Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution

Under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, individuals are granted several important rights that protect them in criminal proceedings. The Fifth Amendment states:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Here are the key rights provided by the Fifth Amendment:

  1. Protection against Self-Incrimination: The Fifth Amendment guarantees that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” This means that an individual cannot be forced to testify or provide self-incriminating evidence that may be used against them in a criminal trial.
  2. Protection against Double Jeopardy: The “Double Jeopardy” clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the government from prosecuting an individual twice for the same offense. Once a person has been acquitted or convicted of a particular crime, they cannot be tried again for that same crime.
  3. Right to Due Process: The Fifth Amendment safeguards an individual’s right to due process of law. This means that the government must follow fair and established legal procedures before depriving a person of their life, liberty, or property. It ensures that individuals receive fair treatment, notice of the charges against them, and an opportunity to be heard in court.
  4. Grand Jury Indictment: In cases involving serious crimes, the Fifth Amendment requires that a person can only be prosecuted for a capital or infamous crime after being indicted by a grand jury. However, this requirement does not apply to cases arising in the military or militia during times of war or public danger.
  5. Protection of Private Property: The “Takings Clause” of the Fifth Amendment ensures that the government cannot take private property for public use without providing just compensation to the owner. This protection is often associated with the concept of eminent domain, which allows the government to take private property for public use, but only if fair compensation is provided.

These rights granted by the Fifth Amendment are essential for safeguarding individuals’ liberties and ensuring fairness and justice in the criminal justice system.

A general outline of the American legal system

A general outline of the American legal system: The American legal system is based on the common law system, which means that it is based on precedents set by previous court cases. The system is divided into two levels: the federal court system and the state court system.
The federal court system has three main levels: district courts, circuit courts, and the Supreme Court of the United States. District courts are the trial courts of the federal system, and they have jurisdiction over a variety of cases involving federal law. Circuit courts are the appeals courts of the federal system, and they review decisions made by district courts. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal system, and it has the power to decide cases that involve important issues of federal law.
The state court system is divided into two main levels: trial courts and appellate courts. Trial courts are the courts where cases are first heard, and they have jurisdiction over a variety of cases involving state law. Appellate courts review decisions made by trial courts, and they have the power to overturn decisions that they find to be incorrect.
The American legal system is a complex system, but it is designed to ensure that justice is served. The system is based on the principle of due process, which means that everyone has the right to a fair trial. The system is also based on the principle of equal protection, which means that everyone is treated equally under the law.

Continually Recognized for Our Successful Results

Continually Recognized for Our
Successful Results

The Law office of Louis M. Pissios has successfully handled many complex and high-profile cases in Illinois including everything from Driving Under the Influence Cases to Drug Cases to Murder Cases, and everything in between. We are in Lake County, Illinois and handle every case with the diligence necessary to get you the best results possible.

Our attorneys provide unparalleled legal representation to those who are facing serious criminal charges. We have extensive experience in all areas of Criminal Law. Our Firm has a reputation for providing top-notch, high quality representation.

We recognize that every person, and every criminal prosecution, is unique. We tailor our practice to the individual needs of each and every client. Our ethics, skill and knowledge will help you obtain the best possible results.

The lawyer you choose to represent you can affect the results of your case. Our legal defense team includes experienced private investigators, paralegals and translators. . We provide high quality, creative and thorough legal representation to each and every one of our clients. We are only as good as the results we obtain for our clients. Our greatest compliment comes from the fact that many of our former clients and other attorneys refer clients to us for representation.

You should not compromise your choice of an attorney. This may be one of the most important decisions that you ever make.

Trial set for Fox Lake woman shot by McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies

Trial set for Fox Lake woman shot by McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies

Police: 55-year-old pointed assault rifle at them after making suicidal statements

WOODSTOCK – A Fox Lake woman who was shot in the neck by McHenry County Sheriff’s deputies after she allegedly made suicidal statements and pointed an assault rifle at them will face a jury trial in July.

Elizabeth Kloss, 55, will go before a jury on July 25, a McHenry County judge ordered Wednesday. She is charged with aggravated assault of a police officer, a Class 4 felony that typically carries a sentence of one to four years in prison.

She also is charged with possession of a firearms and ammunition without a valid FOID card, all Class A misdemeanors.

The charges stem from an incident on July 20, 2014, in which three sheriff’s deputies and a sergeant responded to the 7400 block of Boston Avenue in unincorporated Wonder Lake for the report of a suicidal subject.

Police at the time said Kloss pointed an assault rifle at the deputies. The gun belonged to the woman’s boyfriend and was not loaded, police said.

Police then fired seven rounds at Kloss, hitting her once in the neck, according to a civil lawsuit she has filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago in July 2015. Kloss was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville in critical condition.

She was charged Oct. 8 as she was being released from the hospital, according to her civil suit. She has been free on $1,000 bond since the day she was charged.

As the criminal cases against her proceed, the civil suit Kloss filed against several deputies, former Sheriff Keith Nygren and McHenry County is pending.

The suit claims the department and deputies did not have the proper training, equipment and approach to handle Kloss, who had a history of depression, domestic violence and suicide attempts. Kloss is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages based on claims officers used excessive force and malicious prosecution, among other things.

Before trial on criminal charges, Kloss is due in front of McHenry County Judge Michael Feetterer for a status hearing July 8.

Antioch Township woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison for setting her then-boyfriend on fire

An Antioch Township woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison for setting her then-boyfriend on fire in May 2015.

Deborah Roberts, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery in front of Judge George Strickland, Assistant State’s Attorney Danielle Pascucci said Tuesday.

Roberts will have to serve 85 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole, Strickland said. She received 275 days credit for time she served in Lake County jail.

Had Roberts been found guilty at trial, she could have been sentenced to up to 45 years in prison on that charge, Strickland said.

Prosecutors dropped charges of attempted murder, a second count of aggravated battery, and three counts of aggravated domestic battery in exchange for the negotiated plea agreement, Strickland said.

Roberts and boyfriend Chad Malinowski, 43, were in an argument on the front porch of the house they shared on the 25000 block of Golfview Avenue at 7:27 p.m. on May 17, when she kicked him in the right hip, authorities said.

The kick sent Malinowski tumbling down a five-foot flight of stairs in a fall that shattered his heel, authorities said.

Roberts told police she kicked Malinowski after he spit on her, authorities said. Both had been drinking before the fight began, authorities said.

At the bottom of the stairs, Roberts grabbed a red plastic gasoline can and repeatedly bludgeoned Malinowski with it, authorities said.

Roberts told police she pulled out a lighter and flicked the top of it a threatening manner, authorities said. However, gasoline that had spilled on Malinowski during the attack ignited.

Authorities said a witness heard Roberts say, “I hope you burn,” as she flicked the lighter.

Roberts told police that after the fire started, she grabbed a hose and tried to put out the flames while Malinowski stumbled to the middle of the yard. However, authorities said Roberts poured more gasoline on Malinowski when he tried to put out the flames.

Malinowski was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, then to a burn unit at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee. He survived the attack.

An Unprecedented Threat to Privacy A private company has captured 2.2 billion photos of license plates in cities throughout America. It stores them in a database, tagged with the location where they were taken. And it is selling that data.

Throughout the United States—outside private houses, apartment complexes, shopping centers, and businesses with large employee parking lots—a private corporation, Vigilant Solutions, is taking photos of cars and trucks with its vast network of unobtrusive cameras. It retains location data on each of those pictures, and sells it.

It’s happening right now in nearly every major American city.

The company has taken roughly 2.2 billion license-plate photos to date. Each month, it captures and permanently stores about 80 million additional geotagged images. They may well have photographed your license plate. As a result, your whereabouts at given moments in the past are permanently stored. Vigilant Solutions profits by selling access to this data (and tries to safeguard it against hackers). Your diminished privacy is their product. And the police are their customers.

The company counts 3,000 law-enforcement agencies among its clients. Thirty thousand police officers have access to its database. Do your local cops participate?

If you’re not sure, that’s typical.

To install a GPS tracking device on your car, your local police department must present a judge with a rationale that meets a Fourth Amendment test and obtain a warrant. But if it wants to query a database to see years of data on where your car was photographed at specific times, it doesn’t need a warrant––just a willingness to send some of your tax dollars to Vigilant Solutions, which insists that license plate readers are “unlike GPS devices, RFID, or other technologies that may be used to track.” Its website states that “LPR is not ubiquitous, and only captures point in time information. And the point in time information is on a vehicle not an individual.

But thanks to Vigilant, its competitors, and license-plate readers used by police departments themselves, the technology is becoming increasingly ubiquitous over time. And Supreme Court jurisprudence on GPS tracking suggests that repeatedly collecting data “at a moment in time” until you’ve built a police database of 2.2 billion such moments is akin to building a mosaic of information so complete and intrusive that it may violate the Constitutional rights of those subject to it.

The company dismisses the notion that advancing technology changes the privacy calculus in kind, not just degree. An executivetold The Washington Post that its approach “basically replaces an old analog function—your eyeballs,” adding, “It’s the same thing as a guy holding his head out the window, looking down the block, and writing license-plate numbers down and comparing them against a list. The technology just makes things better and more productive.” By this logic, Big Brother’s network of cameras and listening devices in 1984 was merely replacing the old analog technologies of eyes and ears in a more efficient manner, and was really no different from sending around a team of alert humans.

The vast scale of Vigilant’s operations is detailed in documents obtained through public-records laws by the New York Civil Liberties Union. “Last year, welearned that the NYPD was hoping to enter into a multi-year contract that would give it access to the nationwide database of license plate reader data,” the civil-liberties group announced Monday in a blog post linking to the document. “Now, through a Freedom of Information Law request, the NYCLU has obtained thefinal version of the $442,500 contract and the scope-of-work proposal that gives a peek into the ever-widening world of surveillance made possible by Vigilant.”

The NYPD has its own license plate tracking program. It nevertheless wanted access to the Vigilant Solutions database as well, “which means,” the NYCLU notes, “the NYPD can now monitor your car whether you live in New York or Miami or Chicago or Los Angeles.” The NYPD has a long history of spying on Muslim Americans far outside its jurisdiction. And both license-plate readers and the information derived from them have already been misused in other jurisdictions.

More abuses seem inevitable as additional communities adopt the technology (some with an attitude expressed with admirable frankness by an official in a small Florida city: “We want to make it impossible for you to enter Riviera Beach without being detected.”)

Washington is accelerating the spread of the technology.

“During the past five years, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has distributed more than $50 million in federal grants to law-enforcement agencies—ranging from sprawling Los Angeles to little Crisp County, Georgia, population 23,000—for automated license-plate recognition systems,” the Wall Street Journal reports. As one critic, California state Senator Joe Simitian, asked: “Should a cop who thinks you’re cute have access to your daily movements for the past 10 years without your knowledge or consent? I think the answer to that question should be ‘no.’”

The technology forms part of a larger policing trend toward infringing on the privacy of ordinary citizens. ​“The rise of license-plate tracking is a case study in how storing and studying people’s everyday activities, even the seemingly mundane, has become the default rather than the exception,” The Wall Street Journal explains. “Cellphone-location data, online searches, credit-card purchases, social-network comments and more are gathered, mixed-and-matched, and stored. Data about a typical American is collected in more than 20 different ways during everyday activities, according to a Wall Street Journalanalysis. Fifteen years ago, more than half of these surveillance tools were unavailable or not in widespread use.”

Nor are police the only ones buying this data.

Vigilant Solutions is a subsidiary of a company called Digital Recognition Network.

Its website declares:

All roads lead to revenue with DRN’s license plate recognition technology. Fortune 1000 financial institutions rely on DRN solutions to drive decisions about loan origination, servicing, and collections. Insurance providers turn DRN’s solutions and data into insights to mitigate risk and investigate fraud. And, our vehicle location data transforms automotive recovery processes, substantially increasing portfolio returns.

And its general counsel insists that “everyone has a First Amendment right to take these photographs and disseminate this information.” But as the ACLU points out:

A 2011 report by the International Association of Chiefs of Policenoted that individuals may become “more cautious in the exercise of their protected rights of expression, protest, association, and political participation” due to license plate readers. It continues: “Recording driving habits could implicate First Amendment concerns. Specifically, LPR systems have the ability to record vehicles’ attendance at locations or events that, although lawful and public, may be considered private. For example, mobile LPR units could read and collect the license plate numbers of vehicles parked at addiction counseling meetings, doctors’ offices, health clinics, or even staging areas for political protests.”

Many powerful interests are aligned in wanting to know where the cars of individuals are parked. Unable to legally install tracking devices themselves, they pay for the next best alternative—and it’s gradually becoming a functional equivalent. More laws might be passed to stymie this trend if more Americans knew that private corporations and police agencies conspire to keep records of their whereabouts.