Monday, March 25, 2013

Criminal Lawyers' Court Call: 3/22/2013

On March 22, 2013, Raymond G. Wigell and Huma Rashid were at the Cook County Courthouse in Markham, Illinois, to handle a preliminary hearing.

Our client is charged with three counts of unlawfully acquiring/obtaining possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge (720 ILCS 570/406(b)(3)). He has not been indicted yet, and we finally received a copy of the pertinent police reports about five minutes before the preliminary hearing.

The State put on one witness, the responding police officer. The officer testified during the direct examination as to how he came to be called to the scene and his interrogation of the person he briefly detained (who was not our client). On cross, Raymond established that there was little evidence to connect our client to that particular fraudulent transaction.

Ultimately, the Judge made a finding of probable cause. This was expected, as the defense rarely wins at preliminary hearing because the threshold of proof is so low. Additionally, it is quite possible that the Judge ruled the way he did for the sake of expediency; had he ruled that there was no probable cause, the State would have taken the case to a grand jury, secured an indictment, and all four of us would have been in front of the same judge in couple months.

The case was pushed through to assignment and we made a demand for trial, and now we await the State's discovery so that we may better analyze our client's position.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Criminal Lawyers' Court Call: 3/20/2013

On Wednesday morning, Raymond G. Wigell and Huma Rashid were both in court. Raymond was at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Illinois, while Huma was at the Cook County Courthouse in Bridgeview, IL.

Raymond had two cases up this morning. The first client is charged with Possession of Child Pornography, and this was a discovery status date. The State and the Defense are waiting for a full forensics report of the computer equipment involved, and the matter was continued for another status date in a month.

The second client is charged with a Felony DUI. His court date was scheduled for 9:30AM, and the client did not show up. Raymond persuaded the court to pass the case so he might wait for his client and attempt to locate him. Unfortunately, all attempts to locate the client were in vain, and an hour later, the court issued a warrant for his arrest. The client must turn himself in as soon as possible, and he forfeits his bond in not appearing before the court on a scheduled court date.

Huma's morning was not as eventful. She appeared in Bridgeview to represent a client on a status date for his supervision. The State asked that he pay fines and costs in order to be in compliance with the conditions of supervision, and the matter was continued to termination.

With that all wrapped up, but unfortunately still no word from our missing client, Raymond and Huma returned to the office.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Criminal Lawyers' Court Call: 03/18/2013

On Monday, March 18, 2013, Raymond G. Wigell and Huma Rashid were in the Cook County Courthouse on 26th and California to argue a motion in a felony sex case.

The client is charged in a multi-count indictment and is currently in custody. The charges are as follow:

  • Ten (10) counts of Aggravated criminal Sexual Assault - 720 ILCS 5/11-1.30(a)(2) and 720 ILCS 5/11-1/30(a)(4).
  • Three (3) counts of Aggravated Kidnapping - 720 ILCS 5/10-2(a)(3) 
  • Twenty (20) counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse - 720 ILCS 5/11-1.60(a)(6) and 720 ILCS 5/11-1.60(a)(2) 
  • One (1) count of Robbery - 720 ILCS 5/18-1(a) 
  • One (1) count of Unlawful Restraint - 720 ILCS 5/10-3(a)
Huma Rashid argued a motion to keep the client housed in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center past his seventeenth birthday. She aggressively presented mitigation in favor of her client's position while the State argued that he be transferred to the Cook County Detention Center.

The Honorable Judge denied the motion. The case was continued for another status date at which the State will have another chance to tender additional discovery.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Criminal Lawyers' Court Call: 3/13/2013

Yesterday morning, Raymond G. Wigell and Huma Rashid were in court at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Illinois, for a hearing on a lengthy motion.

It was a light day scheduling-wise. We normally try to schedule 2-3 court appearances on the same day in the same location because that is the most efficient way to schedule them. On Tuesday, however, we only had one client to take care of, and the matter was set for a hearing on a twenty-five page defense motion to exclude evidence that the defense contends is irrelevant.

Our client is charged in a two count indictment for Possession of Child Pornography. While the call was supposed to be for a hearing, in which both the state and defense would argue a motion to the Judge who would ultimately rule on the matter, the State requested a continuance in order to secure more time to file its response to the defense's motion.

The matter was continued for another six weeks. One week later, the matter will be heard before the Court. This means that Raymond and I will prepare our oral arguments in support of the defense motion, and also use the State's response in preparation once the response is filed.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Criminal Lawyers Court Call: 3/11/2013

On Monday, Huma Rashid appeared at Bridgeview on a Violation of Conditional Discharge.

Our client had been indicted for the Use of Forged Credit or Debit Card, and had been placed on conditional discharge for two years. The case had already been closed when our client was indicted again for Possession of a Controlled Substance. Unfortunately, since he was out on conditional discharge at that time, this triggered a violation. A Violation of a Bail Bond, Violation of Probation, and Violation of Conditional Discharge are all new cases, even though they are triggered by new cases, and arise out of older cases that have already been closed.

A notice to appear in court was sent out to our client, which he had not received, so a warrant was issued for his arrest. Our client's family paid bond and he was released not too long after his arrest, and this was the first court date on the new violation.

My task for the day was simple. I had to file my appearance, which is a letter to the court that announces my representation of the client in this matter. This catches up to the file so that all parties know who to speak to about anything concerning the defendant.

Shortly after filing my appearance, my case was called. I introduced myself to all parties as the attorney of record and informed the Judge, who I have appeared before several times, that I would request a copy of the State's Petition to Revoke Conditional Discharge, and I would ask for a date of continuance to be set so I had a chance to review it and talk about it with my client.

This particular Judge handles her violations on Mondays, so the case was continued to a Monday about seven weeks into the future. After the call was completed, I made copies of the Petition to Revoke and left the courthouse. It was a light day, because I only had one case on call in that particular courthouse while the senior attorney handled another court call in Skokie, involving Felony Burglary to Auto.