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Chicago federal crime defense attorneyIn the first few weeks of his administration, President Joe Biden has taken a number of steps toward keeping promises that he made on the campaign trail. To date, President Biden has signed more than two dozen executive orders, already approaching Franklin Roosevelt’s record of 30 executive orders in the first month of his administration. The president’s efforts of late have been directed toward social and racial justice concerns, including a noteworthy executive order that will phase out the use of private federal prisons by the Department of Justice.

Changing the “Whole Approach”

Last Tuesday, President Biden issued an executive order that directs the Attorney General and the Department of Justice to end their association with privately run, for-profit prisons. As part of the order’s directives, existing contracts with private prisons will continue to be honored, but the Attorney General has been instructed not to renew such contracts when they expire.

In his remarks prior to signing the order, President Biden emphasized his belief that the federal government must change “its whole approach” to issues of racial justice and social inequities, including in the criminal justice system. Biden added, “I firmly believe the nation is ready to change. But government has to change as well.”

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Posted by on in Federal Crimes
Chicago federal perjury defense attorney

Most people have at least heard of perjury, and you probably realize that being accused of perjury is a serious matter. You might know that perjury means lying under oath, but did you know that it is a federal crime? There are a number of federal statutes that address and criminalize perjury and related false statements, but two, in particular, are used most often to prosecute perjury. Section 1621 of Title 18 of the United States Code is commonly used to prosecute perjury before administrative, legislative, and judicial bodies, while Section 1623 of Title 18 addresses false statements made before grand juries and federal courts.

While there are differences between these two statutes and their applicability, the overall definition of perjury remains largely the same. It may seem like a simple definition, but prosecutors must prove several distinct elements to obtain a conviction on perjury charges.

Perjury Can Only Occur Under Oath

Making false statements is not always perjury. In order for a false statement to constitute perjury, it must be made under oath. For example, if you are being questioned by the police and you make a statement that is not true, you cannot be found guilty of perjury because you did not swear an oath to tell the truth. To be considered “under oath,” a person must make a promise to give honest testimony, and the promise must be made before a person with the proper authority to administer such an oath, including an officer of the court.

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Chicago federal crime pardon attorneyIn the last few days of his presidency, President Donald Trump issued more than 140 pardons and commutations to individuals throughout the country. The list of those who received executive clemency includes high-profile musical artists, criminal justice activists, and people who were serving long prison sentences for relatively low-level federal offenses. But, where does the president get the authority to issue presidential pardons, and are there limits on who can receive executive clemency?

Pardons in the U.S. Constitution

Article II of the U.S. Constitution addresses the executive branch of the United States government, namely, the office of President of the United States of America. In Section 2 of Article II, the Constitution states that the president “shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences [sic] against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” In short, this means the president has the authority to grant clemency to any individual who has been convicted of, or who is or might be under investigation for, a federal crime unless the individual in question is facing impeachment from public office.

The Constitution does not offer much more in the way of guidance or limitations regarding presidential pardons. However, the Department of Justice has set up a system through which petitions for executive clemency can be submitted and passed on to the president for consideration.

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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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