Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

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October 2016 Archives

Illinois teen facing armed robbery charge

A 17-year-old Illinois boy is facing felony counts of armed robbery and unlawful restraint after being taken into custody by police in Chicago in connection with the robbery and attempted robbery of Northwestern University students. Evanston police say that the boy was part of a group of individuals who accosted students on city streets and subway trains. Reports indicate that police are still searching for the rest of the group.

Joliet Police plans to curb drunk-drinking over Halloween

The Joliet Police Department plans to vigilantly pursue revelers who decide to take the party on the road and drive impaired over the Halloween weekend. Those who will be attending parties and events should be aware of the Department's Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which will be in force from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1. During this period, partiers who decide to drive impaired will face a higher risk of going to jail, according to a news release from the police chief.

Man sentenced to 23 years following heroin conviction

In northern Illinois, the joint efforts of Drug Enforcement Administration authorities, Naperville Police Department officers and Amtrak officials have kept a sizable amount of heroin off the streets and put an Elgin man behind bars. The man, who pleaded guilty to a single felony count related to possession and trafficking on Oct. 14, 2016, was sentenced that same morning to 23 years in prison.

Understanding gang enhancements for criminal charges

Some criminal charges are fairly straightforward. Others are surprisingly complex. On face, it may seem that if an individual commits a crime, he or she will simply be tried and possibly sentenced for whatever that crime may be. However, the judicial system has evolved over the years in ways that make it frequently confusing.

What is the advantage of taking a plea bargain?

In Illinois, taking a plea bargain carries several advantages for defendants, defense attorneys and prosecutors. Almost 90 percent of criminal charges are resolved through the plea bargaining process. Prosecutors like plea bargains because they allow them to save time and money for cases they deem more important to take to trial. Defense attorneys like plea bargains because they can save their clients from long jail sentences and more serious charges. Defendants get the benefit of reduced sentences and charges.

Report issued on drug possession statistics

In October 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch issued a report concerning the harmful effects of the criminalization of small amounts of drugs meant for personal use. It set forth some statistics that are alarming, and it recommends that states as well as the federal government strongly consider changing their views on these minor offenses.

Prosecutors might not share evidence that aids defense

Prosecutors in Illinois and around the country have an obligation to share exculpatory evidence with defense counsel, ever since the U.S. Supreme Court 1963 ruling in Brady v. Maryland. Legal observers, however, claim that prosecutors tend to overlook information gathered during an investigation that might cast doubt upon the defendant. Examples of exculpatory evidence are a different person being selected from a lineup by a witness or failing to reveal that a witness has a motivation to lie.

Murder rate up in Illinois but down elsewhere

In Illinois, the murder rate is on the rise while throughout the rest of the country, it is going down. In fact, the murder rate in Chicago is so high that it is driving up the rate nationwide. As of the morning of Sept. 19, there had been more than 500 homicides in the city. In 2015, the total number of homicides was 491. More than a 13 percent increase is expected in 2016.