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Hal Garfinkel is retained as the defendant's lawyer in the Chicago high profile murder case of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. Read more...

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyer, IL criminal defendant rights, Being accused of any type of crime can be completely overwhelming and confusing, whether it is a federal drug crime or an allegation related to child pornography. A criminal defendant may not know that he or she still has certain rights after being arrested and charged with a crime. These rights are protected by the United States Constitution and other state and federal laws. If you are facing criminal charges, it is important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty, and you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. It is important to know about the rights every criminal defendant has and what to do if your rights have been violated.

The Right to Remain Silent

Even if you have never before been arrested, you are probably familiar with the “right to remain silent.” This right is listed along with many others during the Miranda Warning—which should have been read to you during or after your arrest. You have a right to stay silent when questioned by police so that you can avoid incriminating yourself. Many criminal defendants inadvertently give police and prosecutors evidence which is later used against them by talking too much in the moments after the arrest, so it is critical that you do not consent to police questioning until you have an attorney present. An experienced criminal defense attorney will help you avoid the tactics that police often use in an attempt to get you to admit to a crime.

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Posted by on in Criminal Justice System

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerWhen a person has been charged with a federal crime, there are many consequences they will face. These include jail time, high fines, and a permanent criminal record. However, some individuals may be able to get a pardon. Pardons are available at the state and federal level. When someone is granted a pardon from the state, they are given by the governor of that state. Under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, federal crimes can only be pardoned by the President of the United States. Below is some information about presidential pardons and how they work.

Requesting a Presidential Pardon

The President may decide on their own to pardon someone of a crime. Most often though, pardons are only granted once a person applies for one. Applications are submitted to the Department of Justice and the Department then reviews the application. No one can apply for a pardon until at least five years after they have been released from prison.

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juryIf you have been charged with a federal crime such as healthcare fraud or federal drug trafficking, you may hear that the grand jury is convening over your case. This happens before a trial even begins, which confuses many accused individuals. Does the jury convene after the trial? What does the grand jury do?

In federal cases, there is a good chance that both a grand jury and a trial jury will hear your case. They both have very different functions, though, and are sometimes presented with different types of evidence.

The Grand Jury in Federal Cases

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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.

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Illinois federal crimes attorney, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer,Those Illinois residents who have either had experience with the court system or who are casual followers of court cases know that the vast majority of criminal proceedings end in a verdict (either as the result of plea negotiations or a trial) wherein the court either finds the defendant guilty or not guilty of the charged offense. There are a few trials, however (most recently and notably, the criminal trial of comedian Bill Cosby), where the case does not end with a verdict. Instead, the court finds that a mistrial has occurred.

While it may seem like a trial that results in no verdict may be beneficial for you, the defendant charged with the crime, such a finding may not be as advantageous as may first appear.

When Is a Mistrial Declared in an Illinois Criminal Case?

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