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Criminal Defense Archives

The weight of eyewitness testimony in a criminal trial

Eyewitness testimony is a critical part of many criminal trials in Illinois and across the country. People who were present at the scene of the crime often tell their accounts of what happened when the crime occurred. The judges and juries listening to these eyewitness accounts place heavy weight on the details of their stories. In fact, testimonies may sway the jury to declare the defendant guilty or not guilty, simply based on the account of one or more people. What many people don't realize, however, is that many of these accounts are not accurate and are often unreliable when it comes to giving solid facts regarding the crime. Eyewitness misidentification, environmental influences and limitations of the human memory can all cause errors and potentially send an innocent person to prison.

Misdemeanors, felonies and petty offenses explained

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, you may be confused by the many terms used in court documents. We at Jim Ryan and Associates not only fight for your rights, but also work to make sure you understand exactly what these complicated terms mean.

Long-term effects of a criminal conviction

When a person is convicted of a criminal charge in Illinois, they have to face the penalty handed down by the court. However, it is the related results of a conviction that will have the longest lasting effects. Often referred to as collateral consequences, related results of a criminal conviction affect many other aspects of a person’s life. The assumption that a person has paid his or her debt to society by completing the court’s sentencing requirements is simply not true.

Hedge fund boss faces charges in $1 billion fraud case

Federal authorities announced last week that they are unsealing an indictment which charges a hedge fund boss and several deputies in a major fraud case, involving 1$ billion. In federal courts, you are charged with an indictment which is issued by grand juries. The indictment is the formal document that lists the charges against you and justifies your arrest and seizure of property for evidence.

Guilty Pleas: are they ever a good idea?

Pleading guilty is a challenging endeavor, it feels like you are admitting that you did a wrong. But sometimes pleading guilty is a good choice. Most of the time the prosecutor will drop some charges, mitigate the sentence, or even allow you to enter a diversion program (to avoid criminal penalties). This post will go over the warning signs on when you should consider a guilty plea.

Bail is expensive for many people

New Orleans is a case example of a wider problem that is gripping the country. The United States is confronting a new issue in criminal justice. The United States, unlike most of the rest of the world, utilizes a for-profit system of bail. The bail system is facing increasing pressure from criminal justice reformers. The post will go over the bail system and how you can get caught up in it.

DUI probation: the basics

Getting arrested is scary. You are cuffed, driven to county lock-up, fingerprinted, and dropped in a holding cell, usually with dozens of other offenders. Understandably, you want to do anything you can to avoid further incarceration, and therefore plea bargains offer an attractive alternative to end the process quickly and negotiate a deal that keeps you out of prison. This post will go over DUIs and how probation may work for you.

U.S. experiences spike in hate crimes

The FBI noted a significant spike in hate crime activity against Muslim Americans, 67 percent over last year and a six percent increase for all groups, in the days following the election. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that it received more than 700 allegations of harassment and potential hate crimes in the handful of days after the election.

What happens if you are charged with a misdemeanor?

There are three types of crimes, infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Misdemeanors are much more serious than infractions (which are like speeding or parking tickets) but not nearly as serious as felonies. This post will go over the basics of a misdemeanor and what can happen if you are faced with one.

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Criminal Defense Archives | Naperville Criminal Defense Blog