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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.

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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.

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Posted by on in Federal Crimes

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.

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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.

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Illinois federal crime defense attorneyIn any criminal case—including a federal criminal case—the prosecutors bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the defendant has committed the crime in question. But, what does it mean to prove the defendant’s guilt? The standard of proof in a criminal case is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which means that the jury or the judge must believe “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the suspect did what prosecutors say he or she did. The tricky part of this standard, however, is defining reasonable doubt.

Defining Reasonable Doubt

Depending on the case in question, prosecutors may attempt to explain to jurors what reasonable doubt means. Defense attorneys sometimes present a definition of their own, as well. For example, a prosecuting attorney in California once compared the standard to a puzzle that is missing a single piece, suggesting that even with a missing piece, it was still clear what the puzzle showed. The case resulted in a conviction that was later overturned on appeal because by attempting to define reasonable doubt, the prosecutor effectively told jurors they could convict the defendant based on incomplete information.

For reasons like this, the parties in a criminal case are generally not encouraged to offer their own definitions of reasonable doubt. The same is true if the judge is not careful about explaining reasonable doubt to the jurors.

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