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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney plea bargain

If you have ever seen any kind of crime drama movie or TV show, you have probably seen some sort of heated scene take place in a courtroom where the main character’s attorney fights for his or her client’s freedom by attempting to prove his or her innocence. In reality, more than 97 percent of criminal cases are resolved by plea bargains, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Plea bargains were created in response to a number of issues faced during criminal trials, such as the length of time it takes to go through a trial and the expenses associated with that legal process. However, some argue that plea bargains take away the right to a fair trial.

Understanding Plea Bargains

A plea bargain is an agreement made between the defendant (the person who is accused of the crime) and the prosecutor (the attorney representing the local, state, or federal government entity) as a replacement to a jury trial in a criminal case. The agreement usually involves the defendant pleading guilty or nolo contendere, “no contest” to some or all of the charges that were brought against him or her. Typically, plea bargains involve a reduction in the number of charges brought against the defendant, the severity of the charges, a reduction of the severity of the sentence, or a combination of any of the three.

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arlington-heights-criminal-defense-lawyerImages from video cameras are often used to help identify criminal suspects. However, more and more law enforcement agencies are beginning to install cameras, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes due to public pressure, in vehicles and on the bodies of sworn officers. This video footage is often used by criminal defense attorneys to help their clients fight against criminal charges

Pros and Cons of the Police Body Camera

The common belief is that the presence of video cameras, whether on a law enforcement vehicle dashboard or on the vest of a police officer, would reduce complaints of police misconduct or abuse. Furthermore, it is expected that video recordings of arrests would provide courts with details on the interactions between police and the citizens they encounter. However, different sides continue debating the pros and cons of police using body cameras.

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arrest warrant, Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerWhen criminal charges are dismissed, all court proceedings are supposed to cease. Unfortunately, this was not the experience for a man in New York. Instead, he was arrested several times on a warrant that, according to court documents, never should have been issued. Even more concerning is that his battle with the justice system is not as uncommon as some might think.

The Tale of One Man’s Battle

According to The New York Times, a Brooklyn man in his early 50s was originally arrested on suspicion of trespassing after dropping a friend’s child off at school. His charges were dismissed on the condition that he not commit any crimes for a year, but for unknown reasons, a warrant for his arrest was still issued by the State Supreme Court in the Bronx.

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marijuana, Arlington Heights criminal law attorney, legal medical marijuana, medical marijuana, pot posession, smoking pot, alleged marijuana dealer, marijuana possession, marijuana possession arrest rate, cannabisThere are currently 22 states, along with Washington D.C., that are medical marijuana states. Another three states have pending legislation to change the law. This means that possession of marijuana, also referred to as cannabis, is allowed for medical use.

In Illinois, the law was signed by the governor in August, 2013. As of this writing, the state was still working to determine the requirements for a person to qualify. Some of the proposed rules include a fingerprint-based criminal history background check and an annual $100 application fee. The fee would be lowered to $50 for veterans and patients on Social Security Insurance and Social Security Disability Insurance.

Law enforcement agencies, in some states that have enacted medical marijuana, are struggling to determine new guidelines on how to proceed when dealing with an alleged marijuana grower. In the past, police would pull the plants from the ground and store them in evidence bags to be used at trial against the alleged marijuana dealer. However, the plants wither and die in the bags. But with the new laws in place, when charges are dropped or the accused pot grower is acquitted, many are demanding thousands of dollars in order to replace the plants that were pulled and killed.

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