How to make the Federal Speedy Trial Clock Start Ticking

U.S. v. Richarson, No. 14-1901 In this case, due to a federal detainer the defendant was indicted on a felony charge of being in possession of both firearms and illegal possession of a submachine gun following receiving time served on state charges. United States v. Richardson, 780 F.3d 812, 814 (2015). The defendant motioned to dismiss on speedy trial grounds and was denied by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, then the defendant pled guilty …
Read More »

Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, News, Press Releases

18 USC 1001: False Statements Must Be Material to the Federal Government

William Patrick Clark’s trucking business was hired to perform hauling services on a state-and federally funded highway project in Missouri. Because federal funds were in play, Clark’s contract with the project’s general contractor required that he pay his truck drivers the federal prevailing wage pursuant to the Davis-Bacon Act (which, at the time, was $35.45/hour). Clark chose not to do so, however, individually contracting with his drivers for roughly $15/hour instead. Throughout the project, as required by his contract, Clark …
Read More »

Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, News

Medical Marijuana in Illinois: Qualifying Conditions

The following  have been approved as qualifying conditions under Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Law: Alzheimer’s disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Arnold Chiari malformation Cachexia/wasting syndrome Cancer Causalgia Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy Complex regional pain syndrome type 2 Crohn’s Disease Dystonia Fibromyalgia Fibrous dysplasia Glaucoma Hepatitis C HIV/AIDS Hydrocephalus Hydromyelia Interstitial Cystitis Lupus Multiple Sclerosis Muscular Dystrophy Myasthenia Gravis Myoclonus Nail patella syndrome Neurofibromatosis Parkinson’s disease Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Rheumatoid Arthritis Sjogren’s syndrome Spinal cord disease Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) Syringomyelia Tarlov …
Read More »

Posted in News, Press Releases

Entrapment: Presence of Several Inducement Plus Factors Leads to REVERSAL

US v. James Barta.  No. 13-3208. Defendant James Barta has appealed his conviction for conspiracy to commit bribery. He was charged and convicted based on an undercover government sting operation that evolved into an agreement among Barta and his co-defendants to bribe a fictional county official in California to obtain a government contract. We reverse because Barta was entrapped as a matter of law and order his immediate release from prison.

Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, News

Drug Conspiracy: Buyer/Seller Arrangement Alone is NOT Enough

US v. Herberto Pulgar,  No. 14-3503 . Drug-distribution conspiracies hold a unique position in our legal sufficiency jurisprudence. In these special cases, we will overturn a conviction when the plausibility of a mere buyer-seller arrangement is the same as the plausibility of a drug-distribution conspiracy. See United States v. Johnson, 592 F.3d 749, 755 (7th Cir. 2010)

Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, News, Press Releases

Automobile Search and Seizure: Police NOT Allowed to Prolong Traffic Stop to Search for Illegal Contraband

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES RODRIGUEZ v. UNITED STATES,   No. 13-9972. Decided April 21, 2015 Facts: Officer Struble, a K–9 officer, stopped petitioner Rodriguez for driving on a highway shoulder, a violation of Nebraska law. After Struble at­tended to everything relating to the stop, including check­ing the driver’s licenses of Rodriguez and his passenger and issuing a warning for the traffic offense, he asked Rodriguez for permission to walk his dog around the vehicle. When Rodriguez refused, Struble detained …
Read More »

Posted in Press Releases

Rod Blagojevich: Political Logrolling Is Not Illegal

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. ROD BLAGOJEVICH, No. 11‑3853 DECIDED JULY 21, 2015 EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge. Rod Blagojevich was convicted of 18 crimes after two jury trials. The crimes include attempted extortion from campaign contributors, corrupt solicitation of funds, wire fraud, and lying to federal investigators. The first trial ended with a conviction on the false statement count and a mistrial on the others after the jury could not agree. The second trial produced convictions on 17 additional counts.

Posted in Press Releases

“Deliberate Indifference” Instruction and/or the “Ostrich Instruction” – Boilerplate Rules

UNITED STATES V. MACIAS, No. 13-2166 POSNER, Circuit Judge. The defendant was convicted of conspiring to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 18 U.S.C. § 2, and of conducting an unlicensed money-transmitting business in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1960. He was sentenced to 300 months (25 years) for the conspiracy offense and 60 months (5 years), to run concurrently with the conspiracy sentence, for the money-transmitting offense.

Posted in Press Releases

Brief Filed in 7th Circuit Court of Appeals: USSG 2D1.1(b)(12)

On June 15, 2015, Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J. Petro filed his brief in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Acasio Sanchez. USA v. Acasio Sanchez, No. 15-1356. Mr. Petro represented Mr. Sanchez in the District Court. At issue is the “stash house” enhancement to United States Sentencing Guidelines’ Section 2D1.1(b)(12). The Government’s has until July 6, 2015 to reply. By: Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J. Petro

Posted in Press Releases

Winning Ugly: Persistence Leads to Not Guilty

Winning! After seven court dates, three legal briefs and four different Judges, the “system” finally gave up and granted my Motion for Judgment for Acquittal. Congratulations Mr. Peete! #persistancewins By:  Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael J. Petro

Posted in Press Releases