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Resisting Arrest Can Lead to Serious Trouble

Joliet resisting arrest lawyer

One of the most widely covered news stories of 2014 revolved around the death of Eric Garner in New York City. The circumstances surrounding his case have been hotly debated , as some insisted that the actions of the police were unwarranted, while others maintained that Garner’s own actions in resisting arrest ultimately led to his death.

The tragic New York incident represents just one of the thousands of cases in America each year that involve resisting arrest or obstruction of a peace officer. While discussion over the appropriate use of police force and authority is certainly warranted, state laws across the country, including Illinois, clearly prohibit resisting arrest or otherwise preventing a peace officer from performing his or her duty.

Resisting Any Arrest

One of the most important aspects of the Illinois statute regarding resisting arrest is that it makes no mention of lawful arrest. This means that resisting arrest charges may still be valid even if the arrest itself was unlawful. While it may seem unfair to many critics concerned with the abuse of police authority, from a legal standpoint, it provides law enforcement with a degree of protection in performing their duties.

Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Illinois

An individual charged with resisting arrest or obstructing a peace officer in Illinois faces serious penalties, in addition to any charges or penalties related to the initial arrest. Simple resisting or obstructing is considered a Class A misdemeanor subject to sentences of community service, fines up to $2,500 and imprisonment of up to one year. Resisting arrest or obstructing a peace officer may be prosecuted as a Class 4 felony if the actions of the arrested individual caused or led to injuries to an officer of the law.

Resisting Arrest Defense

If you have been arrested for any type of crime and are being additionally charged with resisting arrest, you need the representation of a qualified lawyer. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Joliet today at the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba . Our team has worked with hundreds of clients facing a wide variety of criminal charges, including resisting arrest, and we look forward to helping you.

Filing a Pre-Trial Motion to Dismiss Criminal Charges

Joliet Criminal Lawyer

An effective criminal defense attorney will not wait for a case to go to trial before mounting a defense of his client. For example, the attorney might consider filing a pre-trial motion to dismiss the charges. The motion must be filed within a reasonable time after the defendant has been arraigned and can be filed before or after entering a plea.

The motion must be based on one of the following grounds for dismissal:

• Every defendant has a right to a speedy trial . If the trial is not commenced within the statutorily determined time frame then that is grounds for dismissal.
• A defendant may be prosecuted for several criminal offenses in the same trial. However, if the prosecution knows about these offenses and they all fall within a single court’s jurisdiction, then the offenses (usually) must be prosecuted in a single prosecution. If the state initiates a subsequent prosecution based on the defendant’s previous criminal conduct then that is grounds for dismissal.
• The prosecution is likely barred if the defendant was already prosecuted for the same offense, based on the same facts.
• If charges are not brought within a specific crime’s statute of limitations – or extended limitations period, if applicable – then that is grounds for dismissal.
• In some cases the defendant might be immune from criminal prosecution, which would also warrant dismissal. For example, a material witness in another criminal case may be granted immunity from prosecution based on his testimony.
• The charges can be dropped if the indictment was returned by a grand jury that was improperly selected or acted contrary to Illinois law and resulted in substantial injustice to the defendant.
• The court will dismiss the case if it does not have jurisdiction.
• The case may be dismissed if the particular county is not a proper place to hold the trial.
• If the charge does not state an actual offense then that is grounds for dismissal.
• If the indictment is based solely on the testimony of an incompetent witness then the charges will be dropped.
• If the defendant is misnamed in the charge and the misnomer results in substantial injustice to the defendant then the court can dismiss the case.
Felony charges cannot be brought unless the defendant receives a preliminary examination or an indictment by a grand jury. If the prosecution does not comply with these requirements then that is grounds for dismissal.

Contact Us Today

There is no need to incur the expense or emotional toll of a trial if the criminal charges should not have been brought in the first place, or if the prosecution violated Illinois laws of criminal procedure. Our Will County criminal defense attorneys will pursue these and other procedural avenues as part of your defense. Contact us today for a consultation. We can assist those in Frankfort, Joliet and the surrounding area.

My Child Was Arrested for Theft. Now What?

Joliet Juvenile Lawyer

Your teen told you they were out with friends—perhaps friends you have met dozens of times and you know their parents. At first, you thought the call was a joke or a prank. Then the realization sets in that your child has been arrested for shoplifting, but they are letting you take them home for now. What does that mean? The questions are likely to begin spinning through your mind regarding how you will handle the situation as a parent and how this might affect the future. Know that you are not alone, and we can help.

Why Was My Child Released To Me?

Rather than keeping your child in jail until the criminal hearing, the police likely released him or her into your care. While your child has been released, he or she must show up for all scheduled court dates, which you will receive further information on in the mail. Failure to appear will result in a warrant being issued for your child’s arrest and, potentially, other charges. You can assist your child by watching the mailbox and following up with the court.

What Else Can I Do to Help My Child?

It is not uncommon for parents fluctuate between wanting to punish their children themselves for their misbehavior and wanting to protect them and their future from possible court-sanctioned penalties . A few helpful tips for parents wanting to achieve the best possible outcome in this awkward situation include:

• Stress to your child the potential consequences of their behavior. A conviction could keep them from going to college, receiving job offers, or renting or purchasing a home;
• Enlist them in programs that may reduce their charges. Many judges favor the idea of community service and theft intervention classes. It may impress upon the judge that they understand it was a mistake, show signs of remorse, and show a willingness to alter the behavior if these steps are begun before entering the courtroom;
• Follow up after the case is over to remove the criminal record. The arrest still shows up on a permanent criminal record and is not always automatically sealed or expunged at the time your child turns 18. You want to take steps to close off these files to minimize the influence they have on your minor’s future.

Your Child Is Not a “Bad” Kid

Everyone makes mistakes, regardless of age. Most juvenile court judges are focused on helping your child get the help he or she needs rather than on harsh punishments. With the assistance of a help of a proven and experienced criminal attorney, your child has the best chance at achieving a positive resolution to this experience. If you have questions about how you can ensure that your child has the best possible future, contact a Joliet Juvenile Defense Attorney today by calling 815-740-4025 to schedule your free case evaluation.

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