DCBA National Trial Lawyers Association ISBA Kathryn L. Harry & Assocs. PC, Attorneys & Lawyers, Oak Brook, IL

 

Archive for the ‘criminal charges’ tag

The Risks of Trying to Represent Yourself in a Criminal Case

May 20th, 2014 at 9:27 am

illinois criminal defense representationSome local Illinois residents facing criminal charges attempt to handle their own case in court without the aid of a criminal law attorney. No matter what the rationale for trying to represent yourself may be, it is critical to understand the many pitfalls of this approach. The criminal justice system is quite complex, and every case requires a mix of legal expertise, procedural acumen, and familiarity with techniques of advocacy. As a result, it can be almost impossible for a defendant to navigate the system successfully without the guidance of an attorney.

In most cases, self-representation seems like the best option for financial reasons. When making these decisions though, it is critical to think long-term. What decision will best position you to get beyond the immediate challenges without loss of your freedom or permanent damage to your reputation? In many cases, protecting your future interests requires the experience, skill, and advocacy that only a criminal defense attorney can provide.

Common Reasons for Self-Representation

There are many reasons why criminal defendants may try to represent themselves in court instead of seeking out an attorney.

You may believe that your charge is minor or routine. All criminal charges must be treated seriously. Even a DUI or a traffic ticket can result in potentially serious penalties such as extensive fines, suspension of your driver’s license, or even time in jail. Also, just because a crime is “common” does not mean that the outcomes are pre-determined. Being charged with a crime is not a guarantee of conviction. Depending on the aggression of your defense, you may be able to avoid conviction altogether or plea down to a lesser charge. A defense attorney can explain the best options and aggressively fight to protect your future.

You may have had a bad experience with an attorney. Every criminal defense attorney is different. It is important that you develop a strong relationship with your advocate, trusting in their advice and feeling comfortable in being honest about your situation. Fortunately, there is a range of criminal defense attorneys from which you can choose. If you had a poor experience in the past, it is critical to look for a better match this time.

You may not believe you can afford a criminal defense lawyer. Hiring an attorney may seem like an unnecessary expense in an already stressful time, but few things are more valuable than your freedom. Talk candidly with an attorney about costs and determine whether investing in quality legal help now is the right choice. Securing proper advocacy is an investment in your future.

You may believe you need only explain your innocence, and the charges will be dropped. The State only brings criminal charges against defendants when it believes sufficient evidence exists for conviction. Therefore, simply telling your story is usually not enough to disprove their allegations. Mistakes and misunderstandings happen all the time. A defense attorney knows how to gather evidence to prove your innocence and present it in an effective way in court.

Contact a DuPage County Criminal Defense Attorney for Help

Facing criminal charges can be unpleasant, and having a dedicated attorney gives you an ally during the stressful process. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will protect your rights and help you receive the best possible outcome in your case. If you have been arrested or charged, do not hesitate to call (630) 472-9700 to schedule a free consultation with Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. today. We work with individuals in DuPage County and in many nearby communities.

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Common Defense Strategies in Illinois Criminal Cases

May 2nd, 2014 at 3:44 pm

dupage county criminal attorneyThe primary duties of a criminal defense attorney include protecting your rights and building a strong defense for your case that will allow for successful prosecutor negotiations or a dismissal in court. While the specific defenses that can be used against criminal charges vary depending on the specific allegations and details of each case, the following are some common defense strategies used by experienced Illinois criminal lawyers:

Learn the defendant’s story. Sometimes, criminal defendants openly confess to the crime to their attorneys, while other times they completely deny involvement. In additional instances, a defendant may admit to only part of the offense, but provide an alternative explanation for their involvement. A qualified defense attorney will listen closely to what the defendant states and decipher the truth of what happened.

Compare the defendant’s truth with the prosecutor’s “truth.” Even if both the defense attorney and the prosecutor heard the same basic story regarding the events in question, they may each present the facts of what happened in two different ways. For example, a prosecutor may state a defendant punched their client because he or she was angry. However, a defense attorney may tell a different version, claiming that the defendant punched the accuser because he or she swung first and made them fear for their own safety. Explaining the facts and truth of a case in an alternate manner is an important skill for a defense lawyer.

Coach the defendant. Criminal charges can be stressful and such stress may often affect the way a defendant answers questions or the consistency of his or her story. In order to ease a defendant’s nerves and discomfort in depositions, trial, or other court settings, a strong defense lawyer may use various coaching techniques to prepare a defendant. For example, the lawyer may put their defendant through mock questioning and interviews to ensure consistency of answers in line with the main defense theory. Additionally, the attorney may also have their defendant write down on paper their version of events so they do not forget details or misstate the story.

Contact a DuPage County Defense Lawyer for Assistance

Simply because you have been arrested or charged with a crime does not mean you will be convicted and have to face the associated consequences. Contact an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney who will aggressively defend your case. Limit your chance of possible penalties or even have your charges completely dismissed. If you are facing a criminal law case, do not hesitate to contact Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. for a free initial evaluation. Call (630) 472-9700 today for assistance.

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Police Officer Foil Grinchs’ Attempts at Stealing Christmas Packages

December 5th, 2012 at 6:31 am

According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, an off-duty police officer on his way to work began his shift a little earlier than planned when he noticed two men stealing mail from a postal truck and stopped them in the act. The men were not in uniform, yet they were unloading packages from a U.S. Postal truck parked on the 5900 block of West Fulton Boulevard. The officer watched them load the packages into a Black SUV that was parked close by. After loading the vehicle, the men sped off.

The officer began following the men and called into 911 with the description and information about the men and the SUV they were driving. Officers who were monitoring the radio spotted the men and began following them. When one of the men realized they were being followed by police officers, he began throwing the stolen mail out of the vehicle and onto the street.

Officers pulled the SUV over and arrested one of the men, Darrick Smith, 43, of Chicago, who was charged with burglary. The other suspect fled and was not caught. Police believe the two men broke a window in the mail truck, using a large piece of concrete that was found lying next to the truck.

Although Smith has been only charged with burglary, there is also the possibility, because of the alleged theft of U.S. mail, the postal inspector may also press charges. The offense would then become a federal offense and a guilty could find the defendant incarcerated in a federal penitentiary. If you’ve been charged with a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you in DuPage County. Having the right representation could mean the difference between a guilty and a not guilty finding.

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Four Involved in Drug Trafficking in DuPage County

October 20th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Timothy N. Morris, 29, was found guilty of calculated criminal drug conspiracy and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on October 1. The crime is a Class X felony which carry mandatory sentences of 6 to 30 years in prison upon conviction. The Naperville Sun reports that Morris has to serve at least 75 percent of his term in prison and pay about $2000 dollars in fines and court costs. Furthermore, he will be supervised for three years after completing his time in prison.

Morris was part of a narcotics ring that operated last year in the Naperville-Aurora area and Chicago.  Naperville Police Department’s Special Operations Group arrested three other suspects in connection with the drug ring: Ian E. Lona, Gilda L. Ruales, and Teresa I. Sanchez. They were arrested on October 6, 2011, in Naperville and Morris was arrested 14 hours earlier on Chicago’s west side.

Police started investigating the actions of the group after Ruales had been arrested for selling cocaine in Aurora. Later, police found out that Ruales and Sanchez were dealing drugs in Naperville and Aurora. Following this lead, undercover police agents purchased cocaine and hundreds of ecstasy pills from the members of the ring.

Ruales faces trial on four Class X felony counts later this year. Lona and Sanchez have already been sentenced to six years in prison for manufacture or delivery of 200 but less than 600 ecstasy pills.

Drug crimes, even possession of small amounts of narcotics, may result in harsh penalties. If you have been charged with a drug crime, be it a misdemeanor or felony, it is important to seek the help of a knowledgeable defense attorney. Contact an experienced drug crimes defense lawyer in Illinois today.

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Man Killed Over Bicycle

October 16th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

A 22-year-old man had an argument over a bicycle that led to him getting shot and killed. The incident took place in the Jeffery Manor neighborhood, according to authorities. The Chicago Tribune reported a story on the case.

The 22-year-old man was outside, and he was arguing with another man over a bicycle when the shooting happened, Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said. According to officials, the victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the shooting.

The 22 year old man was identified as Parrish Flournoy by the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Flournoy does not live in the area where the shooting took place, and it is unclear why he was in the area.

According to a witness, the two men had been arguing about who owns the bicycle. The second man had taken the bicycle and pedaled away, but Flournoy had started following the man on foot. The two men had continued arguing, and the police believe a third person had opened fire and shot the victim multiple times before fleeing the scene.

Flournoy was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Flournoy was on parole in two felony burglary cases, with sentences amounting to four years in prison.

If the suspected shooter is found, they will face criminal charges. Whenever you or a loved are facing criminal charges, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can build you a more solid defense, so it is important for your own sake to get qualified legal help. Get help in your case, and contact a criminal defense attorney in Illinois today.

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