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ILLINOIS FELONY FACT SHEET

ILLINOIS FELONY FACT SHEET Felony Defined: A serious crime that has a possible prison term of 1 year or more. Some felonies carry terms of up to 60 years. Murder is a felony, but has special rules of its own, including life in prison or execution. THE FELONY PROCESS IN ILLINOIS The Arrest: When the police […]

ILLINOIS DOMESTIC BATTERY FACT SHEET

ILLINOIS DOMESTIC BATTERY FACT SHEET Domestic Battery: A case of battery involving family members. Family members include people related by blood or marriage, that share a home, that have or had a dating relationship, or that have a child in common. Domestic Battery is a Class A misdemeanor. The possible penalties are up to a year […]

Federal Restrictions on Gun Ownership by Convicted Felons

Federal law provides significant penalties for felons in possession of weapons, unless the felon has his rights restored by the convicting state. Anyone who has been convicted of a felony is banned by federal law from ever possessing “any firearm or ammunition.” Specifically a person “convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment […]

The Exclusionary Rule in US Criminal Trials

Part of the Bill of Rights, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits government searches or seizures without a warrant issued by a disinterested magistrate. The Fourth Amendment protects the right to have government stay out of a person’s home and property without prior approval by a judge. If the judge has found […]

Expunging & Sealing Florida Criminal Records

It is difficult to get a job in today’s economy, especially for an individual with a criminal record. For those with a criminal history in Florida[1] there is a process for some individuals to clean their records. For eligible individuals there are 2 potential outcomes for clearing a Florida criminal history. One is for the […]

Interstate Extradition in the United States

Every State of the United States has legal authority regarding people present within its boundaries. A State does not have authority over a person present in another State. For example: If a person is wanted for a crime committed in Illinois is found in Florida, an arrest can only legally be made by Florida law […]

Entrapment as an Affirmative Defense to Criminal Charges

“Entrapment” may be a defense to criminal prosecution if a government agent induced a person to commit a crime which the person was otherwise unlikely to commit. Investigation and prosecution of certain crimes can be difficult unless members or agents of law enforcement participate in elements of the prohibited activity.  Examples are drug sales, prostitution […]

Direct vs. Circumstantial Evidence: Observation vs. Inference

There are two types of evidence at a trial: direct and circumstantial. One, if believed, directly proves a fact; the other allows a fact to be inferred. In court a trial is held to determine specific facts and the legal implications of those facts. In a criminal trial, the question is if the defendant broke […]

Florida Misdemeanor Law

While less serious than felonies, a Florida misdemeanor arrest and guilty finding leads to criminal records with the FBI and state police. Florida misdemeanors carry a maximum punishment of a fine and up to one year in jail. Crimes for which a person may be punished by more than one year in jail or in […]

Affirmative Defenses to Criminal Charges: Self-Defense, Necessity, Entrapment, Insanity & Intoxication

In some criminal cases the defendant admits committing a criminal act. A legal excuse or justification may exist. This is an affirmative defense. For a person to be guilty of a crime, there are two things that must exist. The person must perform an action that is prohibited by law, and do so with an […]