A criminal defense lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in defending individuals or organizations accused of criminal offenses. Their primary responsibility is to protect the rights of their clients and ensure they receive a fair trial. Here are some of the key responsibilities of a criminal defense lawyer:
- Legal Counsel: Criminal defense lawyers provide legal advice and guidance to their clients throughout the entire legal process. They explain the charges against their clients, assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, and discuss the potential consequences and options available.
- Case Analysis: Lawyers carefully review all the evidence, witness statements, and legal documentation related to the case. They analyze the facts to identify any legal loopholes, inconsistencies, or potential defenses that can be used to protect their client’s interests.
- Investigation: Criminal defense attorneys conduct independent investigations to gather additional evidence or information that can support their client’s defense. They may hire investigators, interview witnesses, review surveillance footage, or consult with experts to build a strong case.
- Legal Strategy: Based on their analysis and investigation, defense lawyers develop a legal strategy tailored to their client’s specific circumstances. They determine the most appropriate defense approach, such as challenging the evidence, questioning witnesses’ credibility, or negotiating for a favorable plea deal.
- Court Representation: Defense lawyers represent their clients in court proceedings. They present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, object to improper evidence, and make motions to protect their client’s rights. They also prepare and deliver opening statements, closing arguments, and handle all necessary legal procedures during trial.
- Negotiation: Criminal defense attorneys engage in negotiations with prosecutors to seek a favorable outcome for their clients. This may involve plea bargaining, where they work to reduce charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. They strive to secure the best possible outcome, whether it’s a dismissal, reduced charges, or minimized penalties.
- Legal Advocacy: Defense lawyers advocate for their clients’ rights at all stages of the legal process. They ensure that their clients’ constitutional rights, such as the right to a fair trial, due process, and protection against self-incrimination, are upheld. They may challenge the admissibility of evidence obtained unlawfully or argue for the suppression of certain statements.
- Expertise and Research: Criminal defense lawyers stay up-to-date with changes in criminal law, precedents, and legal strategies. They conduct legal research to support their arguments, stay informed about relevant case law, and apply their expertise to develop strong defenses.
- Client Support: Defense attorneys provide emotional support and reassurance to their clients throughout the legal proceedings. They maintain open lines of communication, address concerns, and ensure their clients are well-informed about the progress of their case.
- Post-Trial Actions: In the event of a conviction, criminal defense lawyers may assist their clients with post-trial actions such as filing appeals, seeking sentence reductions, or exploring other legal remedies to challenge the verdict or reduce the penalties imposed.
It’s important to note that the specific responsibilities of a criminal defense lawyer can vary depending on the jurisdiction, the nature of the case, and the individual circumstances.
The law of personal injury, also known as tort law, is a legal framework that governs cases where a person has suffered harm or injury due to the actions or negligence of another party. Personal injury law allows individuals who have been injured to seek compensation for their losses and damages.
Here are some key aspects of personal injury law:
- Negligence: Many personal injury cases are based on the concept of negligence. To establish negligence, the injured party must show that the responsible party owed them a duty of care, breached that duty, and as a result, caused injury or harm. For example, in a car accident case, a driver may be considered negligent if they were texting while driving and caused a collision.
- Types of Personal Injury Cases: Personal injury cases can arise from various situations, including car accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, workplace accidents, and intentional acts like assault or battery. Each type of case may have specific legal elements and requirements that need to be met.
- Damages: In personal injury cases, the injured party may be entitled to different types of damages, including economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages typically include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other measurable financial losses. Non-economic damages cover intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Statute of Limitations: Personal injury cases are subject to a statute of limitations, which is the timeframe within which a lawsuit must be filed. The specific time limits vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of case. Failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations can result in the loss of the right to seek compensation.
- Insurance and Settlements: In many personal injury cases, insurance companies are involved. The injured party may need to communicate and negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a settlement. It’s important to understand that insurance companies may try to minimize the amount of compensation paid, so it can be helpful to have legal representation to protect your interests.
- Role of Personal Injury Lawyers: Personal injury lawyers specialize in representing individuals who have been injured due to the negligence of others. They provide legal advice, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, file lawsuits and represent their clients in court. Having a skilled personal injury lawyer can significantly increase the chances of obtaining fair compensation.
It’s worth noting that personal injury laws can vary between jurisdictions, so it’s important to consult with a legal professional or research the specific laws in your area if you have a personal injury case or need legal advice.
Illinois DUI Case List Expert Witnesses People v. Jones, 2015 IL App (1st) 121016 (04/22/2015) (“foundational element” used to strike a state firearms expert witness) People v. Safford, 392 Ill. App. 3d 212, 221 (2009) (court said that the admission of an expert’s testimony requires an adequate reliability foundation) People v. McKown, 236 Ill.2d 278 (2010) (HGN foundations case but see King below) People v. Floyd, 2014 IL App (2d) 120507 (March 2014) (retrograde extrapolation based on a single breath test is more speculation than science) Soto v. Gaytan, 313 Ill. App. 3d 137 (2000) (another case that talks about a foundational element) People v. Negron, 2012 IL App (1st) 101194 (2012) (another case that allows a fingerprint expert to testify but discusses Safford’s foundations test) Discovery Sanctions People v. Tsiamas, 2015 IL App (2d) 140859 (December 2015) (State can’t ignore discovery notice) People v. Moravec, 2015 IL App (1st) 133869 (November 2015) (DUI sanctions UPHELD) People v. Kladis, 2011 IL 110920 (DUI evidence suppressed after video is destroyed) People v. Aronson, 408 Ill.App.3d 946 (2011) (failure to make a copy is a sanctionable) People v. Strobel, 2014 IL App (1st) 130300 (June 2014) (no discovery violation occurred here so it was error to impose a discovery sanction) People v. Olsen, 2015 IL App (2d) 140267 (June 2015) (error for the trial judge to suppress evidence due to a purported discovery violation) People v. Moises, 2015 IL App (3d) 140577 (August 2015) (trial court’s decision to grant a discovery sanction is reversed because there was no discovery violation when officer did not record the FST) Probable Cause Navarette v. California, 134 S.Ct. 1683 (2014) (anonymous 911 call justifies traffic stop) People v. Anderson, 2013 IL App (2d) 121346 (October 2014) People v. Butorac, 2013 IL App (2d) 110953 (December 2014) (officers may board a boat to enforce registration requirements) People v. Cummings, 2014 IL 115769 (March 2014) People v. GonzalezCarrera, 2014 IL App (2d) 130968 (September 2014) People v. Timmsen, 2014 IL App (3d) 120481 (July 2014) (it’s ok to avoid a traffic roadblock so long as you don’t break any other traffic laws) People v. Santovi, 2014 IL App 2014 IL App (3d) 130075 (May 2014) (no pc to arrest defendant before cop yells at the women and orders her to open the bathroom door or he’ll kick it down) People v. Taiwo, 2015 IL App (3d) 140105 (April 2015) (proper to stop a car for a lane infraction when the cop had a hunch the car was connected to an accident he was investigating) Rescissions & Suspended DLs People v. Elliott, 2014 IL 115308 (January 2014) (recession only acts prospectively and has no retroactive effect, thus rescinding a suspension will not undue convictions based on that suspension) People v. Smith, 2013 IL App (2d) 121164 (November 2013) (DWLS can’t be revoked) People v. Clayton, 2014 IL App (4th) 130340 (March 2014) (even if notice was tampered with by the cop defendant had actual notice of his pending suspension) People v. Gaede, 2014 IL App (4th) 130346 (November 2014) (defendant withdrew his consent and implied consent statute found constitutional) People v. Morales, 2015 IL App (1st) 131207 (January 2015) (suspension reinstated defendant received proper notice from the police on the day of his arrest and had more than ample opportunity to challenge the suspension in court) People v. McLeer, 2015 IL App (2d) 140526 (February 2015) (officer amends the report after it was issued, suspension stands because SOS had enough information that the notice was given) People v. Gutierrez, 2015 IL App (3d) 140194 (July 2015) (A PBT test is not a statement, thus, the officer’s DL suspension is proper) Blood & BAC People v. Wuckert, 2015 IL App (2d) 150058 (December 2015) (625 ILCS 5/111501.4 trumps hospital policy that the results should not be used for legal purposes) People v. Armer, 2014 IL App (5th) 130342 (October 2014) (warrantless blood draw suppressed when not done with consent nor under exigent circumstances) People v. Harris, 2015 IL App (4th) 140696 (May 2015) (consensual blood draws ok) People v. Weidner, 2014 IL App (5th) 130022 (March 2014) (no error to wipe defendant’s arm with an alcohol wipe before hospital took his blood) People v. Hutchinson, 2013 IL App (1st) 1023332 (November 2013) (no error in admitting report of lab results as a business record) People v. Harris, 2014 IL App (2d) 120990 (May 2014) (state had problems showing the breathalyzer was certified) People v. Eagletail, 2014 IL App (1st) 130252 (December 2014) (logbook and printout admissible even though printout was made years after the breath test) People v. Chiaravalle, 2014 IL App (4th) 140445 (December 2014) (officer made a continuous observation even though he may have had his back to the defendant from time to time) People v. Thomas, 2014 IL App (2d) 130660 (May 2014) (speedy trial violated when police waited to issue BAC citation they already knew what the hospital blood BAC was) People v. Torruella, 2015 IL App (2d) 141001 (August 2015) (no error here when the trial judge accepted calibration records of the breathalyzer as a business record and no error when the court disregarded the defense expert’s testimony) People v. Smith, 2015 IL App (1st) 122306 (August 2015) (state failed to establish that the machine was properly certified within the 62 day window required by the regulations) Evidence People v. Blakey, 2015 IL App (3d) 130719 (November 2015) (prior inconsistent statement in this DUI huffing case was admitted in error) People v. Phillips, 2015 IL App (1st) 131147 (October 2015) (defendant blew under .08 and attacked that the officer’s opinion he was intoxicated) People v. Way, 2015 IL App (5th) 130096 (September 2015) (proximate cause defense, error to deny the defendant a chance to defend her aggravated DUI by arguing that the cannabis in her system did not contribute to the accident) People v. King, 2014 IL App (2d) 130461 (November 2014) (officer can testify to how defendant acted during instructions of HGN even though the results themselves not admitted) People v. O’Donnell, 2015 IL App (4th) 130358 (March 2015) (officer committed error when she testified it was her belief that Defendant was lying to her at the scene of the one car accident and that he was showing deception People v. Kathan, 2014 IL App (2d) 121335 (August 2014) (a drug driving case with an admission, bad driving and impairment leads to guilt) People v. Morris, 2014 IL App (1st) 130512 (July 2014) (actual physical control established when defendant passed out in front seat of parked car, the ignition off, the driver’s side door open, and keys in his right hand) Sentence People v. Lake, 2015 IL App (3d) 140031 (April 2015) (9 year sentence for aggravated DUI Death conviction upheld; it was not excessive; defendant was racing a horse) People v. Rennie, 2014 IL App (3d) 130014 (May 2014) (16 year olds 6 year sentence for aggravated DUI upheld she had weed in her system when motorcyclist died in an accident) People v. Stutzman, 2015 IL App (4th) 130889 (August 2015) (defendant inappropriately plead guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in violation of one act one crime principles) People v. Mischke, 2014 IL App (2d) 130318 (December 2014) (enhancement to a Class 2 felony occurs whenever a defendant has two prior convictions for any form of DUI, not just aggravated DUIs)
LICENSE REINSTATEMENT – BAIID REQUIREMENTS
Public Act 099-0296 Effective Date January 1, 2016
625 ILCS 5/6-205
625 ILCS 5/6-208 from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-208
625 ILCS 5/11-501.01
Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that the Secretary of State shall require the use of ignition interlock devices for a period not less than 5 years on all vehicles owned by a person who has been convicted of a second or subsequent offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, other drugs, intoxicating compounds, or any combination. Provides that a person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of driving under the influence of alcohol, other drugs, intoxicating compounds, or any combination, or where the use of alcohol or other drugs is recited as an element of an offense, may not make application for a driver’s license until he or she has first been issued a restricted driving permit by the Secretary, and the expiration of a continuous period of not less than 5 years following the issuance of the restricted driving permit without suspension, cancellation, or revocation of the permit, or violation of a regulation requiring use of an ignition interlock device.