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DuPage County criminal defense attorneyIf you are apprehended by law enforcement for any criminal charges, including DUI, drug charges, assault, Internet sex crimes, or a wide variety of other criminal offenses, there are myriad ways that a police officer could fail to follow proper procedures during and after your arrest that could be used against the prosecution if your case goes to trial. Anything from use of excessive force to neglecting to read you your rights or corrupting the evidence collected at the scene, be it unintentionally or otherwise. However, in this age of the COVID-19 pandemic, even with the first round of vaccines already being rolled out, there is an increased likelihood of the police making some mistakes that could infect you with the COVID-19 virus. If that is the circumstance, you might get the case dismissed or you could win the case on that single technicality. Here is an overview of the potential in using coronavirus exposure as a unique criminal defense strategy for this unprecedented time in history.

Law Enforcement Procedures in Place to Cope with COVID-19 in Illinois

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the federal level and state health authorities, as well as city-wide governments throughout Illinois at the local level, have issued directives and guidance for law enforcement concerning properly handling arrests and jailing or imprisonment during the pandemic. Among the major changes in police officer behaviors and procedures due to COVID-19 are:

  • The same advice given to civilians. Officers must maintain good hand hygiene by washing your hands/sanitizing yourself, do not touch your face, wear personal protective equipment (PPE like masks) whenever possible, and keep your distance at six feet whenever possible (within reason in the case of officers, provided it does not interfere with proper arrest and booking procedures).
  • If COVID-19 exposure or infection is suspected, the police should notify the EMS so they can evaluate anyone who exhibits symptoms and take them to a healthcare facility for initial care.
  • Disinfect belts, gear, and equipment regularly, especially if exposure is suspected.
  • For jailing, if the alleged offender is exhibiting COVID symptoms or claims to have COVID, the officer must attempt to separate them from the other people in jail or working in the jail as often as possible, even if that means giving them their own cell whenever possible until the alleged offender can get tested for the virus.

If you suspect or witness the police blatantly or deliberately—possibly even maliciously—not following such safety guidelines, your experienced lawyer might be able to use that during his arguments in court.

How COVID-19 Exposure Could Complicate Your Case for the Prosecution

Essentially, not following safety guidelines for COVID-19 as a police officer is just like failing to follow the usual protocols of arresting and booking procedures. However, there is certainly a gray area that makes it difficult to argue against the police in these cases since often it can be subjective. In addition, many of the guidelines and directives are just that—guidelines and directives. They are new to the police departments, and there are very few precedents surrounding not following them. Despite this fact, a knowledgeable lawyer can argue these points and convince a jury that not following COVID-19 procedures as an officer of the law is most certainly akin to not following other appropriate policing procedures.

Contact a Wheaton IL Criminal Law Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges and felt like the arresting officer(s) put your life and health in danger by neglecting to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines, you should tell an experienced DuPage County criminal defense lawyer immediately, as this can help with their defense strategy for you. Contacting Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, is the right choice for this since he has experience from multiple sides of the law and understands which defense strategies are most effective. Call Stephen A. Brundage today at 630-260-9647 for a free consultation to learn more about what he can do for you.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-law-enforcement.html

http://directives.chicagopolice.org/directives/data/a7a57b85-17010e90-34c17-0119-53d7e59ce28d23f4.html

https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/86039

Posted in Criminal Law, Illinois criminal defense lawyer | Tagged , , , , ,

DuPage County child pornography defense attorneyInternet sex crimes alone are difficult to defend, especially in such a fast-paced, technology-driven world where it takes more than good old-fashioned research and quality in-person testimonies to create compelling arguments. Sometimes you and your lawyer will need experts in computer forensics and other fields to help clarify issues and circumstances. Other times you will need a lawyer to go above and beyond in his or her own work to understand the complexities, subtleties, and intricacies of your case. Defending against possession of child pornography charges is no different in this sense. Here are some basic ways that a child pornography defense lawyer can help you with your case.

Ways a Child Pornography Defense Lawyer Can Help

There are many different strategies that a possession of child pornography defense lawyer can use to help you with your case. These key strategies include:

  • Disputing your knowledge of the illegal material—Perhaps someone else used your computer or other electronic device to download these illegal images. If they did this without your knowledge, the prosecution has the wrong person on trial. Even if you did know this, your charges might be reduced because you yourself did not engage with those images, or you immediately worked to remove them from your device(s).
  • Showing you had no intent to download illegal material—With the Internet being so confusing and full of chaotic information, it can be difficult to know when you are downloading something legal or illegal. Most times, the assumption is it is legal by virtue of the fact that you can easily get access to it and the company you are getting it from seems legitimate, but this is not always the case. If your lawyer can prove that you never intended on downloading anything illegal, then you might be able to improve your case.
  • Employing the assistance of experts—Your case, including showing your lack of knowledge with regards to the illegal images as well as your lack of intent to download such images, can be further helped by experts in the fields of computer forensics, psychology, and other disciplines. These experts can provide evidence supporting your arguments—from showing that your downloads were accidental or inadvertent to proving you thought you were downloading something legal.

Contact a DuPage County Internet Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

As with most cases, the right lawyer can make all the difference. This is just as true with any Internet sex crime as it is with child pornography charges. That is why you must retain representation from a knowledgeable Wheaton IL child pornography defense lawyer. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, is an aggressive and experienced lawyer with more than 25 years of experience in criminal defense. Call Stephen A. Brundage today at 630-260-9647 for a free confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?docname=072000050hart.+11&actid=1876&chapterid=53&seqstart=14300000&seqend=20800000

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2820068/

Posted in Child Pornography, Computer Crimes, Illinois criminal defense lawyer | Tagged , , , ,

drug court, Wheaton criminal defense attorneyIf you have been accused of a drug crime, be it possession, intent to distribute, or delivery/sale, you might already know that drug crimes in Illinois are taken very seriously, and the consequences can be severe. However, with the federal government rolling back arrest records and jail time for drug charges through such legislation as the FIRST STEP Act, the focus has shifted toward alternative sentencing for those accused of drug crimes. One of these alternatives is drug court. Here in DuPage County, drug court is common due to its usefulness.

What Is the DuPage County Drug Court?

DuPage County Drug Court is an alternative option for dealing with drug charges. It enables the accused the opportunity to take on their drug addiction and become more productive members of society without flooding the court system and prisons with too many people accused of drug charges. In DuPage County Drug Court, those charged with drug crimes can graduate from a three-phase program that helps them detox and eventually recover from their drug addiction, which in turn will reduce the likelihood of them appearing before a judge again for similar drug charges. Drug Court is not for everyone, as those who are accused of sale or intent to distribute might not have addiction issues, but this alternative to traditional drug charge penalties is still quite beneficial to eligible candidates.

What Are the Benefits of Drug Court?

There are many benefits to drug court relative to other more traditional ways the justice system handles drug charges, namely:

  • No jail time—As long as you adequately complete your time in DuPage County Drug Court, receiving the proper treatment and addiction prevention education, you might not need to plead guilty to the drug charges nor will you need to go to jail. 
  • No criminal record, including eventually no record of the charge itself—In addition to not having to plead guilty to the drug charges and not going to jail, you also will be able to get the drug charges dismissed upon completing treatment. That means these drug charges will not hamper your future efforts at financial growth and career development, among other things.
  • Self-improvement—Many people choose to go to rehab when they have drug problems or alcohol problems; in a sense, DuPage County Drug Court gives you the opportunity to have this self-improvement mechanism serve as your punishment. This is an effective way to “break the cycle of addiction,” as DuPage County Drug Court’s mission statement affirms, and in general it can not only prevent future drug charges, but it can also lead to a healthier lifestyle for its participants.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Drug Crimes Lawyer

If you have been charged with a drug crime, you might have plenty of options in terms ofyou’re your case could be handled during this age of real and tangible prison reform. In fact, here in DuPage County, drug court may be available to you. Contact a DuPage County criminal law attorney at 630-260-9647 for a free consultation. Stephen A. Brundage, Attorney at Law, has valuable experience and skills that help him determine which clients are perfect fits for such alternative programs as DuPage County Drug Court.

 

Sources:

https://www.dupageco.org/Courts/Drug_Court/2215/

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/11/02/marijuana/biden-embraces-drug-courts-do-they-actually-work/

Posted in Drug Crimes | Tagged , , , , ,