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Recent Blog Posts

Marrying a Foreign National and Immigration Fraud Charges

 Posted on September 02, 2022 in Federal Crimes

chicago federal immigration fraud lawyerWe have all seen movies that show the lead characters from different parts of the world falling in love with one another and finding their proverbial “happily ever after.” Even in real life, there is often something very appealing about a foreign accent and the customs of another country. While we cannot control who we fall for, there are some things you should know about marrying a foreign national who is not a lawful permanent resident of the United States so that you can avoid the possibility of federal immigration fraud charges.

Non-Immigrant Visas

Each year, thousands of foreign nationals come to the United States on temporary, non-immigrant visas for a variety of reasons. Some are students in international study programs, and others come for work-related or business purposes. There are specific visas available for each of these situations. For those who simply wish to visit the United States, there are tourist visas available as well.

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Pyramid Schemes vs. Multi-Level-Marketing: How Can I Tell the Difference?

 Posted on August 29, 2022 in Federal Crimes

chicago criminal defense lawyerNew multi-level marketing (MLM) companies pop up all the time. Nearly everyone has a friend who is always trying to get them involved in the latest supplement, candle, or makeup line, with promises that if your interest goes beyond merely purchasing and you begin distributing, too, potential riches await. Cars, bonuses, and free products are just a few common rewards the MLM companies promise to their expanding network of employees. 

Those who invest their time and money in MLM companies often feel as though they got swindled or duped. Perhaps the product is not as good as they had hoped, or it is much harder to get friends and family interested in another miracle protein shake. Yet, unlike pyramid schemes, which bear many similarities to MLM schemes, MLM is legal. Why? And, if you are being charged with federal financial fraud for being involved in a pyramid scheme, is believing it to be an MLM campaign a defense? 

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What Should I Do if I Am Facing Charges of Domestic Terrorism?

 Posted on August 17, 2022 in Federal Crimes

chicago federal criminal defense lawyerAfter the horrific events of September 11, 2001, U.S. Congress enacted the USA PATRIOT Act. Meant to deter and punish terrorists, the PATRIOT Act significantly broadened measures to catch terrorists, including domestic terrorists, and keep Americans safe. 

While the PATRIOT Act was undoubtedly enacted with lofty goals in mind, critics immediately voiced concerns that continue to this day. Activist campaigns and organizations frequently engage in activities that could technically be considered domestic terrorism, and indeed, people are sometimes prosecuted for acts of conscience. Certain sections of the Act, including those on civil forfeiture, broadened government powers in ways that critics claim are easily abused. If you are facing charges of domestic terrorism, know that you do not have to face them alone. You can get help from a criminal defense attorney and fight the charges against you. 

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Are Telemarketing Scams Federal Crimes?

 Posted on August 12, 2022 in Federal Crimes

chicago criminal defense lawyerThe state of Utah was shocked last month when a reality TV star on Real Housewives of Salt Lake City pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges of committing federal wire fraud in a telemarketing scheme. While the reality TV storyline may prove irresistible to viewers, charges of federal telemarketing fraud carry serious consequences including extended time in federal prison. Under the terms of this reality TV star’s plea deal, she could spend up to 14 years in prison. If you or someone you love has been arrested for telemarketing fraud, it is important to understand this crime and the potential consequences you may face. 

Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Crimes

For most of us, scams are an obnoxious part of life. While many of these scams use either obvious or well-known tactics, others are quite sophisticated and more difficult to see through. No matter their level of sophistication, however, they are all illegal - whether they occur over the phone, through email, over text message, or by snail mail. 

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Will I Go to Federal Prison for Robbing a Bank? 

 Posted on August 03, 2022 in Federal Crimes

chicago robbery defense lawyerAt the end of July of this year, an Illinois woman was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery for robbing a bank in Bloomington, IL. While her trial has yet to take place, she will likely face harsh federal consequences if convicted. This is because the vast majority of banks are covered by a federal law making robbery a federal crime. So if you have been busted robbing a bank, will you go to federal prison? If you are convicted, you almost certainly will. Read on to learn more and then contact an Illinois federal criminal defense lawyer for help. 

Is Every Bank Robbery a Federal Crime? 

Every bank that is part of the Federal Reserve System is covered by a 1934 law that makes it a federal crime to rob any member bank. The vast majority of banks in the United States are member banks of the Federal Reserve System because their deposits are insured by the federal government. This protects customers from the kind of losses they experienced during the Great Depression, but it also means that crimes committed in banks are covered under federal law as well as state law. 

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Can I Be Charged with a Crime for Searching Something on the Internet?

 Posted on July 28, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Chicago Criminal Defense AttorneyAlmost every adult in America uses search engines every day. For most of us, our search histories remain private forever - something we typically are grateful for, considering the inherent privacy most of us would prefer when asking all those questions that randomly come to mind. While we can generally feel secure that our searches are done anonymously, certain keywords and phrases can trigger the attention of federal law enforcement. Even a search done out of pure curiosity with no ill intentions may trigger an internet crimes investigation, and curiosity alone may not be a sufficient criminal defense. If you have law enforcement asking questions about your online behavior, contact a criminal defense attorney right away. 

Is the FBI Monitoring Civilian Search Histories? 

The FBI and other law enforcement organizations usually have no interest in what you might be looking up online. But if you are consistently looking up words, instructional materials, or other suspicious search terms that may indicate interest in criminal behavior, you may end up on a government watchlist. 

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Can I Bail My Spouse Out of Jail if They Are Charged with a Federal Crime? 

 Posted on July 20, 2022 in Federal Crimes

chicago federal criminal defense lawyer Federal crimes are serious offenses for which prosecutors generally try to seek the most aggressive penalties. When you or someone you love is facing charges for a federal crime, it can be hard to think straight, especially if you believe you are innocent. Can you post bail? If you can, should you? Will it look bad to meet with an attorney? The answers to these questions are made much more simple with the help of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who can immediately get you the help you need. If you are wondering whether you can bail out yourself or your spouse for a federal crime, read on. 

Is Bail Possible For Federal Crimes? 

Whether bail is possible for any crime will depend on the crime you are accused of, as well as what happens in your bail hearing. For state crimes, a judge will set an amount for a bond and once you post bail or hire a bondsman, you can leave jail. But when you are charged and arrested for a federal offense, you will need to attend an initial hearing with a Pretrial Services Officer. The officer will ask you many questions about your background and your activities related to the crime of which you are suspected. Knowing how to answer these questions can be challenging and it is highly advisable to secure an attorney before you attend your initial hearing. 

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Do Federal Police Officers Have to Read Me My Miranda Rights?

 Posted on July 13, 2022 in Miranda Rights

chicago-federal-crimes-defense-lawyer.jpgLast month, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on several important cases. While certain cases earned more publicity than others, one of the cases that got the least coverage is the most important for criminal defense purposes. This case, Vega v. Tekoh, clarified that a police officer cannot be sued if he does not give an individual a Miranda warning before interrogating him when that individual’s incriminating statements are introduced as evidence against him in court. 

This has significant implications for criminal defense as it removes a defendant’s ability to seek a remedy for violations of their Miranda rights. If you are being accused of a crime, it is absolutely essential to never give statements to law enforcement that admit guilt. If you are being accused of committing a federal crime, or are even being questioned about one, call an attorney before speaking to investigators. 

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Do Federal Prosecutors Have to Prove My Guilt Beyond Reasonable Doubt? 

 Posted on July 07, 2022 in Federal Crimes

chicago-federal-crimes-lawyer.jpgFacing federal criminal charges of any kind in Chicago can be a frightening and confusing experience, especially because federal laws can be so complex and federal prosecutors can be so aggressive. You may rightfully feel as though you cannot trust any promises or guarantees you get regarding bargains or plea deals and even wonder whether the state has a strong case against you to begin with. If you or someone you love has been charged with a federal criminal case, you may be wondering what evidence the state has against you and how much evidence they need to prove you are guilty. Before you make any deals with a prosecutor, make sure you completely understand your options and have help from an experienced, assertive criminal defense attorney. 

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Federal criminal cases require prosecutors to prove a defendant’s guilt “beyond reasonable doubt.” This means that defendants do not have to prove they are innocent - rather, the government must prove to the jury that the defendant is guilty with evidence that is so clear that there is no reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. 

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Is Lying Under Oath Considered a Federal Crime?

 Posted on June 28, 2022 in Criminal Defense

b2ap3_thumbnail_chicago-federal-crimes-attorney_20220628-215547_1.jpgNow that the Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard verdict has been handed down by the court, many people have asked the same question: Did Amber Heard commit perjury? Many people use terms like “lying under oath,” and “perjury,” but few understand exactly what they mean. Perjury is a federal criminal offense prohibited by multiple federal statutes. Anyone accused of perjury or another federal offense should contact a federal criminal defense attorney right away to get legal advice for their particular situation.

Swearing to Tell the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Individuals who provide testimony in court are required to “tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Being sworn in binds a person to honesty. Telling a lie on the witness stand is not like lying elsewhere. Lying under oath is a serious criminal offense because it undermines the justice system.

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