today to see how we can help you fight your charges. Call the office at 312-270-0999 to set up a free consultation.


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Chicago federal sex crime defense attorneyThe issue is not new and is, in fact, as old as the internet itself,  but sexually-based crimes committed on the internet have garnered more professional and social attention as of late. The most notorious internet sex crimes—and the most commonly perpetrated—are the production and dissemination of child pornography. There are, however, many other types of online sex crimes as well.

For example, soliciting chats of a sexual nature from any vulnerable person, including a child or anyone who is unable to make the decision for him or herself, is considered an Internet crime. Inappropriate solicitation can take the form of asking the person to send a sexual photo of him or herself, or asking a minor to meet somewhere with sexual intentions.

The Prevalence of Online Sex Crimes

Statistics show that these types of crimes have steadily increased in recent years with the proliferation of the internet and as more and more teens spend increasing hours online. At least 13 percent of internet users under the age of 18 have reported having been the subject of unwanted sexual solicitations online, and 9 percent have found distressing sexual material while browsing the web.

Internet sex crimes can be perpetrated by strangers or someone a minor knows personally. Sexual abuse of young people via smartphones is especially common, with a full 15 percent of people aged 12 to 17 who own cell phones reporting having received a nude or semi-nude sexual photo from someone they know via text.

Federal Prosecution for Online Sex Crimes

The interstate and international nature of the internet places online crimes under the jurisdiction of federal law enforcement agencies. This means that virtually any internet-based sex crime can be prosecuted in federal court. As federal crimes, internet sex offenses such as child pornography often carry mandatory minimum prison sentences for a conviction, depending on the circumstances. A conviction for a sex crime also has long-term social and personal consequences, as offenders are often added to local, state, and national sex offender registries. With these potential consequences in mind, it is critical to work with a criminal defense lawyer with experience in federal court if you have been accused of committing an internet sex crime.

Contact a Chicago Internet Sex Crimes Lawyer

A conviction on federal charges related to online sex crimes will almost certainly change your life forever. For more information about building a strong defense, contact a Chicago federal criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel. Call 312-270-0999 for a free consultation and review of your case today.


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Illinois federal drug trafficking defense lawyerPossessing, selling, or distributing drugs can be a serious offense that carries serious charges, no matter where you live. When you are charged with drug trafficking, however, the sentence and corresponding fines can be even more severe. If you have been charged in federal court with drug trafficking, it is imperative to immediately speak with a legal professional. The longer you wait to understand the charges you are facing and what options you have, the more difficult it may be to build a proper case to mitigate the effects of the charges.

The first step in any criminal case is to understand the type of charge and exactly what it means. The differences between drug trafficking and distributing are many, but the basic difference is that a drug trafficking charge will likely be a federal charge while a possession or simple distribution charge most often will be handled at the state level. Federal charges generally carry longer sentences and can have a more severe effect on a person’s long-term record.

The International Issue of Drug Trafficking

The United Nations describes drug trafficking as a global problem. It is an illicit trade involving the manufacture and distribution of illegal substances across countries and continents. One of the most complex drug trafficking trade operations involves the manufacture and distribution of heroin. The abuse of heroin and other opioids has become such a problem that American health officials have started referring to it as an epidemic. The vast majority of the world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan, estimated at 380 tons annually. Another 50 tons come from the nations of Myanmar and Laos.

Often, a drug trafficking operation will be considered as such because it is part of a larger conspiracy or organization, such as one controlled by a gang or organized crime syndicate. A drug trafficking charge includes any point of the operation, not just the manufacture or sale of drugs. If you move the substance from one location to another—knowingly or not—you may be subject to a drug trafficking charge. This is how innocent people sometimes end up facing federal charges that can have serious effects on the rest of their lives.

 Contact a Chicago Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer

If you or someone you know is facing a drug trafficking charge, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we are equipped to provide the guidance and representation you need. Call 312-270-0999 for a free consultation with an experienced Illinois federal criminal defense attorney at our firm today.


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