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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal law statutesOver the past few years, there has been a wave of civil rights protests in the wake of jury decisions in different criminal cases across the country. Protesters, community leaders, activists and even some local politicians refer to these events  as miscarriages of justice and violations of civil rights. But what exactly are “civil rights,” and what constitutes a violation of these rights?

Defining “Civil Rights”

Generally speaking, “civil rights” refer to an individual’s right to be free from unequal treatment or discrimination in a variety of settings. Some of these settings include housing, employment, education, and treatment by law enforcement and the judicial system. A violation of one’s civil rights occurs when one individual is treated differently by another individual or a local, state, or federal agency on the basis of some “protected” classification. For instance, the following would be considered violations of a person’s civil rights:

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Cook County defense lawyerCook County police recently arrested 79 “johns,” individuals looking to purchase sex, as part of a nationwide effort to combat prostitution. The johns were arrested in stings set up across the county. One sting, in Matteson late January, led to seven arrests, and involved a female police officer going undercover at a hotel. Another recent sting in Lansing netted 13 arrests. These stings are part of a larger, continuous effort from the Cook County Sheriff's Office in hopes of curbing prostitution, which often brings with it other illegal activity like drug use and violence. Stings are a common tactic used by Illinois authorities and tend to lead to many arrests. In 2015, 88 johns received citations for soliciting sex in the city of Matteson alone. Soliciting Sex on Superbowl Sunday Interestingly enough, these recent stings in Illinois were part of a larger, nationwide effort to curb prostitution surrounding the Super Bowl. Law enforcement officials say that Super Bowl Sunday and the days leading up to are a popular time for sex trafficking and prostitution, so the stings surrounding the game are especially important. In Santa Clara, California, for example, 30 johns were arrested on game day. Last year, Cook County authorities cracked down on johns during the period surrounding the Superbowl, and arrested almost 600 johns and others involved in prostitution. The Sheriff of Cook County says that while efforts are being made to stop prostitutes themselves and catch those involved in sex trafficking, johns are the primary focus of the recent stings. “It there were no johns, there would be no prostitution. It is not a victimless crime and johns need to be held responsible for their role in exacerbating the sex trade.” Serious Consequences for All Involved Johns caught attempting to purchase sex should expect consequences. The Matteson Police Chief says that his officers have the option of either arresting the john for a formal misdemeanor, or issuing a citation. While citations are certainly the preferable punishment, they still include a $500 fine, administrative fees of $500, and potential towing fines if the john was using a vehicle during their search for sex. Authorities say first time offenders and those who are compliant with the officers typically get issued a citation. Those facing charges related to prostitution or soliciting a prostitute should expect even harsher consequences including prison sentences and hefty fines. Cases involving minors and other special circumstances could include additional criminal charges as well.

If you are in the Chicago area and are facing charges related to prostitution, you need the help of a discrete and effective criminal defense attorney. Your reputation, livelihood, and future freedom may be in jeopardy, but the qualified attorneys at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney can help. Call 312-270-0999 today to schedule your free consultation with a qualified Chicago criminal defense attorney to review your case. We will work vigorously to ensure you a beneficial outcome. 




bail, bond, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyThe words “bail” and “bond” are common to stories and news accounts of arrests on criminal charges, especially for violent crimes and felonies. In fact, if you or a loved one has been arrested, you may have heard the words spoken around you. Often, the two terms seem to be used interchangeably, and while the meaning is usually close enough to what the speaker or reporter intended, the two are not quite the same.

What is Bail?

Put simply, bail is a form of security or collateral set by the judge, if required, after a defendant has been arrested to ensure that he or she appears for trial. In a vast majority of criminal cases, the trial date is not held until weeks or months after the initial arrest. The defendant has the option of remaining in jail to await trial, but for an innocent or wrongly-accused person, doing so may be unbearable.


Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, federal charges, posting bond,When a criminal defendant is arrested and charged with a federal crime, it often takes several months before that defendant is brought to trial. In the meantime, a court has several options regarding what to do with the defendant until the time for trial. In most cases, the court will allow the the release from custody of the defendant either on his or her own recognizance or after posting a sufficient bail bond.

A release from custody, however, does not mean that federal criminal defendants have a license to do whatever they please. In fact, certain actions can land defendants in hot water with the court and, potentially, back behind bars.

Purposes and Types of Release


cell phone, search warrant, your rights, criminal appeal, Chicago criminal defense lawyerMay the police search your cellphone without a warrant? On June 25, the United States Supreme Court said that in most cases, the answer is “no.” The Court ruled in two cases where police seized and searched a suspect's cell phone without a warrant. Federal and state officials argued that such searches, when conducted as part of an arrest, do not violate the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court disagreed.

Riley v. California

The first case reviewed by the Court involved a man in California initially stopped for a minor traffic violation and driving with a suspended license. Police searched the man's car and discovered illegal firearms. Police arrested the man and searched his cellphone without a warrant. The cellphone led police to uncover additional evidence connecting the man to a gang shooting. A jury convicted the defendant on several charges, and the California courts rejected his appeal on the grounds the police illegally searched his phone.



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