Category Archives: Hot Legal Topics

UNUSUAL SUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE TO A WARRANT

Suppose evidence was seized from your client during the execution of a signed search warrant and further suppose that you do not have a Franks issue. You might think its time to move on to a plea or trial but wait!  If the sworn complaint for search warrant did not set out a showing of […]

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INADMISSIBLE PRIOR LEADS TO REMAND IN BENCH TRIAL

Chicago Police Detective Johnson testified in a bench trial before the Hon. Lawrence Fox (Ret.) that he saw defendant David Sanchez throw a bag of cocaine out of an apartment window. Sanchez testified that he had no cocaine in his apartment or that he threw it out the window. The parties stipulated to the prior conviction […]

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IMPROPER BURDEN SHIFTING REQUIRES REVERSAL & NOTICE OF APPEAL PRACTICE POINT

Roderick Smith’s conviction for attempt murder of a Chicago Police Officer is reversed and remanded for a new trial in this opinion by JUSTICE NEVILLE  because of three comments in the State’s rebuttal argument in a trial before the Hon. Judge Lacy. These comments all questioned the lack of evidence that one would have “expected” to come from […]

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WAS THE DOPE IN A GRILL OR BY A TREE? A PRIMER ON IMPROPER REHABILITATION WITH PRIOR CONSISTENT STATEMENTS

  Chicago Police Officer Carey testified that he observed Tony McWhite obtain suspect narcotics on four occasions from a cigarette box inside a “garbage can type” barbeque grill.  But alas, the vice case report makes no mention of the grill and instead notes that Tony “relocated to a large tree…bent down, and picked up a green-white Newport […]

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“I’M NOT AN IMMIGRATION LAWYER” WILL NO LONGER CUT IT

    Juan Padilla, a native of Honduras and a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. for more than 40 years and Vietnam U.S. army veteran, was charged with transporting a large amount of bud in his rig in Kentucky.  His attorney told him not to worry about the immigration consequences of his plea because “he […]

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JURY GUILTY VERDICT OF MURDER REVERSED ON REASONABLE DOUBT!

  In an interesting opinion by  recently appointed JUSTICE LAVIN, our Appellate Court finds that defendant’s conviction for murder and 36 years IDOC sentence based on the theory of accontability must be reversed because there was a total absence of evidence against the alleged actual offenders. Justice LAVIN joined by J Toomin and Howse finds that the […]

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“OTHER CRIMES” EVIDENCE CONTAINED WITHIN DEFENDANT’S STATEMENTS REQUIRES NEW TRIAL

Defandant Lewis Jackson’s disabled aunt, Doris,  was found dead in her apartment having been stabbed over 30 times.  There was no sign of forced entry. Mr. Jackson lived with Doris in her apartment. During his three days in police custody in Harvey, Mr. Jackson gave six different statements to police and prosecutors. The statements contained […]

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PCS/W Intent REDUCED IN TWO WAYS

In a well reasoned opinion by Justice McBride,  issued on 2/5/10, a conviction for PCS/W >1 gram <15 grams was reduced to a Class 4 PCS because 1:  The forensic chemist testified that he combined multiple packets to determine weight before testing for the presence of a controlled substance thus giving the Court “no way of knowing […]

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RIGHT TO PUBLIC TRIAL INCLUDES VOIR DIRE

When jury selection began in Eric Presley’s cocaine trafficking trial at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Georgia, the trial court excluded Eric’s uncle from the courtroom saying “[t]here’s no need for the uncle to be present during jury selection.” Defense counsel wisely objected to the exclusion, asking for “some accommodation” but the trial court explained that the courtroom would […]

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EXTENDED TERM VACATED

  In an opinion by Justice LAMPKIN, our Appellate Court holds that an extended term sentence based on 730 ILCS 5/5-8-2, imposed by Judge Alonso, must be vacated because the conviction upon which the extended term sentence was imposed did not occur within 10 years of the previous conviction. Below, the State had successfully argued that […]

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