Blogs | Law Office of Jack L Zaremba


The Question of Reasonable Suspicion in Criminal Arrests

Joliet attorney arrest

In spite of efforts to thoroughly define procedures for detaining criminal suspects, the law actually provides police with a certain amount of leeway during the course of executing their duties. Although everyone is innocent until proven guilty , police often apply the somewhat vague standard of reasonable suspicion to a situation when attempting to investigate the possibility of criminal activity.

How and When Reasonable Suspicion Is Applied

The concept of reasonable suspicion was first established by the United States Supreme Court in 1968. It allows police to stop and briefly detain a person if, based on the officer’s training, they believe that person may be engaged in criminal activity. However, while reasonable suspicion is intended to permit law enforcement the opportunity to slow or stop action in a situation so they can gather information and determine whether or not an illegal act occurred, its application can create controversy.

Recently, Las Vegas Police detained a high-profile professional athlete while investigating a report of an active shooter in a hotel and casino nightclub. Upon arriving on the scene, police reported frantic activity in the area, and they applied the standard of reasonable suspicion when they said the man in question fled the scene and allegedly attempted to elude them. The athlete subsequently claimed police used excessive force and racial profiling in detaining him, despite his claims of innocence. Hundreds of video recordings of the incident are under review as authorities attempt to settle the matter.

Everyday Application of Reasonable Suspicion

Not every police use of reasonable suspicion involves a high-profile individual or occurs in front of hundreds of video cameras. During an encounter with the police, such as a routine traffic stop, it can be helpful to understand your rights :

• Police may not randomly stop and pat down an individual. However, if they have reasonable suspicion that a crime may have occurred, they can pat you down as a safety measure.
• You do not have to consent to a police search of your vehicle based on reasonable suspicion.

If You Have Questions, Ask a Will County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are detained by police, the best option is to speak with an attorney who understands the process for holding and questioning suspects and witnesses. Do not take chances. Retain a knowledgeable Illinois criminal defense attorney to ensure that your rights are preserved. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. provides meticulous review of your case and uses the necessary resources available to help you respond to police questioning or answer charges in court. Contact our offices at 815-740-4025 to schedule a meeting.

Do You Have to Unlock Your Phone for the Police?

Joliet attorney cell phone search

Just as technology makes advances on what seems like a daily basis, the laws governing the use of and access to technological devices is still evolving. A case currently making its way through Illinois courts addresses just this issue, and, as it stands, law enforcement now can require an owner to unlock their cell phone in the process of executing a search warrant. This district court decision overturned a lower court’s decision on the matter, making the contents of one’s phone subject to search as part of a criminal investigation .

Are Your Face or Fingerprints Protected by the Constitution?

In the interests of convenience and security, cell phone manufacturers have begun adding features that allow a user to access their cell phone through a facial recognition program, or by using fingerprint identification technology. Access via these and other security code programs continue to be the subject of legal battles between law enforcement, the public, and product manufacturers. An Illinois district court ruled that access by means of fingerprint was covered under the parameters of a search warrant, based on the circumstances of the case, which included:

• The search warrant issued included a home and electronic devices on the premises.
• Police believed they had reasonable suspicion that evidence of the crime for which the warrant was issued would be found on electronic devices.
• The need for fingerprint access was time-sensitive, since Touch ID access does not work if a device is turned off and restarted, or unused for a certain period of time, at which time a numeric passcode is required to access the device.

The ruling established a precedent for forcing owners to unlock devices under a narrow set of circumstances that included the presence of a search warrant and a limited time frame under which to access information contained on devices.

Ultimately, how this issue plays out in court will depend on how judges apply historic constitutional law to the advancements of technology. The Illinois ruling, while limited, could result in wider, more invasive searches, which advocates have vowed to monitor closely.

Rely on a Knowledgeable Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

Whether law enforcement has charged you with a crime or you have questions about your treatment during a police investigation, it is important to secure the help of someone who understands the law. Protect your rights by retaining the services of an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney who has the resources to provide a thorough review of your case. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. will build a strong and aggressive defense relying on the facts of the case and applicable legal precedent. Contact our offices today at 815-740-4025 to schedule an initial consultation.

6 Things To Do Before Signing a Commercial Lease

Joliet commercial real estate lawyer

Starting a new business or moving an existing business to a new location is a complex process. Understanding your rights and needs when signing a commercial lease is instrumental in the success of your business. The following are six actions you should take before signing a lease for any commercial property:

  • Make sure you sign a lease that is right for you and your business. There are four main types of commercial leases :
    • In a single net lease, you will only pay property tax and utilities, while the owner pays for insurance, repairs, and maintenance.
    • In a double net lease, you will pay property taxes, utilities, and insurance premiums, while the landlord will pay for repairs and maintenance.
    • In a triple net lease, you will be paying all building costs, and the owner will be paying for certain repairs.
    • In a modified gross lease , you will be responsible for the base rent, and in the following years, you will pay both the base rent and some operating expenses.
  • Read the lease in its entirety. If you do not understand parts of the lease, ask a realtor or a real estate attorney . Be sure that you know what types of expenses you will be responsible for.
  • Gain permission from the city or township before you sign the lease.
  • The property owner may or may not know if your business is approved for zoning.
  • Do not rush the process. Regardless of your situation, rushing lease negotiations can result in not getting what you want or being put in a financially vulnerable position. Leases are negotiable , so if you wish to change certain provisions in the lease, discuss the proposed changes with the landlord.
  • Be open-minded. Avoid settling on the first property you see because you believe it would be a “good deal.” You may or may not get a fair deal for the first property, so be sure to look at other commercial properties in your desired geographic location.
  • Consult an experienced real estate attorney. A knowledgeable real estate lawyer can help you not only understand the terms of a proposed lease agreement, but they can also aid and advise you during the lease negotiation process.

Contact a Will County Real Estate Lawyer

At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, our real estate lawyer, Attorney Ann Zaremba, can guide you throughout the process of purchasing or leasing both residential and commercial property. Contact our Joliet real estate attorney today by calling (815) 740-4025.


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