Criminal Defense Attorney in U.S. Federal & Illinois Courts

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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 […]

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). […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]