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Criminal Defense Archives

The problem with eyewitness testimony

DNA testing has played a huge role in how cases are tried and how defendants are convicted. Since this forensic analysis has been introduced into the trial process, it has shed light on a huge problem in our criminal justice system: the inaccuracy of eyewitness reports. Of the hundreds of cases in which convicts have been exonerated through DNA testing, more than 70 percent of these involved eyewitness misidentification.

Treatment of defendants: the layered racial disparities

According to a recent study on demographic prison data from 2016, the U.S. Sentencing Commission discovered that black men receive 20 percent more prison time than white men for the same crime—even when the data is analyzed in terms of the offenders’ violent histories.

Could a 'tweet' deprive a defendant of a fair trial?

Much has been said this year about President Trump’s propensity to speak his mind, particularly through Twitter. His tweets have been fodder for controversy on things he likes (i.e. support for certain political candidates, his political relationship with China) as well as things that frustrate him (NFL player protests, disaster relief in Puerto Rico).

Why some defendants plead guilty when they may not have to

Much is said about the problems with our criminal justice system, especially its effect upon people of color and the poor. Those who cannot afford to post bail and go free until their next hearing date (or trial) are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to defending the charges against them and preparing to resume life as they once knew it after being released (if they are released at all).

Is an odor enough to arrest you for DUI?

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Cook County, DuPage County or elsewhere in the Chicago metro area, chances are that the police report accompanying the charges indicates that the arresting officer smelled an “ordor of alcohol” emanating from the driver, which likely gave the officer probable cause to ask you to perform a few field sobriety tests.

More women being charged with drunk driving

Our prior post focused on warnings for those planning on celebrating Halloween by going to a party. Indeed, increased patrols are expected for the entire weekend given that Halloween falls on a Tuesday. While some may believe that they may evade patrols because of what they look like (i.e. not the typical middle-aged man, or college fraternity pledge), the reality of DUI enforcement may come as a surprise.  

Be careful about alcohol at Halloween parties

Halloween is still weeks away, but it is expected that anti drunk driving campaigns will be as popular as commercials touting costumes. Even though Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, parties will likely take place the weekend before. Indeed, law enforcement agencies will urge drivers to be careful, but they are also charged with arresting drivers whose BAC is above the legal limit.

Bogus forensic science debases the criminal justice system

Modern forensic science has led to some great advancements in criminal justice. DNA analysis has secured convictions for violent crimes like rape and murder, but it has also led to the acquittal of wrongly convicted individuals who have spent years or decades in prison for crimes they did not commit.

Can I be charged with a DUI even though I wasn't driving?

It may seem inconceivable that a person can be charged with a DUI without even driving. After all, the principal element of the crime is that the accused was operating a motor vehicle. Nevertheless, there are countless people across the state of Illinois who are charged with drunk driving who are found asleep behind the wheel of a car that is not running, or even outside of their car in a parking lot.

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Darryl A. Goldberg
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