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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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b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-15.jpgUsing cell phone records to track a suspect’s movement and activity is a frequent technique used by law enforcement when conducting a criminal investigation. However, change appears to be on the horizon as members of the United States Supreme Court seem to indicate that prolonged cell phone tracking without a warrant amounts to an unreasonable search and violates an alleged defendant’s right to privacy.

What Has Changed?

A previous Supreme Court ruling indicated that citizens could expect no privacy from making calls from a landline or for checks they wrote on a bank account; it is widely known and expected that calls or transactions for these are kept for a number of business purposes. This latest challenge seems to indicate a shift from that position.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-18.jpgIn the weeks leading up to the new year, counties throughout Illinois are preparing to implement the facets of a new law that should reduce jail overcrowding. Signed into law earlier this year, the Illinois Bail Reform Act was created with a goal of making it easier for those charged with minor criminal offenses to remain free until they are required to appear in court. 

Defendants Now Have Options to Gain Release

Proponents of the new legislation indicated that the previous bail system unfairly detained the poor and indigent for relatively minor offenses. The new law is said to restore a defendant’s constitutional rights, and avoid serving time in jail prior to actually receiving a trial. 

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Posted on in Criminal Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-9.jpgWhile reports of gun violence, the opioid epidemic, and cyber crimes seem to dominate the news these days, occurrences of carjackings are on the rise in northeast Illinois. A violent crime that seems to have evolved from car theft now resembles more of an armed robbery or strongarm robbery.

By The Numbers

Once thought to be confined to high-crime neighborhoods, reports of carjackings are on the uptick in areas throughout Chicago. Since nearly 900 carjacking reports were made in 2007, carjacking reports slowly decreased to about 300 incidents in 2014. However, this type of crime has steadily increased to the point that the number reported through October of this year is nearly equal to all of 2016.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_513221947.jpgThe justice system allows for a number of alternatives for offenders who, rather than serving jail time, can make amends for illegal behavior by taking part in a diversion program. One specific type of program is the Veterans Treatment Court, which was created to for those who served in a branch of the military who find themselves facing drug charges or a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest.

An Alternative to Incarceration

Set up similar to that of a drug treatment or mental health treatment court, the very first veterans court began hearing cases in 2008 in Buffalo, New York. These veterans courts have since been established throughout the country, including Illinois. These courts were designed specifically to hear cases involving United States veterans after it was determined that many offenses were the result of battles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

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