Illinois Grand Jury Supeona

Grand juries review evidence in criminal investigations and decide if probable cause exists to hand down indictments and proceed to trial. If you receive a grand jury subpoena, it means that a prosecutor wants you to appear as a witness before a grand jury. If you have received a subpoena you need to contact an attorney for help immediately. Failing to appear after receiving a grand jury subpoena can lead to serious penalties, including arrest and fines. How Do Grand …
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Posted in Grand Jury Subpoena

Motion to Suppress Evidence in Chicago

A criminal defense attorney can make a motion to suppress evidence from a trial for several reasons. In most cases, the attorney may believe that the evidence was collected illegally by police or that it violates a defendant’s rights in some way. If you’ve been charged with a crime, your attorney may submit a motion to suppress to prevent specific information from being introduced or discussed during your trial. What role can a motion to suppress play in protecting your …
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Posted in Criminal Procedure

Eyewitness Identification Expert Testimony at Trial Leads to Not Guilty

Eyewitness Identification Expert Dr. Geoffrey R. Loftus is a Professor at the University of Washington in  Seattle.  For 50 years, Dr. Loftus has been studying human perception and memory.  On January 24, 2017, Dr. Loftus flew to Chicago to testify as an eyewitness identification expert in a trial at the 26th Street court house in Chicago.  Chicago criminal lawyer Michael J. Petro hired Dr. Loftus to testify on behalf of his client Victor. Victor was charged with being an armed habitual criminal.  If convicted, Victor faced …
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Posted in Expert testimony, Eyewitness identification, Press Releases

IP Address Linked to a Residence Is Enough to Search

Jesse Featherly challenges the denial of his motion to quash the search warrant that led to the discovery of child pornography on his computer. Featherly was living in a trailer park in Wisconsin when an agent in Oklahoma discovered that Featherly’s Internet-service account was being used to share files containing child pornography. An Agent applied for a warrant to search Featherly’s residence. In an affidavit filed in support of the warrant application, the Agent stated he was able to determine the IP address of this …
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Posted in Search and Seizure

Health Care Workers Barred By Felony Convictions Can Now File For License With IDFPR

A new Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) state law taking effect in January will make it easier for previously barred health care workers and first-time applicants with felony convictions to once again become eligible for an Illinois license. Effective January 2017, previously barred health care workers and applicants with criminal convictions may once again become eligible for licensure in Illinois. Under a new law, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will implement a review process for impacted …
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Posted in Press Releases

New Amendments to Illinois Juvenile Transfer Statute Applies Retroactively to All Pending Criminal Cases

Chicago Criminal Lawyer Michael J. Petro explains why the new amendments to Illinois Juvenile Transfer Statute applies retroactively to all pending criminal cases.

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Posted in Criminal Procedure

Mail Fraud, a Barber Who Don’t Cut Hair Straight and the “Lulling Letter” Doctrine

Chicago White Collar Attorney Michael J. Petro discusses the mail fraud, a barber who don’t cut hair strait and the “lulling letter” doctrine.

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Posted in Mail Fraud

Warrants, Illegal Searches and the “Third Party Doctrine”

Someone used the email address gslabs@hotmail.com to contact a Vietnamese website in an attempt to buy sassafras oil—a chemical that can be used to make the illegal drug known as ecstasy.   A key step in the investigation was learning that Caira was the person behind the gslabs@hotmail.com address. The DEA made that discovery by issuing administrative subpoenas to technology companies, without getting a warrant.  Caira moved to suppress evidence obtained through the subpoenas, arguing that the government’s inquiry was an unreasonable “search” …
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Posted in Search and Seizure

Honest Services Fraud and the Definition of “Official Acts”: Rules Every Public Official Must Know!

White Collar Attorney Michael J. Petro discusses rules public officials must know to avoid corruption charges for “official acts.”

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Posted in Honest Services Fraud

Cross-Examination of Fingerprint Expert on “Brandon Mayfield” Case NOT Allowed

US v. Joel Rivas, No. 13-3526.   A fingerprint examiner (“Rottman”) testified at trial that he was certain the partial fingerprint found on a 9 millimeter handgun belonged to Joel Rivas.  Rivas’s only argument is that his rights under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment were violated when the district court did not allow him to cross-examine the government’s fingerprint expert regarding the misidentification of a suspect in an unrelated case. Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause The Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause guarantees a criminal …
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Posted in Confrontation Clause