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How Does Illinois Define the Crime of Statutory Rape?

 Posted on June 07, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerThe state of Illinois takes all accusations of sex crimes seriously, particularly if you are accused of having sexual relations with anyone younger than 17 years old, even if your sexual partner offered their consent. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Additionally, some scenarios might be punished much more severely than others. This article will examine statutory rape charges and various factors that can impact sentencing. If you have reason to believe you might be facing accusations of statutory rape, it is essential that you speak with a qualified Chicago, IL criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you are protecting your rights.

Statutory Rape Laws in Illinois

The state of Illinois has a large scope of laws relating to sexual crimes, and accusations of statutory rape are handled with these laws in mind. The various types of crimes are:

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Criminal Cases and Social Media

 Posted on May 27, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerThe way we live today is how “the distant future” was depicted only a few decades ago. We walk around with phones that are essentially computers fitting in our pockets. We have access to endless information, we have capabilities that people used to only be able to imagine, and our technology helps us accomplish so many things. Unfortunately, with this technology so accessible to so many, things that we do and write can be seen by people we do not even know.

That is the problem with social media. On the one hand, it makes life easier because it is a very convenient way of staying in contact with people. On the other hand, it means we hardly have any privacy anymore. We can never be sure who might end up seeing the things we post. And this is why, when a criminal case is still underway, you should be careful about how you act online. If your criminal case is not yet resolved, speak with a skilled Cook County, IL criminal defense attorney who can advise you on specific modifications to your social media conduct that might benefit you.

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How to Respond to Sex Crime Accusations

 Posted on May 08, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerThe state of Illinois takes sex crimes accusations very seriously. The charges and sentences you might face could affect you for the rest of your life. Even if you are innocent and have been falsely accused, there are some steps you should take as soon as you know that an accusation has been made against you. Following these steps after an accusation can have a significant impact on the outcomes and can make a huge difference to your future. If you are accused of criminal sexual assault, speak with a dedicated Cook County, IL sex crimes defense attorney who can guide you throughout the process and fight aggressively to ensure that your rights are protected.

Step 1: Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

Being accused of any crime can be an awful experience. It is reasonable to feel nervous, stressed, and afraid. You might want to seem helpful and cooperative to the police who are questioning you. You might even want to offer your side of the story, especially if you believe you are innocent. However, it is imperative that you remain silent. Unless you have a lawyer present, you are not obligated to answer any questions, and you should make an effort not to. Being suspected by the authorities of committing criminal sexual assault can be intimidating, and they might confuse you with offers of leniency if you cooperate. Unfortunately, without legal knowledge and an understanding of interrogations and their consequences, you could easily say something that can be used against you later on. You have a constitutional right to keep your mouth shut, so there is no reason not to.

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Know How to Invoke Your Miranda Rights After an Arrest

 Posted on April 18, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Chicago, IL criminal defense lawyerPolice officers must read Miranda Rights to anybody they plan on detaining for questioning following an arrest. Although law enforcement is required to inform you that you have the right to remain silent and to contact an attorney, they will likely not inform you of how to take advantage of these rights.

If you want to ensure that your rights are protected, you need to speak with our Chicago criminal defense attorney. With over a decade of criminal defense experience, he is ready to assist you following an arrest for a federal or state-level crime.

What are Miranda Rights?

Miranda Rights are constitutional rights that must be read to every person following an arrest if the police are planning to hold you in custodial interrogation. A person is considered to be in custodial interrogation if he or she is in the presence of law enforcement (i.e., at the police station) and is not free to go.

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Signs You Might Be Under Federal Criminal Investigation

 Posted on April 04, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Chicago, IL federal criminal defense attorneyIf you have been charged with a federal crime, you may be facing prison time and steep fines. Although you may not be formally notified, federal agencies routinely investigate suspects of federal crimes.

If you have reason to believe that you are under investigation, do not wait to reach out to Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro. In this article, our Chicago federal crimes attorney discusses the telltale signs that you are under federal criminal investigation.

Receiving a Target Letter

Receiving a target letter from the U.S. Department of Justice or U.S. Attorney’s Office is a sure sign that you are under federal investigation. The letter informs criminal defendants that they are the focus of a Grand Jury’s investigation and of the charges against them.

Being Presented with a Search Warrant

A police officer must obtain a search warrant to search your property. Signed by a judge or magistrate, a search warrant authorizes a police officer to search the location and property specified in the document. If a federal agent shows up at your home or workplace with a warrant, that is another sign that you are being investigated for a crime. 

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What Evidence Can Help Your Criminal Defense in Illinois?

 Posted on March 22, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerConvincing evidence can make the difference between being found guilty or not guilty of a crime. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will know what evidence is needed to support an acquittal in a criminal case. In investigating your case, a criminal defense lawyer will know what avenues to pursue to obtain relevant evidence.

If you are facing criminal allegations, you need a Chicago criminal defense lawyer who has experience representing individuals charged with a variety of offenses. Below, we will discuss the most frequent types of evidence used in criminal investigations.

Physical Evidence

Physical evidence, also called real evidence, is any material object that was present at the crime scene. Such items may include a weapon, blood-stained clothing, or lipstick on a drinking glass. Physical evidence can provide valuable insight into who was present at the scene and other circumstances behind the crime.

To admit an item into evidence, you must provide evidence demonstrating that the item is what you claim it to be. This is known as authenticating evidence, and it is crucial to maintaining credible investigations in our justice system.

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Motor Vehicle Theft is a Common Crime in Chicago

 Posted on March 08, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerThe popularity of TikTok videos has fueled the theft of motor vehicles in the past few years. In 2023, there were a reported 29,063 stolen vehicles in the Windy City. Earlier this year, there were 457 vehicles stolen in a single week.

If you have been accused of stealing a motor vehicle in Chicago, you deserve dependable legal counsel. Our Chicago motor vehicle theft attorney would like to discuss the legal implications of motor vehicle theft charges.

Illinois Law Against Car Theft

According to 625 ILCS 5/4-103, you will be considered in possession of a stolen motor vehicle if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • If you do not own the motor vehicle and attempt to dispose of or sell the vehicle with the knowledge that it is stolen

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Can Murder Charges Be Reduced to Manslaughter?

 Posted on February 22, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “violence only begets more violence. It is a never-ending cycle.” While true, some people do take the life of another person for countless reasons.

While killing another person is considered the most atrocious offense one person could commit, the law does not see all killings the same. The law classifies homicides based on the offender’s state of mind during the commission of the act. Illinois law is no different.

If you are facing homicide charges, you need a Chicago criminal defense lawyer to defend these heinous charges levied against you.

Murder versus Manslaughter

Illinois law does make a distinction between first-degree and second-degree murder. In first-degree murder, the defendant must have an intent to kill. First-degree murder requires either planning (premeditation) or an intent to cause great bodily harm.

If there are certain mitigating factors, the charge may be reduced from first-degree to second-degree murder. Second-degree murder may entail a killing in the heat of the moment, like if the defendant intended to kill another person but killed the victim instead.

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Drug Trafficking Charges in Illinois

 Posted on February 11, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Blog ImageUnder the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, drug trafficking occurs when anyone knowingly brings or helps to bring a controlled substance into the state with the intent to manufacture or deliver the drug.

In a recent year, the Prairie State was home to 406 drug arrests per 100,000 people. Due to the danger drug trafficking poses to public safety, these charges are often more severe than simple possession charges.

An experienced Chicago drug trafficking lawyer can give you an overview of drug trafficking and the types of penalties you may be up against if you are convicted.

What are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking?

In Illinois, drug trafficking is commonly charged as a felony, ranging from a Class 3 to a Class X felony, with certain drug trafficking being considered a misdemeanor offense.

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Aggravating Factors in Battery Cases

 Posted on January 27, 2024 in Criminal Defense

IL defense lawyerIllinois law defines battery as any unwanted physical contact that is provoking or insulting or causes another person bodily harm. Battery is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a potential sentence of one year in prison and a fine of $2,500.

However, there are circumstances in which a battery charge can become an aggravated battery charge. Certain factors can enhance the charge, resulting in steeper fines and additional jail time. These factors can make the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge.

If you have been arrested or charged with battery, do not hesitate to contact a Chicago assault lawyer

Aggravated Battery in Illinois

720 ILCS 5/12-3.05 states that aggravated battery is based upon bodily injury to others. The statute states that any of the following circumstances may lead to an aggravated battery charge:

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