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Criminal Defense Archives

SCOTUS grants cert in important Fourth Amendment data tracking case - II

Last week, we began discussing how the Supreme Court of the United States recently granted a petition for a writ of certiorari in Carpenter v. United States, a case that could have major implications for Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.

SCOTUS grants cert in important Fourth Amendment data tracking case

With all of the excitement on Capitol Hill last week owing to the testimony of former FBI director James Comey before a Senate Panel, it's possible that many people overlooked a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to review an important case during their next term -- one that could have major implications for Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.

Legislation calls for reform of Illinois' civil forfeiture laws

Many people might be unaware that the civil forfeiture laws in Illinois permit any state law enforcement agency to confiscate vehicles, cash, real estate or other personal property that it merely suspects is connected to criminal activity.  

Understanding the suppression of evidence in criminal trials - II

Last time, our blog began discussing how defendants who believe that the evidence prosecutors are seeking to introduce at their criminal trial was gathered in violation of their constitutional rights can seek to have it suppressed, meaning thrown out, via the exclusionary rule.

Understanding the suppression of evidence in criminal trials

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution expressly protects "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." While this language may seem a bit complex, it essentially means that absent certain circumstances, the government must conduct searches pursuant to lawfully executed warrants.    

Neighborhood Safety Act, the long-awaited criminal justice reform bill, now in effect

In February 2015, Governor Bruce Rauner signed an executive order forming the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform, a statewide taskforce whose express duties included devising workable solutions to help reduce the state's prison population by 25 percent by 2025.

Minor in possession laws in Illinois

We all know you can get in trouble for having an open container of alcohol, driving under the influence of alcohol or possessing some controlled substance. However, there are specific laws that govern minors when it comes to alcohol and drugs. They're called minor in possession laws (MIP) and they make it crime just for a minor to have alcohol in their possession, regardless of where they got it or if they were even drinking it.

ATF remains committed to preventing gun sales in pot-friendly states

When it comes to gun ownership and illegal narcotics, it would be no surprise to anyone anywhere to learn that the federal government has a zero tolerance policy. Indeed, this stance can be traced all the way back to 1968 when Congress passed the landmark Gun Control Act of 1968, which makes it illegal for an "unlawful user and/or an addict of any controlled substance" to purchase any sort of firearm.

Know your rights when interacting with law enforcement - III

In a series of ongoing posts, we've been discussing how the U.S. Constitution provides every person with certain inalienable rights regardless of whether they are confronted by federal agents, state troopers or local police officers, and regardless of whether this confrontation takes place in their vehicle or at their front door.

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