We are continuing our discussion of grand juries, focusing, for the most part, on state and county grand juries. The rules for federal cases are different, most notably by virtue of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. If someone is accused of a federal felony (a capital or "otherwise infamous" crime), a grand jury must hand up an indictment before the case can proceed.
Almost everyone who lives in Chicago knows at least a little about the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. Even if they are not familiar with the name, the mere mention of video recording of the teen being shot by the cop will garner an "Aha." They may know, then, that the officer accused in the case was charged with murder before the video was made public.
There are actually a couple of ways to commit mortgage fraud. Overall, the criminal act is lying on a mortgage application about a material fact -- some important piece of information about you or the property -- that influences the lender's decision. As with most crimes, the key for prosecutors is your intent, whether you meant to mislead the lender or whether you made a mistake.
In the past 10 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has tackled juvenile offender sentencing questions a few times. Each decision has been a step away from imposing the harshest sentences available on minors who have been convicted of the most serious crimes. This week, the court heard arguments in what amounts to an extension of a 2012 case.
Attempting to conceal the source of money made through criminal enterprises by trying to send it through legitimate businesses is referred to as money laundering. This is a serious crime and one that federal and state law enforcement agencies investigate very aggressively.
Illinois has been home to some contentious debates regarding eavesdropping in recent years. As we mentioned in this article on our website, this state's eavesdropping laws were at one time, some of the most aggressive in the country.
There are many gray areas of the law: areas that must be thoroughly examined and tested in order to determine what they mean and protect and how they may or may not apply to specific situations.
If you have been charged with a felony in the state of Illinois, there is no doubt that you are in a seriously bad situation. Felony charges are prosecuted very aggressively, and the potential consequences of a conviction are quite severe.
As experienced criminal defense attorneys in Chicago know, major felonies get particular attention from prosecuting attorneys. But what constitutes a "major" felony? That's something that's a little harder to answer.
Last week we talked about the effect criminal charges can have on an individual's employment. Unfortunately, when someone spends time in prison for a crime, even if it is a minor crime and one that did not include violence, he or she may have a very difficult time finding a job. For those offenders who are sentenced to long prison sentences, however, the issue may be moot, as they may be too old to work after they are released.