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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 […]

Driving With a Suspended License in Illinois

The State of Illinois can suspend or revoke a person’s driving privileges for 36 reasons. Over 500,000 people in Illinois are unable to legally drive. Driving[1] with a suspended or revoked license (DWLS) in Illinois[2] is a serious matter. It is a criminal offense. Many people assume getting a ticket for driving while suspended is no different than any […]

Illinois Misdemeanor Law

While the penalties less serious than felonies, a misdemeanor arrest and guilty finding leads to criminal records with the FBI and state police. Illinois misdemeanors carry a maximum punishment of a fine and incarceration of up to 364 days in jail. Crimes for which a person may be punished by more than one year in jail or […]