Blog posts tagged in criminal law
Recently, the State has not given the proper jail time to defendants. Although defendants have been sentenced for committing a crime, they deserve to be given the appropriate credits towards their sentence.
In People v. McDermott, when the State promises a defendant a certain amount of jail time credit in exchange for pleading guilty, the defendant is entitled to that amount of credit, even if he gains days for day credit. In Grandberry v. Smith, the court held that a prisoner was entitled to his 30 day good time credit which was revoked when he followed the direction of prison staff to look up child custody/divorce documents in the legal library. The court disregarded the prison's argument that the prisoner should not have followed the directions of the staff.
Although many problems within the legal system still exist, in these two instances, justice was served.
Appellate Court Finds Illegal Police Search
In State v. Fox, the Illinois Appellate Court held that the Defendant's Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the police searched him. Here, the police observed two people matching the description of suspects of a burglary of smoke shop one block away. The police ordered the 2 persons to stop and then searched them. The Court held that no articulable facts existed at the time to support the police's assertion that this defendant was at that time armed and dangerous, even though the risk of flight does further justify the initial stop.
Based on the law and this case, the public should know that the police cannot just tell a person to stop on the street and search them, without more. However, a person must not disobey a police officer's order, even if that person believes it is unlawful. If a person disobeys a police officer's order, they risk being charged with Resisting or Obstructing a Police Officer.
Police Reported False DUI Arrests
A former police commander has plead guilty to reporting false DUI arrests to inflate DUI numbers to obtain federal grants. Many police forces rely on federal and state grants fund the police force. Police jurisdictions must meet minimum quotas for DUI arrests to obtain the grants. Although the idea of arresting drivers under the influence and protecting public safety is a noble idea from a federal grant standpoint, it has negative consequences for police departments that are not meeting those quotas and negative consequences for the public, as well. In this case, a police commander chose to lie and inflate the numbers as to their DUI arrests. But one has to wonder how many police officers have been encouraged to make DUI arrests that do not rely on probable cause or to embellish information on police reports or even at trial. It is not true that all police personnel make false charges, but it's important when charged with a DUI to hire an attorney to protect your rights of cross examination at trial.