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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...
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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerPharmacists help people every day, providing the necessary medication that helps patients with their illnesses and injuries. Few pharmacists expect to receive a target letter or a federal subpoena and when they do, it is easy to imagine the worst-case scenarios. While pharmacists are often the target of prescription drug fraud investigations, it is important not to panic. There are defenses available for these cases and ways you can protect yourself.

Becoming Involved in the Government’s Investigation

Once you learn that you are under federal investigation, it is easy to want to wait it out, hope for the best, and see what happens. This is a big mistake. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are overzealous in their investigations and they cannot go unchecked. A lawyer can ensure that the investigation is being conducted in accordance with the law and that you do not provide more to the investigators than you are legally obligated to.

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Fourth Amendment, your rights, search and seizure, drug crimes, Illinois criminal attorneyAlthough the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires police to obtain a warrant based on “probable cause” before searching a person's property, the Supreme Court has long recognized a lower standard of proof when it comes to police stops of vehicles. In these cases, police may search a person's car or other vehicle based on “reasonable suspicion” of “possible criminal behavior.” A court must examine the “totality of the circumstances” in determining whether a police officer's suspicion is reasonable.

Recent Case in Illinois

An Illinois appeals court panel recently reversed a trial court's decision to suppress evidence from a traffic stop that uncovered evidence of illegal drug possession. The stop took place in March 2012. Police had information that a specific truck was likely involved in the transport of illegal drugs from the Mexican border to Chicago. The truck was spotted at a Chicago hotel. The driver, a woman, was on a Drug Enforcement Administration list of persons “involved in a narcotics trafficking organization.”

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Chicago criminal attorney, criminal defense, miranda rights, your constitutional rightsA person facing federal drug charges must always be prepared to assert his or her constitutional rights before and during trial. Once a jury convicts, it becomes much more difficult for a defendant to assert those rights on appeal. A recent decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago illustrates the uphill climb drug defendants face.

An Unprompted Confession

The underlying case involved a man accused of possessing and distributing crack cocaine. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) paid the man's nephew to go to his house, purchase cocaine, and then bring the drugs to the DEA. The DEA also fashioned the nephew with an audio/visual device so he could record the purchase.

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